2006 safety and philanthropy report



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2006 SAFETY AND PHILANTHROPY REPORT

AOPA Air Safety Foundation



Seemingly ordinary events can

sometimes lead to extraordinary

results. I count my first meeting

with Bruce Landsberg in the late

1980s as one of those events.

I was at ABC producing a Wide

World of Flying segment on simu-

lator-based training at Flight-

Safety International. Bruce was

FlightSafety’s marketing manager

who arranged for a course covering

my Cessna 340. Although I

planned to work on scripts for the show each night

after training, Bruce strongly suggested that simultan-

eous flight training and TV production might be over-

whelming. But as a busy TV exec who already had

logged a fair amount of time in the 340, I confidently

thought otherwise.

Bruce was absolutely correct. It was the most grueling

week I had ever had.

We met again a few years later when as AOPA

president I led the search for Admiral Don Engen’s

successor at the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Bruce’s

outstanding credentials and vision for aviation safety

education made him the top choice. And I joked,

making him my colleague would be suitable revenge

for the tough week I had at FlightSafety!

Under Bruce’s leadership now for 15 years, the AOPA

Air Safety Foundation plays a vital role in improving

GA safety. His emphasis on data analysis, his adoption

of new technologies and his creative drive are among

his many contributions. With Bruce and his staff dedi-

cated to GA safety, I can focus on leading AOPA on its

multi-part mission of advocacy and member services.

While Bruce has been the catalyst for the advances in

GA safety education, your generous support has been

the enabling force. Your growing and continuing

donations to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation are

anything but ordinary. In fact they are producing

extraordinary results today, and will continue to do so

for years to come.

Safe Flying,

Phil Boyer

MESSAGE FROM:

PHIL BOYER

PRESIDENT, AIRCRAFT OWNERS AND PILOTS ASSOCIATION

1

THE 2006 SAFETY AND PHILANTHROPY REPORT



On the Cover: Famed actor Kurt Russell, a long time AOPA member and AOPA Project Pilot Mentor meets with student pilot, Mike Vogel,

a fellow actor.  With Kurt as his Mentor, Mike receives priceless guidance from an experienced pilot towards him becoming a safety conscious

private pilot.   With the support and encouragement of their Mentors, student pilots triple their likelihood of achieving his or her Private Pilots

License.   For more information on Project Pilot please go to www.projectpilot.org



You may not have real-

ized it, but you and I are

co-captains of an aircraft

on an important mission,

one in which I have been

involved for the past 15

years. Our “aircraft” in

this case is the AOPA Air

Safety Foundation.

It’s a good analogy

because the Foundation is

a powerful vehicle for

carrying the message of improving general aviation

safety to pilots across the country. We have kept the

airplane well-maintained, installed new technologies,

and updated its appearance. Careful budgeting some-

times has meant that we have pulled the throttle back

and leaned aggressively to conserve fuel. But we have

completed many productive flights together.

We pilot the AOPA Air Safety Foundation as we would

any airplane. We “fly by the numbers” and use GA

accident data to tell us where we need to devote our

attention and resources. We adopt new tools, including

the Internet and DVDs, to complete more missions by

reaching more pilots. We also apply the judgment and

intangible skills that come from experience. That

includes producing effective educational materials

that have a “sparkle” that captures and holds pilots’

interest. 

Accidents are tremendously costly in terms of human

suffering, negative public perception, litigation, poten-

tial regulation and cost of aircraft and parts. We look

for ways to reach the new pilot, to help them under-

stand risk, to remind the veteran that the most critical

flight is his or her next one. Despite the long-term

improvements, there is much more to be done.

Your growing donations are the fuel that powers the

AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Increased funding

enables us to create many new and better programs and

to broaden our outreach. And we are expanding our

frame of reference, producing important new research

on the aging pilot population, and on the use of low-

cost simulator technology in initial and recurrent train-

ing. To put it another way, we now have the fuel on

board to increase our speed and range. In fact, I believe

the AOPA Air Safety Foundation will accomplish more

over the next five years than we have in the past 55.

It’s an exciting time for our productive partnership.

And with your continued support I’m looking forward

to the years ahead. 

Sincerely,

Bruce Landsberg

MESSAGE FROM:

BRUCE LANDSBERG

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION

2


Total and fatal accident rates in the United States

rose slightly from 2004.

The numbers of total and fatal pilot-related accidents

increased, accounting for three-quarters of all acci-

dents and more than 80 percent of the fatal accidents.

Maneuvering flight produced the largest number of

pilot-related fatal accidents and accounted for one out

of three fatal crashes in 2005. Maneuvering flight was

also the number one fatal accident category for single-

engine fixed gear aircraft.

Weather accident statistics improved in 2005. The

majority of fatal weather accidents in single-engine

aircraft resulted from VFR flight into IMC.

Accidents during personal flying accounted for about

70 percent of all accidents about 80 percent of all fatal

accidents.

Accidents are more likely to occur during the day than

at night and in VMC than IMC.

“While the sky certainly isn’t falling, the record that

we chalked up in 2005 could stand some improve-

ment,” said AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive

Director, Bruce Landsberg.

Early data for

2006 indicates an overall

improvement in GA safety with the number of total

accidents down 11 percent.

AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION:

HIGHLIGHTS OF GA ACCIDENT TRENDS FOR 2005

3

THE 2006 SAFETY AND PHILANTHROPY REPORT



General Aviation Accidents 2005

MAJOR CAUSE 

All Accidents 

Fatal Accidents

Pilot 

1076 (74.9%) 



242 (82.9%)

Mechanical/

Maintenance 

232 (16.2%) 

22 (7.5%)

Other/Unknown 

128 (8.9%) 

28 (9.6%)

TOTAL 1436 

292


Accident Statistics

2001


2002 2003 2004

2005


Total Fixed-Wing GA Accidents

1,500


1,477

1,514


1,413

1,436


Fatal Fixed-Wing GA Accidents

300


312

312


290

292


Total Fixed-Wing GA Fatalities

557


518

557


510

491


Estimated GA Flight Hrs. (millions)

25.4


25.5

25.7


24.9

23.1


Accident Categories – Pilot Related

In Memorium

Scott Crossfield was a true pioneer, a friend, and a gentleman. He was also an AOPA member and a

dedicated supporter of general aviation. We mourn his passing last year in the crash of his airplane near an

area of Level 6 thunderstorms. We are reminded that weather is no respecter of experience or fame. But we

also celebrate Mr. Crossfield’s love of aviation and re-dedicate ourselves to advancing flying safety.



Thanks to the growing generosity of our donors, the

AOPA Air Safety Foundation is increasing its out-

reach to pilots. Overall outreach increased nearly 24

percent in 2006. But our Internet-based education



efforts grew as much as 137 percent from 2005, with

huge increases in both Online Safety Course and

Safety Quiz completions.

We still see strong growth at our live safety seminars,

with the more than 39,000 pilots attending last year

representing a 14-percent increase over 2005.

Reactions to the seminars continue to be strongly

positive.

We planned year-to-year decreases in some program

areas. We curtailed the Seminar In A Box series as we

began updating and re-tooling course materials. A

2 percent drop in In-Person Flight Instructor Refresher

Courses (FIRCs) was more than offset by a 16-percent

increase in online FIRC completions.

We will continue to execute our strategic plan that

combines the best of Internet and DVD technologies,

in-person courses, and a dedication to entertaining and

informative educational materials.

AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION:

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND OUTREACH

4

Program


2005

2006


Combined

Safety Seminar Attendance

34,256

39,135


73,391

Live Seminars Presented

203

247


450

ASF Seminar Kit

744

267


1,011

In-Person FIRCs

5,080

4,973


10,053

Online FIRCs

5,702

6,625


12,327

Instructor Reports

384,800

399,300


784,100

Online Safety Courses

77,160

182,726


259,886

Sporty’s Safety Quizzes

127,218

236,758


363,976

Database Queries

396,473

279,733


676,206

Publication Downloads

313,536

350,021


663,557

DVD Mailings

46,956

223,676


270,832

Year Totals

1,392,128

1,723,661

3,115,789

ASF Receives Safety Award

At AOPA Expo in 2006, FAA Administrator

Marion Blakey presented AOPA Air Safety

Foundation with the first ever Thomas H.

Wardleigh award for continuing leadership

and advocacy to improve aviation safety.


AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION:

PLANS AND OUTREACH

5

THE 2006 SAFETY AND PHILANTHROPY REPORT



GPS Courses

Two of the most popular courses in the

Online Safety Center are the VFR and

IFR GPS courses. Each running 45 to 60

minutes, the courses give pilots valuable

working knowledge of common GPS

functions for VFR and IFR operations.

The 


GPS for VFR Operations course tells

pilots the dos and don’ts of VFR usage

and provides valuable tips for smooth

in-flight operation. 

GPS for IFR

Operations delves into how and when to

use vital instrument approach proce-

dures built into the units as well as

important “gotchas” to be avoided.

Both courses were made possible by

generous contributions from Mr. and

Mrs. Gregory Kozmetsky.

2007 Programs and Iniatives

We plan a number of new and expanded programs 

for 2007 including:

Research On Aging Pilots and Airplanes: As pilots

and airplanes grow older, we are expanding multi-year

research initiatives into the special safety and training

considerations related to both pilots and aircraft.



DVD Mailings: Because many accidents involve poor

pilot decision-making, not lack of skill, we will contin-

ue sending a free DVD about decision-making to all

newly rated private and instrument pilots in 2007.  In

time for spring, all IFR pilots will receive a Weather

Wise: Thunderstorms & ATC DVD from ASF.

New Interactive Courses: One new product, called

Landmark Accidents will allow pilots to learn from the

mistakes of others. Online accident case studies will

allow pilots to dissect individual accidents and explore

what should have been done differently.



Weather Hazard Education: We will enhance the

Weather Wise online series with subjects including

icing and thunderstorm avoidance.



New Online Courses: Among the new online safety

courses are seminars on maneuvering flight and

emergency proceedures. These will be added to the

AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Web site in 2007.

Accident Forgiveness

All pilots know that safety training pays dividends in

increased awareness of how to manage the risks of fly-

ing. And now with AOPA Air Safety Foundation safe-

ty courses, it can pay off literally.

Introduced at AOPA Expo in 2006, the free Accident



Forgiveness and Deductible Waiver Enhancement

program encourages regular safety education.

Available on select policies underwritten by participat-

ing aviation insurance companies, this valuable cover-

age enhancement waives a portion of the policy's

deductible in the event of an accident claim. Even

better, it can prevent the policy renewal rate from

increasing as a result of the accident.

Most Online Safety Center courses and live AOPA Air

Safety Foundation seminars qualify for the above pro-

gram, as well as for FAA Wings credit.


7

It is gratifying to see the results of donor contributions and the fine

work of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation staff. Each year we reach

more pilots with vital safety information and the GA accident rate has

continued its downward trend. We cannot become complacent. Every

pilot—from the new private pilot to the high-time ATP—needs to

continue safety education. In that regard we are all “student” pilots.

I commend you for your support of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

It shows your commitment to your own flying, to your fellow pilots,

and to all of general aviation. Thank you.



David Hinson, Chairman

Former FAA Administrator

ASF BOARD OF VISITORS:

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

THE 2006 SAFETY AND PHILANTHROPY REPORT

We were thrilled by the increased financial

support given to the AOPA Air Safety

Foundation last year. Not only did you help us

fund the core database analysis and volumes

of safety programs, your generosity has made

possible the Foundation’s entry into applied

safety research.

With Bruce Landsberg's

leadership we will now embark on a study of

aging and flying.

Mostly we are pleased that the data indicates that the safety record for 2006 was better than 2005.

Those year-after-year trends matter.  And the Foundation’s role is significant in the long-term

commitment to a far, far safer general aviation. Your gifts save lives. Thank you again.

Thomas W. Haas and Lessing S. Stern, National Development Chairmen

ASF:


NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CHAIRMEN

2006 Operational Revenue

AOPA Air Safety Foundation

($8.40 Million)

Pilot Donations 82%

Flight Instructor Refresher 

Course (FIRC) Fees 15%

Federal 


and State 

Grants/Contracts 3%



8

AOPA:


BOARD OF TRUSTEES

William C. Trimble III

Chairman of the Board

Washington, DC



Paul C. Heintz

Philadelphia, PA



Phil Boyer

AOPA President

Frederick, MD



John S. Yodice

Secretary & Gen. Counsel

Washington, DC



H. Neel Hipp

Treasurer & Asst. Secretary

Greenville, SC



Lawrence D. Buhl III

Wallingford, CT



Darrell W. Crate

Prides Crossing, MA



Anne Blake Garrymore

Skillman, NJ



Burgess H. Hamlet III

Bassett, VA



R. Anderson Pew

Bryn Mawr, PA



John L. Baker

Emeritus Trustee

Angier, NC

AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION:

BOARD OF VISITORS



David Hinson

Chairman of the Board

Ketchum, ID



George F. “Rick” Adam, Jr.

Englewood, CO



Morton M. Bass

Great Neck, NY



Ned W. Bennett

Anthony, NM



Phil Boyer

AOPA President

Frederick, MD



J. Jeffrey Brausch

Medina, OH



Ian Blair Fries, MD

Vero Beach, FL



P. Prentice “Lee” Gilbert

Jersey Shore, PA



Thomas W. Haas

Durham, NH



Paul C. Heintz

Haverford, PA



Alan L. Klapmeier

Duluth, MN



Gregory A. Kozmetsky

Austin, TX



Michael J. Lazar

Jamesville, NY



Bruce Landsberg

ASF Executive Director

Frederick, MD



David L. McKay

New York, NY



Wiley R. Reynolds III

Colorado Springs, CO



James W. Robins

Chicago, IL



Jeffrey M. Rubenstein

Erieville, NY



Harold “Hal” Shevers

Batavia, OH



Robert H. Showalter

Orlando, FL



Lessing S. Stern

Carefree, AZ



Marilyn E. Thompson

San Diego, CA



Ronald K. Vickrey

Port Orange, FL



George “Pat” Waters

Mt. Pleasant, SC



Robert N. Buck

Emeritus

Moretown, VT



William V. Ott

Emeritus

Delray Beach, FL

“It’s no coincidence that GA accidents have dramatically declined since the inception of the AOPA Air Safety

Foundation.  Now to take this effort to the next level, Phil and Bruce need and deserve our fullest financial support.”

Welles Murphey, AOPA #235571

AOPA President’s Council



All general aviation pilots are

concerned about the cost of

flying, aviation insurance,

airport access, and public

perceptions of GA. But Pat

Waters says there is one criti-

cal factor at the root of those

issues: safety.

“Safety is the biggest consider-

ation in flying,” Pat says. “And

education is the way to make

pilots more aware of how

important safety is for GA and

for themselves. Danger doesn’t

care how much you’re worth

or who you know. It will get

you if you’re careless.”

Pat has been a pilot since he

was old enough to earn his license. An injury from an

automobile accident halted plans to become a Naval

aviator, but he resumed flying after leaving the Navy.

He flew a variety of single-engine aircraft for business

and personal travel, and even flew search-and-rescue

missions in a Lake amphibian in Louisiana.

Pat has been connected with AOPA since 1960. He

became more heavily involved in 2002 as a member of

the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Board of Visitors.

“I saw an opportunity to give to something where

100 percent of my dollars go to safety.”

Reflecting Pat’s emphasis on safety education, his

donation as one of AOPA’s Top Philanthropists (ATP)

sponsored the Emergency Procedures seminar that has

been given in 100 locations across the United States

and will be placed on the ASF Web site this year.

Duty and honor are a large part of his family

tradition; his grandfather was the famed general,

George S. Patton Jr.  “To me contributing to the

AOPA Air Safety Foundation is an honor. It’s an

opportunity to save lives, your own or someone

else’s.”  “If all of the dollars I put in save a single life,

then my donation is a very small cost to me.”

DONOR SOCIETIES: 

AOPA’S TOP PHILANTHROPISTS

PAT WATERS, 

MEMBER

THE 2006 SAFETY AND PHILANTHROPY REPORT



9

AOPA's Top Philanthropists—affectionately known as "ATPs"—are donors who contribute $10,000 or more in a calendar year.

ATP donors may designate their gift to a specific area, to help fund a new initiative, or for the general good of safety and education.

DONOR SOCIETIES:

AOPA’S TOP PHILANTHROPISTS

$10,000 


AND ABOVE

$100,000 and above

The Emil Buehler Trust

The August Busch III Trust

Thomas W. Haas

James Hagedorn

Welles Murphey

The Noble Foundation

George P. Waters



$25,000 to $99,999

The Adam Family Foundation

The William H. Donner Foundation

Florida Airport Association Inc.

Parker Hannifin Corporation

The Herrick Foundation

J. Lloyd Huck 

Michael J. Lazar 

The Alfred Manheim Estate

Rick Muth

William Scully

Lessing S. Stern 

USAIG

USA Underwriters



$10,000 to $24,999

Michael C. Baldwin

Paul Clark 

Robert Englander

Jon Gilbert

New Mexico Pilots Assoc. Gallup Chapter

Zoe D. Nutter

S. Harry Robertson 

James W. Robins

10


Arnold Palmer’s passion, drive, and commitment to

excellence have been synonymous with golf, with

philanthropy, and with general aviation for more than

50 years.

Arnie’s passion for aviation began as a boy when he

built balsawood model airplanes. As a PGA Tour pro,

the wear and tear of driving to tournaments and other

events moved him to earn his private pilot certificate in

the late 1950s. Flying quickly became integral to his

golfing and business activities.

“I could never have accomplished even half as much

as I have in my golf and business careers over the

past four decades without having my own airplanes,”

Arnie says.

His accomplishments are far reaching. Included

among scores of achievements are being named the

Associated Press Athlete of the Decade for the 1960s

and the 1960 Hickok Professional Athlete of the Year.

The Orlando, Florida, Hospital for Children & Women

is named for him, as is his hometown airport in

Latrobe, Pennsylvania (KLBE).

With more than 18,000 hours, Arnie had the opportu-

nity to fly his own airplane in formation with the

Blue Angels and fly an F-16, a Boeing 747, and a

McDonnell Douglas DC-10. He also set a world

record by circumnavigating the globe in a Lear 36.

Safety imbues his flying. He now flies a Citation X

with his chief pilot and completes annual recurrent

training at FlightSafety International. His currency

also extends to challenges facing general aviation,

including proposed aviation user fees.

“Thanks to the creation of the aviation trust fund

36 years ago, we’ve been very fortunate in this

country to have the very best air transportation system

in the world,” Arnie recently stated. “I have to ask,

why in the world would we want to change a

structure that works so well?”

Arnold Palmer is a champion in all senses, as a

legendary golfer, as an exemplary GA pilot, and as

a Charter Member of the AOPA President’s Council.

DONOR SOCIETIES: 

AOPA PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL

ARNOLD PALMER, 

CHARTER MEMBER

THE 2006 SAFETY AND PHILANTHROPY REPORT

11

“The fight for GA’s future requires passion, dedication and financial commitment.  There’s a



special place for those pilots who can provide all three: The AOPA President’s Council.”

John N. Nordstrom, AOPA #1177592

Honorary Chairman

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