Wednesday 22 May 2013 17:47 UTC
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I freely admit to having never really been much of an AOPA fan. Esp some of the representation Ive experienced in the past.
But I have to say the conception and production of the Mentor Scheme and the fact that AOPA and its volunteers persevered and have pushed on with this cause over a big (and real) obstacle to make it happen is a real major plus point.
A big "well done" from me to Timothy and co for persevering and more importantly, staying focused on the target in an area where others may have given up or compromised and watered down the final product.
Blissfully crawling very slowly through a man made ditch somewhere in the UK
Jim and Pat, (and others posting or viewing),
Thank you very much for that very kind post. The aim of the scheme is to extend pilot's confidence and to encourage pilots to fly and thereby make some contribution to reducing the number of pilots who give up flying within a short time of gaining their PPL.
I would like to record my appreciation of colleagues within AOPA, all of whom have put in considerable time and effort to get this initiative going.
The scheme was initially devised and proposed by Timothy Nathan and Steve Copeland. Subsequently, Timothy took the lead and progressed the scheme through various committees. Martin Robinson and George Done then spent much time with AOPA's legal and insurance advisors, who were very enthusiastic supporters of the scheme, and who collaborated in drawing up the mentor / mentee agreements that satisfied both legal and insurance requirements.
Latterly, Mick Elborn, with his professional project management experience, has done a huge amount of work in drawing up the documentation, and in delivering training sessions for mentors.
So, we now have a fully approved scheme (VFR only at the moment) that will either fly or remain groundborne on its own merits. If unsuccessful, it will certainly not be for the lack of a lot of background hard work and input from those mentioned.
I for one wish the scheme every success.
(Chairman of the AOPA Member's Working Group)
While I've held my NPPL since 2004, I still regard myself as a relatively low hours pilot (hopefully that will change soon). I'm not a member of AOPA although I did participate in the Student membership scheme for a while.
This Mentoring scheme interests me as I'm not a naturally confident person and if it seemed worthwhile (for me) it might be one of those things that did encourage me to rejoin AOPA.
However it does seem a pity that I can't even see the detail of the scheme without being a member of AOPA - the link provided at the start of this thread stops at the home page for the site. So I guess that answers the earlier poster's cynical view of the scheme being there to primarily to encourage membership. If that were the case a bit of an own goal has been scored. But seriously - if an organisation does have schemes/services that could be useful in encouraging new membership, it would be a good idea to make information about those services easily available to prospective members.
The Sky is a beautiful place
I don't think there's anything sneaky going on, Neil.
The scheme was developed as a "put something back into aviation" exercise under the umbrella of AOPA. AOPA put the details on the AOPA website - well, where else? The website happens to be a members' one, as is not really surprising. The net result is as you see.
On the other hand, it would make sense to make the information "open to all". I'm sure that could be done.
Mind you: with all that's going on in EASA and elsewhere, I'd say that AOPA membership is vitally important for anyone who pilots or intends to.
Moderatio in omnibus
Neil MacG - try this link http://www.joinaopa.com/index.php?optio ... Itemid=218 and then follow the links in the narrative or on the menu bar.
Apologies if my post implied anything sneaky - it was not intended to, just that I thought AOPA were missing an opportunity based on the original link posted here.
Now Nick has posted the new link, and I can see more detail about the scheme I can see what's on offer.
The Sky is a beautiful place
The original link changed as we moved domains, or changed content, nothing more devious than that. Anything with joinaopa.com in the link is now out of date, though you should be redirected if you use one.
Currently everything on the AOPA UK website http://www.aopa.co.uk is open to all. In time we will start restricting some areas to registered AOPA members but, access to information such as the mentor scheme, will remain public.
The Mentor Scheme details can be found using the Menu option "Training and Development". Here you can read all about the scheme, see where Mentors are ready and waiting to help and apply to become a Mentee or Mentor.
Mentees are still in really short supply, so all applications are most welcome. If joining AOPA UK to be a Mentee is putting you off applying please let us know. Or indeed, if anything else is putting you off, we would really like to know since the take-up is very slow and we don't know why - despite everyone saying what a great idea!
(Note: If it is the formality of the scheme that is putting you off, then I'm afraid that this is the scheme that has met legal and insurance opinion provided to AOPA UK. If you think you can set up and run a simpler scheme that minimises liabilities feel free to do so.)
We do have some Mentees currently working through the process, including the all important Aircraft Insurance clause (see earlier posts and website for more info about this). Look out for updates when we finally get them in the air.
For potential Mentors, we will welcome your application but will not be inducting any further Mentors until we have got some mentoring sessions completed. This is to test that all our procedures are sensible and work in practice. If we have to make any changes then these will be built into the guidance notes and induction workshop as relevant. then we will re-start induction workshops.
As someone who expressed interest at the initial application for mentors (but was sadly unable to attend due to work commitments), I am discouraged by the need to hold the "Silver AOPA" wings. I'm currently not a member of AOPA but would become one if necessary, however the need to demonstrate a flight of:
... is not something which appeals, specifically to become a mentor.
Simply put, the vast majority of my GA flying is carried out on 30 minute aerobatic sorties ex-White Waltham in a fuel hungry aircraft which is not built for touring - as my back will testify. If my CPL qualifying cross-country from way back in nineteen-ninetymumble counts then great, or perhaps Glenforsa to Barra and back a couple of years ago (<200 nm but all bar a couple of hundred yards over the oggin), but if I have to effectively do another qualifying cross-country, I'd rather spend the money on renewing my FI rating and give the mentoring a miss.
Is there any flexibility?
Yakkist & Bus Driver
From an outsiders point of view:
If it is true as quoted above, that you don't know why you are short of Mentees, it looks like you didn't assess your potential market for Mentees before starting the scheme or at least the data collected seems to have been flawed. The decision making appears to have been conducted by potential Mentors, possibly with their interest in mentoring at the forefront of the process. Don't take this as a criticism of those who are freely offering their time to make this a success but the personality types which predispose us to become private pilots often makes it easier for us to offer help than to ask for it. If this were a business, I would be asking the MD, "How many AOPA members did you canvass who said they would definitely want to become a Mentee before investing time in constructing the scheme"? I find the answer to this sort of question is so often along the lines of the old adage, "If you make it .... they will come", I keep finding that they never do.
WTF are you doing posting at 0320h?
But good points. The scheme was initiated and developed by people who are brimming with the desire, ability and passion to help others enjoy flying.
In my opinion, initial take up will be slow, and we shall have to keep drawing people's attention to it, but I am sure that in time the scheme will become well known and used.
I think the issue is not whether there are many, many people who need mentoring, it is a combination of those people recognising that they need/want mentoring and getting the message to them that it is available.
I, personally, encounter more mentees than AOPA does officially. It is just a question of AOPA being able to deliver the message, and we are working on that.
Not sent from my iPad.
If feeling discouraged at times, I hope the organisers will hang onto that thought. I wish we had something similar in France.
Btw, I cannot for the life of me see why signing up as a mentee should imply a distinct level of incompetence. Inexperience, yes. Incompetence, hopefully not.
Good luck with the scheme.
Exactly so. I've done a bit of mentoring (and been mentored) over the years. I suspect informal "the bloke you know" will be more frequent than formal introductions to a bloke you never met.
I signed up as an AOPA mentor, but missed the training and suspect I won't be needed for a while. Nevertheless, all power to the team's elbow.
Moderatio in omnibus
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