What are you planning? Where shall we go?
Duxford AOPA Bonus Day, Saturday 18th September 2010

There are at least four good reasons to fly-in to Duxford on 18th September:

• To listen to and question the rulemakers: Eric Sivel from EASA (Deputy Head of Rulemaking) and Ben Alcott from the CAA (head of Group safety Services); there will be two presentations, questions after each presentation and BBC style 'Question Time' session where a panel will discuss and try to answer your questions.
• To find out about AOPA, what it is doing for you, meet Martin Robinson and the AOPA team and make your views on AOPA known (oh yes, you can also join) -- members and interested non-members are welcome with their guests
• To have a fun day out at a great venue with like-minded pilots, enter the Concours, win prizes, see some of the modern aircraft on offer from AOPA corporate members
• To save money with Bonus Day discounts on landing and museum admission fees

18th September is the last Duxford Bonus Day of 2010 and, as you can see from the above bullets, it will be really special.

Duxford is home the Imperial War Museum and must be the premier destination for GA pilots in Europe. Most weekends through the flying season, although there are no guarantees, you are quite likely to see warbirds flying – Spitfire, Hurricane, Mustang, B17, Catalina and other rare types are based at Duxford.

The Bonus days offer great discounted prices: qualifying types of aircraft (or pilots) will enjoy half-price landing fees and much reduced museum admission. Single or twin can land for £7; museum entry is £7 for most adults and children come in free.

There’s lots to see: the £25+ million ‘AirSpace’ project, the American Air Museum and four hangars packed with vintage aircraft, many in flying order – really a ‘must-see.’

Unlike most Duxford Bonus Days, you can drive in for the day, as well as fly-in. There's a two-part registration process: first with AOPA and then PPR/briefing at Duxford. Fly-in arrivals are managed on a broad-slot system and it's first-come, first served, so get in contact with AOPA and Duxford as soon as you can.

Register your interest on the AOPA web site:

Call Duxford for PPR/briefing (drivers and well as pilots): 01223 833376. The airfield team will be delighted to hear from you. Information for visitors can be found at:
http://www.duxford.iwm.org.uk and go to the flying page.

Just for people who don’t know, I should declare my interest. I’m a casual FISO at Duxford. I’m also a pilot who thinks the place is pretty marvellous.

User avatar
By Keef
Planning to come in the CTSNBN, all else being equal. It seems a tad silly to drive down to Essex and fly back to Cambs, and the D119 is otherwise engaged on that day, so car it shall be.
By Chris Royle
Bookings are coming in steadily, but we perhaps did not make it clear that the day is also open to non AOPA members. Indeed, we'd love to see non AOPA folk to hear from you what you would want from AOPA. The only event in which AOPA members have priority is attendance at the morning seminars. If there are spaces left, we will allocate these on a first come first served basis to both AOPA and non AOPA members.
We have a wonderful opportunity of questioning senior EASA and CAA executives at first hand. Do come along and have your say and join in the Q and A debate!
Looking forward to seeing you there,
Chris Royle
By Chris Royle
Moving away from the serious to the fun, if any AOPA Bonus Day visitors would like to sample the Dragon Rapide, Classic Wings (who operate from Duxford) are offering AOPA visitors a discount on the short pleasure flights. Classic Wings are offering this in the spirit of the Bonus day, rather than the IWM, so book at the CW hut near the tower, on the day, using a voucher in the welcome pack. There's also the Concours d'Elegance and the prizes, so something for everybody.

If you haven't booked in with AOPA (link above) and reserved a landing slot with the tower (01223 833376), do so soon!
Bookings continue at an increasing rate for the AOPA Bonus Day at Duxford on Saturday 18th September.
We have seminar presentations by Eric Sivel (EASA Deputy Head of Rulemaking) on EASA's relationship with GA and from Ben Alcott (Head of Group Safety Services, CAA) on GA's input into the CAA's forthcoming Strategic Review.
This is an ideal opportunity to hear from senior aviation personnel and to put your questions to them.
AOPA corporate members
* Airways Aero Associates
* Diamond Aircraft
* Lees Avionics (glass cockpit PA28)
* Flyer
* Cabair and HeliAir (to be confirmed)
* Airbox
* GA Buyer Europe
* RocketRoute
will be bringing their wares. A concours d'elegance competition for aircraft and contests for the oldest / youngest / and furthest flown will provide entertainment. Classic Wings are offering discount flights in their DH Rapide to AOPA members and their guests, and, of course, there is one of the finest museums in the World to see and marvel at.
And the weather looks as if it's going to be nice too!
See you at Duxford!
If you are flying in, please remember to call O1223 833376 for fly-in PPR
User avatar
By Keef
An excellent and informative day out. Thank you all!

I didn't do much looking at aeroplanes, but plenty of talking to people :)
By aerofurb
We had a most pleasant day promoting the Tecnams ( we took a P2002 single and P2006T twin). Lots of people to chat to and I always think it is nice to spread the word to 'Joe Public' as well. Excellent weather. Many thanks to Alan and all the Duxford volunteers as well as those from AOPA who invited us in the first place.

Not sure what the circuit bashing C182 was doing - looked more like a crazy flying routine - tough old bird.... :shock:

Here's a pic from the flight home to Wycombe - 3 Rotaxes in close formation.... :D

By Mick Elborn
Many thanks to all who attended this event. We do hope that you had a great day out and thanks for the positive posts so far.

From the AOPA side, we feel pretty pleased with ourselves for the way that the day went. We already have a view on where we could definitely do better next time. But, are you, our members and non-members who attended equally satisfied?

Each of your welcome packs contained a Feed Back form to make your views known. If you completed one and handed it to an AOPA representative yesterday, many thanks. You can still give feedback, either by completing the paper form and sending or faxing it to the AOPA (UK) office or do it online here.

User avatar
By GrahamB
I'm disappointed that I had to cry off from this at the last minute, due to a late return from overseas. I'd even submitted a question for M. Sivel.

Would someone like to comment on whether the Q. & A. with the powers that be was of any value?
From the airfield's point of view, I think the event went well. There were two very busy periods, one of arrivals and one of departures, but the standard of airmanship was high and a little bit of patience and goodwill went a long way. 56 aircraft attended. I'm not sure about the final number of cars, but I think it was 20-odd, so 150-plus people plus the AOPA folk. The RV and Chipmunk flypasts were a nice little 'Bonus on a Bonus Day.' So, from the Duxford team, thank you all for supporting us.

I wasn't able to get to the presentations and Q&A session, so I'm also keen to see the report on the event and to look at the feedback to see how we might improve.

I met up with Ian Waller (Flyer's Ed) and Caroline towards the end of the afternoon, he was very happy with the interactions. The pilots I spoke to and the comments on the radio were favourable. And, of course the weather stayed fine until light rain arrive at 17.30.

Quite a few pilots said to me that they had not been to Duxford before and were amazed with what was on offer in the museum. Actually I'm amazed that they managed to get around the museum at all, as the AOPA focusses and some social interaction made for a full day. One of the main reasons for running Bonus Days is to encourage folk to fly to Duxford and see what is on offer - expecting that many will want to return for a look around in slow-time, maybe with their pilot friends. The six Bonus Days which we have run this year have certainly achieved this objective and forging a strong AOPA-Duxford link was the icing on the cake.

I was extremely pleased to have been at this meeting and deeply grateful to AOPA and to Duxford for all the work put into organising it. For me it was a unique opportunity to glimpse some of the inner workings of the arcane bureaucracy that is EASA and, for that matter, UK CAA. What follows are strictly personal observations and if my recollection is innacurate then I'm sure others will be along to put them right.

On the point about the impact of part M Eric Sivel did indeed agree that light GA had originally been outside EASA's remit and that their meddling in our affairs had been forced upon them by the politicians. He appeared to freely agree that maintenance costs had been forced up in the UK and explained that the reason for this was that they had adapted the German model where costs were already higher and have hardly been affected at all over there.

Seperately to this, Eric did comment on the issue of cost vs. currency and recognised that safety is adversely affected by reduced flying caused by rising costs.

An energised debate took place on the issue of the cost of modifications vs. the equivalent action on the FAA. This sprung from a perfectly sensible question about what EASA are doing on improve the 'greeness' of GA. The CAA rep seemed oblivious to the vast costs and bureaucratic morass experienced by those who seek to improve the efficiency of their aircraft by, for instance, fitting modern propellors or silencers. When I say 'energised' the phrase "lynch mob" did enter my mind at one point.

On the issue of whether EASA was an essential aspect of our activities or whether we should be free to choose a regulator of choice, a delightful observation arose from the AOPA team. This was that EASA should make it's regulatory offering so attractive that owners would willingly flock to it from the 'N' . Sadly it seemed to fall on deaf ears.

The CAA seemed to think that we are free to choose a flag of choice but Eric was quick to stamp on this by observing that operators based in Europe will be subject to EASA regulation regardless of flag. For me this was the key point in the meeting. There is indeed a dark plan regarding the 'N'.

The subject of the LAPL, future of the IMC, etc. was debated in a rather lack lustre way perhaps because for some of us the arcane EASA machinations are somewhat over our heads, while still being deeply threatening to the interests of many pilots.

The question of where the demarcation line between EASA and UK CAA actually is was posed and at this point a geological fissure appeared to open up right through Duxford and indeed exactly between the two presenters. Neither of them seemed willing to look into this fissure, let alone step over it. However we should not fret for their personal safety since both appeared surrounded by impregnable walls of self-interest which will undoubtedly preserve them regardless of whatever happens to us.

Hope some of that is of interest. Sorry for what I've got wrong or missed out and if you have been, thanks for reading it!