AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - 6

PRESIDENT'S POSITION

Everybody in!

BY MARK BAKER
President and CEO

An unexpected boom benefits GA

AOPA President
MARK BAKER has
been flying for
more than 40 years,
using aircraft for
fun, commuting,
and business.

6 | AOPA PILOT June 2021

ONE OF THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE was the one on
which I became an owner of a $4,500 Cessna 150 with a
friend back in my college days. I remember that feeling
like it was yesterday. Since then, I've become somewhat of an aircraft fanatic and have had the chance to
fly everything from historic World War II aircraft and
unique warbirds to high-speed business jets. But of all
the aircraft that have come and gone in my life, my old
Piper Super Cub will always be my favorite.
I bought the Super Cub from the original owner and
have since put thousands of hours on the tachometer.
Turns out, my Super Cub is a hot commodity in the current state of our industry, and that's great news for GA.
You would think sales would halt during a global
pandemic, but that hasn't exactly been the case.
Although sales of new turbine and larger aircraft fell in
the past year, sales of new piston aircraft held their own
in 2020. Sales of used airplanes are up, and values for
used aircraft are up significantly. In the past few months,
AOPA's Pilot Information Center has fielded hundreds of
calls from members interested in buying aircraft.
It's all part of the recreational boom. Sales in activities such as boating and camping have spiked amid
COVID-19. The combination of free time, built-in
social distancing, and a more flexible work schedule
provided ample room for outdoor activities.
Sales of boats and marine products and services
leaped to a 13-year high in 2020 to $47 billion-increasing 9 percent from the year prior, according to the
National Marine Manufacturers Association. Sales of
recreational vehicles are also trending up with manufacturers anticipating a surge in shipments in 2021 at
around 507,000 units-that's a 19.5-percent increase
from 2020, according to the RV Industry Association.
As for GA? Our numbers are holding strong through
this recreational boom. In fact, we've seen increased
flight hours, fuel sales, and on some days, more Cessna
172s in the air than Boeing 737s. More leisure time left
many itching for new activities, including reaching for
their pilot certificates and filling up flight schools.
With the growth of consumer interest in recreational activities, 2021 is proving to be a seller's market.
Many who are diving into these recreational activities
are also first-time buyers-a great opportunity for us to
draw more interest to aviation. The climate is changing-much of it having to do with the convenience of
GA for both fun and business.

With 5,000 public-use airports scattered across the
nation, GA allows easy access to many destinations not
easily reached via the airlines. The success of charter
companies shouldn't be discounted as many consumers
are still wary of boarding commercial airliners. Many
of us learned long ago about the joy and freedom that
come with GA flying. The past year taught us that we
can safely continue to fly and do what we love without
compromising our health or the health of others.
All these factors have contributed to the demand
we are seeing today. As a longtime aircraft owner, I
know how frustrating it can be to research the perfect
aircraft for your individual needs-factoring in cost
and specs, and coming up with contradictory answers
from multiple sources. That hassle led AOPA to launch
our Aircraft Guide (aopa.org/aircraftguide), which
spotlights new aircraft ranging from single-engine
pistons and twins to turbines and rotorcraft. The
guide includes model overviews, specifications, performance, and limiting and recommended airspeeds.
Potential buyers can find links to AOPA articles and
pilot reports for each aircraft, as well as the Vref aircraft
valuation service to determine the value of your tradein or the value of older models of listed aircraft. The site
also features the popular AOPA loan calculator. I encourage our members to take advantage of this new resource.
And if you're up for it, please join us at our inaugural AOPA Aviator Showcase events on August 27 in
Manassas, Virginia, and October 1 in Fort Worth, Texas.
These events will be the perfect opportunity for pilots
and aviation enthusiasts to connect with the industry's
leading experts during a high-quality in-person buying
experience (see " Member News & Notes, " p. 102).
The AOPA Aviator Showcases will be smaller, more
intimate experiences than our typical fly-ins. The
events will feature exhibits, displays, and educational
content related to aircraft ownership and operations.
Be sure to register online (aopa.org/aviatorshowcase).
What won't change with our events is the passion we
have to interact with members and the GA community.
Frankly, I didn't quite anticipate the recent surge
we've seen among our industry, but I am optimistic
that this trend will continue. I hope you all are taking
advantage of all the skies have to offer and, as always,
AOPA is here to help. 
AOPA
EMAIL mark@aopa.org


http://www.aopa.org/aircraftguide http://www.aopa.org/aviatorshowcase

AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - 7
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - June 2021 - Cover4
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