March 17, 2020 By Benjamin Morgan
AOPA SPORT AUSTRALIA February 2020   |   Monthly Digital Edition FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER February 2020 Valued Members and Industry Supporters, We close out the month of February 2020 with...


February 2020   |   Monthly Digital Edition


February 2020

Valued Members and Industry Supporters,

We close out the month of February 2020 with the tragic loss of four aviators, following a mid-air collision near Mangalore in Victoria.  On behalf of the AOPA Australia membership, I extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of all involved, our hearts are with all of you during this difficult time.  A memorial fly-past will be flown at the upcoming Tyabb Airshow in honour of those lost.

On the airports front; AOPA Australia has joined the call to save Katoomba Airfield in NSW, which is now under threat of closure, as a result of a strong anti-airport environmental lobby.  AOPA is working with members, Derek and Floyd Larsen of FlyBlue, with advocacy.  More on this as it develops.

Gliding in the Sydney Metro basin may well be under threat, with news that Southern Cross Gliding is facing a massive increase in rent.  A meeting has been called between Sydney Metro Airports, AOPA Australia, Gliding Federation of Australia and Southern Cross Gliding in the coming week.

AOPA Australia has called on CASA to require EFB providers to share ‘safety data’, allowing traffic information from each platform to be seen by pilot users.  The AOPA Australia response follows broad industry requests from pilots seeking to improve their overall situational awareness in the cockpit.  Such improvements would compliment portable and installed aviation GPS technology, along with ADS-B.  Avplan EFB wasted no time in publishing a statement, communicating that they are ready and willing to share data.  Let’s hope that OzRunways and GARMIN take the Avplan lead.

AOPA Australia is continuing its efforts to ensure that the aviation safety risks associated with the proposed Energy Australia Tallawarra B Open Cycle Gas Turbine at YWOL (Shellharbour/Wollongong Airport) do not pose a threat to recreational and general aviation users.  AOPA Australia has released a report detailing the safety concerns, you can review the report here.

Lastly, AOPA Australia cannot undertake the good work that it does without membership support.  Each and every member of our association helps power both our ongoing advocacy agenda and our ability to assist airport communities and aviators who are under threat – all across Australia.

Whilst we are a small team, over the past three and half years, AOPA Australia on behalf of both the recreational and general aviation industry has been instrumental in helping stop airport closures, runways from being shortened, businesses from being forced into unsustainable rent increases, helped reduce user fees, fought for more efficient and affordable pilot medicals, ushered in the Basic Class 2 medical certification standard, formed the Australian General Aviation Alliance and delivered a change to the Civil Aviation Act, protected pilots from unfair CASA actions and much much more.

All of the above has been delivered through the support and generosity of AOPA Australia members, to which the entire Australian aviation industry and community benefit.  If you’re not already a member of AOPA Australia, I am personally calling on you for your support, for just $159 per year, you are helping protect your Freedom to Fly, giving us the tools and resources to build a stronger aviation future for all.

Jump online and become an AOPA Australia member today:

Best regards,

AOPA Australia Chief Executive Officer


Opinion:  Our side of the fence

Rather than keep the general behind the fence and give them nothing but soggy chips and a long-distance view of the action, fly-in organisors should be encouraging them to want to come to our side of the fence. AOPA SPORT Digital Editor, BRIAN BIGG, argues that not only would they go home happier, but they would get a better understanding about what we do. And will be more likely to support us when we need their help to fight our battles.


AOPA Australia Calls on CASA for EFB Safety Data Sharing

I write to you on behalf of the members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia, calling on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to improve aviation safety by requiring all CASA approved Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) providers to share their user’s aircraft flight plan, position and enroute information for cross-platform safety use.

AVPLAN’s Position on Safety Data Sharing

Recent events have sparked a debate about the usefulness and capabilities of EFBs and traffic displays.  At AvPlan EFB we have believed that having traffic information depicted in our software would greatly enhance situational awareness. In 2013 we introduced the first ADSB-in capability into AvPlan EFB and in 2015 introduced AvPlan Live which expanded this to include other AvPlan EFB users. In 2018 AvPlan Live traffic was expanded to include data via a network of ground based receives to show some ADSB and FLARM traffic as well.  AvPlan Managing Director, Bevan Anderson, provides his opinion on safety data sharing.

CASA Industry Consultation: New Standards for ADS-B Equipment for VFR Aircraft (CD1905AS)

CASA is proposing to amend the standards and requirements for Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) technology used in aircraft operated under the visual flight rules (VFR).  The proposal would expand the existing standards to permit the use of lower cost ADS-B equipment that could, on a voluntary basis, be used in VFR aircraft – primarily to enhance situation awareness and therefore improve flight safety.

Broadcasting at Ballina

Since December 5, aircraft operating along the north coast of New South Wales have had new rules to follow when in and around the increasingly busy Ballina Byron Gateway airport.  A new Broadcast Area was declared within 10NM the aerodrome. The plan is to enhance communication in the vicinity and reduce the incidence of unknown VFR aircraft conflicting with RPT and other VFR aircraft.

AOPA Australia Report:  Risks to the Saftey of Aviation – Proposed Tallawarra B Open Cycle Gas Turbine YWOL – Wollongong NSW

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia has published a comprehensive report into the Risks to the Safety of Aviation regarding the proposed Tallawarra B Open Cycle Gas Turbine at Wollongong Shellharbour Airport in New South Wales.  AOPA Australia states that any form of peaking power plant will pose a serious and unavoidable risk to the safety of aviation within the circuit at Shellharbour Airport, along with potential risk to the general public residing within the vicinity of the Shellharbour Airport runway 34 circuit.

Wing and a Prayer:  Aviation Insurance Industry Woes

This article, by Benjamin Levy, first appeared in the December 2019/January 2020 edition of Insurance News. If you see a light plane or helicopter flying overhead, there’s a good chance it’s uninsured. Here’s why. Insurance in the general aviation industry is in crisis.  Over recent months and years insurers AIG, Allianz and Swiss Re have announced the either won’t take on new customers, are raising their premiums or are withdrawing from general aviation insurance altogether. The aviators blame a declining industry, and the insurers blame sloppy underwriting practices. They’re both right.

BOM to Provide Vertical Visibility for Pilots

Airservices Australia has issued an Aeronautical Information Circular detailing the Bureau of Met’s new inclusion of vertical visibility on aviation forecasts. KREISHA BALLANTYNE reports.

EFB effective against infringements

An English analysis of airspace infringement by private pilots, has shown the value of an electronic flight bag. The study dealt with reports from 2017, when there were a total on 1,165 infringements reported through Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) or Alleged Breach of Air Navigation Legislation (ABANL) reports. The study, by the British Civil Aviation Authority, found that that correct use of a moving map could have helped avoid 85% of the infringements.

Want to fly a Microlight in the UK?  Talk to the BMAA

If you are heading to the UK and want to fly a recreational aircraft there, go and see the British Microlight Aircraft Association. The BMAA is now able to issue licences to newly qualified pilots under an agreement reached with the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Until now, the BMAA processed licencing applications on behalf of the CAA, but the regulator would issue the licence to the applicant.


AOPA Australia to Meet with Labor Leader, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia will meet the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Leader of the Opposition, to discuss a range of key general aviation industry concerns, 13th March 2020 in Sydney.

Political Hypocrisy: Privatisation Apparently No Good, Says Albanese

In response to an article published on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald – February 15-16th, 2020: Apparently the former ALP Transport Minister and serving ALP Leader, The Hon Anthony Albanese, thinks privatising national assets is thoroughly inappropriate!  “Sydney Harbour is a national asset, not a money-making venture… if you have long term leases and an alienation of public space, then that is defacto privatisation. This is a precious resource, not a play thing for corporate interests.”, The Hon Anthony Albanese MP.  What a shame our politicians – from all sides – did not hold the same conviction when they sold out our national airport infrastructure, only for it to become the ‘play-thing of corporate interests’.  The privatisation of Australia’s general aviation airports has inflicted significant damage on our industry and aviation economy and continues to do so unabated.

Senator Rex Patrick:  South Australia’s Whyalla and Port Lincoln Air Routes at Risk

Two weeks ago the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, tabled a regulation in the Parliament that will require metal and x-ray screenings at Port Lincoln and Whyalla airports. The Government will pay the one off equipment purchase costs, but not the ongoing operating costs.  The consequence of this regulation will be that local council will have to pay approx $700,000 per annum to operate the equipment. Undoubtedly, the council will pass on these costs to airlines servicing the two locations.  “The new security regulations are guaranteed to drive up the cost of air travel for those needing access to Whyalla and Port Lincoln, and will also result in higher airport user fees and charges for general aviation users as airport operators scramble to recover their losses”, AOPA Australia CEO Benjamin Morgan.


AOPA Australia Joins Call for Devonport Airport to Rethink $40 Minium Invoice Charge

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia has joined the Devonport Aero Club calling for TasPorts to rethink their $40 minimum invoice charge, currently imposed on users. The call follows reports by Aircraft Owners and Pilots who have been slogged $40 minimum invoice charges by the airport operator, as a result of only landing once, serving to double the cost of using the airport. One pilot reported “not only am I hit with a single $19.56 charge for landing but for no reason, I am demanded to pay a ‘minimum charge per invoice’ of $40, because apparently I am an inconvenience to them. It’s unconscionable and a blatant gouge by TasPorts and should not be happening.” AOPA Australia has reached out to Devonport Airport General Manager Mr Dave Race to discuss the situation.

AOPA Australia Joins the Fight to Save Katoomba Airfield, NSW

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia has joined the fight to help save Katoomba Airfield in NSW from closure, pending an imminent decision by the NSW Government regarding FlyBlue’s current licence and future lease application.  “Katoomba Airfield is an invaluable community asset for the residents of the Blue Mountains, and recently it demonstrated its value as a front-line base of operations during the bush fire crisis”, CEO AOPA Australia, Benjamin Morgan.

556% Increase in Rent Threatens Future of Gliding at Camden Airport NSW

The Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) has called on the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia for urgent assistance in pushing back on proposed leasehold rent increases of 556%, issued by Sydney Metro Airports (SMA) that manage Bankstown and Camden Airports.  The Southern Cross Gliding Club and Sydney Gliding have both received lease renewal proposals that would see the clubs paying unsustainable 225% and 558% increases respectively. “Both clubs are an integral part of the Sydney basin aviation community and have made significant contributions at Camden Airport, helping cultivate eight decades of participation in flying.” CEO AOPA Australia, Benjamin Morgan.



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Clifton Fly-in, QLD:  8th March

Lone Eagle Flying School’s annual fly-in at Clifton Airfield in Queensland will again incorporate International Women In Aviation Week. This has become an iconic event in the region and is the premier attraction for all types of aviation in southern Queensland. See various types, shapes, sizes and models of recreational, ultralight and home-built aircraft including sport, vintage, general aviation and any other flying machine. Come late pm Saturday for dinner, drinks and hangar talk. Fly or drive in, see ERSA. On field camping, bring your swag or caravan. Advise for catering.  Call Trevor Bange: 0429 378 370

Tyabb Airshow, VIC: 8th March

Victoria’s Peninsula Aero Club has a proud tradition of supporting local community service clubs from the proceeds of its airshows. The 2020 airshow will be no different. The club will also be supporting the Tyabb CFA, a vital service, the Mt Eliza Lions Club which exists to support the community through a variety of initiatives and the Tyabb Football & Cricket Clubs.Arrivals should follow Tyabb’s normal circuit (ie all circuits to the east.

Latrobe Valley Airshow, VIC: 5 April

A full day’s entertainment in the air and on the ground. Gates open at 10am. Air show begins 11.30. Featuring Paul Andronicou aerobatics displays, classic warbirds, short take off and landing demonstrations, helimed demonstrations. Plus a monster truck circus to entertain the children of all ages.  For more information,

Holbrook Easter Fly-In, NSW: 11-12 April

A unique recreational aviation event. Fly in to experience, learn and share with forums and to see an interesting collection of historic aircraft. Fly in dinner Saturday night . Trophies awarded. Sunday morning breakfast. Under wing camping and transport to and from Holbrook township available.  For more information,

Wings Wheels & Wine, Mudgee, NSW: 26 April

A variety of impressive aircraft on display and in the air to please the most ardent enthusiast. There will be a display of all types of interesting road vehicles too – veteran to vintage and classic. For the connoisseurs, local wineries will be participating to give tasting and sales of their fine wines.  For more information,


Kim Turner: Honey, I’d like to buy an aeroplane

“HONEY I’d like to buy an aeroplane.” These aren’t exactly the words Kim Turner’s fiance, Rochelle, was expecting to hear from her beloved early in 2018. But she understood his desire for the other love of his life, flying.  AOPA SPORT AUSTRALIA’s Alan Betteridge reports that apparently, she didn’t complain because a short time later Kim was the proud owner of a second hand AirCreation Buggy 582 trike.


The Right Aircraft for the Wrong Category

There is no doubt that the birth of ultralight aircraft and flying has changed the way many people perceive aviation. Now, people have the option to fly at an affordable cost and, by and large, without the huge number of rules, regulation and red tape associated with GA. AOPA SPORT AUSTRALIA Digital Contributor ALAN BETTERIDGE discusses why Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft are missing from the LSA scene.

The Evolution of Wing Sections

Aviators have always looked for the best performance from their wings, and this depends among other things on the wing cross section. This was appreciated even before the Wright brothers started their experiments, and the Wright brothers built their own wind tunnel to test their wing designs before they built them. AOPA SPORT AUSTRALIA’S David Huston, takes a detailed look at why our wings look like they do.


Pilot’s Paradise:  Narromine Tourist Park

Ever wanted to visit the Western Plains Zoo? Maybe the old Dubbo Goal is more your thing.  But if you intend to do a flying visit anything in the central west of NSW, I would suggest you give Dubbo Aerodrome a miss and head over to Narromine, just a few minutes flying west of the state’s largest inland city.  AOPA SPORT AUSTRALIA’S ALAN BETTERIDGE reports.


The Ekolot Topaz: A Precious Gem

The one good thing the Soviets did during the 45 years they ran Poland was to encourage the country to be an aviation centre of excellence. These days there are lots of hangars filled with a staggering variety of weird old flying machines. AOPA SPORT Digital Editor, Brian Bigg, goes for a ride in one of Poland’s new precious gems taking Australia by storm.


Airmanship Saves Lives: Part 7

Controlling an Aircraft on the Ground; analysis shows that over 60% of incidents and accidents to RA-Aus registered aircraft occur with aircraft leaving the runway. AOPA SPORT Australia’s OWEN BARTROP continues his groundbreaking series on the most fundamental of all pilot skills.


Buying Your First Sport Aircraft: Part 4

Regardless of what you fly, how long you’ve been flying or what type of flying you do, most pilots will at some stage have an almost irresistible urge to buy an aircraft.  Before you give in to this urge, it is important to make sure what you want is actually what you need. AOPA SPORT Australia’s ALAN BETTERIDGE continues with his very useful series on what to do when buying a recreational aircraft.

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Benjamin Morgan

Executive Director - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) of Australia

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