Many pilots stop flying at some point. Family and work obligations, financial constraints, health issues—these are just a few of the reasons pilots may take a break from aviation. But many of these lapsed pilots are eager to fly again. You can help them get back in the air by hosting a Rusty Pilots seminar—at virtually no cost to you.
AOPA research shows there are hundreds of thousands of inactive pilots—and most of them want to get back into the cockpit. By reaching out and inviting them to rejoin the aviation community, you can help these lapsed pilots get back into the cockpit when the time and opportunity is right. Flight schools and clubs are in the perfect position to create the opportunity for those who are ready now by reaching out and inviting them back - that's where the AOPA Rusty Pilots seminar comes in.
AOPA has made it easier than ever to host a successful Rusty Pilots seminar! At no cost to you, AOPA will provide an instructor who will deliver an engaging multi-media presentation. We’ll also provide take-home materials for each participant. PLUS, we’ll help market your Rusty Pilots seminar by putting our database to work, reaching out to inactive pilots within 50 to 70 miles of your location. The instructor will support your promotion efforts before and after the presentation.
We've made hosting a seminar simple for you! Here’s what to expect as you prepare to hold a Rusty Pilots seminar:
Next to nothing! All you have to provide is a facility to host a seminar, tables and chairs for participants, a screen and speakers for the presentation, and refreshments.
Generally speaking, attendees at Rusty Pilots seminars have been out of aviation for more than 2 years – some even up to 30 years! We want attendees to have the opportunity to see the planes and “smell the avgas” again. For this reason, AOPA requires Rusty Pilots presentations to be held at a publicly accessible on-airport location. Such locations might include a conference room, classroom or even a hangar!
No written material is required on your part; however, you may want to supplement our materials with information about your school or club. AOPA will supply high quality Resource Guides and Scenario Handouts for each attendee.
Our AOPA instructors are CFIs and AGIs who have been hand-selected to present the material to your participants in a fun, engaging way that will encourage them to complete their flight review and get back in the air with your flight instructors. Meet our seminar instructors.
The presentation was designed to be completed in three hours, but we encourage you to spend some time before and after the seminar to get to know your attendees.
Rusty Pilots was designed to address the major areas covered in the Flight Review. It's designed to follow a scenario-based approach of a typical VFR cross-country flight from pre-flight to landing. Major topic areas include:
AOPA is expanding our Rusty Pilot effort in response to Third Class Medical reform. The Rusty Pilots seminar is a free benefit of AOPA membership. Non-members can take the seminar and become members for $69. AOPA has invested heavily in bringing inactive pilots back to help revitalize GA. No other fees can be charged for the seminar, but you can charge for any additional training at your standard rates.
Yes. The Rusty Pilot presentation meets the minimum requirement of FAR 61.56 for one hour of ground instruction. The signoff is an incentive for rusty pilots to overcome the flight review hurdle, as well as an encouragement to complete the flight portion with your facility. As always, it is the final authority of the flight instructor completing the review in the airplane to identify the rusty pilot as safe.
We require at least 5 weeks notice to schedule a seminar. Submit the request along with a desired month for your event and we will schedule your seminar, along with an AOPA instructor. When scheduling, we consider the time and distance between events to maximize marketing and promotional effectiveness for your event. Generally, we require events be separated by either 100 nm or 4 weeks. Presentations are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, and your presentation is not official until we have received all the requested paperwork.
Usually. The purpose of Rusty Pilots is to encourage the completion of a flight review for pilots whose experience has lapsed. Your facility must have aircraft available for rental and flight instructors on staff. In addition, flying clubs must be accepting new members. You must also have adequate space to present to a group of at least 30 pilots.
We have a collection of sample slides to give you an idea of what to expect from the seminar. Feel free to review them as you make a decision about hosting a seminar.
A room full of lapsed pilots is a great opportunity to promote your school or club! Make sure your brochures are up-to-date and available. Have information about your rates and instructors available. Add a little incentive by offering a special promotion just for attending the Rusty Pilots seminar.
No! Consider holding Rusty Pilots seminars quarterly. This gives your local pilot community multiple opportunities to attend and helps spread the word about your school or club! Coordinate with AOPA, and we’ll keep the promotional invitations going.