The awards “are the largest and most prestigious program recognizing excellence and leadership in association media, publishing, marketing and communication,” among nonprofit and for-profit associations, according to Association Media and Publishing parent organization Software & Information Industry Association. The association recognized 240 finalists across 82 categories in the peer-reviewed awards program.
“AOPA employs the largest group of media professionals covering general aviation,” said Tom Haines, AOPA editor in chief and senior vice president of media, communications, and outreach. “Combining that talent with our aviation expertise allows us to create compelling content across all of our channels. We receive great feedback from members routinely, but it’s also rewarding to receive recognition from our publishing peers in the association world.”
AOPA Live® earned a Gold Excel Award for its Arsenal of Democracy 2020 video that showcased the last two Boeing B–29 Superfortresses still flying joining up with other warbirds for an aerial parade in remembrance of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War II. About 60 warbirds had gathered in northern Virginia in September 2020 to fly over Washington, D.C., but weather scrubbed the mission. Still, AOPA covered the show of force from every angle and brought it to you as a tribute. The video also features U-Haul CEO Joe Shoen’s Consolidated PB4Y–2 Privateer, the last of its kind still flying; the Military Aviation Museum’s Consolidated PBY Catalina; and the moment when a true Rosie the Riveter reunited with one of the bombers she helped rivet.
The April 2020 cover photo of AOPA Pilot featuring a sunrise-lit seaplane in a remote area of Quebec province won a bronze award for best cover photography. AOPA Senior Photographer Chris Rose captured the photo that invited readers to discover more about the many unknown experiences of seaplane flying in the Canadian backcountry.
AOPA’s “Coronavirus impact on GA” microsite earned a bronze award in the new pandemic response microsite category. The microsite enabled pilots, flight schools, and media to learn about the effects of the pandemic on GA, what the aviation community was doing to help manufacture and transport personal protective equipment and vaccines, and how AOPA advocated on Capitol Hill to keep aviators flying safely during the pandemic.
More than 350 articles, briefs, videos, and press releases detailed AOPA’s advocacy initiatives; the aviation industry’s efforts to produce PPE and ventilator parts; coronavirus-related special federal aviation regulations; travel procedures and testing requirements; tips for disinfecting cockpits and avionics; best practices for returning to flight and reopening an aviation business after weeks or months of being grounded; status of the aviation job market; vaccine rest requirements for pilots; and more.
The AOPA Air Safety Institute swept the educational video category, earning a gold for Accident Case Study: Lake Renegade, which examines a fatal 2017 accident at the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, seaplane base when a pilot tried to take off on high waves; a silver for Real Pilot Story: Pressure Over the Atlantic, which details how a ferry pilot flying solo over the North Atlantic discovered a serious issue with his auxiliary fuel tank and found a solution and survived; and a bronze for Reality Check: What are the Costliest Insurance Claims?, which looks at the types of claims that can drive up insurance rates and provides tips on how pilots can be part of the solution to reducing the cost of aviation insurance.
In addition, the institute’s digital CFI to CFI newsletter won a silver award for general excellence in the newsletters category. The quarterly publication is free to more than 57,000 subscribers and promotes relevant safety education materials for flight instructors and their students.
“We are excited to have received these awards as a result of peer recognition in the association and media publishing industry. It’s a tribute to the critical aviation safety programs we develop and make available free to all general aviation pilots,” said AOPA Air Safety Institute Senior Director Paul Deres. “The Air Safety Institute’s success in creating important award-winning education is made possible by philanthropists’ generous funding to the AOPA Foundation, including AOPA members who recognize, strengthen, and support our free safety programs.”