I didn't renew mine. Their mag. sucks and I never used their services. Plus they were always calling me for donations- big turn off. AOPA Flight Training is alright, but I get that for free being a CFI. I probably wouldn't pay for it though.
It is worth it--without a doubt. You have access to a ton of stuff (flight planning, TFR info, approach plates, WX, aircraft valuation, airport directories, medical info, et al) on their website that the general public has no access to. I love their magazine--much, much better than Flying Magazine. AOPA has very active lobyists that defend GA in DC, state, and local governments
I have been a member for many years. I have also belonged to EAA, NAFI and other organizations. AOPA is the ONLY ONE I renew year after year.
Here are some of the perks:
-AOPA Pilot Magazine
-AOPA Flight Training Magazine
-Approach Plates online
-FREE AD&D Insurance
-Aircraft valuation services
-Online flight planning, WX, TFR info
Yes...I do. The mag is one of the three I bother to read. The others are IFR mag and the EAA mag. I get Flight Training for free but wouldn't pay two cents for it. Also, I think AOPA does a good job of standing up for General Aviation.
That's a toughie. I always say "yeah", right up until the renewal bill comes in the mail, which is right about now. If you look at it as just a magazine subscription, then yeah, it's a bit pricey--especially with that $10 subscription card for FLYING staring me in the face (didn't renew that subscription, FLYING pales in comparison to AOPA PILOT). But when you consider the extras that come with it--the aviation safety seminars, the online resources, and especially the new real-time flight planner software--it's not a bad deal, all told.
The magazine is the best out there as far as I'm concerned. It speaks to the kind of flying I'm doing now--and to the kind of flying I hope to be doing in the future, via its "turbine pilot" articles.
I learned the value of the new real-time flight planning software in the midst of all the TFR craziness that accompanied the SoCal fires; not only did we have active aerial firefighting ops underway, but we had Dubya and his traveling TFR pay us a visit as well. The flight planning software graphically depicts the complete TFR situation with up-to-the-minute currency.
Great! Very interesting that some like and some don't, but I guess everything is that way. I think I will get this for Corbin for Valentine's Day. He still gets FLYING too, but I am guessing you can't have too many mags right? (Especially with the amount of toilet reading he does!
I'm a member and I've enrolled in the legal service plan. I've never really used their services, but as a ATP PIC without any ALPA legal backing, I think it's good insurance. It's a bit spendy ($99/year for ATP coverage), but I guess that one altitude bust or paperwork error could make it all worth it!
I like the magazine, it makes for good light reading at FL350. . . uh, I mean in the crew lounge. . .
Who else is going to look after general avaition's interests in Washington? That is the foremost reason to be a member.
Also (I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet) you can then get to AOPA credit card which has a 5% FBO rebate. I saved $250 flying last year (the max you can get). So lets see, 250 - 39 = a good deal.
Plus you get the green hat. Which is AWESOME!!!! I wear mine everywhere.
I'm still a member, although I had to think hard about renewing since I've only flown GA once in the past year.
I like the magazine, the airport directory can be helpful, and I've called with questions many times over the years. The service that I use most is the website, especially the online reference library.