Redbird Flight (Redbird) today announced the appointment of Tom Haines to its board of directors. Haines, the former Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Editor in Chief and Senior Vice President of Media, Communications, and Outreach, brings decades of experience in general aviation and a long track record of leadership across all types of media and communications.
Over his 37-year career covering general aviation, Haines became an authoritative voice on the industry. He has authored hundreds of articles — including his “Waypoints” column — about trends and innovations in general aviation. He has earned numerous awards for his writing.
Haines also anchored the weekly news program AOPA Live This Week from its inception in 2012 until his retirement in April of this year. He has represented general aviation many times in appearances on national news programs and articles published in widely distributed magazines and newspapers.
“Tom has long been a thoughtful leader in general aviation, keeping his finger on the pulse of the industry and applying his insight and experience to help pave the way forward,” said Redbird CEO Todd Willinger. “His voice and vision will help Redbird continue to make a positive impact on the many students, pilots, and flight training organizations that utilize our technology.”
“I’ve long been an advocate for modernizing flight training,” Haines said. “I look forward to working with Redbird to help bring new technologies to flight schools and individual pilots to make general aviation safer, more efficient, and more fun.”
Haines began his tenure at AOPA as an associate editor in 1988, accumulating a broad range of experience under then-Editor Richard Collins. He took over as Editor in Chief in 1994, adding Flight Training Magazine to the association’s media offerings and successfully guiding AOPA’s editorial and creative teams through a shifting media landscape that expanded to include streaming video, web articles, and a host of digital content.
Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, Haines has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes, including in 48 states and countries on five continents. He has a commercial pilot certificate with multiengine, instrument, and seaplane ratings, and he holds multiple type ratings.