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Tue, Apr 01, 2008

AOPA's Boyer Added To Blakey's 'MySpace' Friends List

Former FAA Administrator Says She Hit "Approve" Right Away

ANN APRIL 1st 'SPECIAL EDITION': Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President Phil Boyer expressed muted surprise Tuesday, when he announced he had been added to the 'Friends' list on former FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey's "MySpace" page.

"I've always liked Marion, and considered her a professional associate and friend even when we butted heads over user fees and the FAA's seemingly preferential attitude towards airline interests," Boyer said. "I am honored to find she feels the same, at least in an online setting."

Boyer made the discovery over the weekend, when he logged onto his long-dormant MySpace account to find "koolmcb2158" had approved him as a friend sometime over the past 18 months.

The AOPA chief said he couldn't recall the exact date when he submitted his name to Blakey's profile to be added as an online "friend," but believes it must have been early in the battle over FAA reauthorization.

"Shoot, I think the last time I was on MySpace was sometime in late 2005, something like that," Boyer said. "After all, I had a lot going on after that, what with the agency's funding plan calling for broad user fees. And I don't know exactly when Marion added me as a friend."

Blakey, who has since moved on to become president of the Aerospace Industries Association, told ANN she recalls seeing Boyer's profile ID -- philbrocksthehouse -- sometime in early 2006, and that she clicked on the "approve" button right away.

"I was grateful to Phil for seeking me out as a friend," Blakey said. "We never discussed it at any of the numerous functions he and I attended after that, but I always felt we had a special bond through our shared MySpace friendship, even as we differed on a number of key issues."

Boyer wouldn't comment on whether he would make a similar online overture to Acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell, whose MySpace handle is PleaseConfirmMeRS214.

"I like Bobby, he's good people and a pilot to boot, but check back with me in a few months," Boyer said, "if in fact we finally have an FAA budget by then."

FMI: www.aopa.org, www.faa.gov, www.myspace.com

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