Exercising our freedom to fly

July 2, 2009 by Craig Fuller

I have spent the past few weeks traveling all around the country—mainly to speak with groups of pilots about the value of general aviation and the General Aviation Serves America campaign.


The whole experience has been a wonderful chance for me to talk face-to-face with AOPA’s members about how they fly and why general aviation is important to their business and personal lives. It’s also been a wonderful validation of the efficient use of general aviation aircraft.


Last month, in a 48-hour period I was able to travel to California, New Mexico, Ohio, and Maryland. In that same time frame I was able to give a commencement address to UCLA’s political science graduates, participate in fundraising event for General Aviation Serves America, attend an important business meeting, and get back into the office in time to put in a full afternoon’s work. I could never have managed all that on such a tight timeline if I had been forced to follow airline schedules.


And I do it all the time. If I have a long trip to make, I try to plan my fuel stops around airports, pilot groups, or events I need to visit. Can’t do that on the airlines, either.


Almost every day I personally take advantage of the freedom general aviation gives me to get where I need to go, get the job done, and get back into the office. And I’ve done it for years. Long before becoming president of AOPA, I relied on general aviation to maximize my most limited resource—time.


I am sure many of you have had similar experiences—discovering that general aviation allows you to “warp” time and do things that simply wouldn’t be possible by any other means. That’s a story worth sharing, and I hope it’s one you’ll tell every chance you get.


I hope you’ll also take a look at this amazing YouTube video developed from pictures taken by general aviation pilots—it just may remind you of how extraordinary our freedom to fly really is. Share it with a non-flying friend to give them a unique insight into the world of general aviation flying, and consider inviting them up for a flight.  And, this Independence Day weekend join me and thousands of general aviation pilots in exercising one of the greatest freedoms we share—the freedom to fly!

  • GatorRob

    State of the Union for pilot training funding: Due to the lack of available loans/funds for commercial aviation jobs, I am attempting something new. Yes I am asking for help..you can go to my website http://WWW.fundapilot.com and help. I am leaning on the power of the masses to help..if 39,000 people each donate a dollar, I could go to a flight academy. The new 1500 hour requirement for even co-pilots will kill the aviation community. So if you can help by forwarding the site or donating, thanks so much.