The season of politics will be with us through the presidential election next year. We might expect that aviation, corporate jets specifically, but general aviation in general will be singled out as targets for additional revenue and as something that we should somehow be ashamed of.
The irony is that some who complain the loudest about others using non-airline aircraft use jets to go about government business. Why the hypocrisy? They use them for exactly the same reasons: efficiency, security, the ability to travel where and when needed without having to get a quorum together to meet the airlines’ schedule. Simply—they couldn’t do the job expected of them in the time available without having the leverage provided by non-airline aircraft.
The so-called class warfare has begun but rather then getting into all the negatives perhaps it’s time to focus on the positives. It doesn’t hurt to point out the hypocrisy but don’t dwell on it. There’s a bigger story to tell!
We’ve talked before about taking people flying, or at the very least, sharing with them the joys and benefits of GA flight. While some will naturally gravitate toward the business use of aircraft, remember that the dream of flight is almost universal. Most people start on the path with just the dream. Maybe we shouldn’t fill their heads with all the practical reasons to fly. Few new pilots will get any real transportation utility out of an airplane until they’ve flown for several years and gotten an instrument rating. (There are exceptions in the Southwest)
Is it time to start a new mission? Is it time to promote the personal growth that comes from becoming a pilot—light sport, recreational or private? The commitment, skill and knowledge that’s needed to become a pilot means it isn’t for everybody. When you become a pilot you become part of a special group. Anytime there’s another pilot nearby they are part of the brotherhood or sisterhood.
For young people, it helps them to establish an identity—way beyond anything else that they could do. For older people it blows out the cobwebs that too many of us develop going through the life’s mundane activities. It’s not just a new skill—it’s a new lifestyle and a completely new self-perception. Others will not look at you the same way. This is better than plastic surgery!
Are you able to help pilot prospects find a good CFI and assist with the training experience? That could be tremendously rewarding. Only ten percent of the pilot population needs to mentor someone and see them through the process each year. It would make all the difference. What do you think?