Following up last week’s discussion on CFI pay, let’s broaden it out a bit more to where the new pilots are coming from or not coming from.
If we continue on the present course, the number of pilots in the U.S. with current medical certificates will dip below 600,000. This is down from 800,000 in the early ’80’s. Not so good!
The question is why? AOPA has done some research on why people don’t become pilots or stay active. Some of the answers were:
1. Time and money – not enough of either or both.
2. Didn’t like the flight school or CFI.
3. It wasn’t as much fun and/or a lot more work than I thought it would be.
4. There are a lot of other cool things to do that give me greater satisfaction.
5. It scares me – all I read about is crashes.
Seems to boil down to the value equation – I’ll pay a lot for something that is perceived of great value and not much for something that isn’t. Is aviation not the value it used to be? Is it becoming so commonplace that the “cool factor” isn’t there? Are the economics totally out of whack? Has it become too complex?
There are no simple answers and this is an unscientific survey but we’d like to hear from all of you – don’t just lurk. AOPA, the Air Safety Foundation, the industry and you, as pilots, all have skin in this game. Collectively, we need to understand the problems and then come up with some ideas.
It’s your turn now……