‘What is going on with Georgia? And why do we need to save it?’

August 20th, 2013 by Jolie Lucas

My husband and I are just back from 10 days at Oshkosh for AirVenture 2013. On Sunday the last day, I finally had time to go through the Innovations pavilion.  Located inside were many displays about new frontiers in technology, space travel, and big dreamers.

I sat down with a fellow in the Aerojet Rocketdyne booth.  As we handed out brightly colored Frisbees to last-day attendees he said, “I have been meaning to ask someone, I see all these buttons and shirts. What is going on with Georgia, and why do we need to save it?”  Georgia?  I thought for a minute. Georgia.  Oh, I get it, GA.  I quickly explained that we as an aviation community are trying to promote general aviation and protect airports. I let him know that on the back of the first Mooney Ambassador sweatshirts we had a slogan “What have you done for G.A. lately?”  Once in a restaurant a lady came up to me and said what is GA. [as in goo goo gaa gaa].  “Oh”, he said, “they don’t let us use acronyms when we do community presentations.  They want us to use the full names of things so folks in the community know what we are talking about.” I think our rocket scientist friend has a point here.

We all need to make a commitment to speaking in plain English about what general aviation is.  In the past, we talked about what it is not i.e.: military and airlines.  Nevertheless, what it is not does not give us a clear picture of what it is.  I suppose depending on my audience; I talk about general aviation in different ways.  As a mother I talk with folks about medical flying, whether it is search and rescue, air ambulance, blood and tissue donations, or flying doctors.  If it were my child that needed a crucial service, would l prefer waiting on ground-based transport or the immediacy and ease of general aviation?  Most agree that airport or aircraft noise is welcome when you think it might be saving someone’s life.  As a psychotherapist, I talk to folks about the magic of being a pilot and the ability to travel in all three dimensions. As a business owner, I talk about having three offices in three states.  General aviation is the way that I can make my businesses more profitable.  As a pilot, I talk with other pilots about the danger of apathy, especially concerning general aviation and our airports.  As Jimmy Buffet said: “Ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I just don’t care.”  We need to be on guard against apathy in our pilot population.  If you think that one voice does not matter just go back to our friend from Aerojet Rocketdyne thinking Georgia was in danger.  It just took one voice to enlighten him.

Jolie Lucas

Jolie Lucas is a Mooney owner, licensed psychotherapist, private pilot, and co-founder of two grass-roots general aviation service groups, Mooney Ambassadors and the Friends of Oceano Airport She is the 2010 AOPA Joseph Crotti Award recipient for GA Advocacy. She is one of the directors and executive producers of the documentary: Boots on the Ground: the Men & Women who made Mooney. She created #MooneyGirls blog to inspire women to become pilots and females to become aircraft owners. Email: JolieLucas@charter.net

The opinions expressed by the bloggers do not reflect AOPA’s position on any topic.

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  • Ed Shreffler
  • Steve Ayres

    Right On Point! As a owner/pilot, I too an often confused by the “apparently” understandable language of aviation. I both love and abhor the use of acronyms. Only when you know the exact meaning do we truly understand. In aviation, it would be good for us to use plain language and communications when we are talking about GA. I am from GA and Georgia. This blog caught my attention because I was wondering, what was happening in Georgia that needed to be saved? For sure it is GA among other things! Thanks for the lesson!

  • Mark Miller

    Great post Jolie! I think I stole the words below from AOPA/GA Serves America and posted it in my LinkedIn blog at LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/millerinsmark a couple of years back. It contains additional bullet points for various audiences. The more talking points the easier it will be for people to spread the word. Keep up the good work!

    General aviation now faces one of the greatest sets of challenges in its100-year history. Washington bureaucrats are proposing new fees and restrictions on flying. State and local governments are pushing new taxes and restrictions on airport operations. And some in the media still like to peddle the image of private aircraft as toys for the rich.
    If these ideas and plans don’t change, there could be a lot less flying in America and more jobs lost.
    And that would threaten 1.2 million GA jobs, critical health and safety services, and the fabric of our national transportation system. It would also mean higher costs or stunted growth for thousands of businesses that rely on general aviation every day. General Aviation encompasses all aviation except commercial airlines and military aviation.

    Economy: General Aviation benefits our economy by enhancing the profitability and competitive strength of U.S. businesses and industries.

    Environment: General Aviation helps protect the substance of life that Mother Earth provides. Small aircraft are used to protect against environmental hazards, prevent poaching, and reduce clear-cutting of forests.

    Business: Business flying provides American companies with the speed and efficiency to succeed domestically and to compete globally.

    Emergency Service: General Aviation is vital in disaster relief, firefighting, search and rescue, emergency evacuation, law enforcement, and border protection.

    Food: America’s farmers, ranchers, and fishermen depend on General Aviation to plant and fertilize their crops, protect their livestock, and spot schools of fish to keep the nation’s food supply running smoothly.

    Health and Medicine: Medical evacuation helicopters, volunteer patient and organ transportation, and doctors rely on General Aviation to provide life-saving transportation and to travel among remote locations.

    Life Style: Millions of spectators watch airplanes take to the sky every summer at air shows. And hikers, fishermen, and sportsmen use General Aviation to travel to remote locations to enjoy their hobbies.

    Transportation: General Aviation flies 166 million passengers every year and trains America’s airline pilots. General Aviation airplanes also move goods around the country.

    Media: Hollywood, the media, and advertisers all use General Aviation (GA) aircraft to get the perfect shot and get their message out.

    Learn more and get Involved at http://www.GAServesAmerica.com

  • http://www.MooneyAmbassadors.com Jolie Lucas

    Great points everyone. We can all do something to help inform and educate our communities about the value of general aviation and GA airports.

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