On the most recent episode of my Mansfield, MA cable access television show, Aviation Adventures, I was very excited to be joined by Sean Collins (@AOPAEastern on Twitter). Sean is the Eastern Regional Manager for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). If you’d like to see and hear more of what Sean had to say about flying and AOPA beyond this “Getting to know you” Q&A, make sure you check out the “AOPA goes Above & Beyond for all” episode on YouTube.
Before we sat down for the cameras Sean and I had a prerecording meeting so that I could learn a little about his background and experiences to determine the direction of the episode. Luckily for me, Sean agreed to answer some additional questions beyond what we would discuss on camera. Those questions became this post which goes beyond the TV show episode and allows us all to learn a little more about the AOPA Eastern Regional Manager, Mr. Sean Collins, an aviation enthusiast and someone I am happy to call a flying friend! Let’s get to know Sean a little bit better…
Matt’s Question: What is your favorite flying destination located in your region?
Sean: In another life I would have been a marine biologist, working to protect the world’s oceans instead of airports and airways; mostly because I’ve always been a bit of a shark nerd. So while I love flying for the $100 hamburger, simple flights out around the Cape hunting sharks makes for my ideal summer Sunday afternoon.
Matt’s Question: Describe your first flight!
Sean: Surreal – I was too excited to finally be in a plane training to remember any of what was on the lesson for that day!
Matt’s Question: What is the number one thing that motivates in your position at AOPA?
Sean: The opportunity to protect the industry I love in the States I love (New England).
Matt’s Question: Which lesson or concept from your flight training at Bridgewater State University (then College) has stuck with you the most?
Sean: Flight training can be stressful at times, especially when you combine a hobby with a career. My first flight instructor, Mike Tyson (no joke), taught me to remember to have fun—after all, the view from above beats the view from anywhere below!
Matt’s Question: What is the number one reason a pilot should be a part of AOPA?
Sean: When most pilots (or members for that matter) think of AOPA, they usually think of our magazines, weekly ePilot newsletters, and a lot of junk mail… But apart from our industry leading publications chalked-full of education and entertainment, we work hard to ensure the future of general aviation stays bright!
Matt’s Question: Why should pilots be excited about the future of general aviation?
Sean: Because despite what some within the aviation community think, the future is bright! There will always be hurdles and a need to protect the industry from those who don’t understand it but I believe a bad day in aviation is like a bad day in Florida….it’s still a great day most anywhere else!
My take away from the prerecording meeting, filming the episode and this Q&A is that Sean is a great aviation ambassador. Sean has been actively involved in our (eastern region) area, as evidenced by his participation with the Massachusetts Airport Management Association (MAMA) as just one example. I would encourage every pilot in the eastern region to get to know Sean, he is a great resource for AOPA members and a positive influence in the aviation community!
-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9