Sebring Sport Aviation Expo

On Friday, January 27th I made the voyage south to Sebring, Florida for the Sebring Sport Aviation Expo. This was my first visit to the event and I can say it was well worth the trip. Just a few months … Continue reading

3 Things Every Pilot Needs to Know About… Getting Ready for a Summer Flight

Summer means warm temperatures, sunshine and beach days for many folks. Since moving to Florida, I’ve come to know a whole new level of heat, not necessarily temperatures that are much more extreme, but rather extended periods (days, weeks, months) … Continue reading

So you want to learn to fly?

Well, congratulations and welcome to the greatest activity known to man. It is demanding, costly and takes some serious effort, but it is so totally worth it! If you’re worried about cost, keep in mind learning to fly isn’t really … Continue reading

AOPA’s Great Day for GA!

Have you made it out to one of the regional Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) fly-in events yet? If the answer is no, then you need to change that, soon! With three more events plus the homecoming event at Fredrick, … Continue reading

IM SAFE, are you safe?

My favorite topic to teach in any ground school is Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM). Not only is ADM the most interesting topic on any ground school syllabus, it is literally the MOST important too! One of the pilot self-assessment tools that … Continue reading

Checklists: Reduce Error & Mitigate Risk

Flying without a checklist is like playing golf without a putter… Seriously, it makes success that much more difficult. Once you have been flying for a little while, most flights are a series of similar repeated activities above different places. … Continue reading

Getting to know Sean Collins, AOPA Eastern Regional Manager!

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 … Continue reading

New Regional AOPA Fly-Ins: A High Flying Opportunity

Yesterday the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) announced the dates/locations for their 2014 regional fly-in events. This presents a great opportunity for all of us to get more people into the activity, which we all love so much, aviation!

The events will be set up to feature planes, exhibitors, safety briefings, food, presentations, etc… This is a great way to spend a day if you’re a pilot. But even for someone who is not a pilot, it will be a great take as well. One of the features will be a “Learn to Fly” area, perfect for all those not-yet, but soon-to-be pilots! If each of us makes an effort to not only attend the AOPA event closest to us, but to also bring a friend that isn’t a pilot but is interested in flying, this could go a long way towards the objective of growing the pilot population. The events, I’m sure, will be very exciting and a great way to immerse others and us in aviation for a day. What better way to get someone one-the-edge of learning to fly to take that first step and schedule a discovery flight, than to have them spend a day surrounded by everything that is good and exciting in aviation?

Luckily, the event closest to me is going to be at one of the airports I fly to frequently, KPYM (Plymouth, MA). I have already started planning to spend the day with friends at the event and I will be reaching out to individuals I have recently given demo flight to and other non-flying friends to see if they may be interested in joining. My hope is that these events will convey the sense of ‘awesomeness’ about flying (that every pilot knows) to these ‘newbies’ and they will fall in love with aviation as well…

Bringing non-pilots can help grow the pilot population, but equally as important is getting certificated pilots out to the events. Attending events like an AOPA fly-in goes a long way in getting pilots to remember the fun and excitement of aviation. We need more pilots, yes. But we also need the already certificated pilots to be actively flying! So start making plans with other pilots and friends from your airport/area, and get a group together to attend the AOPA event nearest you. Whether you fly in, drive or walk, I’m sure that attending a regional fly-in or a similar events will remind you about a lot of things you enjoy about aviation.

Of course, if you’re going to be attending the fly-in at KPYM in July this summer, make sure you find me and say hello!

-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9