All to often active pilots slowly turn into inactive pilots because they don’t have anyone with whom they can share their passion. It’s a ton of fun to go flying and I enjoy going up solo every once in a … Continue reading →
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 →
I visit the Midfield Café at the Nashua, NH airport (KASH) often. The Midfield has many advantages that make it a top-notch restaurant, add the airport and views form the second floor location and you have a winner! The Midfield … Continue reading →
The “$100 hamburger,” is a right of passage for every pilot. Flying to a (maybe not so) distant airport for breakfast, lunch or dinner is one of the most common uses of a general aviation airplane on a weekly basis. … Continue reading →
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 →
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!
The first sunrise of 2014 from 2500′ over Plymouth Harbor. I’ll be adding a “First Flight” to my calendar each year.
As we move into 2014, there are many ways to make sure you fly more this year. But, the best way is to incorporate annual “tradition” flights into your calendar! Having prearranged flights can go a long way towards getting you to fly more throughout the year. If you have annual flights that you plan to make each year (weather permitting, of course), not only will you shoot to make those flights, but you’ll have to ensure you’re current so you can bring friends along.
As an example, every year on the 4th of July I watch fireworks from above. I take off from my home airport (1B9) just before dusk, and cruise over to Plymouth harbor (where the Pilgrims landed) for the show. The fireworks usually start around 9pm and make for an unreal viewing experience! If you have never seen fireworks from above, I highly recommend it.
The fireworks over Plymouth Harbor this past 4th of July.
Since I enjoy watching the fireworks I always try to make the flight. I like to bring a friend along for the fireworks too; this means I need to be night current. So not only will I make the 4th of July flight, but I will make a flight to get night current at some point prior. Thus, I have to make two flights, so it’s a win-win for me as a pilot!
Each year I make a flight on my birthday, the 4th of July and Christmas Eve. You can use any occasion as a reason to fly- the day you made your first solo, the day you earned your certificate or your birthday. Just having a couple of these flights will ensure that you are flying throughout the year. Give it a shot!