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AeroSports Update: Introducing People To General Aviation

A First Visit To The Airport And A First Flight With A General Aviation Pilot Is Vitally Important To The Life Of GA

It seems like no matter what we do, general aviation remains in the doldrums. Organizations like EAA and AOPA have some great programs to get people interested in general aviation flying, and we at ANN fully support these programs, but there is more we can do.

General aviation can grow from the inside and the outside. Growing from the inside means encouraging people to become GA pilots and the organizational programs mentioned before are a good starting place for this to happen. But the truth is, becoming a general aviation pilot is controlled as much from the prospective pilot’s personal needs and viewpoints as it is from a recruitment program.

This is where growing from the outside comes into play. Any time we encourage someone to simply fly along with us or just visit the airport and look at the airplanes, the potential is growth from the outside. This person that we introduce to general aviation in the most casual way can gain a perspective and understanding of what it is we do. Even if they never move towards becoming a pilot, they can at least support us by not being negative towards general aviation. Of course, this doesn’t rule out that the simple action on our part might get a new person “hooked.”

In a past issue of ‘FAA Safety Briefing’ an article focuses on flying companions. In this issue they look to provide a basic guide for friends and loved ones who join us in the air or might have an interest in doing so. To be honest, even current pilots may learn something from this guide.

The articles reminds us of what should be obvious but sometimes may be overlooked when we first take someone for a ride in our airplane. For example, it’s pretty safe to say that most first time airplane passengers are not interested in what a snappy pilot you are. Things like turbulent air, steep turns, and stalls will not convince them that you’re the one they want to fly with. In case you think passengers haven’t been turned away by rides like this, you’re wrong!

Use the link below and take a look at the Flying Companions Guide to GA. It’s well written, entertaining, and you’ll finally learn why we use the word “Roger” on the radio. Enjoy the read and make flying enjoyable for everyone.

(Photo above is a first time ride in a homebuilt airplane provided by Earl Downs)

FMI: Flying Companions Guide to GA

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