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More often than not, when I find myself in a hangar with others, those others tend to be on the far side of AARP eligibility.
Many of my compatriots at the local airport qualify for Social Security. That’s true at most airports. The average age of an American general aviation participant is…well let’s just say excessively mature. I’m 61 years old, a Baby Boomer, and I often skew to the younger side of the assembled pilots and mechanics.
In my little corner of heaven here in central Florida, I’ve been nagging people in positions of authority for quite some time about the value of general aviation to the educational system, the economy, and the emergency response capabilities of our community.
It’s obvious to me that any city with an airport has significant advantages over neighboring cities that are without one.
Experienced aviators know, however, people in positions of authority who have no direct connection to aviation tend to be somewhat in the dark about general aviation’s potential. Willingly so, in some cases. You can show them economic impact reports, you can explain about the revenue streams it can open up. You can even expose them to evidence in video and print that show educational programs that benefit the communities that adopt them. All to no avail if those in a position to do something about it choose not to listen or learn.
Well, I learned long ago that any of us can make a difference if we choose to. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 1960s when revolution was in the air and everything seemed possible. It’s about will, not position or title.
So, with the assistance and cooperation of four other interested adults, we created a plan and formed a flying club for high school students. We negotiated a hangar lease at the local airport, got a couple project airplanes donated to the cause, and got to work attracting members.
It’s actually that simple. Which isn’t to
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