Landings.com
www.premiumwooddesigns.com - win a model plane
  Databases  airNEWS  Contact
 
Connections

Hangar Talk: Editorial Feedback
  Pulling In New Pilots

 =Nav=
Editorials
News
Talk
Jokes/Fun
How-To
Reviews
Opinions
Research
Of-Interest
Destinations
Poetry/Writing
Expert Forums
Discussion Boards
Gallery
Aviation's Directory
 
Desser Tire: Americas 1st choice in Aircraft tires
Reader Feedback

Your Opinion...

We would like to ask for your opinion on this response or the editorial. What are your thoughts? (use this link -- mention what its about -- inlcude the name of the editorial and the response author).

  
  Kim Helliwell Responded

I read the editorial, and I read all the responses to date. Here are some of my thoughts:

I agree that aviation is still mired in the 50's in a lot of ways. It's unfortunate that the elitist attitude exists in aviation at all; certainly any flying club that is trying to get business cannot afford that attitude. And, I fear, any of them that cannot give up that attitude will die as a business The editorial and many responses deplore the high cost of flying. While I do, also, I think there are a number of factors: ridiculous liability lawsuits; FAA regulations; anti competitive situations, community concern over noise, you name it. All those factors add to the cost of flying. Very few of these factors are in the direct control of pilots or the aviation community. Much of it comes from the more general liability picture in this country and world-wide. The "deep-pockets" tort law is ridiculous, unfair, and very much alive in this country, and 18-year liability rules to patch this up are not nearly enough of a fix, even if Cessna thinks so. Supply and demand rule in this industry as in all others. Someone who responded asked who could afford the "new" $140,000 Cessna 172? Unfortunately for that person, the answer is that many people can. Cessna apparently has been able to sell all they can make. If they couldn't, they'd either lower the price until they could, or else they'd stop making them. It's really as simple as that! It would be wonderful if some aircraft manufacturer could come up with a design for a simple, utilitarian airplane that could be designed, manufactured, certified, and sold for $50,000. I bet many of us would jump at the chance to buy such a plane, especially if it had a ceiling, range, and carrying capacity that made it reasonable for transportation. It would, of course, have to have all the avionics to make it certifiable as an IFR aircraft. Unfortunately for us pilots, nobody (so far!) has been able to come up with this winning formula. And I'm realistic enough to accept that it probably won't happen: if it were easy, it would have been done already. It's not just hard, it's probably impossible. The "solution" to the high cost of flying proposed is a way to amortize the cost of lessons over a period longer than the lessons take. I think that this idea is flawed, since presumably one wants to continue flying after getting the ticket. One wants to go on to an instrument rating, or learn to fly complex (or just different) aircraft. My flying career since earning my PPL a 1.8 years ago has been a procession of checkouts in various aircraft, instrument lessons, and *occasional* pleasure flights. If I couldn't afford primary training to start with, how could I afford all that? The sad fact is: anyone embarking on flying really needs to count the cost, and should be given the true facts concerning those costs. The sad fact is: if you want to be safe flying, and you want to go use GA flying as a means of transportation, you probably need to spend $3-5K a year flying to stay current. If you can't afford to do that, maybe gliding (I think that's somewhat cheaper, at least!) or ultralights, or the flight simulator is what you need to stick with. Or even para- or hang gliding! I understand you can get completely outfitted with a rig for hang gliding plus lessons for around $4-5K, essentially a one-time cost that amortizes over the rest of your flying career. AOPA's current push to "sell" flying will probably help bring a few new pilots to the business. It certainly cannot hurt. But I think there should be a more general push, that seeks to educate the general public about flying. The public needs to understand that GA is not just a rich man's hobby, it's where the captains and first officers of the commercial planes they fly are going to come from in the next generation (especially with the military cutbacks!). People need to understand that closing GA airports next door to them because of noise is pretty much the same as eating the seed corn. I personally have both the fortune and misfortune of maintaining two expensive, technical hobbies that are ill-understood by the general public: Ham Radio and Flying. The parallels between these two are interesting. Ham radio experiences continuous threats to its band allocations ("frequency spectrum"), while GA experiences continuous threats to close airports and other facilities. Ham must deal with restrictive laws governing the height of their antennas, or even their ability to put one up at all, while GA fights restrictive noise regulations and encroachments on airport approaches. The public understands neither of these activities. Hams are the antisocial beings who put up those ugly antennas and interfere with their TV viewing; while pilots are those antisocial rich creatures who fly over the house at full power on take-off and wake them up on Saturday morning! Hams are trying to educate the general public about the public benefits of ham radio (and there are many, even in these days of cell phones). Pilots should do the same. Hams have a tradition of volunteering for disaster aid. I think pilots do also, but it's a bit more muted and this "tradition" could be developed a bit more. And both groups should trumpet to the skies the accomplishments and the benefits to society of their activities. Education of the general public is the key to long-term viability of either of these activities. GA really has a story to tell, if it's only the economic footprint in the local community! Ham radio is a piker compared with GA in this regard. We need to tell the story, loud, long, and continually!

Kim Helliwell

E-mail: kim@concentric.net

airNEWS
  (auto-generated)

Ch: Aviation (more->)

Tony Tyler: Aviation industry will handle over 3 billion passengers in ... (NWST)

Heathrow runway delay is hurting aviation industry, warns Iata chief (GUAR)

Raytheon increases pilot situational awareness with Aviation ... (AVIO)

Embraer jets receive Russian certification (JRLA)

Plymouth Airport celebrates its pioneers by naming gates for them (BOST)

Ajit Singh writes to UP CM on land for airport at Allahabad (INDI)

Airline profits pick up in 2012: IATA (TMSE)

Contract with the SAAF terminated Denel (POLI)

Denel aircraft specialists receive retrenchment notices Solidarity (POLI)

GAA signs up for BIAS2014 (BNA_)

Jet Aviation Dubai signs agreement with FEAG (CORP)

Marines hone command capabilities for Afghanistan (DVID)

Analysis: China acquires 90 ILFC stake (JRLA)

Dassault Falcon sells two jets to Wallan (TRAD)

AviancaTaca orders ATR 72 600s (JRLA)

New Issue Milestone Aviation sells 250 mln notes (RTRS)

A Chance for Ugandans to Fly (ALLA)

Col. Michael Musiol takes over 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (OBRF)

General Aviation Taking off at MacArthur (AVIA)

Lady Antebellum chooses Skynet Aviation (REVI)

Future of GA sparks debate at Wichita event (AOPA)

The many sides of airlines (TTGA)

Ma speaks out on ICAO exclusion (TMST)

MEBA to move to dedicated Dubai world central expo site (ZAWY)

MEBAA Elects Two to Board, Ups Insurance Cover (ONLA)

Roundtable: Aviation 2013 The Latest Legal Features, Research ... (WHOS)

Research Trends and Conclusions: Aviation 2013 (WHOS)

Most Highly Regarded Firms: Aviation 2013 (WHOS)

BAE Systems Wins 400 Million US Navy Aircraft Maintenance ... (AVIA)

Natca: Sequestration Would Cripple ATC, NextGen (ONLA)

Ch: Incidents (more->)

Banner year for safety in global aviation (TN)

2012 named safest year in civil aviation history (_PST)

Neema Swai a Woman Flying Her Dream (ALLA)

Cessna aircraft makes crash landing in Malir Cantt (NWS_)

HAMM member and passenger killed in small plane crash (TYLE)

World War II Fighter Raised From Lake Michigan (CHIC)

WWII era plane recovered from depths of Lake Michigan (WREX)

Pearl Harbor Day event pulls up old fighter plane, and zebra ... (WBEZ)

WWII era plane found at bottom of lake (WZZM)

Strengthen English Skills in China's Aviation Industry (ENGL)


 
 
 [Quick NAV | Aviation's Directroy]MAY ALL YOUR LANDINGS BE GOOD ONES!
News/Forums Search/Ref Pilot-Supplies Aircraft/Parts Services Gen.-Aviation Gov./Military
GA-News Search Supplies Manufacturers A/C-Sales Helicopters Government
Forums Databases GPS/Tech. Parts A/C-Values Gyrocopters Research
Hangar-Talk Regulations Simulators Avionics Var-Services Aerobatics Military
Events/Airshows Reports Flight Tools Classifieds Homebuilding General
Offers Alerts Weather Engines Var-Products Ultralights Images
Promotions Publications Planning Mods/Restor. FBOs Soaring Miscellaneous
SITES Museums Clubs AirTransport Travel/Tours Hanggliding GA
Contact/Info History FBOs Airlines Insurance Paragliding Travel/Tours
Add-Link Organizations Flight-Schls Airports Medical Srvcs Parachute Safety
Logbook Companies Training Live-ATC Financing Balloons  
Awards Directory Simulators   Fuel    
Credits   Schools        
Contact   Safety        

   Sponsored links:
     Aircraft For Sale - FREE 90-day photo ads - AviationClassifieds.com
     Pilot Jobs - America's Pilot Employment Network - Free Access - USPilot.com
   
 
LANDINGS.COM Copyright © 1994-2012
Explicit permission required for any duplication or usage