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Aviation Participation

Posted By:
Daniel Gervae
#1 Posted: 12/3/2010 18:52:22

I just read Tom Poberezny's commentary in my Dec 2010 Sport Aviation titled "Aviation Participation". I found the report really hit the mark for me...I was fortunate to have learned to fly at a young age...solo 16 Private 18...so on...My grandfather was a WW2 vet who learned on the GI Bill, my dad followed earning his PPL in the late 1950's...dad taught me in the 1980's so on....but, most in my generation did not have the same opportunities I did...the same thing happened all across the country and here we are with all of the old timers leaving the ranks or simply going west and pilot numbers are dwindling. My solution? I took inspiration from a friend of mine who is a Private Pilot who went and got his CFI-SP rating and offered to give instruction to some friends pro-bono if they bought their own airplane. They did...one bought an Aeronca Chief...the other bought a J3 Cub. I was inspired, so I went and got my CFI-SP (Sport Pilot CFI) and I am doing the same thing...I am a 25+ year Private Pilot with around 1500 hrs TT, I fly Taylorcrafts, Cubs, Aeroncas, mostly. They are affordable and fun. Getting the CFI was not particularly easy...but it wasn't hard either. What it was really, was a fantastic refresher and a great learning opportunity. You do not need an Instrument rating or Comercial, or complex rating to get the CFI-SP..The cost? including written exams and the checkride + fuel for instruction and preparation for the checkride I have $800 invested...granted, I had free instruction from the aforementioned individual...but the point is it can be done.  I'm not saying I'm going to give free instruction to everyone in America who asks, but I am trying to increase local participation by providing free instruction to friends, family, etc. I will consider others (people I don't know) for a small fee to help cover my expenses...If I use my own plane I will have to charge some money to help me cover those costs as well....my point is that we are getting people involved in aviation who, under normal circumstances, would not even consider taking on the challenge and expense. We are not hurting the flight school business around here, because, as I said, these are people who would not even be doing this without our encouragement and gift of instruction. It's fun too, we meet at the airport and just fly...These particular individuals are only interested in being Sport Pilots right now...but they may want to continue on after they do it for a few years. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it and I now have some new flying buddies to boot. Try it....get a home study course, get some time in the right seat, take 2 tests and a checkride and start creating new pilots. There are still quite a few T-crafts, Cubs, Luscombes, etc. on the used market for reasonable prices. We hold the future in our hands...only pilots can create new pilots