Save General Aviation

Keep General Aviation Alive

As a five year old child I saw for the first time a real airplane takeoff at Detroit Metro Airport.

My parents gave each of us kids a journal to write our aspirations, goals, new friends, etc. for each grade of school. One particular area asked what you wanted to do when you grow up. Starting in Kindergarten I wrote "Airline Pilot". I am now 44 years old but have not achieved that dream. However, I did work for a Major Airline for 16 years. Finally, at 43 the time was right to learn how to fly. My first lesson had me hooked. I wanted to fly everyday. I sucked up the flying knowledge like a kid drinking Kool Aid.
I now have 57 hours in a single engine airplane. I've had to take a break recently but plan on having my ticket before the end of summer. At the beginning of my "flying career", I joined AOPA. This organization not only gives one great articles on flying and safety, but offers free safety seminars. I can't think of any organization that offers something "free".  This is testament to the passion of AOPA and its members.
During the past year and half I have been a member of a community whose passion and love is surpassed by any group one can imagine. This community is called "Pilots". If one were to visit any General Aviation Airport at this very moment, you'll find Pilots old and young "hanger flying". I will spend hours hanging out at these GA Airports literally each and every chance I get, which is hours a week. The camaraderie amongst this special group is of no other. 
I attend every AOPA safety seminar that comes to my area. These seminars are free and very important to the safety of aviation. Literally hundreds turn out for these important opportunities. Pilots and those who want to be pilots. Pilots who no longer fly, pilots who have ten hours and pilots who have five thousand of hours. It saddens me profoundly to see what user fees will do to General Aviation. Many will have to lessen their amount of flying or even have to give it up. Do not forget the great things that General Aviation does for each community. Free flights for seriously ill individuals whose life depends on getting to a particular facility. GA pilots gladly lend their free service to help these needy people.
The great and necessary things GA do for this country are many. This great country of ours will certainly see a change. A change we cannot afford.

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Posted on Sep 21, 2010