Many Pilots Supporting One Voice for GA7:01 PM
As aviators, it is critical that we all stand together to inform the public about the benefits of GA, while also helping the media to dispense accurate information that GA does not pose a security risk to America. We need to find one voice to make Average Joe and Jane understand that "business aviation" comes in many shapes and sizes, from the Super Cub hauling mail into the Idaho back country, to people like me flying Cherokees to visit clients, to firefighting aircraft trying to save Los Angeles from its firestorm du jour. And yes, GA is also the rich and famous flying G-Vs and Falcons to lunch on Bora Bora, but can you blame them, really? If you had their money, you KNOW you'd fly in that sort of private luxury.
After a couple of weeks of pilots making personal visits to TV newsrooms and the local paper inviting the media to the patch out at the edge of town, the camera crews and news reporters gather just before arrival time. The local TV anchor and anchorette have teased the event for a few days, and a couple of hundred people gather as well, joined by the Mayor and if they are lucky, maybe even a Congressman. The "Flying Across America" Cessna 150 lands and taxis up to the crowd and after shut down, two tired but happy GA pilots emerge from the cramped craft, smiling ear to ear. They spend the next hour "on camera" talking up how cool it is to be a licensed pilot, and how much GA benefits the entire country at many levels. They tell the media that the LifeFlight chopper that saved someone's bacon after that nasty head-on over by the Dairy Queen, yup...that was GA. The FedEx Caravan that brought your overnight package...you guessed it, GA again. They tell them everything we need them to hear, and after the TV guys get some footage of a young child sitting in the 150 wearing Lambercy's headset and grinning wide, the media can go back and report that GA is alive and kicking in this city and across America too. After a fuel stop and maybe a $100 burger, the Cessna departs again for the next little town circled on the chart, to land again, shake a few paws and talk up GA to anyone who will listen. They will do this again and again, all across these United States, until they reach Catalina Island off California's coast. At that time, they will have told our story to thousands of people at the airport and many thousands more at home watching the evening news or reading the local fishwrap. These are the EXACT people who need to know how wonderful and vital GA is to America.