Why? Ironically because I never really felt a part of any "community" when I was younger. Even when I learned to fly as a teen, I never felt "at home" at the airport. I was a shy kid, and my choices of major, of vocation, and avocation have all been about trying to fix that. Basic psychology maybe, but I have certainly found a home in my careers.
Over the last 14 months, as Aviation Access Project went from a vision in Rick's mind to an actual organization with a plan and a phone and a website, I have been fortunate enough to meet and learn about many people in the aviation community who are passionate about the industry and the people in it. And they are also passionate about the desire -the need- to save it. I have also read literally reams of paper on what's wrong with aviation. And I have met some people -also pilots passionate about flying- who do not think we can turn it around. They argue we are losing pilots by the thousands, regulations are increasing, and the economics of the industry are such that flying seems more and more unaffordable.
I am more and more convinced that it will take a group effort to turn things around. Not just one regulatory agency or one advocacy organization or one company or one airplane or one financial wizard or one journalist. These are all critical components absolutely, but they can't do it alone. Something else needs to be added. Someone else. Someone or something new and different. And passionate!
This is the thinking behind Aviation Access Project, and I am finding it is also behind the visions of others. I want to use this space to talk about the people of Aviation Access Project, to share our vision and the accomplishments of our customers, but I also want to talk about those who could be (who should be?) our strategic partners. Or maybe we are THEIR partners? It does not matter who gets top billing. It is results that matter. So here's my first one:
SimpleFlight is the brainchild of Al and Travis. They describe themselves thusly:
We are young, ambitious, and eager pilots in the Chicagoland area in pursuit of sharing aviation to make it better, fresh and up to date. If it isn't obvious, we love aviation and cannot wait to share it.Al and partner Marc do a weekly radio show they describe as:
In pursuit of amazing people doing amazing things in aviation! That's really what the show is all about. People trying to make an impact for the greater good of Aviation.In other words, their show is a magnet for just the kind of passionate, visionary aviation souls who I think need to be part of the solution to our struggles. These people who visit with Al and Marc on Sunday nights are the missing ingredients we need. So, SimpleFlight.net comes first on my list. Not because they are great guys (they are), but because they provide the tool to bring us all together. Check out their site and their show. You can listen live on Sunday evenings, or listen to the podcasts at your leisure. (Just try to ignore the bad jokes. And tell them Aviation Access Project sent you!)