Trinkets, Tokens, Memories, and Dreams…

Little things motivate us in aviation sometimes. Sometimes they motivate us to stay engaged when we might not otherwise do so. It is these little things that sometimes keep people from giving up on dreams, leaving a reminder for us that our love for aviation needs kindling, or just giving us the little bit of extra motivation to go back out to the airport one more day.

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine was helping a family of a friend who had passed away of the ripe old age of 94 clean through his home. Among the many things they found, was a coin he had saved for an unknown number of years. The coin was a promotional coin from Piper intended to get someone to take a first flight lesson. Continue reading

United States – Former Pilot Training Provider to the World?

The United States has been the world leader in training pilots for many years, but the words “has been” might be more applicable in the near future than we might desire. As airlines expand in international markets, a strong desire to employ domestically trained and resident pilots is spurring growth of in-country training infrastructure outside the United States. This is going to have an effect on the amount of training that is conducted in the United States for non-US citizens over the upcoming decades along with providing opportunities overseas for skilled training providers or instructors seeking to help develop infrastructure outside the United States. Some are already taking advantage of this opportunity. More should consider doing so. Continue reading

Two Pilot Training Paths – Professional Pilots and Pleasure and Business Pilots

In our first century of aviation, many professional pilots got their training at local airports. A few went away to “schools” that offered promise of jobs and career prospects, and during times of war, many were trained in the military, but overall most learned at local airports. I don’t think this will hold true in our second century of aviation. The paths to career and personal flying are diverging, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does have effects. Continue reading