I found the next generation

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I found the next generation of pilots. But depending on where you read this, you may or may not like it, and you may or may not understand it.

Of the 55,996 (as this was written) fans of our Facebook page, 55.6% are 34 years or younger. Include those 35-44 years and it jumps to 75.4%.

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On Jan. 1, 2014, we had 26,715 page likes. Our fan count has more than doubled in 50 days.

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I’ve heard from many current (read that: older) pilots that have no interest in Facebook or Twitter or anything online. “Why do I care what someone eats for breakfast?” they’ve remarked with snark.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with not being interested. It has everything to do with learning something new and — worse — admitting they don’t understand something.

The irony is completely lost on them. Nobody is born a pilot or a social media whiz. Both start out like everyone starts — with a first step.

So quit complaining about the next generation not being interested in learning to fly. You just aren’t looking in the right place.

The changing face of general aviation

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By LEN ASSANTE

The Dec. 20, 2013, issue of General Aviation News showcased general aviation’s “up and comers,” a group of innovators who are passionate about changing this industry for the better.

I have had the honor of meeting some of these people and agree they offer some amazing ideas and unmitigated passion for GA. Such passion is desperately needed if GA is to survive in any fashion recognizable to today’s General Aviation News readers.

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Link: A Skosh of Paranoia

A fatal stall/spin accident, reconstructed by AOPA, led to a discussion between friends and was capped off by an interested blog post titled, “A Skosh of Paranoia” by Ron Rapp at the House of Rapp blog. As is often said, a good pilot is always learning. Do yourself a favor and wander over to Ron’s site for a read.

What’s your story?

We tell stories. In 2014 we want to tell your story.

This year, we will dive deeper into fewer subject. Don’t worry, we’ll still deliver the news and information you read General Aviation News for. But there are a few topics we want to expand, and need your help.

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Aviation tax reform…indeed

Jeff Smisek is the CEO of United Airlines. His CEO Letter in the November issue of Hemispheres Magazine was titled, “Aviation Tax Reform,” which caught my eye.

“The taxation system across transportation modes is broken, and airlines and our customers are paying the price for this irrational structure,” laments Mr. Smisek. The government imposes “17 different taxes and fees” on his customers and his airline.

The CEO of one of the nation’s preeminent carriers is calling for a simplified tax structure for the airline industry. You have my support Mr. Smisek.

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BMI could trigger additional scrutiny with proposed policy

The FAA is targeting pilots (and controllers) with a “proposed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) policy.” Pilots and controllers with a Body Mass Index (calculate yours here) with 40 and higher, will be the initial target.

Federal Air Surgeon Fred Tilton wrote in recent medical bulletin those pilots “will have to be evaluated by a physician who is a board certified sleep specialist.” Those diagnosed with OSA must be treated before they acquire a medical certificate, Tilton wrote.

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