Know when to crow

To at least some degree we pilot types have gotten a bad rap. More often than not I find that we’re characterized as whiners, babies, rich guys who want everybody else in town to pay for their playthings. And while I disagree entirely with that perspective, I can completely understand how we came to earn the reputation.

The non-pilot community only hears about the pilot community when we want something. They rarely hear about Young Eagle flights, Angel Flights, or any of the other altruistic, supportive things we do in our communities. Pilots only make the paper when we want something, or when we make a deep impact in the earth. In either case, the slant the public sees in the news is not in our favor.

In order to be truly successful in the long term, you have to know how to crow when the time is right. And the time is right for every airport, and every pilot at some point. So sing the praises of your home field when you can. Promote the accomplishments of your fellow pilots. Make the papers and spread the word. Aviation has an up side that everyone can enjoy, even from the safety and security of their breakfast table.

Michelle Bostick, (left) and Jo Alcorn (right) accept well wishes from student pilot Madie Beckett as they prepare to participate in the 2010 Air Race Classic in their C-172 dubbed City of Winter Haven."Photo by Joy Townsend

The latest crowing I got to do was just this morning, when the city commissioners, city manager, airport manager, and a solid selection of my municipality’s management staff made their way to good ‘ol Gilbert Field to send off two sharp dressed women in bright pink shirts to battle their way through four days of hard flying as competitors in the 2010 Air Race Classic. [Read more...]