It is with great admiration that I comment on the courage and leadership demonstrated by the editors and management at GANews. The forum for open dialogue and aviation-oriented initiatives you have created through your publication serve as a model for other aviation periodicals to emulate.
Hats off to Norton, Sclair, Spence, and Hanshew for putting into words a strategy for developing a lobbying initiative that will benefit all of general aviation (To create a powerhouse GA: Model the NRA, Jan. 28 issue). Although the NRA’s “take-no-prisoner” approach to protecting the Second Amendment has been viewed by some of their members as having been “over-the-top” at times, the end result has been the protection of one our most fundamental rights as Americans. I would encourage GANews editors and writers to continue their leadership role in working with AOPA, EAA, GAMA, NBAA, Private Pilot, Flying and other organizations and periodicals so that all begin to present a unified position regarding the future of general aviation and the airway system infrastructure necessary for our collective future.
I would also like to thank the editors for having the most enlightening editorial page I have seen in quite some time. Several months ago, I wrote a piece stating a cautious opinion toward the new Sport Pilot program, specifically focused on the issue of safety. I did so because every other aviation periodical to date had failed to present information on the pro and con, good and bad perspectives of the new program and I wanted to see if a healthy exchange of ideas could be created on the topic. Again, kudos to GANews for providing a forum in which a number of readers expressed their opinion on the Sport Pilot program. Although some of the responses to my original piece seemed harsh, what was important was to recognize that each response represented someone who took time out of their personal life to put their thoughts to paper. Some were CFIs, others fellow pilots, some having more hours than I will ever accumulate in my remaining years. Nonetheless, I appreciated each letter that was printed, as well as those I received via snail mail.
Thanks to all for creating a healthy exchange of ideas. I hope that each will take the energy emanating from their own personal feelings and apply it to: a) ensuring safety in the new Sport Pilot program and b) supporting the aviation unification effort by the writers mentioned earlier so that, in the end, all GA pilots will continue to enjoy the freedom of flying in safe skies.