Ravi The Raviator, a motivational speaker with a focus on inspiring and recruiting the next generation of pilots, will launch his “You Can Do It’ aviation speaking tour in January.
“As a musician who has been fortunate to live the rock-and-roll dream, I’ve integrated show-biz appeal with aviation to showcase the opportunity to live one’s dream, and specifically by participating in one of humanity’s greatest achievements — the magic of flight,” says Ravi.
The guitarist for the boy band Hansen years ago who now takes his solo act on the road hundreds of days of the year, Ravi earned his pilot license in 2008, training in an IndUS Aviation Thorpedo (T211).
About five years ago, Ravi began giving presentations around the country at airshows and fly-ins, as well as in schools, speaking to students and others about general aviation.
The new tour is a combination of the presentations he has given in the past, “but carefully assembled in what I intend to make the most successful outreach effort of the GA industry in recent history,” he said.
The tour consists of three events that will be presented in multiple cities across the nation.
“Over the course of two days, I will give a flight school presentation at an airport to serve as an aviation community pep rally and marketing session, a local high school presentation to showcase the value in learning to fly, and an in-town public presentation to show how accessible aviation really is,” he explained. “It’s not about bringing people to aviation, but rather, bringing aviation to people.”
According to Ravi, the inspiration for the tour and reason behind its structure is data driven: Boeing’s predicted pilot shortage, the FAA’s reported decline in private pilot certificates being issues, and the startling student dropout statistics — up to 80% — from a recent Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association study.
Another aspect of the tour is that it is entirely industry sponsored, Ravi said. “Contrary to my standard sponsorship/endorsement model, I am aiming to acquire support from competing sponsors,” he said. “General aviation is too small of an industry for us not to come together to save it, yet we have a hard time getting along.”
The initial three-city launch is funded entirely by Lightspeed Aviation, Sennheiser Aviation, and Sporty’s Pilot Shop. “Allan Schrader of Lightspeed and David Dunlap of Sennheiser both enthusiastically embraced the idea of joining forces under my program, and Hal Shevers of Sporty’s couldn’t have been more gracious in joining these manufacturers to help me reach the financial requirement,” he said.
He added the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) has also been involved in helping identify sponsors and locations.
The tour will launch in Riverside, Calif., Jan. 23, followed by presentations in Manassas, Va., and Romeoville, Ill., in the next several weeks.
“By SUN ’n FUN, the data will be parsed and I will be seeking additional sponsors for the 2014-15 tour of 10 cities,” he said.