When I think about why we produce General Aviation News, it boils down to two things: People and planes. It’s really that simple.
Sure, it can get more complex from time to time, but strip away all the doo-dads and it quickly returns to a simple state: People and planes.
In keeping with that theme, I caught up with Katie Pribyl under the wing of her 1956 Cessna 180 — Buck — at the recent Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Fly-In at Bremerton, Wash.
As an AOPA staffer and fly-in host, she was busy. But I hadn’t seen Katie since SUN ‘n FUN and was excited to see both her and the plane Bill Walker profiled in the July 28, 2016 edition of General Aviation News.
“I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve heard from. All over the world. It has been overwhelming,” said Katie as we enjoyed the shade cast from Buck’s wing. “Bill told a great story.”
Katie mentioned overhearing a pair of pilots at the fly-in ask, “Hey, isn’t that Buck?” She had no idea who the pair were, but she got a kick out of them recognizing her plane.
Katie is an accomplished member of AOPA’s headquarters staff serving as Vice President, Communications, as well as an accomplished pilot. She logged a few thousand hours of airline time before she stepped back into general aviation. But at her core, she’s a pilot with a plane.
As our conversation wound down, I told Katie her Mom’s comment on the web version of Bill’s story was my favorite. “I have to admit that it wasn’t a phase, Katie. I’m a believer now! Love you! Mom.” She grinned and nodded in agreement.
With that, Katie had to get back to work. But that 10 minute conversation summed up what General Aviation News — and all of general aviation — is really all about: People and planes.
It is easy to forget that when we get pulled in so many directions. But telling stories that people can relate to is what makes our slice of the aviation industry so much fun.
Thank you Katie — and Buck — for helping to bring that back into focus for me. Safe travels…