I’m always impressed when I read about programs targeting the next generation of aviators, like the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, the Lakeland Aero Club, the Tango Thirty One Clube, or Teen Flight.
These programs have helped many aspiring aviators take to the sky or the wrench.
But they also represent a heavy lift. It took intestinal fortitude, patience, money, and time to get these programs rolling and keep them rolling.
What if, in addition to these all-in programs, there was a simpler option for those of us not able to start the next Teen Flight chapter? It could be of similar value at a much lower cost of entry.
A recent email from the Green River chapter of the Washington Pilots Association hit my inbox recently and has just such an idea…
“Justin Treat of Enumclaw Airport has a low-key way to start….the airport receives calls and emails from time to time from people interested in aviation that don’t know how to get started so we are building a list of people to whom he can refer callers for advice and a bit of mentorship.”
Be willing to put your name and contact information on a list and listen to and guide a would-be aviator on their journey.
When someone calls your local airport seeking information about flying or wrench turning or air traffic control — you know, aviation — the person fielding the call can connect that caller with an interested aviation-minded person.
Justin told me he most often fields calls from parents of would-be aviators. And he’s already referred a few callers to mentors from the list WPA is putting together.
I’ve written about family friend Sam before. While I don’t think I functioned as a true mentor, I did check in from time to time and poked and prodded. Sam is now a first officer for a regional airline in the midwest. And I couldn’t be prouder of him.
There is no single solution to solving the challenges of aviation. We will continue to share the stories of all types of nextgen programs. And now we will add “The List” to those programs.
So what do you think? Are you willing to add your name to the list?