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Author Topic: U.S. Pilot Numbers Dip Below 600,000  (Read 9139 times)
A.Member
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« on: January 29, 2007, 01:35:16 PM »

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/13_04a/briefs/Pilot_Numbers_Dip_194276-1.html

From the article:
Quote
Despite aggressive action -- including a whole new certificate classification -- to attract more people to flying, the number of certificated pilots in the U.S. dropped to 597,109, according to year-end preliminary stats released by the FAA. Rather than attract new pilots, the new Sport Pilot certificate appears to be extending the flying activity of older pilots.

Some numbers to ponder:

Average age of all pilots = 45.6 years
Average age of sport pilots (only 939) = 52.9 years
Average age of student pilot = 34.4 years
Average age of instuctors = 45.2 years

Total instructors = 91,343 pilots

ATP = 144,681
Commercial = 130,234
Private = 236,147
Recreational = 242
Student = 84,866
Rotor rating = 41,306

I find these numbers rather concerning.  Given that one of our missions is to promote aviation, how can we help?  We can help lead the way in turning these numbers around.

First, we must understand why the numbers are falling.  Certainly, a great deal must be atttributed to economics.  Over the past couple decades, the cost of flying has increased considerably.  How do we overcome that hurdle? 

In addition, how can we invigorate our youth?  Another post mentioned aerospace focused Magnet schools, such as this one:
http://farnsworth.spps.org/

What else can be done? 

The FAA and AOPA sugget this as a partial solution:
Project Pilot Mentor

Some critical thinking and innovation is needed here.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 02:35:52 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
afgeo4
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2007, 02:14:07 PM »

What about extending our flight academies to senior members? The cost is greately reduced by having instructors who are our members donating their time. The cost of our aircraft is also low. I know first hand that many adults who are initially interested CAP are interested because they think we can help them learn how to fly and get them licensed. They are primarily interested for 2 reasons:
1. Lower costs.
2. Centralized location (aircraft, instructors, other students, follow-on training, and someone to come to with questions, all in house).
3. Most are willing to donate time to our missions after completing the flight training.

I know many current senior members would be very happy to participate in something like this as well. It would also start to solve our in-house pilot shortage issue and attract a demographic of senior members we rarely get... the low to middle class 20 to 40 years of age.
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GEORGE LURYE
carnold1836
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Pegasus Composite Squadron
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2007, 03:06:28 PM »

I started this like an hour and a half ago so it might be redundant at this point but here it is.

A solution to get more cadets and/or sr. officers interested is some how counteract the cost prohibitive nature of getting one's ticket.

Now this is just off the cuff pulled out of the air. But why not contact the different aerospace companies and see what they would be willing to offer in the form of sponsorship of flight academies, both cadet and sr. officers. I'm not talking full funding by any means but if we could some how get flight academy tuition to be less than say $250.00 for a session with several sessions available each year. Also allow the use of CAP aircraft at a reasonable (read subsidized) rate for flight hours.

I know that there is something in place now about FBOs not getting their fair share or some such noise, or people being worried about people joining just to get the wings cheap then leave, but we are smart people I'm sure something can be figured out for both of those issues.

Hey just my $.02
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Chris Arnold, 1st Lt, CAP
Pegasus Composite Squadron
DNall
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 03:08:02 PM »

What about extending our flight academies to senior members? The cost is greately reduced by having instructors who are our members donating their time. The cost of our aircraft is also low. I know first hand that many adults who are initially interested CAP are interested because they think we can help them learn how to fly and get them licensed. They are primarily interested for 2 reasons:
1. Lower costs.
2. Centralized location (aircraft, instructors, other students, follow-on training, and someone to come to with questions, all in house).
3. Most are willing to donate time to our missions after completing the flight training.

I know many current senior members would be very happy to participate in something like this as well. It would also start to solve our in-house pilot shortage issue and attract a demographic of senior members we rarely get... the low to middle class 20 to 40 years of age.

Small matter there of an FAA restriction against CAP conducting flight training of adults & taking business from flight schools. Also, a lot of those volunteer CFIs aren't going to volunteer to teach adults, in fact almost none of them would. I think they'd work for less pay, & maybe cold beer, but not free. The key is working with FAA on how to relax the restriction on using our planes for the task. If you can get that done, then you need to be real careful about the dynamic you create. You still can't take people off the street or that's all they'll be there for & flight schools will be out of business, thereby making the problem worse.

I do think economics is THE key issue to this problem & I don't think any amount of education can fix it. There's no shortage of people that want to fly, but people with several grand in disposable income to toss at such a hobby & no bigger priority in their lives are in a bit shorter supply. I don't know what you can do about it. The  standards are there for safety & shouldn't be toyed with. The flight schools & CFIs aren't making a killing. The aircraft prices are higher than I like. I mean survey the population & ask them if they'd rather go out & buy a new Ferarri or a Cessna, how you think that's going to come out? The biggest thing is fuels though. Man if you can realistically fix national gas prices any time soon I'm pretty sure you can get elected king. I just don't see a solution there, innovative or otherwise.

I'm all for working with AFA, AOPA, FAA, & NASA (like to buy an "A") to advance AE targeted at this issue, but I don't see it helping even as much as a drop in the bucket.
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A.Member
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2007, 03:24:51 PM »

Thinking "out loud" here...

As it relates to economics, there are a lot of different scholarships available by numerous organizations.  They vary in size.  Often times, our own cadets don't take advantage of these.   We can do a better job of staying updated on these opportunities and promoting them to our cadets.

At the same time, can we raise awareness to other organizations/companies to provide scholarships (increase the pool)?  By raising awareness to the general public and by targeting specific companies perhaps we can develop a supplement to the costs involved.  The key is to "sell" the benefits of doing (i.e. why should company XYZ establish/help fund such a program - what do they get out of it?).

How can we help shift the mindset from "buying a Ferrari" to flying a Cessna?  How do we help create/reinforce the desire and romance of flying?

As to the "Senior Flight Academy" idea, I kind of like it.  Whether it takes the student all the way through their first solo or if it's in some other form could be another discussion.  Regardless, the only major concern I have is that we'd have to reign the program in very tightly for adults.  We'd need to ensure it doesn't further the flying club mentality - and that is easier said than done.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 04:24:38 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
carnold1836
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Pegasus Composite Squadron
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2007, 03:49:26 PM »

Well if we ever get to the point where Sr Officers get the opportunity to get their private rating through the CAP (after jumping through all the flaming hoops!) have some minimum requirements, such as Capt and MO rating. This way someone doesn't join in May goes to the flight academy to get solo rating and then uses his/her status as a CAP member to get into a flying club somewhere on the cheap (apparently that is happening in some locations).

Again just some thoughts.
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Chris Arnold, 1st Lt, CAP
Pegasus Composite Squadron
JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 04:22:45 PM »

Call me a rebel, but...

I don't see any percentage to having officers learn to fly through CAP.  If we get intop the flight instruction business, in addition to getting all the local flight schools PO'ed at us, we will train people who will disappear after they get their licenses.

Add a mandatory membership period for flight candidates, and we will have ghosts until their mandatory membership period is over, then they will disappear.

If I had it to do... I'd establish semi-permanent cadet academies around the country.  I'd put the CAP C-172's there, and make pilot training a coveted goal of the cadet program.  Do good earning your Mitchell, look good to a selection board, and spend a month or two living in a barracks under strict military discipline reminiscent of the old Aviation Cadet program, and at the end of the encampment, you get wings pinned on you.

I'd like to see 100 new private pilots a year.  That would re-vitalize the cadet program, and add young pilots to the GA ranks.
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Another former CAP officer
A.Member
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2007, 04:47:17 PM »

More thoughts...

Rather than looking at a senior flight academy as "teaching them to fly", how about more of an incentive program?  Not unlike o-flights?  Perhaps we can assist in securing financing (low/no interest loans)?

How about working with USAF to get some incentive rides for cadets in something "cool", like the Wagon or a Mud Hen (even a Tweet or Talon)?  Perhaps if a cadet obtains a certain level they become eligible, x-number each year are chosen (ex. every Spaatz award gets one).  In the real AF, incentive rides are offered to crew chiefs, AFA cadets lobby squadrons for them (there was actually a funny e-mail about this making the rounds a few weeks ago), even the media is afforded the opportunity for incentive rides.  SUPTFC is the closest we have, can we build upon/supplement that great opportunity?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 05:00:56 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
BillB
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 04:49:04 PM »

John....In Florida this was considered. Place the C-172's at the Keystone heights Airport and have the cadets stay in barracks at Camp Blanding (there is a back road from Blanding to the airport, the airport used to be part of Blanding). Somewhere I have the figures that 25 cadets could be run through a two week program to get a minimum of solo rating.
Another plan was for cadets to do all of their ground school in local areas (Squadrons or Groups over a couple of weekends, then have flight training on three weekends at a central location. This cut the costs almost in half over the two week concept.
The current SER Commander, while a cadet went through a two week flight encampment at a public airport in Miami with the cadets billeted at Homestead AFB. The cost back then was about $700 for the 2 weeks and flight training.
The problem....finding CFI's to train cadets.
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Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104
DNall
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2007, 05:18:24 PM »

we run a pretty successful wing flight academy in Texas each year. Capacity is 20. Cost is about $1100 which doesn't gurantee solo of course, but should get them close. We used to have 5x$500 scholarships each year to help cover it & a couple more each year from dedlian & other type orgs that weren't consistent from year to year. None of this would be possible for adults though. MAYBE subsidised loans, but try getting that thru congress. You know there's a VA reimbursment program floating around too.
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A.Member
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2007, 05:21:56 PM »

MAYBE subsidised loans, but try getting that thru congress.
Maybe we, as an organization don't supply the loans necessarily, but, by raising awareness to various corporations, we convince "someone" to offer them?  Of course, as with anything, it's the "convincing" part that is most difficult.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 05:58:59 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
DNall
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2007, 07:31:13 PM »

MAYBE subsidised loans, but try getting that thru congress.
Maybe we, as an organization don't supply the loans necessarily, but, by raising awareness to various corporations, we convince "someone" to offer them?  Of course, as with anything, it's the "convincing" part that is most difficult.
I was thinking morew the format of federally gurnatted student loans. You know so a bank actually issues it & if you default the govt picks it up, which keeps the interest rate real low & govt has broad ability to squash you if you don't pay up. I just don't see Congress syaing of all the national priorities we have that helping people (CAP members or not) become pilots is in the spectrum of things we HAVE to do.
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A.Member
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2007, 07:43:11 PM »

I was thinking morew the format of federally gurnatted student loans. You know so a bank actually issues it & if you default the govt picks it up, which keeps the interest rate real low & govt has broad ability to squash you if you don't pay up. I just don't see Congress syaing of all the national priorities we have that helping people (CAP members or not) become pilots is in the spectrum of things we HAVE to do.
Maybe not but then again I wouldn't look to the government to solve any problem. :P ;)  One thing is for certain though, no one will know it's an issue if it isn't brought to their attention.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 08:32:44 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
DNall
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2007, 08:13:56 PM »

Granted. There's already financing programs out there, but they don't do anything to cut down the 8 grand to PPL. I mean really, I don't think the dif between 2.5 & 6% is stopping anyone from going that route. I don't think you're going to get taxpayer dollars thrown at individuals (especially adults) getting a pilot's license. I mean who gets that & who doesn't. I'm sure the manufactures would love to help with programs that create new customers, as would AOPA... I just don't know if they can throw enough money at the problem.

Nah, I think the best thing you can do is cite those numbers back to FAA & ask them if there's any circumstance under which we could do adult instruction for our members if we limit it to a certain number per year in each state by population or something like that. They MIGHT be willing to budge under some real tight rules. At least runa  test case one year & see how that goes.
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carnold1836
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Pegasus Composite Squadron
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2007, 08:19:37 PM »

I want to be one of the first on that list for TXWG. I want my ticket so badly I can taste it, but in no way am I even close to being able to afford even the sport pilot rating. :-\
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Chris Arnold, 1st Lt, CAP
Pegasus Composite Squadron
RiverAux
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« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2007, 08:24:02 PM »

I had thought I read last year that pilot numbers were actually on the increase?  Maybe that was the number of registered planes?  Any historical trend data available for either?
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A.Member
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« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2007, 11:23:33 PM »

Granted. There's already financing programs out there, but they don't do anything to cut down the 8 grand to PPL. I mean really, I don't think the dif between 2.5 & 6% is stopping anyone from going that route. I don't think you're going to get taxpayer dollars thrown at individuals (especially adults) getting a pilot's license. I mean who gets that & who doesn't. I'm sure the manufactures would love to help with programs that create new customers, as would AOPA... I just don't know if they can throw enough money at the problem.

Nah, I think the best thing you can do is cite those numbers back to FAA & ask them if there's any circumstance under which we could do adult instruction for our members if we limit it to a certain number per year in each state by population or something like that. They MIGHT be willing to budge under some real tight rules. At least runa  test case one year & see how that goes.
In all honesty, while I think it'd be great to get seniors involved, my greater concern is getting younger people involved (college-age and under) in aerospace.  The ages cited in my original post don't paint a very bright picture.
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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
DNall
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2007, 12:07:14 AM »

You're 16-25 & want a pilots license, go wash planes at a flight school to work it off. I know at least half a dozen people done it that way, more than any CAP program. You want to go the CAP or traditional route, there's scholarships laying around all over the place. Hell you can mow a couple yards each weekend for a year & pay for the CAP route. It's not hard. Our cadets have plenty of opportunities if they're driven, that being a pretty important aspect of getting thru the training. Every other kid in the world faces the same time & economic restrictions as everyone else.
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afgeo4
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2007, 12:19:42 AM »

Is CAP not allowed to instruct ANY adults in their aircraft?  Not even people who are CAP members?
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GEORGE LURYE
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Michael Kieloch, Marketing Communications & PR Leadership
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2007, 12:27:06 AM »

Is CAP not allowed to instruct ANY adults in their aircraft?  Not even people who are CAP members?

My simple understanding of it is:

No, CAP airplanes are not for hire in that manner and CAP Senior Members can't train for their PPL in CAP aircraft.  CAP SMs Pilots (read: already a qualified pilot with their PPL) can, however, receive instruction in the CAP aircraft towards higher and other ratings.
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Michael F. Kieloch, Maj, CAP
Concord Composite Squadron, NH       
RiverAux
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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2007, 12:34:49 AM »

These various FAA rulings specifically contradict one of the purposes of CAP set out in federal law:
Quote
(2) To provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members.

Seems to me Congress wanted us to provide aviation training to senior members as well as cadet members.  I don't see anything limiting that to only providing primary flight training to cadets.  That has got to trump any FAA interpretations...
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JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2007, 01:32:26 AM »

Is CAP not allowed to instruct ANY adults in their aircraft?  Not even people who are CAP members?

My simple understanding of it is:

No, CAP airplanes are not for hire in that manner and CAP Senior Members can't train for their PPL in CAP aircraft.  CAP SMs Pilots (read: already a qualified pilot with their PPL) can, however, receive instruction in the CAP aircraft towards higher and other ratings.

The only exception is gliders.  An officer can get basic private ticket instruction in a CAP glider.
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Another former CAP officer
A.Member
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« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2007, 01:56:45 AM »

You're 16-25 & want a pilots license, go wash planes at a flight school to work it off. I know at least half a dozen people done it that way, more than any CAP program. You want to go the CAP or traditional route, there's scholarships laying around all over the place. Hell you can mow a couple yards each weekend for a year & pay for the CAP route. It's not hard. Our cadets have plenty of opportunities if they're driven, that being a pretty important aspect of getting thru the training. Every other kid in the world faces the same time & economic restrictions as everyone else.
You've lost me here.  The idea of AE, one of our primary missions, is to promote aerospace.  Based on the numbers, there is a lot of work to be done in this area. 

However, if I'm reading your post correctly, your solution is to throw up your hands and say "get a job"?  Not sure how that helps the situation.  Please correct me if I've misread what you wrote. 

No one is talking a free lunch here.  I'm talking developing interest at the basic level.  It certainly can mushroom from there.  You mention scholarships, I brought this up in one of the early posts as well.  The problem is that many of the scholarships go undelivered for the simple reason that cadets aren't applying for them.  AFA does a great job with funding these, yet, we have to pull teeth to get anyone to apply.  That's where the shift in mindset is needed.   
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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
carnold1836
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Pegasus Composite Squadron
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2007, 11:02:12 AM »

Basically due to my ignorance on this subject, I am fairly new to all this. Where do I find info on this AFA scholarship for flight academies people keep bouncing around. Also other scholarships/sponsorships get talked about as well, info on those would be good as well.

My son will by 16 in '08, I think that is the min age for flight encampment, and I do believe he has the bug for flight just as I do. He loves going on o-rides, even if it is just back seat. I think it would be neat for him to start on his ticket.

I still think there is enough brain power in CAP and this cyber squadron in particular to be able to come up with a way to Sr Officers flight training at a greatly reduced cost as well.

Heck we have enough brains to put warp technology on the map!! ::)
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Chris Arnold, 1st Lt, CAP
Pegasus Composite Squadron
A.Member
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2007, 11:26:15 AM »

Where do I find info on this AFA scholarship for flight academies people keep bouncing around. Also other scholarships/sponsorships get talked about as well, info on those would be good as well.
Off the top of my head, a few places to look...

http://www.afa.org/aef/default.asp?pm=asg

http://www.youngeagles.com/programs/scholarships/

http://flighttraining.aopa.org/learntofly/financing/scholarships.cfm

http://www.aviationeducation.org/html/scholarshipsandawards/scholarshipsandawards.htm

http://www.faa.gov/education_research/education/student_resources/scholarships_grants/index.cfm





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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
DNall
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« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2007, 01:37:17 PM »

You're 16-25 & want a pilots license, go wash planes at a flight school to work it off. I know at least half a dozen people done it that way, more than any CAP program. You want to go the CAP or traditional route, there's scholarships laying around all over the place. Hell you can mow a couple yards each weekend for a year & pay for the CAP route. It's not hard. Our cadets have plenty of opportunities if they're driven, that being a pretty important aspect of getting thru the training. Every other kid in the world faces the same time & economic restrictions as everyone else.
You've lost me here.  The idea of AE, one of our primary missions, is to promote aerospace.  Based on the numbers, there is a lot of work to be done in this area. 

However, if I'm reading your post correctly, your solution is to throw up your hands and say "get a job"?  Not sure how that helps the situation.  Please correct me if I've misread what you wrote. 

No one is talking a free lunch here.  I'm talking developing interest at the basic level.  It certainly can mushroom from there.  You mention scholarships, I brought this up in one of the early posts as well.  The problem is that many of the scholarships go undelivered for the simple reason that cadets aren't applying for them.  AFA does a great job with funding these, yet, we have to pull teeth to get anyone to apply.  That's where the shift in mindset is needed.   
I believe we were specifically speaking about the decline in pilot numbers & how we can get more of our members rated, and secondarily more of th egeneral public. I hate to tell you this, but AE doesn't involve giving people a PPL for free, or anything to do with being pilot at all for that matter.

We want strong Aerospace in the US. That means manufactures, airlines, commercial flying, people traveling by air, public support for got assistance to local & regional airports, aviation safety, & most of all public support for strong airpower compenents in all branches of the military & particularly the AF. While a national decline in pilots MAY be an indicator of not doing well in that mission, it isn't in itself the mission.

If adults want to be pilots, there are financing options out there. We MAY be able to get some outside help with that financing as a benefit of membership, but it'll still be expensive & once you're rated it'll be economically limiting just like it is for everyone else. If you're a kid & want to be a pilot - I mean really want to, not having a little whim that you ight like to toy with a bit, but you're actually committed & driven - then there are lots of very affordable options out there that you parents might be willing to invest on, or you can earn some money & pay for it yourself, no dif than saving or working for a car.
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A.Member
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« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2007, 04:03:23 PM »

I believe we were specifically speaking about the decline in pilot numbers & how we can get more of our members rated, and secondarily more of th egeneral public. I hate to tell you this, but AE doesn't involve giving people a PPL for free, or anything to do with being pilot at all for that matter.
No, while that was part of the conversation, that really wasnít the point at all.  And again, no one, other than yourself, is talking about providing free tickets here.  Iím not really certain I understand why you brought that up again.

In reading back, it appears I didnít make the point very clear but the purpose was to state that the interest in GA, and aviation as a whole, appears to be at risk.  Actual numbers illustrating the decrease in pilots were used as evidence to this.  The average ages of these pilots is also indicates that perhaps there are not enough young people taking part.  In addition, we have GA airports disappearing in the middle of the night and the NIMBY crowd opposing any further expansion.  Iíd argue that much of this is not understood by most people Ė or maybe they donít care.  So, to counter this, what can we as an organization do to help change this trend?  That indeed is part of the AE mission.

We want strong Aerospace in the US. That means manufactures, airlines, commercial flying, people traveling by air, public support for got assistance to local & regional airports, aviation safety, & most of all public support for strong airpower compenents in all branches of the military & particularly the AF. While a national decline in pilots MAY be an indicator of not doing well in that mission, it isn't in itself the mission.
Based on some of your statements, you appear to be looking at AE in a very narrow scope.  In reality, the objective of AE is quite broad. 
Quote
Aerospace Education is defined as that branch of general education concerned with communicating knowledge, skills, and attitudes about aerospace activities and the total impact of air and space vehicles upon society.

The goal of the AE program as stated is:
Quote
To provide an organization to encourage and aid American citizens in contributing their efforts, services, and resources in developing aviation and in maintaining air supremacy.
and
Quote
To provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members.

Further:
Quote
CAP members are obligated to involve themselves in aerospace education. Members are required to:
(1) Be informed on aerospace developments and issues.
(2) Speak out on aerospace matters at appropriate formal occasions and during informal daily contacts.
(3) Share aerospace knowledge and experiences with other CAP members and the general public.

It was never implied that the purpose of AE was to get every member a ticket.  And while getting more of our members tickets certainly could be a goal (see the goals listed above), I wouldnít get too wrapped around the axle over it.  What was implied is that sharing the experience of flight with a greater number of people certainly could be a way to help improve the situation. 

The basic thought is that by increasing overall interest and enthusiasm for aviation in our cadets, not to mention our communities, weíll see an increase in pilot numbers.  The current approach (whatever that is) does not appear to be effective.  Easing the economic burden of obtaining a certificate was suggested as only one way to help address the issue.  In no way was it ever implied that there arenít other aspects to AE or ways to also address the issue.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 04:11:24 PM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
DNall
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Posts: 3,721

« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2007, 04:21:29 PM »

If you'll look, two-thirds of this thread w/ post by pretty well everyone focus on getting peopel ticketed, epscifically focused on our members firs t& the general public as an after thought.

I understand the overall objectives of AE & that this data is to an extent an indicator that the public is less interested in on aspect of aviation - ie actually being the pilot themselves. It however is not derteminative of the overall public understanding of aviation as a critical part of US dominance in the world. To the extent you want to look at this factor you have to ask if the public isn't getting enough education to fire them up about aviation, or if it's another factor, like economics, that prevents more people from taking part.

You also have to ask yourself WHY this mission is tasked to us by Congress & the AF. That's important because it shapes how you interpret each of those statements you quoted. What does the AF gain by our doing this? What desperately important thing does Congress want accomplished thru this program? You have to answer those for yourself before you can decide what AE (or anything about CAP for that matter) is about, cause they didn't put it there for fun.

I've been quite involved w/ AE in the past, done AE workshops at schools, been to a couple NCASEs & spent a lot of time with Scott Crossfield at those. That's one of the opportunities CAP has given me that I greatly treasure. I'm not an AE officer though & wouldn't know how to be one. I don't personally care about flying other than as a mode of transportation or to put steal on target. I know the AE mission is important, but it requires an expert that I'm not. I've made contributions there to the extent of my knowledge & ability, and I've applied my personal expertise to the other areas where it better applies.

Also, just as a point of order:
Quote
To provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members.
Does NOT mean pilot training. It means AE. Pilot training may fall into that as one meager & optional way of contributing to that, but it is not what the statement is about.
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lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,649

« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2007, 04:54:17 PM »

I find these numbers rather concerning.  Given that one of our missions is to promote aviation, how can we help?  We can help lead the way in turning these numbers around.

Allow instruction for SMs and cadets in CAP aircraft?

One of the major factors is cost.  What 21 year old has $5-8K needed to pay for flight school.  But we got a lot of CFIs and CAP planes.

Also encourage and budget for cadet flight training (not just o-rides).
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
A.Member
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,615

« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2007, 05:07:29 PM »

You also have to ask yourself WHY this mission is tasked to us by Congress & the AF. That's important because it shapes how you interpret each of those statements you quoted. What does the AF gain by our doing this? What desperately important thing does Congress want accomplished thru this program? You have to answer those for yourself before you can decide what AE (or anything about CAP for that matter) is about, cause they didn't put it there for fun.
Actually, we don't really need to ask the question.  Direction is already provided for us.  Not only in the statements I quoted earlier but also in the following statement from the AE Handbook:
Quote
In the early years of the 21st century, America's aerospace industry is facing some tough challenges. Experienced aerospace industry workers are aging, averaging over 50 years of age.  Meanwhile, the number of college graduates with science and engineering degrees going into aerospace careers is declining significantly.  What can America do?

We, in Civil Air Patrol, play an important role in this aerospace dilemma. We have the expertise and the products to make a huge difference for our organization and for our country. It doesn't take us long to realize the importance of aviation and space knowledge and the positive impact that knowledge can have on our nation. It all starts with our children, with our CAP units and with America's schools. From the very beginning of their education, students need to be exposed to the wonders of aerospace...
As I mentioned, IMO your view seems too narrowly focused.  You don't need to read into things so much, rather, you can take them at face value.  

Also, just as a point of order:
Quote
To provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members.
... It means AE. Pilot training may fall into that as one...optional way of contributing to that...
That's essentially what I said earlier.  

Curious as to why you have such an apparent objection to the concept of promoting aerospace - whether it be helping more people get a ticket or simply raising awareness of aviation's importance amongst our kids and community?  So, you don't want more people to get their tickets, fair enough.  What can/should we do to increase overall interest?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 11:57:34 AM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,967

« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2007, 06:20:01 PM »

Quote
Does NOT mean pilot training. It means AE. Pilot training may fall into that as one meager & optional way of contributing to that, but it is not what the statement is about.

"aviation training" seems very clear to me.  Keep in mind that at the time that was written it wasn't too far in the past that CAP was providing primary flight instruction to tens of thousands of people. 

I'm certainly not saying that this should be a major focus of CAP, but I think restrictions placed on senior member flight training by the FAA run afoul of this law. 
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afgeo4
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Posts: 1,566

« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2007, 12:21:23 PM »

Can CAP provide grants and assistance to flight schools who become AE members in order to promote flight training for CAP Officers and adults in general? What about providing flight scholarships for such officers?

I think if we had better official relationships with flight schools we might end up recruiting more qualified pilots and offer new pilots a place to fly cheaper and for a purpose.
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GEORGE LURYE
afgeo4
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,566

« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2007, 12:28:21 PM »

I'd hate to tell you this guys, but most high school students that graduate today take basic physics. Those who do, understand basic principles of flight, be it soaring, powered, or rocket propulsion. In fact, nuclear powered flight is mentioned in today's texbooks.

We can no longer target students graduating from HS as people who don't know much about aerospace. They do. We do target kids who are younger and do it well. In fact, we are moving lower and lower in age. However, how will that help us if these young adults will end their air and space exploration at the same time they graduate from HS? I think we need to make sure that young adults in college and afterwards fall in love with flying, not flight concepts. People learn about what they like, not the other way around. 

Example: I learned calculus and I still can't stand it. I loved cooking and taking cooking classes was a blast!

Get it?  Make them love flying and then teach them about it. Not the other way around.
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GEORGE LURYE
flyguy06
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Posts: 2,195

« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2007, 02:25:56 PM »

The only issue with training in CAP aircraft is getting CFI's dedicated enough to give consistant training for free. You are going to ask a guy to train you to fly on his time for free. Remember a CFI is a professional. Would you ask a Doctor to give you a check up for free? Would you ask a lawyer to repreent you in court for free? They do a little bit here and there when they can find time. But a full out program. That will be hard to fine.
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lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,649

« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2007, 03:29:09 PM »

The only issue with training in CAP aircraft is getting CFI's dedicated enough to give consistant training for free. You are going to ask a guy to train you to fly on his time for free. Remember a CFI is a professional. Would you ask a Doctor to give you a check up for free? Would you ask a lawyer to repreent you in court for free? They do a little bit here and there when they can find time. But a full out program. That will be hard to fine.

But when a CFI joins CAP...there should not be any (or not too many anyway) restricitons on him if he wants to donate his time for free.  This is no different when we ask a minister to be a CAP chaplain, a doctor to be a mission base medical officer or a lawyer to take up JA duties.

An ideal squadron should have a training guy in the operations/stand eval section....and it would be idea for that individual to be a CFI.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
DNall
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« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2007, 05:06:47 PM »

Just that pesky thing with the FAA so flight schools can stay in business, that prevents us from using CAP planes. Now if a CFI in CAP or otherwise wants to teach you for free in a non-CAP plane, then have at it. I thnk what you'll find though is VERY few CFIs are willing to donate that service for adults. Kids are one thing, but this is their job & adults have jobs they can pay for training with.
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flyguy06
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,195

« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2007, 09:54:07 PM »

The only issue with training in CAP aircraft is getting CFI's dedicated enough to give consistant training for free. You are going to ask a guy to train you to fly on his time for free. Remember a CFI is a professional. Would you ask a Doctor to give you a check up for free? Would you ask a lawyer to repreent you in court for free? They do a little bit here and there when they can find time. But a full out program. That will be hard to fine.

But when a CFI joins CAP...there should not be any (or not too many anyway) restricitons on him if he wants to donate his time for free.  This is no different when we ask a minister to be a CAP chaplain, a doctor to be a mission base medical officer or a lawyer to take up JA duties.

An ideal squadron should have a training guy in the operations/stand eval section....and it would be idea for that individual to be a CFI.

Oh, I agree there should be no restriction by CAP. I am just saying it will be hard to find a CAP CFI willing to devote a entire tsining program to someone. He maight fly with you a few times a month, but 40 hours? I dont see that.
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aerospace Education  |  Topic: U.S. Pilot Numbers Dip Below 600,000
 


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