Failing Flight Schools. Jeremy Cox of Jetbrokers inc. recently posted an interesting article on GlobalAir.com noting that five flight schools have come and gone from his home airport in St Louis and he noted that none have gone due to a lack of willing students. He also notes that there are approximately 1,500 flight schools operating in the USA and their numbers are declining along with the total ‘pilot population’ there (which is falling at a rate of almost 4% a year). Cox’s article is full of other interesting statistics and commentary and hence, makes an interesting read for anyone concerned about where general aviation and aviation in general may be heading.
The Real World of Business Aviation. And on a related note, General Aviation News is reporting that the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has published a new survey showing that some of the recent portrayals of business aviation are inconsistent with reality (The two associations have also sponsored a public education campaign entitled: No Plane No Gain).
The Flying Fool. On a different note, Paul Tocknell has recently posted on his Ask a Flight Instructor blog a long excerpt from “Safe to Solo – What every young aviator should know” by Frederick M. Reeder and Robert C. Osborn. Although the book was published in 1947, the excerpt includes the following interesting and still relevant passage worth noting:
We used to speak of the “Automatic Eliminator” which got rid of the poor pilots. Not those who were slow learning; those who shouldn’t be flying at all. Perhaps the foolproof plane will help them some, but the “flying fool” is a dangerous breed and should be avoided like the plague.
Remember that about 80 percent of all aviation accidents are caused by pilot error. Sometimes accidents can’t be avoided. However, if you are alert and understand what you are doing, you can probably avoid them entirely. If you go around showing off in your plane, your chances of having an aviation accident increased immeasurably – leave it alone.
Military and Aviation Related Museums in Italy. For fans of military aviation, David Cenciotti has posted a detailed article and pictures recounting a visit to the Piana delle Orme (which is located near Borgo Faiti some 90 kilometers south of Rome) – a historical park where visitors will find an interesting collection of aircraft, tanks, locomotives, carts, models, weapons and radios. In addition, David also has another interesting post about visiting the The Anzio Beachhead Museum or Il Museo dello Sbarco di Anzio (which is located at Anzio some 57 kilometers to the southwest of Rome). Both museums look well worth a visit the next time you find yourself in Italy.
Duxford. And on a related note, Rodney of Rodney’s Aviation Ramblings has posted numerous pictures of historic aircraft from his trip to Duxford in the UK. His latest batch of pictures are of aircraft awaiting restoration.
Cessna’s Deposit Amplifier Program. On a different note and should you be in the market for a new aircraft, Cessna has recently announced a “deposit amplifier” program that will last until the end of the year and will add US$30,000 to a deposit on a retail order for any qualifying new Cessna 182 or Turbo 182 Skylane single-engine piston aircraft.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Female Pilots or Would-be Pilots. And finally for female pilots or would be pilots out there, General Aviation News has posted a book review of “Flying Above the Glass Ceiling” which was written by a retired professional female pilot (Nina Anderson). In addition, the You Fly Girl blog has posted a press release from Powder Puff Pilot products (which specializes in designing and selling products targeted to women pilots) which announces a new line of pink aviation headsets. Either the book or the headsets would make a great Christmas gift for any female pilot or would-be pilot out there.