We’re spoiled, myself included. When I came into this world, the modern age of powered flight was already something everyone took for granted. Carry 500 passengers? No problem. Supersonic flight? Absolutely. Fly to the moon? Sure, why not? It’s no wonder we’ve become a little jaded.
We're lucky to live in a time not only of air travel, but safe air travel. Design engineers with a passion for excellence and exploration continue to scrape at the edges of commercial aviation trying to take another giant leap. And we’re the beneficiaries.
Then there’s general aviation: ultralights, amateur-built and vintage planes, gliders, and small and light sport aircraft. What keeps it all going and going and going? Pilots! Pilots build aviation because they fly. They fly because they love it. Through countless hours of learning and practice, what started as a dream for them is a reality.
Pilots also share. General aviation continues to touch people’s lives because pilots share the joy of flying with passengers and students. Without them, we might still be contemplating flight from outside our own caves like the earliest earthlings, wondering what it was like to fly and how the world looks from up there.
This Thanksgiving, thank a pilot. Better yet, hug a pilot. Thank them for their hours of study and practice to stay current in skills and regs. Thank them for keeping up with their FAA medical exams. Thank them for those cold mornings when you got to have a cup of coffee while they did their aircraft walkarounds. Pilots are the lifeblood of general aviation. Let’s show them some love.
P.S. If you don’t know a pilot, stop by. I’ll introduce you to one or five.