December 18, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
General aviation speaker and pilot Ravi “The Raviator” is launching a national outreach effort designed to stimulate and inspire the pilot community. The first event will take place Jan. 23 at Riverside Municipal Airport, hosted by California Baptist University's Flight Operations Center.
Ravi, who joined AOPA as a student pilot in April 2008, was inspired to create the tour after reading about Boeing's predicted pilot shortage of 460,000 by 2031, the FAA's reported 41-percent decline in private pilot certificate issuance over the past decade, and AOPA's 80-percent student dropout statistic.
He has created a three-part presentation for the tour. The flight school presentation, "You Can Do It—Rejuvenate Aviation," focuses on observations from the customer's point of view and offers solutions to problems of student acquisition and retention.
The high school presentation, "You Can Do It—Live Your Dream," is a multimedia presentation showcasing science, technology, engineering, and math education through aviation, and also that doing well in school and working hard enables one to live his or her dreams. The public presentation, "You Can Do It—Learn to Fly," is a multimedia presentation in which Ravi shares his personal journey from the top of the music industry to the left seat of an airplane, and paints the path for the audience to make their own transition into flight.
“It's not about bringing people to aviation, but bringing aviation to people,” Ravi said in a press release. He also plans to target women and minorities in order to increase their presence in GA. Presentations also will take place in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas.
The events, coordinated with help from the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), are being sponsored by Sporty's Foundation, Lightspeed Aviation Foundation, and Sennheiser Aviation.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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