Calling it "a new job crucial to the future of general aviation," AOPA President Phil Boyer introduced Drew Steketee as the new, full-time president and CEO of "Be A Pilot," the aviation industry program to attract more student pilots. Steketee has been AOPA's senior vice president of communications for the past nine years.
Boyer told the AOPA Expo 2000 luncheon audience about a mysterious "Factor X" that predicted the health of the GA industry. When Factor X went down, everything from new and used aircraft registrations to fuel consumption went down. Then he revealed that Factor X is the number of new students starting flight training. Be A Pilot's goal is to encourage more than 100,000 people a year to start flight training.
Steketee debuted on the Expo stage a new, computer-driven interactive kiosk to tell people more about flying and learning to fly. The kiosk will be set up in aviation museums, shopping malls, and other locations.
"We need to reach out to today's generation, which is very different from the past," said Steketee. "And I want to be the 'Johnny Appleseed' of learning to fly."
Steketee said he was proud of AOPA's role in doing the original research that led to the formation of Be A Pilot, and of AOPA's continuing role in leading the industry.
October 20, 2000