AOPA President Phil Boyer has been named the new chairman of the general aviation industry's Be A Pilot program.
"AOPA was instrumental in founding the Be A Pilot project in 1996. It's an honor to be named chairman of a successful effort that continues to work to build the pilot population during a period that has seen troubled times for general aviation," Boyer said. "AOPA is an enthusiastic supporter of this program to encourage more people to learn how to fly.
"With the time required for airline travel today, more and more people should be turning to general aviation—and learning to fly—in support of their personal and business travel."
More than 1,700 flight schools participate in the Be A Pilot program that features a $49 certificate for the all-important introductory flying lesson. (That first flight can be logged toward earning a pilot certificate.)
Last year, in spite of the problems flight schools had following the 9-11 tragedy, almost 33,000 people requested the $49 introductory flight coupon. In addition, last year Be A Pilot introduced a nationwide public relations campaign that produced numerous TV, radio, magazine, and newspaper stories about the benefits of learning to fly.
The Be A Pilot Web site explains every aspect of learning to fly with an online virtual flight, a guide to locating a flight school, a look at aviation careers, and more.
Be A Pilot has also produced targeted cable television advertising to inform viewers about the benefits of general aviation and invited them to start flying. Sponsors of Be A Pilot include AOPA and other trade organizations, aircraft and equipment manufacturers, aviation businesses, and aviation publications.
Boyer previously was the organization's first president for four years, and most recently Communications Committee chairman. Boyer succeeds Hal Shevers, Sporty's founder and chairman, as Be A Pilot chairman.