May 14, 2004 - While some TV stations were beating up general aviation, other media were telling a pretty great story. Consider this: "Being an airline passenger means costly tickets, long lines, longer delays and a bag of nuts not including the ones seated ahead of, beside and behind you. Being a pilot means go-when-you-want, surprisingly affordable travel to your favorite outdoor destinations." Sounds like a pilot wrote it, right? Wrong. It's the beginning of an article this week in the Houston Chronicle reaching some 540,000 readers in Texas. And the AOPA-supported Be A Pilot program was responsible.
The article details all the advantages of being a pilot, describing flight as the "ultimate personal freedom.... When you travel by private plane, you load whatever you want and leave whenever you want. Your primary concerns are weight and weather, and you know with absolute certainty who will occupy the seat next to you."
This positive article is one of about 100 newspaper and TV stories Be A Pilot has been able to place so far this year. AOPA was one of the original founders of this program to encourage people to learn to fly. It's supported by a wide range of general aviation businesses and organizations. AOPA continues to be one of the largest contributors to Be A Pilot.