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National Aviation Day: Spread the joy of flightNational Aviation Day: Spread the joy of flight

National Aviation Day: Spread the joy of flight

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If you're looking for a reason to hang out at your local airport, take a spin around the patch, or introduce a friend to aviation, National Aviation Day, Friday, August 19, provides the perfect opportunity.

"Great strides have been made in aviation since Orville Wright's first flight in 1903. Today, general aviation aircraft range from light sport aircraft like the Piper J-3 Cub to personal jets like the Eclipse 500," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "In America, we also have a unique freedom that keeps GA efficient and affordable, so we certainly have many reasons to celebrate National Aviation Day."

One way to share your love of aviation is find someone who has always wanted to learn to fly. Take them for a flight or arrange a $49 introductory flight through Be A Pilot. You can also become a mentor to a student or potential pilot through AOPA's Project Pilot initiative, which offers a wealth of free resources for mentors and potential pilots alike.

National Aviation Day was first observed in 1939, but why on August 19? It's Orville Wright's birthday. And in honor of the Wrights' contribution to aviation, a celebration will take place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, on Friday. More details are available from the Outer Banks Sentinel .

Make time in your busy schedule this Friday to enjoy your passion for aviation and share it with your family, friends, and community. Take some children up for their first flight, give community members a tour of the airport, or even educate friends about the rich history of aviation in the United States.

But if you can't break away to spend the day at the airport, there are other ways to celebrate. If you work with children, make paper airplanes, give them crayons and paper to draw their own aircraft, or even talk to them about their first airplane ride or what they think flying would be like. AOPA's GA Serving America Web site contains a printable connect-the-dots booklet with 12 aircraft from the Wright Flyer to a space shuttle, and a simple guide that shows how airplanes work.

For those who fly for a living - whether you're a CFI or a Boeing 737 captain - take a moment to educate your passengers about the day, great achievements in aviation, or even why your "office" has the best view in the world.

August 17, 2005

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