USA Today's editorial writers are no fans of general aviation, but reporters writing for the "Money" section of the national newspaper certainly understand the value of GA to business people and the national economy.
"Encouraged by a growing economy and a generally favorable business climate, many business people - particularly those who live far from a big-city hub - are realizing that piloting their own planes saves time and, in some cases, money," wrote reporter Gary Stoller in a recent cover story.
He found something else interesting, too; being a pilot helps build business relationships - particularly for women.
Stoller profiled seven business people-pilots, including California landscape architect Katie O'Reilly Rogers. She said she works in a male-dominated industry. "When I go to a job site, it takes awhile to gain their confidence," Rogers told USA Today. But when I say I've flown in on my plane, they say, 'OK, lady, we can take you seriously.'"
Another entrepreneur, Gary Gongola of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, says his Mooney Ovation helps him serve his customers better and that his company's sales have skyrocketed since he started using the aircraft.
The article also quotes AOPA President Phil Boyer and AOPA Media Relations Director Chris Dancy.In fact, the story was the result of AOPA Project Pilot efforts, your association's multi-pronged campaign to strengthen general aviation by encouraging more people to learn to fly. One prong is outreach to the media, to place the kind of stories that appeared in USA Today.
January 24, 2007