The entrance to the aviation community isn’t always a hangar door. More than ever, pilots, student pilots, and potential pilots are connecting through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
“As the airport fences get higher, and it gets tougher for people interested in aviation to find mentors in traditional ways, social media channels have opened up new ways for people on the outside, to connect to people inside the aviation community,” said Rod Rakic, co-founder of aviation social network site myTransponder, who hosted a panel discussion at the meetup area at AOPA Aviation Summit. The panelists, who each use social media tools to reach out to student pilots, offered tips on how to use technology to reach a new audience.
It’s not just about replacing the old school flying club newsletter. Groups of pilots can weigh in on the answer to a question, offer pep talks for when students are struggling, and get the word out about aviation events.
“Every chance we get, as part of our mission to make aviation more social, myTransponder hosts myT-Meet-Ups to bring together myTransponder members, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, bloggers, and podcasters,” Rakic said. “Sometimes it can be as simple as using a tool on myTransponder to coordinate a breakfast fly-in at a nearby airport, to larger events at aviation events around the country. AOPA Summit offered us another opportunity to support the community, this time by bringing together some of people who have been using social media to support and grow the aviation community.”
The discussion at Summit brought together panelists who had previously only known one another through social media outlets.