We asked what aviation-related resolutions you are taking into the New Year. Here are the top nine results.
The overwhelming response from dozens of aviation enthusiasts on social media was the desire to become a pilot or obtain additional ratings in 2022. Private pilot Matthew Bourguignon's New Year's resolution is to earn his instrument rating: "I love flying, and I hate being stuck on the ground when I have a good reason to take to the sky… Mother Nature will always have the final say… but being at the mercy of the clouds is something I'd like to put behind me." Whether you're just starting your aviation journey or working on your flight instructor certificate, make sure to visit our online flight training and safety resources webpage.
The second most common resolution was to break free of rentals and become an aircraft owner. Regional airline pilot Trevor Lemp said, "Owning an airplane has always been on my list, and I feel like I'm getting close to a place financially where I can invest in my very own airplane." If you're getting ready to dive headfirst into aircraft ownership, make sure to visit our website for helpful information throughout the purchasing process.
With the ever-improving capabilities of modern technology within aviation, it makes sense for many pilots to upgrade to digital logbooks. "I own and fly multiple aircraft, and I struggle with keeping my logbooks up to date from each airplane! So, I have a goal to transfer my paper past to the digital future. With ForeFlight it streamlines flight logging across multiple aircraft for currency tracking and automatic entries from track logs make it simple to keep your logs up to date." Not only is having an electronic logbook easier when it comes to totaling times and ensuring currency, but digital logbooks also have a far lower chance of getting lost in the bottom of a file cabinet or being destroyed by a cup of spilled coffee. We offer an in-depth list of pros and cons associated with paper and digital logbooks.
If you are a true avgeek who loves being surrounded by other pilots and constant reminders of the industry, an airpark is a great place to live. Student pilot Maddy Miskell said, "Living in an airpark would mean being surrounded by people who would be able to help me reach my aviation goals, whether it be helping them in their hangar to get maintenance experience or just talking to them about what they do/did." For an up-to-date list of airparks you could call home, visit Aviation Home and Hangar.
As Confucius once said, "Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life." As one of the many people fortunate enough to work in the aviation industry, I can understand why this resolution appeared several times in the list of responses. Private pilot Kevin Urbeck's New Year's resolution is to become and work as a certificated flight instructor. "I'm getting paid $14 an hour right now in a warehouse and $10 an hour to landscape. And to be honest, I'd much rather be flying a plane for $14 an hour. I'd be so much happier." If you're working toward a professional pilot career in the new year, make sure to use AOPA’s flight school finder to enroll in a professional pilot program.
Alan Bacon's simple resolution is one that all pilots can probably agree on: "I want to fly more to keep my skills sharp, and beyond that who doesn't want to fly more?" If you need some motivation to exclaim "clear prop," check out AOPA’s travel site for planning a general aviation adventure.
The Disney World equivalent of aviation events is a convention, airshow, and networking event every pilot and enthusiast dreams of attending. Attending EAA AirVenture is great, but the real icing on the cake is flying in with thousands of other pilots. Private pilot Nathan Jones' New Year's resolution is to become one of those aviators. "I have driven up several times but have always wanted to experience of flying in and camping on [the] grounds with other pilots." Our detailed list of tips is a great first place to start preparing for your flight to what the Experimental Aircraft Association dubs the "World's greatest aviation celebration."
With certain warbirds becoming rarer and prices for flights only getting higher, Commemorative Air Force colonel and aviation enthusiast Jason Delaney said his New Year's resolution is to "ride in a Mustang… It's a dream plane for me as a warbird/WWII history buff." Although warbird flights can be challenging to track down, several organizations such as EAA and the Commemorative Air Force offer ride opportunities at airshows and other aviation events
If you've been searching for ways to fly out of your comfort zone, aerobatic or upset recovery training is a great way to do just that. Amy Gesch, the product and piston aircraft sales manager for float manufacturer Wipaire Inc., said, "I've been wanting to get basic aerobatic training for years, and I finally decided to schedule it as a reward to myself after a busy 2021. It's easy to keep doing the same type of flying I know I am comfortable with, but I've been wanting to try something new." Several airshow performers like Greg Koontz and Patty Wagstaff have dedicated their downtime away from airshows to teaching aerobatic and upset recovery training courses.