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Connecting Aviators

New app features coordination for fly-outs and co-ownerships

“I’ve been based at seven airports, and it’s been hard to meet other pilots,” said Jeffrey Brewer. Thus began the idea for Connecting Aviators, an app and social network aimed at bringing pilots together and getting them flying.

Brewer created Connecting Aviators as an answer to his own struggles, and those of other pilots he talked to. He had been looking for an airplane partner, and it took a year to find the right person, even though the right candidate turned out to be the friend of a friend based at his local airport. With Connecting Aviators, Brewer is hoping to make the process of finding airplane partners, flying clubs, businesses, and other pilots quicker and easier.

Users create a personal profile similar to those on other social networks, although Connecting Aviators requires the use of the real names in an effort to increase security and transparency. You can also list your certificates and ratings, flight hours, and aircraft. From there you can interact through messages, make connections, and keep things entirely virtual, or use the app as a way to get together in person. A map view with all 19,000 landing facilities in the United States makes it easy to search for new pilot connections, or to find fly-outs.

Any member can raise his or her hand and say they are going flying. The flight is added to the map, and invites can be sent to connections, who can then RSVP. If you’re not a connection but want to go along, you can send a message.

Perhaps most interesting is the app’s ability to bring together pilots for co-ownerships. The concept of co-ownership is compelling to many potential owners, but finding partners is a challenge. In Connecting Aviators, a user can indicate their interest in finding a co-ownership, starting a co-ownership, or bringing in a partner to their existing airplane. Finding those interested requires simply checking the map.

Connecting Aviators is relatively new, so the user base is small, and there are a few bugs. But it promises to be a good place to find other pilots as it grows. Brewer said it will remain free to use most features of the app, and an upper tier with a small fee is available for pilots who want more functionality. It’s currently available only for Apple’s iOS, but Brewer said Android may be in a future road map.

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Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly is senior content producer for AOPA Media.

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