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Keep Flying to Keep Our Flying Right-of-Way

The joy and feeling of accomplishment you experience when you’re piloting an aircraft is a true gift.  Regardless of the type of flying, we have yet to meet a pilot who did not feel enriched by the experience.  And, once you become a pilot, you’re a pilot for life.  It can’t be undone—there are only active pilots and inactive pilots—and it seems to us that most inactive pilots would rather be active!

With the current political climate, it is more important than ever that pilots fly regularly.  In England, there is an organization of trail bike riders who diligently log time riding ancient trails through the English countryside, in order to maintain ancient right-of-ways in a use-it-or-lose-it system.  If we want to maintain free access to airspace, airports and ATC, we should look at flying the same way.  It is truly in our best interests to both bring new pilots into aviation and to help inactive pilots start flying again.

You probably know a pilot that has been away from flying for a while.  Maybe their career got in the way, or they just didn’t fly for a few weeks and that lapse suddenly turned into a few years.  Now, even though they love to talk about flying at the drop of a leather helmet, they think it would take too much time, effort, or money to get current.  Well, now you can help overcome all three of those objections by recommending one of our new “Return to Flying” kits (Return to VFR Flying Kit | Return to IFR Flying Kit).  These products will make it quick, easy, and fun for your pilot friend to get back up to speed—and to address the “too expensive” part, we slashed the price by 50%!

The freedom to fly without excessive governmental fees and restrictions is not guaranteed by our Constitution.  We need to remain diligent in fighting threatening legislation.  Just as important, we need to make sure our population stays strong, vibrant and … flying!  We hope that you will join us in helping to both bring new pilots into aviation and to get those inactive pilots flying again.

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  1. A Pilot When I Can Afford To Be

    Regretfully I fall into the inactive Private Pilot crowd. Yes, I had much rather be flying. I enjoy it so much, that for much my student days I drove two hours each way, because I couldn’t get an airplane rental closer. I even spent several nights in a motel so I could justify flying Saturday and Sunday. Did finally find a rental within an hours drive each way. In the last two years I think I have logged a grand total of a little less than 2 hours. I have free time most every weekend and get better than 20 days paid time off each year. I even have a current medical.

    Problem is I think we have already past that point where there are too many governmental (and other) fees and restrictions. There has been this big talk about user fees and all of the industry groups talking about trying to avoid them. I keep hearing the argument for fuel taxes instead of fees, but really what’s the difference. I hear about the push to relax the medical requirements for private pilots. Then I read all of the concessions and restrictions like 1 passenger, distance, night flight, that “our” industry groups are either pushing for or agreeing to . Really, what is that doing for the pilot population?

    Fact is in my area airplane rental alone has more than doubled in the last 10 years. To buy enough renter’s insurance to cover a half way descent airplane is $700 -$800 or enough to cover a “beater” is $400-500 before you fly the first hour.

    Speaking of adding new pilots, just for the heck of it, a little while back I added up the cost of getting a pilots license and flying for one year (50 additional hours). I based my number off of 60 flight hours during training, basic study resources, a cheap $100 headset, test fees, insurance, etc. I added in things like a couple of cross country lunches (feed the CFI during training) and AOPA membership, but nothing fancy like a GPS or EFB. And before anyone has to ask I am not including the 2 hours drives I did. The number added up to just north of $20,000.

    I love to fly and love to talk to people about flying, but with current costs it’s just not justifiable. It’s great if we all band together and speak out against new fees and regulations, but something needs to be done about the “current environment” if GA is to be revived.

  2. Raul Sandoval

    Hi there to John and Martha King, but sadly I am one of those people that did not feel enriched by the flying experience I had. Please hear me out as to why I feel this way. I decided to get into aviation right after I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science, in order to fulfill a lifelong dream I had of becoming a pilot, along with all the freedom it brings. I decided to study at a local flight school in Riverside, California, and sadly, over time I became aware of a double standard in general aviation, in that in some parts of the country, certain groups of people, not because of race alone, but because of the stereotypes that exist in this political and social climate about certain groups of people, that somehow are forcibly being pushed out of a dream of flying. In my experience, myself being a U.S-born Citizen of Mexican-American origin, I was given basic to mediocre training in the aircraft I was training with,which learning I supplemented with the King School videos (and thank you for the effort you place in the videos, otherwise I would have never gotten to the Checkride with the training I was receiving), but when I went for my checkride, the examiner started making racial comments and besides giving me questions that did not exist in the Practical Test Standards , he began to berate me by calling me a “f—-ing idiot”, and that I should focus on my “Chicano” studies instead. And the reason I know for a fact that those questions did not exist is because I watched the King School Private Pilot course,not just 20 or 30 times as all first time pilots try to study for the Checkride, but to the point that I know the entire video verbatim. I know that general aviation is supposed to be open to all people of all backgrounds, but my aviation experience made me not only disillusioned to how people like myself and others of a similar background were treated there at the flight school, paying customers I may add, but that in order to revive general aviation there has to be a profound change in certain aspects of the culture itself. General Aviation cannot, and will not survive as a whole, if certain people out there let their negative biases enter a culture as important as General Aviation. Also, there must be a more open dialogue and understanding that although we as a whole, from the student pilot to the owner of a flight school, have to be aware of potential threats that can happen in General Aviation in this day and age, that we should not let fear and paranoia get to the point where we are stereotyping and denying law-abiding and honest citizens the chance to contribute, both socially and economically, to an industry that is in danger of disappearing if we don’t promote it to everyone. Xenophobia and racism has no place in General Aviation, and I am willing ro return to flying in any school that is willing to accept my money and treat me with respect. But my experiences that happened in Riverside, California is what still is on my mind whenever I think of flying now….

  3. David Rodwell

    The Kings over the years have provided me with some remarkable training, preparation and some just good sense instruction. You are a key part of getting me into a Commercial ticket and creating the proper environment for me to start my Aerial Photography business.

    My hats off to both of you for all the fabulous material over the years…and John and I seem to be losing our hair at the same rate.

    You are a gift to our industry.

    David Rodwell
    Aerial Photography Academy

  4. Fred Moret

    I hold a commercial license, however lost my physical due to diabetes I understand since my medical was voluntarily surrendered I am still able to obtain a Sport license certificate
    Since losing my medical some 30+ years ago I have flown many ultralight aircraft and still desire to fly I must add I haven’t flown in well over 10 yrs and frankly am totally lost and need a complete review and to learn what I may and may not do

    What do you suggest ??
    Fred Moret

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