July 13, 2008

Becoming an AOPA Project Pilot Mentor

Aopa_project_pilot.jpgA couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from a reader of this blog who is a fellow Chicagoan that was interested in my opinion of a few local flight schools. After going back and forth through e-mail we had one of those "It is a small world" moments when we realized a few years ago we had both been contributors to the same blog, Chicagoist.com. Peter mentioned that as of late he had really been suffering from the aviation bug. He finds himself looking to sky more and more often and is ready to learn to fly. With the pilot population in decline I wanted to be sure to do all I could do to help Peter achieve his goal of earning a pilots license.

This past week I signed up to be Peter's mentor in AOPA's Project Pilot Program. AOPA developed the program as part of their commitment to growing the pilot population. For me it is an opportunity to support his efforts and share in his experiences and I hope that I can provide him some valuable advice that I would have appreciated while learning to fly. Not to mention it is great having another person to talk to who loves aviation.

This weekend he joined me and two other members of the Chicago Aviation Meetup Group for a seminar on Takeoffs, Landings and Low Altitudes Maneuvering at the DuPage Airport. Although the seminar was bit disappointing it was a great excuse for some aviation enthusiasts to get together at an airport. The four of us, two pilots and two perspective pilots, stood at the flightline fence enjoying a conversation on aviation and even judging a few landings. While at the airport we stopped in to The Pilot Shop where Peter picked up a logbook which will come in handy in the coming weeks as he takes his first introductory flight.

Peter has setup a blog, Flying in Chicago, dedicated to his aviation adventures. I hope you will check it out.