Take Back the Skies      


A campaign for Americans to
regain their birthright to fly


Take Back the Skies


The terrorist attacks in 2001 hit America where we live, taking advantage of our free and open society, and murdering thousands of civilians going about their every day lives. Many people, neither relatives nor friend, nor even near where the planes went down, were also victims. Every pilot in this country felt like s/he had been kicked in the stomach. The grotesque misuse of aircraft carrying civilians as bombs was a body-blow to everyone who has ever flown a plane.

Anxious to find someone to blame, politicians and the media have tried to link the terrorism to general aviation. Because these mass murderers took some flight training, there was suddenly a suspicion that learning to fly was somehow a bad idea. Indeed, a recent news report noted that seven aircraft have been stolen in a single year, without noting that over a million cars and trucks were stolen during the same time. And let's not forget that the bombing in Oklahoma City used a truck.

Flying is an American birthright. A century ago, Orville and Wilbur Wright pioneered flying, designing a plane and an engine that began the era of flight. And only a matter of decades later, American ingenuity put Neil Armstrong on the Moon. It is a history of greatness, and we should not only be proud of the grand achievements of our forebears, but we should celebrate their accomplishments and

Take Back the Skies

"Take Back the Skies" is a national program to restore the good and productive image of general aviation. General aviation in the United States is a $100 billion industry, employing more than ten million Americans. Over 500,000 of us are pilots. Over 70% of the world's private aircraft, and 80% of the general aviation miles, are flown by Americans.

Americans fly all over the globe, and especially across the United States, landing in Alaska on skies and in Florida on floats. General aviation this year will carry 90 million Americans on 35 million trips covering more than three billion miles. A group of doctors will charter a plane to attend a medical conference. A family will fly a small plane to an out-of-the-way vacation spot. Those are general aviation pilots who monitor traffic, perform search-and-rescue missions, and deliver emergency medical supplies in time for a life-saving operation.

America's security problems are neither the fault nor the responsibility of general aviation, and it's time to set that record straight.

"Take Back the Skies" is an informational campaign about general aviation that features a week of one-minute radio spots followed by a Saturday morning presentation at a local flight school, which illuminates the importance and value of general aviation in our society, and focuses on the wonders of learning to fly.

I earned my Private Pilot's certificate in October of 1999, a month after my 49th birthday. Learning to fly was an extraordinary experience. I discovered whole areas of knowledge I had never tapped into before, and I also learned more about myself. In fact, I accomplished more in the six months of earning that certificate than I had in four years of college. And when I received my instrument rating in June of 2001, I felt as deep a sense of fulfillment as I have ever known in my life.

Equally important were the people I met flying. Instructors like Robert Scott, a retired Air Force colonel who had flown death-defying missions in Vietnam. Audrey Schutte, a former crash investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, who claims she taught the Wright Brothers. And Johnny Moore, who has logged more than 25,000 hours and flies planes like you wear a comfortable sweater.

Flying is about character. It requires discipline, attention to detail, and courage. It's about responsibility. Flying is not for everyone.

But everyone should be aware of the significance of general aviation in our country, the critical role in plays in our transportation and delivery system, and that fact that it accounts for more than one percent of our economy. Flying is work, flying is play. It's time that we

Take Back the Skies

 

2002-2010 Tony Seton Communications


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Tony Seton


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TonySeton@TonySeton.com

PO Box 7281
Carmel CA 93921
831-649-6397


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