We have it good in the U.S.

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We have it good in the U.S.
Sometimes we as Americans need a dose of reality. Lately there has been an over abundance of negative articles about the decline of general aviation, even on this site. I think we need to take stock in how good we really have it.

The punch line is, the cost to fly is vastly more expensive than it is here in the States.

How much more expensive? At least double, if not more.

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When I was in flight school in New Mexico (link here) in the early 1990s, I was the only American in my class. The school was dominated by young folks from Europe. They would come over here, get their ratings, build flight time, and go back to their respective countries for work.

Who could blame them, plus the weather in the desert Southwest allowed for almost non-stop training. They would graduate in six months and then try to hustle up as much flight time as possible on their student visas.

Due to the costs,  most pilots in Europe use aero clubs to gain access to airplanes as whole ownership is prohibitively expensive, others will take on multiple partners as an alternative to clubs.

The user fees described in the video will may you cringe, many of them detracting from safety!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing our brethren across the pond, actually I admire their dedication and ingenuity to fly in such an environment.

So when you drive to the airport and pull out your wholly owned airplane for a leisurely flight, you should thank your lucky stars.

On last thing, if you want to keep your freedoms you should consider the following:

  • Activism: get involved at whatever level possible in your local politics. Maybe get on your local airport commission. You’d be surprised how many non-pilots are on those boards making big decisions that affect you
  • Volunteerism: help out at any activity that promotes aviation. Airport open houses or Young Eagles are a couple of examples
  • Contribute: Join AOPA and EAA. Not everyone loves them, but they are both committed to protecting your aviation-related rights. You should at least be a member

I know we have readers from all over the globe so I would love to hear about how it is in your country, especially if you are in Europe. If my facts are off, please correct me.

by Brent

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