Have you kept up your flying during the past few months, staying focused on achieving that first pilot certificate or a new rating? A lot of pilots have turned challenges into success—but some have struggled as well, and the support they’ve had from peers and mentors can make the difference in getting back on track after a layoff, setback, or illness. During the first half of 2020, we can legitimately say it: We have all been there.
In response to the current environment, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has changed the nature of the Flight Training Experience Awards for 2020. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the association launched the Flight Training Experience Project, seeking input from pilots about their experiences in the learn-to-fly community, including stories of resilience, support, and community-building in the face of significant challenges to flight training.
“Even though many schools have had to close their doors during the pandemic, we believe it is important to celebrate the value and significance of the flight training community in this difficult time,” said Chris Moser, AOPA senior director of flight training education. “With the project, we will highlight the inspiring stories of the flight training community, which has come together in support of one another to overcome the obstacles of COVID-19 and a struggling economy, and proved resilient in the face of adversity.”
You can join in by sending a video story to AOPA to show how those—including you—have inspired others and promoted the aviation industry’s resilience. According to AOPA, “schools, students, and instructors are asked to record a 45-second or less video and post it on social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok) with the hashtag #FTEProject. Select videos and stories will be highlighted [via] the annual Redbird Migration event in October and through AOPA’s news and media channels.” Submissions must be sent in or hashtagged by July 31 for consideration.
A few ideas on what to include in your story:
- Show how you, your instructor, or your school uses aviation to inspire others.
- Show how your school has demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity.
- Show how your school, instructor, or students have supported the broader community.
- Show how your flight school has achieved a goal.
Visit AOPA’s FTEP site for more information.