The active pilot population reached its historical peak in 1984 with about 840,000 active pilots in the United States. The FAA defines an active pilot as one who has received a medical certificate in the past 25 months, since that is the most fundamental but time-limited certification requirement reported to the FAA. So, every student pilot, no matter if they never even take a lesson but get the medical, is in the active pilot count. So are pilots who have died in the past 25 months, and those who got a medical but for one reason or another never flew. It's a potentially misleading number, but it is all we have to go by. And the number of active pilots last year was below 600,000, and that includes all airline and other professional pilots.