Last fall, I was part of an event at a local high school at a small rural airport. For some reason I woke up thinking about this event this morning.
Because it bothered me and still does.
What I got from doing a high school event on general aviation is aviation seems untouchable, even while they’re touching it.
To them aviation is an old man’s game, in old airplanes, with old avionics.
It lacks purpose.
To them it’s not where innovation is happening.
They aren’t wrong. It’s the lens that they see things through. And it is true that it’s not where much innovation is happening.
RJ, the Dean of the AB Tech aviation program was there with his Tesla. There was much more interest in that. I mean come on, have you been in one? It can read street signs and keep track of the speed limit, avoid obstacles, then when you press four times on the steering column it plays the theme music from Super Mario brothers.
The trick is to change the way people see aviation (and space exploration frankly).
Experimental aviation needs to start driving innovation again.
The great thing about kids is that they don’t know some things can’t be done. If we can hook into and harness that unrestricted view of how the world works before school and society convinces them that things can’t be done we might have something.
I’m on a quest. Just like the quest I’m on to find amateur space explorers. I’m looking for those people with crazy ideas they are building in their garage, basement, or underground lair.
I want kids from 8 to 80 to look at an airplane the same way they look at a Tesla car. Like it’s something to be excited about. Like it’s something where the possibilities are endless.