This is a letter I wrote to AOPA in response to an article Dan Namowitz wrote about “Plane Talk”, a show about GA flying…
We are here. Many have been here for years. We’re making video, audio, putting on contests, taking people up in the air for acrobatic lessons, and disseminating information on blogs, and every other way we can imagine.
My show, “PreFlight.TV” currently has over 10,000 downloads a month (12k downloads last month). “Airplaneista“, an on-line magazine, and “Airpigz“, an airplane blog, get 30,000 to 1,000,000 page views a month. Shows like “Other People’s Airplanes“, and “Plane Crazy Down Under“, have very strong audiences, and I have no idea how well “Airspeed” is doing, but they’ve got to be doing as well, or better, than everyone else.
Point is, though I applaud “Plane Talk” – we’re all here. We’re the “new” media. Some of us have a small budget, but no time (me), and others have no budget but are prolific in the number of shows they do. They (and hopefully myself) are all doing a job to onboard new pilots, entertain, and keep long-time pilots interested. I can tell you straight-up, the decline of people getting into aviation is not due to a lack of interest. It has nothing to do with the computer industry, or the types of jobs people do. The number one reason there is a decline of pilots is because learning to fly is expensive and time consuming. When the market is down, and people are holding multiple jobs to get-by, flying an airplane seems completely out of reach. I make good money (from my day job), and I’ve cut back the number of hours I fly. If I want any kind of savings – I must.
I would/should list all the aviation podcasts/shows/blogs. There are many shows, but it is a finite list. We are doing our part. We are getting great response. People listen/watch/read regularly. The audience is there. People want to fly and be entertained when they are not flying. We’ve been filling some of that void all this time. Don’t count us out.