“Mom, I want to go flying,” was the response I received from my five-year-old daughter a few months ago after I asked, “What do you want to do this weekend?” Unsure if I actually heard her correctly and admittedly wanting to hear her say it again, I replied with, “What did you say?” “I want to go flying!”
That’s when I knew it was time to take her flying.
I have had the opportunity to take a lot of younger kids flying and I’ll bet if you ask most pilots, introducing kids to aviation is probably one of their most favorite flying-related activities. Even if from time-to-time it may involve a sick-sack, or two… or three.
The median age of pilots in 2012 was 44.7 while the number of student pilot certificates issued since 2006, has been on the decline. A number of statistics in various categories are available on the FAA’s website. Not only is it important to get kids involved in aviation, but certainly let’s not forget little girls! Unsurprisingly, the number of certified pilots who are women make up for a mere 6% of overall certified pilots in the world.
It may begin by taking them to a local airshow or introducing them to how pilots navigate the skies using GPS (hopefully a Garmin!). I encourage everyone that is flying during the extended holiday this week, to ask a neighbor, friend, or relative to join them. It’s never too early or too late to spark an interest in aviation in anyone, but certainly it’s important we spread our enthusiasm and passion on to the younger generation. Check out my co-pilot as she helped me navigate the skies using Garmin Pilot during her first flight!