Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's Aviatin' Time!

A few months ago, when most of the country still suffered under the chilled embrace of Winter, Spring at times seemed impossibly far away. Winter Storm Warnings, blizzard conditions, punishing winds...some days it felt like these phenomena drew paychecks and mission statements from those who strive to reduce General Aviation's extraordinary impact on American life...

Even after the "official" arrival of Spring March 20, some days it just didn't pay to drive to the airport. But there's no keeping down a good bunch of pilots, aviators, planemakers, vendors and all of our collective community.

As this gets written, evidence of that fact already exists on the grounds of the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In on the south side of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL); that evidence erupts into a full-blown international statement of our love of, desire to and right to fly starting Tuesday, April 21.

And for the ensuing six days, the entirety of the aviation community -- those off site as well as on-site -- plan to celebrate our community, our flying, and our contribution to the social and economic well-being of this country...the country that arguably lead the world into the Aviation Age.

We'll set aside differences, live with flaws and fly as though our lives depend on air beneath our feet -- because to so many of us, our lives to depend on it. Some because of livelihood, some because of passion alone, and to the truly afflicted, because of a blend of both.

Mostly we'll come together to renew friendships and enjoy fellowship with fellow flyers, make new friends, see new things and experience the community in a way only possible at shows like Sun 'n Fun and AirVenture -- and thousands of smaller ones in between, from EAA chapter fly-ins to niche-aviation gatherings, to airport appreciation days and plane-old-down-off-the-ramp spontaneous gatherings.

So Horrah! to the new show season and Hurray! for us all. After all, what better way to extend our lives than to fly somewhere for fun.

Remember, "Time spent flying is not subtracted from your lifespan."

Hope to see you out there...

-- Dave


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