“This, too, shall pass…” said my neighbor, Bill Chernish, who flies for Southwest Airlines. His industry is unusually battered by the coronavirus pandemic. His calm and forward-looking view is refreshing amidst the fear seen, well… everywhere.
For everyone around the globe, the word “coronavirus” or the clumsier “Covid-19” disease it causes, has been the major topic of conversations. Rarely have we seen one theme so dominate all the peoples of the planet. What comes afterward?
I have no crystal ball but two recent posts online gave me a lift. Perhaps you can feel similarly.
Psych’ Up ⬆️
A recent Facebook post showed a pilot flying solo, clearly enjoying himself with a caption something like: “I find many of my favorite hobbies involve social distancing.” I grinned at his use of the new ubiquitous phrase but in the background of his image, the sky looked beautiful and his joy at being aloft was a welcome change of pace from the nonstop bummer news.
Another great online comment was posted by Jabiru importer, Scott Severen, who reasoned that flying your Light-Sport Aircraft (or Sport Pilot kit or 103 ultralight) is a better way to have a look at the countryside. Same for traveling while the airlines are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Faster LSA are good for covering some distance and flying yourself sure beats waiting in TSA lines that have stretched to seven hours in some extreme cases, or getting on an airliner with hundreds of strangers (though seats are not all full now, by a wide margin).
Scott’s hopeful expressions included: “Industry might see an uptick as small aircraft are terrific for regional travel.” He says they can be a time saver (think: no TSA). Further he notes, “Traveling by LSA is more ‘point-to-point’ with local airports generally closer the destination. Our smaller aircraft can access most every airport in the USA.” Even in this tough period, when I called Scott for permission to use his words, he was completing a Jabiru sale.
Finally, Scott observed, “Lower interest rates are opening the selection of aircraft for those looking at an acquisition… aircraft buyers [can help] stabilize the economy.” I love the point of Scott’s comments, which might be surmised as: When all you have are lemons, make lemonade.
Follow Scott and Jabiru in America on Facebook for more.
What To Do, NOW
You can do aviation-oriented things after you’ve worn out self-quarantining, social distancing, incessantly washing your hands, searching in vain for masks and hand sanitizer (and toilet paper), and perusing infection rate charts.
Since nearly every media outfit is publishing advice about how to stay healthy (that’s good!), we want to encourage you to stay happy as well. Here are some ideas:
- Read more websites like this one, which we guarantee is 100% coronavirus-free.
- Watch more YouTube such as The Ultralight Flyer channel and the ByDanJohnson.com YouTube channel; no virus here either.
- Go fly! You’ll be out-of-doors, which is good. You’ll get aloft, which is even better. Skip taking anyone with you; flying solo is great fun and you can’t be exposed.
- Now might be a great time to buy (as Scott hinted above); he’s making sales this week!
- Go to your shop and work on your aircraft kit, or to your hangar to pull some maintenance.
- Be aeronautically active in ways that don’t spread infection …good for the local, state, and national economy.
Is this too solitary? Hmmm…?
Flying often takes place solo anyway. For years AOPA published a statistic that the average occupancy of a GA airplane — usually with four seats, sometimes more — was 1.6 persons. To reach that figure, a significant majority of all flights must have only the pilot inside. To average 1.6 in all aircraft when some may have four people on board, lots of flying has to be solo. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, I almost prefer solo, when I don’t have to be concerned with the other party joining me.
The stats prove that it is not unusual to go flying on your own and it certainly meets CDC’s advice that you practice social distancing.
Why are you still reading and not headed out to the airport? I have my keys in my hands; see you aloft — at a distance. ?