NBC Nightly News: Pilot Shortage But We Have It Covered!

Did you ever smell a cloud?
Did you ever feel fear and ecstasy at the same time?
This past Tuesday was a day I did both.

Travel has taught me that there are so many incredible moments end experiences that flow in when one ventures out of that known comfort zone (but it is always good to have other people venturing out with you to hopefully laugh over lunch at a local restaurant in Princeton afterwards!) Trish Todd and Brina Sedar are two great friends with that adventuresome spirit and social consciousness who joined with me as we went off to see what we could do about addressing the dire need for pilots…especially of the female persuasion!

The Raritan Valley Flying School has such gracious (and patient!) staff. From Chris who sets up the flights over the phone to Steve who coordinates the entire operation and who not only is a skilled pilot, but his gentle knowing advice keeps courage up and fears at bay. Bob, Bryan and John instructed us in the movements and instruments of the planes. It was all straightforward and very clearly explained and then it was hands on learning! The twenty minutes of taking over the controls was both incredible and empowering. Through Bob’s instruction, I learned that I didn’t have to white knuckle the steering wheel and my hands just needed to relax so I could feel the subtle changes and know how to “dance” with it! He also told me that if we hit an air pocket, just go for the ride! Definitely more sage advice to add to my life lessons book!

Many thanks to the entire staff and crew of the Raritan Valley Flying School. A pilot’s liscense requires 40 hours of flying time and the cost is between $8,000 and $10,000 but as Brian Williams said, over half a million will be needed in the next 20 years…I say, “Go for it!”

Copyright 2012 Frances Schwabenland. Images may not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission of Frances Schwabenland.

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