Young Men Trying to Imitate the 9-11 Scenario, Part I
Why did the young man near Tampa, FL fly a little private aircraft into the Bank of America building there? A Cessna 152; What damage could that possibly do? We must figure out a way in preventing our youth from growing up into homegrown terrorists.
My brother flies a C-130 for the US Marines, my dad was a Navy jet jock and grandfathers flew in WWII. Realize that many other famous people caught the flying bug. Including our current President and his father also a President and pilot in WWII. So we cannot condemn a person who wants to reach beyond the norm, someone who wants to achieve, some one who strives and ultimately fulfills that need through flight. There was nothing wrong with a young man wishing to fly. It is actually quite admirable.
While other kids are poking pencils at each other in classrooms, ditching school, and cheating on tests, this young man was studying his homework during his classes to give him extra time to fly, his true passion. So do we need more FAA rules against flying at a young age? No. We need a better mentoring program for those who excel in other areas besides the typical sports, student government, grades, music or extra curricular activities that all kids do. For those who are different, want to achieve different objectives or are simply not cut from the same mold, we need to pay attention to these needs. These are also our future leaders. Gates for instance took apart computers designed little programs and operating systems and we called him a geek. Why? We needed his expertise and driven nature to help propel PC use, which has now simplified life for nearly one-third the population on the Planet and helped in the productivity and betterment of all mankind.
If you read biographies as I do, at least a few hundred of them of great people, you will see that many achieve or excel at an early age at something way away from what we call the norm. Einstein was thrown out of school, they said he would not amount to anything. Even on the dark side. The little Hitler youth who studied in Vienna to become an architect was unable to do go after his dream. Had he had a mentor he could have followed in those years after his mother died or even a supporting father, his innate abilities to draw buildings, may have helped him become one the world's leading architects of the time. Fore it is often the drive and human spirit which is the wild card of human endeavor. But instead we all know what happened.
There is a program for those young flying kids. It is called the Civil Air Patrol. I was a member. It is to develop strong aerospace leaders for the future. Yet the IRS came down on private pilots and aircraft owners for using it as a tax write off for fuel for their private planes. Many of these pilots used this extra fuels to take students or cadets in the CAP-Civil Air Patrol up for rides. They took the youth on field trip type weekend events and searches for crashed or lost aircraft and looked for the locations of ELT-Emergency Locator transmissions.
Our company, The Aircraft Wash Guys, www. aircraftwashguys. com, has helped raise money for the CAP with fundraising events in the past. To help build leadership and camaraderie without giving away free fish, teaching them to fish if you will. This is something that the young man who flew into the B of A building was clearly missing. Others in his peer group and older people who understood his dreams to fly. His counselor at school told us of the young man's statement; "I wish I could do something to help my country, I would like to join the air force and fly an aircraft to help." That does not sound like a bad or evil person to me. At the airport he washed aircraft and he traded for pilots lessons. I did the same thing as young person. It takes a lot of aircraft washes to pay for fuel and instructor and a plane for an hour these days. With liability insurance at FBOs-Fixed Base Operators so high; nearly 30% of the cost to rent the damn airplane is insurance. Why? Attorneys. They sue every time someone crashes. They sue the manufacturer Cessna, they sue the flight school, they sue the estates of the instructors, the pilot himself and any other person they can think of. We are talking millions, not thousands. That is the problem with the cost. Read Airport Business, Flying, AOPA, Sport Aviation or Private Pilot, you will see. When the luxury tax law was enacted 30 years ago the aviation market tanked and never really recovered. People who had aircraft they bought leased them back to a flight school to afford the monthly payments. It worked good and lots of aircraft and lots of people learning to fly. That was wonderful for general aviation, aircraft sales prices and the entire general aviation industry. With a lease backed plane to an FBO an owner could also have the ITC-Investment Tax Credits on the purchase and then write off the payments. This caused more aircraft to be sold and Piper, Cessna, Mooney, Beechcraft, Rockwell, Aeronica, Robinson, Grumman all did well in aviation.
End Part I