REMEMBERING AVIATION’S PAST MAY BENEFIT THE FUTURE

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ARTICLE: National Aviation Day Passed Quietly

082012

AVIATION TRIVIA QUESTION: what happened 141 years ago on August 19? Orville Wright was born. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt decided that event was adequately historic and warranted it being designated a national day and thereafter August 19 is/should be celebrated as National Aviation Day.

The AvWeb article notes one program which commemorated this single moment in aviation history.

Aviation has attracted some of the best and brightest of our youth to the professions involved in the business; because of the excitement associated with flying. The Wright Brothers literally shocked the world when in 1903 they accomplished that feat at Kitty Hawk. It had been generally assumed by many great minds that flight was impossible. Those first 12 seconds of manned flight created global excitement and captured the attention of engineers, pilots, mechanics, related professionals and passengers for over 100 years.

The fact that yesterday’s National Aviation day received meager attention may be a symptom of diminishing interest in the aviation profession. If the assessment is correct, one possible way to rekindle that excitement may be to remind the community of that history. Days like August 19 (and December 17 and…) provide moments to recount those seminal points in our history. Aviation has benefitted from the excitement surrounding this business; that buzz attracted names like Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Robert Goddard, Kelly Johnson, Jimmy Doolittle, Theodore van Karman, Wernher van Braun, John Glenn and today’s talented men and women who work at airlines, manufacturers, maintenance organizations, regulatory bodies and the like. The traveling public, our fellow aviation professionals and regional/national/international commerce have benefitted from the attention which this business draws.

It is incumbent upon all of us who work with planes to know our history and to celebrate it. The press is very capable of publicizing the negative aspects of what we do; maybe that is why the enthusiasm about aviation is diminishing. Simple things like recalling the invention of the turbine as an aviation powerplant, the development of instrument flying and the incredible benefits of Next Gen may help to restore some of the luster and rekindle interest in future fellow aviation professionals. Taking friends to visit the National Air & Space Museum, the Boeing Museum of Flight or the San Diego Air & Space Museum will add to the knowledge of and excitement about this business.

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