Old, tired airplanes can become new again…
Our piston airplane fleet averages over 40 years old. Many are parked, fading and disappearing from tie downs, shades and hangars.
And we aren’t replacing them. We are building fewer than 800 piston airplanes yearly—at an average cost of over $500,000—and losing several times that number through normal attrition.
Rebuilt, Restored, Re-equipped airplanes are being delivered now…
Rebuilt, Restored and Re-equipped airplanes are becoming a major focus of our industry. Many models in our fleet can be rebuilt at about half the cost (or much less in some cases) compared to a new certified airplane of the same type—with identical capabilities and avionics.
Sales of replacement engines, props, interiors, paint, components and retrofit avionics is now an estimated $1.8 billion industry—compared the value of new piston airplanes of less than $500 million (fewer that 800 piston airplanes were delivered in the U.S. in 2014).
GA Outreach: Tried and failed multiple times. Why?
“We have met the enemy and he is us”—stolen from Pogo
There have been a few well-funded efforts to create a successful outreach program aimed at the pilot demographic (Be A Pilot circa 2001). All of them crashed and burned because none were really sustainable and depended on continuous largess from sponsor companies with no offsetting revenue stream to wean these programs into self- supporting businesses.
They also died because competing organizations fought for control of the budget and the message. In this regard, GA has been its own worst enemy when it comes to outreach.
ITF’s FirstFlight Experience program is entirely different. No one entity controls it; no one can kill it, defund it or beat it down. It’s all about pilots doing the heavy lifting themselves.
ITF will provide start up tools, advertising, a killer website and sponsors who see the value in the program but do not control it.