Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish

Editor’s Desk Nov/Dec 2003
Have you heard the statement that ?as a group, pilots are cheap?? I?ve read it, heard it in discussions, and I suppose if I were completely honest, I?d have to admit that I have seen it in practice too. Assuming it is true, why do you think that it is? I can think of a few reasons immediately. First off, it costs a lot of money to fly, and we have to be frugal wherever we can. Let the buyer beware applies to flying as well to any other significant purchase we make. Hopefully it doesn?t just end there though. If we are smart, we shop around to find the best overall deal to rent the very best maintained aircraft we can afford. And, if we are lucky enough to own an aircraft, we work with the best Fixed Base Operator (FBO) we can find, and go out of our way to create a business relationship with the FBO. We should also be listening to our trusted FBO partner?s advice regarding our aircraft?s mechanical condition after this client/business relationship is formed. After all, it is not only our skin at risk here, but also our family and friends too. The point of all this is to make sure that the big picture, or long term ramifications, are taken into account before coming to a conclusion or making any decisions. It all seems pretty straightforward wouldn?t you say?

If you have followed through to this point and agree, perhaps you can answer a question, which dumbfounds me. The question is ?Why don?t all of California?s Pilots belong to the California Pilot?s Association?? We now know that there is power in numbers, which is what is required to get, and keep, our politicians attention. It certainly couldn?t be the $35.00 per year dues, could it? That?s just $0.0958 cents per day.

It might be a good idea to put the $35.00 cost of dues into perspective. Last time I checked a bottle of water was $1.98, that?s roughly 17.6 bottles. A fancy coffee could be as much as $3.00, that?s 11.66 coffees, or one less per month. A large hamburger averages $2.00, which is 17-hamburger?s (they?ll not good for you anyway). Golf averages $75.00; maybe you play nine one week. Professional Sporting Event tickets have become outrageous. You could skip a game. You could ask your passenger(s) to share costs for that $200.00 burger flight. There are a lot of ways to budget for that $0.0958 per day cost of belonging to the CPA, and in reality there really isn?t any excuse not to belong. After all, as pilots and/or aviation enthusiasts, we all need to support the CPA?s work keeping California?s Airports flourishing and operating. Shouldn?t all of us be doing our part to make sure that this happens?

The Holiday Season is upon us and here?s an idea. How about giving one or more of your pilot friends a gift that can make a difference. Send in the CPA application form for them as a gift, even if you don?t have all of the information required. That can be handled later. Let?s make sure that our passion for flight isn?t ruined for $0.098 per day. Maybe we pilot?s are frugal. I would hope that we are not, however, short sighted when it comes to what we love so much. Happy Holiday?s………………Ed