Waukesha County

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New Year's Resolutions for Aviation Enthusiasts

At the start of each new year, 41% of Americans commit to resolutions with the intention of making changes in their lives that will result in losing weight, eating healthier, improving their lives, finding love – the list goes on and on. To join in on the excitement, we’ve developed our own list of new year’s resolutions for aviation enthusiasts. Whether you are an aspiring pilot, an aviation veteran or somewhere in between, check out our suggestions to learn how you can deepen your love of aviation and share your excitement with others.

Aspiring Pilots

Attend an Aviation Event – If you are an aviation enthusiast, there is an abundance of aviation events – air shows, fly-ins, get-togethers, demonstrations, etc. – that take place during flying season. For the latest news and information on events at Waukesha County Airport, we encourage you to visit our events page often, to get the latest news and information about the activities happening on the airfield.

Because of our proximity to the home of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), we enjoy a great deal of air traffic and excitement before, during and after EAA AirVenture, a week-long event at Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport that is filled with dazzling displays of aerobatics, informative programs, hands-on workshops, demonstrations and much more. As you can imagine, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has several programs that are designed to encourage people of all ages to get involved in aviation, but their Young Eagles Program is dedicated to introducing and inspiring kids in the world of aviation. Since its inception in 1992, the Young Eagles Program has flown more than 2 million kids with the help of EAA’s network of volunteer pilots and ground volunteers. For more information on the many aviation-related events across the country, check out the EAA Events website.

Take a Discovery Flight – A discovery or introductory flight is a great way to experience the what it’s like to fly in a small aircraft for the first time. Discovery flights are low-key, relaxed flights with a certified flight instructor or commercial pilot that give you a sense of what it’s like to fly in a general aviation aircraft and what’s involved in becoming a pilot. When you arrive, your pilot or instructor will spend a few minutes briefing you on what to expect during the flight. In addition to explaining what they are doing at various stages of the flight – take-off, in-air maneuvering and landing – your pilot will also provide you with insight on the steps involved in earning your wings. Often offered at a discounted rate, discovery flights are a great first step if you are interested in pursuing obtaining your private pilot’s license.

Look Into Flight School – If you’re already hearing the call of the wild blue yonder, maybe it’s time to evaluate flight school options in your area. Not sure what to look for in a flight school? Check out our recent post that reviews what to look for in a flight school so your training experience is aligned with your personal and/or professional goals.

Complete Previous Flight Training – We often hear from people who began their flight training at one point in their lives, but needed to put their dream of earning their wings on hold because they got married, had a family, needed to focus on their career or life just got in the way. There’s no time like the beginning of a new year to commit to finally achieving your dream of earning your wings! In fact, the Waukesha County Airport is home to two great flight schools that can help you evaluate your current training status and chart a course toward completing your training and becoming a pilot.

Current Pilots

Take Someone Flying – One of the best ways to inspire someone to become involved with aviation is to take them flying. As a pilot, you likely fly regularly with fellow enthusiasts, family and friends, but have you ever considered taking an aspiring pilot or aviation professional for a flight? There are many ways to share your passion for aviation with others, including taking a new friend or acquaintance flying or volunteering to be a pilot for the EAA Young Eagles Program. If you’re willing to give people their first flight experience but are unsure how to get involved, we suggest contacting your local EAA Chapter or the Waukesha Aviation Club.

Increase Your Flight Rating – If you’re interested in flying a more complex or high-performance aircraft, looking to advance in your aviation career, or you just want to boost your knowledge when flying personally or for business, increasing your flight rating is a great goal for the new year! We recommend visiting the Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association’s (AOPA) Ratings and Endorsements site for more information.

Volunteer at an Aviation Event – Earlier we mentioned the abundance of aviation events held locally, regionally and nationally, and one of the most essential components that fuels the success of any event is the volunteers who give their time and talents to share their love of flying with others. Whether it’s helping with parking, selling tickets, manning the griddle during a pancake breakfast, serving as a ramp attendant or assisting with security, volunteering at aviation events provides a great opportunity for you to deepen your connections with fellow pilots and enthusiasts.

The Waukesha County Airport will host the Commemorative Air Force Wisconsin Wing’s Gathering of Warbirds, on May 27, 2017. This event gives enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to get up close and personal to military aircraft and discover the impact that military aviation has had on our country.

Speak at a School or Career Event to Encourage Future Aviation Professionals – One of the major issues facing the aviation industry is the shortage of pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers. If you are an aviation professional, you know how important it is to inspire the next generation of aviation professionals, and one of the best ways to encourage young people to join the exciting field of aviation is to speak at school or career events. If you’re interested in speaking at schools or events but aren’t sure where to begin, contact the Waukesha County Airport Administration Office.

If you have questions or are interested in exploring discovery flights, aviation events, flight training, or opportunities to volunteer at the Waukesha County Airport please contact us.

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