AOPA's leader Craig Fuller's speech at SunN'Fun on April 15th hit the nail on the head. It's up to us the GA community to reach out, speak up and make things happen or we will loose the privilege of flying.
This may happen due to the attrition of the aging pilot population because this group had flying in the palm of their hands. Many learned how to fly during WWII, and some used the GI bill, or learned to fly on their own later. This same generation is aging, as are the aircraft that they flew.
To counter this change, we must group together to attract more young people to flying, both men and women, as Fuller imply's.
I keep hearing from everyone in the aviation industry that; "flying is too expensive for the younger crowd, isn't it a shame" but how can that be? I see new cars, expensive coats, sunglasses, laptops, cell phones, tattoos, memberships to a fancy gym, lattes, and flying is too expensive?
We need to stress that to fly is a multi-dimensional experience that can't be equaled, and on that note there is this looming issue of banning 100 Low Lead Av gas. If you think flying is expensive now, just wait until a whole new generation of engines are engineered, and manufactured to run off of non-leaded bio fuels. For example price out a Prius,yes, its a Hybrid car, but those who own them are paying a higher price to drive them.
Won't this too happen with our GA aircraft...of course it will.
Another example: Light Sport Aircraft once called Ultralights. They used to be air vehicles (under Part 103) that were powered with two-cycle engines, now the same aircraft that cost $14,500 new in 2002 that has been FAA inspected, and GAMA approved as an LSA costs between $39,000 and $80,000!
Won't this too happen with bio-aircraft engines in the future?
Let's keep the 100LL fuel and the engines that it feeds and keep the costs down, or we will loose yet another rung on the ladder of flight time.
The FAA, EAA, and AOPA are worried about GA accidents rates which are directly affected by pilot proficiency. A lack of regular flying..why? The same argument, flying has gotten too expensive.