In aviation, just as in other aspects of life, each of us creates an utterly unique pattern of friends, acquaintances, experiences, and aspirations. Those patterns shift constantly, sometimes in subtle ways, and sometimes more significantly. Sometimes we make deliberate changes; at other times they arise from some unforeseen twist in fate or circumstance. The result we see is sometimes what we expected but — again like the new pattern in a kaleidoscope — it can also present what Harvard leadership professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter calls an “enticing new possibility.”
As with the components on a kaleidoscope’s rotating surface, the myriad agencies and organizations that compose the “aviation community” can be arranged in endless patterns during the course of your flying life. In this issue of FAA Safety Briefing magazine, our goal is to help you get acquainted with a wide range of organizations that can be part of your aviation world right now, or perhaps in some later phase of flying. We’ll look at the role the FAA plays in safety assurance and safety promotion. There will be a closer look at some of the best-known advocacy associations like the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). We’ll talk about the Civil Air Patrol, type clubs, and special sector organizations for recreational (back-country) flying, sailplanes/gliders, helicopters, and light sport. We also look at organizations that are springing up to support remote pilots and other new entrants in our richly diverse aviation community.
One of the most glorious aspects of the aviation community is that it offers something for just about every possible area of interest. Both for greater safety and greater fun, we want to encourage you to connect to those whose interests coincide with yours. Make them part of your own unique aviation community picture, and enjoy the perspective your personal pattern provides.