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The Season to Celebrate

By Ian Brown, EAA 657159, Editor and Canadian Council Board Member

December 10, 2018 - By now, probably every EAA chapter in Canada has enjoyed, or will shortly celebrate, the holiday season with a party. It’s a great time to get together with flying friends and renew acquaintances with pilots with whom we may not have crossed paths during the more active flying season. Spouses figure into the equation more at this time than at any other. It’s good to show our gratitude for their forbearance by making sure they have a good time at the party.

We’re another year older, all of us, and, sadly, in some chapters that means some of us will be aging out of flying. One of my employers used to say “grow or die.” and I think that relates to flying. How many of us consider our flying skills to have peaked already? What about investing in IFR skills — or at least using flight following more often — or some other recurrent training? One relatively low-cost option, especially if you have accumulated some IFR training, is to do a few hours to get rated for VFR over the top.

A great way to ensure the continued good health of your EAA chapter is to look for ways to renew the membership with younger faces. These new members could be the local supply of freshly minted Air Cadet private pilots, or those 50-something folks who have got their kids through university and are looking for something to do with their newly discovered free time and resources.

Does your chapter have a greeter? A greeter is someone who looks out for new faces, and makes sure they exchange contact info. Keeping in touch with new members or potential members is a great way to make them feel included. Another way to promote new membership is to have a combined meeting with some other group, like an automobile club or the local Air Cadets squadron. You may be surprised to learn that your chapter can grant six-month free EAA memberships to whoever it likes. Find out more about that here. The new member will receive EAA Sport Aviation magazine free for six months and will have full access to the members-only part of the EAA website. Maybe it could be one of the roles of your greeter — signing up new faces for that free membership.

As always, thank you to our contributors this month, and a special thanks to one of our readers who suggested that we contact our Canadian aviation museums for articles. That idea is in process with at least one article promised.

Have a great Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate, or just be happy with family and friends. Wishing you all a safe and fulfilling month.

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