Changing the World for the Better

From NAFI's Chair

Changing the World for the Better

One of the reasons that I am proud to be a flight instructor is that in my small way I am part of what is changing the world for the better. As I've written before, the two great revolutions of our time, aviation and communications, have fostered a greater understanding among peoples worldwide. It has not been perfect, and we humans have had to learn difficult lessons along the way, but, on the whole, I believe the changes have been positive. My part in the process - and yours - has been to be a part of the training of pilots who have joined the ranks of general aviation, the military, and the airline industry, both domestic and international.

These thoughts came to me as I was attending an aviation event overseas two weeks ago. It was natural to think in these terms due to the international nature of the event. In fact, one of the international airline pilots who I have trained good naturedly took me to task, via Facebook, for not letting him know which city I was in, as he had a number of favorite restaurants that he wanted me to check out. The fact that a young man from Missouri had local hangouts over 7,000 miles from home filled me with a sense of awe and pride.

At the same time, the news from Wuhan, China broke that the coronavirus was becoming a major health issue, according to the World Health Organization. Many of us from around the world were attending the event. Naturally, we became concerned about the spread of the disease and how it might affect our trips to our respective homes. Thankfully no attendees were affected. However, as eMentor went to press today about 25,000 people have been infected and about 500 have died around the world.

That brings me back to how the world has shrunk due to both aviation and communication technologies. One of the concerns that you see in the news regarding the coronavirus is that international air travel has facilitated the spread of what the World Health Organization has recognized as a worldwide emergency.

This is something of which we in the aviation community should be aware. But it should not dismay us. Every advance in transportation in history has had risks and consequences. However, the benefits, when proper precautions are taken, have been vast. Yes, we should be concerned and use appropriate caution; but we should not be afraid.


Bob Meder,
NAFI Board Chair
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