Two Years Later

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Economic Aftershocks Of 9/11 Still Hurting GA...

The terrorist attacks of two years ago have seriously damaged flying's image, according to some of those on the front lines. In the last two years, 500 flight schools nationwide have closed their doors, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported on Tuesday. While economic factors are the major reason, some operators cite a "stigma" that has turned people off from the whole idea of flying. "If you tell people that you run a flight school, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is: 'How many terrorists have you trained?'" Mariano Garcia, of Palm Beach Aviation, told the Sun-Sentinel. That attitude translates directly into dollars lost, as prospective students stay away from the airport. While general aviation has long depended on the romance and excitement of flying to draw in students, that benign vision in the public consciousness now has been replaced with all-too-vivid memories of aircraft as the tools of evil men with destructive intent.