Social Media Leads To Project To Promote GA For All

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Two active pilots -- Jason Schappert, a CFI living in Florida, and Vincent Lambercy, a Swiss private pilot living in Germany -- were chatting on Twitter recently when they came up with an exciting idea. Why not go flying in Jason's Cessna 150, from the U.S. East Coast to the West Coast and back, to promote general aviation? "While it's not very fast, [the 150] is a very economical and reliable airplane," the two write on their Web site, FlyingAcrossAmerica.com. "Jason opted to own such a plane because it allows for his students to earn their private pilot license for less than 5,000 dollars! Aviation is not restricted to the elite and affluent. This is an integral part of our message." The two plan to launch next summer, and they are looking for sponsors and donors to help make the trip possible. Twitter users can also follow AVweb on our own Twitter account.

They will fly a southern route from Florida to California, to avoid having to cross the Rocky Mountains. The two say they see the flight as "a mission" that is more than just flying for fun from coast to coast. "We intend to rally people and promote general aviation on a local grassroots level," their Web site reads. "We believe strongly in this approach rather than taking on the politicians. Thanks to Internet networking, we can reach out and educate individuals and communities ... . We want to show how aviation creates friendship and solidarity and unites people." Schappert operates Schapp Aviation. Last year, he took top national honors in the CFI event in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (NIFA Safecon) at Murphreesboro, Tenn.