The BE A PILOT Board
has elected new officers for 2006 at its September 30 fall
Cessna Vice President, Marketing, Phil Michel will be 2006
chairman. A 30-year company veteran, Michel has been involved in
the BE A PILOT program from its inception in the mid-1990s and
served most recently as its communications chairman.
AOPA president Phil Boyer will serve as 2006 communications
committee chairman, a role he held in the early 2000s. Boyer was an
originator of the program and served as BE A PILOT president in the
General Aviation Manufacturers Association president Pete Bunce
was installed as Board secretary/treasurer. Ken Gazzola will
serve another term as finance chairman.
The BE A PILOT Board thanked 2003-2005 chairman Jack Olcott
(pictured below) for his service during his two-year tenure. As the
former NBAA chief executive, Olcott's commitment served to
reinforce the benefits of BE A PILOT to the business and corporate
The Board also thanked Drew Steketee for his effective
leadership. Brought in as president/CEO in late 2000 to move BE A
PILOT to a new level, Steketee will conclude his official duties as
his contract expires but will be available to BE A PILOT to assist
the transition to the 2006 program.
Cessna's Michel noted that the entire General Aviation industry
has benefited greatly from BE A PILOT. It has now motivated more
than 255,000 consumers to register for a $49 introductory flight
lesson at U.S. and Canadian flight schools. Of these, some 50,000
have already become student pilots or licensed pilots.
"Clearly, the precipitous decline in student starts during the
1980s and '90s has been arrested. We can document an impressive
number of new pilots whose introduction to aviation was through BE
A PILOT. Tens of thousands are continuing their training and many
others have purchased aircraft or are otherwise active new
customers for the industry."
advertising on national cable television has generated nearly
19,000 of this year's 22,000+ pilot prospects to date. TV
advertising continues through December on The Outdoor Channel's
"Wings to Adventure."
BE A PILOT's unprecedented outreach to the media has yielded
1,227 published or broadcast stories since 2001 on learning to fly
and using General Aviation for travel, recreation or
personal/career development. The ad-equivalent cost of this news
and feature exposure would have been $21.6 million if purchased as
print or broadcast advertising.
Since 2001, BE A PILOT has flown 560 reporters for a first
flying lesson. The program's www.beapilot.com Web
site has been visited by millions, including nearly 650,000
consumers so far this year.
BE A PILOT will be announcing plans for 2006 shortly after the
first of the year, when final results of this year's promotional
programs and fundraising are in. Also planned is new research that
will help define the 2006 program.
"With BE A PILOT celebrating 10 years of success, I'm looking
forward to a great year in 2006," said Michel.