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How many pilots have packed it all up due to the coronavirus situation?

This may be anecdotal but so many experienced pilots seem to have gone.

Quite a number of long-timers (flying for say 20 years) have sold up and quite a few seem to have taken up sailing

Most notably, a number of meet-up regulars have packed up. We had a really great group at the Andorra fly-in; mostly new people.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

There seems to be less activity right now, but I thinks that’s just the general trend that started decades ago. During the pandemic, it was a great time for GA here due to less cat. Even better than the old days at times

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

I suspect there is a decline – but due to the ageing pilot population rather than COVID

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

I have a lot of admiration for the members here on the forum who do go to the fly-ins, I do like to fly into nice places but as I have been married for over 20 years (and try to keep it like that ;-)) the Mrs is happy to fly everywhere with me as long as it isn’t to talk aviation shite (as she refers to it ;-)). She’s had over 10years of professional sports to cope with prior to the aviation ’’hobby’’ so I try to spare her too much of my passion and use the plane more socially to visit family, fly to islands (with nice weather and scenery) and do splash out on the hotels. The fly-ins would not fly well with her… (pun intended) If I were alone they’d be a good reason to fly somewhere…

Last Edited by LFHNflightstudent at 19 Oct 11:12
LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

Actually there is very little “aeroplane talk” on our fly-ins All the people who turn up know how to not crash a plane, etc, so no need to discuss flying much.

But maybe EuroGA is different from the traditional GA meet-up, perhaps because people come from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. We get a lot of really fascinating people, and it is very interesting to hear their stories. It’s also been a great experience for my two sons (one of whom is now a “proper pilot”) to meet the people.

However, my original post also referred to a load of people who AFAIK never came to any fly-ins, and who have packed up. I reckon the restrictions just pushed them over the edge.

A separate concern is that a number of airports are likely to soon go bust.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

A separate concern is that a number of airports are likely to soon go bust.

I actually think (from an investment angle too) there is a real opportunity for regional GA type of airports. A lot of very smart and wealthy people have started to invest meaningfully in the private aviation (mostly jets) space. surely these operations will need airports. I hear of very little complaining with regards to GA traffic here in Europe and in our little Aeroclub (despite runway being shut for a month, a 2 month lockdown etc) this years numbers of hours flown on rental planes will be roughly in line with 2019. More people flying more hours pretty much… I know for a fact this is true for many French aeroclubs, with a majority being UL activity…

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

At my based airfield EGBM I have noticed a decline in activity. I suspect that this is for a combination of both the reasons cited above. Often based pilots would be flying to near Europe and the obstacles have reduced the willingness to undertake such trips. I also think people have found different interests and hobbies but have hung on to their aircraft hoping for greater freedom and for sentimental reasons.

United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Actually there is very little “aeroplane talk” on our fly-ins All the people who turn up know how to not crash a plane, etc, so no need to discuss flying much.

As I said, if I were alone I’d be attending a lot of the fly-ins, it’s a matter of knowing your spouse I guess (and caring enough to stay married ;-))

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

As I said, if I were alone I’d be attending a lot of the fly-ins, it’s a matter of knowing your spouse I guess (and caring enough to stay married ;-))

If our fly-ins were “aviation talk” based my wife would be the first one who would refuse to join. From my experience, EuroGA fly-ins are built around flying to scenic places with different activities available in the area, rather than hanging around with bunch of pilots in airport restaurant. The only “mandatory” event is Saturday dinner in some nice restaurant where we talk with some old and new friends about different topics where aviation is probably just a small fraction.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

I think that Covid has been the catalyst or even the excuse for some who were already considering giving up, eg due to age.

France
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