Did you know that the number of pilots in the U.S. has dropped by a third from 1980 till now? We have about 600,000 today. How come? Word War II trained hundreds of thousands of pilots, and many more learned to fly on the GI Bill. Now those left from that era are in their 80s and 90s, and many not flying anymore. Private training programs don’t begin to make up the difference.

How do I know? I’m a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and I read their Sport Aviation magazine (p.6). You could too, by going to http://www.EAA.org. I don’t fly myself, but the discounts on John Deere lawn equipment, Ford and so on more than cover membership and it’s fun to keep up on this stuff, and go to the annual monumental Oshkosh Air Show (www.airventure.org).

There are about 200,000 private planes registered in the U.S., and 71 of them are Russian made MIGs! Here’s a shot of an all-american classic I took at this summer’s Walworth, WI Fly-In.