Snag a Fun Side-Job and Save the (Pilot) World!

Ladies and Gentlemen, AOPA needs presenters for their Rusty Pilot program...and you can be one of them!

The Rusty Pilot program is aimed at getting pilots who haven't flown in a while excited about aviation again. It seeks to help them brush up on their pilot general knowledge, complete a BFR, and get back into flying. It very wisely tries to coordinate this effort with flying clubs or other organizations so that returning pilots will have a built-in group of flying buddies for support and camaraderie. It's a great thing.

Part of the program also includes presenters who conduct one-day seminars throughout the country. The idea is: a flying club will host a seminar and the active members will invite all their less-active pilot friends. The club provides a venue and maybe some refreshments. AOPA provides a presenter who conducts a polished, professional, useful seminar for everyone in attendance. That's where you and I come in. AOPA is looking to hire us as part-time presenters. They anticipate enough demand that they expect each presenter to commit to about 15 weekend days per year.

It sounded like a good deal, but their announcement also specifies that the presenter has to come up with all of his or her own equipment...projector, computer, iPad, speakers, etc. That's no small investment, and neither is at least 15 days of my own time. I wrote AOPA to clarify and they recently got back to me. It turns out that this is a paying job! AOPA will pay $1800 per seminar. That's a whole lot more than you'd make instructing in a C-172 all weekend!

There is a catch: that $1800 includes your expenses. You have to get yourself to the location, buy your own equipment, and cover your own room/board while you're there. Even with that caveat, this is a potentially great opportunity for a pilot looking to make a difference for aviation in America (and make a little money at the same time.) If you're creative, there are even several ways you could mitigate your costs.

To qualify you must hold a CFI or AGI rating. (Sometimes pilots ask me why they should even bother getting their CFI. Well friends, this is yet another case in point!) You must have 5+ years of experience in some part of the aviation industry. You have to be a decent presenter, which they verify by requiring you to provide a video of yourself teaching something as part of your application. (That and a resume are all you need to submit initially.) If you're selected for an interview, you can expect to receive a few of the powerpoint slides you'll be using in your seminars. You'll have to teach those slides as part of a Skype interview. They're looking at picking people to interview within the next week or two, so don't wait to get your application in!

The US has more than 600,000 licensed pilots, but a significant number of them aren't active. America's freedom to enjoy General Aviation is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Part of ensuring we maintain that freedom is keeping people flying. We're also looking at an airline hiring boom in the tens of thousands (domestically...several times that if you look internationally.) The only way we'll be able to meet that demand is to get people excited about aviation and active in flying. AOPA's Rusty Pilot program is a great force for good in the efforts to help pilots stay active. You can be a part of it too...and make a little scratch on the side. Go apply now!