Next up in the series is Mike Morgan. I was acquainted with Mike just over a week ago when he came to visit MDT for an airport review to appear in his blog. He self describes as an avgeek and entrepreneur who loves planes and @Taco_Bueno more than one should. He loves Concorde and B747-400 (and -8i). And, he writes an avgeek blog. Already acquainted with Mike? Than maybe you'll learn a few new tidbits, or if you don't know him, allow me to introduce him:
When did you first discover your passion for the aviation community?
In 2007 I moved to Orlando, Florida. I was attending Full Sail University for a BS in film. My apartment was half a mile away from ORL and in the landing pattern for MCO. (It's probably not important to note here, but I also lived in the landing pattern for GRR (Grand Rapids, MI) back in 2004-2005.) On sunny days when I needed to get away from the film world, I would walk up the street to stand just beyond the threshold of runway 7. I would listen to LiveATC and watch planes come and go. As time moved on my obsession became stronger. I moved to Elizabeth, NJ, so that I could work in the film industry in New York City. But my house was just five short miles from EWR. While there, I found a thriving community of #avgeeks on twitter. I also flew over 80,000 miles in 2010. I managed to get to meet @juliewillfly and created friendships with many others online.
Do you or have you had an aviation hero? Who?
To say I have one aviation hero might be a lie. I greatly respect anyone who works in the aviation world. I don't just mean pilots and flight attendants, I mean workers at Spirit Aerosystems, Bag Handlers at Southwest, Metorologists working for Delta, honestly anyone who works in the airline world. But if I had to pick just one. William E. Boeing. He starting the Boeing Corporation 67 years and 1 day before my birth. Of course, then it was known as Pacific Aero Products. I respect him for having a very large dream, and making it come true.
In your opinion what makes you or someone an aviation geek (avgeek) or propeller head (prophead)?
My wife would tell you that I love and value planes more than her. When we're driving down the road and a planes flies overhead I stop talking and just watch. Once the plane is out of view, I pick up where I left off. I've made special trips to Boeing's Headquarters, the Evert factory, and the Boeing office here in Oklahoma City, just to check in on Foursquare. I would die without planes. I think that's the kind of spirit that makes one an avgeek.
Why do you recommend that your friends and family become avgeeks or propheads?
I don't. I've tried long and hard to convince my friends and family that airplanes are the most amazing thing in the world. But if you don't have an inert love for flight, I don't know that you can get it. My Granny is an avgeek because she is amazed every time she sees a plane take off.
What are the biggest challenges facing the aviation industry today, in your opinion?
I firmly believe that the biggest challenge that the aviation industry faces right now is the lack of "love of flight". General Aviation is being hurt by a loss of expendable income and people blow off private ownership. The airlines are treating commercial flight like a bus service, and caring less and less about customers and more about CEO bonuses. Until airlines and the common person fall in love with flying again, the aviation industry will continue to hurt.
Take flight, share something about yourself that you don't think was covered in these questions...
With a mix of my love for aviation and my entrepreneurial spirit, my hope and dream is to start an airline. This is a dream I've had since early 2004. I want to create an airline that loves flying and loves making the travel experience a great one!
What should Mike name his future airline? Are you a fan of general aviation, what do you think can be done to perserve private aircraft ownership?