“Excuse me, lady, is this where the meeting of the N-F-F-A is being held?” I asked, adjusting my flight jacket, the one that’s never been flying, and looking around hopefully for people who look, you know, something like me.
You see, it’s not just birds of a feather that flock together, we humans do, too. We enjoy the company of people who are, well, like us. And when it comes to flying, there’s no end of such organizations, I know, because at one time or another, I’ve been a member of most of them, including:
The Airborne Law Enforcement Association.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, known as AOPA.
The Aviation Association of Santa Fe.
The Brodhead Pietenpol Association.
The Civil Air Patrol, or CAP.
The Commemorative Air Force.
The Ercoupe Owners Club.
The Experimental Aircraft Association, known as EAA.
The Hat in the Ring Society.
The International Aerobatic Club.
The National Aeronautic Association, known as the NAA.
The Reno Air Racing Association.
The New Mexico Pilots Association.
The Silver Wings Fraternity.
The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, known as SAFE.
The Sport Air Racing League, or SARL.
The Vintage Aircraft Association.
My, my, my. I’m quite the little joiner, aren’t I? And I’ve probably been a member of seventeen other flying organizations that I’ve completely forgotten about. But that said, I’ve let my membership in most of these outfits lapse. Why? Well, I don’t really fit in. Or more correctly said, none of these associations, clubs, coalitions, confederations, cooperatives, federations, fraternities, guilds, leagues, organizations, and societies fit me. They don’t serve the needs of pilots like me. And I bet I’m not the only one.
So I decided to start my very own organization.
An organization for mutual support for real pilots and real flying. One that will give us kinship of common cause. One that will show us that we are not alone. One that will give us the support of our peers. One that will let us share our experiences with sympathetic ears, and get the counsel of the more experienced. One that genuinely represents our needs and helps us with the true realities that go hand-in-hand with the dual dreams of flight and of airplane ownership. One that recognizes the painful side of flight and the dark side of airplane ownership. Yes, an association that will keep the dream of flight alive for its members while their planes languish in the hangars of their mechanics.
In short, a club for people like me with airplanes that always seem to be broken down.
I’m going to call it the Non-Flying Fliers Association, or, in the aviation tradition of abbreviating everything, the NFFA. Our motto will be “All the same money, none of the fun.” I even came up with a swank logo:
I couldn’t wait. I fired off emails to all my pilot friends. They all thought the new association was a great idea, but none of them could spare any money for dues.
All their planes are broken down.