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COVID-19 Pandemic

Timeline March 12th – April 12th, 2020.

I am at home and social distancing, which is ironic because this is the closest I have been to my immediate family for some time. I was asked to fill out an online evisa request form for India in January, and they required that I fill out all the countries I have visited in the past 10 years. When I got up to 22, the form sent out a warning. “NO more than 20 countries!”

On the trip to India, I travelled to 9 countries in 9 days before returning to Canada on March 03rd. As I had heard about, but not seeing any reaction to, the COVID-19 virus spreading worldwide, I went into self-quarantine as soon as I got home. I decided on 14 days because China was already reporting on how the symptoms might not show up for 10-12 days. 14 days would be safe. I knew this crisis was going to be dangerous.

My wife went out shopping, my son continued to go to work, and I stayed home. We started using hand sanitizers and Lysol wipes and washed our hands more frequently. We never went out to the bar or restaurants but still ordered in occasionally. I cancelled my next trip scheduled for March 12th because it was evident that the epidemic was now a pandemic, and anyone with any sense would avoid travel. But that left the many who don’t have any reasoning.

I was appalled by the number of people who simply ignored the warnings and continued with their planned trips abroad, including many who left to join up with cruise ships. These were the first people to cry online about the Federal government abandoning them when their airline flights were cancelled, or their ships were refused berthing space. These people are sure lucky I am not Canada’s Prime Minister because I would have left them where they were to tough it out. But our PM, without judging or preaching, went to their aid. In times like this, we are lucky to have someone with compassion and without judgement leading the relief efforts.

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Social Media 

Timeline: November 15th, 2015

Social media is everywhere and pervasive – that is, if you are connected. And more and more people are getting connected. My mother is 81, and she is connected. She follows internet news, posts on Facebook and follows Twitter feeds.

Social media is also informative and educational – that is, if you have the common sense while sifting through the billions of posts, tweets, and images, to decide what is relevant and what is not. Or you can let others do that for you. Selecting who you follow is just as important as choosing your friends.

Maybe more critical if you want to keep up to your friends on current and trending news and views. So who do you follow, and why? Are they informative, creative, witty or damn good researchers? Or are they just blindly following someone else?

I have had lots of new followers, and it makes me wonder. I have been online for over 20 years, and I only went over the 5 followers mark about five years ago. Before, a newly published story on my classic web site might take a year to get 20 reads, but then I only wrote 2-3 articles, book reports or stories a year. To step up the volume, I started a blog 10 years ago and published one blog a month. Now my blogs will get read 10-20 times in the month. What has changed? I believe inter-connectivity and perseverance tipped the scales.

When I joined the social sharing platforms of Facebook,  Twitter, and Instagram (while still blogging on WordPress once a month) and connected them all together, my readership started climbing. Inter-connectivity between multiple media sharing sites is making a slight difference. But to get the significant numbers of readers, only perseverance and productivity will get you noticed. The more you post, the more you gain followers.

I find, moreover, that each medium has its own creative merits, and I enjoy the opportunity to share the different sides of me. Now, if I can only get my followers to buy my book of poetry, Woodsmoke & Perfume. It is multi-media as well with poems, stories, drawings and photos. You can also follow me on Amazon.com, where you can find and order all three of my books, including Compass Companions and Helicopter Safety.

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Aviation Consultants 

Timeline: February 09th, 2015

No matter what anyone tells you, history does not repeat itself. Sometimes we can prevent the mistakes of the past by knowing or understanding history, but all it takes is one little unforeseen variable, and it can all come crashing down around us. What I am getting at is – don’t hire an aviation consultant or subject matter expert or Director of Flight Operations or CEO because they were successful at their last job and tell them to recreate whatever they did right in the past. That doesn’t work.

Instead, you hire someone because they have the training, education and maturity to understand that they can’t only take one successful model from (for example) Indonesia or Australia and rebuild it in Vietnam or the Maldives.

You hire someone with proven creative imagination and worldwide experience in multiple fields who can read your geography, environment, culture, business structure and then come out with something new and exciting and ultimately successful.

This does not happen overnight or in five months or even in a year. This will take 2-3 years of dedication,  trust, perseverance, strategic flexibility and, most importantly, hard work. If you are in it for a quick profit, then build a casino or strip mall. Don’t start an airline.

Villa Air: The Maldives

Timeline: January 18th, 2015

Villa Air, after a long battle against aviation misinformation, was able to register their Amphibian Cessna Caravan Seaplane onto their Maldivian AOC. I trained all their pilots and co-pilots and wrote the SOP’s.

They are now legal to start scenic flights in and around the South Ari Atoll. Their goal is to spot more Whale Sharks from the air than anyone has ever done before.

Pilot Publications

Timeline: December 29th, 2013

In preparation for the arrival and publication of several new books, I have in the works, I have added a new category to the blog. Pilot Publications will carry books for sale, including my newly published book of poetry, WOODSMOKE & PERFUME.

Air Transport Consultant

Timeline: November 24th, 2013

I recently updated my professional website – Air Transport Consultant – in an attempt to gain more traffic and interest in my business. I changed it in several ways. The first was to clean up the site with simple code and formatting. The second was to move toward HTML5 for better content control and presentation. Finally, I personalized the site.

Previously I had advertised my services generically without promoting my name or defining who I was. That did not work. Actually, I did not mind the lack of traffic so much because I was busy anyway. Still, to up the game, I decided to actively and personally pursue more management consulting work. In other words, I wanted my website to reflect my business reality. Company owners and board members hired me because of me and not because of my generic list of services. Of course, it is good to know what I can bring to the table, but it is my personality and experience these companies are after. The change has been very successful. Not only is my site traffic way up, but the quality of the inquiries is top level. They know what they want, and they know what I can deliver.

The site colour scheme is coffee and cream, and the basic code came from Coffee Cup. No correlation between the two as I had picked out my colour scheme before finding Coffee Cup, but maybe that is how I found the software. Unlike many other web site software programs, it does not interject useless code into your file. I paid for my application, but the free version does everything you really need.

The image transition code is built up from suggestions in HTML Goodies, although I have purchased WOW slider since then. I have not changed all the headers to WOW, as the existing code seems to work fine. As in my blog and my other websites, all the images are mine. I only use what I can take. That keeps the experiences real. I can prove I was there because I took the picture. The picture of me, however, was taken by my wife.

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