Curtis Wheeler might be a commercial pilot, but he's also a committed booster of general aviation. "There's not a good understanding in America today about what general aviation is doing for people, and we'd like to try and promote that," says Wheeler, a member of the Skyline Soaring Club in Front Royal, Va., and a pilot for US Airways. As a glider pilot, Wheeler says he loves "flying around small airports, closer to the terrain than we would be in any circumstance in an airline operation." Wheeler says clubs such as his offer a chance to develop "the stick and rudder skills that can be honed in a relaxed and recreational environment for both amateur and professional pilots -- and that was a big payoff that day in New York City."

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