Ravi the Raviator urges audiences to take to the skies

Written by Fourth Estate Lifestyle Editor Genevieve Hoeler

For those who have ever considered getting in the pilot’s seat of an airplane, the Hylton Performing Arts Center is hosting Ravi the Raviator while on his “You Can Do It” tour.

On March 19, Ravi will be visiting the Prince William Mason campus to motivate potential pilots, especially those from ages 15 to 25 and women and minorities. Ravi said he wanted to help attract another generation of people so that they may embrace their sometimes unrealized dreams of taking to the skies.

Ravi did not get his beginnings in aviation, but with a guitar in his hand. Ravi played with the band Hanson, famous for their hit tune “MmBop.”

It was through his experience touring with the world-known band that Ravi discovered his affinity for travel.

I fell in love with being on the road,” Ravi said. “It made me enjoy the whole act of touring and discovering new places and discovering new cities.”

After his time with Hanson, Ravi began touring with guitar clinics speaking on behalf of the music industry. Also, he soon began writing for monthly columns for magazines about music.

In 2008, Ravi began his dream of becoming a pilot. “It was one of those back burner things I have always wanted to do,” Ravi said.

What Ravi came to realize is that learning how to fly an airplane helped him in ways outside of just becoming a pilot.

“Everybody should learn how to fly,” Ravi said. “If every kid had to learn to fly an airplane in order to graduate high school, then we would not be falling so far behind in education.”

Ravi’s reasoning for this is based on his own experience with flying. It helped him organize his life in a way that other fields can’t.

“[Aviation] can teach someone how to budget a household,” Ravi said. “[It] teaches you economics, and how to analyze. Teaches you routine and discipline.  You learn flow, so you can know that everything is exactly where it needs to be.”

For people looking for possible career options, becoming a pilot could become a primary one for anyone’s list.

“So many of the pilots flying commercial airplanes are Vietnam war pilots,” Ravi said, “So we have the highest retirement rate that the industry has ever seen. There are so many opportunities on a global and career level.”

And for those worried about price, Ravi said that it is not nearly as expensive as one might believe. Ravi said, “It is not necessarily more expensive than a year at college or at a college university or than a family trip to Hawaii.”

All of these details about flying are the reasons why Ravi is speaking  nationally.

“A lot of people are on the fence, wondering whether this is for them and they’ve always thought about it. This is the opportunity to learn more and find out if it is for them,” Ravi said.

The event is free, with the option to bring in a canned good that will go to a local homeless shelter. There will be prizes, including a chance to win a ‘Discovery flight,’ a $1500 flight training scholarship, as well as information and access to local resources for those who want to learn how to fly in this area.

The event will take place March 19 at 7 p.m. in the Hylton Performing Arts Center at the Prince William campus. For those who want more information about the tour, visit www.youcandoittour.com.  The app for those who want to win prizes at the event can be found at http://iRavi.mobi.

This tour is being sponsored by Lightspeed Aviation Foundation, Sporty’s Foundation and Sennheiser Aviation.