Featured Student: David Flynn

David Flynn earned his private pilot’s license the day he left for his first semester at Ole Miss. During that semester, he had no way to use his new license. There are no plane rentals or flight schools nearby. Flynn wanted to get involved and meet people at the airport, but all of his attempts failed.

Soon, he began to realize that there was no sense of community or connection at the airport – or at least one he could find. It seemed like he was the only one in the area interested in aviation, however, he knew that couldn’t be true. Flynn began to do research and talk to people and found that this problem exists at airports across the country, so he set out to fix that with Hangaround.

Around the United States, general aviation participation and the number of pilots is shrinking. The people who use airports are not as involved as they used to be in the “good ole days” of aviation. Aviation, in terms of community, is behind the times when it comes to modern technology and resources. Without the strong and supportive community existing at airports, it is very difficult for people to get involved in aviation. There is an impending pilot shortage globally and the lack of involvement and connection between pilots is often blamed. It has become such a significant problem that organizations like EAA and AOPA have started massive initiatives to research and determine a potential solution to this threat to general aviation.

Flynn founded Hangaround, LLC, an online social platform that increases participation at airports while promoting and reviving general aviation. His platform allows airports, flying clubs, and other aviation organizations to create an online community that encourages interaction between its members in order to bring the community closer together.

Hangaround is beginning to gain some traction and grow.  Recently, the first version became available to airports and flying clubs.  Multiple airports and clubs have expressed interest in building their communities with Hangaround. Three UM students, including Flynn, are using Hangaround’s platform to start an Ole Miss Aviation Club.

“My goals for Hangaround are for it to become the go-to source for information and social interaction in the world of general aviation,” said Flynn. “I plan for Hangaround to become the ‘cool’ brand of aviation, similar to SaltLife when it comes to surfing.”