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The Future of NYCAviation

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Written by: Phil Derner Jr.
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The past month and a half has not been easy for us here at NYCAviation. We faced our biggest challenge ever when our Editor-in-Chief, Matt Molnar, passed away very suddenly in late January. Matt, on so many levels, embodied NYCAviation. What would have been his fifth year on the team, Matt was the voice behind much of our social media, the fix-it man of the site, our most frequent writer, and the guy next to you out spotting at JFK.

Matt’s sudden departure stung our team deep and hit us hard, both professionally and personally. How do you replace a guy who did so much? How do you replace someone who brought so much creativity to his work, and with such a sense of humor? How do you replace a friend? Perhaps both fortunately and unfortunately, you can’t replace him.

We cannot think of a better way to honor our teammate, and friend, than to pick up and get back to doing what we do best: serving up rich, creamy bowls of aviation awesomeness to all who rely on us for it. Not to get all “Churchill” on you, but we will never give in. We will never stop serving our friends in the aviation world. In fact, we are not just recovering from a terrible loss, but we are still growing. So, as we begin to move forward toward the bigger and better places that Matt and our team have dreamt of, you’re going to notice some changes.

First, you’ll notice some new faces. Our official staff has and will continue to grow, bringing on talented people such as our new Co-Editor Jason Rabinowitz. He’s been around the block with us before, and now he’s here to do more writing, process article submissions and collaborate with the rest of our team as NYCA looks to the future.

Other faces have been around for awhile but are stepping up. Staffer Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren will be adding Co-Editor to his existing roles of Chief Correspondent and Senior Producer. Our Lead Programmer, Darin, will be getting his hands dirty with all technical aspects of the site. This will include site maintenance, new features and back-end IT, as well as overseeing more IT people that we’d like to bring on to put under him (that’s what she said). And as for me? Well, I’ll be tweeting, writing, editing, and managing our team and business. I will also be attending more events and making sure I am out there and present…front and center.

Second, it’s a new day for our social media. Our Twitter team has beefed up to four people, making sure that we have trained and knowledgeable people that can deliver expert information and news around the clock. Weather, travel updates, and fielding your questions and requests will not only continue, but grow. Facebook activity is also going to expand, and you’re going to like it. And it will not just be the same stuff we put on Twitter, either. More photos, more interaction, and scheduled travel updates that are not limited to 140 characters; all without flooding your news feed. We’ve already started it some of it, nearly doubling our Like-ship in the past few months alone.

Third, we’re bringing you more. Of everything. For starters, we’re going to be putting out more content aimed at making morning coffee and workplace procrastination that much more enjoyable. We’re going to do it by throwing more written features and several new series that will keep you entertained, informed, visually stimulated, smiling and learning. On top of that, our online store is getting a revamp with fresh avgeek material to wear about the world with pride. Also, events will become more frequent, both big and small, in New York, Seattle, and elsewhere. Whether they are catered events with open bar, a planned BBQ, tweet-ups, or just us saying “Hey, the team’s heading to a local watering hole for a drink,” we want to see you more, and we want you to see us.

Fourth: YOU. We want and need YOU to get involved in NYCAviation; you are what we’re all in this for, so help us help you. Want to contribute to us? Have a problem on the site? Got an idea? Need our help? Contact us. Email me at [email protected] and I will see that myself or our team answers you and gets the ball rolling.

That includes feedback, which is the best way to support us! Read a good article of ours? Share or retweet it; give a shout-out to the author; leave a comment. Couldn’t stand an article? Let us know why. Showing us is how we can continue to hone our skills and dish up better content to all of you that much better.

We also want to establish a policy of transparency. Regardless of what projects or features we are working on, we want you to always know that aviation enthusiasm and planespotting are our roots, and always our priority. Wondering why we do something a certain way? Curious as to why Phil isn’t spotting next to you as much these days? Scratching your head about why we’re writing articles about stuff that may not exactly pertain to our planespotting friends? Just ask. We are here to make sure you feel helped and served. If you don’t feel that, we’ve failed you.

After this brief fuel stop, we are prepping to depart to the skies once again, with the memory of Matt guiding our auto-pilot and enough seats on-board to accommodate all of you.

Our future is yours. Onward and upward.


Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has a background in online advertising and airline experience as a loadmaster, operations controller and flight dispatcher. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @phildernerjr.

About the Author

Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has aviation experience as a Loadmaster, Operations Controller and Flight Dispatcher. He owns and operates NYCAviation and performs duties as an aviation expert through writing, consulting, public speaking and media appearances. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.



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  • Nice to hear guys! I’ve been a fan of the site for years and I look forward to seeing the new additions. Of course, Matt’s presence is missed and he was a big part of the NYCA team, but your future show’s so much promise! ~ Doug from Seattle

  • Excellent news Phil, and a great article. I’m sure Matt is looking down on NYCA-HQ and is “on board” with the plans to move forward.

  • disqus_j10YhNaRFO

    Love your site. I’ve been an aviation fanatic since I was little girl. I’m sure Matt will be proud of the direction your team is moving. Best of luck!!

  • Luis

    NYCaviation is the first website I visit every morning. You guys rock, don’t stop doing what you do best and that’s keeping us up to date with aviation.

  • Rob Akers

    I am proud of you guys for moving forward. I know it is tough but it is the right thing to do. Keep smiling and I look forward to future. I hope you do as well.