Baby boomers flying high in light aircraft!

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by Armilite, Aug 29, 2016.

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  1. Aug 30, 2016 #41

    gtae07

    gtae07

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    It's a rectal-extraction figure based on the number of people I know and work with who have good jobs and are involved in other activities with similar time and money commitments (racing cars or motorcycles, traveling, etc.), and the students that a CFI friend tends to attract at his operation (younger professionals and empty-nesters).

    I didn't say anything about cold-calling. I'm talking about changing the way flying is advertised and promoted. It means learning lessons from the people building RVs (camper, not airplane), larger boats, midlife crisis cars, etc. I haven't seen ads promoting airplanes or recreational flying outside of people already involved in it since the 1-800-be-a-pilot ads from the 90s, and the few ads I have seen for flight schools are all pitching it from the professional/career standpoint.

    I seem to remember Van's parking an S-LSA RV-12 at an RV show once. That's more along the lines of what I'm thinking. Get some real advertising and marketing people involved instead of taking advice from Field of Dreams.

    I don't know anyone who's gotten one of those pitches. One of the flight schools mentions Cirrus on the sign out front, but I expect 95% of the people driving by that sign don't even know what a Cirrus is.
     
  2. Aug 30, 2016 #42

    Little Scrapper

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    Marketing dollars don't get spent unless there's a calculated return, generally speaking. In my business, that's the first thing I think about. Who's gonna spend the money? People complain about the dirt cheap EAA membership. Homebuilders don't even like to buy blueprints. It's a rather frugal group these homebuilders. If you're not a homebuilder you're a buyer. Isn't the average annual hours flown by pilots around 30 hours a week? Not a real active group really.

    So who does the marketing now? Big companies, big associations, and isolated EAA groups I'd imagine.

    Learn.Build.Fly. is a model that works well. If we had a hundred of those chapters across America we'd probably start to see some changes.
     
  3. Aug 30, 2016 #43

    Turd Ferguson

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    No, I'm just trying to give you some insight on what you're up against. If you're in one of the largest 25 cities in the US, you can get some people out to fly.

    Where I came from, a learn to fly booth at an airshow convinced ~10% of the people interested enough to fill out a card to take an intro flight. Think about that...for every 100 people that took the effort to fill out a card to receive more information, being contacted and offered an intro ride, 10 of them followed through. These were people who were at least interested enough to come to an airshow to begin with.

    You might laugh at field of dreams but people that walked through that door on their own? I could get 9 out of 10 into the plane for an intro ride. 10 out of 10 if they came with a spouse/girlfiriend/boyfriend, lol. It's about motivation. Somebody that gets to the airport under their own power is at least intrinsically motivated. That's a major part of the recipe.
     
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  4. Aug 30, 2016 #44

    MikePousson

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    EAA could be a big lobby by getting the airlines, plane manufactures, engine builders, and any aviation business to contribute in a united effort to an ad campaign that is seen anyplace other than aviation periodicals. Placing ads in things that attract the teens and young adults will have a much bigger intended audience that Private Pilot, Kitplanes, or any other mags out there. GA is an acronym that covers nobody and everybody. It has to be more than kiddie rides.
     
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  5. Aug 30, 2016 #45

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    EAA could single handedly make a bump in the stats by sponsoring chapter affiliated flying clubs. They don't seem to be interested in doing that.
     
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  6. Aug 30, 2016 #46

    Little Scrapper

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    Why is that?
     
  7. Aug 30, 2016 #47

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    No apologies for a fair question. When I was dating my wife, we went to an aviation trade show where Cirrus had their trailer. Having an interest in flight training for many years, I asked. From Rev. Jim memory, I recall being told in a good month they got ~500 "leads." I'm guessing that means from all sources of marketing.

    How many airplanes have they sold now? ~6000? Sounds like they are selling planes to ~5% of their target customer base? Interesting.
     
  8. Aug 31, 2016 #48

    Pops

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    Thank God, I was ask to work in the ground crew of a large sailplane club on weekends. I didn't know it,but latter I was told my payment was that if I would pay for the fuel in the 1953 Super Cub I would get free flight instruction.
    I had been an airport bum since I was 5 years old, and all I wanted to do was fly, but got married young and never could afford flying lessons. I was building a house as I had the money and told my wife when the house if finished and we move in without a mortgage, I am buying an airplane. So I started flight lessons and after a few months bought an airplane. Three military flight instructors got together and planed my instruction from a student pilot to the commercial rating. The first one had been a SEL, Float, Sailplane instructor since 1937. One flew a Pitts in competition, and the other a B-52 pilot that gave me my first airplane ride when I was 13 years old. I was in heaven.
    I thank God for the help of my instructors and they became life long friends.
    My daughter started helping me build a KR-2 when she was 14 years old and now at 55 years, has helped me completely restore 7 airplanes. She still helps me , or the other way around. Oldest son was in AF with the C-130's. His son flew for the airlines for a few years and didn't like it and now is a corp pilot with 7 type ratings and flys Cessna Citations V's and X's . My daughter's oldest son got a share in a 1947 Luscome and helped an IA rebuild it at 16 years old. Not flying now, I last year of college.

    Look what that fun job on working in the sail plane ground crew led to.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  9. Aug 31, 2016 #49

    Little Scrapper

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    Right on man!
     
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  10. Aug 31, 2016 #50

    fredoyster

    fredoyster

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    Just another data point. I've been watching and trying to help as my partner has been wending her way through flight school. Far too many hours and far too many poorly maintained S-LSA planes later, she's now a new sport pilot at 58. Most of the people I've met at the FBOs where she took lessons were either kids laser-focused on an airline job, or 50+. Maybe AARP needs to follow this.
     
  11. Aug 31, 2016 #51

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    Far too many training hours? Can you offer any suggestions on why that is so?
     
  12. Aug 31, 2016 #52

    AeroGal

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    .

    Of all the replies in this thread, the only one I consider well considered is the following quoted one by Bob K. Almost all the rest are yearnings about a time long gone and never to return by aging old farts with nothing to do but complain about how rotten kids are now.

    Thank you Bob K. for being a voice of reason. I hope to meet you someday. We can use more reason in this world. Especially on this forum.

     
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  13. Aug 31, 2016 #53

    Little Scrapper

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    I never once said kids are rotten, nobody else really did also.
     
  14. Aug 31, 2016 #54

    BJC

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    That is like saying that all women are pushy grouches, but I may be missing something, so please help me by pointng out what I wrote that includes yearnings ... and complaining about how rotten kids are.

    I do confess to being old, but I do not apologize for that. And I do eat beans from time to time.

    BTW, I met BoKu at Oshkosh, and found him to be a good guy. I hope that you do get to meet him.

    Thank you for you assistance in improving the quality of the discussions here at HBA.


    BJC
     
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  15. Aug 31, 2016 #55

    Victor Bravo

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    Admittedly tangential to the main discussion, I'm still bothered by how quickly and easily people say that something (good or important) is long gone and never to return. That is a pretty slippery slope, leading to the really "rotten" modern trend of people just taking what is handed to them without fighting to keep or reclaim something worthwhile. Do younger people really just shrug their shoulders and give up that easy these days?

    We old farts remember things like privacy, personal responsibility, self-reliance, and fixing something instead of just throwing it away. Are those things really so useless and unimportant to younger people?

    Speaking only for myself, I do have better things to do than complain about how rotten younger people are. I'm actively engaged in two or three endeavors trying to get some of these rotten kids to pursue aviation. Some or perhaps all of our ideas and discussions about how to do this are flawed or incorrect, but we're trying.

    One group of people (us old folk) are spending a whole lot of time trying to figure out ways to benefit another group of people (young folk). It's pretty much a one way street as far as I can see.

    Why do you figure that is?
     
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  16. Aug 31, 2016 #56

    MikePousson

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    Wow. That one musta came from my port side out of my narrow range of vision. If we were in the air, there sure would have been a mid air SNAFU. I've been reading this thread, and the varied opinions, but surely hadn't seen anything except honest opinions. I guess I'm truly an old fart, and getting older every day. Times have changed and there are things that I wished were different. I would really enjoy going back to the 50s & 60s. But there was crap going on back then also. My generation introduced the world to weed, LSD, rock and a lot of other stuff that elders figured they were the last great generation. Well, we survived and spawned the generation we have now. Circumstances, technologies, and progress shapes all our lives.
    We lived with the threat of a nuclear war all the time. I grew up 20 miles from a nuclear arsenal and we were always told we were a target.
    Kids nowadays are the same as kids thru out history. They need direction and purpose.
    That's my rant. Continue on.....
     
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  17. Aug 31, 2016 #57

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    lol, I reject your generalization that everyone else is generalizing.

    At some point you'll have to stop assuming everyone is generalizing and look at the data. Everyone today, not just kids are being bombarded with distractions. Many pass it off as multitasking but we know the human brain is not designed to multi task. It's unfortunate that the solution in schools is just to pump more Ritalin thru the ventilation ductwork.
     
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  18. Aug 31, 2016 #58

    BJC

    BJC

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    Keep in mind that each generation is the product of the previous generation, i.e., their parents.


    BJC
     
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  19. Sep 1, 2016 #59

    VFR-on-top

    VFR-on-top

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    I believe that "kids today" are no more or less interested in flying than kids were in the '60s. Occam's Razor supports this line of thinking as well.

    ----

    I also believe, scratch that, know, Aerogal is on to something. I am now going to talk about the elephant in the room:

    Aviation is full of old white guys. The percentage of white guys vs other gender and races combined is ridiculously lopsided. Likewise, the aviation community's overall views reflect those of old white guys.

    Stats: Today, 4.1 percent of airline transport pilots (ATPs) are women, 2.7 percent are black or African-American, 2.5 percent are Asian and 5 percent are Hispanic or Latino.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-bl...mpany-isnt-going-to-hire-black-pilots-anymore

    GA stats are likely close to this.

    The "grumpy old white guy syndrome" has likely kept this lopsidedness in place for a long time and will continue to do so.

    Fix this, and your GA woes are over.

    ----

    I know I've been bummed out by a heck of a lot of OWG in aviation (but for the most part, not in this group, thanks!). Whether or not you agree with me is besides the point and there's no need to belabor it.

    The real point is this: Will fixing this lopsidedness (by whatever means necessary) attract more people into aviation?

    (Views from women and people of color are welcome and carry more weight.)
     
  20. Sep 1, 2016 #60

    Pops

    Pops

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    "By whatever means necessary" So affirmative action is on the table.

    Doesn't this raciest post against whites violate the rules of this site.

    BTW-- I'm of the Cherokee Nation in the tribe of the Chickasaw's. I'll stand on the side of the Old White Men.
     

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