I felt I had to add my 2cents. I apologize for the likely rambling nature of the following. I am not a yet pilot or even training to become one. I like to build things and right now that thing is a Corben Jr Ace. Someday I hope to get my private, but finances don't allow that right now; one project at a time. When I graduated high school in 2006 I decided I wanted to take up sailing. I read everything I could on the subject. then built a dinghy for about $150 and started sailing it. When I graduated college four years later I decided to buy a "real" boat. To me that was a 25 foot O'day trailer-sailer. All-told that probably cost about $4500 after buying a used trailer and making the necessary repairs to boat and trailer. All the while I was learning more and gaining experience sailing. This all culminated in a 6 month trip to the Bahamas living aboard my boat and sailing thousands of miles for not much more than I paid for the boat. Aviation doesn't have that. You can't really build a $150 airplane and fly it expecting any modicum of safety. Even if you found a project you'd have to KNOW what you were doing. That learning takes years, money, and someone who knows what they're doing to walk you through it. My perception is that someone has to be willing/able to pay at least as much as my ultimate sailing budget allowed me to even begin making their way into the aviation world. I had years of sailing and learning for the cost of one flying lesson, to say nothing of an aircraft purchase or mechanic's bill. Now some of this expense is founded; unless you're really lucky you can't just muddle along too far trying to teach yourself before you get hurt. If you mess up sailing on a lake, you bob around for a while, aviation is less forgiving. To keep your hide intact you have to have either have experience or pay for someone who does. To learn what you're doing you need and instructor's experience, you need an A&P's experience to knows what's safe in an aircraft and inspect your project, etc etc. Obviously there are exceptions, but as a whole I think we could agree that as far as barriers to entry, aviation has many more than a majority of other hobbies. As a side note, sailing is also said be be dying; years of misconceptions have made many view it as a rich man's sport and because of that reality is beginning to follow that perception. (I could elaborate, but don't think this is the place). My point: if my $150 sailing hobby is largely ignored because so many view it as unachievable, how much more do you think the cost of entry to aviation scares people away, to say nothing of fences,barbed wire, no-admittance signs, and empty parking lots... Nevertheless, I am here. I am here because my father is a pilot and I learned to love anything that flies. I feel like aviation needs me, even if I have nothing to give it yet.