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BJC

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There are many opinions about the EAA, from good to bad. The focus of the EAA definitely changed under the leadership of Tom P, then floundered under Hightower. It now has direction under Jack, but there are a vide variety of opinions about that direction.

This is a thread where one may compliment the EAA, or air one’s complaints about the EAA.

If complaining, please include your suggestion(s) for improving the deficiency. Also please indicate whether or not you are a member.


BJC
 

bhooper360

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Dec 9, 2021
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There are two local EAA chapters; the membership of each has very different goals and values. Both are effective organizations. Regarding the national leadership, I think the CEO should address the excess cable on the table lamp which was behind him during home builder's week. It's aesthetically distracting. A twist-tie should suffice.

Edit: Regarding that sub-organization of the EAA comprised exclusively of overgrown twelve-years-olds and people who sing extremely poorly in the shower, I have many complaints. I intend to deliver these in-person, because I can complain more loudly that way.
 
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jedi

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Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
Former EAA member 19944. My national membership expired many years ago and has not been renewed. I am a member of a semi-local rotor craft chapter and try to follow two other local chapters and volunteer in a third for the Arlington airshow. I enjoyed Sun & Fun and AirVenture for many years as a participant for UL and GA displays.

I joined Paul's independent grass routs organization when it was formed.

I flew my Baby Ace to Rockford in about 65 and attended Oshkosh during the Ultralight hay days. My last AirVenture I stood on the main roadway show center and could not resist taking photos of the disinterest of the departing crowd during the highlight of the military air show as the pyro guys blew up everything they had.

The exodus lasted about a half an hour and even during the grandest pyro display none even paused to look back. I wanted a photo to document the disinterest of a large segment of the membership and ended up with about 20 photos as the exodus grew larger and more impressive as the military display droned on and on and on.

I have fond memories of time spent with a lifetime member and miss the friendships formed thru the orginization. I may post a short blurb I wrote (not intended as a Sport Aviaton article, just the AirVenture Daily) that was not published when I fire up the old computer.

Years ago I lamented not purchasing a lifetime national membership for $100 when I could have but it does not bother me anymore. It is just a small part of the overall changes taking place and I just try to understand and adjust to the new world order.
 
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billyvray

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Aug 17, 2005
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Newnan, GA
Every month I get the mag. Most goes in the trash after the first pass through - there's still some interesting stuff there, but not a lot. I used to play with Solidworks, but that's gone. The back issues being online was a pull for a long time, but not really anymore. I am due to renew, and struggle. The last few years I have only kept it to be able to attend Sun n fun and Joe Nall. I'm thinking it's not worth it to me anymore.
Local chapter should be of interest, but I could not have felt more unwelcome at the few meetings I went to. Clearly an older, tight group, with very little building actually going on.

I wish that Ed Fisher's SAA could have gained foot hold. I saw potential there. More like the things you find in Facebook groups and forums where people are really doing interesting things.
 

StealthKoala

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Feb 3, 2022
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I joined, paid, couldn't access the website, called, calmly and politely explained situation, was given a "solution" that didn't work, called back, calmly and politely explained situation, was given a second "solution" that didn't work, called a third time, calmly and politely explained situation, was told issue must be in my hardware (HP), or my software (MS)-- both of which oddly don't malfunction on other sites.

I gave up, decided it was a small, ONCE in my LIFETIME, donation to a foundation for the hopelessly inept, recycled the dead trees they sent for a year, and have moved on.
 

Pops

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USA.
My EAA number is 84160. Went to OSH every year of decades. My 3 children grew up going. Always took a camper and stayed from beginning to end and loved it. When Tom took over I told my wife that things are going to change for the worse. Wish I was wrong. When we built and moved to the airpark I joined the local chapter and they took the money but never heard from them after. No meeting or anything. Before I was a member of Chapter 614 from day one. Nice bunch of people and they are still my friends. After I quit renewing , EAA called and ask why, I told them what I thought. Then about 7 years ago, I renewed for one year. The EAA and the SA mag is like TV, you think it can't get any worse but it does.
I have no desire to ever go to Osh. Instead I would go to several other smaller fly-in's around the country. Been to Sun-Fun one time. Have drove by when in FL doing the fly-in. Wife and daughter went one year and I stayed home and was out flying looking at airplanes to buy.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
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I'm less experienced than a lot of the others, but I read every Sport Aviation and attended every flyin in Oshkosh when I was a kid. EAA isn't what it once was by a long shot, but there is still some good going on : some of the chapters do good stuff and are very helpful; Steve Krog and George Karamitis often have worthwhile things to say, and every once in a while someone else writes some good things; even though AirVenture®© is a corporate mess, there are still cool things to see. I read what is worthwhile in SA and regret the rest. The archives online are 100% worth the membership dues. Forums like this are a better resource for actual building these days.

I have a good time every time I get a new Sport Aviation seeing what variation of, "'Wow! ', said Josie, 'it sure will be good to get back in the air,'" Lisa Whatshername starts her column with. It's inevitable, like death and taxes. Look for it in the next issue!
 

pfarber

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Feb 21, 2019
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Dollywood
The EAA used to be about building airplanes. Now its just rich people in $150k+ Certified AC or RVs

Seriously, i could not give two rat turds about young eagles or the future of the airline industry.

Every eaa chapter i joined was a joke and not about experimental airplanes. None had a tool crib, and counselers were alway busy with something else.

The eaa today is nothing but the cash cow that is OSH.

How to change it? First, kill young eagles. Has nothing to do with E/AB. Two, sport aviation should ban any certificated airplane articles or stupid barn finds that cost $100k+ to make a 172 airworthy again.

We need ti find the next Rutan, the next Bede, the next pioneer in auto conversions... Not another rich guy spends money on an airplane you will never own article.
 

Dantilla

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Aug 27, 2020
Messages
46
My local chapter in Sandpoint, ID is very active.
Outside of the monthly meetings being postponed during the virus scare, 60 or so show up for meetings that always start with good food.

They support the high school aviation program that has several students come on Saturdays to work on airplane projects.
Several students are also taking flying lessons, and our chapter offers scholarships to those heading towards an aviation career.
Half the scholarship funds up front to help training costs, the other half goes to pay for the checkride.

My wife knows if something happens to me, she can donate both of my projects and all my sheet metal tools to the high school program.

Knowing EAA is actively involved in lobbying for GA is worth the yearly membership. The magazine is just a bonus.
 

PiperCruisin

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Idaho
EAA member off and on. Mainly to go to the occasional local EAA chapter meeting. Problems/solutions:
1. More emphasis on "Experimental Aviation". Kitplanes mag seems to do a better job at this. Yeah, the warbirds are cool, but not the reason I would attend OSH. Maybe HBA needs to become the new EAA.
2. Local chapter is old. I'm feeling a bit old and I was the youngest person there at a lot of the meetings. Felt like I was at the old folks home about to start a round of bingo. At least young Eagles might get new blood excited about stuff. Tough to compete with their iPhones though. Without new blood and ways to get into aviation, the logical end is surrender.
3. EAA lobbying is probably worth the membership. Work on Mosaic and low cost STC programs could yield something worthwhile.
 

Bigshu

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KCMO, midwestern USA
sport aviation should ban any certificated airplane articles or stupid barn finds that cost $100k+ to make a 172 airworthy again.

We need ti find the next Rutan, the next Bede, the next pioneer in auto conversions... Not another rich guy spends money on an airplane you will never own article.
^^^^^^^^This. I'm an EAA member. I go to Osh kosh to talk to people like William Wynne and Sebastian Heintz. I got to meet some people I admire, like John dyke (Dyke Delta), And Chris Heintz (wish I'd had his book with me for an autograph when I met him), and Barnaby Wainfan (got his autograph in his book on airfoils). Did the workshops for sheet metal, welding and pulled a rivet on a one week wonder. All in all, I still enjoy talking to the people who fly their homebuilts in. Got to say hi to the group at homebuilt headquarters one morning. Nice to put faces to names. This forum is far and away more useful for gaining knowledge and encouragement for building than a chapter meeting. I've visited a couple, signed up for the one closest to me, but I have a hard time with the politics and cliquishness of the group. I'm late to the party I guess. More maintaining than building going on. I agree with the idea that the online access to back issues is worth the membership fee. I've dug through that archive and reprinted articles (or tracked down issues on ebay) more times than I can count. My bucket list is full of airshows I want to get to before they go away forever. I try to get to the Midwest LSA show and the Zenith open house most years. Those events are fun, and the people are seriously engaged in building/flying for fun, not just showing off their wealth.
 

BJC

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1. More emphasis on "Experimental Aviation". Kitplanes mag seems to do a better job at this. Yeah, the warbirds are cool, but not the reason I would attend OSH.
That is a big issue with me; put the “experimental” back in the Experimental Aircraft Association. Note that the EAA changed it’s mission statement, away from E-AB aircraft, many years ago. I.e., It was a conscious decision to move to all things commercial.
Maybe HBA needs to become the new EAA.
I lobbied the EAA to make their forum a useful tool for everything to do with E-AB, but was not successful. Their forum is useless.

Way back in the pre-www days, the magazine was the communication tool for educating, encouraging, and acknowledging builders, and for advertising tools, materials and equipment. Today, on-line forums and web sites serve those roles, and do so more effectively. This one is tops; everyone should support it through participation as well as financially.
2. Local chapter is old.
Yup, ergo the Young Eagles program, the inserted comic book, the education academy, scholarship programs, etc. Even then, their indpt leadership really fumbled the pilot approval process for the YE program.
3. EAA lobbying is probably worth the membership.
Agree. AOPA, too.


BJC
 

Bigshu

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EAA member off and on. Mainly to go to the occasional local EAA chapter meeting. Problems/solutions:
1. More emphasis on "Experimental Aviation". Kitplanes mag seems to do a better job at this. Yeah, the warbirds are cool, but not the reason I would attend OSH. Maybe HBA needs to become the new EAA.
2. Local chapter is old. I'm feeling a bit old and I was the youngest person there at a lot of the meetings. Felt like I was at the old folks home about to start a round of bingo. At least young Eagles might get new blood excited about stuff. Tough to compete with their iPhones though. Without new blood and ways to get into aviation, the logical end is surrender.
3. EAA lobbying is probably worth the membership. Work on Mosaic and low cost STC programs could yield something worthwhile.
I could have written this, except I renew every year. I'm a full on Kitplanes magazine fan. HBA would be a really interesting replacement for EAA. Chapters do seem chock full of geezers. If you're building, cool, but if you're just a grouch, stay home. EAA lobbying is good, but they seem satisfied to rearrange deck chairs, rather than go for big ideas, like getting rid of STCs entirely, and drivers license medicals for all.
 

BJC

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Chapters do seem chock full of geezers.
That was an issue 40 years ago, too. I quit going to chapter meetings in Clearwater, FL, because most of the members were old, retired, not flying, not building, some not pilots, who spent the entire meeting telling the four or five of us who were actually doing something what we should be doing,

Now I’m old, retired, etc., but still maintaining and flying and building. We have a big chapter here at 97FL, 150+ members, that has tools, tech counselors, etc., and, through our fly-in, has donated considerable financial support to young people who are getting into GA.


BJC
 

jedi

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Aug 8, 2009
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Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
I agree that with BJC that “Their forum is useless.” And comments about Young Eagles programs

It is time to change the name. Any suggestions?

Perhaps just make the whole organization an Aviation Academy. The Environmental Aviation Academy would be green and politically motivating.
 
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PiperCruisin

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Chapters do seem chock full of geezers. If you're building, cool, but if you're just a grouch, stay home.
Just to be clear, I don't think you or anybody else has anything against the "geezers". They often have a lot of interesting experience and knowledge, sometimes not. Unfortunately, they don't have the drive to work on new stuff and the rolls tend to diminish year after year.
 

blane.c

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capital district NY
I am a member. I agree with most of what has been said previous. I will maintain my membership because there is not to my knowledge a better alternative. The LAA that Cluttonfred posted about recently sounds like a good alternative but they are likely to intelligent to get mired in the USA.
 
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Bigshu

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Just to be clear, I don't think you or anybody else has anything against the "geezers". They often have a lot of interesting experience and knowledge, sometimes not. Unfortunately, they don't have the drive to work on new stuff and the rolls tend to diminish year after year.
Yeah, I'm a fringe geezer myself. Maybe it's me, but I can't seem to get to the experience and knowledge part with them. Usually get sidetracked with complaints about masks. Tired of that discussion. A guy I fly with in CAP is building an RV. He's had me over a couple of times to set rivets on the wings where he can't reach with the bucking bar and run the riveter. I envy his workshop.
 

Victor Bravo

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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
The EAA used to be about building airplanes. Now its just rich people in $150k+ Certified AC or RVs

Seriously, i could not give two rat turds about young eagles or the future of the airline industry.

Every eaa chapter i joined was a joke and not about experimental airplanes. None had a tool crib, and counselers were alway busy with something else.

The eaa today is nothing but the cash cow that is OSH.

How to change it? First, kill young eagles. Has nothing to do with E/AB. Two, sport aviation should ban any certificated airplane articles or stupid barn finds that cost $100k+ to make a 172 airworthy again.

We need ti find the next Rutan, the next Bede, the next pioneer in auto conversions... Not another rich guy spends money on an airplane you will never own article.

This crappy attitude is far more of a problem for aviation than the stuff you are complaining about. The rich guy is not the problem; chances are he worked hard to become successful and if he wants to buy a $300K turbine Lancair it's his business. Besides, he may donate money to a youth program, or he may buy a kit so the local EAA chapter po'boys have a project to build.

You also apparently do not have the intellectual bandwidth to see the whole "ecosystem" of general aviation, or you don't care if there is an aviation. The only reason you can participate in general aviation and homebuilding is because people before you gave a crap enough to make sure it was available for you after they were gone. Now it's your turn to do that, and you "don't give two rat turds".

Let me try to help you overcome your cognitive decline, learning disability, or both: EAA started off as all about homebuilding your own airplane. In 1953 there were plenty of other groups that addressed the many other parts of aviation, but nothing that was all about homebuilding. So EAA built itself from that foundation. Since then, almost all of the other groups have either died off, or gotten weaker, or just sat there as a small-time player. So EAA stepped up, started bodybuilding itself stronger and bigger, and is now doing four or five things in addition to just homebuilding. Youth outreach, legislative lobbying, warbirds, aerobatics, antique airplanes, etc.

(EAA is not perfect, and has plenty of flaws. But their core mission and their intention to support that mission is beyond question)

To help you grasp this concept, think of your local Fire Department. It's still the Fire Department, but now they do a whole lot more than just spray water on a fire, don't they? Do you spout off saying that the Fire Department is stupid because they also show up at your house when you have a heart attack, or pull you out of a car wreck, or flood water is filling up your house?

You don't have to care about or understand the many different parts of aviation at once. You don't have to help keep the boat floating or moving forward. If you don't give two rat turds, that's your right, but please don't insult the people who do care.
 
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