EAA video: members only?

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by mcrae0104, Jun 1, 2019.

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  1. Jun 2, 2019 #41

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

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    I visit Oshkosh four times a year, for a function not (directly) involved with EAA. I know a couple of folks at EAA headquarters, and as I usually have a couple of hours before my flight out of MKE, often stop by to chat.

    When you walk through the main offices, it's obvious there's a large collection of airplane nuts there. Sure, there are the bog-standard EAA posters, etc, but nearly every cubicle has what is obviously private aviation memorabilia. A couple of them have taken me by nearby workshops to view their own projects under way. No Legends, Lancairs, or Glasair...all salt-of-the earth homebuilts like most of us fly.

    Yes, there ARE perks to being employed by EAA. There's the experienced A&P in the next cubicle whom you can ask for advice, and lots of examples of homebuilts that you can look at to get ideas and inspiration. I've never asked, but suspect there are additional perks involving tools and areas to build.

    Not, exactly, a bad thing when you work for an organization that was founded to help people build their own airplanes.

    As far as supposed free use of P-51s and other warbirds... well, this boils down to the classic warbird conundrum: Are they intended to sit pristine in a hangar, or should they be flying?

    Most EAA members, I think want to see them fly.

    Now: Should EAA only allow the pilots to fly them during the convention?

    Of course not. I fly my Fly Baby 30 hours a year, and a lot of people tell me that's not enough to maintain proficiency. How often should a P-51 pilot fly? How often a B-25 pilot? B-17? Or should they just draw lots at the convention and let whoever wins fly a couple of passes in the Mustang (uhhh, don't answer that :)

    Obviously, these pilots have to maintain proficiency, and that means some lucky stiffs get to fly the airplanes on EAA's dime when there's no one watching. And, as we're all aware, the airplanes need to run regularly in any case.

    EAA certainly wouldn't HAVE to keep these planes flying. There are private owners out there, private companies, who bring their airplanes to Oshkosh every summer. So, should EAA park its own fleet? Drain the oil, plug the hydraulics, park them permanently under arc lights to collect dust and shed memories?

    I'd just as soon they didn't.

    There's another aspect to this. There's a guy on the EAA forum who owns his own Spitfire. It was involved in a crash (NOT his fault) about ten years ago. The plane still isn't flying.

    Why? Don't know. Maybe he's having trouble finding parts, maybe it's financial. But I think if EAA had owned the bird, it'd be flying again. They just completed a long restoration of their B-25, got it flying after decades on display. They have the capability, the will, and the money.

    I, too, prefer the "old" EAA, when its only emphasis was on homebuilts. But that ship has sailed. Several other folks, including Paul P. like Bryon mentioned, have attempted to start grass-roots organizations that go back to the homebuilding roots. They've all failed. Say what you will about the current broad scope of the organization, it IS organized. It can run the largest airshow in the world, and still gives good support to chapters and homebuilt builders/owners.

    Several folks have accused EAA officers of financial monkeyshines. This may be the case. If so, the authorities should get involved.

    Until that point, my main issue is: Do I get my $40 worth, from my annual membership? I believe so.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  2. Jun 2, 2019 #42

    BBerson

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    I think EAA totally botched the entry level two seat trainer issue with the LSA rule.
    And I don't see any lobby effort to correct it. So the base is unsupported and that isn't sustainable.
    So I don't support EAA's head in the sand policy of ignoring the entry base of past 15 years since the LSA rule of 2004.
     
  3. Jun 2, 2019 #43

    Hot Wings

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    How could they botch it up? They never bothered to have an EAA member on the ASTM F-37 committee, or the later one tasked with the part 23 redo that was originally set up to implement the findings of ARC report.

    The ASTM process is ruled by existing companies with money. Even a couple of coordinated individuals, working on their own dime, don't have much of a say.

    I couldn't justify the dollars to go to the face to face meetings - where the official votes take place. Back in the early days of F-37 there wasn't such a thing as GoFundMe. The EAA could have afforded the expense for their representative to to attend and vote, and their wages for time spent. The EAA chose not to.
     
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  4. Jun 2, 2019 #44

    BBerson

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    Exactly my point. They pushed the LSA rule through then simply ignored the ASTM and then let the corporations run it. And never did anything to correct the training issue.
    The entry base EAA member is not represented. So what good is a "member" organization?
    It's really just another corporation.
     
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  5. Jun 2, 2019 #45

    Dillpickle

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  6. Jun 2, 2019 #46

    Dillpickle

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    No illusion. Research. And I'm not hating on money or wealth. I'm hating on people who convince people with less resources than their own to give them money under the guise of common good. Tom is the equivalent of a scuzzy preacher. One tells you to enrich him for salvation, and the other asks YOU to enrich him for the good of the aviation hobby. Go ahead. PAY HIM. Just don't scratch your head when so many of us won't.
     
  7. Jun 2, 2019 #47

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

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    Please share. Names, dates, amounts, laws broken.

    Note that you're posting anonymously. Nothing, per se, wrong with that, but when someone anonymously claims malfeasance on someone's part, the level of proof required is a bit higher.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  8. Jun 3, 2019 #48

    Dillpickle

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    Very fair point. I value my anonymity. And I never claimed illegal behavior. Scuzzy, yes. I even used the word scam--but that falls short of fraud. I believe, if the average EAA member was aware of just how many peoples fees went to such a very few people, they would feel differently about it. Ron, you have been involved in aviation for years. I have one of your books on the shelf by my bed. Notated, written in, used. You didn't write that book to make a killing or a living. The articles you have written probably paid you pennies per hour. You probably wrote for the LOVE of the sport, and what you can share with those who want to learn. (I just picked it up and saw eleven sticky notes marking places in the book)

    Following the Money would entail people realizing that VERY few people control the cash generated by the EAA, and that your vote could do little to change fiscal policy in that club. So I vote with my feet. I participate heavily at the local level, giving lots of rides, and as much help as I can to people who want to build. YOUR contributions, in forums and as an author are appreciated. Do you think Tom was in it for the people, or the money?


    Your point in your first post, about the $40 year being worth it is a good one.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2019 #49

    Wanttaja

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    Thanks, Dill. I do see your point, and can respect your decision to not support the organization.

    Doing a bit of math (as I am wont to do, on occasion), I see that EAA claims ~220,000 members. At $40 a year each (some are lifetime members, of course) that's $880K in dues.

    [Edit....ok, I can't multiply....:)]

    The magazine alone, with salaries for the (rather small) publications staff, printing cost, and mailing cost, probably accounts for half of that. Yet there is a much larger overall staff, of course, and the president/CEO will need to be paid commensurate with non-profits of similar size.

    So...it sure seems like there's an additional revenue stream somewhere. I doubt the museum is more than a break-even proposition. Airventure is probably a major source, but one may tend to speculate on the kind of donations EAA receives....

    Ron Wanttaja
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  10. Jun 3, 2019 #50

    Kyle Boatright

    Kyle Boatright

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    I think you dropped a zero in your calculations. ;-)
     
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  11. Jun 3, 2019 #51

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

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    Ha! I did at that....

    Methinks I should re-check my plane's CG...

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  12. Jun 8, 2019 #52

    Flow

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    I have to say I would join EAA from the other side of the world or even donate 1000 dollars to make sure EAA keep their webinar archives available to all aviators. Here are my thoughts on EAA putting these extraordinary webinars from experts that donated their time and knowledge freely behind a paywall.

    I will try to outline the concerns as clearly as I can below. We understand they are entitled to do this but is this the best move for EAA and is it the best move for general aviation? I am sure there is a better business and cultural model.



    I think they have missed a trick with this. It is a breathtakingly poor or at least ill considered decision for the following reasons:

    Intellectually the sharing of information is at the heart of aviation safety.
    1. This move cuts to the core of this MO in our community and shows quite shockingly poor leadership in the fight to keep our selves and each other safe while engaged in this demanding and unforgiving activity.

    2. Someone will actually quite likely be lost to us and their friends and family due to EAA reducing access to, for instance, Gordon Penner's stall spin content or Mike Busch's engine trend monitoring and early warning detection advice or the invaluable content on staying safe when engaged in aerobatics.

    3. Other content providers may follow this precedent set by EAA, further compromising this fundamental need in aviation that we all have a duty to forward not undermine. This is very hard to stomach indeed.
    Morally we are obliged to engage in charity as part of conducting a good life and having a meaningful impact in the society we contribute to. Even the most profit driven entities understand the brand benefits and this truth is self evident to all that study their conscience. I think the EAA actually understands this pretty well.
    1. Sharing of information is often considered one of the pillars of charitable work.

    2. EAA is at its core a generous pioneer in aviation.

    3. For EAA to become uncharitable in the sharing of information has an alarmingly disruptive impact the sanctuary of the EAA brand and the sanctity of freedom of information amongst the aviation community.
    Further considerations:
    1. Weather they see it or not presenters that give their time and information freely should not have that information withheld or on sold. I know some of them are very disjointed and disappointed about this.

    2. These webinars are very cheep to create in comparison to the many elegantly produced aviation YouTube channels which also contribute tremendously to the betterment of our shared passion.

    3. There are simply superior mechanisms to help fund the EAA's many good works without intentionally or accidentally attacking freedom of information in aviation.

    4. Understand that EAA now has a far wider reach than just the membership. It is a global face and it is simply not fair to ask overseas aviators to sign up to another death by a thousand cuts subscription only to continue to access these webinars.
    Solutions:
    1. I would suggest the webinars are moved to YouTube as a start. This is not perfect but would attract a much wider following and subscription base which would ultimately help with funding. If that is indeed the impetus here.

    2. We could then look to improve the content by showing peoples faces during the interviews and upping the production value more in line with feature rich live streaming content providers and let young blood in the vein of Trent Palmer and co. overhaul the aesthetic.

    3. I am sure we understand this could be a far more successful, growth orientated and morally un-compromised strategy.
    I have also circulated this to those that I care for as I think we can all agree freedom of information should be sacrosanct in aviation and this is a good reminder that even those with the best intentions can trip from time to time and that it maybe up to all of us to catch them when they do.

    My 2c.

    I raised this concern at VAF and it looks like the thread has just been was deleted. Wow.
     
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  13. Jun 8, 2019 #53

    BJC

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  14. Jun 8, 2019 #54

    Kyle Boatright

    Kyle Boatright

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    I don't like this move. That content is good safety information and is a good draw for joining EAA.
     
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  15. Jun 9, 2019 #55

    Flow

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    BJC, are you guaranteeing that if I do that the content will remain free for all aviators not just me?

    Spot on Kyle, I'm sorry but there is no justification good enough for removing Gordon Penner's stall spin content from the public domain. Anyone doing this should called to account by all of us and be forced to explain them selves to 'whoever is next's' family!
     
  16. Jun 9, 2019 #56

    BJC

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    No. But you could pay knowledgeable persons to make videos, then host them on a free site for anyone to watch.
    Why blame the EAA? Why not blame the dead pilot’s paid flight instructor?


    BJC
     
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  17. Jun 9, 2019 #57

    Dillpickle

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    Is the EAA PAYING these content creators like Brian Carpenter?
     
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  18. Jun 9, 2019 #58

    Flow

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    ...or Mike Busch, or Gordon Penner, or Professor Paul Schuch... no... and Aircraft Spruce sponsored many of the Webinars on top of that...

    Hiding them from view is in direct contrast with the spirit in which they were created. We might suffer such a move from Textron but here we build our own aircraft and EAA is supposed to stand for the freedom we demand and aspire to spread.

    What Gordon Penner is doing for flight instruction and instructors is brave and life saving. It is frankly astonishing that anyone could think our safety of flight learning ends with flight training. Why challenge EAA on this decision? Because these teachings of experts actually work and helps all of us and the people we care for thrive and stay alive. No one would care if it didn't.

    Organizing bodies are not entitled to behave in some kind of distilled Darwinian individualism. As anyone who takes leadership in their lives will attest.
    Once you care, once you act and once you start making a difference another value becomes the compass.
    Duty.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  19. Jun 9, 2019 #59

    Little Scrapper

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    The people involved with the content are EAA team players. You're not in charge of paying, that's between the folks who do the videos and the EAA so really those types of questions are irrelevant. The people in the videos are not debating this.
     
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  20. Jun 9, 2019 #60

    Mark Schoening

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    Solution:
    Join the EAA. $40.00 per year will not break us. If you can't afford it perhaps you are participating in the wrong hobby.
    Intellectual property by definition belongs to someone who experimented, researched, and produced it. Whether they deem it appropriate to disseminate it for free or charge a price for access, is up to them.
    Today, there seems to be a movement to demand "free stuff". The EAA is NOT (not) a Non-Profit organization, it costs a lot to do business, money PAID by members, advertisers, etc. If they deem it necessary to charge or require membership to view intellectual property they own, or financed the making of, or purchased, I have no problem with that.
     
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