How to make a difference

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by 1Bad88, Dec 1, 2019.

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  1. Dec 2, 2019 #21

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

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    After reading the rules and regulations of the airport , I wouldn't want to be there either. And people wonder what is the trouble with aviation.
     
  2. Dec 2, 2019 #22

    Pops

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    30 years ago, $45 a month for a tee-hanger with electric at a county airport . Tie-downs free if you buy fuel at the airport.
     
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  3. Dec 2, 2019 #23

    1Bad88

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    So that means prices have outpaced inflation by 200%
     
  4. Dec 2, 2019 #24

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    Well Choppergirl is not the voice of an entire generation, and some of us here are not sure yet which generation she's representing anyway.

    Despite whatever the newspapers say, there are a whole lot of young people who magically seem to have enough money to punk-tune their Honda Civics or go street racing in their Challengers and Mustangs. Around this area, I see them on the news just about every night, some innocent bystander gets run over because of their 800HP drifting competitions or street racing. Los Angeles can't be the only place where we have that.

    A better question seems to be what do we have to do to get people from these generations to spend whatever their resources are (time, money, interest) on airplanes. If our street racing Generation Whatever with the 800HP drifter decides he likes aviation, having a flyable Chief or Taylorcraft or Tailwind is certainly no further out of reach than the hopped up Mustang or Challenger.

    The problem is winning the present and future generations' "hearts and minds" (apologies to President Johnson and his speechwriters) first. Once a 20 or 25 year old person wants to be in aviation, then the task becomes how do we get them into owning or building or partnering in an airplane.
     
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  5. Dec 2, 2019 #25

    Wayne

    Wayne

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    We had 24 young adults ranging in age from 8 - 16 attend the EAA 461 Future Aviators of America (FAA) Lego Rocket build two weeks ago. The group has evolved to include both boys and girls and has gone from two clubs (Right Flyers/Aviatres) to a single entity with name change since the new leader & members wanted their own identity. It has almost doubled in size this year. We support the club with modest funding and help as requested, otherwise they run themselves. The young lady I have been mentoring for the last 4 or 5 years runs it beautifully - she's 14 and has been taught that we don't take no for an answer and that if you set reasonable goals you absolutely can meet them.
     
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  6. Dec 2, 2019 #26

    Wayne

    Wayne

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    On another note, the FBO/Flying School/Maintenance Shop that I'm a partner in is creating add-on courses that will take a Young Adult from a Young Eagle entry point (or elsewhere really) at 8 years old and nurture them through at least 15 with an interesting Aviation/STEM related activity once a quarter. There will be two primary groups - the Nestlings (maybe 8-11) and the Fledglings (maybe 12-15). In a small airport like ours this will have huge benefits not only for the kids but will also drive volunteer activities for the members of the Museum and EAA 461 Chapter, knit together any remaining silo's at the airport, and also create a pipeline for the flying school and local University which has aviation and A&P centered degree programs. Making the airport part of the local community fabric also has tremendous benefits when it comes to funding, longevity, etc. We are on a journey to make our airport a community destination. How about a Haunted "Hangar" at Halloween? How awesome would that be :)
     
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  7. Dec 2, 2019 #27

    BJC

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    Wayne:

    You and your compatriots are doing good. Thank you.


    BJC
     
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  8. Dec 2, 2019 #28

    ToddK

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    While I still think of myself as a young man, the bit of grey poking in and the occasional reminder that I am 38 says otherwise. I think Peter Sripol is probably a good representative of what the younger aviation crowed actually looks like. By "aviation crowd", I mean people who do instead of talk. Learning to fly and passing the tests requires time and and money. The fact is, that young people are very often broke. They are just starting out, and by the time they move up into a job where the pay is good they have kids, and zero time. Its a fact that in many urban areas hangers are in short supply, and that they are expensive. I live outside Houston, and pay $200 a month for a hanger on a nice grass field. I am very grateful to be there, the owner is a great guy and an ultralight pilot. It took a long time and persistence (on a wait list) to get in. All I can say is that I wish I had gotten my license when I has in high school. I had decent job, access to a 172, and I could have afforded it. What I did not have was brains and perspective, another thing very young people (teens) are often short on.
     
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  9. Dec 2, 2019 #29

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    Add another sincere thanks from me, Wayne. Good on you and your compatriots!

    What I'm about to ask is begging. Floor-kneeling, bow & scrape-ing, ass-kissing, full-surrender groveling:

    Please make sure that you document the heck out of all results, outcomes, and activities. Keep records of everything that can document a cause and effect out of every dollar or every hour. Keep particular track of the improvements made in kids' lives, or skills, or attitude, compared to the national or Chicago region average. Collect any and all data that can compare the school and/or life improvements in the kids that go through all of these programs.

    While you are doing these activities, write out your methods, concepts, the thought process, and all of the nuts and bolts of how it goes together. Absolutely document the successes, the failures, and everything in between. I know it's a lot of extra effort and volunteer hours, and it would darn well be an entire job description in the corporate world. But it's important.

    The reason for me sking all of this is that (whether you are aware of it or not, or whether you are trying to do it or not) you are right in the middle of creating what we call a "replicable model of intervention" and an "innovative social services model" and eventually an "evidence based practice" in big fundraising terms. A skilled fundraiser or proposal writer can take the model that has been developed through these efforts (and the results) and use it as the basis for funding your program and similar programs elsewhere.
     
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  10. Dec 2, 2019 #30

    1Bad88

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    I like to think of myself as a young man also. My goal is to go gray before going bald but it is a losing battle. $200 that close to Houston is a good price from what I am seeing. I am by Brenham and that is a minimum. I think that I saw some cheaper at Sport Flyers over the summer but you have to know the right person.
     
  11. Dec 2, 2019 #31

    Bille Floyd

    Bille Floyd

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    FPV would be a GREAT way, to get kids involved with
    aviation ; really can't think of a Better/Cheaper way
    to do it ?? If done correctly ; it would give the pilot
    a 3-D view, complete with depth reception of the real
    world , that's being looked at from the FPV airplane.
    If the trainee screws up ; then the instructor simply
    hits a button, and takes the aircraft away,corrects the
    flight-path of the RC, tells them what they did wrong, and
    gives the controls back for more practice. It would
    be WAY cheaper, than training a person how to fly,
    in a real airplane.

    Bille
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  12. Dec 2, 2019 #32

    1Bad88

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    I got into aviation through RC models and it is an excellent gateway!
     
  13. Dec 2, 2019 #33

    Aviacs

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    I think aviation meant excitement, freedom, & even "prestige" to the boomer generation. We had the support and enthusiasm of guys who may have started flying before ww1 not to mention ww2, and flew everywhere, anytime, in anything. Aviation culture was still prevalent to the extent that cars all had tailfins & some had propellors or nosecones on the front. Cultural icons and legends in aviation were still alive and active. Many of them instructed for what amounted to a love of aviation. Sure, they billed for the time, but somehow the hours they charged were always a lot less than the time they actually took engaged with you or waived off the rainy day appointments when they spent 2 hours conveying practical knowlege and aviation lore. They could talk personally and had participated in events that were legendary to even the general American population. Becoming a pilot would somehow support the space race, and you could convince yourself that it would even impress girls.

    It doesn't mean any of those things to most of the post tech generations. Aviation has always been expensive, more or less; but the rest of life was not so interminably constrained by costs as it is today. Many of us thought of aviation as a fast, fascinating, & adventurous way to get from point A to point B. I doubt any "kid" today thinks like that. It is slow (all the closed airports that used to be in or close in to towns and cities) hugely expensive, and the AC and hangarage represents mostly a millstone in terms of monthly nut. As a "recreational" activity, it is actually rather hard to share - weather issues, currency, less than spur of the moment, most times. Except with other pilots.

    Our EAA chapter has done most of the positive activities, events and many more, listed in suggestions above. We have promoted scholarships and have 2 club AC at rates that won't be found anywhere commercially, to promote learning to fly or conventional gear (TW) transition. Of an average 70 - 80 club membership over the years, many of us cumulatively have had dozens of daughters & sons whom we made opportunities for in aviation, and would gladly have funded or helped fund to advance/gain certificates. I can think of one young man from "outside" the chapter about 15 yrs ago who applied for one of our scholarships, flew the club airplane, and quickly advanced at least through commercial so he could tow gliders, his first exposure/certificate. There is currently a young lady with single parent dad who flies (co-pilot) our J3, had stick time in a Hatz & Steerman as well as some others by the time she was in 7th grade this year. But she mostly considers time at the airport a burden for the sake of dear old dad & says she never plans to be a pilot. Beyond that, 1 or 2 got to solo & then faded away. My own son had no interest, though his first flights were in utero & he was a (mostly :) ) happy carseat/backseat Cessna flyer for 5 or 6 years.

    This past year we had a young man that astonished us. I got to the hangar early for a board meeting and he had been patiently waiting outside for an hour or so. We invited him in, and it turned out he had bought an ultralight (Challenger) from a friend of mine who had left aviation years before. He had patched it up, turned the box of derelict parts back into an engine, & started to fly it! He had questions about flying technique & was looking for a source of UL instruction which used to be common in this area, but no longer. We encouraged him to refrain from flying until he could get an instructor, and to study the subject of stalls, (which he was aware of) We tried to connect him with a conventional instructor but schedule and costs were a problem. Not just UL instructors have disappeared, but regular instructors & A & P's have been aging out & are no longer "almost every other pilot" as they used to seem. The young man was a serious & apparently studious individual, & came back for several meetings. Being impatient he continued to fly the UL on his own. Scary, but I believe he has been quite successful.

    Basically, GA is not where the culture and excitement of their cohort is today. It's an old farts activity.
    There are a few young people who are absolutely compelled and we should nurture those. I think many of that tiny group will go on to do interesting things, make strides in personal accomplishment & even influence the direction of GA. The vast majority of their age group peers, though, may be "interested" or "sort of interested" but the times don't currently make GA an essential activity in any way for most of them. Largely, i think, there are no role models they want to aspire to. If Tesla made it exciting, it might become so. "Daredevil" you tube videos will inspire some, but that is perhaps not the best model.



    smt
     
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  14. Dec 2, 2019 #34

    Topaz

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    Before you get too deeply into the dream of "rolling your own" airport, realize that, if it's going to be public use, you're going to have a ton of permissions, permits, and reports to file and multiple departments with whom to deal, at the local, state, and federal level. We had another member trying to do his own little "aviation mecca", and eventually gave up in disgust because every time he filled out a form or submitted a report (on his own dime), ten more would spring up to take its place. I'd give you a link, but then the search function is wonky again... >sigh<

    You're in Texas, so the regulatory climate will likely be slightly more reasonable than here in my home state (which is where this other member resided as well), but I'd still expect a mountain of paperwork to get permission. A new airport just means "new liability risk" in the minds of bureaucrats, and they'll fight you tooth and nail.

    IMHO, it's far, far easier to start with an existing airport and try to fix it up, than it is to create a new one.
     
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  15. Dec 2, 2019 #35

    BJC

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    I know of two private airports, both established about 20 years ago. One is in NC, the other in OH. Neither was difficult to do. As you wrote, it is very dependant on location.


    BJC
     
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  16. Dec 3, 2019 #36

    ToddK

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    The regulatory climate in Texas? What regulatory climate! Just kidding, we do have a bit. I know it can be hard image a place where people largely get to do what they want with their own property without having having to deal with a bunch of lawyers and government nannies. That was not intended to be dig of any sort. I just know a lot of people who have been surprised by the freedom after moving here. Apart from a handful of highly populated counties who’s citizens tend to vote a bit more like California’s, building an airport in Texas can be pretty easy as long as it’s in the county, and not the city. At least for now. I know several people who have done it. Putting the subdivision in though.. a lot more difficult and expensive by Texas standards. A private use runway, on private property, in the county, in most places you can do it with zero paperwork.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  17. Dec 3, 2019 #37

    fly2kads

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    I know where your fair town is, but I haven't had the pleasure of visiting yet. It sounds like Bellville is proud of its rural, agricultural nature. Does the town or county have any festivals that celebrate it's rural heritage? If so, then perhaps an aviation event could be staged right along with it, and cross-promoted. Get the aviation community interested in visiting your town for the festival. Market the town as a desirable destination, and the airport right along with it. You may get some short-term visits, and if the festival is any good, you may get people interested in coming back.

    I know I don't need to tell you that the greater Houston metro area is slowly creeping out that direction, and there will be pilots who may be willing to drive a little further from home in order to find an inexpensive, useable facility. Use the event to make them aware of your little airport.

    Gainesville, TX, up in my neck of the woods, has the foundation of such a cross-marketing opportunity. The town of Gainesville holds an annual festival (called Depot Days) in their old downtown area, with arts, crafts, and a really good car show (antiques and hot rods). On the same day, the Texas chapter of the Antique Airplane Association holds its fly-in at the local airport. A little bit of traffic flows back and forth between the two events, but I think that with some additional marketing, they could increase it quite a bit.
     
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  18. Dec 4, 2019 #38

    pwood66889

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    2J0 had a good fly-in back in 2017, after one in 2016. But nothing since then. Thanks for the suggestion though, fly2.
     
  19. Dec 4, 2019 #39

    Victor Bravo

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    Trade information booths. Have one booth at the car show in downtown and raffle off a free airplane ride or two. Promote Young Eagles. Offer free use of the airport and airplanes for photographers, models, and to have aviation themed parties.

    Then do the same thing at the fly-in, set up a booth letting everyone know about the downtown festival, the car show, the crafts.

    THEN approach any and all local photographers and modeling agencies and wannabee models and arrange for a JOINT vingate aircraft/car photo shoot, where everyone and anyone can get a great photo-opp.

    THEN perhaps arrange some sort of an event for the parents and schoolteachers, where one or two speakers form the vintage car world, and one or two from the aircraft world, get together onstage to explain to a crowd of parents how interest in these activities can keep a kid out of gangs and drugs, how it can lead to careers and better lifetime outcomes.

    All of this makes aviation and the airport an integral part of the community, and grows the community's interest in the fly-in and the car show, and... might somehow de-criminalize old guys in Hawaiian shirts.
     
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  20. Dec 4, 2019 #40

    BJC

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    VB, that brings back memories of letting a sweet young thing pose for glamor photographs in my first Pitts. She was scared to get into the cockpit, but still managed lots of good poses that accentuated the best assets of both human and machine. And that reminds me of another model, whose father was in our EAA chapter (never say that there is no benefit to being in an EAA chapter), who stoped by my hangar several times to see my airplane. A few years later she was the Playboy Playmate of the Year. If we ever meet, remind me to tell you about seeing a future Miss America in her pajamas in my living room. Yes, life has been good to me.

    Thanks for spurring those memories.


    BJC
     
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