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cblink.007

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Jul 7, 2014
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516
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K2W6, Maryland, USA
I am still working on what will be the new thread opening statement. Yes, it will be slightly long...but detailed, honest and very germane to the matters at hand. Will post it tomorrow, fam!
 

Victor Bravo

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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
A significant part of this (hopeful) Zenair project will be using it as a vehicle and tool to get younger people involved. By younger people I mean not only the Young Eagles kids but also their parents, their teachers, their scoutmasters, etc.

My "big evil plan" is that the involvement of the kids and parents in the build will get them interested in being part of the EAA chapter activities. One of the obvious details is that the people involved in the project will have to be members of the chapter. So there will be a short-term boost in membership. But to keep them involved, we will have to adjust and perhaps hammer on how the chapter works and what it does.

We need new activities, not just sitting around talking about stuff. We need to create new chapter activities that go along with (and supplement) the build. Field trips to the control tower, or providing some sort of ground school-ish preparatory classroom presentations, intro to aerodynamic, intro to aircraft structure, etc.,

Having guys like cblink.007 come in and talk about the Osprey (Dude, if you just simply drive across the country to speak here at our chapter... I'll buy you a free lunch!) Having guys like Addicted2Climbing offer his introduction to SolidWorks, or have the kids draw out a wing rib and then laser cut it out of metal. And all of this requires human resources and commitments of time, which are getting hard to come by in our chapter.....
 

PagoBay

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Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
179
Location
US Territory of Guam
Several years ago, I was actively looking for an EAA chapter that would be willing to put a build team together. Very difficult to do. EAA did not offer any information in a database for chapters willing to do build projects like VB's.

I moved on and bought an LSA. Had a poor experience and was fortunate to sell the plane with only a modest loss.

Now almost ready to make a go or no go decision on a second already built plane. Don't have time for a build project that needs a year or two.

I presented the EAA HQ with the database / questionnaire idea. They said it was already on their list to do something like I proposed. No idea if they ever did.

Now there are quite a few groups out there sponsoring team builds for high schools and colleges.

I hope in due course every EAA Chapter will be represented in a database that shows whether they want to support E-AB Build projects.

I was ready to finance the entire build of a CH750 for an EAA Chapter / high school project, if the chapter could provide hangar space and tools. I would have come in for just enough time to qualify for the Repairman's Certificate.

Wasn't meant to be. Wish I had known VB and HBA back then. Wish this project every success and speedy completion.
 

Direct C51

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Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
137
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Stop by some time and tell me about your designing, building, flying and the chapter activities that you organize or sponsor.
Where are you located? I’ll happily stop by if I can gain more value in doing so than something else I could be doing with my time.

EAA caters to young kids and retired people, but forgets about the 40 years in between. I understand the marginal benefit of young Eagles and pancake breakfasts. But what EAA chapter events cater to young pilots and builders?

This is the problem. The old retired guys who run the chapter have nothing to do and just want a place to get away from their wives and tell stories to each other. As a young builder and pilot, my time is valuable. Why go listen to a bunch of guys socialize when I can be doing something positive in aviation? I have to make a decision with my free time. I want to be building, learning, or flying. Things that have become rare, unfortunately, in EAA chapters today.

VB - I really appreciate your enthusiasm and efforts to expand your chapter. I wish I was closer, I would definitely be a member of your chapter. My only advice is to not become so focused on trying to introduce new people to aviation (young eagles, parents, teachers) that you forget about all of the young pilots and wannabe builders. I think your ROI is much higher on attracting people who are already pilots and looking for an active chapter that actually does building and flying.
 
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Sparrow Hawk

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May 11, 2016
Messages
16
Location
San Diego, CA 92109
My opinion might not be favorable, but I don’t think Young Eagles is really having any effect. First, the kids flying young eagles flights are already interested in aviation. Also, they are a long ways from being pilots. What EAA needs to focus on is young active pilots. All EAA chapters ever do is pancake breakfasts and young eagles flights. That is no fun to anyone 20-45 years old. What’s the point of getting young eagles interested in aviation, then ignoring them once they become pilots.

I’m 34, not that young anymore, but comparably an infant at any EAA chapter. What fun is a pancake breakfast when no one there flys-in, and no one is building an airplane. Worse yet, the EAA hangars are full of half built garbage projects from 30 years ago with 2 inches of dust and will never fly.

Here is what needs to happen:

1: Scrap all non-active and non-flying airplanes from the chapter hangar immediately.
2: Free hangar space to anyone actively building an airplane.
3: Cheap hangar space to active flying experimentals if there is room.
4: Fill the hangar with tools.
5: Forget the pancake breakfast. Schedule monthly fly-outs for breakfast.
6: Twice a year host a fly-in event. Food, aircraft display, etc.
7: Create a system where people can schedule fly-outs and others can join.
8: Acquire a chapter project.
9: Schedule building nights when everyone can work on the chapter project.
10: Have a system where people can annotate when they will be working in the hangar and others can observe, help, etc.
11: Completed chapter project go in a chapter flying club. Goal is a fleet of 3+ aircraft. Discounts given to those who volunteer when maintenance is required.

Every time I visit an EAA chapter, it is full of a bunch of old guys who have never built an airplane, fly certified planes, or maybe built something 20 years ago. Where is the chapter full of a bunch of active pilots who take their experimental planes out every weekend? Or the chapter that has a couple active projects going on in the hangar? My local EAA chapter hangar (KSDM, Brown Field, San Diego) is an embarrassment. Not a single flying plane. It’s full of JUNK! I flew my plane there for a pancake breakfast and I’m pretty sure I was the only one there with a flying experimental, and no one seemed to be working on one. Sad.
I am the hangar manager at EAA14, (KSDM, Brown Field, San Diego). I only fly Experimental planes. I have a Dragonfly that I use to give stick time to YE's, visitors, pilots that don't have a plane or first flights to anyone brave enough to fly with me. We have a 10 member club Cherokee 140 that is flown regularly. About building a plane, yes that is a weak point for us, I find that only planes that are built at home and worked on daily ever get finished. Two of our members have completer a project recently, a Carbon Cub and a RV-12. > I can be contacted by Text 858-229-4875. R. Ryan
 

Victor Bravo

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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
C51 is correct, and I'm actually embarrassed to not have included that aspect into the "big evil plan". Although it represents thread drift on my own thread, I'll have to give a nod to one of the big problems we have in our chapter:

We have had at least 3 actual airplane builders between 30 and 50 years old come to our chapter meetings a few times, realize that this wasn't for them, and go away. We had a group of 3-4 builders that were/are members, who built an RV-9A, and tried to explain to me one day that there were too few chapter activities that they were interested in... they rented space in the hangar and built the airplane, but didn't feel that the chapter meetings and general energy level was enough to interest them beyond that.

I took this message to my chapter president and other "senior" people, with the hopes that it would be a huge wake-up call. It wasn't. Now remember that I am absolutely positively unquestionably the biggest mouth in our chapter, but I am not in any position of authority to make policy or execute that policy. We unfortunately do not have enough active members to get any 'critical mass' or naturally occurring momentum going for any project. Our chapter president is tired and barely engaged, but has served 20+ years and a lot of good has been done on his watch- he's definitely not the 'bad guy', but he's out of gas and nobody else has offered to step up. That in itself could be mitigated, but again we don't have enough active people to rally in order to "stir up" the energy from another direction.

So... we're in the famous Catch-22 situation. Need younger members to jump start the chapter back to life, but a dying chapter is not something that attracts young people's interest.
 

BJC

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Where are you located? I’ll happily stop by if I can gain more value in doing so than something else I could be doing with my time.
Florida. 97FL.
But what EAA chapter events cater to young pilots and builders?
I don’t see the EAA catering to a specific age group.

I see the EAA’s role as getting people with a common interest together, lobbying the imperial government on our behalf, and facillating the flow of information among the membership. I find them effective for that. In any organization, there are people who do, and people who talk. It is more productive to associate with those who do, but I should note that the most prolific designer and builder that I know is also the most prolific talker that I know.

When I lived in NC, I was in two chapters, one east of Raleigh, and one west. Three (sometimes 4 or 5) of us flew in formation to the meetings. We also spent a long weekend in the fall each year flying all over the mountains in Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. Flew out with the Super Cub fly-in crowd (until it ceased to be held due to airport issues) including off-airport destinations. Our wives drove over and visited the numerous craft fairs. We ate really fine food every night. We tied down at a private airport where there were several very interesting projects underway. We spent part of one day at another private airport on their annual family cookout day. Lots of aviating and visiting projects (builders love to show visitors what they are doing - just don’t become a pest). All flying, and taking care of the people, especially the wives, whose support is important.

At one of the chapters (22 to 24 members) meetings, we occasionally took the no-longer-flying (old) members up and let them fly. They loved it. All flying, and taking care of the people. We had half a dozen active builders (or TC aircraft rebuilders), some older than Moses, some on their late 30’s to early 40’s. We had regular Saturday morning project visits. Everyone participated, even the wives. Coffee and doughnuts followed the project inspections. It kept everyone interested, motivated builders to clean the workshop and make progress. It provided lots of QC inspections. People loved it, especially the builders and the wives. Taking care of the people. We do a similar thing here called the “Hangar Crawl”.

The other chapter whose meetings we flew to had about 140 members, very formal programs, the same thing for breakfast every month, and was boring. We active builders got together as an unofficial sub-group for a meal once a month. We discussed our projects, exchanged ideas, helped each other with problems, etc. Socializing, or supporting building? You decide. I considered it to be taking care of the people.

Here in Florida, if I need advice, assistance, encouragement or just an opinion, I don’t go to the EAA; I go to a local designer or builder or A&P or professional pilot or all of the above. I can do that, because of the relationships among the people; relationships that are independent of the EAA. We try to take care of the people first, and we get back at least as much as we put in, and often more.

I recommend it.

BJC
 
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Direct C51

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Aug 26, 2014
Messages
137
Location
Bakersfield, CA
I am the hangar manager at EAA14, (KSDM, Brown Field, San Diego). I only fly Experimental planes. I have a Dragonfly that I use to give stick time to YE's, visitors, pilots that don't have a plane or first flights to anyone brave enough to fly with me. We have a 10 member club Cherokee 140 that is flown regularly. About building a plane, yes that is a weak point for us, I find that only planes that are built at home and worked on daily ever get finished. Two of our members have completer a project recently, a Carbon Cub and a RV-12. > I can be contacted by Text 858-229-4875. R. Ryan
Mr. Ryan, when I came to your chapter, as a very active experimental aIrplane builder and flyer, I was looking for hangar space. I had a flying experimental I built and another I was in the process of building. You had no hangar space available because there were nothing but rusty dusty unairworthy airplanes filling them up. These airplanes likely haven’t been touched in 20 years. As hangar manager, I suggest you scrap them all immediately! Then offer cheap hangar space to guys building or flying experimental airplanes. If you want an active chapter, you can’t hold on to this junk. Make room for actual building and for flying airplanes. Otherwise, chapter 14 will remain a social club only, and a dying one. My 2 cents. Worth what you paid.

When was the last time you flew your Dragonfly? I would have gladly donated my Dragonfly project to the chapter if there was any hangar space and anyone who cared to work on it with me. What a lost opportunity...
 

Pilot-34

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Apr 7, 2020
Messages
625
Keep in mind you didn’t become serious aviation enthusiast the first time you saw an airplane.
Were you ready to put serious money into planes the first time you rode on one ?
Cop doesn’t make his millions by giving college freshman a teaspoon full taste and an advertisement in the school paper.
It takes lots of exposure to airplanes preferably starting before their teens to make a lifelong enthusiast.
 

Hot Wings

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We have had at least 3 actual airplane builders between 30 and 50 years old come to our chapter meetings a few times, realize that this wasn't for them, and go away.
This was me a few years ago. I went to 2 meetings. No builders other than me and one other new person (about 35). Only one member in attendance even owned an EAB.
The officers are/were essentially permanent due to no one else willing to take the time needed to volunteer - and I suspect, like a lot of other small groups such as homeowner associations, they enjoyed the power and had just enough like minded members/drinking buddies to keep their positions.
I never even got a follow up e-mail that the meeting place had changed much less any kind of "Why haven't you been back?" inquiry.

I do plan to go back in the spring to see if anything has changed and by then I may have time to help stimulate the group.


We active builders got together as an unofficial sub-group for a meal once a month. We discussed our projects, exchanged ideas, helped each other with problems, etc.
Unfortunatly for me I live in the middle of nowhere and would guess there are less than a couple dozen EABs, either flying or under construction, within a 100 mile radius. If there were more I'd consider something like your independent group and when we had enough members all join the local EAA chapter and stage a coup. ;)
 

Doran Jaffas

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Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
242
My opinion might not be favorable, but I don’t think Young Eagles is really having any effect. First, the kids flying young eagles flights are already interested in aviation. Also, they are a long ways from being pilots. What EAA needs to focus on is young active pilots. All EAA chapters ever do is pancake breakfasts and young eagles flights. That is no fun to anyone 20-45 years old. What’s the point of getting young eagles interested in aviation, then ignoring them once they become pilots.

I’m 34, not that young anymore, but comparably an infant at any EAA chapter. What fun is a pancake breakfast when no one there flys-in, and no one is building an airplane. Worse yet, the EAA hangars are full of half built garbage projects from 30 years ago with 2 inches of dust and will never fly.

Here is what needs to happen:

1: Scrap all non-active and non-flying airplanes from the chapter hangar immediately.
2: Free hangar space to anyone actively building an airplane.
3: Cheap hangar space to active flying experimentals if there is room.
4: Fill the hangar with tools.
5: Forget the pancake breakfast. Schedule monthly fly-outs for breakfast.
6: Twice a year host a fly-in event. Food, aircraft display, etc.
7: Create a system where people can schedule fly-outs and others can join.
8: Acquire a chapter project.
9: Schedule building nights when everyone can work on the chapter project.
10: Have a system where people can annotate when they will be working in the hangar and others can observe, help, etc.
11: Completed chapter project go in a chapter flying club. Goal is a fleet of 3+ aircraft. Discounts given to those who volunteer when maintenance is required.

Every time I visit an EAA chapter, it is full of a bunch of old guys who have never built an airplane, fly certified planes, or maybe built something 20 years ago. Where is the chapter full of a bunch of active pilots who take their experimental planes out every weekend? Or the chapter that has a couple active projects going on in the hangar? My local EAA chapter hangar (KSDM, Brown Field, San Diego) is an embarrassment. Not a single flying plane. It’s full of JUNK! I flew my plane there for a pancake breakfast and I’m pretty sure I was the only one there with a flying experimental, and no one seemed to be working on one. Sad.
I am in Michigan and not active in the experimental aircraft association anymore. There are several experimental airplanes that our Airport including my Tailwind W8 with a continental 0-200.
A friend of mine with an RV6 and I are the two most active Pilots at that airport with the exception of the mission Aviation training school that is turning out basically commercial pilots.
It has two very nice runways. North south that is grass in an East-West that is asphalt. I am one of the guys, the older at 59 I guess if you call that older, that does fly as often as I can which usually involves two to three times a week but sometimes I go two weeks without flying and then end up putting several hours the following week on the airplane.
If you find an EAA chapter like you describe I will join again period especially if you find one in Michigan! In the meantime I don't base my enjoyment of flying on what others are doing. I get up in the air and thank God every time I have the chance because it is truly a gift and though I am 59 I feel like I'm 23 all over again or younger.
I tried to convey my passion for it to those that are willing to listen and probably bore those that really have no interest but every once in awhile I meet someone that 20 or so years ago says hey, I remember you, you gave me a ride a long time ago... one individual went on to manage a beautiful airport up in northern lower Michigan after he was commercial pilot. Others have just said they remember the time... So for those of us that enjoy flying please understand we do not have to base it on whether they're doing and we never know the people we have impacted positively for aviation. Even if they never get into it they will always remember someone took the time to explain it to them and maybe even said " you take the controls and see for yourself and don't worry I won't let anything happen that I can't get us out of " They will remember fondly even if they never do it as an interest or a passion.
I have been on the giving end of that and have had some of those now adults come up to me and give me the gift of remembering and the fact that I had done something for them that made them smile. Then of all things, I get this grin on my face that stays for days! Every time I remember an event like this it makes me understand just one more reason of the many I have that I truly enjoy this thing we call Aviation.
 

Direct C51

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Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
137
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Doran, I agree with everything you said. I’m not saying not to give rides. I’m just saying that turning out these 10 minute young eagles flights just to pump up the EAA numbers isn’t the best way to do it. What is much more helpful, in my opinion, would be taking passengers with you during the chapter monthly fly out. And these passengers would be pilots and people who might actually be active in experimental aviation. I fly a lot of people in my airplane, but most of the non-pilots are not going to become pilots or build an airplane. However, the people I have given a ride to that are already pilots, have gotten very interested in experimental aviation and some have chosen to build. My point is, I think the ROI is much higher when trying to get active pilots to convert to experimental, than trying to get the general public to become experimental aviators. Not that the latter isn’t important, but it seems it is becoming the sole focus of the EAA.
 

Victor Bravo

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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
The benefits of the EAA Young Eagles and other "10 minute ride" programs extend far beyond trying to make experimental builders. If it gets people interested in aviation, even if they turn out to fly certified airplanes, it's all critically and equally important. Cranking out millions of 10 minute intro flights is not the only part of the cure to this problem, but getting the public interested and exposed to flying, whether in a Cherokee of a Long-EZ, is definitely a significant part.
 

Sparrow Hawk

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May 11, 2016
Messages
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Location
San Diego, CA 92109
Mr. Ryan, when I came to your chapter, as a very active experimental airplane builder and flyer, I was looking for hangar space. I had a flying experimental I built and another I was in the process of building. You had no hangar space available because there were nothing but rusty dusty unairworthy airplanes filling them up. These airplanes likely haven’t been touched in 20 years. As hangar manager, I suggest you scrap them all immediately! Then offer cheap hangar space to guys building or flying experimental airplanes. If you want an active chapter, you can’t hold on to this junk. Make room for actual building and for flying airplanes. Otherwise, chapter 14 will remain a social club only, and a dying one. My 2 cents. Worth what you paid.

When was the last time you flew your Dragonfly? I would have gladly donated my Dragonfly project to the chapter if there was any hangar space and anyone who cared to work on it with me. What a lost opportunity...
Anonymous. If it was up to me I would get rid of hangar queens and make space for active members but it is not.
 
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