The state of our (dying) sport 2022

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Pops

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Back when I was young and had good eyesight we'd lay a live .22 round on its side, primer end facing us, and set it off from 40 yards or so with a shot from a .22. You knew when you'd hit it...
Started shooting with my father at about 5 or 6 years old. Set a Prince Albert tobacco tin on the yard fence post and try for a head shot on Prince Albert. Also set empty 22 brass on the top of the fence post and shoot them off. Got my first gun when I was 8 years old and allowed to go hunting with other people at 8 years old and by myself at 10 year old. Always used a 22 for squirrel hunting. Shot gun for rabbit hunting.
 

Bigshu

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I dreamed of the Rogallo gliders I saw on the cover of Popular Mechanics. We don't see that anymore.
Maybe not. Check the cover of the latest Hotrod magazine, it features a replica P-51, with a big article about the engine conversion. If you want to grow aviation, get the gear heads who want to go fast! They spend a lot of money on cars they can never legally run at their top speed unless on a track, and that's not free. If they could spend that money on something they can take where there's no speed limit (well, mostly), it might work.
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ScaleBirdsScott

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I'm hopeful MOSAIC will open up the common spam cans like Cherokees and 172s for Sport pilot use. Tons of them out there for training and renting.

The rumor I heard is MOSAIC is going to be less about opening up the capabilities of the sport pilot license, and more about separating and expanding the airframe definitions of what falls under the category of a light sport aircraft. If that's the case, it may not exactly turn all of the common trainers into Sport Pilot trainers (tho some probably will meet the sport pilot envelope if it does change some) but it could still mean that a lot of factory new aircraft start showing up in flight schools that look a lot like the common kits of today.

Being a rumor it's about worthless but it does make a certain amount of sense.
 
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You can buy a flying Baby Ace for about $10k.

There’s scholarships available for youth all over the US regardless of color or sex.

Opportunities are absolutely endless if people look and want it. Unfortunately many people don’t want to see it because it requires effort, a positive attitude, willingness to learn and grow and challenge yourself.

It’s aviation, the state of aviation hasn’t changed much at all in my opinion. Look at the data on how people spend their time. Internet, social media, forums, YouTube, aimlessly watching crap shows. The data is absolutely insane. Aviation has changed for the better, i’d say peoples ability and skills to focus and achieve things has changed.
 

Twodeaddogs

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I asked the current crop of apprentices in our airline what brought them into aviation; one was in cabin crew, one plans to become a pilot, one was a car mechanic, others were in college doing courses that they really didnt want to complete. Most of them were and are keen enough but a few joined to get out of more mundane jobs/avoid minimum wage jobs. A huge amount of existing aircraft mechs have left for aircraft leasing companies or big tech or pharma companies.
 

robertl

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Why? They weren't before!
There was a lot more respect for personal property in the past. There is a good fence at our airport, KCDN, but people often come into the terminal and ask questions like, can I learn to fly here, does anybody give rides or, can I come in and look at airplanes, etc. One parent brought their 6 year old to see some planes so I took them to see my Cessna 150 and actually taxied the kid around, complete with headset and listening to the AWOS, he loved it.
Bob
 

Vigilant1

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In the past, private property was largely secured by the values that families and societies assured were passed along to their children.

To Little Scrapper's point, children generally learned the importance of perseverance and hard work. Parables, fables, stories, talks, and seeing real life examples.

It's impossible to construct enough fences, hire enough guards, or build enough prisons to substitute for this. Nor should we want to.
 

Dan Thomas

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I'm hopeful MOSAIC will open up the common spam cans like Cherokees and 172s for Sport pilot use. Tons of them out there for training and renting.
Not enough of them, or their prices wouldn't be as insane as they are now.
 

Dan Thomas

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Maybe not. Check the cover of the latest Hotrod magazine, it features a replica P-51, with a big article about the engine conversion. If you want to grow aviation, get the gear heads who want to go fast! They spend a lot of money on cars they can never legally run at their top speed unless on a track, and that's not free. If they could spend that money on something they can take where there's no speed limit (well, mostly), it might work.
View attachment 128674
Nice. But look at the fine print on that cover:

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Fighting 14

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It used to be that people could go to almost any airport and buy an airplane ride. It was common for people to go to the local airport on a Sunday afternoon and watch airplanes and if there was enough money, mom and dad might buy the kids an airplane ride. When the U.S. became so fearful of drugs, the FAA made it mandatory that anyone selling rides had to obtain a Letter of Authorization, and be in a drug testing consortium where they became subject to no-notice drug testing, and furthermore had to pay for each test and pay to be in the consortium. It opened a whole new niche for the drug testers, and at the same time caused most old time ride givers with a commercial license to stop selling rides. Was it really necessary? I don't think so. But it closed the curtain to a facet of aviation which many people took advantage of, as a way to experience flight. I think the FAA threw the baby out with the bath water. It is sad that the world does not necessarily change for the better. It would be nice if we had an actual vote and were able to approve the policies which are enacted and imposed by the FAA. We should be able to build a mechanism to do this. It would end all the finger pointing and accusing. I support Democracy. For some reason we have accepted the idea that flying is a privilege and therefore we accept it that somehow making public comment is the same as having an actual vote. But at the same time, let's not make this a political debate and turn this into a divisive "blame game". Let's be constructive problem solvers and work together, Please?
 

Dewey Vicknair

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Turns a lot of pilots off in CAP as well. Our squadron is a Senior squadron, specifically to limit how much we have to be around cadets. Too much training, paperwork, and lack of common sense.
Yes, except there's a critical mass that has to be maintained, or the small airports will all be razed for more malls and McMansions. Yeah, it's just a hobby, but it's a hobby that feeds pilots to the airlines and to a lesser extent, the military. And it's a hobby that requires a lot of infrastructure to operate. Without users to advocate for it, there will be smaller appropriations for that infrastructure. Flying has always cultivated a superiority complex, and it shows in your comments about "the masses" and how "everyone" isn't cut out for motorcycling (or by extension, flying). Let's let everyone who wants to try it out do so. They'll quit if it's not for them, but it should be their choice, not some arbitrary gatekeeper's.
No "superiority complex", just reality. Nice attempt at virtue signalling though. You keep fighting the good fight.

No one is stopping anyone who wants to try it, you sound like one of those guys who sees enemies everywhere.
 

Dan Thomas

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...you sound like one of those guys who sees enemies everywhere.
There are.

Governments that can't resist imposing more regulations.

Insurance companies that jacked up the premiums after 9/11, premiums that never came back down.

Lawyers that can't wait to represent anyone involved in any aircraft accident, to sue anyone who ever had anything to do with that airplane. That drives up the cost of airplanes, parts, maintenance, insurance, everything. And half the time it was the pilot's or owner's fault entirely, failing to maintain the airplane or flying it into clouds that had big rocks in them or trying to fly in winds beyond their skill level or running out of fuel or something else equally foolish. Such owners and pilots are also your enemies. They bring down the wrath of the government and aircraft manufacturers and insurance companies on everyone.

Residents that buy houses near airports and then complain about the noise and get the airport shut down.

Municipalities that are tempted by offers of big bucks for the land the town's airport sits on. They get big money for the land, and then development fees from the builders, and then tax revenue from the homes or businesses or factories built on it. As an airport? They get nearly nothing unless it has airline service. And they have to maintain it. And the neighbors complain about it. You can maybe understand the town council's temptation to sell it off.

Flight schools that milk their students for extra unnecessary training for the revenue it gets them. That money should be going toward advanced training, not endless pattern work or something when the guy has already mastered it.

If one wants to fly, there are hurdles to be overcome. They're not impossible, but it's not as easy as buying a boat and going out the same day and playing with it. Even boaters and boat manufacturers have to deal with the same sorts of hassles as aviators..
 

J.L. Frusha

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