The state of our (dying) sport 2022

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Bill-Higdon

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Bigshu,

I have been saying the same thing for years. I am going into my 16th year as an educator as we report back to the classroom tomorrow morning. Of all the graduating seniors this year, just 12% will go to a four year university. Of that 12%,, just 6% will go on to graduate.

That leaves 94% of all graduating seniors across the U.S. left for the skilled trade occupations. The system I am employed in and any other system where I have worked cram the ACT test down these kids throats. One would think that if only 6% of the graduating seniors are benefiting from the free AACT tests and the free ACT test prep courses they accommodate the kids with that there would be more four year graduates.

All of our resources go to the ACT test. They have sold a lie to our students telling that they have to go to a four year college to make it in life, which is complete B.S.

I cannot for the life of me understand why we don't have metal lathes, press brakes, CNC machines, and the like in our shop classes since the overwhelming majority of kids are going into those career fields is beyond me.

The high school I am currently teaching at and have taught there going on 7 years now, has had the same welding , carpentry, and agriculture teachers in place. All the welding classes do and I kid you not, is take a scrap piece of steel and practice running beads. That is it.

The carpentry department is not much better. All they do is let the kids make a name plate out of a wood blank using a router and stencils. Makes me sick.

I don't know why the ag classes can't grow food and let the harvest supplement the lunches they feed these kids. The lunches are so bad even though everybody eats for free these days, that I would not feed my dog this food. It is that bad.

I suggested to the carpentry teacher that they should purchase a Wood Mizer re-saw machine that allows you to take a log and turn it into dimensional lumber but I guess since it wasn't their idea they just made every excuse for not doing it. They have money in that department too.

I am writing a grant as we speak for free fruit trees. I want to plant Satsuma, pear, plum, fig, lemon, and any other fruit tree that will survive here in the south all around campus so that when they mature and start to produce fruit, the kids can get a healthy snack right on campus.

The trades department has more money to work with than any other department. The problem is our shop teachers have gotten complacent and they want to avoid doing there job of teaching kids skills and how to survive.

It is very disheartening to say the least.

-Yellowhammer
I've told this before when I was Junior in high school the metal shop got a surplus 3 axis CNC mill that was missing the controller. The metal shop teacher thought he could make it into a manual mill. One quick look tole me no way in he-- that was going to happen as it was designed as a CNC mill from the ground up. I found a set of manuals for it long enoungh to see the controller could be built as a project for the Vocational electronics class. The electronics thought it was an excellent idea as it would allow the metal shop to teach CNC operation which in the lat 60's was a rare and valuable skill then. However the metal shop teacher was dead set against it. 6 years later a friends company picked up mill surplus from the school district, A friend built the controller with a little help from me as my work allowed. 20 years later it was still making chips & money even though they had lots of newer CNC equipment also.
 

pfarber

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Most of the young guys I know want to spend money on cars, games and beer. The married ones are trying to pay rent, pay off CCs and loans for that garbage diploma they got in European Lit studies. I made the same dumb decisions... but hot **** my 94 Camero LS 5speed was a sweet ride for a FTB3/SS at 25.

You can get into an airplane for less than $30k, even in 2022. Less if you buy an E/AB.

As for the EAA photo being mostly white over 50.... so what. Look at an NBA team vs a hockey team.

Unless you are determined to get into aviation, you simply will not. Most people are shocked to find out that there are airports near by. Why? They never need to go to one. That's not a color/money issue.
 

Bigshu

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But we do have kids who can make things on a 3-D printer and a home CNC mill.


BJC
Right, they know how to program a tool, but not how to use a hand tool. I get that it's the same thing as replacing drafting with CAD, but something is lost when you go from spending a few hours shaping wood or metal to doing something else for a few hours and coming back to pull your finished part off a machine build table.
We're already going from being builders to being assemblers. If the next step is watching machines make the parts we assemble, we just cut out the jobs of the folks who make the kit parts now.
 

Bigshu

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I cannot for the life of me understand why we don't have metal lathes, press brakes, CNC machines, and the like in our shop classes since the overwhelming majority of kids are going into those career fields is beyond me.
Probably liability reasons. I remember the days where you'd always see at least one shop teacher missing a finger or two.
 

Pale Bear

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Right, they know how to program a tool, but not how to use a hand tool. I get that it's the same thing as replacing drafting with CAD, but something is lost when you go from spending a few hours shaping wood or metal to doing something else for a few hours and coming back to pull your finished part off a machine build table.
We're already going from being builders to being assemblers. If the next step is watching machines make the parts we assemble, we just cut out the jobs of the folks who make the kit parts now.
It's profitability, .. or the lack of .. "spending a few hours shaping (whatever) .." those hours, .. who's going to be paying for them? A hobbyist is absorbing the cost, knowingly, or not knowingly, .. or doesn't care.

These technologies are a tightening noose. The original, breakthrough discoveries allow for a smaller, yet sustainable profit margin, which is a great thing .. when, you're talking to your banker/investors for the upcoming year's budget. But, the landscape has thus, been forever changed, too. Those moments of familiarizing yourself with the end product .. become more & more expensive, for somebody. And, people catch on .. there isn't anybody, alot of times.
 

Bigshu

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These technologies are a tightening noose.
Exactly, from several perspectives. We can't have it both ways, grieving for the loss of skills and abilities, while at the same time wanting faster, cheaper stuff. I think this came up in the last year or two as something to do while in lockdown for the pandemic, but I like to recommend people read Shop class as soulcraft.. Great book about the value of doing things by hand.
 

Hawk81A

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Probably liability reasons. I remember the days where you'd always see at least one shop teacher missing a finger or two.
1971. I'm in 10th grade shop class at Northeast High School in St Pete Fl. After brief instruction, my teacher watches as I use the table saw. When I finish, he asks why I was so nervous. I tell him about our 8th / 9th grade teacher at Meadowlawn Jr High next door (Yeah, they're called "Middle Schools" now). That teacher was always telling horror stories of kids cutting off fingers, etc., and had half his students scared to death of the power tools. Mr. B (10th grade teacher) goes over and royally chews out the other teacher. Safety, and respect for power equipment. Dennis
 

Vigilant1

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Every time I visit my wife's relatives in the country I hear a new story about someone they know who was killed or maimed (usually by chainsaw or tractor PTO accident). Family farming is dangerous. I think the stories are a useful reminder of how quickly inattention can become tragedy. None of those folks thought they were careless or that the cutting chain would break when it did, or that the PTO would grab their pant leg. It's no good to be scared of a tool, but they are all worthy of respect.

I really hated using my radial arm saw to rip stock. Careful attention can reduce the risk, but there are better tools for that job.
 
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ToddK

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Once more, we really need to get past the notion that a demographic or particular group of people congregated in one spot is a problem to be solved.

That sort of thinking has preceded a great amount of destruction and amenity in the past. You can always spot the people being scape goateed for this or that with such talk, as it never extends to other groups.

We see this today. Nobody turns on an NBA game and sees a problem to be solved. Nobody looks at the staff photos of an elementary school and sees a problem to be solved. Yet, in 2022 a picture like that gets the quota and inclusion counters all in a mighty fluster of injustice and or shame.

How about we not put up artificial barriers that keeps people from doing as they please and let the inherent trials of life, will, desire, the long held metrics of proficiency and success determine who does what, and stop trying to require more of this or more of that, and stop putting our fingers on the scale if one or another does not hit some arbitrary quota?

Then, how about we be ok with the results of people doing what they want to do, and urge the quote and inclusion counters seek out another job, and some kind of therapy.
 

Pops

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ToddK, I agree .

I could have played the race card and got my NA citizenship card and got a head start with money for college, medical, etc. and got a head start in the race of life. I refused to be told that I can't compete on a level field and keep up with other people and be successful. I refuse to have the finger on the scale for me. If I am successful , so be it. If I am a failure, so be it. That is the height of racism.
 
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Hawk81A

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I really hated using my radial arm saw to rip stock. Careful attention can reduce the risk, but there are better tools for that job.
I've ripped a lot of wood with my R/A saw. I was always pretty careful, but did have ONE TIME when a board "launched". It flew a few feet before landing. I was always careful to not stand behind the plane of cut. (our bad teacher had a story of a student being impaled by a board from a table saw - probably B.S. Dennis
 
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Ask a youngster to point N , S, E, or W . Then ask them to show ya something on a Cell phone . Better yet , go to your local parts store . The younger generation is Computer smart but totally street and common sense or experience DUMB . Who's fault . Look no further than the mirror . The little acorns don't fall far from the tree . And we walk amongst these folks daily . Scarry 🐒
 

kjlpdx

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I know it sounds like "old guy complaining" ( I am not that old by the way ;)) but I still think that new generation is different from us. I don´t complain - in fact I agree that we would be the same with actual technology possibilities. Youngs are different and I don´t think it is their fault.
Available technology is allowing youngs to "consume" extremelly large amount of informations. They spend time online "consuming" Internet content.
But again - that is not their fault. Thanks to Covid we closed schools and we practically let them to stay at home.
Percentually will be same amount of youngs interested in aviation like in past generations, however would be good to attract aviation as sport and interesting hobby again.

About affordable aviation....
Yes, that is a large problem.
In fact that was reason why I joined this forum - where to find better ideas for affordable airplanes than on this web? ;)
At the beginnig I was optimistic - there are existing programs where would be possible to get money for trainer airplane development.
Than I found out that there is a large paradox. Government supports development of training airplane. They already spent millions in aviation projects, however result is 🤔 .....none.

For example electric airplanes....
Great idea allowing to have low costs for flying hour. However can "normal" club afford it? Low fuel / energy costs are only small part of total costs.
Actually... Piper will spend milions to re-build PA-28 Archer to electric airplane. For milions spent we will have few prototypes. Old draggy airframe with new propulsion 🤔 And than finally they will offer electric trainer for price much higher than "normal" PA-28.
Some clever aeroclubs will ask for subsidies (another government money) to buy few pces and claim that they are environmental friendly.
Total sum of all money already spent without practical results would allow to make trainig for free for few young pilot generations (or cheaper training for many generations)...
I will probably not be able to solve "affordable airplane" problem.... however I would like to try it. And I would like to involve youngs ;)
 

kjlpdx

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i also see wealthy individuals restoring some WW II warbird and wonder how many hundreds if kids could get flight training with the vast amounts of money that takes.
 

John.Roo

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i also see wealthy individuals restoring some WW II warbird and wonder how many hundreds if kids could get flight training with the vast amounts of money that takes.
Well.... point of my post was to show that government money (money from our taxes) intended to help to develop new training airplanes could be used better.
Of couse would be nice if some wealthy individual (company) could "sponsor" school team project, however it should be his (their) own decission. Restoring warbirds is also meritorious activity because otherwise these beautiful machines disappear from the sky ;)
 

PMD

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Well, down the hands-on-skills rabbit hole we go.

I have a computer full of digital design software worth as much as a nice airplane, set up by a good ME friend who wants me to be able to send him digital files of design stuff. One day I MIGHT learn to make it work. I do all of my stuff on the board, still. Why? Because I started off that way and soon realized that to make the drawings I had to understand the structure, functions and relationships between components in my mind. While cad is really capable and really important as it can easily convert to CAM the process often leaves the instigator out of some of the loop. Similarly, while I expect many things to come off a CNC machining center I value my time with cheap and very analogue machine tools as they teach me what limits of speed, tool position, clamping, cooling and most of all RIGIDITY look, feel and sound like.

Where I feel we have fallen short especially compared with Europeans is we tend to isolate trades, technologist and professionals in our training and working streams. Further we tend to have poor inter-discipline knowledge and understanding. Far more than fixing Genav we need to sort that lot out if we ever want to put our economy back to work in a globally competitive environment.
 

Magisterol

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View attachment 128284

A prize for anyone who can spot someone under 50 in the audience at Oshkosh 22. Also, the audience is almost exclusively men. White men.It's quite a telling photo.
I guess these are the people that want to sacrifice everything for flying. Still white, still man, mostly over 50. Instead of pouring it into drinking till you fall under table or other activities, you decided to do something with your life. Why is it a bad thing that they are white men? There is always a way to twist the reality and blame your ”unfortunately” on someone else.
 
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