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What Did You Do To Save General Aviation Today?

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pwood66889

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Feb 10, 2007
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1,668
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Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
Now "The Rest of the Story... "
What bought it up in "The Media" is a move afoot to create an Airport Authority. Said Authority would have no tax ability, but would remove ownership from Wakulla County, Florida.
All the first responders could see is "Lower Taxes" from the airport "going away." Or at least out of their tax bill.
What I am trying to do is keep the little flying field/grass strip open for the flying public and those interested therein.

Moderator - please delete and informe me it the above posts are political.

Percy in NW FL, USA
 

Toobuilder

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Jan 19, 2010
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Mojave, Ca
My plan to take the simple flight from Mojave to Napa on Thanksgiving to visit Mom was thwarted by weather, so this weekend was the backup. The 7 hour drive was made infinately easier thanks to the RV and its promise of a 1.7 flight. No issue getting in. That said, Napa's reputation as a "jet set" getaway is well deserved, and despite the fact that I grew up here does not diminish my feeling of discomfort with the overt opulence of the clientele at the FBO. I'm not one to diminish the "well to do's" sucess in life, but there is a certain palpable sense of class disparity when a family is whisked to the airstair door of their Gulfstream in a chauffeured Escalade with the black tinted glass. I certainly feel blessed to be dragging bags from my airplane parked in the back, back lot of transient parking but man, does the 7 year old kid chasing the fluffy, Pommeranian dog across the ramp to the door of his dad's jet know how good he has it?

Anyway, I dropped a bunch of money in a soulless machine near a fuel tank and got a copious amounts of 100LL in return. Departure was looking sketchy as a VFR pilot, so when the rotating beacon at the airport stopped spinning for a brief period, we literally ran to the airplane so we could get out before the tower realized the visibility was not as good as they thought. Took off and managed to finagle my way through a big hole over the airport only to find myself on top of a thin, but very much visually impenetrable layer for a solid hour of legal, but highly uncomfortable VFR on top. The serene beauty of cruising in stable air and bright sunshine contrasted sharply with the realization that the solid layer of clouds 7000 feet below was only 1000 AGL. Yep, an engine failure and descent into the clouds was probably survivable... Some have no issue with a single engine, piston airplane in such a scenario (and 10 years ago I was one of them), but I've grown less brave in my advancing years. What should have been a boring 1.7 of autopilot flying and "managing" the flight was instead an exhausting game of tuning frequencies to every single airport on my path and playing the "what if" game of an imagined engine out approach as I mentally leapfrogged from airport to airport along my path. My only relaxation was when I had home in sight and was within gliding distance (which isn't far in a stubby wing RV). Yep, GA came through this weekend, but I've had a few drinks since landing! It's good to be on the ground wishing I was in the air...
 
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Toobuilder

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With all the gloom and doom these days it seems appropriate to resurect this thread.

Today I took my summer hire, college intern to breakfast in the RV. This was her first ever ride in a small airplane and she loved it! She's from the northeast and hopes to work for me when she graduates with her EE next year. I hope I set the hook for her to persue her PPL as well.

The destination was Big Bear and it was pretty dead at 0800 this morning, despite perfect weather. Food was acceptable, and gas was cheap so it was a fine day to be involved in GA.
 

plncraze

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Thank you for doing that! Giving someone their first ride is a great introduction. The general public has no idea what small airplanes are about.
 

Wayne

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Jan 14, 2013
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Chicago, IL
The 15 year old young lady who runs the Future Aviators of America (FAA) club in my Chapter, and I, had an hour long interview on our local TV Station with the Deputy Mayor to help promote the airport via the ever expanding young adult programs we are offering there. More on this later when I get all the assets together. Despite this being a tough year I have decided to double down on investments to move the Chapter forward. As one of my favorite historical figures, Winston Churchill, says "If you are going through hell, keep going!" We will have a "haunted hangar" event at Halloween, and I just donated $5,500 of stuff to the Chapter - my Pietenpol project, a WW2 Aerial Camera and a Continental A65. I need to keep the gang engaged and since we lost our airshow we need an injection of cash or equivalent to keep growing.

We have a heck of a lot going on and it is starting to dawn on me that the FAA group could be scaled Nationally - always open to ideas on that but a Youth Oriented group could be a huge hit - the thorny question is whether such a group would thrive and prosper better inside EAA, in conjunction, or outside. From a direction and execution perspective it would be better with the minimum amount of bureaucracy. That said - with 900 chapters across the country the scaling mechanism is there.... Can the Chapters rise to the challenge though? Your opinions are welcome as always.
 

PMD

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Apr 11, 2015
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242
Location
Martensville SK
My meager contribution of trying to get a good friend who no longer flies sailplanes to get a PPL came home with a big bang. His vision was building and flying an RV6 and I have tried to tell him that the way to start is WITH certified airplanes. Got him into a Citabria 2 years ago for about 5 hours of dual, but he re-located into the mountains and buried himself in the job while I screamed airplane at him. He called on Monday telling me to look at an add for a Truamahawk listed in AB, 2400TT, 700SMOH, $23US. He is about 6'2", long body so a fair number of airplanes just don't fit. The Pa38 does. When we researched the ADs, SBs, had a PP, consulted with insurance, etc. he (and I) found that an ab initio pilot (even one with hundreds of successful forced landings in a Blanik) has trouble getting insurance on a lot of airplanes, but C150/2 and Pa38 are easy and cheap. Local flying school agreed to teach him in his own plane (CFO turned out to be another glider rider), airplane came through PP inspection with flying colours, so by Friday he owned a Piper aircraft and was obviously rather committed to getting his PPL.

That little success I can discuss. The previous 6 or so weeks of day and night work for a company in another country that wants to get into genav I can not discuss, but rest assured, I feel even better about that one (although my "to-do" work list at home took a heck of a big hit - but it WAS for the sake of G-A).
 

Toobuilder

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That's all good news PMD, but curious of your reasoning to start with certified (as opposed to the RV). I fully agree that the first airplane should be flying, as seeing a build through is tough enough without adding the PPL process, but why limit it to certified?

Just curious. Your story is certainly a "win" no matter who built his airplane!
 

PMD

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Apr 11, 2015
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242
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Martensville SK
That's all good news PMD, but curious of your reasoning to start with certified (as opposed to the RV). I fully agree that the first airplane should be flying, as seeing a build through is tough enough without adding the PPL process, but why limit it to certified?

Just curious. Your story is certainly a "win" no matter who built his airplane!
Even with the Wuhan Virus running wild, training in Western Canada is saturated mostly with foreign students, and it is pretty hard to get an instructor and insurance on anything that doesn't look like a 150. A Da20 is way out of his price range and there wasn't a good AA-1 offered for some time (and even that might have been impossible to get an instructor or insurance for where he lives), so the Pa38 was the easiest, fastest (but not cheapest) way forward. It is even hard up here to find someone who will instruct in YOUR airplane, never mind your homebuilt airplane. He will buy and/or build something E/AB as soon as he racks up a couple hundred whimpy plane hours. As I said: LOTS of glider time, so his stick and rudder skills great (also a former international tri-athelete) but it is just a matter of learning the ways of nav and comm, fuel, airports, etc. I can see him with a night endorsement at the 100 hour mark.

The downside is that this guy is about 15 years behind me, and my youngest flybuddy is now crowding in on 40. I am genuinely alarmed at the lack of young blood. BTW: anyone in Western Canada heading West across the prairies in next while? I would love to hitch a ride to Red Deer (CYXE to CYQF) so I can deliver the Truamahawk to CYKA.

On the whole price thing, though: I think genav has indeed priced itself out of a market (obvioulsy not ALL - but the action is in the million ++ birds, not recip singles. A new 4 place today costs about the same (in most places) as it did 40 years ago relative to real estate, but when you look at the cost of houses: you need two incomes to pay for one, that means two vehicles to get to work, and probably a cottage to keep up with the Jones', so there is a LOT of competition for the discretionary spending dollars these days. Add to that the cost of things such as engines that are still no more tech and value than they were 60 years ago plus avionics (that might DO an awful lot today, but a hundred Gs is pretty much the price of admission to even a basic glass retrofit) and you can see that the $70k nice Tiger you can buy (double what I paid new for mine) could easily rack up a bill of double that at TBO plus panel refresh.
 
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jedi

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Aug 8, 2009
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2,153
Location
Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
I think I can pretty much answer for all of us on this list.

NOTHING! that is in relation to what is necessary to actually save GA.

That is in spite of the fact that I volunteered at the local glider club, did a new member checkout for a member of the armed forces, did an interesting mountain checkout with a hang glider pilot transitioning to Light Sport in his new RV 12, registered at a Washington Aeronautics State sponsored airport to secure continued funding, provided entertainment and examples for over one hundred campers who like to hang out at aviation hot spots and encouraged a instrument student working his way to a hopeful commercial pilot position.

The most significant action was, I believe, I that I managed to stay out of any of the FAAs investigations and received good service from the independent contractor services. The service was much better than the previous day which involved interface with real federal employees resulting in a denial of service.
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
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11,546
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97FL, Florida, USA
My 17 year old granddaughter recently expressed an interest in learning to fly. She has ridden with her father and me, in the A152 and the Sportsman, but never had done any real piloting.

We flew about 3 1/2 hours over three flights this week. We started off by exploring each control’s function, then demonstrating how to feel an uncoordinated condition in a turn. Even though she could not see the ball on the EFIS from her seat, she consistently kept the ball centered in turns and reversals with banks up to 60 degrees. She did fine in power off stalls, and lazy eights with 45 degree up / down lines, although she said that she wasn’t real comfortable doing them. She flew two landing patterns, down to passes down the runway at 500 feet AGL. I was willing to let her land, but she didn’t think that she was ready.

Bottom line: I think that we will have another GA pilot at some point in the future. Life is good.


BJC
 

Victor Bravo

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Jul 30, 2014
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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
does the 7 year old kid chasing the fluffy, Pommeranian dog across the ramp to the door of his dad's jet know how good he has it?
It's been over 50 years, so the memory is a bit dim, but the answer is yes and no. Yes we knew that we had it better than a lot of people, but no we didn't have any of the life experience and dues paying to understand why. And we had no idea that it actually creates a very significant life handicap later. For whatever it's worth, the hopes for some horrible comeuppance that people often wish to befall us spoiled 7 year olds usually do come true sooner or later.

To push this back on topic with the thread, my activity to save GA has been indirect but better than nothing. I've been PM and phone chatting with a new HBA member who is building his first airplane, and offering a little bit of advice on some minor issues he is having with the kit, offering to fly with him in my 172 to help build some basic skills even though he will be flying Part 103. I can't take credit for his becoming interested in an airplane, but if I can drag him down the rabbit hole toward becoming a Sport Pilot, and maybe talk him into the next airplane being an E-AB...
 

PagoBay

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Nov 16, 2013
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152
Location
US Territory of Guam
The new Guam chapter of Women in Aviation International has accepted my proposal to implement sim based training at nominal cost or free of charge for young people interested in aviation. WAI will be seeking grants to expand the program over time. Office space / air con / electricity all provided free by the CEO of Aviation Concepts, Inc.

I am providing free of charge a Dreamflyer 4DOF sim that has been waiting for 3 years for this opportunity. Our 3 Day summer camp is on hold due to Covid concerns. But when (not if) it proceeds the kids will have a day of ground school based on the WAI syllabus, Day 2 is sim time in my regular sim with a 60" LED TV / YOKO Yoke / MFG Crosswind rudders plus TQ / Trim wheel / Flaps switch. Rated by my CFI/CFII as ~9/10 on control input realism. Capable of training in all ACS required skills only minus G Forces and the upgrade to true altitude views. The Dreamflyer is not ready for prime time due to electronics issues with the Logitech hardware. Day 3 is a shared 30 min flight in a C172 - not free but we take what we can get.

The goal is to spark that aviation bug early and provide on going sim based training with volunteer CFI's & ATP pilots providing the coaching. We will try to go from two sims to three and include VR as soon as practicable. I will be sitting for my Advanced Ground School Instructor exam later this year.

We have access to one of the largest high schools with a 25+ member Aviator's Club. The club was started by a now newly graduated student who in the summer after her junior year was awarded a full ride summer scholarship through Junior Air Force ROTC. She came back home as a new PPL holder.

I brought this young lady and her sister along with the WAI President over to my house for a test flight on my sim rig. First time the younger young lady got a taste of flight.

Needless to say, it went well.
 

12notes

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Did 9 touch and goes in a half hour (bowtie pattern using both runways) before work the other night. The air traffic controllers get a bonus or incentive based on number of operations at the facility, I didn't know that until I took a tour of the tower a while back and someone asked are there any planes they like more than others. The club plane I fly was the first one they mentioned, at the time I would frequently go out in the morning before work when it was dead and do an hour of bowties, usually about 20. That counts as 40 operations (a landing and a takeoff), in a month I would add over 200 operations to their total just doing that.

My logbook is a little odd because of that, 365 hours in powered with 1780 landings, making my average flight is a little over 12 minutes.

And you'd think after all those landings, I'd be good at it, but flying apparently doesn't work that way. I still have stinkers from time to time, the experience just lets me know how and why I screwed it up immediately after doing so.
 

robertl

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May 5, 2017
Messages
193
Location
Heath Springs, S.C. USA
Did 9 touch and goes in a half hour (bowtie pattern using both runways) before work the other night. The air traffic controllers get a bonus or incentive based on number of operations at the facility, I didn't know that until I took a tour of the tower a while back and someone asked are there any planes they like more than others. The club plane I fly was the first one they mentioned, at the time I would frequently go out in the morning before work when it was dead and do an hour of bowties, usually about 20. That counts as 40 operations (a landing and a takeoff), in a month I would add over 200 operations to their total just doing that.

My logbook is a little odd because of that, 365 hours in powered with 1780 landings, making my average flight is a little over 12 minutes.

And you'd think after all those landings, I'd be good at it, but flying apparently doesn't work that way. I still have stinkers from time to time, the experience just lets me know how and why I screwed it up immediately after doing so.
Especially in a tailwheel !
 
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