When did the EAA become money grubbing bullies?

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by radfordc, Nov 30, 2019.

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  1. Dec 11, 2019 #101

    Pops

    Pops

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    At one time I had every issue of EAA's mag from 1960 to 2000. Got fed up with the whole deal and gave all the mags away. Quit going to OSH a long time before that. Received a phone call asking why I didn't renew. I gave them an earful. Didn't help, but I felt better.
    Sport Aviation is a, How Great We Are, PC mag and it goes in the trash. I renewed last year hoping it had got better, but only worse.
     
  2. Dec 11, 2019 #102

    choppergirl

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    If you were to start with a blank piece of paper and a drafting table, and brainstorm a new pioneer amateur aviation club, describe what would it look like?

    For me, and don't let my thoughts on it influence your own... it would be:

    1) all inclusive, meaning all people, of all income levels, genders, ages, and of all things flying... which includes, waiving membership fee, and allowing RC, quadcopters, rubber band airplanes, paramotors, hang gliders, baloonists, parachutists, autogyros, flying bathtubs, fast moving racy homebuilts, girls that just want to get a tandem ride, those guys that ride jetpacks spewing out a firehose of water, wind-surfers, whatever... to all have their day and be welcome at the clubhouse / airstrip. just walk up and walk in. free open houses advertised and posted to craigslists every now and then. things are happening here, just walk in and hang out.

    2) it would actively train new pilots for free. i mean, churn them out like those germans preparing for war did before WW2. the local clubhouse would have a simulator you can use for free, a grass strip with a primary glider and tow plane / wench / car. every year we put on free courses to learn to fly an airplane, and in the summer we crank up and run the tow plane and primary glider and get those with the right stuff in the air for their first tandem and then solo glider flight. a library of aviation books (and online library) you can check out as long as you like and ditto for public domain plans. an indoor place with bunks for visiting airport hopping vacationing pilots to crash overnight for free, and a free wifi hotspot with a few public access terminals. an honor system stocked refrigerator / shelf where you take whatever food item you want and pay for it by putting money in a cup (popular in japanese offices!). if that don't work out, well, vending machines.

    3) a bulletin board, where you can all meet online, that does not practice censorship. admins do not ban you or delete your posts just because they are controversial, thought provoking, not the majority opinion, or they disagree with them. basically, admins limit themselves to deleting robot spam and that's about it.

    4) you are known not by your real name (unless that's what you want), but by your callsign of choice

    5) a nice plastic laminated card to put in your wallet :) a cool club flag to hang in your future or current hanger with your callsign or name on it. what can i say, i like flags.

    6) shy away from all the commercialism and vendors hawking stuff only the super rich can afford. to be all inclusive, we can have that, but box them into their own event and weekend event. other events, have vendor free.

    7) recruit people that are passionate and "in the zone" about their "area" they are passionate or expert about. Some people are passion about homebuilding, others ultralights, some about RC, some about FPV, paramotoring, etc.. give them the mike sometimes and let them give a presentation and tell everyone else, what excites them about it, and why they should broaden their horizon and give it a whirl too, even if they never thought of it or don't think it would be their cup of tea.

    8) enough with the rules and laws. i mean, really? if you want to know that sort of thing, you can look those up online. i don't want the self appointed authority types at my club preaching to people what they can and can not do. our club is not an extension arm of any government agency or gestapo police state. it's a place where people who want to fly and love to fly come to hang out and shoot the breeze, and see and well touch... airplanes and airplane stuff.

    9) you are welcome to talk about anything, because, well, freedom of speech. this includes politics, and i know, polarizing topics. why? well, my argument would be, if you were in a flying club in Germany before WW2, and you saw what was going on, and how grassroots aviation was being absorbed to train fighter pilots for a wicked regime, and slave labor being used to build fighter airplanes these glider pilots in your club were being trained to eventually fly in, don't you think not talking about what was going on... would be deadly to your hobby? censorship is... well... corrosive... and... bad. mavericks with crazy non-mainstream ideas that people react violently against as being "unsafe" or "divisive"... turn out sometimes to be right. case in point: flying machines.

    10) if you want to drink a beer down the road, at the Happy Go Lucky Aviator Bar that is profiting from and is riding our coattails, well, alrighty... good luck with that. i might join you and have a dr. pepper. good luck with your business. hang some faux WW1 aircraft tail marking trophy fabric on the wall if you want me to come back tho. :) just sayin'....

    11) to pay the bills, i probably would setup a year round camping area / campground parrallel to the multipurpose event empty field that is the airstrip. camp, see the planes or RC events, visit the clubhouse, get your showers, camp out during a fly-in, etc.

    12) my club fly in's would have cheerleaders and dance routines to music. imagine pep rallys in front of airplanes as a backdrop to music. well, because walking around vendors of overpriced equipment and starring into the sun to observe aerobatics by planes you could never afford does not speak to my heart. getting people to "look over here" where we're doing something different that we are excited about... does. when the novelty of whatever we're doing new (cheerleaders) wears off, we switch up and do something totally else (a quad copter race event like DRL, an air battle, ww2 reenactors, aircraft trivia jeopardy with prizes, something weird and legendary, candy drops, whatever), so you come not for the airplanes, but because you have no idea what to expect next... and come for the surprise.


    That's how my club would be. How would yours be?

    Blank Slate, starting with a fresh piece of paper...
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  3. Dec 11, 2019 #103

    mcrae0104

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    Chopper Bottom Riding Club. It's sort of like Pancho's place, but with drones and socialism.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2019 #104

    BBerson

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    My RC club does some of that. We just invited some paramotor guys to use the field.
    Free membership under 18, others is $45/year. Requires volunteers. I prefer volunteer life instead of paid employment stress.
     
  5. Dec 11, 2019 #105

    Dillpickle

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  6. Dec 11, 2019 #106

    BBerson

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    I think EAA went astray when then they ended all volunteer everything. When it goes commercial priorities change.
    The treasurer in my my RC Club wanted to pay the club officers. I said absolutely not.
     
  7. Dec 11, 2019 #107

    Kyle Boatright

    Kyle Boatright

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    I would suggest that when they invested in the museum and other expensive fixed assets was when they had to worry about paying real bills. That is a behavior changing event.
     
  8. Dec 11, 2019 #108

    Topaz

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    That and the Solidworks-for-free deal. That's sorely tempting me of late.
     
  9. Dec 11, 2019 #109

    BBerson

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    That may be. All the more reason to stick with first principles. A true non-profit doesn't pay it's members, in my book.
    The local EAA Chapter is run that way.
     
  10. Dec 11, 2019 #110

    pwood66889

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    Interesting proposition, Hot Wings. Should any "cowbirds" want to come to the Ercoupe Owners Club, we're having it in Wisconsin around "AirVenture" time. I'll post the dates if any interest... :)
    Oh, and while I got you, Hot; yes I'm active in the EAA. My chapter had it's Holiday Gathering this evening. 14 people attended.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2019 #111

    Aviacs

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    Anarchy (pure sense) could be such a beautiful system.....
    If everyone was truly educated,
    and especially if absolutely everyone was perfectly responsible.

    :)

    smt
     
  12. Dec 11, 2019 #112

    bmcj

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    As mentioned, Paul tried it with SAA, and Ed Fisher tried reviving it too. Those efforts garnered members up front, but they fell away over the next couple of years. Sadly, to make an organization successful, you need a sizable paid staff, which calls for methods to raise funds. To hold onto members and attract new members (to compensate for attrition), you need to grow the the organization in size and scope, and that requires more funds. Eventually, it will need to morph much in the same way that EAA did. Our best option is to support what we already have and to actively participate enough to help steer the organization in the direction we want it to go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  13. Dec 11, 2019 #113

    mullacharjak

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    All you need is a deserted airstrip far from civilization.A tall order.
     

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  14. Dec 11, 2019 #114

    BJC

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    +1


    BJC
     
  15. Dec 11, 2019 #115

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    We do that at Oshkosh every year, every morning at HBHQ. All six of us show up.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2019 #116

    aeromomentum

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    While Chopper Girl is obviously crazy, she has some good ideas.

    We totally need to be more inclusive and actively recruit the people we are currently missing. We need a "flying club" like they had in the past and is currently popular in other countries. A club that owns planes for the members use. A club that has a clubhouse at the airport with beer and Dr Pepper. Earlier this year I was at the Tyabb airport in Australia and after flying people would hang out, talk aircraft, make friends and have a soda.

    While totally free flight training may be cost prohibitive, free online ground school and free home simulator based flight training is possible. The EAA MUST expand the pilot base both young and old. Developing a modern, fun, interesting and effective internet and home computer based program for flight training could greatly reduce the cost of flight training. After completion of the relevant part of the program the student should be able almost always get their license or rating in the FAA minimum actual flight time. EAA chapters should be able to own planes for flight training. Some chapters could have both

    In the past the EAA (and even the FAA) sponsored aircraft design competitions. They need to do that today.
     
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  17. Dec 11, 2019 #117

    12notes

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    My glider club (Louisville Soaring Club, based at KSER) is pretty much like you describe, owns a tow plane and 4 gliders, and has a post-flight "debrief" in the hangar kitchen with beer, snacks, and occasionally meals.

    Young Eagles offers free online ground school, the EAA has several scholarships, including the Ray Aviation Scholarship, which are $10K each, issued by chapters, and they are funded to continuously give out a total of 120 of them per year.

    https://www.eaa.org/eaa/learn-to-fly/Scholarships/eaa-flight-training-scholarships
    https://www.eaa.org/eaa/eaa-chapter...-and-activities/ray-aviation-scholarship-fund

    Doesn't help adults, but they're doing pretty well on the youth front.

    It the lawsuit happy USA, I can understand not wanting to be the deepest pockets linked to a small plane crash, so the rule about chapters not owning aircraft is understandable. It's not difficult to set up a flying club.

    They do have design competitions, like the Founders Innovation Prize for safety innovations, but not for entire aircraft. They did sponsor the GoFly design contest, but that ended up having unrealistic goals.
     
  18. Dec 11, 2019 #118

    bmcj

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    I’ve even seen EAA encourage and advise on setting up flying clubs... they just won’t sanction the clubs under their banner for the reasons you state.
     
  19. Dec 11, 2019 #119

    cluttonfred

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    When's that last time EAA sponsored a homebuilt aircraft design contest or otherwise helped to nurture new aircraft, engines, etc. for the homebuilt community? 1960s?
     
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  20. Dec 11, 2019 #120

    crusty old aviator

    crusty old aviator

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    You could start with spelling dear old Steve’s name correctly: Wittman.
     
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