So we've seen a lot of comments recently about the direction of EAA in general, the leadership (Rod Hightower in particular) and AirVenture. As Hal and other EAA web personnel have pointed out, much of this is a healthy thing and helps the organization understand its members better. It is a healthy organization/company that critiques itself, and that is what we have here…..
But throughout all this, as a new EAA member, I've been very confused about what exactly the current EAA is being measured against. Is it a non-existent utopia? The EAA of 25 years ago? Remember, I wasn't even around back then. It took me awhile on these forums before I even knew who the "Paul and Tom" were who were continually being referred to. But I do understand homebuilding, the appeal and attraction of building one's own airplane, and the unique pursuit that bonds "EAAers" together. That's why you and I are members.
So, I want to pose a question to anyone who cares to answer. If you could be in complete control of the Experimental Aircraft Association, what would your organization look like? Particularly, in these categories:
• What would you change about the general focus of the organization?
•*What would you change about SportAviation?
•*What would you change about AirVenture?
•*What (if anything) would you change about the Chapters and their relationship to "the mothership?"
(As you respond, please realize that homebuilt/Experimental aircraft come in all shapes, sizes and prices, from Pietenpol to Lancair, and that the newest avionics and expensive upgrades, while certainly out of some people's reach, are a part of many people's homebuilding experience.)
So—even though I may have worn out my welcome here—please give me and your fellow-members your thoughts. It will help me as I try to better understand the organization that I just joined, and I think it will help all of us come to more agreement and realize what we really have in common…..a love of aviation. Because after all, isn't that what this is about? If it were just about building a mechanical "device" for yourself, we could find a lot cheaper and faster ways to do that. But we all love to fly, and that's what makes us different.