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Thread: What should EAA look like?

  1. #11
    PaulDow's Avatar
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    Back about 10 years ago, Paul tried to start the Sport Aviation Association. It's purpose seemed to address almost all of the criticisms brought up here. It was supposed to promote flying and building for the fun and education of it. It was supposed to have very little of the business, politics and general extra headaches that comes with the huge organization.
    Unfortunately, it didn't reach critical mass to keep it going. You can find information on it over at the Wayback Machine at www.archive.org. Search for www.sportaviation.org, and select some older versions before that domain was repurposed.
    Maybe there's now enough interest to try again.

  2. #12
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    What i will say is that virtually every EAA'er has slightly different goals, wishes, and objectives. Talk to 100 people and you'll get 99 opinions.
    The one time I've knowingly been in the same room with Tom Poberezny I recall him making a comment to the effect of "You show me two EAA members who agree completely and I'll show you two folks who just started talking to one another a few minutes back".

    Chapters- There should be more emphasis on new chapters and new members, there should be more activity among these chapters to promote homebuilding of ALL TYPES, I hear constantly about people attending meetings and being turned away because they aren't building the same type of airplane as the "core" group, and being talked down to about their choice of aircraft.
    Agreed 100%. That was a HUGE problem around here at a couple of chapters when people realized I wasn't interested in the latest designs out of Van's or a Sonex (nothing wrong from an aerodynamic standpoint or performance standpoint, just not my type of airplane and lacking some things I am looking for). You tell them you want to design and scratch build and the looks you get are priceless.

    Some chapters don't even have ANY building to speak of.
    There are a couple of those around here too. What is funny is that both of those clubs were the first to offer me just about anything short of a donor kidney when I told them I was doing a scratch build. The ones with active builds kind of shrugged and went back to their kits. It is worth noting that out of all of the membership of the clubs around here I am familiar with, I am the first person doing a 'clean sheet' design and build in as long as anyone can recall.

    8. that caters to all socio-economic levels without noticeable distinctions - e.g. an organization of apparent "inclusion";
    Even as one of the "unwashed masses", I've never experienced any difference between the way I was treated 20 or so years ago when I was a kid hanging around the local chapter back home and today. Even with the "chalets" (at least the NBAA one last year, since personal issues at the last minute kept me from attending this year), I was welcomed in, handed free drinks and told to enjoy the air conditioning even though I'm not their target clientele. Hell, the only way I was able to see Fifi while she was moving on the ground was because of that vantage point on the last day because of all of the crowds blocking the view from any other perspective. Yeah, there is some catering to the "rich" side of the hobby but I've never gotten a sense of exclusion. Any rational request I've made has been granted and usually, I've gotten more than I asked for.

    I think what we are seeing is a perpetuating cycle. EAA reduces the exposure and support ( ill get to that ) of homebuilding to the aviation world, thus fewer people get motivated to actually homebuild. With fewer homebuilders, EAA does not see the need to devote a high percentage of its work towards that group, and so reduces the investment and exposure again.......just a downward cycle.
    I think the phrase you're looking for is "positive feedback loop", i.e. something that accentuates itself as it goes along. A small change results in an increase in the magnitude of the change in the next "cycle" (A produces more of B which in turn produces even more A and so on). Sorry....don't mean to sound snide. Just thought I might point out the term for what you're describing. Hopefully no offense is taken.


    Maybe there's now enough interest to try again.
    There's some talk about it over on Homebuilt Airplanes. http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/fo...sociation.html
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulDow View Post
    Back about 10 years ago, Paul tried to start the Sport Aviation Association. It's purpose seemed to address almost all of the criticisms brought up here.
    Maybe there's now enough interest to try again.
    Already in the works. Ed Fisher is the guy in charge. Membership is enjoying quite a surge, I just joined last week.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Already in the works. Ed Fisher is the guy in charge. Membership is enjoying quite a surge, I just joined last week.
    Does the SAA have a web presence? My google-fu hasn't turned up anything...

  5. #15
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    Does the SAA have a web presence? My google-fu hasn't turned up anything...
    I heard a rumor about this a few months ago but I was never able to find anything either.

  6. #16

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    No website but I hear it's in the works. In the meantime, to get on the mailing list, send an email with your name and mailing address to Ed Fisher at raceairdesigns@hotmail.com

    In about 2 weeks you'll get an acknowlegement letter with membership number and some SAA decals.


    There's a website somewhere that has old (10 yr) SAA magazines archived. I'll look for that and report back.

  7. #17
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    I can see a problem with the name - if people thing it is just Sport Pilot stuff. I know I wouldn't even look at it if that is what I thought it was.

  8. #18

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    What I would change about AirVenture:

    1. NO SMOKING ANYWHERE ON THE GROUNDS!!! I've seen smoking right next to airplanes and butts all over the place. If people need to smoke, they're never so far from a gate that they can't step outside the grounds and smoke.

    2. Ditch the chalets on the flight line.

    3. Ditch the new speaker system. It was too loud, the sound from those speakers was slightly out of synch with the "traditional" speakers, and the speakers themselves blocked part of the flightline view.

    4. Ditch the music over the loudspeakers unless it's part of the airshow. The best Oshkosh soundtrack is airplane noise.

    5. Ditch the food stands at Phillips 66 Plaza on Saturday. They look tacky and are unnecessary. The food choices have really improved over the past few years and there are plenty of options without the Saturday stands. Keep that space for airplanes.

    6. Continue the new tram system. Much better than the old routes and having to change trams more often. I didn't get a chance to ride the Warbird-area "tour" tram but definitely will next year; great idea!

    7. Who are all of the people riding around on golf carts? Do they really all need them? It seems like there is a LOT more vehicular traffic than in the past and I'm wondering why.

    8. Keep the Honor Flight arrival if possible. What a moving tribute to the veterans, with the band, the people saluting, the families waiting, etc. Just please keep the security people under control. I had a very unpleasant encounter with a security goon who literally pushed between a veteran and his waiting family, and have written to the feedback address about it...and gotten a response. Hopefully the culprit won't be there next year.

    9. Show "Airplane!" at the Fly-In Theater every year!

  9. #19
    Jim Rosenow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    Does the SAA have a web presence? My google-fu hasn't turned up anything...
    FYI..... http://www.sportaviationassociation.org/index.html I just found it myself.

  10. #20

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    I love going to Oshkosh and look forward each year. I have been attending since 1978 or 1979. I have only missed a couple of those years and plan on returning next year. I was disappointed to see the chalets. They used up at least 50 or more prime parking places. I agree with the previous writer that talked about walking the grounds with the "celebrities. They didn't act like that around the airplanes. I enjoyed walking and visiting with the likes of Mike Melville, a famous test pilot, Burt and Dick Rutan and their families. I see all that going away with the chalets. Please don't go that route. If attendees don't want to walk around with the rest of us I'm not sure we want them there.

    On another note. Did you see the Red Chinese Communist flag in one of the chalets? I'm not sure that was appropriate.. Do you think the Flag of the United States of America is flying at events in Red China?

    I think the chalets are the beginning of the end of Oshkosh as we like it. Please do away with them.

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