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Thread: What should EAA look like?

  1. #21

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    Having just read Beagle above I say Ditto, Ditto Ditto I think there should be one tram right behind the other. I'll volunteer to drive or ride shotgun. More destinations.

  2. #22

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    Nov 2011
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    Camas, WA
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    I just finished building a kit plane and am nearly finished phase I flight test. EAA has provided a great deal of support both directly answering specific questions and by providing local chapter environment to help me along. I would leave most of it the way it is - to the extent that is possible. I find the publications and especially the publication archives very valuable. Unlike the wannabe publications (Kitplanes, etc.) the articles are full of actual real and useful information rather than pipe dreams and just plain lies.

    AirVenture is another case entirely. I didn't go there this year but did the previous two years. I enjoyed being in the same place with all those airplanes, vendors, and people. However, everything about the location left me feeling like I had just been run over by a steam roller. The weather is awful - either incredibly hot and humid or stormy. The hotels in the area overcharged more than any I have ever seen. Transportation to and from the area was poor at best since it is in the middle of nowhere. I don't have any complaints about the actual management and fees for the event itself. I just wish it were somewhere more comfortable and reasonably priced.

  3. #23
    Richard Warner's Avatar
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    I am a life member, #22313, and joined back in the sixties. My first Oshkosh was in 1975. I went for several years in a row, skipped a couple of years, went again in 1982 and 1986. My last one was in 1996. It has gotten just too expensive and too commercial for me to ever go back. I remember back then, the only folks allowed on the flight line were members of EAA who had aviation credentials, that is pilot or mechanic certificates, and members of their family and their guests. Members of other nationally recognized aviation organizations were also allowed, but couldn't bring guests. I did volunteer work several of those years. They didn't sell memberships at the entrance gate to every Tom, Dick, & Harry who wanted to get on the flightline. This was to help protect the airplanes on display from damage caused by folks that knew nothing about airplanes. I saw this happen when a lady let her kid climb on the tail of a Pitts at a local fly-in/airshow. When I said something to her she told me where to go. All those folks had access to all the display tents and to the factory builts and partially completed "homebuilts" that were on display behind the fence. The Chalets are a huge mistake in my opinion and may be the beginning of the end of EAA for the little guy. Just another reason for me not to go back. I guess I will just continue my every other year or so trek to Sun 'n Fun. At least its a lot closer and less expensive to attend. I'd love to see Oshkosh return to the way it was in the 70's. The new magazine looks like almost any other slick news stand aviation magazine full of ads and not much else. I used to save them, have years of them starting in 1962. Now, with the new ones I sometimes don't even open them. I guess I'll start a subscription to Kit Planes. Of course I won't quit EAA......my dues are paid for life.

  4. #24
    gmatejcek's Avatar
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    Kyle, Richard, Beagle, you all hit the nail on the head on all counts. What I would add is that under Paul, EAA was about people and a shared love, that of aviation and aviators. When he stepped down it became very much more about money. Now the bean counters have worked the supply and demand curves, revenues are maxed, and display space in the kit manufacturer's area, main buildings, the out door displays, and the fly market have unused space due to the little guys having been priced out of the game. Once upon a time, Rutan was a little guy, Van was a little guy, Niebauer was a little guy, and EAA fought for the little guy. Now it seems to fight for the money. As the core (the 'littlest' guy) gets disenfranchised, the whole thing starts to unravel. There seems to be growing discontent among the already short staffed volunteer group at the convention, as well.

    For my own part, building a plane and flying it it Oshkosh had been a life-long dream. Having watched the evolution over 35 conventions or so, especially the removal of the flight line fence, I have a hard time seeing me fly my plane up there. The thought of blissfully and unconcernedly leaving my plane amid a sea of other hand crafted gems to be examined, critiqued, and enjoyed by like-minded aviators has been replaced by the vision of uncontrolled kids clambering on it, obese guys leaning on it, and a buckle on a gargantuan purse putting a huge scrape in the wing tip. These are not paranoid fantasies on my part, but rather things I've witnessed with my own two eyes since the fence came down. And designated smoking areas? My camping buddy and I each ratted out individuals smoking on the flight line this year.

    Clearly, via both the the magazine and our annual convention, the organization's core values and direction have been lost to pandering. The question becomes will the membership and backbone of the organization re-ground and re-educate the leadership as to what we are really about, or will they just quietly take their resources elsewhere while EAA withers on the vine?

  5. #25

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    Sep 2011
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    Paul Ed Fisher has started up the SAA again. The web site is www.sportaviationassociation.org.
    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. 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.

  6. #26
    That's an easy answer - it should look like Paul Poberezny's other organization, the Sport Aviation Association, http://www.sportaviationassociation.org/

    Homebuilding Hall of Fame member Ed Fisher is bringing the SAA back, with Paul's blessing.

    Keep the EAA as the owner of the largest G.A. trade show in the U.S., AirVenture.

    The SAA will take care of the rest - helping people build and fly aircraft safely, and having fun, the reason the EAA was formed and the reason nearly everyone in my chapter joined years ago.

  7. #27
    WeaverJ3Cub's Avatar
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    http://www.generalaviationnews.com/2...venture-alive/

    "All this brings me to my suggestion: We need to find a way to pair up a dissatisfied EAA member attendee with a first time pilot attendee. To see AirVenture through the eyes of an excited first-timer may be just the juice an old-timer might need. Iím not trying to dismiss a legitimate complaint or concern, but sometimes we are so close to something we fail to see the bigger picture."

  8. #28

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    Trussville, Alabama, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeaverJ3Cub View Post
    http://www.generalaviationnews.com/2...venture-alive/

    "All this brings me to my suggestion: We need to find a way to pair up a dissatisfied EAA member attendee with a first time pilot attendee. To see AirVenture through the eyes of an excited first-timer may be just the juice an old-timer might need. Iím not trying to dismiss a legitimate complaint or concern, but sometimes we are so close to something we fail to see the bigger picture."
    Now THAT is a good idea. Just leave off the "dissatisfied" part. Why not pair up folks for the benefit of the newbies? Like a travel guide. One old dude / dudette could lead ten or so new folks around for a day......
    Last edited by Antique Tower; 08-17-2012 at 05:15 PM.

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