An End to AOPA Summit
Sadly, the new president of AOPA, Mark Baker has decided not to continue the annual convention beyond this year. The one for this year, Oct. 10-12 in Ft. Worth will be held as scheduled.
I am sorry to hear of this change and oppose it for several reasons:
1. It seems to be a decision made suddenly and without any advance member notice or input. I think any change of this importance would be put out in the magazine and website well in advance so that members can discuss and have input, maybe even bring this to a vote by members. This certainly was not done. I heard about it 2nd hand from a friend who read in on an email. Now if you are on their email list, they did send out an email in the last week, however the title was like "Crop duster goes to war", and since I have no interest in crop dusters and not much in wars, I didn't open the email. It was as if they wanted to keep the policy change secret so the used a headline that was misleading, and looked nothing like if they had done "AOPA president decides to cancel Summit". The 2nd part of the email did say they are going to emphasize grass roots aviation. When I phoned the office to complain about it this morning, I was given a lady in comunications who listened to my point of veiw, but wrongly claimed that this story was on the AOPA website yesterday. I told her it was not on there, and she insisted it was. What was on the site at the top was a story about Cessna coming out with a cheaper military plane. I don't think many AOPA members are going to be buying a current jet, even a cheaper one; and I do think a story about a major change in our main event should be the top story, not hidden in an email under another lead title. She did alter the AOPA site today after I pointed out to her about the absense of this notice, and it is now on there, even if still under a secondary title such as "more emphasis on grass roots".
2.Lastly, I have no objection to Mark Baker traveling around the country to one day pilot meetings, however that is not a substitue for our annual convention and should be done in addition to the summit, not instead of.
I have read comments on the site and they seem to be fairly evenly split proand con, but many members have expressed surprise and disappointment just as I have.
And I know EAA and AOPA are not the same group ,but really most any pilot should be a member of both organizations, and each have their main emphasis.
3. There may be some legitamate financial reasons to suspend the summit, like less attendance or less vendors ,but we have not had a public discussion of this. People can be free to choose whether they have the time and money to attend, and some years I go, and some I don't. I, like many people, prefer to be a member of a group like AOPA or EAA, and not just receive orders that the top guy or guys had decided for us.
Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-19-2013 at 04:39 PM.