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Thread: How can I get my local EAA Chapter out of bed with the local cops and FAA?

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  1. #1
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    How can I get my local EAA Chapter out of bed with the local cops and FAA?

    Probably the #1 reason I won't join my local EAA chapter, is it seems like every other scheduled meeting is about having some FAA or local cop give some speech about aviation law.

    While I am not advocating any club should actively break the law (that's my job!), they should at least not be a shill and a tool and acting as an extension of the police state.

    When I go to a club about building and flying airplanes, I want to hear and talk about building and flying airplanes. I want to see everybody else's project, hear about updates about them, hear about who needs help, and talk about building and flying airplanes, and maybe even watch someone give a demo about how to do something related to building and flying airplanes. I want to hear about upcoming fly-ins at other chapters or discuss ways to improve attendance at our own fly-ins. Or random presentations on interesting or crazy planes or aviators from the past. Maybe even on a small scale, having a "free goodies table" to... trade stuff, sell stuff cheap, or give away free aviation related stuff (old magazines, books, etc, if nothing else).

    I don't want to hear an FAA representative give a speech about changes to aviation law. Seriously, I don't.

    I don't want to hear a local cop give a speech about how he's in charge of enforcing new Drone Flying Laws. Seriously, I don't.

    I don't want to hear that it's against club rules to take a Young Eagle up flying without an extra chaperon in the plane. Seriously, I don't. To think someone is going to try to molest a kid while also flying a plane... is just stupid.

    I don't even really care about eating lunch while I am there, beyond maybe having some drinks and snacks on a table to munch on while we listen to presentations or stand around talking with other members.

    The meetings are so dry and stale, they are actually kind of... painful.

    And worse, I'm thinking, if I joined this club, are they going to rat and narc me out someday for something petty and stupid?

    Do I really want to expose myself to that kind of extra needless threat, by surrounding myself by members being brainwashed into being hallway monitors?

    If club meetings don't talk about building airplanes and flying airplanes, why should I even bother to come to the meetings, let alone join?

    Is this just late mature flying club stage malaise?

    Was it different in the old days?

    Did things use to be fun?

    Some old timers, let me know...

    ...and is there any way I can change this, or should I just give up on EAA?
    Last edited by choppergirl; 03-24-2017 at 04:38 AM.

  2. #2

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    I assure you, everyone prefers a lively project visit or a how-to program. But older guys may not be very active, so it may come down to you to put on a program or two...

  3. #3

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    I feel your pain. I did not give up on the EAA but gave up on the clubs. In my area it's about the same. They don't push the legal stuff, but the clubs are about eating and that is it. There are three local clubs to me and all are like this. Two clubs have maybe three members. The answer is not easy. You will get flack from those who say you are part of the problem by not joining a club like this and trying to turn things around. Then you will get flack from the clubs for even mentioning this. No one wants to hear any of this.

    The eaa does have some active clubs and those who live by one is very lucky. But not every area has active eaa clubs. IMHO the best you can do is support the EAA. I contacted the EAA about starting a new club in my area. The people at the EAA who are in charge of helping others do this contacted me. The informed me that we have clubs to me that are local. They may not be the most active, but what made me believe I could do any better, and they were right. The best I could do would be to join one of these clubs and try to be a spokes person for one of these clubs and turn things around.

    What I found, I support the EAA. But the clubs are for others in other area's. Those who have an active club that builds and flies. You are very lucky for not everyone has this, even though they do have EAA chapters in their backyard.

    Tony

    P.S. I hope replying to this thread does not mean I am on old timer...lol
    Last edited by 1600vw; 03-24-2017 at 06:54 AM.

  4. #4
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    I have been to both EAA meetings in several locations in the USA and LAA meetings in the UK. They are rarely a young crowd and most of the presentations have been pretty corny. My favorite ones were along the lines of, "Let's meet at Bob's house/hangar next week and he can give us a tour of his half-finished KR2 and then we can shoot the breeze and have a beer." My suggestion would be not to give up on your local chapter, but also try to find one or two or three folks in your area more in line with your thinking. Maybe it will stop there, maybe over time as a small group you could inject some new life into your chapter.
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  5. #5

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    Yes, most chapters have a social component as the centerpiece.

    Those all farts probably reached the old and boring stage of life because they mostly followed the rules and used good judgement. Probably even once or twice had someone rat or narc them out for doing something petty and stupid, only back in those days it was called getting smacked on the butt with a paddle. I think that is illegal today.

  6. #6
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post
    My favorite ones were along the lines of, "Let's meet at Bob's house/hangar next week and he can give us a tour of his half-finished KR2 and then we can shoot the breeze and have a beer."
    We call that our "Builders Meeting". We have our membership meeting where we deal with the business of running the chapter, followed by a presentation that's usually pretty good. Over the past year we've had a couple of trip reports with slide shows (like the epic Super Cub trip at 10K+ over the Southwest), how one member silkscreened his panel, making wing ribs from aluminum sheet, a discussion about gasoline (mogas and avgas), the University program in which they are using drones for agriculture, etc. Yeah, we've had the FAA in a couple of times for what turned out to be very interesting presentations.

    Then we have the builders meeting, once a month, Saturday morning at someone's hangar, garage or basement to see their project under construction, being worked on, newly finished/bought/overhauled or whatever. Coffee and donuts and a morning of discussion and fun.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

  7. #7
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleB View Post
    We call that our "Builders Meeting". We have our membership meeting where we deal with the business of running the chapter, followed by a presentation that's usually pretty good. Over the past year we've had a couple of trip reports with slide shows (like the epic Super Cub trip at 10K+ over the Southwest), how one member silkscreened his panel, making wing ribs from aluminum sheet, a discussion about gasoline (mogas and avgas), the University program in which they are using drones for agriculture, etc. Yeah, we've had the FAA in a couple of times for what turned out to be very interesting presentations.

    Then we have the builders meeting, once a month, Saturday morning at someone's hangar, garage or basement to see their project under construction, being worked on, newly finished/bought/overhauled or whatever. Coffee and donuts and a morning of discussion and fun.
    Similar to what goes on in Seattle. We don't have that many active builders (most are in the suburbs, near the smaller airports) so it's a project visit every couple of months, plus the standard meeting once a month.

    Having been a chapter president a number of times, I know the pain of trying to arrange programs/speakers for the meetings. It's tougher in an older chapter, too (ours is over 60 years old), not only because you end up with a lot of older, passive folks (fewer potential presenters), but because the chapter has DONE most subjects many times already.

    "Next month's program will be a presentation by Dynon Avionics."

    "We had them just recently!"

    "Uhhhh...that was actually five years ago. They may have new products by now...."

    If you're not happy with the programs in your chapter, the solution is easy. March up to the chapter president and say, "Let me plan the programs for the next year." THEN you can have some real neat stuff, and no doubt everyone in the chapter will thank you.

    Otherwise, it reminds of the joke about a bunch of guys on a camping trip. One guy has been doing all the cooking, and everyone else has been complaining.

    "All right," he tells them. "The next guy to complain gets to be the cook." The rest reluctantly agree to this.

    The next day, while the rest are out hiking, the cook dumps a bunch of dirt, twigs, and an old tennis shoe in the stewpot and starts boiling it. The other guys get back, and the cook ladles out the night's meal.

    "For cripes sake," yells one man. "What did you do, cook the damn forest floor?"

    He pauses for a moment and adds, "Tastes good, though......"

    If you don't like the chapter programs, volunteer to "cook".....

    Ron "I'll take seconds" Wanttaja

  8. #8

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    Try Chapter 1189. Good Ole southern hospitality. Also will require a move to the deep south although you could be a member from anywhere and just travel across the country to the meetings every month

    weasel

  9. #9

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    "If you're not happy with the programs in your chapter, the solution is easy. March up to the chapter president and say, "Let me plan the programs for the next year." THEN you can have some real neat stuff, and no doubt everyone in the chapter will thank you."

    As a past chapter president and current chapter safety rep and FAAST rep, I heartily concur. Heartily. Really heartily.

  10. #10
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    Agree with Mike M. However, there is always the possibility that the management is perfectly happy with doing the things the way they have always been done and are unwilling to change. The solution then is to find another chapter. As was also pointed out, the great thing about being a pilot is that you can travel some distance to another chapter that is more in line with what you would like.

    I just got back from my chapter meeting. Yes, it finished with grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, but that is mostly an opportunity to sit down and talk airplane stuff. For example, one of the women in our chapter is a mechanic who works for the Smithsonian. She told us about twhat she is doing in the ongoing restoration of the B-26 FLAK BAIT. Cool lunch discussion. The main presentation was about how to build a Stratux and use it as an ADS-B-in device. We have had presentations by people who flew their GA aircraft around the world, about training the Afghan Air Force how to fly and maintain aircraft (did you know there is no word for "turbine" in Dari?) and other things that keep my 13 year old interested in coming. We also have a vibrant YE program. Heavy on participation, lots of youth, low on the rule books. (We just do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because it is mandated by some rule.) Yes, most of the people are older. (Comment from one, also at lunch today, "I remember one time, 80 years ago...") But we also have young people, some of whom were introduced to flight through the YE program, and are now pilots in the Chapter and CAP.

    I can't believe my chapter is unique, so, if -- after you offer to help build a more interesting program -- you remain unhappy...find another that better meets your desires!
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

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