I hope every chapter member and every member of the EAA staff reads this post. Maybe, just maybe, it will make them think....
I went to a local chapter meeting this evening. It's not the first meeting of an EAA chapter I've been to, but it was the first at this one. Unfortunately, my experience mirrors other experiences I have had.
I am in my mid 40's, a private pilot, used to own an airplane, and am currently building a Sonex. Been an EAA member for years.
Tonight, sadly, when I went to the chapter meeting and arrived early, only one person said hello. He is 85 years old,not a pilot, and as far as I can tell, no one said hello to him, either. He just likes airplanes and lives nearby. Great guy.
I emailed the chapter president, copied EAA's chapter email address, and included my phone number. I will be interested to see if anyone responds.
Why would I post this?
Here is why:
I wish I could say I am surprised. I am not. I wish I could say the experience was unique. I cannot. In fact, it mirrors much of my experience, and that of many "younger" people like me. In fact, it has been my experience at other EAA chapters. I feels like a closed door that when we knock, no one bothers to answer.
If your chapter, if EAA, if aviation, wants new members, younger enthusiastic people, to become involved, try looking around. This is why I am posting this on an EAA forum for all to see - personally, I hope they send this to Rod and he writes an editorial about it. EAA and aviation needs a wake up.
I came to try the chapter on for size. Sure didn't fit.
Next meeting, look around. I won't be there, but maybe another new face will be. Say hello. Ask how they are, what they are doing. Maybe they are new to aviation, just interested. Maybe they are building something. Never know.