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  1. #1
    ironnerd's Avatar
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    Goggles My chapter has some tunnel vision going on

    Hey all.
    I am building a single-east, wood-and-fabric plane. I joined the EAA in search of some support and expertise. Unfortunately, my chapter is pretty much a Van's Air Force Booster Club.

    I have no dislike for a Van's. They are, by most measures, excellent aircraft. They are not, however the only plane. So far, in fact, I have worked on planes ranging from J-3 Cubs to 777-200's, and haven't met many planes I don't like. Although I have preferences for configuration and materials, I look at every plane as a pretty amazing creation. I would love to discuss Bearhawks, GlaStars, Murphy's, Rans, Zeniths, Kitfoxes, ELSA's, Part 103, etc... without always having to compare them to the RV series and defend them as a viable aircraft choice.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions for guiding my chapter towards being more open and welcoming to those who chose the EAB path less taken?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironnerd View Post
    Hey all.
    I am building a single-east, wood-and-fabric plane. I joined the EAA in search of some support and expertise. Unfortunately, my chapter is pretty much a Van's Air Force Booster Club.

    I have no dislike for a Van's. They are, by most measures, excellent aircraft. They are not, however the only plane. So far, in fact, I have worked on planes ranging from J-3 Cubs to 777-200's, and haven't met many planes I don't like. Although I have preferences for configuration and materials, I look at every plane as a pretty amazing creation. I would love to discuss Bearhawks, GlaStars, Murphy's, Rans, Zeniths, Kitfoxes, ELSA's, Part 103, etc... without always having to compare them to the RV series and defend them as a viable aircraft choice.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions for guiding my chapter towards being more open and welcoming to those who chose the EAB path less taken?
    Volunteer for the Chapter Presidency the next time it comes open. Or, if someone other than the president arranges the topics for the chapter meetings (ooops, "Gatherings"), volunteer for that position and ensure some variety in the presentations.

    Or volunteer for giving a presentation on your own airplane for an upcoming meeting.

    I'm kind of outspoken, so members of my chapters don't forget I have a wood and fabric single-seat airplane. It probably doesn't help that I always refer to RVs as "Vancans", "Oregon Cherokees", or "JAFTHAs"*. It just ticks them off. :-)

    Ron Wanttaja

    * JAFTHA: Just Another ******* Tin Homebuilt Airplane

  3. #3
    ironnerd's Avatar
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    Good advice. I think if I volunteer, it will at least lead the current president to something of a "come to Jesus" moment. There are other people in the club who are looking at planes that are not a bucket of rivets held in place with bits of sheet metal. One new guy told me he was looking for a 4+ seater (his wife wants a Lance, so I suspect he'll be getting a Lance), and said that after talking to the Chapter president, he figured he would just build an RV-10. I asked him if he had heard of a Murphy Moose or Bearhawk 5. That's when the crickets joined the conversation.

    So it seems as though a change in leadership of some kind may be in order.

    "Oregon Cherokees"...
    LMAO!

    Thank-you, Sir!
    Last edited by ironnerd; 12-03-2020 at 02:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Based on your locale, could we be in the same chapter?? PM me. Thanks
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  5. #5
    DaleB's Avatar
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    "Ramp fleas" is another good one. Blast those pesky RV pilots... Oh, wait. That's right... I'm one of them. But I get to get looked down upon by both "real" RV pilots and "real" homebuilders; I fly an RV-12... and one built by someone else, no less. But hey!! All is not lost. I'm building a wooden airplane, too... Fisher Celebrity, from plans, none of this sissy kit stuff.

    And yes, I'm the only one in my chapter building anything out of wood. Even the non-RV builds are mostly aluminum or fiberglass, save the lone Airdrome Nieuport finished not long ago. There just really aren't that many people building to begin with, and the majority of those who are, are building RVs for reasons discussed many times before. They're really well done kits,. with good support and a VERY active and supportive community of builders and owners.

    They're not the end-all be-all for everyone, but given the tiny number of people building airplanes out of wood, or even tube and fabric, you can't be surprised or take it personally when you're the only one in a hundred mile radius or more doing what you're doing. Certainly get more active in your chapter if that's what you want to do, but don't feel like you have to proselytize. And look for other chapters in the surrounding areas... though there's a good chance they are full of RV guys, too.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. Building a Fisher Celebrity.

  6. #6
    ironnerd's Avatar
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    I agree. Most kit-built planes are RV's. They are 1) darn nice, 2) have excellent kits, and 3) are very well developed aircraft. They do, however, take the some of the "E" out of the "EAA".

    Part of the appeal of the Wood-n-fabric plane is that not a lot of other people are making them. Maybe not as rare as wood-n-fabric biplanes, but not at all ubiquitous either.

    I don't want to be a rabble-rouser, or bring drama to the chapter, I just think some of the other members would like to talk about different planes without hearing about how they are lesser planes because they are not RV's. If they RV guys want to set up a Van's Air Force self-appreciation chapter I would be fine with that - I would even attend a few meetings and offer to smash a few rivets or run some wires. That just ain't what I think an EAA chapter should be.
    Last edited by ironnerd; 12-03-2020 at 08:31 PM.

  7. #7
    melann's Avatar
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    I do quite a lot of Experimental and Light-Sport aircraft certifications in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma area. I just went back over the last year's folders and found:

    RV's = 30%, Cub replicas and Sonex =13% ea., Rans and Zenith = 7% ea., and the rest assorted kit and LSA manufacturers.
    Mel, DAR since the Last Century, Specializing in Light-Sport and Experimental Aircraft. Certificated over 1,000 Light-Sport & Experimental aircraft.

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