AOPA Membership Dues increase

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Apache123, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Dizaster

    Dizaster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Brad is confused. He doesn't own the school. That would be mine...rent will be high.:lol:
     
  2. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Call me crazy but if you were actually serious about that and founded an organization that advocated more effectively for us small piston guys I wouldn't hesitate to become a member. Both you and Tim could do a better job than you're giving yourself credit for.

    I'm not an AOPA member and I probably won't be one anytime soon. I believe they got lazy and lost sight of their mission wasting the money I previously gave them. I see that they're promising change and they seem to be trying to execute on that. But, you lose my trust once, and you're going to have to work to get it back. I watch from the distance and perhaps if they continue in this direction I will one day change my mind and become a member again.

    AOPA made some mistakes and seriously damaged their brand and lost the trust of many of their core members. They're going to have to work four times as hard as they should have been working years ago to improve their reputation.

    I do greatly appreciate their staff trying to address concerns in this thread and hope to see more of that.

    As to how I support GA - there isn't a day that goes by that I don't dedicate time towards efforts to create more pilots. The amount of money I make for the time I invest in these efforts is well almost nil.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  3. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    They "reimagined" (whatever that means) the idea of a 90K-100K used, bare bones Cessna 152. :rofl:
     
  4. el con

    el con Line Up and Wait

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    Jesse
    Thanks for what you do,(that's 4 now) I've seen you in action up at 6Y9 ,followed your dedication with a story with young Mr. White,motorcycle and aircraft long distance x-country. Also your dedication to this board and the POA.
    My purpose for poking this fire of a topic is to get us all thinking about what we're doing and what we should do. I had dreamed about flying my whole life, I got the chance finally at 56 due to some serious help from my oldest son that I will be forever grateful.
    I look into the future and see GA fading away,and the kids like me may not have the opportunity to fly in the very near future.
    There needs to be an AOPA either the current one or a new one and it needs to be run by the ones who want to give instead of take. As bad as many here seem to think AOPA is doing, there seems to be change going on and I suggest we all find ways to help them instead of hinder them.
    The bashing does little,giving up on them without an alternate does nothing.
    Maybe we contact them through Katie and Tom who have showed interest in our group and what we're saying and our concerns.
    Bashing them on this board between ourselves is pointless.
     
  5. JB1842

    JB1842 En-Route

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    Katie and Tom haven't been on this board in over 8 months. And the only thing they came here to say was "Look at us! We are special!", or at least that is what I got from them. They jumped the shark with their $80K 152, and to me it shows they are our of touch with the real issues in GA today. I won't rule our going back to them, but not until they change. El con, I will also jump on board your organization if you choose to make one.
     
  6. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I've given first GA rides to, um, probably 20+ people including a number of kids that just might make it part of their life later. I love being able to do that.

    Because of working in DoD contracting, I have a pretty good idea what it takes to make Washington move. It takes 1) personal relationships (you can't persuade if they can't hear you), 2) voting blocks, 3) money (which, in political speak, translates to votes). AOPA has or works to get 1. They are working at a disadvantage with 2 because 400K voters spread over the whole country is tiny. Money they have, but again at the national level it's not so much.

    AOPA can work to educate larger blocks of voters, but most folks who are not exposed to GA only know what they read on the internet (or see on the news if they're older school). Little planes are DANGEROUS!

    I don't know how good a job they really do, but if you think 400,000 voters sway the halls of congress, you're not paying attention.

    I joined AOPA when I started flight training and the flight training magazine was useful then. I used the online flight planner a lot until I got ForeFlight and now WingX. I'm still a member, but the $59/year is down in the noise. I hope to win the sweepstakes plane every year. (Until this one. A 152 is not my dream plane.) I did toy with attending the regional flying in SC this year, but my weekend was otherwise occupied. I do like the idea of regional fly ins over the convention. I also think they should figure out how to have them with in 1 easy day's flying for folks with a single engine trainer type airplane. That would probably require more of them.

    Anyway, you can while all you like but the reality is you really don't know how effective they are or are not unless you are in the committee meetings etc. They might be great and they might be terrible. I can't tell from here.

    John
     
  7. el con

    el con Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks John You're #5;)
    Agreed on your post.
    I will say that you'd be surprised, as I was, how very few voters ever get involved, I've been in meetings where a State Rep. says 'I've received 234 letters from my region and this shows major support for this bill".
    400,000 letters in favor and few in opposition can get things done.
    Now if 440,000,000 show up against it, we're hosed:rolleyes2:
     
  8. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I wrote (and published) a book. The royalties suck, too.
     
  9. el con

    el con Line Up and Wait

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    Josh
    Thanks for your vote of confidence.
    So Utopia is now at 3 members, Josh don't forget to send in the $39;), the war chest is growing :rofl:
    (Tim, we just grew 50% overnight)
     
  10. el con

    el con Line Up and Wait

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    If it was on aviation you'd be #6
     
  11. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    It pretty much was, boss. I think that's why the royalties suck so bad.
     
  12. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    On General Aviation? A book I don't know about?
     
  13. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    John, You bring up some very valid points..... A few others need to be exposed too..

    1- Several congress critters are licensed pilots and truly understand our position.... We need to rally behind those 110%.

    2- This next election cycle will play out to be a VERY hard fought battle because the Dems want back in BAD, the Repub's want to hold what they have and also capture the POTUS spot.... The Tea party will be fighting to get a stronghold in some offices too , and there is some SERIOUS money behind them...

    3- Alot of state races are in play too so the entire arena will be out and about more then ever trying to sway people to their side of the aisle....

    4- And the most important and viable avenue for GA to make the news and show it's expertise and assets is the transportation side of campaigning..... The VAST majority, in fact I will got out on the limb and guess 99% of the candidates will use GA to go from one whistle stop to another... They all understand the huge importance of GA and all the small airports around the country..

    My thoughts are... AOPA should focus in on that sector and drive the point home about the versatility and nessissity of GA in modern day America... Years ago AOPA did a great job of advertising during the holiday season since alot of families are gathered around the TV for football games and parades.... I would guess most of that advertising dollar was spent with the Weather Channel as I would see AOPA commercials several times a day... I always wondered why they discontinued that portal to the general public..:dunno:

    It really would be nice to see Katy and or Tom come back to POA and give us their take on the future of AOPA and their thoughts on the direction GA needs to utilize to move the ball forward..... IMHO...

    Ben ( I paid my aopa dues and am the airport support rep for the Jackson Hole airport)
    Haas
     
  14. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cowboy - yeehah!
    Ben, ole buddy here's the rub with your logic. First, those members of the legislature that aren't pilots are being chauffeured around the sky by pro pilots, on big GA turbines. There is no way, no how that a 'crat is going to forgo that kind of access to the NAS, but - and this is a big however they have no use for the individual pilot, so their idea of utility of GA, and our idea of utility to GA will likely be miles apart. In fact, one could reasonable support the statement that access to the NAS should be reserved for those who can afford part 121 or 135, and all others need a 'special permit' over and above a plain old pilot license to operate over the land.

    For them, each little plane in the sky is an impediment to their getting around. If all private pilots were grounded tomorrow they wouldn't give a wet, dribbly spit as long as their chartered G-IV could land and take off at a moments notice. Heck - it would actually benefit them if the great unwashed were not allowed in the sky.

    Next, pols are craven, venal, vote-whores - that's just a given. The general population represents a large voting block, and the general population is pretty much anti-GA, and is moving more in that direction all the time. After all, each small plane crash is another 'death from above!' scenario played out on the nightly news. So - the answer to all those voters is more GA restriction. And where do those voters go to voice their displeasure? You got it, the legislature of the states and feds. So - nothwithstanding the lawful exercise of our rights to fly unrestricted in the NAS, those days are numbered. I will offer up what I've been saying for years. Here it is: In my lifetime, GA unrestricted flying will cease to exist. And I'm getting up there in years so this is no idle statement. It's coming to a country near you, and it's coming like the express on track 3. AOPA was supposed to be our stalwart, but instead they've turned into an enabler of the feds. They fight no one for nothing at no time. I would go so far as to say that AOPA is actually less than useless because they divert scarce resources of pilots funds where another faction could be out there actually fighting for us in the halls of congress.
     
  15. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    perceived as an impediment - how many little planes are there in the flight levels?

    If all "little planes" disappeared tomorrow there would be almost zero increase in airspace capacity for the airlines.
     
  16. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cowboy - yeehah!
    You know that, and I know that - but to the gen pop all they know is 'raining metal death from above!'

    Solution: Restrict aircraft to 'essential' only flights. BTW - all flights with 'crats on them are always essential. :wink2:
     
  17. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Yeah, but.....

    As with any another other transportation venue, it takes the majority of small users to keep the infrastructure operational for the heavy hitters and to dilute the costs...

    Be it surface, air or marine.....

    For instance, a 4000 lb passenger vehicle will cause very little damage to the roadbed and pavement, whereas a 80,000 semi will cause 40-80 times more damage... On any toll road they do NOT pay 40- 80 times higher tools /fees so they need all of us small vehicles to support their road system...

    Same with airports /VOR/ ATC etc, ,etc, etc,...

    With all the small GA gone and no fuel taxes paid by us, airports will be charging MASSIVE landing fees to cover their operating costs... I think a G-V pays 100 bucks for a landing fee here.. Get rid of all the piston and small turbine traffic and that might just to 1000 bucks.... Rich people with Gulfstreams are smart enough to know to let the riff raff play at airports to lessen their heavy iron costs...It is how they got their money to start with..:rolleyes:
     
  18. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You know, if AOPA can't make a case for owning GA airplanes, the rest of us are doomed. AOPA's use of airplanes helps make the case. If AOPA got rid of all their airplanes, then I would cease to be a member as well.
     
  19. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The amount of money that GA pays in fuel taxes on a given day is tiny, in the realm of noise when compared with the tax money the airliners bring in. And if they got rid of us, they could close down 97% of airports.

    GA is a drain on the NAS, not a funding source.
     
  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FWIW, the eBrief material is just scraped from other sources. It's basically just all of the positive news related to GA. It's not written by AOPA or anyone related to them.
     
  21. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    1. Infrastructure costs to support the 121 and 135 folks will be borne by the gen pop, just like the cost of DOT. Anyone who takes a comm flight or charter will be charged accordingly.

    2. a $1000 landing fee for a G-IV is a rounding error to owner/operators of that equipment.

    3. It's my opinion, without any proof that GA fees including fuel and any landing fees charged even comes close to supporting the amount of services we use. Heck, look at every GA flight that uses FF right now. Lose GA, and all those pop-ups go away too. If GA disappeared tomorrow the workload on everything, specifically local airports would go away quickly. The remaining assets like Austin Exec, or Houston Exec, Jackson Hole(skiers have lotsa money for charters) would still be there for the glitterati to use.
     
  22. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    So let's do it. Let's get this board together on a single topic, scope a message, and have everyone who agrees with it send a letter (printed on paper) to their representatives. If we could get 200-300 letters sent, maybe it will make a difference?
     
  23. BGF_Yankee

    BGF_Yankee Line Up and Wait

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    A direct quote from an AOPA representative (who will remain nameless):

    "Third class medical reform is the most pressing issue facing general aviation today..."

    I do not agree with this standpoint, and therefore do not choose to spend my money with a membership to AOPA. Apparently to the vast majority of their membership, this is a big deal and they must address the issues of that membership. If their priorities change, so might mine. In the meantime, I'll take that money and put it toward ADS-B mandate upgrades to my aircraft. I must choose wisely where I spend my aviation money (and time volunteering), bottom line.
     
  24. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Lotta GA folks are aging out of their medicals. Combined with the FAAs ever tightening regs(see threads on apnea frex) for various things. Add to that the siren song of SP/LSA and the lack of issue with self-certify makes it a talking point. I don't know if they are wrong, but if that's their number one goal in GA, they are losing the fight badly. Again, see the recent actions WRT apnea for their effectiveness.
     
  25. BGF_Yankee

    BGF_Yankee Line Up and Wait

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    I don't endorse that ruling either. What I don't like is that there is no nationwide standard for getting a drivers license, and think it's crap that would be the determining factor. Look around...lots of folks driving that just shouldn't be. I see the same thing with people aging out of flying here as well. Just because those folks can get a drivers license doesn't mean they should be strapping on an airplane. And I get it...I'm not saying it shouldn't be a talking point, only that it's not the most important issue in GA right now. Based on my sarcasm in the first post, you should be able to tell what two hot topics are for me that are way more important.
     
  26. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    I want to think the OP for bringing attention to this subject.

    I have been a member since '92, but just now got off the phone after calling to ask them to not automatic bill me and to allow my subscription to lapse. I would think that they would be interested in knowing the reason when someone makes such a call, but they seemed quite uninterested. More indication why they are going down hill I suppose.

    My aircraft insurance is through AOPA and is due to renew in May. Any recommendations for another insurance vendor? Should I answer one of the fifty junk mails a year I get from AVEMCO?
     
  27. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now that they have increased their auto pay system,the increases seem to be more frequent. How much of the increase goes to all the mailings ,looking for money,and pushing there products. I did however save money on their aircraft insurance.
     
  28. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Yeah, and they wouldn't go above $70K for what was essentially the CTO position to run all their IT infrastructure.
     
  29. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    $70k gets you a decent desktop support technician. In their metro area, probably not even that!
     
  30. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    They obviously don't prioritize technology leadership - which I think is a grave mistake in 2015.
     
  31. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Unfortunately when you look at EAA, that averages about 3 more years.:lol:
     
  32. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The EAA is following in their footsteps. It's all about the money,two beaurocracys in the making. They should listen to their constituents ,protect the little guys.
     
  33. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Or call Travers Ins. in St Louis to get the comps as well. They did very right by me, as did Starr, the underwriter.
     
  34. Lindberg

    Lindberg Pattern Altitude

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    There was a coup in the NRA leadership in the '70s when many of the members didn't like the direction the organization was taking. I don't know if that's possible in AOPA, but someone who's interested should read the bylaws, encourage people not to sign the proxies, and get themselves elected to the board. I never sign the proxy just because I don't want anyone else voting for me. If enough people feel the way you do, you might be able to change something.

    You can also try forming your own organization. But you'll need a lot of luck and a good strategy. There are upstart gun-rights organizations, but the successful ones focus on areas where they aren't in the NRA's direct shadow. They know they'd lose lobbying head to head.
     
  35. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    True enough, but I think that proxy system is almost bulletproof. The insiders don't even bother to publicize board elections or to solicit members to apply. They know that, armed with their proxies, they can pick their own bosses and colleagues and, with $70M in the bank, the party can go on forever. The system is really brilliant if you happen to be on the inside.

    Re "don't want anyone else to vote for me" I feel the same way but when I was a member I don't recall ever having an opportunity to vote on anything. The only voting is done at the annual meeting of the corporation, an event that is scheduled to make it difficult for members to attend. I saw the minutes and the attendees list for that meeting two or three years ago and it was only about fifteen insiders. They voted to ratify everything that Craig had done, then adjourned. Maybe ten minutes max. Probably they then climbed into limos and went off to a nice lunch at Craig's restaurant, all paid for by AOPA.
     
  36. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Who??
     
  37. pilotx86

    pilotx86 Pre-Flight

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    Aerospace Risk Management Group
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  38. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude

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    No one of any significance.

    Nauga,
    without fanfare
     
  39. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    That's some funny sh*t right there now, I don't care who you are.

    ................


    ................
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    They're up to trying to tempt me with twenty year old flashlight technology...

    [​IMG]

    "Time is running out!" ... Indeed.