Pessimist view of GA

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by brien23, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I see GA as going downhill, number of aircraft parked on the airport lines around my local airports has dwindles to very few. Years ago the lines were full of all sorts of aircraft, now empty. Airport traffic patterns full with aircraft coming and going, now maybe only one it that. Student pilot starts at all time low, flight schools closed. Seems like the only people who think things are great in GA are those that have a dog in this fight, and their dog is down and they still think their going to win. If you are one of those on the fence about buying a nice aircraft, you might want to rethink about plunking down big bucks for something that the value is going south fast. On the other side if you have a plane for sale I am sure we will here how great things are and you should buy now or miss the bottom of the market.:sad:
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  2. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Do you make these posts bi-monthly?
     
  3. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Why, is your dog down in this fight.
     
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If you have to justify your airplane purchase like a house you are buying more airplane then you can afford. It has always been dying, vanilla ga isn't that fun or useful(monkey make it yet?)
     
  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  6. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Nope, don't own an apache.
     
  7. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sold it, J-3 owner now.
     
  8. ralarcon

    ralarcon Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Agree, anecdotally I see less interest in GA, from all age groups and all types of aviation , in my area. I see more interest in transportation. Get me from here to there with the least amount of intellectual or physical involvement. (cars that, stop for you, park for you drive for you). In general people want the car to stop for them if there is another car braking or an obstruction. They can't even be bothered to use the brake pedal, they want the car to brake for them. And then there is the autonomous car of course. Will there be an autonomous aircraft you don't have to fly ?
    Perhaps. My opinion, but the statistics back that opinion.

    Cheers
     
  9. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    Here Florida schools are booming (with mostly foreign students), lots of planes on the line (hangers are few and expensive), the global stock markets are dropping.
    Given this it's never been a better time to buy, planes are cheap, fuel getting cheaper, by pulling money out of the market you'll save it from declining.

    I guess I'm a glass half full type.
     
  10. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    People prefer to play with their tamagotchis than to drive or fly.
     
  11. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Would be great if GA around here was as booming as your area but it's not more like bust around here.:(
     
  12. evapilotaz

    evapilotaz Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks you made me google tamagotchis
     
  13. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    Av gas is getting cheaper. I remember most claimed they flew less because of the price of gas. Well now is your chance to get back at it.
    Go fly!
     
  14. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    I would have a pessimistic view if I lived out there too. When was the last time you were outside in the sunshine? What's the suicide rate this time of year in your area?
     
  15. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Other than selling a lot of gas just how does training a lot of foreign students going to make GA better. After they finish they are gone, their not going to contribute to our GA, buy a plane or anything else to boost GA. Your not the only area that flight training of foreign students is the driving force in GA, with little or no long lasting effect after they are gone.:mad2:
     
  16. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Great planes but tough in January when you have to dress like an eskimo to fly!
     
  17. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Your right about that, I like the window and lower door open and look like a eskimo to fly it. Summer is coming and I have a set of edo 1320 floats for it.;)
     
  18. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    By no means is it indicative of the country at large, but over the last 3-5 years more professional pilots that I fly with (both in the military and at Delta) are getting into/back into GA flying. Guys are always asking me about what plane to buy, is this a good deal, etc.

    We need to encourage the upper middle class and higher folks to put some attention towards GA. Encouraging young people is important as well, but someone has to pay the bills and buy the airplanes.
     
  19. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    When I started my airport had a dozen training airplanes, the tie down area was full and there was a two-year waitlist for hangars.

    Now the flight school is closed, the tie down area is gone and hangars stand empty. Very sad to see.

    But none of that will stop me from flying my own aircraft where I will when I will. You only get so many trips around the sun. I won't let the actions of others interfere with my own fulfillment.
     
  20. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hope your not expecting retired military as the salvation of GA as most Naval Aviator types are very frugal (cheap) other retired military pilots might be ok.
     
  21. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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    There's a 5 year waiting list for hangars in the Austin TX area (KGTU).
     
  22. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    I think it's probably stronger/better in the niche areas - soaring, acro, experimentals, fun tail draggers; Spam cans, the straight-and-level traveling machines, just not a lot of fun/romance in there - lot's of systems managers, weaker stick-and-rudder guys, looking for safety-blanket comfort. . .the FAA is a hot mess, and a real drag on GA, as well.

    Takes a lot of time and $$$ to get that first ticket; lot's of other options now. My next airplane will be an experimental. Or a sail boat.
     
  23. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hope it's not like a lot of airports no airplanes in the hangars, contractors using it for cheap storage.
     
  24. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Cleared for Takeoff

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    Do you have any idea how many hangars are open? When I was looking 2 years ago, Susan showed me at least 4 of the older ones.

    Having the school shut down is depressing. Where's a non-OSU student going to learn anymore? Drive up to DLZ or all the way out to Nerk?
     
  25. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Cleared for Takeoff

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    My take on Austin from my 1 time visit last year is you guys are spread out and short an airport or 2. The one I did visit (Executive with a POA member) was nice though.
     
  26. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True....but unfortunately, I suspect that there are far too many of those who curtailed their flying due to rising fuel costs and now face pretty extensive maintenance bills keeping them from taking advantage of cheap fuel.
     
  27. ralarcon

    ralarcon Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lots of hangars in my home base airport filled with things that do not fly. Either aircraft that do not fly and never will and /or cars motorcycles and assorted junk.

    Cheers
     
  28. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Meh, I still average a few calls and emails regarding flight training daily from my old school,

    still get people who strike up conversations and are very interested in learning how to fly,

    still seeing waiting lists for hangars

    and still plenty of people selling their planes for more than they paid when they upgrade to bigger/faster/STOLer/etc,

    Still seeing CFI jobs and other flying jobs posted on Facebook and everywhere else.


    Also, as for plane values, they've seemed like a safer investment compared to a house, I've seen home values all over the place for the last 8 years, planes have been a much more steady line.

    I hardly think the sky is falling
     
  29. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Got me. The one next to me doesn't have an airplane it in, guy had a stroke and mostly keeps bikes in there. Still, a hangar at TZR is a pretty good deal. There is gas and are services, and they really don't run all that much money. OSU is building new ones, but they'll be a third more money.
     
  30. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    The internet killed it.

    Because network market share has fallen sharply they have had to focus on a niche. Fox targets conservatives and msnbc targets liberals. They could have used Coke / Pepsi drinkers but political affiliation is what they went with.

    To keep viewers they have to drum up fear. Stories on how great everything is don't sell. So how horrible everything is (especially the other side) get played.

    The stock market and economy in general is tied to feelings. People feel good the market goes up. If they feel crummy the market goes down. With media feeding gloom and doom to keep market share we by and large feel crummy and the economy suffers.

    Why is GA dying? The Internet is killing it.
     
  31. gerbs

    gerbs Filing Flight Plan

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    GA is alive in well in Southern California. The flight schools are absolutely packed and there aren't enough instructors to go around. They charge $70-100/hour here (70 on the low end) and even at those rates they are still booked through their entire workday.
     
  32. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    $100hr!

    Nice
     
  33. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    "Nerk" may not be an option for long. I just lost a family of 3 students via a Dear David email 2 days ago. Had not flown with them since 12/18/15. Totally unexpected. I have no students there any more and am thinking of hanging up my instructor wings. I have absolutely no choice but to find a job I don't want to do. The airport/FBO manager is not helping anything. Too old to care. One of the rental 172's has been down for 3 weeks because the A&P is too busy with on-field aircraft. So that leaves one plane to teach in.

    GA is dying a slowly and agonizingly.

    David
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  34. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'd think the fact that the AP is swamped would say otherwise.

    Many flight schools do this "field of dreams" style marketing, they think just because they have a plane and CFI people are somehow just going to instinctively know they are there.

    A little SEO and free advertising (craigslist, links on all the normal sites, etc) will get most schools swamped in my experience.



    The old school I had was like one plane, we used the pilots lounge for all the ground work, nothing fancy at all.

    I made a nice simple little site, bought up all the relivent domains, did some SEO work myself, got on goggle maps, blah blah blah and I got swamped.

    Fast forward to a retired airline pilot, who apparently has lots of credit, lots of savings but not a lick of business sense, he builds this HUGE hangar, spends tons of money but he is hard pressed to find students, where as even though I more or less shut my school down when I moved, I still have the site up and gets calls and emails daily. Offered to sell this retired airline guy the site, phone number, call logs, etc, nope, doesn't want to pay a few grand but is more than happy to whine about my old site while he sits on the ground without students.

    Point is, many schools don't have students because they are run for crap.
     
  35. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait

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    I can attest to that to a limited degree. the FBO i train at has 12 instructors and 4 172s. All 172s are booked 8-5, 7 days a week, 365 days a year about 3 weeks out.

    (they also have a dozen other planes, but they're easier to schedule than the training planes).

    On the same airport, there are two other schools. I don't think they are nearly as busy, but they are still operating.

    My school is clean, customer focused, friendly, bright, and does advertising in pilot forums (local), etc. Plus they use social media for their students when they hit milestones (solo, PPL, IR, mountain flying checkout, etc).

    It seems like a little marketing, if the money is around, can do a lot of good
     
  36. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Heck, I did all my own SEO, built my own site, own FB page, total cost, nada, zip, zilch. :D
     
  37. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    Last year the A&P was barely making anything not sure what has changed. But anyway, you are right. The manager seemed to care more a year or so ago than now. The 172SP we have changed owners the first week of December and the new owner did some advertising in December. So far, it has produced 0 results. Could be the area, could be wrong time of year with xmas, I just don't know. It took me a year and a half to get the manager to put a "Learn To Fly Here" sign outside the airport fence. Its there but it is in a bad place and only view-able to traffic from one direction. That is the kind of crap I have to deal with.

    I read a comparison yesterday though of golf and aviation. Golf has a reputation of a high social status and high price game, so does aviation. I think the article was correct.

    David
     
  38. simtech

    simtech Pattern Altitude

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    The big issue is money. It's expensive..everything about it. I really would like to see more people involved but money and media is killing it. But to be honest...I enjoy flying and don't mind spending my money. However does it bother me there are not more planes in the air? No..I do not like flying into an airport with a full pattern and planes coming in from all directions. In that situation you will find more pilots who don't know east from west and make more of a danger. So as much as I hate to admit it...it doesn't bother me there are not more planes flying. It's not like more people flying would make aviation cheaper anyway. Sure less people flying closes airports but that is gonna happen anyway. It is what it is and sadly it's not going to change. We fly expensive loud death traps.
     
  39. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well that depends on who's flying what :wink2:

    As for closing airports, bad news for everyone, airports and the US airspace (the current in molested model) are #1 in the world, having small airports also is a life line for many people, if you get sick/injured and the wx prohibits a rotor wing from getting to you (doesn't take much) you'll wish you still had that nearby airport when you need a fixed wing medevac.
     
  40. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Golf is seeing a decline as well. Several golf courses are debating closure around here.

    Why go outside for entertainment when you can sit on your ass and play video games?