Why Be an EAA Chapter?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by OneCharlieTango, Sep 13, 2021.

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  1. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My local EAA chapter is suffering for a lack of leadership. At the meeting where we took nominations for officers, there was a lot of silence and anxiety. We did get officers, including me, but we’re in a bad way. No one, again including me, has any particular enthusiasm for an EAA chapter.

    The question is this: what does being an EAA chapter get us that we couldn’t get from being a handful of pilots who occasionally fly to breakfast? We haven’t done Young Eagles in a long time. We sponsored a Ray Scholarship a couple of years ago, but it was pretty much a bust. The most prolific builder on the field isn’t a member. Almost none of the members are builders.

    Why shouldn’t we just dissolve the chapter and fly together without the EAA and State paperwork?

    Before you tell me to “be the change,” re-read the post. I’m not interested in cheerleading an EAA chapter. I’m interested in doing the occasional fly-out or camping trip.
     
  2. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    If you dissolve you have very limited means of getting new participants in your group and eventually it will no longer exist.
     
  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like a good time to get your aviation friends together and plan your own adventures without all the paperwork fuss.

    As Fonzie discovered, being a member of the Falcons wasn't what made him cool.



    edit: Just want to add that I am not a member of EAA but also not against it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
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  4. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Sounds like you'd be better served by an email list instead of an EAA chapter.

    When I was flying paramotors we used a yahoo group to stay in touch ("who's flying tonight?" "Where are we going this weekend?" "Look at this picture of xxx over xxx!" Yahoo groups are history, but the group I'm flying with now uses WhatsApp for the same thing.
     
  5. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Our local group dropped the EAA membership about three years ago. The young eagles fiasco was part of it, but I think in general there was little enthusiasm because we really weren’t getting anything out of the dues money we spent. But we were flying club before we became an EAA Chapter. Now we are just back to being a club. Unless flying young eagles is your thing, I don’t see any point to be in a chapter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  6. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    I've joined an IAC group before as well as other groups. I've given speeches at local EAA chapters and had them ask me to join. What is sad is, I was 18 when I first joined IAC and I was the young guy. Now I'm 48 and I'm still the young guy. They all seem to want someone to take over and revitalize the group. Like you, I'm not interested in being that guy. I have enough going on in my life.
     
  7. Magman

    Magman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Part of the issue may be with the liability officers have.

    My chapter had a fatal YE accident.

    One person that is involved in planning meetings insists on not be referred to

    as an Officer but uses the title Speaker Seeker.

    All chapters are not alike and then they change over time.

    The builders and re- builders are now Coffee Klatchers.
     
  8. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How did that happen? I can just picture a nomination meeting where everyone avoids eye contact until someone says “screw it! Let’s just dissolve the chapter. Call it a Covid casualty and get back to flying!”
     
  9. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Original member that was pushing the whole EAA membership, died. We hung on through organizational inertia. Then about half the group resigned their EAA membership due to the whole young Eagle background check thing. Then it became which is more important, being an EAA Chapter or having the local club? I don’t think that our group was the only one going through a similar transition.
     
  10. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    I was temporarily an officer of a 'legacy' chapter (single digit chapter number) about 6-7 years ago. Even then, it was the same 4-7 people showing up to monthly meetings. Having anything interesting to talk about was a challenge. Basically the meetings devolved into watching the EAA corporate chapter video and then deciding on who's bringing donuts for the next meeting. I can only think of one active builder in the group. Wife and I had our second kid which quickly consumed my Saturday morning time slots, and I dropped out of leadership (and membership). I still get the email reminders about meetings, but it's the same people rotating seats as officers as when I was there 6-7 years ago and I haven't been to a meeting in years. Actually, they stopped having the meetings AT the airport a few months ago because the airport manager is difficult to deal with.

    OTOH, I'm on a Google Groups email list for a local RV group and there is constant chatter going on with them.

    I don't know if the interwebs have played a part in people moving away from EAA chapters to more type-specific groups online or what, but I agree - the idea of showing up on Saturday morning to a room full of pilots and/or builders seems like a pipe dream nowadays.
     
  11. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    If the programs don’t do it for you, the association doesn’t ‘get’ you anything.
     
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  12. rsleeds

    rsleeds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, I'm sure the way the OP described the current group gets a lot of new members excited to join just because it's an EAA chapter.
     
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