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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by timwinters, Feb 17, 2020.
...what's your point?
While not perfect, plenty of people like AOPA and would appreciate the reminder to avoid a lapsed membership by mistake.
...after six months of weekly email reminders and regular mailings??
Am I the only one who still gets Flight Training rather than Pilot? All these years after getting my PPL I still prefer Flight Training to Pilot...
Ha! Indeed... They just want to make SURE you will renew.
Don't worry. They won't forget you. Ever.
Ain’t that the truth. Canceled 5+ years ago after I got my Private. Still getting ‘Final Notice’ emails...
your point is right there....on the tip of yer head.
I don't like mushrooms but you don't always hear me going on about them.
Don't like mushrooms? That's unamerican!
I called them, told them I sold the plane and hung up the headsets. Haven't heard another thing out of them. Didn't even get flowers from them on Valentines Day
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I'm of two minds. They're obviously a deeply dysfunctional organization, but their mission is very important to me. While there have been successes, it is utterly impossible to determine their role in said successes. Even though it isn't that much money I'm beginning to readers where my money goes and what it does for me.
I urge you not to abandon AOPA. I know they can be frustrating. But never underestimate the lobbying power of an organization with 300,000+ members. You or I could never get in to talk to the house GA caucus, I'm pretty sure AOPA has an open door. For me the annual membership is about the same as an hour of flying the 'ol L8A.
I'm certain the lubrication that opens doors in Congress is a particular shade of green. No matter how many members an organization has, if it hasn't a lot of cash to spread around I suspect strongly it won't get much traction in in the legislative branch. The mail they send me purports they haven't a spare penny, so I question just how effective they really are. I haven't the ability to actually judge this, nor do I suspect do you.
so...Popeye's chicken samich is good....but not as good a Chic's.
They're the NRA of the aviation world. They will never forget you.
Were they the NRA I would support them wholeheartedly. The NRA has some real sway.
I wish I only got them for 6 months. I get an almost daily email and probably a weekly letter since I bailed on them sometime back in like 2008.. if they want to keep me as a member maybe list out what they're actually doing to help vs sending a million "final notice" letters. Most people also generally don't respond that well either to threatening tones either. Maybe send a letter or email that says "what we did last week to help you" and in the body "and we can do this much more with your support"
Indeed, GA needs all the support it can get. Somehow, I think EAA does a better job at that though, even though the core mission is different, the EA world is growing and is serving the root cause of the problem of why GA is dying.. that is, lack of interest in aviation, and high costs. Oshkosh alone brings in a lot of non pilots, and the EA world is becoming a more relevant and viable option for people looking for lower cost flying options. A group of us crashed an EAA fly out once, and even though we were members, they were the nicest group of people and we all shared food, drinks, camping supplies, etc. We had non pilots with us and things like that make a great impression
AOPA is laying ownership to, based on their homepage, to these two main causes:
--why are they attacking FBOs? Are people in 172 and basic piston GA really getting nailed on FBO fees? There was a hilariously misleading article they had a while back that suggested a dude parking his 182 at an FBO could expect a $1,660 fee before even buying gas (at $8.31 a gallon). All the FBOs I've been into, whether in a 70s Piper or Cessna or Cirrus, have been very easy to go friendly places.. buy some gas and the fee is waived, and you get a nice lounge with free ice cream and a crew car. It's an odd battle they chose to fight here, and one I don't support. Plus, they got to stay in business somehow, that coffee, lounge, crew car, staff, aren't free.. and if they only see 2-3 operations per day they have to make money somehow... park at the transient and use self service if you don't want the FBO amenities
--I'm in the minority, but lowering the medical standard bar is not great for GA, and how successful actually is basicmed? Out of a dozen pilots I personally know a total one ONE uses basicmed. What would have made more sense is to change the FAA medical methodology to one that (A) doesn't discourage people from going to the doctor and (B) isn't such an enigma when it comes to someone wanting a 3rd class medical but has a not-so-uncommon medical issue (like high blood pressure) for example
If you go to their Advocacy page there's nothing even in here about GA.. two articles about drones (which, I think most here agree needs some regulation so not every John Smith is flying their Amazon drone through the approach path to their local airport), something relaying an FAA AD about a crankshaft, an Ohio banquet dinner, and Mexico extending their ADSB mandate... okay. This seems more like news than actual advocacy.
They (the government) does not, one bit, care about those 300,000.. that's a really small number, and, especially today, there is zero interest in the government, or 99% of the voting population, to care about what's perceived as a dangerous and expensive polluting hobby reserved for only the top 1%. In addition, do the members actually get a say in the lobbying choices, etc? When I was a member I got a hat and a magazine but I was not given any voice or say in what they were choosing to pursue as far as making GA more accessible to me
Too true. Airports (sadly) close (generally) because they're underused and the town sees more value in the land than letting a dude fly his 172 into there every so often. The cafe that serves 5 customers a day simply can't stay open. Real estate value is increasing, and the number of GA planes is decreasing.. from a purely objective stand point many of the airports in the US serve no real financial purpose. AOPAs mission goes beyond what AOPA can do, the cost of GA needs to be orders of magnitude smaller, but somehow GA went the way of higher education, where it really is reserved for the rich, or those who want to be debt ridden, vs something accessible to most in the middle to upper middle class. Your choices to buy a plane are to spend the equivalent of a (nice) new car for a 1970s relic.. or buy something that's more than double the price of most houses.
It's truly, very sad. While a small fee, surely, I don't actually support how AOPA conducts their business and don't care to give them money so they can relay Aviation news and send reminder emails and letters to past members.
And they have (reportedly) around 5 million members, and focus on a polarizing issue that most Americans (in some capacity) care and have an opinion on, and something that is directly related to our Constitutional Bill of Rights
Aviation is driven by financial, transportation, and military needs. A ton of airports popped up 1920-1950, and have slowly been closing since. General aviation got to be piggy back throughout the post war heyday, but unlike guns, there is very little government push (outside of AvGas and environmentalists) to limit or restrict our access to GA. AOPA is fighting at best, a made up enemy, or at worst, Adam Smith and his guiding hand of economics. An Ohio banquet dinner aren't going to stop it.
In the case of the NRA (and gun owners in general) and even more so in the case of GA pilots... It seems to me that both groups are "oppressed minorities" whose rights are being infringed and curtailed, should be given "special treatment" as such.
Seems to work for all the rest of the minority groups regardless of race, creed, etc. Why not gun owners and GA pilots?
It seems to me that this is exactly what all special interests are doing. Competing in the marketplace of ideas. If not for the alphabet organizations we wouldn't have many of the regulatory and structural benefits we have. VFR corridors through class "B" airspace. Exemptions from equipment requirements for antique aircraft. Uncontrolled airspace. Pilots bill of rights. Light Sport Aircraft. An independent accident investigation branch. Government run ATC. Given enough time I could come up with more. Plus much of the work takes place at the state level.
You believe all of these are thanks to AOPA? The FAA, most lawmakers, and government overall have no interest in killing GA. A lot of these would happen anyway, especially VFR corridors, simply because they're the path of least resistance. It makes ATCs job easier to have a standardized way for the GA folks to get through their busy airspaces without herding weekend warriors all day who can't maintain a heading or understand what a radial is
The Pilot's Bill of Rights.. that was boosted heavily in 2010 by an actual US Senator receiving a pilot violation and being unhappy with the process. The other corollary to the PBR, the medical reform, is BasicMed.. instead of going to an AME and paying for them, you can go to a standard doctor, where you get an anus exam.. what the hell? Have you see the basicmed questionnaire? I have no idea what anal (read, not rectal/prostate) health has to do with flying a plane
I don't actively dislike AOPA (even though it may seem I do), I just don't care to support them, their value added (in a perfect world) is dubious, and their tactics are lame, and they like to piggy back on things that are sponsored by other, smaller organization, or would already have been in place.. after posting in this thread yesterday I got two separate mailings from them when I checked my mail
The real root cause killers of GA are huge costs and thinning interest in the sport. EAA can do more on that front by energizing the experimental world
GA is not an oppressed minority.
Going on 15 years for me.
true, still there are interests involved.
I read my issue of AOPA Pilot the OP referenced. I thought it was pretty decent.
I dunno, I must be a sap or something by POA standards, but I like the AOPA Pilot magazine.
Access to airports. Many of which closed to increase tax revenues for municipalities, counties, etc.
Access to air space which is granted to the "great unwashed" in their aluminum tubes.
Exorbitant fees for accessing public property.
Mandated out of pocket costs for equipment to share public airspace.
Mandated annual inspections of aircraft.
Obviously, this post and its predecessor, were intended to be tongue in cheek.
That said... A case could be made... For protected class status..
I appreciate the debate.., I don't disagree with many of your points, and I don't personally have something against AOPA. It's just such a big battle to fight and I think they're going about it all wrong, plus, with as small as GA is, and competing with an ever busier commercial aviation world, economically the things AOPA fights for become less and less viable. What we need is more people flying, and using the system. AOPA could have 5 million members, but if there are fewer and fewer GA flights those airports and cafes won't stay open forever. Instead of sending me a letter every other day, use that money that was spent on that over the last 10 years and run some cheesy ad in a local paper or print, or even regular TV, to get some public interest, or go on a media blitz, to de-evil and de-stigmatize GA in the general public. Banquet dinners and patting themselves on the back for BasicMed (I still don't know why an anus exam is required) really don't solve the bigger issue.
Safety is king, relative to the amount of weekend warrior people flying 50-60 year old planes flying around I'm always surprised how safe aviation is. I wouldn't support an AOPA effort to diminish or eliminate the need for an annual inspection. If you fly 100 hrs a year, that's going to cost somewhere around $5K to $10K in avgas. An annual won't run more than that, generally, and if it does it's because there's an issue that needs correcting that could save your life. That AD to inspect the bolt on the tail, very well could prevent catastrophic flutter and death
But there's always the EA world, which I admit, looks more and more appealing!! and gives you that freedom from (as much) draconian FAA regulation
Information sharing is important to safe utilization of complex airspace, however, I disagree with many of the "big brother" elements of ADSB.. but even just sticking to Mode C transponders, sure, we have to buy that, but the other option is to have a higher tax rate and have the gov supply it to you.. I trust myself with my money more than the gov, I'd rather keep that money and choose who's transponder I want to buy.. or fly outside of the mode C veils
I may be naive or lucky, but outside of landing at a major class B, most airports have nominal, if any, landing fees, that I've been to. The best places in fact, are usually uncontrolled and either don't have a fee, or have a little box where you toss $10 bucks in. I think that's fair.. why should the town make Mr and Mrs Smith on Maple street pay for an airport they'll likely never use? Keep their tax rate low, and have the people who use the place pitch in
Airlines pay their share of tremendous fees, GA gets a free pass on many of that. Without commercial air travel for the great unwashed we wouldn't have this system to use. Outside of the cost of gas, I could take off from MYF, and fly around the busiest airspace in the world for 4 hrs cruise, crossing the LAX B without paying a penny. The VFR corridor that lets me do that, would exist anyway, simply because it makes ATC life easier. And my flight following, and landing back at MYF, are free. If you talk to ATC guys in person there is no personal preference given for the big tubes vs the little spam cans, generally, the reason we're asked to move out of the way is simply because a 90 knot single engine piston can turn much more easily and be revectored than a jet doing 200 knots.. we're talking double or triple the turning radius. We're just easier to move around.
Unfortuantely this is the both the saddest thing with GA, and the biggest thing where AOPA is most powerless. Cash is king, especially in a free market. If a town has 500 acres of land that is currently housing two runways and a few hangars, with money being the bottom line, wouldn't it make sense to develop the land into something that can generate revenue? So many airports are dilapidated simply because there is no one using them. GA hitched a ride on the airports built for the military, and for when there was more small light cargo and passenger air travel. Today, 80 years later, if that once sprawling airport now has only a handful of planes landing per day, which don't generate any revenue for the town other than runway wear and tear, then it makes sense, economically speaking, to put something useful there.
It's on the old third class medical form 8500-8 item 39. Nothing has changed.
I have been a member of AOPA and EAA for as long as I can remember.
I have never known of any downright negative or harmful practices
and I've always figured that at least on some small level they do give voice for us up to the swamp in DC.
It does seem like their fly ins and other programs such as rusty pilot are in some ways kinda weak "me-too" attempts, but it's something!
this is news to me that they conduct business somehow poorly. Have they in some way done harm to GA?
I don't personally care for all the money spent by any of these lobbying associations for reminders and such...seems wasteful.
I like it too....although I don't find time to read as thoroughly as I once did.
I haven't taken Flying or Plane and Pilot in decades, but back in the day when I did used to read several mags cover to cover each month I used to think AOPA's was more interesting and applicable to this single engine GA pilot. I maintained my aopa and eaa memberships throughout my 16 year break from flying partly for the magazines as a way to stay at least loosely up to date, but partly also for whatever lobbying efforts they do on behalf of GA.
I'll add this...I agree with others who pointed out their apparent fixation on FBO fees and basic med. From my perspective these aren't really the hot button issues or solutions. Also, it it really FBO fees, or is it airport fees? I remember paying what seemed to be huge and stupid fees to land at DCA and TEB way back when. It was clear back then they didn't want small planes there. Gotta admit it still ticks me off...but I thought that was driven by the airport and not the FBO
Certainly haven't harmed it.. but their attacks on FBOs is in poor taste, and, like you said, their fixation on basicmed and FBO fees, and the thousands of mailers they bombard non members with, just sees so far off the mark.
Oh, absolutely all of your points are right on... Canadians have some system where they can do some of the mechanical stuff on their aircraft... Of course, it makes it impossible to re import that bird... And they won't accept the less expensive ADSB.
I certainly want to see AOPA and EAA doing all they can for us.
Flying is, unlike firearms, not a right. (Well maybe in Alaska it is... Wink,wink; nod,nod)
I asked a long while ago here, which is better AOPA or EAA... I decided to do both. I may not go for more than basic membership in either... But, if my two bits helps... Take it and go get 'em, Godspeed!
One can still go about NORDO, non ADSB too. But, that takes any "practicality" out of GA flying.... And relegates it to hobby.
I wish GA fulfilled the dream of "every family a plane" (nearly) after WWII. I wish it was not the joy of only the well off.
My flying budget is limited. I'll probably never own my own plane... At least I've found a good and reasonably priced club that will help me stretch my dollars into hours.
Don't know if AOPA was solely responsible for basic med... But God bless 'em for having a hand in it.
EAA is bringing EA avionics to certified aircraft. Another good thing.
Ya know, the space shuttle flew with 4bit computational power... The astronauts had to beg to bring their 16bit laptops aboard.
Same here man.. but outside of some genuine aviators who yearn for the sky, unfortunately the "affordable" crop of aircraft available on the used market just aren't congruent with today's market and buyer (people who are used to doing everything on an app, and even the cheapest used cars having fancy nav, flatscreens, bluetooth, etc., are going to be turned off by a lot of what GA currently offers). There's money out there, but the appeal dies when you look on the market and realize what $70K will buy you.. and then you wonder if it's smart to spend that kind of cash instead of paying down a mortgage (or saving for one), etc. Want the fancy bells and whistles that your $20K Honda does.. guess what, you're looking at atleast $500K for a TTx, Cirrus, etc. Actually, on ergonomics I'd say the TTx wins
Funny, I was watching an Aerostar video the other day (I'm only a little obsessed) and you could hear a pax go "wow, this accelerates like my Tesla).. lol. At least in the 50's, 60's, 70's.. and even 80's, what you would get in a stock 172/182/Archer was largely comparable (and in some cases superior) what you'd find in the typical American car. And while we hate the car analogy, it was used back then too.. the whole push to "mph" was a way to remind people how fast they were going, and the Cardinal was almost literally marketed as an American sedan with wings
That's most people.. and honestly, given how cheap commercial air travel is and the relatively low cost of cars, there's very little way to actually justify the expense on flying
If I were head of some aviation-reenergization club (like AOPA, EAA, etc.) I'd push hard to change the social narrative and perception about flying
-it's not just for rich people
-it's actually not that dangerous
-it will open your eyes to a wonderful, liberating sky from above (with cheesy shots of two people smiling looking out the window of a 172 at the Grand Canyon)
-flood social media with fun, millennial / hipster friendly posts
-and spend a good portion of the subscription dues towards R&D grants to would be aircraft makers and initiatives
I still get harassed by AOPA after I cancelled my autorenew and told them I would NOT be dealing with them anymore.
I truly think that cost is by far the biggest issue. You can convince folks about safety, fun, etc... but if the costs don't come down to something more realistic then it's all for nothing....
We agree on most everything... I wish more of us would volunteer hours to "Young Eagles" and AOPA's equivalent.
I understand supply and demand... And, there isn't enough demand to bring the price of new GA aircraft down.
I am heartened by efforts of EAA, and to some degree AOPA; in bringing technologies from EA to certified aircraft.
More needs to be done...
I make my contribution as an Aviation Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts. Many opportunities all over the country - if you can pass the background check which is getting to be pretty substantial.