Friday, June 1, 2012

It's All Your Fault - Part 1

Without core beliefs, your opinions can sway. Opinions that sway, are easily pushed over. Push overs have no place in our aviation groups. Unfortunately, that’s all we have.
With each passing day, I wonder whose side they’re on. You know what I’m talking about. Alphabet groups that constantly sell us out and answer our questions with condescension. Is it really that hard to find one person with some decent management experience who really is on the side of aviation? Is it? I’m not being flippant. I’m serious. How damn hard can it be for one true aviator to make to the head of either of our groups?
Don’t get me wrong. I am glad, for example, that Craig Fuller has found aviation with the purchase of a Husky. It’s great to see he has spread his wings to search for the joys of flying that so many of us have known for decades. Yet at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if that Husky isn’t like the President’s dog. Rolled out, photographed, and written about extensively, it often feels more like a way to make him seem more, um, pilot-like.
This is aviation leadership’s latest angle. Show the chief executive flying a plane he or she owns (or restored) to prove he’s one of us. But you know what? I can’t ever remember one pilot who is “one of us” having to prove they were. If they were, we knew it. Yet, I also believe people can change and until recently I held out hope for them.
Then came an AOPA eBrief I just couldn’t believe. The date was May 16th.
Inside the virtual brief was a nice little introduction to a larger article as to how TFR violations hamper efforts to ease TFR’s.. If you actually click on the link in these ebriefs, you’ll be amazed at how much more there is to every story. That’s what I did and there I found a nicely painted picture.
What was it? Here is the paragraph:
“AOPA has joined an unprecedented dialogue, a cross section of aviation groups sitting at the table with representatives of a host of government agencies, from the FAA to NORAD and the U.S. Secret Service. GA groups hope to ease the size, if not the number, of TFRs, a difficult argument to make when so many careless pilots wander into exclusion zones created to protect the president and other VIPs.”
I hope you read that paragraph because I would like to close out part one with the poll below.


Ken said...

I almost have to agree with your comment about the "Husky" being like the president's dog (and I will not make any disparaging remarks here) and its being used as a "hey...look at me...I'm one of you" type gimmicks.
I'd almost rather see a guy at the helm of one of our "organizations" that flies an old $15,000 taildragger like we have...paint faded here and there...some hanger rash in a couple of places...oil stained belly..But flies it cause he loves it.

Lardo said...

We used to have one of those near the top at EAA. But, alas, that is no longer the case. Thanks to last fall's shakeup, we now have a genuine celebrity. Some might even say hero. (I, however, would not be among those 'some'.)

Jimmy Rollison said...

When will we get a leader who has been in aviation all their life and aviation is all of their life? I'm tired of them asking "what do you think we should do", but they never have a note pad, and must have the worlds best memory, yet I know of no one person in my circle of friends that has been listened to.
I just filled out the AOPA survey, and it was just like any other Republican/Democrat survey, asking what can we do to make you want to give us more money?
Your right, it is my fault, it's all our fault, we let them. Ask yourself, would Wiley Post tolerate this, and he had only one eye!
Jimmy Rollison
The definition of an Antiquer: "a man with a two car garage that parks in the street"

Brittney said...

Sitting at a table with Secret Service, TSA, NORAD, and the Capitol Police who know nothing about GA and could care less... Do you think they are going to listen to those little airplane guys that they see and intercept, wandering into airspace? Any careless mistake shines a spotlight on GA pilots. We need to show them that GA pilots are safe and very diligent and a laughable "threat" to the airspace they are blocking out of us.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not the head of an "alphabet group" but I am the head of a major aviation corporation next door to the alphabet group mentioned in the above article.

I fly my 30+ year old Decathlon that cost less than my car and I believe I represent my core customers.

If you call me, there's a pretty good chance I'll answer the phone. (And I might even try to sell you some insurance!)

Catch me on a morning at sunrise and it's likely that I will have an empty seat and give you a free hour of aerobatic instruction!

JJ Greenway

Rich Davidson said...

That's one of the reasons we still use Avemco JJ. Now about that $100 Hamburger...

Rich Davidson said...


It is important to remember that no matter how much power you perceive these groups to have, ultimately citizens do have the power to overcome and change them if they stand up to be counted. Far too often people have the same tone that seems to imply these groups on god like and untouchable and that we should do everything in our power not to make them angry. That is the wrong way to see these groups. They are bureaucrats being paid by your tax dollars and you should see them as your employees not your masters.

Rich Davidson said...

Jimmy, I feel your pain.

Rich Davidson said...


It's one thing to fly your Husky to the Bahamas. It's something altogether different to drop in on some little private strip in the middle of nowhere simply because it looks appealing. For some reason, we never see the later in print.

Rich Davidson said...


There's just too many angles to respond.