Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What the Hell is Wrong with EAA?

OK, let’s get it out in the open.  We all know the “Couldn’t move to Oshkosh” line was merely an excuse to replace the captain in order to head off a full blown mutiny.  But what happens after you make the Captain walk the plank?
People or groups with a desire to survive do an emergency status review of all policies and programs then begin bailing water as quickly as possible.  Not EAA.
This is the EAA display at the current NBAA Convention. 
Did someone not get the memo?  Does someone not understand the critical state of EAA at this time?  How does this happen?  It pains me to say this but it is clear that EAA still doesn’t get it.  If they did, the house would have been cleansed to the point a display like the one in these photos from the current NBAA Convention would never have seen the light of day.  It is a perfect example of all that is wrong with EAA.
Another unbelievable EAA display from the NBAA Convention.
The organization is out of touch, they do not know their market, and they clearly have no idea that the planes in these displays represent work to many pilots who would prefer to be out building the experimental of their dreams or flying a vintage biplane over a beautiful fall landscape.  What it shows is that EAA has more house cleaning to do.  I pray that Jack has it in him because it is obvious there are problems at all levels and there is much more to be done.  Good luck Jack.
As I sit here writing this and looking at these photos, I find myself  even more dismayed by what EAA did here.  The best thing the organization could do is to save them and have a ceremonial burning during Airventure 2013.  In fact, they could sell tickets to see which attendee gets to light them off.  The funds would likely keep the museum, which is a terrible drain on the organization, afloat for another year.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The $100 Hamburger Fundraiser Fly-In a Success

Thanks to the 190/195 folks who made a great showing with  a total of ten aircraft.
**Note:  I apologize in advance if the formatting of this post is all out of whack.  Blogger has decided to quit working and I have put this off for two weeks while trying to find a fix for it.  Unfortunately, there seems to be little in the form of help for this Google product so in future we may have to switch to a better blog host.   Meanwhile the search for support goes on.

The $100 Hamburger Fundraiser Fly-In has come and gone as a success. That may come as a surprise to some but it is true. But before I give a recap of the event, let me review the events leading up to it.

February – Planning for The Wood, Fabric, & Tailwheels Fly-In is in progress in order to make the event feasible. Ginger and I could no longer do it without a serious level of help from others and it appears we may have enough volunteers to pull it off; these people will be called “The Friends of Lee Bottom”.

March – The tornado hits and planning for the fly-in continues during one meeting in March. Then we realize all of the fly-in “stuff” was blown away or destroyed.

That Cub has better smoke than most airshow aircraft.
April – The fly-in as we know it is not going to happen. Any ideas? By the way, Ginger is not feeling well.

May – Ginger has Lyme Disease and she is not going to be participating in this year’s event. OK, here is what we are going to do; we are going to have a fundraiser for the airport that is strictly a fundraiser. There can be no more losses this year therefore the event has to be simple, straight forward, and one that comes out well in the black. We have taken a big loss and can take no more. At first, some Friends of Lee Bottom are hesitant but it is important they be on board because they are going to run the event.

June – OK, the Friends of Lee Bottom have decided this is a good idea and they are ready to make this a big fundraiser.

A hot color this year I guess.
July – Rich gets called for a new job and has to leave for 2 ½ months of training. Here’s the deal everyone, the fundraiser will now have to be stripped down to an absolute basic level. The Friends of Lee Bottom agree and the event is trimmed even more.

August – Ginger is forced to jump back in because Rich is away at training pulling his hair out (what’s left) and people are glad to see her but the Lyme Disease treatment does not seem to have been a success.

A few of the kids that got free burgers courtesy of our generous contributors.
September – Rich and Ginger are both ready for Rich to be home and the event looks to have been cut enough to make it doable with minimal preparation. Rich’s brother John lands the Birddog in town in order to display it on the main drag. Our friend Wil Goering has made all the arrangements and everything happens flawlessly. Ginger finds a specialist and restarts treatment which will now last several months. Rich gets home two days before the fly-in.

September 29th, 2012 – The $100 Hamburger Fundraiser Fly-In goes off without a hitch. Despite poor weather in the morning, the Friends of Lee Bottom make the event a success. When all was said and done, just over 60 planes had attended with more people arriving by land. It turned out to be a beautiful day, the stress level was extremely low to non-existent, John Bowman of Pride Family Market made burgers that everyone raved about (fresh ground meat from his market was the secret), and I believe the Friends of Lee Bottom actually had fun because they weren’t running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Yes, it was a good day. It was also the first fall fly-in that didn’t leave the airport in the hole.

Love the cabin WACOs
October – The $100 Hamburger accounting is in progress with totals to come. Fall maintenance begins and the first airport structure repairs happen.

Thanks to everyone who supported the event, corporate sponsors and individuals. Because of you we were able to turn a negative into a positive and end the year on an upswing.
The Liberty Foundation even gave us a few fly-bys.