VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.


Go Back   VAF Forums > Main > RV General Discussion/News
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-14-2013, 10:21 AM
Jzimmerman Jzimmerman is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 15
Default Van writes an article on the future of GA

Thought the VAF crew might like to read Van's latest article, just published on Air Facts. He writes about how to make a stronger GA and what role his airplanes can play. Good reading: http://airfactsjournal.com/2013/10/v...water-flowing/
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-14-2013, 08:06 PM
panhandler1956's Avatar
panhandler1956 panhandler1956 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,686
Default Thanks!

Thanks John! I love reading Van's articles. He has a great way of saying things in a way that just makes sense.
__________________
Brent Owens
EAA Chapter 9 Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Columbus, OH
RV-8 'Contrary Mary' flying
N784DE S/N #82614

www.fixedwingbuddha.com
Follow me on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-14-2013, 11:10 PM
Gash's Avatar
Gash Gash is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
Posts: 949
Default

That's a great article. Access and introductions to aviation are the key for sure. I just wish we could get rid of the fences around airports. Nothing says "stay away" like a chain link fence around all the pretty airplanes.
__________________
Karl, Goodyear, Arizona (KGYR) ATP, CFII
RV-14A
Yak 50
=VAF= donor 2021
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-15-2013, 09:44 AM
ppilotmike's Avatar
ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,013
Default Bring back the fun!

I agree with the article and have witnessed, first-hand, the European flying club formula. When I recently went to Poland to visit family (wife's from Poland), we decided to drive around and check out all the "local" fields near where my family lives. What we discovered, was there are generally two types of fields:

1) there's the fairly "closed" privat-ish field, with fences and gates all around, hangars, large(r) planes and few operations/people. It was a public field, but you needed codes to get in (how public is that?). When I walked up to some people near a hangar, I had a cold reception. When I told them the name of the person who told us to come check out the field, that person was promptly called and questioned. Then there were some mild pleasantries and ultimately a return to their hangar.

2) there's the "recreational" fields (usually grass), with active flying clubs, sky diving ops, gliders, older planes packed into smaller (shared) hangars, pubs with open "picnic style" dining on the field, complete with playgrounds for the kids, etc. While I was there, just walking around, I met the airport manager, who came up to say hello, several "tourist" sky diving groups, a local instructor (retired military jet pilot) and many others who were just there to watch planes come and go. THIS is what we need to return to!

Unfortunately, I see more airports here in the States becoming like #1; reserved for the wealthy private owners and corporate operations. I realize that the FAA, TSA and 911 have not helped the cause, but it's time we look at reasonable ways to "bring the fun back" to airports. For the airports like #1 that are still in existence, we need to find ways to bring the people back to them, so they can enjoy aviation again. My $0.02.
__________________
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
http://www.mykitlog.com/users/index....ig&project=803
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKCyX2FXrlw
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-15-2013, 10:16 AM
Eddie P's Avatar
Eddie P Eddie P is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aptos, CA (previously Reno, 21 years!)
Posts: 251
Default

Good article.

One club I am aware of, promoting aviation as a "lifestyle" more than any other I've seen, is a local glider club, "Nevada Soaring Association" operating out of the "Air Sailing" glider port well north of Reno, NV. It's remote location with a bit of a drive may be a large part of this drive to include and promote, and regardless of the reason, it is a winning formula. The members actively volunteer to provide aircraft resources and training time to a youth scholarship program that runs in the areas high schools and they solo high school students through the local ROTC program. They do a lot to create a loyal following and promote family activities and involvement as a part of the aviation experience as a whole. The members that put in the time get as much or more out of it than they give and the net effect is an active local following.

By design glider clubs tend to require a lot of personal time to keep running and that may be a key difference in programs like mentioned above - they are lucky to have a core group of volunteers to grab from for programs and overall social participation.

There is another club I'm aware of in Lodi, Ca and it is interesting. They formed a social club consisting of car folks, RC airplane folks and pilot folks (EAA, Cessna, warbirds, all types). They all share a hangar at the airport and use it for social gatherings (dance nights, dinner nights, car club nights, EAA young eagles days, RC jet shows, etc). I've had the chance to attend a few of their events and it's pretty interesting how active they keep that little airfield and how many otherwise not exposed people they expose to sport aviation. It's a divers group of all ages, men and women both and families.

This sort of thing has been going on for a while but I think for GA to survive the long haul it has to actively embrace and promote family and shared involvement (partnerships, clubs, philanthropy, community). It has to be more than just a cross country from one place to another.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-15-2013, 12:31 PM
Gash's Avatar
Gash Gash is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
Posts: 949
Default

Quote:
for GA to survive the long haul it has to actively embrace and promote family and shared involvement (partnerships, clubs, philanthropy, community)
So true! It's like the difference between Oshkosh and an NBAA convention. Honestly, which one would you rather attend?
__________________
Karl, Goodyear, Arizona (KGYR) ATP, CFII
RV-14A
Yak 50
=VAF= donor 2021
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-15-2013, 04:39 PM
Jzimmerman Jzimmerman is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 15
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppilotmike View Post
1) there's the fairly "closed" privat-ish field, with fences and gates all around, hangars, large(r) planes and few operations/people. It was a public field, but you needed codes to get in (how public is that?). When I walked up to some people near a hangar, I had a cold reception. When I told them the name of the person who told us to come check out the field, that person was promptly called and questioned. Then there were some mild pleasantries and ultimately a return to their hangar.
Agreed! The first step to solving our problem is hiding in plain sight - our airports scream "go away." Time to start viewing them as storefronts in a mall and not prisons.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-16-2013, 07:04 AM
=c='s Avatar
=c= =c= is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Posts: 12
Default

I know he talks about strategies to address cost but that?s sidestepping the real issue of cost. Things (20 year old aircraft rental, av gas, annuals, 100hrs) just plain cost too much and pay too little... Getting kids out to airport is a waste of time if they cant afford to fly and don?t see aviation as a viable career path.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-16-2013, 11:07 AM
60av8tor 60av8tor is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Harrisburg, Pa
Posts: 759
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jzimmerman View Post
Agreed! The first step to solving our problem is hiding in plain sight - our airports scream "go away." Time to start viewing them as storefronts in a mall and not prisons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by =c= View Post
I know he talks about strategies to address cost but that?s sidestepping the real issue of cost.
I have mixed emotions about the fences. I've seen both extremes with GA airports, as I'm sure most have. I understand the requirements for 121 fields - and most of them price AVgas to keep GA away anyway In some respects, I like the idea of a secure field - e.g. if I had a plane in a tie down and not a hangar, etc. My home base just recently installed a fence, and I like the way it is controlled - open during business hours, controlled at night.

The second comment is dead on, and an issue that is really difficult to get around. Supposedly the part 23 changes should help, but I'm not sure how long it would take, and to what extent the changes would trickle down as end user savings if/when the changes take place. The bottom line is that experimental or certified, unless aviation is a JOB or used for business purposes, it takes quite a bit of disposable income to pursue and fly regularly. I paid 176/hour for a G1000 172 (wanted to learn the avionics) and remember thinking how crazy it was to do so - even though I LOVE all things aviation. Even though I can't imagine never flying and I had the means to afford the cost, it still stung. I won't even get into using the rental for anything functional like an overnight at a mandatory 3 hours/day rate - ridiculously expensive. Unless you have serious disposable cash flow for your hobbies, it really has to be a part of your psyche, or serve a function for most to do it.
__________________
Jon
RV-7A purchased flying - Sold 6/16
RV-10 empennage delivered 1/22/14 (325JT)

Build: http://hhav8or.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:25 PM
Eddie P's Avatar
Eddie P Eddie P is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aptos, CA (previously Reno, 21 years!)
Posts: 251
Default

Flying has always been expensive compared to the price of food, shelter and entertainment. What's different besides the insurance costs and 100LL being about 12% higher compared to normal inflation these days is that as Americans (and all westerners are this way in many cases) we spend more on cars, TV's, cable, phones, college, insurance, etc so what's left over for airplanes is slim. And our expectations are out of control. We have this new found visceral need to be entertained in all aspects of life, even in our airplanes. We have fancy glass panels that show us to the half degree each engine cylinder's vitals, virtual SA displays, ANR headsets with music, awesome paint jobs that look like they came out of a video game, you name it, someone has it, and we want it. IMHO a rental G1000 Cessna anything is a waste of electrons and also disposable income. Building a top of the line dream machine experimental is a different affair - it may well be worth it but it has to be know that it's going to cost a mint and an astronomical resale value on the open market may only exists in one's own mind.

The folks that get into aviation themed clubs aren't looking at hobbs time and wow factor as the measure of the fun meter. They are looking at flying occasionally as a worth while activity while greatly reducing fixed costs but not walking away from flying all together.

When I hear guys complain about the "cost" of flying, while I empathize and feel the pain whole heartedly, I don't hear the same guys saying what has been done to offset the costs in a group activity format or by going back to the basics to ease the pain. Learn to fly a glider in a club (not a commercial operation) with a bad paint job, a winch launch and without anything on board but an airspeed indicator, altimeter, a yaw string, a hand held radio, a total energy variometer... and I will suggest you will find a new source of freedom. It will be a lot closer to what the old timers called the good old days than what we have today and it will be dirt cheap, challenging, rewarding and fun.

The cost of flying a solo operated G1000 Cessna is always going to be offensively expensive, and for less motivating gains. On the other hand, the cost of donating a few hours of time to a sport aviation club or a glider club to give a few hours of lessons or rides to a philanthropy program that provides aerospace education to youth via a large footprint of donations is nil - compared to the enjoyment and give back factor. This is one part of aviation that has a future in GA. For those that aren't into something like this, it's understandable but the format of buying something more than what we need or even renting expensive airplanes to bore holes in the sky is probably a dead end road. We can just look at the used Mooney and Bonanza market and comments for confirmation.

For those that see the value in shared lifestyle activities that include aviation as a educational, enjoyment and group function; they will inherit the reigns of GA and it will still be strong for some time. Will it be in perpetual, slow and metered decline? Perhaps so, compared to the glory days. Bright and sunny GA days will still exist but I can't help to think that as a go alone, solo affair of boring down victor airways in an owned airplane, the cost benefit analysis will be a tad dimmer in the future as costs and complexities continue to rise and overall GA numbers decline.

There are solutions. But solutions mean compromise and trying to think outside one's own box.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.