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Thu, May 03, 2012

Guest Editorial: Big Big Things Happening In Aviation

But Is An Exchange Of Ideas Among Letter Groups Really Big News?

By: Rich Davidson, Lee Bottom Flying Field

Have you heard the big news? No? Come on where have you been? I just got an email from AOPA today and it was the lead story. Want to guess what it was?

Be honest, what was your first thought? Was it a ban on avgas? Maybe you thought it was user fees. Or what about a major parts supplier shutdown, could that have been it? If either of these were your guess, you are way off.

Today’s big news is, and I quote, "Presidents of AOPA, EAA exchange ideas."

Really? This is newsworthy? If it is, then there’s a serious problem somewhere. You’re the Presidents of AOPA and EAA and an exchange of ideas is such a rare event it goes in your e-newsletter? Is this really such a special occasion? I mean, what’s there to say? Craig to Rod, “Hey, why are you trying to act like AOPA; don’t we each have our roles?” Rod to Craig, “You think I care? I’m judged on membership numbers and I’ll do whatever I want.” An odd silence follows at which point Rod says, “Maybe you should invite celebrities to your expo instead of members?” Then Craig says “Why don’t you fly your Stearman to the Bahamas?” An odd silence falls on the room. Then, out of the blue they both say, in that creepy exact timing sort of way “Great idea!”

Don’t get me wrong. I certainly think these groups could do a better job of working together. But working together should not be cause for celebration. In fact, it should be an admission to an embarrassing reality. These groups have acted like two children fighting over the same ball for too long and a glass "base" is not going to fix the problem. Heck, if it were up to me, I’d solve this problem by combining them and holding a lottery among pilots for the presidency. This would give our sport two great results. First, we wouldn’t have to spend the money on two publications to hear all the same tired stories *** (nor would my inbox fill up with two sets of rehashed 16 year old solo articles). And second, we’d have a much better chance of having a President that spoke the spirit of aviation, not just the language.

You guys want to solve problems? Don’t waste our money on dinners discussing issues we’ve all known about for a decade. Get out there and start fighting the good fight. Get in there, get a little dirty, mess your hair up (what do you guys use on your hair), and get some ____ (stuff) done that favors aviation instead of continually bargaining pieces of it away. Talk is cheap. Well, actually we are paying good money for those words but for you they are cheap. And as for that glass thing that says “Stronger Together”, is that an endorsement of my idea to combine the groups?

*** This editorial is tired too. Please give me a good reason to say “Look at them go. They are really kicking butt and taking names.” Until then...

(This article first appeared on Rich's blog "Nordo News". It is reproduced here in its entirety.)



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