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Seriously considering letting AOPA membership lapse

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I have been an AOPA member for about 15 years, but seriously cannot see much value in it.  The only way I know to show them I have had enough of there unfulfilled promises and money grabbing B.S. is to not pay the price for admission, which with the medical and legal service plan adds up to around  $150.00 .    I am tired of the promise to help with the medical , now congress may step up and AOPA wants to take credit, help save our airports , help get new pilots ,help with unleaded avgas, the list goes on and on . They are very much like big government  with lots of promises , little action, and the we need them to save us from ourselves attitude.  I already know most of them are nice people, and we do need advocates on our behalf, but I honestly think it is not AOPA that will do it,  It is  people  like Jolie and Mitch who frequent Mooneyspace  and  all the members here who pitch in to help others with great advise.  Also small things like monthly Mooney Flyer and there are others,  but give me just one good reason  AOPA is the voice of general aviation. Do not tell me we need someone or because they are.   Sorry for the rant.

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*Members that donate $10 or more do not see advertisements*

What's your alternative, we are outnumbered rich, ask Obama and rich folks frequenting Las Vagas we should sell our Mooneys and other items making us unreasonably elite and give it all to DC to distribute to those in need...this thread could become one big free kin soapbox from all of us whom are elite...

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And yes all pilots are elite since Mr O stated the same we should believe all and drink his coolaid

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I gave up on AOPA this year after being a member for 23 years. For me, it was a bunch of little things. Like paying for the medical plan and having someone reading the FARs to me instead of guiding me to the answer, sending me a bunch of renewals notifications - then finally giving me their best price for renewal (you would think after 23 years, I was entitled to the best price) and then seeing the fat arse they hired as President.

I think the EAA seems to do a better job of looking after GA than AOPA these days.

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And it's pretty sad when Congress, yes Congress actually came up with a better proposal for third class medicals than AOPA and EAA.

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I have been an AOPA member for about 15 years, but seriously cannot see much value in it.  The only way I know to show them I have had enough of there unfulfilled promises and money grabbing B.S. is to not pay the price for admission, which with the medical and legal service plan adds up to around  $150.00 .    I am tired of the promise to help with the medical , now congress may step up and AOPA wants to take credit, help save our airports , help get new pilots ,help with unleaded avgas, the list goes on and on . They are very much like big government  with lots of promises , little action, and the we need them to save us from ourselves attitude.  I already know most of them are nice people, and we do need advocates on our behalf, but I honestly think it is not AOPA that will do it,  It is  people  like Jolie and Mitch who frequent Mooneyspace  and  all the members here who pitch in to help others with great advise.  Also small things like monthly Mooney Flyer and there are others,  but give me just one good reason  AOPA is the voice of general aviation. Do not tell me we need someone or because they are.   Sorry for the rant.

every year I contemplate the same thing, and in the end I renew.  Perhaps this year I wont and send a message along with you.... 

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The only time I know mine renews is when I look at my bank account and they have debited with their auto roll-over. Heck, at least send me a thank you packet. Just sayin'...then in two weeks I get another packet in the mail asking me to renew and all the great benefits they offer..a month or two later, another renewal package asking me to new again..They have no clue.

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As poor as a representative as AOPA may be, is there a better one? EAA may be more to some tastes, I joined them too. I feel like we can use all the community and representation we can get.

 

I like the little magazine, get a discount  (I think) on my insurance, read all the safety spots, used the flight planner for a long time before getting an iPad. I also used the Vref database when buying and selling aircraft and used the AOPA standard documents (free) and title search and insurance (cheap for a $200k investment). For $45 it seems like the only bargain in aviation. 

 

I don't expect much from them so I am not disappointed.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so. I called them last week as to why the decision was made to cancel all summit meetings, and what was the plan for their replacement. Of course they first asked me if I could renew my membership! which I did as I've been a member for over 20 years. I finally got double talk answer about some regional things that no one knew when or where, but it would be "good". Also, In previous years, we actually had a say in what AOPA presented to congress by the means of voting and surveys and talking with AOPA leadership, now it's just announcements about what the leadership has already done and supported and we should write our congressmen if we support AOPAs position. Who is AOPA now a days? It seems like it's moving away from us pilots. I for one am ok with giving them one more year, but if things progress in the direction of "oh don't worry pilots, we know what's best for you, just send us your dues thanks" without any involvement or true representation, I'm out.

(By the way, I'm hoping that AOPA returns to really representing pilots, as we're a strong group united, and can really make positive changes for GA)

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When sequestration hit and Baracks’ puppet in the FAA decided that he was going to close those GA towers, I called the AOPA up and asked them what they were going to do about it.  The AOPA representative asked me “what do you want us to do?”  I said how about filling a law suit saying that we (GA) being a small segment of the general population is carrying a disproportionate amount of the burden.  He told me you can’t sue the federal government and suggested that I write my congressman.  Then a week later some small airports did just that and filed suit. 

 

All I would like them to do is something proactive, even if it’s unsuccessful.  They are doing nothing about the CBP, nothing about the third class medical, nothing on fighting for us to keep 100LL.  All their efforts seem to be focused on reminding me that I need to renew my membership. 

 

They do have a nice weekly video clip every week. 

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I let my membership lapse in 1996 or there abouts. I rejoined 2 years ago. I like getting the magazine and they did a good job helping me through the process of buying my first aircraft. I live in Germany and am a member of both AOPA in the US and AOPA in Germany. The German organization doesn't really offer me much value, besides keeping me abreast of all the EASA changes (which are a ton) and how they relate to my FAA ticket and my N-reged Mooney which is based in Germany.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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After 32 years as a member I'm on the fence. But like the PBS tagline goes, "if AOPA doesn't do it, who will?".

 

Having had a medical issue a few years ago I found that they were ultimately useless. I thought they would come to bat for me, but in the end their response was for me to contact the medical certification branch directly myself. Pffft.

 

I'm willing wait to see what the new guy in charge has up his sleeve. If anything.

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AOPA is a terrible organization, but it's the best we have for general aviation.

 

Perhaps if the membership was more vocal and more demanding, AOPA would be better than it is.  Unfortunately, I'm a prime example of someone who does little or nothing for general aviation, then complains that AOPA doesn't do a very good job.  How much committment does $45/year represent?

 

EAA is okay, but its focus is the experimental segment of general aviation.

 

General aviation is under attack from many directions.  If AOPA slows the opposition at all, it's worth the dues.

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When I was learning to fly I was too broke to join and by the time I was flying for a living I didn't care.  Having been a member for less than a year I probably shouldn't comment but I joined earlier this year as they'd found me a good deal on insurance and I wanted to get the magazine as I wanted to catch up on things after a long absence from aviation.  I've benefitted from the former and I use the on-line flight planning resources from time to time as I'm a technophobic troglodyte and don't have an i-anything.  I've found the magazine is comprised in large part of repetitive topics and vapid editorials with much of it dedicated to business aviation and turbine aircraft.  Supposedly a subset of subscribers receive a turbine version though I wonder if they're hitching their trailer to that end the GA spectrum and letting the EAA or other organizations worry about the drying pool of bug smashers.

 

Whether a firewall or speed bump between GA and the Feds, I suppose, the AOPA may still be worthwhile but there's certainly frustration in having to hold one's nose whether donating or going to the polls.         

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I have adopted a simple rubric to determine which organizations deserve my support. When a topic comes up in the mainstream news involving general aviation, which representatives from what organizations are quoted in the press? If the members of my organization are out there and visible, then I believe they are effective. It is quite common to see AOPA involved in high profile issues in the news.

 

In the case of the 3rd class medical revision proposed by congress, where do you suppose these ideas come from? Do you really think that congress folks sit around thinking of ways to make life easier for GA? Most of them barely know we exist. Remember, AOPA is a lobbying group. Part of lobbying is the planting seeds of ideas in the right people's ears out of the lime light and without recognition. Behind the scenes is where the AOPA is most effective.

 

AOPA and EAA get my support. I don't subscribe to them for the magazine, the support, the legal plan, or discounts on things. One reason only, to try to steer the conversation on topics of GA in the media and on capitol hill.

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I let my membership expire again this year. No other reason than I feel there's zero benefit in being a member. I guess it really came down to just keeping my money instead of throwing it out the window.

David

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I am a member. I see value. I like the ideas of the new president. If you see no value...really aren't looking in my opinion. It is a token cost, a pittance to have a voice for GA. If you don't like what the voice is saying get more "active"...especially if you are retired and have no day job. Or continue to complain. I don't care either way.

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After 24 years I dropped AOPA when the economy tanked. They aggravated the hell out of me when they raised my dues during this time, I seen this as fricken greed......... Many pilots were hurting financially when they pulled this stunt. To me it wasn't the dollar amount it was the point.

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I was stationed in England for 3 years. RAF Marham offered a discounted rate for American pilots to fly in their club. The discounted rate was $400 per hour. If AOPA does nothing but keep user fees at bay, they have my business.

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Was that $400 per hour for a Spitfire? And was that wet?  :)

 

I've been an AOPA member almost 30 years. I got PO'd about their exec salaries and quit a couple of years ago. That lasted right up 'till insurance renewal time. The AOPA discount that I was no longer going to get would end up costing me more than paying my membership (I have 3 airplanes so it adds up). Like many here, I'm still not feeling all warm and fuzzy about AOPA, but EAA and the money plucking they do at Oshkosh isn't much better. Both organizations have long ago left their grass roots behind and turned more toward self serving.

 

bumper

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It was in a Spitfire. They're very proud of their Spit so it's the only airplane allowed in English airspace.

 

It was in a Cherokee 140, and it was wet. Good thing since it was $9 a gallon. I did enjoy climbing out at 1200 fpm on those cool mornings.

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My insurance co. gives a small discount for membership. Will need to check, not sure if it is enough to compensate for dues paid or not.

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I have been an AOPA member for many years but what has been bugging me lately is that most of the AOPA magazine is mostly about, well, AOPA. It seems every year there is less about airplanes, pilots and owners and more about what the folks at AOPA are doing or saying or thinking. And the glorification of their new president seemed odd to me at best. As magazines go, EAA's is far superior and way more enjoyable to read if you love flying and airplanes. I will probably stick with it but I am not really sure why at this point other than habit.

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I do not have the same problems with the AOPA that I am hearing here.  It is nice to get a magazine but really I would get Flying or whatever if I just wanted a magazine.  Its all about a lobby group speaking for GA.  I do believe they are doing that, and some of it behind the scenes.  For example I seriously doubt that congress just thought up on their own the idea of a new 3rd class medical system.  That smells like back smoke filled room dealing, and that is what lobbiest do.  Someone needs to be the lobby for GA and if you can name another group, then I will support them too.  $45 is not so much for that alone.  And year after year the threat of user fees - somehow so far it has been held back yet another year- just - and this has been no accident. I really feel we need a strong and unified lobby group to make this happen and it is no accident. I give some credit to the AOPA.

 

If the magazine has a large fraction about the AOPA itself, well, I'm not bothered.  If the membership is entirely a magazine then I would do better with a subscription to Flying.

 

Are the executive salaries out of line?  I don't know.  You want good effective people in those positions, and if that is the going rate then so it is.  The only way I can think to decide that is comparables -  Looking at what seems to me to be the most effective current lobby group of all, in my opinion, the NRA, what do those top executives make?  Separate from if you like them or not, it is undeniable that they are effective.  How do they compensate the executives.

 

Also, being a central voice is also a role, rallying the opinion, which is separate from their roll as lobbyists.  For example, I feel they have been effective at informing me about the CBP overeaching issue in details.  This is part of effecting change too.  Inform the public of pilots, inform the general public, and inform the congress.

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