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Seriously considering letting AOPA membership lapse

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One of the first things I did when I became an owner is to join AOPA. I thought their student pilot mag was very helpful and I look forward to the pilot mag each month. I also like to get the daily emails but most important is the lobbyist work they do. Just think what would be the status of the second amendment if it weren't for the NRA and their membership drives are not any different than what AOPA is doing. It's all about having a choice and I choose to support those that support me.

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One of the first things I did when I became an owner is to join AOPA. I thought their student pilot mag was very helpful and I look forward to the pilot mag each month. I also like to get the daily emails but most important is the lobbyist work they do. Just think what would be the status of the second amendment if it weren't for the NRA and their membership drives are not any different than what AOPA is doing. It's all about having a choice and I choose to support those that support me.

Exactly. It's not about discounts, free stuff, services, etc. It's about advocacy.

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It is very easy to find fault with an organization the size of AOPA. Maybe they have become too big, maybe they lost sight of the "little guy" maybe they ............... fill in your personal rant here........ maybe they etc.

 

My point is AOPA is involved and participates in all segments of aviation. I am willing to give the new guy (Mark Baker) a chance. He seems engaged and is definitely listening to the membership. I see more good coming in the future than I see bad.

 

I will stick with AOPA we need all the help we can get.

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Such negativity.  I've only relatively recently become a member (three years) but I like AOPA for the most part.  I like the mag and the training modules, Vref, FlyQ and it really doesn't cost that much to belong.  I don't have much knowledge of their political successes or failures but will pay more attention to what successes the new guy has.  I will agree that it seems they are constantly sending messages asking for more money which irritates me. 

 

Their website offers a lot of info for free.  I was using it so I thought I should pay for it. 

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I'm glad you guys are quittin' AOPA...that increases my odds of winning the free Debonair!!!

 

Seriously, I also do not actively 'see' the results of their work, and the proof is in the pudding as they say.  But honestly, I'm not too happy with the pudding recently.

 

I also wonder why their magazine continues to cover financially out-of-reach aircraft (well, for me at least).  I usually skip the Biz-jet writeups these days and search for something more tangible...which are admittedly hard to find in that rag.  Where are the hard hitting numbers on the impossible 180, or glide performance and prop settings, or how to do an ower assisted annual?  This would keep my interest.

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I had always let it lapse, angling my way to a new hat or flight bag. Then they got hip to this. Recently, I let it lapse again. They sent a letter that began with..... "Perhaps you have overlooked your membership renewal"........ A bit presumptuous and lacking humility in tone, almost as if they are "automatic" and I goofed up or something. I'll let it drift for a year. Bet I'm not the only one.

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I'm glad you guys are quittin' AOPA...that increases my odds of winning the free Debonair!!!

 

Seriously, I also do not actively 'see' the results of their work, and the proof is in the pudding as they say.  But honestly, I'm not too happy with the pudding recently.

 

I also wonder why their magazine continues to cover financially out-of-reach aircraft (well, for me at least).  I usually skip the Biz-jet writeups these days and search for something more tangible...which are admittedly hard to find in that rag.  Where are the hard hitting numbers on the impossible 180, or glide performance and prop settings, or how to do an ower assisted annual?  This would keep my interest.

 

What would make your pudding taste better? Seriously, the Feds are constantly coming up with new ideas to make our lives in GA more difficult and magically, all those ideas get scrapped, delayed, or pushed back. Something up on capitol hill is working for us and I believe AOPA has a big hand in that. I'm not really sure what people expect from AOPA, a rebate check or something? You have to remember the AOPA is a tiny organization representing a tiny segment of the US population that have very specialized needs and desires, all of which mean absolutely zero to the other 90% of Americans.

 

From the second half of your post, it sounds like you are mostly an AOPA member for the magazine. I think that's the wrong reason to be an AOPA member IMO. As to the articles in AOPA Pilot, they have to make the magazine either pay for itself, or even make money for the organization. This means they need advertisers to generate revenue. As a result of some of this much needed ad revenue, they do features on advertisers products to keep them happy and keep them paying. Turbines pay the bills.

 

Having said that, now that AOPA has aligned itself with Aircraft Spruce, a monthly article sponsored by them about aircraft restoration, owner maintenance and kit construction would be a great new feature that would keep many of us lowly vintage plane owners happy and keep an important advertiser happy. Just be sure to make lots of plugs in the article for Aircraft Spruce and their website and it could be a win/win. As to the safety related articles, the magazine has both a Never Again column for accident analysis and a Proficiency column about tips to being a better aviator.  In addition, ASF, or AOPA's Air Safety Foundation has lots of great stuff about aircraft safety including the impossible turn on their website. They also offer safety seminars though out the country and usually not to far from wherever you live.

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I had always let it lapse, angling my way to a new hat or flight bag. Then they got hip to this. Recently, I let it lapse again. They sent a letter that began with..... "Perhaps you have overlooked your membership renewal"........ A bit presumptuous and lacking humility in tone, almost as if they are "automatic" and I goofed up or something. I'll let it drift for a year. Bet I'm not the only one.

 

Wow. You join AOPA just to get a hat?? Why not just buy the hat and save yourself some money? People really seem to be joining for the wrong reasons.

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I'm glad you guys are quittin' AOPA...that increases my odds of winning the free Debonair!!!

Seriously, I also do not actively 'see' the results of their work, and the proof is in the pudding as they say. But honestly, I'm not too happy with the pudding recently.

I also wonder why their magazine continues to cover financially out-of-reach aircraft (well, for me at least). I usually skip the Biz-jet writeups these days and search for something more tangible...which are admittedly hard to find in that rag. Where are the hard hitting numbers on the impossible 180, or glide performance and prop settings, or how to do an ower assisted annual? This would keep my interest.

This is exactly why I still receive "Flight Training" magazine instead of "Pilot." It keeps me up on the basics. I do get tired of the way they continually reference "your trainer" instead of "the airplane" though. I read "Pilot" on AOPA's website . . .
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I've been a member for more than 20 years. I've let many other aviation memberships lapse for one reason or another. But not AOPA. The disclaimer is that I'm an attorney on the legal services plan (as well as a paying participant to protect myself) but that's been a very small part of my time as a member.

 

I've been unhappy with some things they have done recently. The immediate past administration wasn't all that great and I'm not comfortable with an AOPA-sponsored pay-for app (Fly-Q) that gives one provider a competitive advantage in an area where there is so much innovation.  But for the most part I've been pleased with what the organization has done over the years and tend to avoid "I don't like what they did TODAY, so I'll quit"  short terms, knee-jerk reactions.

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Financially I am probably at the lowest end of the spectrum of aircraft owners. And believe me this current administration in DC will do any thing to create class envy. There are many members of congress that do support GA and I know that the AOPA has influence with them. They are a voice not only for pilots and owners but also manufactures and FBO's I agree that it would be nice to see more articles on real world aircraft in fact most of you guy's blow my doors off like each month do a feature on a basic single that costs less than a Lexus or Cadillac SUV don't get me wrong I admire success and even more when it ends up in aviation.

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I really appreciate all the comments this topic brought, and I will most likely let it expire and see if the new leadership changes anything for the better. I am sure most are at least a little disappointed with them ,and I  know of no other way to show them,  but to stop paying. I really feel like they are more worried about trying to make it look as though they are doing something , than actually doing it.   Thanks for all the responses.

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What would make your pudding taste better? Seriously, the Feds are constantly coming up with new ideas to make our lives in GA more difficult and magically, all those ideas get scrapped, delayed, or pushed back. Something up on capitol hill is working for us and I believe AOPA has a big hand in that. I'm not really sure what people expect from AOPA, a rebate check or something? You have to remember the AOPA is a tiny organization representing a tiny segment of the US population that have very specialized needs and desires, all of which mean absolutely zero to the other 90% of Americans.

 

From the second half of your post, it sounds like you are mostly an AOPA member for the magazine. I think that's the wrong reason to be an AOPA member IMO. As to the articles in AOPA Pilot, they have to make the magazine either pay for itself, or even make money for the organization. This means they need advertisers to generate revenue. As a result of some of this much needed ad revenue, they do features on advertisers products to keep them happy and keep them paying. Turbines pay the bills.

 

Having said that, now that AOPA has aligned itself with Aircraft Spruce, a monthly article sponsored by them about aircraft restoration, owner maintenance and kit construction would be a great new feature that would keep many of us lowly vintage plane owners happy and keep an important advertiser happy. Just be sure to make lots of plugs in the article for Aircraft Spruce and their website and it could be a win/win. As to the safety related articles, the magazine has both a Never Again column for accident analysis and a Proficiency column about tips to being a better aviator.  In addition, ASF, or AOPA's Air Safety Foundation has lots of great stuff about aircraft safety including the impossible turn on their website. They also offer safety seminars though out the country and usually not to far from wherever you live.

 

+1

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Ok, I just read this and so I feel a little better

 

http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2013/December/30/2013-advocacy-lays-groundwork-for-a-busy-New-Year.aspx

 

I guess I'm looking some kind of metric or acknowledgement that shows me the AOPA recognizes the issues that concern all of us and what the progress is working them.  This article helped with that. 

 

I don't really care about hats, magazines, or mugs.....  that's not why I'm a member.  I do wish they would stop sending me junk in the mail every month trying to sell me services. I don't even open the envelops anymore; I just toss them in the trash.  I should be able to opt out so they can save the postage.

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One of the reasons we are getting so much membership renewal stuff is that they hired a person a few years ago to improve membership renewals. With that came the add-on member services they push. The guy did such a great job, I didn't renew this past year -- one too many "last chance offers".

Instead of spending that money on renewal campaigns, they should have spent more on visibility of what they stand for and their demonstrated performance. That is what will get me to renew, not some stupid hat or another headset bag.

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And by the way, my membership ended in April and I am still getting "last chances". Who's last chance is it anyways?

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OK I got spanked for starting a new line on this subject. And as a newbie to mooney space I guess I need to learn how you guys like to play. Just reading mooney flyer and I see where legislation has been introduced in congress to reduce the requirements on the 3rd class. What organization do you think may have been responsible for that. Oh and who do you think has been keeping the EPA and air resources board from eliminating our precious fuel. The way I see it if you don't like the way things are going you can take your jacks and go home or you can stay in the game and complain get involved and be a part for changing things. I'm sure most of you guys are not the quitting type and a lot have been advocates for change within AOPA and other pilot associations. I have great respect for pilots and have made friends with some in my area but hear is an observation I have made. It seems as a new pilot 4 years I have the enthusiasm of a young kid but I see a kind of jaded perspective of many of the long timers. Every one seems to agree That aviation needs lots of new blood but if you aren't willing to welcome that new blood then perhaps that is part of the problem. I speak mainly of pilots I have met and come to know personally.

I hope I haven't offended anyone cause I really like mooney space and I know I will learn lots from all of you.

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OK I got spanked for starting a new line on this subject. And as a newbie to mooney space I guess I need to learn how you guys like to play. Just reading mooney flyer and I see where legislation has been introduced in congress to reduce the requirements on the 3rd class. What organization do you think may have been responsible for that. Oh and who do you think has been keeping the EPA and air resources board from eliminating our precious fuel. The way I see it if you don't like the way things are going you can take your jacks and go home or you can stay in the game and complain get involved and be a part for changing things. I'm sure most of you guys are not the quitting type and a lot have been advocates for change within AOPA and other pilot associations. I have great respect for pilots and have made friends with some in my area but hear is an observation I have made. It seems as a new pilot 4 years I have the enthusiasm of a young kid but I see a kind of jaded perspective of many of the long timers. Every one seems to agree That aviation needs lots of new blood but if you aren't willing to welcome that new blood then perhaps that is part of the problem. I speak mainly of pilots I have met and come to know personally. I hope I haven't offended anyone cause I really like mooney space and I know I will learn lots from all of you.
Let me see if I can tackle this from my perspective. Starting a new thread on the same topic just makes it harder to find stuff later (ex. What thread did I read that?) and most of the time the information is duplicated in both threads. Hence why someone asked why you were starting a new thread on the same subject. As for AOPA general aviation advocacy, for me personally, when Phil Boyer started flying around in a Citation, they started losing me. Not that they weren't still advocates for GA, but the message was diluted with all that jet fuel in the air. For the third class medical proposal, it was a joint effort from AOPA and the EAA: http://www.aopa.org/Advocacy/Regulatory-,-a-,-Certification-Policy/AOPA-EAA-Medical-Exemption-FAQ/AOPA-EAA-3rd-Class-Medical-Exemption.aspx The fuel situation has been one of AOPA's causes for years. Until Shell's recent announcements, it has been talked about and never resolved in the 23 years I was a member. Just because you advocate for something does mean you can make it happen. The fuel manufacturers and their ability to continue a revenue stream have a much more significant impact on that outcome. When you are an advocacy group, you have two primary responsibilities -- to your cause and to the people you serve. For me personally, I just don't feel they are the same organization they were 30 years ago. "Long timers" as you call us, are not jaded. We just have heard and see more of "it". The reality of aviation today is that it is still an expensive endeavor. I am personally helping a 40 year old get into aviation. Although I am not an instructor, I have been letting him fly with me, teaching him what I can and making myself available to answer his questions. His reality is that he wants to be a pilot, but doesn't have the money to pay for his private license. How do you fix that? Or take my kids. I have offered them both to pay their way through training. No interest. Why? It's not in their blood despite flying with me for years. I don't think you have offended anyone. Most of us are just a bunch of cranky old farts, who are VERY opinionated and share a love for aviation and more importantly, our Mooneys...
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AOPA has been talking about the 3rd class medical, unleaded avgas, getting more people interested in flying, saving airports, less Airworthiness Directives on certain engine parts, and on and on it goes , they may have a worse  time getting things done than our government, and as for the medical ,I think congress has a few older pilots who even realize nothing is getting done about it , imagine that.

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I know that I'm a cranky old fart. At least that's what my kids tell me......

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OK I got spanked for starting a new line on this subject. And as a newbie to mooney space I guess I need to learn how you guys like to play. Just reading mooney flyer and I see where legislation has been introduced in congress to reduce the requirements on the 3rd class. What organization do you think may have been responsible for that. Oh and who do you think has been keeping the EPA and air resources board from eliminating our precious fuel. The way I see it if you don't like the way things are going you can take your jacks and go home or you can stay in the game and complain get involved and be a part for changing things. I'm sure most of you guys are not the quitting type and a lot have been advocates for change within AOPA and other pilot associations. I have great respect for pilots and have made friends with some in my area but hear is an observation I have made. It seems as a new pilot 4 years I have the enthusiasm of a young kid but I see a kind of jaded perspective of many of the long timers. Every one seems to agree That aviation needs lots of new blood but if you aren't willing to welcome that new blood then perhaps that is part of the problem. I speak mainly of pilots I have met and come to know personally.

I hope I haven't offended anyone cause I really like mooney space and I know I will learn lots from all of you.

 

+1

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All points well taken. I'll just keep flying and learning the best I can. I think I have my nephew hooked and my wife's best friends daughter says she wants to get into aviation after I took her on a couple of trips from school to home. I am always spreading the advantages of GA every chance I get and sometimes my enthusiasm gets the best of me.

Later

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By the time you own a Mooney, you have too many freebee give always from AOPA.

I do like the nice hat I get every now and then. The one with no button on top to interfere with the headset I no longer use.

I get the fealing we are not the target audience of their subscription mailings...but, we are still part of it.

I now receive the turbine edition to read about somebody else problems. I've heard about the ones I have already.

They make me feal comfortable with 15gph fuel flows...

Best regards,

-a-

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By the time you own a Mooney, you have too many freebee give always from AOPA.

I do like the nice hat I get every now and then. The one with no button on top to interfere with the headset I no longer use.

I get the fealing we are not the target audience of their subscription mailings...but, we are still part of it.

I now receive the turbine edition to read about somebody else problems. I've heard about the ones I have already.

They make me feal comfortable with 15gph fuel flows...

Best regards,

-a-

I bought my Mooney the same month as my first AOPA renewal . . . But they did give me a hat and a mousepad for Project Pilot when I mentored a coworker who started lessons about that same time. Nothing like a ~75 hour mentor! :-) then I signed up for auto-renew, so I don't get any freebies . . . But then again, I don't need a third flight bag. (Anyone want my original Gleim flight bag from the Learn-to-Fly box of stuff?)

With my Halo headset, I can wear any hat that I like, mostly ventilated cowboy hats in summer and a wool Indiana Jones-style hat for winter warmth. They're better than anything AOPA will ever give me.

But they do advocate, they do maintain a presence in DC, and I really like the Safety Foundation's work.

P.S.--the thought of 15 gph fuel flows puckers my wallet something fierce!

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