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Why I won't renew AOPA membership again


RobertGary1
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3 hours ago, EricJ said:

That's sort-of happening in many places already.   Busy "jet ports" just make it more and more uncomfortable and expensive for piston GA to go there.   They obviously don't outright ban, but it winds up being similar.    Scottsdale is sort of in this process and has been for a while.   It's death by a thousand cuts...a little at a time so you barely notice.

North Texas Regional (KGYI) did exactly this. Priced GA right out there, new JET service came into the hangers. Even the on field AP left there for the same reason. I did contact AOPA about the price increase and its affect. I've been out of there since May 1st and today, I get an email about a GA Support advocate. I would assume they are aware now but too much water under the bridge since many of us had to leave.

-Don

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29 minutes ago, hammdo said:

North Texas Regional (KGYI) did exactly this. Priced GA right out there, new JET service came into the hangers. Even the o field AP left there for the same reason. I did contact AOPA about the price increase and its affect. I've been out of there since May 1st and today, I get an email about a GA Support advocate. I would assume they are aware now but too much water under the bridge since many of us had to leave.

-Don

This is literally what Aopa should be focused on.  Airport access is probably the top concern for many pilots. 

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My last airport banned nordo traffic and made it a requirement for the cub guys to have at least a working handheld. 
 

I’m not sure what the violation looked like. 
 

Also after the paramotor guys threw a fit about the airport having a 300k liability auto policy, one of them who faked an insurance document backed into a king air. 
 

One of my airplanes is nose high and does 100kts over the fence speed just before touch down. 
 

I can’t see the guy doing 15mph a half a mile from the numbers on the approach side at 300 ft. Keep them out of there. I find the paramotor guys to be the worst with such a poor understanding of rules and common sense. 

Edited by chriscalandro
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When you need serious help…

Aopa was the place to get answers from…

More huge corporate issues, government issues, and health issues….

 

Basic Med is an example of how many people are flying today… because getting their classIII wasn’t a good option…

I went to an AOPA fly-in at Atlantic City…. Decided to buy a plane after the close up view of actual airplanes….

 

There may be other orgs… I have joined EAA each time I visited KOSH…. As part of the package…

If I need to know about medications… us old guys use them…. Reviewing the list of meds on the AOPA website give a big hint on what to say and what not to say when asking your doctor….

 

The next thing I think AOPA can help with… ageism regarding insurance…. There has got to be a better way of measuring skill than age… and that measurement shouldn’t cost a fortune…

 

AOPA is probably our most important advocate in political arenas…. When we have to go there.

When odd things come up… flying in the age of Covid…  AOPA was pretty helpful collecting and disseminating info… trying to be a factual resource….

 

PP thoughts only, not a big supporter of all flying groups…

Best regards,

-a-

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27 minutes ago, chriscalandro said:

My last airport banned nordo traffic and made it a requirement for the cub guys to have at least a working handheld. 
 

I’m not sure what the violation looked like. 
 

Also after the paramotor guys threw a fit about the airport having a 300k liability auto policy, one of them who faked an insurance document backed into a king air. 
 

One of my airplanes is nose high and does 100kts over the fence speed just before touch down. 
 

I can’t see the guy doing 15mph a half a mile from the numbers on the approach side at 300 ft. Keep them out of there. I find the paramotor guys to be the worst with such a poor understanding of rules and common sense. 

We don’t use the runway. 
i find it exceedingly odd that some people claim to love aviation but in truth have only ever wanted to experience a small sliver of it. Ok maybe you don’t love aviation but like Mooney flying. But if you love aviation you want to fly lots of categories. I fly 4 typically every couple weeks. 

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As pilots here in the US, we have to have an organization which fights for us. AOPA is the voice of General Aviation. 

Basic Med, no user fees .... are just a few examples. And they fight very hard for keeping airports open for us.

Without that advocacy we will end up like the pilots in Germany or Europe: High fuel taxes, high landing fees, approach and departure fees, no landings from noon to 3pm, no landings if the tower is not manned or in the dark, restrictions everywhere, no GPS approaches to most General Aviation airports, no ADS-B weather, noise restrictions (need of buying a new prop or muffler from time to time) no basic med, lots of parts are TBO limited and way more.

Germany for example has an AOPA group but this group is so small that it has only very little political power.

With AOPA in the US it is completely different. The organization with its 280,000 members has a powerful voice in Washington, at the FAA and everywhere else where decisions are done.

I was also wondering about the high salary of Mark Baker, but this is not a reason for me to cancel my membership. I saw and still see Mark  fighting hard for our pilots interests and rights on the political stage. This needs to be continued. 

I even would encourage more pilots to become a member. The bigger the group is, the stronger we are on the political stage and at the FAA.

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3 hours ago, Bunti said:

As pilots here in the US, we have to have an organization which fights for us. AOPA is the voice of General Aviation. 

Basic Med, no user fees .... are just a few examples. And they fight very hard for keeping airports open for us.

Without that advocacy we will end up like the pilots in Germany or Europe: High fuel taxes, high landing fees, approach and departure fees, no landings from noon to 3pm, no landings if the tower is not manned or in the dark, restrictions everywhere, no GPS approaches to most General Aviation airports, no ADS-B weather, noise restrictions (need of buying a new prop or muffler from time to time) no basic med, lots of parts are TBO limited and way more.

Germany for example has an AOPA group but this group is so small that it has only very little political power.

With AOPA in the US it is completely different. The organization with its 280,000 members has a powerful voice in Washington, at the FAA and everywhere else where decisions are done.

I was also wondering about the high salary of Mark Baker, but this is not a reason for me to cancel my membership. I saw and still see Mark  fighting hard for our pilots interests and rights on the political stage. This needs to be continued. 

I even would encourage more pilots to become a member. The bigger the group is, the stronger we are on the political stage and at the FAA.

As a European aircraft owner I can’t emphasize this enough.  Whatever beef you have with AOPA, it is NOTHING compared to not having a functional lobbygroup.  You can’t make up all the stuff  European politicians implement to make your GA-life worse.

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I quit aopa when they did little to nothing about signature’s price gouging.   Then, nothing when Tac air unjustifiably increased rent by almost double even though my lease clearly said no more than 5% renewal increase.   Now signature just bought Tac air here.    Figures. 

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7 hours ago, RobertGary1 said:

We don’t use the runway. 
i find it exceedingly odd that some people claim to love aviation but in truth have only ever wanted to experience a small sliver of it. Ok maybe you don’t love aviation but like Mooney flying. But if you love aviation you want to fly lots of categories. I fly 4 typically every couple weeks. 

I’m a skydiving hang glider pilot that used to paramotor (I got out of that because of the shitty people) and who owns SEL airplanes. 
 

I flew the paramotor out of fields where I knew the owners. 

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12 hours ago, RobertGary1 said:

This is literally what Aopa should be focused on.  Airport access is probably the top concern for many pilots. 

Agree.  A few years ago, I couldn't find a hangar for love nor money.  Finally found one an hour away from my house.  But no complaints -- it's a nice hangar, and the management is not intrusive.

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3 hours ago, Browncbr1 said:

I quit aopa when they did little to nothing about signature’s price gouging.   Then, nothing when Tac air unjustifiably increased rent by almost double even though my lease clearly said no more than 5% renewal increase.   Now signature just bought Tac air here.    Figures. 

So who do you go to when your grocery store raises the prices?

What can ANYONE do when a private entity raises prices?

And AOPA is at least lobbying for clear and publicly visible fees for airports.  To put pressure on those gouging.

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I think a lot of us could benefit from some economic education. Many FBO's charge high prices not because they are gouging but their costs go up brought on by external forces. Do you know how "triple net leases" work? Do you know how the governmental entity managing your airport re-evaluates the lease rates for its tenants? That is why prices go up. Let me give you an example

Some airports will re-appraise the lease rates based upon the land value.....as an FBO

Some airports will re-appraise the lease rates based upon the highest and best use of the land.

Now for instance, KSJC in the heart of Silicon Valley does "highest and best use". An FBO can't generate the kind income for lease rates at that level.

Usually you have to price your FBO product at a 25 year lease payback, because most airport leases, all facilities you built and installed revert back to the airport after that time. So you have to amortize the entire facility during your tenure.

These are the kind of things AOPA is there for. To make economic studies to governmental entities of the real value of an airport, not just what the land can generate and to make leases that are economical in a business sense.

The fact is, no one in their right mind would be in the FBO business today unless they had significant contract jet fuel sales to either the military, the airlines or both.

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AOPA cannot change prices Signature or others charge. They try to put pressure on them and on the local governments who have the contract with the FBOs. And they fight for publishing the fees. Thanks to AOPA, at several airports you can now park the airplane on non FBO property and save their fees, if you do not want to use their facilities.

In my opinion, AOPA does a very good job on fighting for General Aviation. Again, look at the General Aviation in Europe years ago and now. We do not want to see the same negative development in the USA. We need an organization like AOPA and we have to pay them to work for us. ATC user fees, landing fees ... will for sure show up again on the agenda and without fighting we will lose.

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17 hours ago, Bunti said:

As pilots here in the US, we have to have an organization which fights for us. AOPA is the voice of General Aviation. 

Basic Med, no user fees .... are just a few examples. And they fight very hard for keeping airports open for us.

Without that advocacy we will end up like the pilots in Germany or Europe: High fuel taxes, high landing fees, approach and departure fees, no landings from noon to 3pm, no landings if the tower is not manned or in the dark, restrictions everywhere, no GPS approaches to most General Aviation airports, no ADS-B weather, noise restrictions (need of buying a new prop or muffler from time to time) no basic med, lots of parts are TBO limited and way more.

Germany for example has an AOPA group but this group is so small that it has only very little political power.

With AOPA in the US it is completely different. The organization with its 280,000 members has a powerful voice in Washington, at the FAA and everywhere else where decisions are done.

I was also wondering about the high salary of Mark Baker, but this is not a reason for me to cancel my membership. I saw and still see Mark  fighting hard for our pilots interests and rights on the political stage. This needs to be continued. 

I even would encourage more pilots to become a member. The bigger the group is, the stronger we are on the political stage and at the FAA.

Good discussion, relevant counterpoint.  I'm keeping my membership for now, but it would be nice to see AOPA address some legit internal issues and rededicate to members, perhaps in unison with a membership drive...

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I love all forms of Aviation, but not all mix well. My Mooney probably ought not be flown regularly into and out of a busy airline airport. I would cause problems climbing slowly at 100 kts.

Mostly used to but I fly models, they don’t really mix well with full scale aircraft so they are only rarely flown at airports, even grass strips, most fly at model fields, where they fuss fixed wing doesn’t mix with helicopters :)

One would assume the paraglides ought to find their own field, perhaps talk to the model guys and not mix with Ga airplanes.

Complaining about high hangar and fuel prices at Urban up scale fields makes as much sense as me complaining that living in Miami is too expensive, the Government ought to make the rent cheaper. Guys that’s not how Free Enterprise works.

I’m sorry guys but if you want to live in these fancy upscale places, your going to be expected to pay for it, if it’s really that bad, vote with your feet.

Talked to a guy who’s building a house in my neighborhood, another Airline guy, currently lives in California. He said to rent a little U-haul trailer in California to Fl is $2,700, but going the other way it’s almost nothing. Apparently many are voting with their feet and finding less expensive and more friendly GA places.

Although it seems as more come they are bringing landing and parking fees with them. Ocala I believe now charges a landing fee, so we all avoid it and leave it for the rich horse people and their biz jets, which of course was what they wanted. But that’s unusual, it’s not the norm.

But it’s not going to change, the money is in the biz jets, not little old piston airplanes.

Finally sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease, AOPA is pretty much all we have, without them there is no squeaking and hence no grease, think we are being forced out now? Let AOPA go away and many more airports will become golf courses, because they don’t get biz jet traffic.

Look up the numbers biz jets are I think are well over 90% of money spent in GA from aircraft sales, maintenance, fuel everything. So your in business, who are you going to listen to? The guys who pay the most that’s who.

Same in Marina’s, they hate sailboats, we come in and take up a spot at the fuel dock and buy 20 gls fuel, where the Sportfisherman goes past to the next open fuel dock and buys 1,000 gls, and we sailboat guys wonder why they don’t want us. 

It’s not just Aviation, high end neighborhoods don’t want a trailer park next door. And guess what? Our little pistons are trailers. We like to think as we own our own airplanes we are better off, but the biz jet people aren’t impressed.

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Just to note, I would not call Sherman/Dennison Texas where KGYI is 'upscale'. They are more than an hour and 45 minutes away from Dallas however, they are trying (and getting) jet services to come there - after they raised prices so the GA folks had to leave. I get it, it's business. GA does not bring enough $ in. Somewhere along the line GA needs places to hanger and go.
 

BTW, GA kept GYI alive with all the student traffic and training. 
 

It's all economics now and these places need to survive - jet traffic/turbo prop do that...

-Don

 

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4 hours ago, A64Pilot said:

I love all forms of Aviation, but not all mix well. My Mooney probably ought not be flown regularly into and out of a busy airline airport. I would cause problems climbing slowly at 100 kts.

Mostly used to but I fly models, they don’t really mix well with full scale aircraft so they are only rarely flown at airports, even grass strips, most fly at model fields, where they fuss fixed wing doesn’t mix with helicopters :)

One would assume the paraglides ought to find their own field, perhaps talk to the model guys and not mix with Ga airplanes.

Complaining about high hangar and fuel prices at Urban up scale fields makes as much sense as me complaining that living in Miami is too expensive, the Government ought to make the rent cheaper. Guys that’s not how Free Enterprise works.

I’m sorry guys but if you want to live in these fancy upscale places, your going to be expected to pay for it, if it’s really that bad, vote with your feet.

Talked to a guy who’s building a house in my neighborhood, another Airline guy, currently lives in California. He said to rent a little U-haul trailer in California to Fl is $2,700, but going the other way it’s almost nothing. Apparently many are voting with their feet and finding less expensive and more friendly GA places.

Although it seems as more come they are bringing landing and parking fees with them. Ocala I believe now charges a landing fee, so we all avoid it and leave it for the rich horse people and their biz jets, which of course was what they wanted. But that’s unusual, it’s not the norm.

But it’s not going to change, the money is in the biz jets, not little old piston airplanes.

Finally sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease, AOPA is pretty much all we have, without them there is no squeaking and hence no grease, think we are being forced out now? Let AOPA go away and many more airports will become golf courses, because they don’t get biz jet traffic.

Look up the numbers biz jets are I think are well over 90% of money spent in GA from aircraft sales, maintenance, fuel everything. So your in business, who are you going to listen to? The guys who pay the most that’s who.

Same in Marina’s, they hate sailboats, we come in and take up a spot at the fuel dock and buy 20 gls fuel, where the Sportfisherman goes past to the next open fuel dock and buys 1,000 gls, and we sailboat guys wonder why they don’t want us. 

It’s not just Aviation, high end neighborhoods don’t want a trailer park next door. And guess what? Our little pistons are trailers. We like to think as we own our own airplanes we are better off, but the biz jet people aren’t impressed.

The truth hurts, but I think you nailed it.

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On 9/3/2022 at 8:14 PM, TNIndy said:

I'm a member and try to support both EAA and AOPA but when I called AOPA in 2017 to ask about insurance and financing for a Mooney two of them told me I shouldn't buy a Mooney. Obviously I didn't take their advice

Did they give a technical reason, such as retractable cost more to insure, or just BS like "they are hard to work on?"

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8 hours ago, Bolter said:

Did they give a technical reason, such as retractable cost more to insure, or just BS like "they are hard to work on?"

It was a K model I was looking at. The first person I talked to seemed to generally dislike Mooney's. The second person mentioned two issues. Difficult to work on because of how tight they were and the turbo's failed all the time. It was a disappointing call. I had already done my homework and decided to purchase a Mooney.  I didn't finance or insure through AOPA. At about the same time I called a MSC for a quote on a Prebuy and was told by the owner that he would never buy a K-Model because of the added maintenance cost. Everyone has an opinion but I wasn't asking for them. 

Edited by TNIndy
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