As one of the administrators of the AOPA Facebook page, I thought it would be interesting this morning to ask members the following question:  “so, the election is over. What do you think the prospects for general aviation will be in a second Obama term? And please — let’s just stick to the GA issue.”  We’ve already had 58 comments this morning.  Below are some of them.

“It’s not ideal for GA growth, but I’m not convinced user fees are inevitable either. I fly for a living, but also for pleasure thanks to a flying club at half the rates of a FBO. With over 10k pilots retiring from US carriers in the next 8 years, something is going to have to give. The pilot shortage finally coming to fruition should have a positive affect. Support AOPA and similar organizations. They are our voice.”

“General aviation will suffer… we pilots won’t have the money to fly! And it’ll be regulated to the point where it’s pointless to fly anyhow.”

“I don’t think the political climate is what GA needs.. what GA needs is a much lower cost of entry to new participants (Next generation training) and new certified airplanes that are capable of at least some useful load which don’t cost $300K new (I’m looking straight at you, Cessna and Piper).”

“Not good. Good thing I have a professional pilot job, because I can’t attract a single student as a part-time CFI due to the overwhelming cost of learning to fly.”

“$20 per Gal AVGAS.”

“It will be the same. Administration proposes user fees, GA rallies its membership with advocacy efforts, and Congress dispenses with user fees.”

“Costs have got to come down. This includes everything from hangar rent, insurance, to aircraft purchases. The days are gone of flour drops and pancake flyins at local airports. Those days need to come back. Also, airports need to be public friendly and appear inviting, not restricting. The FAA needs to push back expensive equipment installs (ADS-B appliances) timeframes and increase training for controllers to handle “flight following requests.”

” I feel for those who are in aircraft manufacturing…. No reason to expect Obama will stop demonizing business GA aviation.”

” In my opinion, the US economy is in such bad shape that either candidate would have had difficulty coping with it. I’m not a fan of user fees – particularly since it already costs so much to fly. However money for economic recovery has to come from somewhere.”

“Hopefully people will start buying airplanes again and get down to the great business of flying again. Lets hope our leader stops criticizing business jets as well!”

” User taxes, higher gas taxes, greater penalty for being successful enough to buy an airplane.”

” It’ll be just fine. Obama is not one dimensional and he sees the economic benefits GA provides. The time for politics is over and we just need to work together for the greater good.”

 

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175 Responses to “AOPA members weigh in on GA prospects under second Obama term”

  1. Adam Shaw Says:

    The only way to de-demonize airplanes and GA is to get YOUNG people — the future — involved. Once you get the next generation aboard, the silly arguments stall, and a real consensus gains lift.

  2. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Fuel cost is the main thing stopping GA from moving foreword, get the price back to even 3 bucks a gallon and see what happens…This whole thing is a mess and I don’t see it getting better soon unless something is done about fuel prices…PERIOD

    Now the cost of LSA planes is nuts also, the FAA needs to let Cessna 150′s and Piper 140′s in there too, this weight restriction of 1350 is crazy, 150′s and Piper’s 140′s are easy to fly and trainers, even 172′s, I’m sure the Mfg’s. of LSA’s are trying to stop that from happening but what that will do is STOP GA and that’s what’s happening, airports are dead right now because no one can afford to fly, CHANGE THE RULES AND YOU WILL SEE…it will take off, there is no reason for this….done

  3. Dennis Says:

    It will be fine. I assume that because as a group most pilots are better off than the general public, I always get the feeling that most are Republicans, and are bitter thus the “apocalyptic”
    language that you are seeing here. I love flying, but there are more important things that we face. The user fees would not affect the piston aircraft, thus the middle class flyer would hardly be affected. What concerns me is the AOPA wants the fees attached to fuel which would affect everyone and be harmful, thus catering to people that benefit from the Bush tax cuts and loopholes that the middle class cannot. I think GA is dying because of business outsourcing, not because the weekend flyer has stopped loving the sky. Putting the burden on the weekend flyer with higher gas will kill the weekend flyer. The jets will still fly because, lets face it, if you can afford a jet, you can afford a user fee.

  4. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Adam, Young people can’t afford to fly, they are lucky to have a job right now and a lot of them have student loans they have to pay back, It costs 150.00 an hour to rent a 150 and an instructor, at 50 hours to get it done is 7500.00, now they have a pilots license WOW and they still can’t afford to fly, they have to pay rent and if they have a family OMG you know the rest…

    When I learned to fly gas was 50 cents and we flew every day at least an hour, the economy was very good (1974) I bought a 59 182 for 10,000 cash and was off and running, not today sorry,,,just saying

  5. harry menear Says:

    Stick a fork in us. We’re done.

  6. Ray Says:

    It almost makes me sick about Obama criticizing corporate jet use bccause he (and his wife) certainly have no issue with using tax payer dollars flying in AF One.. Well, I I guess it shouldn’t surprise me because those double standards are common with him. I don’t know how much he’s going to directly hurt GA, but I think he can hurt it much more indirectly….look at the stock market just a couple of days after the election….losing most of ones investments and the tax you until you bleed so one cannot recover….no money left to fly :-(

  7. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    To get people flying again fuel has to come way down and 150′s and 140′s in the mix, that will fix GA for now…simple huh

  8. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Ray is right on

  9. Jake Says:

    No way will I pay $100 everytime I take my plane up. Hardly anyone else will either, so their value will drop to nothing. It would be a better investment to go to Cabellas and by a pistol for whomever they send after you. It is a mistake to believe that all pilots today are well off. I know many guys who have sold their planes during this recesssion because they can no longer keep them or they do a lot of repair work themselves beyond what they are legally allowed to do.

  10. Joe Says:

    General aviation is doomed for now. Nothing in the last four years good has come out of the Democratic administration, so how could anybody think it would be any better. I live on a private airport, and there are several other airports close by. Nobody is flying much, and part time I’m at the local municipal airport. Their air traffic has dropped tremendously in the last few years. The flight school is selling off some of the duplicate planes. As a plane owner, my Cessna 210 that was once worth $120,000 is now worth maybe $80,000 or less. When I bought my 172 I paid $44,000 for it which was the going price. Now you can buy the same thing for $25,000 so airplanes aren’t a good investment anymore. My neighbor parted out his 310 because it was worth more for parts than a flying airplane. At $5.00 plus a gallon, the average person can’t afford to fly. Businesses are suffering so corporate flying is on a decline also.

  11. R. Pagano Says:

    First, I applaud AOPA’s efforts in trying to make flying affordable. I don’t think either candidate had user fees high on their priority lists. The simple bottom line is that fees in general have to go down. It puzzles me that the industry can’t figure out why young people aren’t flying and new pilot starts are down. I recently flew from my home base in NJ one hour to PA and back. I rented through the FBO and payed over $135.00/hr for an old Cessna 172. That’s over $270.00 round trip. I may as well have flown commercial. New aircraft are starting at $130,000.00 on the low end. How many people do you know that have $130,000.00 cars in their garages? The cost of ownership and flying in general is prohibitive. Aircraft purchase costs, fuel, insurance, hanger/tie-downs, maintenance, inspections and certification costs all need to be addressed. Not just user fees. Until that happens, stop being so befuddled as to why no one is flying.

  12. Trevor Says:

    I owed more on my plane than it was worth. Couldn’t sell it. Couldn’t afford to keep it hangered. Couldn’t afford to insure it. So we took it apart and stored it at my fathers warehouse until better times. I don’t think better times are on their way.

  13. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    The last 3 guys here are right on the money, the FAA needs to get it’s head out and get going with 150′s and 140′s in the LSA, few can afford 130.000 for a new one and all these 150′s and 172′s sitting around….no one can afford to fly anymore

  14. chuck Says:

    I sold my plane after flying for 36 years because it no longer is affordable. The SFRAs around Washington were more an inconvenience. The cost has become a burden.

  15. Franklin Says:

    General Aviation is in a graveyard spiral. And I’m not sure the election has all that much to do with it. Fuel prices, aircraft, parts and maintenance costs, and, of course safety are all major factors. As is declining interest in flying. It’s no longer novel or new. On a recent trip, the school children were not interested in my airplane, or my KTM dirt bike. They were interested in my iPhone 5.

    However, user fees, if implemented, will be another nail in the coffin. Mr. Obama has made it known he despises business jets. In fact, there was a presidential TFR in Orlando, FL during the beginning of the NBAA (business jet) convention, shutting down all the local airspace! His actions can be compared to those of a petulant child, and to have that behavior directed towards aviation is truly disgusting.

    Furthermore,

  16. Ray Hanson Says:

    Most people who are not invovled in aviation see anyone that flies or has a plane as “rich” and we all know how this administration feels about anyone that is “rich”. Aviation will be taxed to death. It is odd how those same people in the administration that complain about the rich are rich themselves.

  17. Mark Harris Says:

    Kiss GA goodbye for AT LEAST the next four years. This administration has no need to help GA. The more he villifies and attacks obvious targets like plane owners and fliers, the more popular he’ll be.
    According to Obama, GA – and the people who pay for it – are the problem, not the solution. Why does anyone “deserve” to fly? Walk or drive (preferably in a taxpayer subsidized GM car) like the rest of the people.

    Instead of fighting this, just sell your airplane and send the money to Obama so he can re-distribute it to someone who deserves it more than you do.

    Too late to cry about it now – the time to prevent thsi came and went 3 days ago.

  18. Dan Says:

    I can only say that in reading these comments by people I’m ashamed to be in the same organization with, that greed, racism and pure unabated ignorance is alive and well within the AOPA ranks. I thought by being a member of AOPA that I would be among enlightened people. I was wrong. Is being a member worth it? I will give that considerable thought.

  19. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Please do Dan

  20. Mark Harris Says:

    ” It is odd how those same people in the administration that complain about the rich are rich themselves.”

    Ask anyone who supports the millionaires like Obama, Reed, Pelosi, Boxer, and the others what these people have done to help the poor. The poor are worse off than they have ever been and their numbers keep growing. What you’ll probably hear is something like, “They CARE about the poor.”

    Call me crazy, but I’d rather have a job from someone who doesn’t care about me than BS from someone who claims to care as he wishes me good luck from the back of his limo.

  21. Chris Says:

    Very well put: (Ditto)

    I can only say that in reading these comments by people I’m ashamed to be in the same organization with, that greed, racism and pure unabated ignorance is alive and well within the AOPA ranks. I thought by being a member of AOPA that I would be among enlightened people. I was wrong. Is being a member worth it? I will give that considerable thought.

  22. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    I want to know how Dan and Chris would fix the problem, please tell all of us now

  23. YankyWhisky Says:

    The USA is in severe overdraft in the borrowing department,16 trillion dollars at last count,

    and I am very interested in how the citizens, companies and governments are going to tackle

    learning to live within their means. Everyone is pointing fingers at the other and no-one want to

    give up one iota of what is considered “my God given right….” In other words ” I am alright Jack

    and screw you !:”

  24. Mark Harris Says:

    RE: Tony’s comment,
    “the FAA needs to get it’s head out and get going with 150′s and 140′s in the LSA”

    That assumes that anyone in this administration cares whether anyone flies or not. Somehow I don’t see Obama attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony at an LSA factory that will allow hundreds of “rich folks” to fly more.

  25. Jonathan Marcy Says:

    As a micro-business owner, I have already felt the pressure of increased regulation and taxation. I expect that to get much worse now, to the point that the pleasure of pure flying will be sucked dry by cost and increased regulation. I had to let my currency run out in August, and now my hopes of resuming flying again are greatly diminished. Sad days!

  26. Don Says:

    AOPA should not have put this political subject up for discussion while people still have open sores. It serves no good purpose. The cost of general aviation is the problem and always has been. I can afford it now but I can not rationalize paying the the ridiculous costs of fuel, etc. Unless affordable fuel options are developed soon, I will join the exit from private GA.

  27. Jake Says:

    How is there racism here? We are talking about GA and a president’s policies. The knee jerk racism label by those that claim to be non-racist is actually helping to bring racism back. $100 user fee is a killer. What does that have to do with race?

  28. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    I don’t see this as political at all, this is common sense, IF you want to get GA going drop the price of fuel and put 150′s etc. in LSA and watch what happens, won’t take long

  29. Jim Says:

    Why is it when someone doesn’t vote for Obama we have to be a racist. I voted against him because of his first four years in office. He hasn’t done one thing for this country. And as far as racism goes, why did 95% of blacks vote for Obama?

  30. Gary Says:

    Unless we start drilling for oil here (which won’t happen now for sure).
    The price of fuel will never come down.
    I told my wife, $7.00 / gal. and we ship the plane to Africa.

  31. Jake Says:

    Maybe the waiver of the 3rd class medical requirement will help things. I wonder how that is progressing.

  32. Dan Says:

    Tony G: Your comments suggest that you embody many, if not all, of the undesirable attributes I mentioned earlier. Your “love it or leave it” mentality is exactly what we don’t need in this country or in AOPA. I can only imagine what your “real” oposition to Mr Obama is, but I suspect it has a lot to do with at least two of the reasons I mentioned. Greed and his color. He is not opposed to GA, he is for this country and is trying to do what is absolutely necessary to keep the US from falling more into third world status. GA is inherently expensive. It always has been, yes, even under conservatives and that won’t magically change under a conservative-no matter what you may wish. GA needs to pay it’s way in a country that is moving forward, not backwards as conservatives want.

  33. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    You are so lost, nothing to do with color at all, I have been a member for 40 years and have seen it all sir, no racism here just simple facts, look around sir at what’s happened to our country in the last 4 years

  34. Mike Says:

    Sigh. To the instigator of this posting: Don’t waste our time soliciting and reproducing comments on this subject unless you are willing and able to take an active role in moderating the responses, and weeding out those that are irrelevant. What we got are a few reasonable, rational, and useful responses. But unfortunately most of them are just blatant or thinly disguised polarizing and partisan rhetoric. Folks, get over it. It’s a democracy and Obama won. All the energy now needs to go into making the most of it, whatever that means to you individually, or collectively to all of us who support general aviation.

  35. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Before this guy took office gas was 187 and AV was 210, now look for once, I think Obama is doing just what he intended to and is leveling the playing field, if you don’t see it I feel sorry for you

  36. Kurt Says:

    In response to Dan’s comment: It is interesting that you believe Mr. Obama is not opposed to GA. Mr. Obama is opposed to anything he deems as an indicator of a person’s success. He made that clear when he stated that hard working self made people were not self made. They had help. It is also interesting that you mention “GA needs to pay it’s way in a country that is moving forward”… more people on food stamps that ever before, (why don’ t they pay their way?), more debt than we will ever be able to repay, an administration that allows it’s appointee’s to be murdered and withholds protection from them. You need to quit drinking the kool-aid and digesting the partisan rhetoric you spouted and evaluate facts.

  37. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    There is no reason to work hard anymore, get it !

  38. James Gosser CFII AGI Says:

    Ok, guys. I understand all of the hardships of GA, Flight Schools, LSA rules changes, and this current administration. The only thing we can do is to keep flying. GA has always been a volunteer program anyway. Why let Uncle Sam dictate our freedom. Lets quit complaining about how GA is in a “Downward Spiral” and do something about it. Fly when you can and get your local airport involved along with AOPA and lets fix this thing. Remember: To fly is to Live.

  39. Dan Says:

    I called my dealer and cancelled my plans to buy a new-to-me meridian. The cost was over 1 million. No racism here, no sour grapes, no partisan politics, just a business decision. Elections surely do have consequences.

  40. Kerry Says:

    My wife and I made a trip to the mid-west from PA this past Summer and at every airport we stopped at my wife said nobody is flying. As always she is right, with the cost of fuel most planes are sitting around not being flown. I do not fly as much as a few years ago because of the cost of fuel. I no longer go up to just fly around for just the joy of flight. Just this Summer I noticed three more planes parked in the grass at our airport and never moved.
    I know this administration puts people who are wealthy as the bad guy, taking money from other people to put into their pocket. I am by no means rich, people think because I own an airplane I have money, but because I own an airplane I have no money. Cost of fuel is a big factor.

  41. Larry Flesner Says:

    I’m ashamed to be in the same organization with, that greed, racism and pure unabated ignorance is alive and well within the AOPA ranks
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I take offense to that remark. In your ignorance, you are the first to bring race into this discussion. It is possible to disagree with someone’s political views without attributing it to the color of their skin. The ignorance and racial remark you expressed, and is shared by many, is the reason this great country is on a slippery slope in to history. Thank you very much.

  42. Kevin Alderman Says:

    Funny how it always gets shoved back to race by the liberals. Its not about race, its about being able to enjoy what we work for. I find this Robin Hood mentality absurd- no matter his motives Robin Hood was a thief. My calculus teacher many years ago showed on the board how raising prices (i.e taxes) is not always the best thing to do. Reagan proved it. His proof was simple- we used a widget made at a cost of $5.00, and tried to sell it for $20. Using market analysis he showed that we could sell so many more at $7.00 each that the profit would far exceed what would be gained at $20.00. Its called volume.

    I was a business owner for 22 years with almost 100 employees. I got tired of the annual audits, the harassment by the local, state and federal DOR, repeated harassment by OSHA when for 22 years we had only a handful of very minor unreportable incidents, etc. I was paying well over 3 million a year in payroll plus all the taxes that go with it. In 22 years my longest vacation was 4 consecutive days. Yes I made a good living, but after all of that I am now retired living off of what I earned, not generating tax revenue and not living with the daily stress of keeping most of my entire town employed. When the Administration demonizes business owners they forget the biggest factor- we do what we do because we want to. And now I dont want to because for me its no longer worth it. I didnt bother to try to sell the business, I just sold off the assets and went to the Florida Keys. As far as using GA for my business, I had offices in 3 states and my airplane is what allowed me to do that. My old Bellanca Viking (may she RIP) was parted out because it was no longer cost effective to repair her. While she was flying she allowed me to cover 3 states, conduct business, and return home the same day allowing me to get more work done and keep more employees working. My little plane let me generate business to keep 100 people working and countless subcontractors.

    My answer to the high cost of buying overpriced certified aircraft and the high cost of fuel was also simple- I am building a high performance experimental. I can burn non ethanol fuel or 100 LL, and I will have all total 1/4 in this plane what a certified plane will cost. I win, they lose.

    To the person that called this a democracy, you sir are mistaken. America is a representative republic, and our representatives have sold us out. Bottom line is this- due to the current economic and political environment I decided to “cash out” and this decision left 100 people without jobs. If the country had been more conducive to a suitable business environment that provided me with the opportunity to keep what I earned and compensated me for the millions of dollars in debt and responsibilities that I wore everyday, maybe I wouldn’t be sitting home typing on a computer at the ripe old age of 45 and those employees would be working earning money.

  43. Ed Says:

    What makes an airplane fly? MONEY!! The Cessna Skycatcher is made in China. I don’t think that helps the U.S. economy. The Skycatcher is only a foreign airplane if you consider China a foreign country. I own a 172 that I let people fly for fuel. It’s better than letting it set. The only way to make the economy better is buy U.S. We survived 4 years of Obama and I hope to survive the next 4. Support GA any way you can.

  44. Jack Brooks Says:

    I know that many are concerned about user fees and it just strikes me as a continuation of the same thinking that has caused our deficits- everyone wants what government has to offer but doesn’t feel that they should pay for it. Well, sooner or later the bill comes due.

  45. Mike C Says:

    The facts stand that President Obama keeps demonizing those that fly in private jets. By publicly calling those people out as “fat cats”, and continually slamming corporate jets as rich people that need to pay their fair share, this President has done more to harm general aviation than anyone person ever. Obama obviously does not understand the positive impact aviation has on business and commerce. His negative views on private jets will surely trickle over into affecting GA.
    AOPA should make the right stance like those at the NBAA have and inform people where the candidates truly stand.

  46. Robert Says:

    If we have a leader who demonizes corporate jet use but has no problem flying his dog and trainer in one alone for a vacation, GA is doomed. Hypocrite as leader of the free world is not a good thing for anyone. Interesting the liberals always fall back to race and being haters. I wonder who they are going to blame this time around for their failures and the end of GA as we all know it. Many pilots are not rich and their aircarft are grounded because they just can’t afford to fly anymore.

  47. Randy Says:

    I can’t afford the gas at any airport. If it wasn’t for being able to use auto gas in my plane, I wouldn’t be flying at all. I’m affraid that with 4 more years, gas will go up 4 more dollars. This will only serve to slow the economy even more.

  48. Dick Says:

    Congratulations Kevin! It was a great country and people like you played a major part in making it that way. I remember it fondly. So do my 80+ former employees.

  49. Dave Wakefield Says:

    Obama has no love for GA…except as a potential revenue source. We can expect the assaults on freedom to increase now that he won’t ever have to face voters again.

  50. Kevin Lehner Says:

    Hi Folks

    I think GA could prosper under Obama as the middle class regains its vigor in the USA. I am more worried about the angry, old, delusional members of congress who have little interest in pragmatic approaches to reducing the national debt. I believe with cooperation of congress the Obama administration can make GA affordable to more than just the very wealthy and I believe that’s good for everybody.

  51. Dan Says:

    It’s really interesting, but all the anti Obama comments only serve to make my points. Aviation is expensive, always has been, always will be. Many comments were made about gas prices and the only thing that needs be said about that is-you have been listening to republican B S and Fox to long. The executive branch doesn’t control gas prices, the oil cartels do (your businesses on steroids). Businesses need regulation and oversight. I guess Harry Truman said it perfectly: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. You who whine about regulations need to get over it. The world and this nation is moving on, either move with it or get left behind.

  52. Milton Bland Says:

    It bothers me to see a fellow pilot say that because the majority of pilots oppose Obama’s policies we must be racist. Hogwash! I am no racist as I would have supported any number of people of color including Herman Cain. But Obama hates people who are successful, and he views anyone who is a pilot as successful. He came up through the Chicago machine and that alone assures that he hates successful people, especially if they are white. I have been a pilot since 1968 and most of my close flying friends are of that vintage. We all agree that general aviation is a thing of the past, and the liberal policies of the Democrats, Obama in particular, are responsible for our demise. Our days are almost over but we had a good run. We feel sorry for the younger generations as they will never enjoy the freedoms we did. You can see our future by looking at Europe. You have to be very wealthy to fly over there. Our electorate has done what the Soviet Union could not do, eliminate the American dream.

  53. Bruce Liddel Says:

    What’s sad is that while our federal government is actively destroying general aviation and civil liberty, sexually molesting airline passengers, and now also train passengers, killing American citizens with drones (NDAA sec1027), engaging in warrantless wiretapping without probable cause, banning public protest, promoting ID theft, expanding indefinite detention, waging undeclared war in third world countries, exercising runaway eminent domain seizures, civil asset forfeitures, etc, the only issue people here on this thread (or anywhere else in our country) seem to want to discuss is whether Demoblicans or Repubocrats are “better”. These duopoly parties are in lock-step about the utter destruction of the Bill of Rights, “for our protection”, “to protect the homeland”, “because of 9/11″.

    FAA was doomed the day in the 1990s that congress removed “promote and regulate” from the mission of the FAA, and replaced it with “regulate”.

    Thomas Jefferson said something like “you get the government you deserve.” He was right. So was Ron Paul. So was Gary Johnson.

    Go ahead, shoot the messenger why don’t you?

  54. Dale Alexander Says:

    Racism? How’s this for racism…

    In my income group, my federal taxes will go up $4200 next year to support the new heatlhcare program. California passed Prop 30 which will raise my state sales tax as well as others. California now has a super-majority in both houses meaning that we residents no longer have a stop switch on our greedy legislators, Arnold passed AB 32 which will begin taxing businesses that propduce excess greenhouse gases killing the business environment.

    Last night at our monthly meeting, I mentioned that I was no longer seeking to join a partnership in an aircraft as I can’t afford it and will most likely begin looking to leave California. All these facts and I didn’t mention the presidents color or party once.

  55. Tim Beachy Says:

    Tony G., you echo so many of my sentiments, so I won’t repeat them. Say on, brother!

  56. Rick Says:

    This is my AOPA Dues at work?

    Once again the AOPA has asked the wrong question. It not the Democrats or Republicans.

    If we’re going to ask questions and incite a riot, might as well throw in religion and get down to the real issue. GOD has stretched out his mighty hand against General Aviation.

    So now what? There’s no hope! Game over!!!

    Thanks AOPA for helping the Aviation Community… Again!

  57. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Thanks Tim, I thought I was alone here

  58. Tim Beachy Says:

    Dan, the need for those regulations is unfortunate. Apparently gone are the days when you could leave the little FBO unlocked and the the plane keys accessible for the good old country folk that were legitimate and legal to fly, as well as honorable and would always honestly settle the tab. Now we have scum (of what ever color or creed) welcomed in and we all have to watch our backs. I suppose that’s the ‘FORWARD’ direction that we continue to move in. Too many feel entitled to what others earn.

  59. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    It is just so clear to me and a few

  60. James Andrews Says:

    I fly for pleasure, but at age 68 do not have a lot of money. GA and the economy will suffer even more, because of Obama

  61. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    To Tim Beachy, I was in Polson ID these year and the keys to 3 cars were there and the freezer was packed with things to eat and a micro wave, there is still hope, Graingville ID used to be the same way but that left with Frank Hill rest his sole, I was so impressed with Polson I wrote him a card when I got home and he answered me, he is still doing it and has not had a problem yet….

  62. Tim Beachy Says:

    Selfish me, I’m 51 and in the process of building a plane. Completion expected in 24 months. My fear is that I will not be able to afford it.

  63. Rick S Says:

    RE:Kevin Alderman
    A testimonial is always worth much more than an opinion. Any young people on this blog should pay triple attention to Kevin’s post. He’s talking reality. I (57) also sold out of my partnership this year. Not worth it anymore. I just hope I can continue to afford to fly long enough to give my grandchildren the experience, when they’re old enough, before I have to retire the old girl (PA23). I am already assuming that I will be the last owner.

  64. Tom Says:

    It’s over. Endless government spending and resulting Inflation will continue to ramp up GA costs beyond affordability. Regulations will throttle GA, the most obvious target is Avgas. Sadly, elections have major consequences:

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
    exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from
    the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the
    candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the
    result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always
    followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest
    civilizations has been 200 years.”
    Alexis de Tocqueville

  65. Tim Beachy Says:

    How refreshing. Sure won’t find that in FL.

  66. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Tim,…You put the money in a unlocked box on the counter

  67. John Says:

    Well, it was a good 40 years of flying, but it’s all over now. We were able to hold out for a while in hopes of a rescue, but GA will not survive another 4 years of this.

    The continual demonization of GA by the President is not survivable, nor is his attacks on anyone that tries to be sucessful enough to use GA. My plane is is storage now, will likely never fly again and will probably be scrapped eventually. It’s all such a waste that didn’t need to happen. Enjoy the soup lines Dan and Chris.

  68. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Tim, I started going to Idaho in 1974, it was all like that and a lot still is up there, I go every year to the back country and save all year to do that, this year the fuel was 2200, Big Creek and others

  69. Larry Says:

    Funny how the real racists always bring up race. I don’t like Obama because he’s a Marxist; nothing to do with his skin color. Pelosi, Boxer, Reid, Schumer, etc, etc are white and just as useless. I suggest Dan and Chris investigate what socialism really is then look at Obama’s “walk” and they will see he fits. “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a duck”. People who think like them make me wonder if they have the judgement to fly. Being in the same sky with them scares me!

  70. Tim Beachy Says:

    Tony–

    I like that area of the country, perhaps when I get my plane built…..

    In the meantime, I have a kid to put through college and other realities. Thanks for the hopeful comments. ‘We are the salt of the earth.’ Hopefully our influence can revitalize the dying GA community.

  71. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Tim, I learned to fly at Cable Airport in Upland CA in 74, I am 70 now and fine so far, I plan on flying for a while yet as long as I can afford it ya know

  72. Mark Ugelstad Says:

    I see several comments that aviation is expensive and always has been. This is not true. In the 1950s, a plane cost 2 times the price of a new car. AV gas was 40 cents a gal. and airports were everywhere. Now because of lawsuits, the master switch in my 172 costs $270. The cost of the airport is overwhelming due to congressional funding for pavement and navaids. All I need is 2400 feet of smooth grass. I don’t use ATC or towered airports or flight service.

  73. Tanika Says:

    Getting back to the original question, the answer is pretty obvious. Is GA better off after Obama’s first term, or worse off?

    It is worse off.

    So why should this trend reverse itself? GA is moving backward. We have elected a president who strongly believes that a vital part of the economy should move backward. So my question is: What is AOPA going to do about that? And why should I continue to support it?

  74. Jonathan Funke Says:

    I entered GA late in life–in my early 40s–and now, my solo XCs and the checkride are all that stand between me and my private.

    That and, of course, the economy. I agree with R. Pagano that neither candidate had it in for user fees. But I also agree with Tony about how tough it is to find the money these days when one is younger. I certain didn’t–not even in the ’90s, when I was unmarried and the economy was better.

    What I do believe is that if we solve the big problems, including the fiscal cliff and the long-term debt, GA will become more accessible, along with every other pursuit of liberty you might choose.

    Personally I believe the Simpson-Bowles commission–which the President created, and then ignored–has the right game plan for removing these huge overhangs, not just over GA but over the entire economy. If others agree, I would appreciate your support for my social media campaign for Simpson-Bowles at http://bit.ly/R5iV8j.

    Shameless plug: this is something I’ve done with a free Website I helped co-found, http://www.blastroots.com, to help people go beyond comments pages like this, and persuade their representatives to act on their ideas. If the AOPA or individuals on this thread have ideas for campaigns related to GA, I would love to hear them, and help you get started.

    In that respect, I disagree with Mark–the time didn’t come and go three days ago. We have two years of lawmaking ahead, and if you know what you want out of Congress, the tools now exist to help get it.

    Thanks to AOPA and to all the pilots who are doing what they can to keep GA within reach.

    – Jonathan Funke, jonathan@blastroots.com

  75. Bruce Kamminga Says:

    Kevin A
    I too have followed the road you spoke about, and my father before me. When Carter was elected, he gave pink slips to hundreds of folks because he saw what was coming. In 2008, after 8 years of Demacat rule in Michigan, I did the same. Taking my business to a state far more friendly to business than Michigan. Even now with the GOP in control the perpetual
    “Raise taxes and loose jobs” is still going on. They now tax welders torches plasma cutters and any thing dealing with heat and fire, when over 80% of the fires are residential. This money goes to full time fire fighters who are in the union and work a 2 day 48 hr shift, and then go work another job.

  76. Jesse Says:

    Let’s face it, this administration, whether you support it or not, is not friendly towards GA and is likely to continue to try and extract $$ from it any way they can, especially as we hurtle towards the fiscal cliff predicted by so many. It’s up to us to continue to support AOPA and EAA (among others) to help maintain a voice and a presence in this political climate so that we don’t get steamrollered by those that see every enterprise and activity as a source of funds to to put at their questionable disposal. Flying? Yes, it’s getting more expensive each day and that means that (like me) you’re probably flying less, but I’m still flying, and will continue to fly, and will continue to enjoy one of the greatest privileges in the world. I will not let the political elite take away this most wonderful activity, and I urge you to do the same, as much as you can legitimately afford. For me, that means cutting back on some other things in order to fly but I’m just not going to throw in the towel to these wolves in sheep’s clothing. Let’s stop being critical of others in the aviation community, stand shoulder-to-shoulder and speak with a determined and unified voice regardless of the roadblocks and diffculties thrown at us. Because if we don’t, GA is going to be roadkill in not too many years. Join the fight and keep flying!

  77. Jeff Says:

    AOPA, please do more than just fan the flames of everyone’s political leanings. AOPA should be spending its time discussing ways to increase efficiency, promoting new technology, and finding ways to add more people to our community.

    We’re using technology that’s basically stayed the same since the mid 1950s while the rest of the world has passed us by. Since oil is bought and sold on a global market, I don’t believe we’re going to see much savings from dramatically increasing production here in the US. Unless we’re willing to tell Exxon it can only sell its oil in this country, as soon as China is willing to pay $0.01 more per barrel, that oil is getting exported. We need to look in different directions. As a small community buying small quantities of a specialized product (avgas), we’re never going to benefit from large scale production.

    We also have to look at the manufacturers and what we’re demanding of them. The average fleet horsepower just keeps climbing. We all like leather seats and fancy panels, but those things just mean more dollars running straight out everyone’s exhaust.

  78. Tim Beachy Says:

    Tanika–

    Agreed, it isn’t nearly as accessible as it was when I learned in ’77. Simply put, the costs will have to come down for GA to survive. That means a major shift in how things are done that generate all the costs. Future for Sun ‘n Fun, Oshkosh??? Looks like the experimentals may be the only ones to have a real chance. That is why I’m building and I fear what the second Obama term may do to the EAA.

  79. Tim Beachy Says:

    Jesse–

    I’m in.

    Yes GA is worse off. The fight ain’t over.

  80. Steve Says:

    I’m not optimistic about the future of GA. Over the last decade I have watched my home airport go from a thriving aviation mecca to a virtual ghost town. When I purchased my aircraft in 1998 I had a difficult time finding a hangar (they were all full). Now you can’t give them away. In fact the local government entity that owns some of the hangars has started renting them out for storage! I still fly when I can but it is less and less every year. The reasons are simple; poor economic conditions, excessive regulations, high cost of fuel, high hangar cost, high insurance cost, high maintenance cost and excessive TFR’s. The current political climate certainly has been detrimental not only to aviation but to our entire economic system. I love to fly but I’m pretty close to selling my plane (if I can) and getting out of GA.

  81. Jonathon Says:

    I disagree with those who feel that AOPA should not have sparked this discussion, I believe you are wanting to avoid the discussion. Bravo AOPA for allowing our members to express their opinions about a very pertinent subject for all of us who fly. Amazingly, the discussion has mostly stayed on topic; probably because most of the people in the aviation community are intelligent and able to act like adults in their dialogue.
    Havng said that, it is because most of the people in our community are intelligent, that we are seeing such a negative outlook on President Obama’s re-election. It isn’t racism, elitism, or any other ism that simply looks at the facts of rising costs and the encumberance of regulation. Yes, unless we are pleasantly surprised, there are dark days ahead for GA. In my opinion, at least partially because we have elected officials whose priorities and philosophies are very much different than ours.
    Now to all the silver-haired cockpit-jockeys, I am in my late 30s; and I was able to realize my dream of flying only recently. It took alot of patience, hard work, and Divine Providence. And ultimately it was only possible because some of you took me under your wing and made your aircraft and wisdom available to me. If you are truly interested in the next generation, now is not the time to bail-out. One of the best ways to make training cost-effective for aspiring pilots is to mentor them and share with them. Young pilots need you to help them keep the dream alive. Who knows, maybe the outcome will be different 4 years from now. In the meantime, we can’t allow what is one of the greatest acheivements of American history, and the American dream – General Aviation – to die. You are critical to its continuation for those coming behind you.
    Thanks again to those who helped me along not because the government made them do it, but because they love flying and took a genuine interest in sharing that love of flying with me!

  82. Stan Says:

    General aviation has been a cherished freedom for many, including those of us (the majority I believe, who are not “rich, greedy, racist, etc). How do you kill off that freedom? Taxes, user fees, restrictions, and not least, gasoline prices through the roof. Wasn’t it the Secretary of Energy who said the price of a gallon of gasoline should be “8 or 9 dollars a gallon”?

  83. J. Geibel, CFII Says:

    General aviation need to take some lessons from the political arena and concentrate on getting its message across and getting more attention for the vital role it plays in the national economy.

    Politics is all about messaging, images and sound bites.

    A key fundamental is never let anyone else define you – which is what the problem was in the recent election, and is the problem with GA

    General aviation has allowed others to define it as primarily corporate jets. Just about no one outside of the industry knows the rest of the contributions GA makes to the economy and also to national security.

    Politicians can (and often do) reverse themselves, Few remember the “luxury tax” passed during the Reagan era (which included a10% tax on yachts)- and backed by Democrat Senators George Mitchell (Maine) and Ted Kennedy (Massachusetts) – it was a typical “make the rich pay their fair share” thing.

    Except for one problem – both Mitchell and Kennedy found out real quick that many of the shipyards were located in their home states – work fell off by 77% with many layoffs – within a year Mitchell was calling for the repeal – under the logic of “the convenience of a few isn’t worth the jobs of many” or some such logic. (Translation -political pressure.)

    So it was repealed. If politicians can’t anticipate the consequences of something as obvious as that – how will they appreciate GA unless the message is driven home?

    So GA needs to identify a key theme linked to national issues and hammer it – and also have a punch list of what they want from the political process.

    I suggest the key theme be the pending pilot shortage, and the punch list be items that can be done by the political process.

    Such as:

    > Build a central message of the ‘clear and present danger’ of the pilot short – and then reinforce it with messages of how it will effect people – in ways they didn’t know.

    As part of the political punch list:

    > Elimination of all Federal and state taxes on aviation gasoline (the preferred fuel for flight training and most of small business GA)
    > Federally-subsidized liability insurance (similar to flood insurance ) for all pilots, FBOs and GA small businesses.
    > Federal aviation training scholarships (grant money) which are forgiven if the person then works in GA as a flight instructor or for a GA small business (just like they do for doctors who practice in rural areas)
    > Aggressive contracting with GA flights schools for all military primary flight training (say Private/Instrument) – recent studies and pilot programs (no pun) have shown that the military can save millions of pilot training and have a much high candidate success rate with these efforts. Univ of North Dakota has an Army Helicopter pilot ROTC program along these lines – upon graduation, a commissioned officer and FAA-licensed helicopter pilot – all ready for Army Flight school. Similar efforts could be undertaken for pilot candidates in the reserves.

    These are just a few suggestions – I think you get the idea. And there are plenty of precedents of Federal support to other industries (automakers, farmers – you name it) so iGA asking for support is nothing new.

    But GA has to un-link the corporate jet stereotype and link to aviation jobs and the coming pilot shortage.

    Only when the messaging gets out – to the public will you see some government action. Right now, they can (and do) ignore GA – or do things like the luxury tax on yachts.

    Some suggestions for messaging:

    How about a commercial where a medevac helicopter is approaching a nasty Interstate crash – all of a sudden it disappears – as if it was never there. Someone ask a State Trooper – “where’s the helicopter?” – he says that they don’t have enough pilots – they’ll have to wait for the ambulance (wide shot of miles of backup – voiceover asks: “Will be pilots when you have an accident.?”)

    A transplant patient is told by a doctor that there isn’t a GA aircraft available to fly the organ – sorry.

    A passenger gets on a commercial jet – the pilot greets them in a foreign accent – voiceover – “Do you want foreign nationals flying US flag carriers? Ask your representative to support the Pilot Training Act”

    Similar messaging for agricultural products disappearing from supermarket shelves – “…they don’t have enough fertilizer pilots.”

    This is the type of program (political punch list and messaging) that has to be done.

    Who will do it? Is AOPA up to the challenge? Not so sure.

    But if it’s not done- you can be assured that GA will continue to decline.

    Time to stop complaining and do something.

  84. Steven H Says:

    I too have pickled the engines on my airplane and put it in storage. I’m guessing my only option will be to scrap it. Costs will only go up and regulations more restrictive. I believe the future is very bleak for GA. GA airplanes are viewed as rich guys noisy toys that pollute, waste funds that belong to the Gov. and take up airspace and clog up airports that would better serve the common good if they were restricted to airlines and Gov. aircraft only. The policys of the Fed Gov under both Democrat and Republican administrations rellentlessly has stifled any chance of an economy of thriving growth. The national debt is insurmountable. The goose (the private sector) that lays the golded eggs (from which taxes are procured) has been throttled. Without a growing economy GA is dead.

  85. Bruce Kamminga Says:

    One thing I know would help is upping LSA limits. If we could go to a system of 2′s.
    2000 lb gross limit
    2 people in the plane
    2 fuel tanks
    Less than 200 hp with fixed gear
    And hold to the rest of LSA qualifications. This would open the door to more of us.
    Along with this we need affordable fuel which for most of us is ethenal free auto gas 92 octane, and the 3 rd class waiver to make the package.
    How about it AOPA and EAA Can you help us out with a package like this?

  86. faust alvarez Says:

    the cost of fuel and increase of regulations will limited the ability of the middle class to enjoy flying. We are following the European model and that model reserves flying for goverment, airlines and the rich and famous.

  87. Dan Says:

    Tony G: I learned to fly 10 years before you did and I’m 1 year older. I still pass a first class medical; my career spans the US Air Force, Delta Air Lines and General Aviation throughout all that time. I put my sights on aviation before I was in my teens. I stayed focused and attained everything I wanted. I’ve seen aviation from just about all viewpoints and realize that aviation and those who participate in it have to change with the times or get left behind. I welcome the changes and the challenges and don’t “look back at the good ole days” because they are gone. There is only the present, not the past and we have to move with it or atrophy. Better or Worse is only in how you perceive life. The world is as you see it through your own colored glasses, but alas, it is as it is. I realize that we all have different political views and that’s OK, but to vilify Mr Obama and blame him for the difficult times GA is having is wrong. He is moving the country forward, yes, we have to move forward and accept the challenges in order to survive. GA is evolve with or without the complainers.

  88. Kevin Alderman Says:

    It seems that most of the comments are from people that understand what I said even if they didn’t live it. I could see this collapse coming but not before I lost a good bit myself. In business you know your competition, and my competitors did not agree with my decision. Each and every one of my competitors that were my size are now gone after filing bankruptcy. This not only left several hundred more out of work, it left untold debt unpaid. When we decided to close up our payroll exceeded $70,000 per week just for field workers. To keep going for another year meant borrowing 3 million. Cant do that.

    I get frustrated at the talk of the “middle class”. I didn’t consider myself upper class even though I had more than many of my employees. If I needed to run a crane or trackhoe to get the job done I would change clothes and go at it. I started business at 19 years old. for he next 2 decades I dedicated every spare dime I had to that business and almost every waking hour. None of my employees made that sacrifice. In addition, my name was on the dotted line as responsible for the debt, the mistakes, and keeping the business going. Me, not them. The “working class” worked for me, and I paid them even if I had to borrow the money to do it. And over the years I was rewarded for my efforts- as it should be.
    I am building an airplane in my garage. When I get done with it I will fly it. But, its mine. I built it. My neighbor helped me slide in one wing, but the other 700 hours and all the money to build it are mine. I get rewarded for my efforts.

    Now I must ask, how many of you would devote 700 hours in 1.5 years and much of your savings to build a plane just to take to the airport and hang the keys on the wall for anyone in a lower class or not as fortunate as yourself to fly?

    That logic would imply that any sitting plane at the airport belonging to a person with more money than I do (There is a nice new Cirrus at my airport that sits almost all the time) should leave the keys in it for me to fly whenever I want. But, I didn’t work for nor pay for that plane, its not mine. Nor is the results of my labors anyone else’s.

    As far as the comment about paying for government services- you sir are wrong. We do pay for these services through fuel taxes and other taxes. The last 2 years I worked at the business I paid over $350K each year in income taxes and corporate taxes. I have paid my share and then some.

    Now for another math lesson- my home state is NC. The state income tax is just under 8%. The average wage is around 35K. That means on average each taxpayer pays 2800 per year in income taxes. The average government worker wage in NC is 71K. So, it takes 25.5 peoples income tax to pay for 1 government worker. In NC, the government worker to private worker ratio is 1:10. There is no way for income taxes to even pay for the salaries of the government workers. So, they add property, sales, transfer, fuel and any other taxes they can. And they still cant make it work.

    The answer is simple- eliminate most government service positions. My company could pave roads for 1/3 what the state pays state workers to pave the same road for. This includes teachers, fire departments, etc.
    Make the governments balance the budget every year. No debt. Ever.
    With every law that is considered, if it limits ingenuity and opportunity, kill it and throw it in the trash.

    RULE 1: My rights end where yours begin, and vice versa. I have no rights to what you have, you have no rights to what I have. But I would be happy to go flying with you because we should all help our fellow man to rise above where we are now. We should all each and every one strive to be better tomorrow than we were today. That includes personally, intellectually, financially.

    Now lastly, for the comment about God. I am a Christian, conservative, father, husband, etc. I do not throw God at you, nor the Bible. However- if you have Bible you should read it. It is full of information that will help you throughout life. Like II Thess 3:10. A man that does not work shall not eat. This means that everyone should work. If nothing else to grow your own food.
    Proverbs says a debtor is slave to the lender. This means more than dealing with money. If you have to depend on someone else for something that you need i.e. healthcare- you are a slave to them and will do whatever they want you to do to get it.
    Just like the US is dealing with Oil. If you have to buy it, you will pay the asking price.

    But after we have positioned ourselves to take care of ourselves, we have the Golden Rule- do unto others. If your crops fail, I will help you have enough to eat. If your plane dies, we can fly mine while we fix it. But I will fight any attempt you might make to take what I have worked for if you didnt work just as hard as I did. If you didn’t plant crops this year, you might be really hungry by Spring.

    Thats my America. We all work to make it better. Not because a law was passed, but because of who we are.

    If you guys want some interesting information look up Russias health care system. And tax system, and etc. They were Communist- they tried the path we are going down and learned a lot. Look it up. Look it up, look it up.

    And “Opportunidades” in mexico- where free health care wasn’t enough. They had to pay the people to use the free health care.

    And to bring this back to the original question- I think free enterprise and GA are on the way out in this country. People cant afford gas now, in 4 years it’s projected to be $7.00. With avgas trending 3.00 higher than auto gas, thats 10.00 a gallon for avgas. It just wont fly and neither will we.

  89. Jay Says:

    I am a student pilot. Flying is expensive, but I fly as much as I can. Those of you who are letting your airplanes sit could help by selling your plane or starting up a partnership or club. The airplane will be much happier in the air than rusting on the ground, and you will help make flying more affordable. I cannot afford an entire airplane, but would be happy to share with two or three others in the same situation. Can we not help each other?

  90. Dan Oberste Says:

    Wow, I sure expected a higher level of discourse here. Posts have been high on bombast, low on specifics and only rarely on topic. I’m open to hearing how the current President has decimated GA. I keep hearing that he’s raised gas prices and how he’s both raised and lowered the cost of airplanes?!? “planes are too expensive!” “the value of my airplane has dropped!” What I have seen from him is a continued commitment to Next Gen ATC! That is HUGE for us! Google “Obama Next Gen ATC” to see what he and Congress have approved. $63 BILLION! over 4 years! That is the kind of money that private business could never commit to. The Houston area fast track Obama signed cut through red tape and environmental regulations to get this thing going.

    Yeah, flying is expensive. Always has been. The concept of the $100 hamburger pre-dates this President. The earliest reference I can find was during Ronald Reagan’s term. Sure, we’ve now moved into the $200 hamburger range now, but it was a trend long in coming.

    Gas prices WILL continue to rise. It has less to do with how much oil we’re pulling out of the ground today, and more with how little there is left in the ground. Geologists have a damn good idea of where and how much oil is in reserve and oil prices reflect that. We COULD pull more from the ground today to temporarily lower prices, but that would just put the day of reckoning off on you children. I’d like for my grandchildren be able to afford to fly too! I’d be willing to bet that airplanes will be the LAST contraption to adapt to alternative or renewable fuel, so we need to be the ones protecting that dwindling commodity for the looooooong run.

    The free market concept of “supply and demand” will dictate gas prices, and as I’ve explained above, the story of long term supply is already written. So our focus should be on long term DEMAND. Short term or artificial lowering of gas prices today will only increase demand, both here in USA and worse, in overseas third world countries. President Obama’s increase in CAFE standards is the first step in this strategy. But we airplane flyers need to lead the way in getting every gasoline user that doesn’t HAVE to use gas, to stop (or reduce) using gas. Commuter cars should be electric. I think it’d be great if every household had and electric car for commuting and errands, and a gas, diesel or LNG vehicle for road trips and hauling the boat or travel trailer on the weekends.

    Trains would be a good choice for electrification to reduce the demand on diesel. Increasing the amount of freight on rail would reduce the number of trucks on the highways (even more conservation). Highspeed electric trains would reduce the number of people flying short distance trips. I can see why some of us here in this forum might be opposed to that, but if we keep our eyes on the goal of low priced AV gas for our kids, it might be seen as a worthy trade off.

    Put away your partisan knives, and if there are specific obstacles that the President or the Congress are erecting in our way, tell everyone here what they are so that we can lobby our Representatives to change. Only specifics will help. Nobody listens to rambling rants.

    Be careful out there!

  91. Jeff Says:

    Dan – well said, could not agree more.

    Ships, trains, and land vehicles can be powered by something else, we’re going to be relying on dead dinosaurs for aircraft for a long time. Lets use as little as possible.

  92. Kevin Alderman Says:

    Jay, I thought about this when my VIking was still flying- until I had to sign a waiver to get in a friends new Cirrus. To keep his insurance affordable, he was provided a waiver for passengers to sign before they could fly. Last year at an EAA Young Eagles day, a parent threatened to sue a pilot after a flight. Her child was one of 3 kids that flew in this C172. Just after takeoff the child became scared. The pilot entered the downwind and landed as soon as he could. This child supposedly was jaded from flying ever again and it was the pilots fault.
    Bottom line is this- my plane doesn’t cost me that much to sit there, and at any rate much less than a lawsuit.

    The cost of flying is prohibitively expensive mainly due to over regulation. A static wick on a 172 is almost $60.00. A shimmy damper is over $800. An engine for my 600 HP truck we pulled heavy equipment cost $9500 to replace. The crankshaft in my viking was almost 8k. A new engine for my viking is $54K, and for this you get 1968 technology in 2012. Absurd. I can put tracks on a JD650 dozer cheaper than I can buy a 40 lb prop for the plane. The loads on dozer tracks are hundreds of times the loads on a prop.

    When the costs for flying come more in line with what Mr Piper had in mind with the Cub we will get to fly again as a Nation. As long as the government is involved, especially a government that uses it to incite division between groups of people GA and America cant prosper.

  93. Kevin Alderman Says:

    Put away your partisan knives, and if there are specific obstacles that the President or the Congress are erecting in our way, tell everyone here what they are so that we can lobby our Representatives to change. Only specifics will help. Nobody listens to rambling rants.

    Dan, here is the information that you asked for:

    Obstacle 1: The President paints me as “rich” and denigrates my choice to own a plane.

    As I have stated here, my Viking blew the engine and it wasn’t cost effective to replace it. Before that, when I had business in NC, or as far up as NJ I flew. I could leave here and land just South of KRDU in just over 4 hours. I took care of business and was home by supper. Without my plane I have to drive for 15 hours each way, stop at a motel for 2 days and multiple food stops. And on top of that I miss 2 additional days at work. But because I have a plane that makes better use of my time I am considered out of touch and to be punished for it.

    Obstacle 2: Following the Presidents lead, local governments are pursuing aircraft owners- SC has legislation in place that if your plane is in SC on the ground for 60 days in a year- not consecutive- they will send you a bill for more than double the local property tax rate. But its a “fee” because your plane cant be subject to property tax in more than one location.

    Look it up.

    Obstacle 3: Fuel prices. Obama has made it clear that he intends to make oil and coal too expensive to use as energy sources. His investment in Solyndra was an attempt to push that agenda forward. If failed miserable. The free market knows that this is the direction to go and when the technology is available we will move in that direction. Apple couldnt make the Ipad until the technology was here to make it. To try to force something that isn’t possible is crazy. Add to that the fact that there is more oil in the Bakken oil fields than the US can use in over 100 years and it is also un-ncessary. The planet didn’t decide some years ago to stop the process that created oil- in fact wells in Texas that were dry 50 years ago are pumping again. The planet is still making oil.

    Obstacle 4: Demonizing anyone that owns a business or is successful. Lets face it- the average person has no need to fly up the East Coast to conduct business and be home by supper. However, a business owner that flies to NJ from Florida to sign contracts that employs people does have this need. So the Obama Administration should applaud anyone that has a need to make the best use of their time to conduct their business because it is these people that employ the country.

    My business wasn’t the auto industry or even Caterpillar- but we had 6 company cars, 12 pickups, 3 dumptrucks, 2 over the road trucks and a few million dollars worth of heavy equipment. And now our cycle of replacement of these assets is gone and so are the purchases of the equipment. Meaning the loss of other jobs to make the equipment. And the cycle continues.

    This administration doesn’t appreciate or respect the impact that the hundreds of small businesses have on the US Economy. My company did 15 million a year in revenue and spent the majority of it conducting our business. That my friend is the engine that keeps America going, not the government. And this administration doesnt understand that concept. And to keep on subject, which is why this will be detrimental to GA in America.

  94. Chris C Says:

    Quoting Tankia
    “Getting back to the original question, the answer is pretty obvious. Is GA better off after Obama’s first term, or worse off?
    It is worse off.
    So why should this trend reverse itself? GA is moving backward. We have elected a president who strongly believes that a vital part of the economy should move backward. So my question is: What is AOPA going to do about that? And why should I continue to support it?”

    Quoting Mike C
    “AOPA should make the right stance like those at the NBAA have and inform people where the candidates truly stand.”

    +1 – I felt this leading up to the election and feel that our organization has failed to truly take a stand FOR general aviation and inform us of where the candidates truly stand. Instead they have apparently tried to bide their time and keep all doors open or were afraid to speak out against politicians that truly hurt GA and it’s members ability to participate in it.

    For the first time in well over a decade I may not renew my membership. I can no longer afford to fly, haven’t been able to in a couple of years already. My healthcare costs have gone up over 40% in the past 3 years, and we have poorer coverage than we did 4 years ago. Being self employed, we pay more for healthcare than housing, transportation, and utilities combined. There is no way to pay it and do anything else. The cost of gas, devaluation of the dollar leading to everything else going up in price, and increase in taxes on the middle class make it impossible for me to fly any more. (oh wait, the politicians say they are helping the middle class so I can’t be right – no, wait again, I watch my finances closely and I am right).

    “What do you think the prospects for general aviation will be in a second Obama term? ”

    Poor, very poor indeed and this is reflected by the majority of comments to this very very poor article and after-the-fact question. Why didn’t AOPA use the facts from the FIRST Obama term to outline the prospects BEFORE the election? Then I would have felt that my dues were wisely used and our organization was truly trying to take a stand for GA by educating our membership.

    Poor show AOPA – and poor article.

  95. Kevin Alderman Says:

    Building on Chris Cs statement- I read what AOPA wrote about the candidates before the election. Basically it was a few questions and answers with no clear stance. You can tell and I am not afraid to stand firm and tell you that I think the Obama Administration will do long standing harm to our nation over the next 4 years. \

    The question now is how many of the AOPA members voted for the president and how many might have changed their minds if AOPA had taken a stance?

    The President can support union manufacturing all he wants to, but if there aren’t businesses to buy the planes these businesses and their jobs will go away. This is evident already with the cutbacks at Cessna, Hawker going bankrupt, Sikorsky moving manufacturing and cutting jobs and the list goes on. My company bought 4 new trucks a year with a MSRP of almost 50K each for a fully equipped work truck- and now we arent buying them. GMs biggest customer base isnt the private sector it the Federal Government.

    So its apparent from some posts which way some voted, but would anyone have changed their minds if AOPA had taken a stance?

  96. John Gebhard Says:

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”

    Sound familiar? The health of General Aviation is directly correlated to the amount of individual freedom and liberty that exists in our country. Our president is a Marxist. He’s surrounded himself with like thinking minions. Collectivists. GA has no place in the current regime.

  97. Dan Oberste Says:

    Kevin! You’re blaming Obama for decisions by South Carolina?!? Let’s see…
    Gov. Niki Haley (R)
    Sen Lindsey Graham (R)
    Sen Jim DeMint (R)
    5 of 6 Congressmen (R) 83%
    27 of 46 State Senate are (R) 59%
    76 of 124 State Rep’s are (R) 61%
    How can you blame Obama for those? Your problem in SC is more of a Tea Party problem. Tea Partiers are the party of User Fees. Cutting the size of government is what shifts the costs to users.

    Obama demonizes business? Plane owners? That’s where I want specifics, cause it just ain’t true. If you’re referring to his call to stop the accelerated depreciation tax loophole for corporate jet owners, he wasn’t demonizing, he was just shining some sunlight on them. It’s a sweetheart deal put into the tax code that I doubt you can take advantage of, unless you own a jet or a yacht or a NASCAR team. It’s corporate welfare, plain and simple. A payoff to big donors that should be seen as bribery and kickback.

    Investment in alternative energy isn’t an attempt to make oil and coal too expensive to use. It’s an attempt to reduce the demand on them, which would actually make them LESS expensive to use. (see my supply and demand comment) Solyndra was an attempt to overcome the skyrocketing price of silicon. But it turned out that those prices were artificially driven up my market manipulators in China who recognized Solyndra as a threat so they drove prices down to kill their competition. In hindsight, it’s clear that Solyndra was a bad business model, but there were dozens of venture capitalists at the time who invested much more than the Federal Government did, believing silicon prices would stay high.

    100 years of oil doesn’t disprove my statement about dwindling supplies. My grandchildren will be alive when that 100 years is over. It’s true that the earth is still making oil, but only at a rate about 100,000 times too slow to keep up with current consumption. I’m looking at the future. A future beyond my lifetime, but not beyond that of people I love.

  98. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Well it’s nice to see you guys are still at it, good discussion here and not political as far as I’m concerned, TWO things we-they could right now

    Get the price of fuel down to 3 bucks a gallon

    Put Cessna 150′s and Piper 140′s in LSA

    And do it RIGHT NOW now, no reason to wait 3 years after beating it up for that long, just do it now and I guarantee flying will take off again, put 172′s and 180′s in there too

  99. Joe Logan Says:

    I’ve been an pilot since 1968 (entering my 45th year) and AOPA member since 1970, I’ve seen many changes lived through many difficulties, the biggest threat i see now is not so much the incompetence and lack of business understadning of this administration, but the reduction of our pilot ranks.
    I was a professional pilot in the early 1970′s, and witnessed first hand the growth in rank and enthusiasm in aviation, sadly it’s diminsihing because of a host of issues including lack of (sincere) governmental interest and support, other than the typical politician back slapping and smile for your vote
    Without intending to sound fatalistic, I’m afraid our best days as aviators have been realized.

  100. Chris C Says:

    Dan, enough with the excuses excuses. Solyndra wasn’t clearly a bad business model in hindsight but also in foresight as was blowing BILLIONS on failed stimulus policies that only resulted an a quid-pro-quo free for all and politicians padding their pet project coffers at the expense of our national debt. Over 100 new federal regulations in the past few years (more than double any other president) strangling our ability to compete, and putting over 800 workers of one of the only entirely US made automobiles out of work for a year. It’s one failed policy after another, with the insurmoutable national debt (never seen historic levels), downgrades of the US credit rating for the first time(s) in history, unemployment rates, and faltering economy to prove it.

    Let’s get our heads out of the sand, please. If you don’t think Obama has demonized business then you’re not paying attention plain and simple. You bring up the term corporate welfare, of which this administration is king.

    It’s clear from your last post that you are a solid partisan. As an independant voter, it becomes hard to relate as if I vote for a candidate that does not live up to their promise, or does a truly horrible job I will gladly vote them out of office rather than make excuse after excuse for them. Voting is not like trying to win at some partisan game, it’s trying to hire the best person for the job. You are also attempting to discredit a list of politicians that include some of the only honest members of congress that would set term limits on their own positions, and end congress playing on a different field than the rest of the Americans that elect them.

    I greatly respect and completely agree with your last statement, and also look to the future of people that I love. Just remember whenever politicians get involved in that future it rarely turns out well. Let us not forget and forgo the guiding principles in our US constitution that made us the greatest country in the world in the shortest period of time and pass along the freedoms, liberties, and opportunity for success to our children and grandchildren.

    As for the article that sparked this, is GA is better off than 4 years ago? Even if your answer is an honest no, I’m sure some will find excuses why the president and his policies are not to blame. As to the next 4 years, only time will truly tell, and as the elections are over the path is somewhat set. At that time I hope you will make a promise to yourself to honestly evaluate the situation of the country and GA in relation to our governments policies without any excuses and ask yourself if we are handing our future generations the gift that our forefathers fought so hard to hand to us.

  101. Tom L Says:

    Just a short response to Kevin’s claim that:
    “The planet didn’t decide some years ago to stop the process that created oil- in fact wells in Texas that were dry 50 years ago are pumping again. The planet is still making oil. ”
    Sorry Kevin, but you have been misinformed about this. You might want to read up on it.

    Shale oil (e.g. from the Bakken formation you mention) is a last-resort fossil resource because it’s so expensive and energy intensive to extract and synthesize. It’s only worth extracting precisely _because_ our precious AVGAS is so expensive. Don’t look to the shale formations for lower fuel bills.

    The only way we’d see $2 Avgas is if the rest of society (including the Chinese) suddenly switched away from using oil. If, over night, all cars were suddenly electric or whatever, that’s how we’d get to see cheap aviation fuel. That isn’t likely though is it, so get used to $6 and rising.

  102. Dan J. Says:

    Dan O: You and I seem to agree on the major issues here. General Aviation is having to deal with a changing economic and energy base. Oil is extremely limited and the end is pretty much in sight. You are absolutely correct, Mr Obama has never said he would make oil and coal to expensive to use. Let us not forget that those industries have formed cartels to control the supply that goes on the market, therefore controlling prices. Mr Obama is more business friendly than Romney because he is committed to rebuilding the middle class, which has almost been destroyed by trickle down economics. A strong middle class is the essense of a strong country and economy. The world economy is changing with China and India competing for the remaining energy supplies. The price will go up and governments can’t control it. Unless, of course, they nationalize the industries, but that would end in catastrophy. General aviation will adapt or it won’t survive and I can’t imagine that happening.

  103. Kevin Alderman Says:

    Dan, I am not blaming Obama specifically but he is the president. I personally don’t think the President has, constitutionally speaking, the power that he is credited with. The almost 1000 executive orders aside the power in government is spread out. Its the MINDSET of the government that is the problem.

    First, lets delve into the budget. If you look up the CBO budget for 2013 to 2020 you will first see that there can never be again a balanced budget. If you add the line items for interest on the national debt and mandatory spending i.e. entitlements, these alone exceed the revenue from taxes- all of them not just income taxes. The government could be shut down completely- no dept of education, energy, defense, none of it and there still would be a deficit.

    Next lets see what drives the economy- spending. In my business I took advantage of depreciation to buy new equipment and move my older equipment out. Without the tax advantages of depreciation, I would have kept my equipment until it wouldn’t move anymore and then scrap it. Thats not corporate welfare, that is a tax system encouraging you to buy large items to keep the economy moving.

    Next lets jump into capital gains- the low tax rate on capital gains encourages investment. The American people are in debt deeper than any nation on the planet- just like our nation itself. That is not an Obama problem, its again a MINDSET.

    As Dave Ramsey says, fiscal responsibility is 20% knowledge 80% behavior.

    SC was an example, but this type of thinking has pervaded every corner of government. Florida just changed its aircraft laws- if you already owned an aircraft and moved it here they wanted sales taxes on it. If it was here for 6 months you got a tax bill. You could send it to Florida for repair bringing thousands of dollars in revenue here and they would still send you a tax bill. The result- the planes stopped coming.
    The result in SC, planes and boats left the state. I know my boat and plane left the state never to return.

    Its not Obama, its the government and the governments refusal to recognize what drives this economy. Small businesses and their employees. Its that easy. You simply cant seem to get past the partisanship and the love of Obama to see what I am trying to tell you.

    Here in Monroe County Florida the people voted last year to 1. raise taxes. 2. spend money for capital improvements at schools on teacher raises. Monroe county has lost in excess of 10% of its residents per year for 3 years running, due to high cost of living and fewer jobs. Lower population means more service and entertainment industries out of business, fewer jobs, less tax revenue, etc. Now, they have expended the capital fund, have no money to fix the school buildings and the teachers still want more $. The answer: the portable classrooms left this year because there was no $ to lease them or repair them, class size increased and the kids scores dropped. Over 75% of the students in Florida didn’t pass the FCAT last year. So they lowered the passing score.

    The answer to the whole thing is so easy. If you want what I have, work as hard as I did to get it. If you want to own a plane and a yacht, by golly get an education and go to work. Start a business, make something better than ever before and enjoy the benefits of your labors. Dont sit around and cry because someone has more than you.

    As far as the energy situation- I cannot agree with you. Cars were invented without input from the government, airplanes the same, computers the same, etc. Burt Rutan put a man into space for pennies on the dollar compared to NASA and I could go on forever and ever.
    The government is only good at taking from working people and blowing it, and killing people. Thats it.

    My wife works for a large hospital group in S Florida. Now that the election is over, here is what just came down as an edict-

    1. hiring freeze- open positions will stay open.
    2. Raises are limited to half last year.
    3. Executives get no raises.
    4. Travel expenses cut to 1/4 last year including travel for education.
    5. 2 of 6 hospitals just closed several wings to cut costs.
    6. Reducing the numbers of doctors
    7. Reducing the numbers of Nurses

    As of 2013 this hospital will opt in for the government health care program- my wife was told that the “penalty” was 100 million less than paying for health insurance so the hospital will pay the penalty and drop the insurance. I have the email.

    You were sold a bad bill of goods and cannot see it yet. Its coming I promise you. Its coming.
    GA and our entire way of life is changing.
    At my local airport I see almost every week 150s 152, 172s being dismantled and stuffed into containers going to South America. In Brazil the economy is booming and most of these planes are going there. People that can leave are. When the US was the best place on the planet people from all over the world came here. Now that has changed and the best and brightest are leaving. Cant blame it all on Obama, but he has accelerated it greatly over the past 4 years.

    And if you want more proof- look at your 401k and the stocks for the past couple of days.

    The market responded to the election- look closely at health care stocks- down. Not the response of an industry that is looking forward to growth and prosperity over the next 4 years.

    I have more- the Monroe County Sheriffs department had 3 helicopters- now they share one with EMS. They had 3 mosquito spray planes- now 1. Had 1 county plane for observation and transport- its gone. KMTH fuel is 6.53- and the ramp is less than 1/3 of what it was when my Viking was there 2 years ago. The FBO has gone to charging a 15.00 facility fee because fuel sales are down so much- the county charges them 10K lease per month to be there. They have already told the county they may shut down and the county is trying- in vain- to get another operator in. The county is looking for a private company to come in and run the airport completely to try to get more people to use and bring revenue to the area.

    I dont blame Obama, he, like you, dont seem to understand basic economics. I say again, look up Russias health care system and their tax code.

  104. Kevin Alderman Says:

    Dan J, you are wrong sir

    Obama said that if you try to build a coal power plant you would go bankrupt under his administration. He said it.

  105. Chris C Says:

    Dan J, if you believe Obama is more business friendly, then I just don’t know what to say as you are clearly ignoring the facts. Passing over 100 new federal regulations is not business friendly. Do you own a business or are self employed? I am, and am also a member of the struggling middle class. Obama can SAY as many times as he wants that he is committed to the middle class, but his actions and policies indicate otherwise. He is NOT for the middle class, and has done not one single thing to help me or my family. Then again I am not asking for help, just to stop putting weight to break my back and allow me to work and earn my own way. I am barely keeping my head above water with the changes in health insurance that have resulted in my rates going up over 40% in the past 3 years.

    The problem is most of this country does not know their finances, nor do they know business. I have personal experience with both. I wish everyone had to do what I do – collect 100% of the pay that you work for, and then sit down and write checks to the government for taxes. THEN each of us would understand how much of our money is being wasted, and when our taxes really go up or down. Instead most simply collect their pay after taxes are taken out and never understand or realize the reality. Most do not read the 30 page outlining their health insurance coverage and never realize how much they really pay and for what.

    I honestly don’t know about the “end” of oil being in sight, but remember when magazines like american scientific and popular mechanics were indicating that was the case 20 years ago. How do we know if the end is in sight when we are not using the resources we have right here in this country in the first place?

    You are right about a strong middle class, but you fail to realize that historic levels of national debt will always fall on the backs of the middle class by virtue of the numbers. Obama has failed the middle class, and no amount of demonizing or taxing “rich” people will fix it, the burden will always be on the middle class. While governments may not be able to “control” energy prices they can level the playing field especially with countries like China who rely on us. Do you know how easy it is to import from China? Try exporting to them. Governments can make wise decisions, ours under Obama is not. Once again, stop making excuses for this administration and honestly and completely. Ask yourself if you are ever critical of what Obama says and research if his statements match his actions. Obama doesn’t even know what it means to be business friendly, he has never run a business and his failed policies prove this to be the case. If he is so for the middle class why is he allowing congress to continue over 3 years without a balanced budget while racking up historic levels of national debt? These burdens will always fall on the middle class without exception.

  106. Jeffey Clarke Says:

    General Aviation in Fort Myers, Florida seems to be doing just fine, and with the three flying clubs to choose from, it should stay that way for quite some time, no matter what kind of legislation takes place. Sure, if the price of fuel would come down, flying would be so much affordable.

  107. Chris C Says:

    Kevin A – You’re trying to confuse these people with facts, stop it and just listen to the president already – this administration is pro business and for the middle class. Everything will be great if we just let him do what he wants to do. Oh, and trying to use the experience of other countries to see our own pitfalls? Now that’s just silly.

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Thank you for sharing facts, I just hope it encourages others to dig more for their own facts locally and nationally and form opinions based on them rather than empty campaign promises and partisan loyalty.

  108. John Brewer Says:

    Wow, pilots are usually an upbeat group of people but not this group of responses to your question. I am a Canadian and pay $8.00 a gallon for aviation fuel and fly a light twin for enjoyment. I don’t carry a lot of debt so I can afford my passion of flying. I was recently to Nashua, NH on a Flight Simulator Course and the GA planes were constantly in the air. They just put in a new runway and were tearing uo the old one so at least in this area aviation is doing just fine. Sure there are problems that need to be solved in aviation. I received my licence back in 1967 and it was just as expensive back then as wages were extremely low compared to now. Negative thinking never got anyone anywhere. AOPA is a strong, politically savvy organization so I believe things will work out. Besides where are all those thousands of new airline pilots going to come from?

  109. Steve Alonso Says:

    1. UAS/Drone use will skyrocket and close a lot of airspace to GA operations. Government employees at the controls of the UAS assets will kill some of us in mid-airs and of course be absolved of liability by the Government. Massive use of NOTAMS for local and state and federal operation (except those which are security-related.

    2. User fees will happen and fuel taxes will go up substantially.

    3. Forget any legal liability reform.

    4. GA will have less influence at the FAA.

  110. Bruce Atkinson Says:

    Robert-I think we all know who the administration will blame when their plans fail-those that feel businesses are important for employment and for the economy to work. Big government with higher taxes and more regulations is going to sink this country. The president wants everyone to know-”my way is the only way, or I will take my ball and go play golf (Nobody likes us so Michele and me will suck our thumbs while we ride Air Force One to Hawaii. The dog is following on the next flight.)

  111. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Well it’s nice to see you guys are still at it, good discussion here and not political as far as I’m concerned, TWO things we-they could right now

    Get the price of fuel down to 3 bucks a gallon

    Put Cessna 150′s and Piper 140′s in LSA

    And do it RIGHT NOW now, no reason to wait 3 years after beating it up for that long, just do it now and I guarantee flying will take off again, put 172′s and 180′s in there too

    Does anyone read these, this would solve the problem right now, 150′s and 172′s cost less than 20-40 grand, GET IT, LSA’s are 130,000 grand, you can run car gas in them or AV gas at 550 a gallon, they burn 6 and 9 respectively…..now you can fly…this 1350 rule is stupid when a 150 is much easier to fly….

    Please quit beating this up about politics and racist and all the other things I read, just fix this with the FAA and most of us can fly for a while yet…

  112. Bonanza Babe Says:

    Regardless of what happens to GA, Obama ‘s reelection means greater inroads for socialism in America. Those who voted for him sold out this once great country – as well as their very own souls – to a community organizer with no real job experience, who promised great things but in reality, is delivering us all into bondage. I seem to remember another country that did something similar with an Austrian paper hanger…

  113. George Says:

    I lost a 35 year career in corporate aviation in 2010 due to the economy and the presidents negative attitude toward corporate aviation. This election spells the end of GA as we have known it. I have not flown in two years since losing my professional career, can’t afford to fly any more.
    What am I doing now to support my family, selling lawn mowers.

  114. Sam P Says:

    I am retired now and have somewhat of a lesser income. I am reluctant to fly anymore due to fuel costs. My C182 uses about 14 gph and at $5.50/gal it cost me $77 per hour just for fuel. I am going to try to get my airport to install ethanol free Mogas 91 octane in an attempt to lower fuel costs. A dollar fifty or so less would really help. We are also looking at starting a flying club to lower costs. I may put my plane in the club to lower ownership costs.

  115. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    I feel like NO ONE IS LISTENING, In the short term, get 150′s and 172′s in the LSA court, they are easy to fly and very affordable right now, then go after user fees and the such, PEOPLE, This is NOT complected at all, one baby step at a time, the FAA is the problem right now and you need to fix that first…

    OK, older folks can not afford a LSA for 130,000 or more and most of them can’t fly a Champ or a Cub so they just give up and that’s sad, the FAA needs to change the weight to take in 150 and 172 and like Pipers for now and the problem goes away for now, limit the 172 and Piper 140′s to two people only, most all these folks have flown these all their lives and it would be no problem to continue….then fight the government about user fees and all that stuff but for right now do this and it will fix GA for a while, WE must get the GOVERNMENT out of our business and right now, this is getting very old indeed..

  116. Joe Says:

    Jeffery Clark……what planet are you on?? I fly into Ft Myers several times a week. I can tell you for sure that General aviation is suffering. Why don’t you tell us how great Lehigh Acres is doing too??? What a joke…..Ft Myers is on the balls of their ass…..Hey, by the way….if you want, I’ll give you the fuel delivery numbers from last month and 5 years ago…..same mionth.

  117. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Joe, anyone can tell flying is way down, I’m in Lake Havasu City and I was out at the port today and there are hardly any planes on the ti downs like 2 years ago…sad

  118. Dan Oberste Says:

    I agree with Tony G. We need to get GOVERNMENT out of our business right now! Shutdown the FAA, decommission all VORs DMEs etc. fire all the air traffic controllers, bulldoze all government funded airstrips, deorbit all those GOVERNMENT owned GPS satellites!

  119. Maynard McKillen Says:

    The question is problematic. The next four years is too short of a time frame in which to see any significant change, let alone extrapolate it. The question also errs by placing too much importance on the presence of the President-elect in the Oval Office.
    The question was, however, broad enough to allow some pseudo-therapeutic venting from the political right. This includes tired old misstatements about the scope of User Fees, apocalyptic predictions about how ending entitlement for corporate-jet flights will seal the demise of GA, and a few attempts to pin this all on the President-elect.
    We all know the decline of GA began long before Mr. Obama took the Oath of Office. Decades of supply-side economic policy coupled to deregulation have saddled the middle class with too much of the tax burden, while wealthier Americans enjoy unearned tax breaks and entitlements. This my friends, is the real class warfare. And with the decline in our middle class has come a hollowed out economy and growing income disparity. Should anyone really wonder at the decline in GA?
    This is to say the decline of GA is not an isolated phenomenon in an otherwise vigorous economy. Legislate an economy that works for all Americans and you reinvigorate the all-American avocation and profession we call GA.

  120. Ken Says:

    I just got my Private ticket this year. It cost me $7500.00 and 4 years paying one hour at a time.
    I was committed to complete my dream. I wanted to fly since I was a little boy and now I’m 57.
    To the point now. Wake up and smell the coffee. Obama helped the mess we are in and will do nothing to help to stop it.. Romney would do no better. They all work for the central banks that high jacked our country. Look at the want adds in Barnstormers and Aero Trader. For Sale due to the Economy on a lot of adds. A.O.P.A will do nothing to help. they can’t. Only the pilots can fix this. STOP FLYING. And I mean all pilots, until we get what we want. That would get things done. Wake up. We run the show. Not the government or the banks. User fees my ass.
    Yes I’m mad at fuel costs as well and LSA for thinking they actually have 130 grand in their airplanes. A Sonex can be built for $30,000.00 and out fly them all. Don’t buy their crap until they lower the cost.
    It has been our fault as well for not saying simply ” I will not Comply” collectively.

  121. Chris Pfaff Says:

    B. Hussein Obama has, for four years, been a Terrorist-in-Chief. He has ruined America’s morality, immigration LAW, and economy. He is a Muslim sympathizer, NOT a Christian, as he lies about.
    The real reason this Terrorist was re-elected is because the Republican Party elite are just as corrupt and Socialist as the Democrats. These elite keep giving us liberals like McCain & Romney. Make sure you understand: it is the Republican Elite’s fault we have the Terrorist again.
    When the Republicans send us moral Conservative candidates, who are Pro-Life, Pro-Man/Woman ONLY marriage, Pro-Existing Law (particularly, but not exclusively regarding immigration), and Pro-Balanced Budget, then they will overwhelmingly, landslidingly, completely win elections. No more of this Socialist crap they give us!
    And AOPA needs to take the above stands, too, NOT just pro-airplane positions. Our lobbying need not represent gay pilots, abortion doctor pilots, or even career politician pilots. Our association CAN, SHOULD, and MUST represent the NORMAL, NOT the so-called politically correct positions of liberals. We need not welcome them, as they are the cause of the ruin of the American economy and thereby they are responsible for ruining aviation in America. Think, sheeple!

  122. Jay Says:

    ****
    Does anybody disagree with Tony G.’s proposal: Increase the light sport weight limit to include C150s, C152s, Piper Tomahawks, etc., which will put more affordable airplanes in service for aspiring pilots, thus increasing GA?

    If no disagreement, then let’s have the government do this by the end of next week. All it takes is the stroke of a pen. You can be sure that if the government thought a new TFR was needed it would be enacted swiftly.

    And as a happy side effect of this little experiment, by the end of next week we will have objective proof whether the government wants to (a) increase GA or, (b) squelch GA..

    Hugs!

    ****

  123. Keneth R. Moore Says:

    Dan Oberste says it all…. We should get rid of all GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION. FEMA should definitely be shut down. Why should all those GOVERNMENT billions of dollars be spent on helping out the victims in the north east of the hurricane and the nor’ easter.

  124. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    OK, does any one think we should increase the light sport weight limit…that’s what I’m asking, answer please one simple question

  125. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Guys this is not rocket science here, why do we not fly ? COST OK, what will keep the cost down, 150-140-172 etc. and so on. You can fly and enjoy the experience again, this has to happen NOW

  126. Troy Says:

    Atlas Shrugged…some of you have done it, I commend you, and more of you should.

  127. Chuck Watson Jr Says:

    Just look at what the majority of you ego centric self centered people are saying. Everyone is looking for a scape goat to satisfy their need to find a scapegoat. And AOPA is feeding that need. Start blaming yourselves for what happened to GA. It has become a corporate endeavor with room for only the jet crowd. No need for you little guys anymore so go sell your airplanes if you haven’t already before they end up on the junk heap.

    What did you or AOPA do to keep this graveyard spiral from happening? It is not regulation that destroyed GA, but corporate greed. Open your eyes and just look at what has been happening. No one should have to spell it out for you. Look to yourselves. You destroyed GA. Until you realize it there will be no such thing as hope for improvement.

    Next instead of “Light sport” aircraft they will attempt to sell you extreme ultra lights, then gliders with rental planes to pull you into the air, and then someone will say, “Hmmm… lets sell them tricycles; you know the kind little children ride, and then you won’t have to worry about fuel prices anymore. If you haven’t figured it out by now the corporations have so devalued your currency that it is worthless paper money on a par with monopoly dollars. That is why you can’t afford to fly anymore. Where were you while all this was going on? Been happening for over fifty years now, and still you haven’t awakened. Toodles all.

  128. moose Says:

    Obama, or should I say Barry Sotero has his own personal jet that the tax payers of the now USSA are paying for. He can send his wife? anywhere in the world, take his crew of idiots wherever her wants on OUR dollar and then regulate us? Thats not right. I can fly anywhere in the USSA with no radios, no Xpdr. All I need is a map and a compass.Oh, and a time piece and two good eyes which I happen to have all of. The best thing is an autogas STC. I could go on and on but I think I’ll just keep flying under the radar. Out of sight, out of mind.

  129. Paco Says:

    I’ve never heard so many whiners and chicken littles in my life. It makes me glad to know that they are the outgoing generation and look forward to the young people who are arriving with a ‘can do’ attitude and a bright outlook because they know that life is what we make of it. Of all the problems that we indeed face, as every generation does, the biggest is clearly that we still have so many fuddy duddies, afraid of change and terrified by anyone who looks, thinks or acts differently from themselves. The Republicans lost because they refused to accept these realities, just as most of my fellow flyers will. Some people just never learn.

  130. John Says:

    The high feces and so called security have made alot of would be pilots feel unwelcome. You voted away the freedoms that were once taken for granted. This administration already shelved our space program…..whats next. This is the last nail in the G/A coffin.

  131. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Well I see this has turned in to a political venting place, how dare you AOPA ? Don’t blame the AOPA for what has happened to GA…It’s obvious on that very few get it and the rest have turned it in to a battle of politics, too bad, I have given three ways to fix the situation we are in now and no one has even commented on it, have fun fighting about obummer and all his downfalls and there plenty, just fix the problem like I suggested and we can all fly for a long time…IS ANYONE HOME HERE, I WONDER ???

  132. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Something else here, back a ways someone made a comment pilots are rich, not true for the most part, the general public spends 40,000 plus on a car to drive and they do this every 5 years or so, NOW, I drive a 2001 Toyota Camry that I bought used with 128,000 miles on it (4,000) and now 180,000 miles three years later, yes I have a 100,000 dollar Cessna 180 that is paid for, it’s all about where you want to spend your money, am I rich, NO, far from it, I just chose to put my money in a plane rather than a new car every 5 years.

    I put this on here to tell people most pilots are not rich, they just have a different place to put their money, so go buy your 40,000 dollar car that’s worth 30,000 when you drive it off the lot, and enjoy life, I fly….same money and only once, planes last a long time

  133. B. F. Johnson Says:

    Appreciate all the hard work by AOPA to keep private GA alive. Affordable fuel in the $3.00 range is needed to lower the operating cost. User fees will kill GA. Lets keep fighting!!!

  134. Just Sayiin Says:

    You’re right, Paco. Freedom loving “fuddy duddy” Americans will never learn to willingly accept socialist and big government policies, especially from a government whose political platform denies God, and gladly accepts abortion and homosexual perversion. If “afraid of change” means wanting to retain God and the freedoms that this country was built on – which you probably aren’t very familiar with – then, absolutely, that’s us. Your statement about being glad that we are the outgoing generation displays an immense amount of ungratefulness, as well as an attitude of not even wanting to understand, much less learn from older peoples’ experience.

  135. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    YOU GUYS ARE LOST AND NO! WE WONT

  136. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Re: General Aviation Blog

    Wow! You really got into the middle of a big political war! Obama supporters do this all the time–if you criticize the man you’re automatically a RACIST!!!! What part of $16T in debt, foreclosures, high unemployment, $4 gas, 47 million on food stamps, Libya assasinations, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in charge in the Middle East, dissing Israel or forcing Catholics to pay for birth control & abortion drugs don’t they get? Oh yeah, let’s tax the rich so that anybody with significant wealth can hurry up and TAKE THEIR MONEY OUT OF THE GOOD OL’ USA! Let’s see……………if corporate tax rates are 40% here and only 15% in Canada where would YOU base your company? Oh, but don’t listen to me, these ideas are ALL based on race, right?

    I am soooooooooooooooo upset that more than half our country wants 4 more years of this. It stuns me.

    (Footnote: over 90% of blacks voted for ‘Bama, but THEY ARE NOT RACIST?)

    FYI: Buried in ObamaCare is a provision to force every US citizen to accept a National I.D. by means of a “device that can be implanted”. Those born before 1964 have until 2017 to do it. Born after 1964 have to register by Jan 2014!!!! Once they mark you, they will own you……beware!

  137. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    This is what obummer is doing to us among other things

  138. Ken Says:

    Tony: Please tell me where I can find that language in Obama Care. I need to know. I can do something with that. The Bill is so long it will take too long to find it. Please let me know. I’ll check back for your post. Better yet I’ll step out on a limb and post my Email here. Fltsimken1@aol.com
    Thanks. Just put ObamaCare in the subject line.

  139. Alan Anderson Says:

    I just ran across an old fuel bill from Billy Mitchell Field in MKE, for a trip I made in a rented PA-28-180, before some of you were born. The gas bill was .37cents/gal! At that time, I had a great job in the automotive industry & the USAF Reserve & gas meant nothing in figuring out whether you took a trip or not. Now I`m well retired on a fixed income & by necessity, I can only fly a limited number of hours per year, just enought to keep me VFR current., but well below what I would consider for IFR. I volunteered to be on the airport commission here at KONZ when the NAVY left in 1970 & have served in that capacity off & on since then. KONZ is a beautiful place to fly & the Navy runways are in great shape. We have struggled to keep our field alive with careful planning & thanks to volunteer businessmen experts in the field of economics, we continue to survive. I have seen the plane count go from 169 active aircraft to 84, with about a dozen active; the rest just sit.
    What happened around KONZ? The cost of flying keeps going up, well past inflation adjustments. Goverment mandates based on CYA mentality of federal employees bumps up all requirements, Fuel costs have now become part of whether you fly or not for fun or practice, for those of us where hourly cost os a factor. It now costs $300.00 to fill the Cherokee tanks here.The fixed costs have skyrocketed, up to the point where I am seriously considering selling my trusty Cherokee.
    Now comes Obama, the icing on the cake. It seems like every time he gets a chance, he demeanns GA jet usage. Does this affect us “bottom feeders:”? Of course; trickle down philosophy works in aviation, just as it can work in business, but in in a positive direction. Obama sees the world from his perspective of experiencse just like the rest of us do. If you had a great teacher in college, you carry that with you forever. If you had a teacher that made you rebell against the founding elements of our country, you carry that. Does the Obama mentality help or hurt GA? I susepct GA is at the very bottom of his priorty list.

  140. W. Sinsel Says:

    This election clearly divided the country almost exactly on many issues. Many are very unhappy with the result while others are pleased. The bottom line is that the nation voted for a second term for Obama whether anyone likes it or not. I think it’s a poor idea to allow this type of question to further divide people and especially on this forum. It’s hard enough to make aviation attractive to young folks and to keep older and current folks involved without bickering and politicking here on this site. No politician of either party can fix what is wrong with aviation in this country today. To say any one person is responsible for the state of things in this country is also wrong, partisan and misleading if not downright bordering on ridiculous. I think it would be much more advantageous for the editors and writers at AOPA to focus on things that might encourage aviation participation from all status of pilots. It seems to me that AOPA continuously focuses on the hottest new jets and turboprops, the most advanced equipment and concepts, etc. Aviation is actually so much less than all of that. It becomes boring when you cannot simply talk about flying to breakfast. I’m tired of trying to read a magazine that I feel represents far less than half of us and I’m tired of politics.

  141. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Finley 2 people that get it, thanks guys, I am tired of the AOPA mag too, look through it and toss it, nothing about what most of us are interested in and could afford, seems like the AOPA is out of touch with what got them going and I have been a member for 38 years, who cares about jets and diesel powered 182′s for 400,000 dollars, come on, get real, they are far out of touch with reality I say, what say you…

  142. Ross Says:

    As much as I love flying, its getting too expensive for me. I started flight lessons when I was 13 and paid $120/hour. That was 4 years ago. I passed my ppl check ride in August and it cost me $200 for an instructor and 172 per hour during flight training( $150 for the plane and $50 for the instructor) . I’m a 17 year old. I have a part time job that pays about $7.45/ hour. I have to work 20 hours for one hour of flight. If I needed to start paying an additional $100 each time I fly, I can’t afford it anymore. I’ve seen several of my friends start flying and ended up washing out close to solo due to the expense. I have no remedy for this problem but if it isn’t fixed, aviation is gonna be limited to military and commercial here pretty shortly.

  143. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Ross, I understand your feeling, what about getting 4 good friends that want to fly and buy a good 172 for about 30,000 and share the cost, then you could all fly and they will run fine on auto fuel also, 91 octane with no alcohol..

    Just a thought…TG

  144. Ross Says:

    Problem is that I, along with all of my friends are about 17. If we did find a 172 for $30000, we would probably split it four ways; each one would have to pay $7500. Thats for the plane alone. Add insurance, hanger/ramp costs, fuel, and inspections, its going to add up too be way to expensive. I worked at my job for five years to make roughly $10000 to pay for my rating. In the next five years (assuming I’m going to work roughly the say amount), I will be 22. I’ll be fresh out of college with way to much in loans to pay. That just me. I’d say I’m pretty devoted to aviation. I gave up sports and other things(X-box, iphones, laptops) to pay for flying and making time to fly and maintain grades. My friends on the other hand are not that devoted. They would rather spend $300 on an x-box than two hours of flight. Just adding all of that together, I don’t see myself owning a plane anytime soon. In a perfect world, that would be a great idea, but as you know, this isn’t an utopia.

  145. Bonanza Driver Says:

    AOPA you make me sick right now. I want to flush my 10+ years of membership down the toilet for baiting everyone into a partisan rant that serves NO purpose but to inflame.
    Misinformed rhetoric!
    You’re helping divide GA like the political parties of our country. If ever there was time for us to stand together and you go and open this can of worms.

    You fellas spend our money going to the Bahamas and flying your Huskies and your SR22s all over the place on our dime. You have expensive black tie events with celebrity pilots and wonder why student starts are down and people aren’t flying more. If you ask me, it’s not the President to be blames, partly it’s guys like YOU!

    I can’t even put my frustrations into words right now. Enough is enough already. Address your base, you cowards!

    Mr. Fuller? Anyone?

  146. Thomas Says:

    Benet Wilson, this your fault and I hope you get your ass handed to you!

  147. Ex-AOPA Member Says:

    WAY TO GO AOPA! Drive a wedge into your user base and let your members slug it out. I really enjoy you creating an environment where you pit member against member to the point where: “I won’t fly in the same airspace with a dumbass (insert whatever political party), why I can’t believe they would let them near an airplane” mentality.

    I guess this type of Extremeism that has become so prevalent in your organization is supposed to bring in more money from the scared members that buy into it. Instead why don’t you skip the wine and cheese tasting party and spend OUR money doing something for the guy or gal that can’t even take the Cub out for a spin.

    I realize that many of the problems experienced in GA is our own fault. We have become “I’ll Sue” happy and this forces manufactures to carry costly liability insurance, keep expensive lawyers on tap and be regulated so heavily for safety. Although tragic the wife suing because she believes her husband would still be alive if only the doors on the Cessna had been more difficult to open or Flight Instructors being sued because they didn’t ensure a new student pilot had an IFR rating before their first VFR cross country.

    Flying is, always has and always will be expensive and dangerous. That does not mean however that Manufactures, Oil Companies, FBO’s and such should gouge their customers. Yes I understand that an FBO would rather fill up a Gulfstream than fill up five 172′s, and I realize that the same Gulfstream burns up fuel waiting for a student pilot to take twenty minutes to do a run-up, but is that enough reason to drive flight schools off the airport? This is we’re I had hoped the AOPA might have been able to help and why I joined. By helping the little guy, the average GA pilot find some happy balance.

    But, rather than do what you claim in all the literature, you spend OUR money on BS like this blog post which does nothing to help the cause of GA. People whined about Bush getting a second term, the economy went down further. People whine that Obama has a second term, who knows what will happen. What political party is in office has no bearing on the fact that Garmin can build what amounts to an iPad ($400), charge $2700 (because it’s associated with aviation) for it and have people buy it is the real issue. Supply and Demand, as long as the companies that govern what we pay for flying know that we will pay whatever they want to charge, flying will continue to go up. Soon the five pilots that can still afford it will be paying $800 per gallon to cover the lose in volume.

    I personally would like an apology from the AOPA on the website and published in the magazine for the waste of paper in the magazine and bandwidth during my membership.

    The one vote that I am sure counts is the one I make with my money! My membership expires this December and I will NOT be renewing. I will offer the EAA my money and see what they can do with it.

  148. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Guys, this could be a good discussion if you would let it be and keep the politics out of it, a perfect example of what’s happening is Ross 3 paragraphs up, Ross can’t fly right now because of the high cost of it, Ross has his private and is going to school till he is 22 he is 17 now and has spent everything he made extra to get his private license and I commend him for that, Ross, is one of the young people I was referring to way back up in this blog when someone said to get the young people involved is flying and I said they can’t afford to do it because they don’t have jobs and you know why that is, they are paying rent and so on and there is no way they can fly…Ross has a job to get him through school for right now and he can’t fly for 4 more years, when he gets out of school I hope there is a good job for him so he can continue to fly also…Ross, get your instrument as soon as you can and be careful of the weather, don’t get sucked in…lol

    To the AOPA, you need to make some changes and RIGHT NOW, you are so far out of touch with most of us it stinks, the planes you show in your magazine are for the most part out of everyone’s reach, I believe 95% of feel the same way, get back to the good old GRASS ROOTS FLYING, old cheap planes that young people can afford and fly. Older folks cant afford 130,000 for a LSA so get a grip on that, I know the LSA and the jet people pay you BIG money to advertise in your magazine but “we” most of your members could care less, 5 million is so far out of reach for us, 400 thousand for a 182 is stupid, there all over the place for 30 to 80 thousand, don’t take my word for it, take a poll and find out for yourself, next issue do this same thing and ask what WE want and you will find out. New planes are not going to sell again like they used to, in 1974 you could buy a new 182, 32,000 and now they are 400 plus and that is absurd..that’s it on this, you know the rest…

    I personally have struggled paying my membership for the last 10 years because the magazine was and is boring for me and most of us, it is not real to us, you talk about things we can’t afford and do not care about, you are going to loose on this one if you don’t figure it out real quick, I pay my membership because you lobby for GA and that is the only reason, lets take the AO part of AOPA, Aircraft Owners are dropping like rocks and there won’t be any more unless something is done, PA, there won’t be very many Pilots because young people can’t afford to fly, do you see this at all???? This is REAL

    Please prove me wrong here and I will go away

  149. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    EX member is right on the money here, WAKE UP AOPA

  150. Ross Says:

    If I understand correctly, the major issue here is the possible GA user fee, correct? Correct me if I’m wrong but the way I understand it is there is a tax on AV fuel that goes to support things such as navaids and FSS stations. Now when was the last time you guys used FSS? I, along with almost every pilot I know only used FSS to get ready for their checkride. They never used it in practical flying. My idea is why don’t we close FSS and use those funds to support the ATC system. That way everyone is happy; are cost doesn’t go up and the system gets paid for. I bet the gov. can’t close FSS but its an idea. What do you guys think?

  151. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Ross, I use FSS when I go on a long trip like from here to Idaho once a year and that’s it for the most part, I fly local all winter here in Arizona in the desert and never need them, if we can’t see we don’t go, we are talking local maybe to Alamo lake for breakfast, the 100 dollar omelet…lol

    I think we need to keep the FSS because there is a lot of need for them in the areas where it is IFR all the time, they are quite busy there

    In the private pilot GA world user fee would be hard to implement unless they put landing fees on all ports and then that would be bad, I don’t go to Vegas because of the fees and I know a lot of pilots that feel the same way, but I will say they will try to do it, all they want is your money, any way they can get it..

    Tony

  152. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    And the Ipad thing is very true that EX member talked about, you don’t need an expensive Garmin when Ipad does it all 400 against 2700 + Ipad and an inexpensive membership per year and your ready to go, weather, charts, and so on all right there

  153. Maynard McKillen Says:

    Much thanks to the respondents who chose to stop, think, and make intelligent and insightful suggestions and observations. These mitigate to some extent the bulk of the responses, those in which the respondents try to out-scream each other in a right-wing echo chamber.

    The fundamentally irrational attempts to pin the decline of GA on one person (one person; in which universe does that makes sense?), the President-elect, and the irresponsible decision to aid and abet this brainless spewing by posting a “question” that was calculated to permit thoughtful responses, but to also allow the lunatic fringe to vent, shows, sadly, just how socially and politically marginal the GA community has made itself. It also shut the door to any observations on the history of GA problems. What insights will readers gain by learning nothing about the scope of the problem and seeing a timeline? The question is a hot, wet mess, a softball to the marginal Obama-haters, who spew with AOPA’s unspoken blessing.

    The non-pilot public can’t read the bulk of these unveiled attacks and conclude the GA community deserves support. Far too few respondents even dare to see the scope of the problems that cripple GA. No, it’s easier to pin the problems on one man, no matter how unproductive, baseless and ahistorical the premise. The non-pilot public remains unswayed by, and frankly uninterested in, this tempest in a teacup.

    Some respondents note the increasing cost of fuel, insurance, airframes and sundries, and ponder ways to decrease such expenses. Inflation played a role in these price increases, but no mention was made of the decline in wages and thus living standards in the middle class. Odd that no one thought the standard of living ought to be raised. Odd that no one mentioned it has been declining for decades. Odd the Titans of Industry and Finance, the smartest guys in the room, didn’t see that raising the standard of living for Americans will increase the Titan’s affluence exponentially. Odd.

    The admirable work ethic that epitomizes GA pilots, that has fueled career success and thereby provided discretionary income to pursue flying as an avocation, or even as a career, has a dark side, a set of beliefs and personal mythologies that blind some pilots. The dedication, call it stubborness even, that has powered them to career success has an attendant deficit in the introspection department. Their families suffer for it, and so do their employees and colleagues.

    I rarely, rarely meet a CEO, or the owner of a small-to-medium-sized business who didn’t, within a very short period of time, reveal notable neuroses, serious trust issues, personality disorders, some level of paranoia, or similar maladaptive social behaviors. This is the dark side of delayed gratification, of nose-to-the-grindstone effort to achieve some goal, but rarely, rarely will any “climber” engage in the reflection that reveals not what they have gained through their effort, but what they have lost through neglect. Coupled to this is a paucity of reflection on the non-material needs which lie dormant within his or her life, or the lives of family members.

    Roosevelt hit it on the head during the last great economic crisis when he reminded Americans they had nothing to fear but fear itself. Now I know many in the pilot community have a knee-jerk reaction to the name Roosevelt (read: Great Satan), but credit the worth of his words. Is it more satisfying to be the prophets of doom, or the agents of positive change?

    Abandon any delusions that your happiness is hostage to the whims of the chief executive. I speak from personal experience now. I survived eight years under that horrible failure named George Bush.

    GA needs to summon the courage to admit that corporate jet users have had their flights subsidized without merit or just cause for decades now, that it’s time to derail this gravy train, and that GA can and should play it’s part in defining and legislating an economy that works for all Americans.

  154. Thomas Says:

    FSS has sucked ever since it was privatized and ran by Lokcheed. Remember the days with an FSS was on your field and a local guy, likely a pilot himself, was there to discuss your flight with you?

    Yeah I’m jumping ship after my membership expires too. AOPA is out of touch with reality and I don’t want to be associated with this kind nonsense any longer. Truth is they probably won’t miss my $39 or my voice. But if another few hundred of us bail out….we’ll then Craig Fuller may be looking for another job.

  155. Bill Says:

    I see lots bitter, selfish bullies who don’t really want to hear the truth. They just want to vent and carry on while most of them will lose their medical or be forced to hang it up in the next couple of years anyway. I’m truly sorry the dream has ended and the flight is nearly over for you.

    The next generations of pilots, and there will be a next generation in some form or other, are better equipped to deal with change. The ability to change is what makes good aeronautical decision making. The way things are and have been in the last few decades have been very bad for the working guy who flies a 172.

    So why would we want to keep flying into that same storm? It’s time reverse course and fly somewhere new. The country, and world, is doing that. It is a breath of fresh air to read the few intelligent comments here but most of them are just mayday calls from a plane that’s already lost it wings.

    For those who can adapt there is still CAVU ahead whether you see it now or not.

  156. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    I was just out at the airport and talked to the FBO about fuel flow, he hung his head and told me it’s way down, he said look at the ramp, about 8 planes there now when there used to 50, this has happened in the last year or so, he says fuel prices and repair costs are the reason and now the city does not get any ramp fees per month, the rental 172 fly’s 5 hours a week now when it did 20 a week a year ago, planes have left and we don’t know where they went but they are gone from here and it used to be real busy, just a sign of whats going on all over, this is a resort place and it’s bad, just saying…just another sign of the down spiral in the economy and no end in site…:(

  157. Bill S. Says:

    Hope I’m wrong but I don’t see much hope for GA as we have known it

  158. Michael McGowan Says:

    Life goes on and the problems that face General Aviation are very small compared to the problems that face most other citizens of this country. We have enjoyed great freedom and protected services. We can either be responsible and pay a little more now or face obscene fees in the future that will eliminate us from American aviation!

  159. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Again guys, The fix for GA right now is get the FAA to raise the LSA weight to take in 150′s and 172′s then everyone can fly again for a while and then fix the basic problem , I have said this before and it seems most want to make it to complicated, It’s NOT, quite beating this thing till it’s dead, just do it now, what I have suggested would spark GA RIGHT NOW

  160. Jonathon Says:

    The reason the country is divided is because there are two main philosophies in America right now that are extremely opposed to each other. Maynard Mckillen just spent a lot of time incriminating the traditional hard-working American as the problem. I must say, I have rarely heard such a condescending, elitist, holier-than-thou statement made against the type of people that made this country great; and no doubt will have to put America on their backs to make it great again. We don’t need to “legislate” a better economy, we need to reduce the burden of the government on the people to improve the economy. GA is a microcosm that brilliantly illustrates this fact.
    Now, GA will only define its future if it has the willingness to do so. Those who are involoved in the aviation community have to make their voice heard. But not just by screaming “Uncle!” GA needs to provide common sense, mutually beneficial solutions. The Aviation community has some of the greatest minds in our country, that is an asset that has overcome difficult obstacles in our past, why not this time? Its time to think outside of the box, and skillfully overcome the problem, that’s what aviators do.

  161. Jerry Says:

    Politics aside, I do not believe there will be such drastic changes, as some are are suggesting, as to destroy GA. We should not be driven to fear against the President. GA is a vital part of the economy and i am sure pilots and others in the industry will prosper in the next four years. You can quote me on that!

  162. Paul Myerson Says:

    Remember before 9/11 when your local airport didn’t have a 10 foot fence with razor wire around it and people didn’t scowl suspiciously at every stranger?
    I’m 37 and as a kid in the 80s my dad would take me to a local airstrip. We would walk around the planes tied down in the grass and watch guys do touch and goes all afternoon.
    No one thought we were trying to harm a plane. The guy at the FBO would always smile and wave at us as we looked at his fleet of Piper Tomahawks, Cherokees and a Seneca.
    That alone was enough to hook me into a lifelong love of light plane flying. Because of the expense, it took me over 10 years with a couple of starts and stops to finally finish my private pilot. But I did it no matter what it cost. Even with a solid middle class income, l have to squeeze and save to get a few hours a month is our club 172.

    I am proof that if you get the flying bug even the money won’t stop you…to a point. I agree the expenses of flying prohibit a lot of people.

    But we also need to be better at encouraging the next generations of pilots. Men, women and all ethnicities because that’s the only way we’re going to keep bringing in more pilots.
    We need to open our doors to the public again and stop appearing like some exclusive country club that not everyone can join.

    Here is one tiny, little thing you can do. Next time you see a parent with his kid standing around watching planes on the other side of the fence, why not invite them over, escorted, of course.
    Let them see your plane up close and answer any questions they have. You don’t need to offer a flight just a smile and a look is enough. If that boy or girl has it in them, they’ll find a way. It’s our responsibility as pilots to encourage more to fly even while we’re in a slump.
    It also serves another purpose. If your airport is threatened with closure, that non-flying parent is going to remember those nice pilots and will become your advocate too. Heck you might find out the parent is the one with the flying bug!

    I know this method works because I do it. You should see the look on these kids and parents faces when a real pilot comes over and offers them a quick look at his machine.
    It’s my time to dispel myths and let them know we’re actually a friendly, warm community.

    The next 4 years is going to be OK. The sky isn’t going to fall. This is just some bad turbulence we need to get through together. Non-partisan because we’ve proved that doesn’t work.
    Please share your passion with the public!

  163. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    No one is listening…This is not hard to GET…

    Tony Guardalabene Says:
    November 12th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Again guys, The fix for GA right now is get the FAA to raise the LSA weight to take in 150′s and 172′s then everyone can fly again for a while and then fix the basic problem , I have said this before and it seems most want to make it to complicated, It’s NOT, quite beating this thing till it’s dead, just do it now, what I have suggested would spark GA RIGHT NOW

  164. Mark Bengel Says:

    All – I would beg you to stop. It is bad enough that our country is divided to the point of being non-functional at such a critical moment in our history. GA is facing perilous times and we pilots must remain united if we are to sustain our aviation privileges for ourselves and our children. We can go to countless other sites and cable TV to to see people shouting across the screens at each other. There is no win for us in this. For AOPA to encourage this conversation was ill-conceived and counter-productive. Let’s focus on those things that bond us together and fight to maintain this passion for flight that every one of us share in common.

  165. Kevin Says:

    Hey Tony, I do agree with you and I support raising the LSA weight limit to include traditional legacy trainers such as 150s 152s 172s and Piper Cherokees and Warriors. I am a student sport pilot (but not training at this time), and had some dual training in the 152 and I like the 152 a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I still like LSAs in general but I feel that this will expand the number of aircraft sport pilots can use. Very few flight schools in my home state has sport pilot programs and LSAs for training but we have plenty of legacy trainers.

    I also support switching to a drivers license medical with no strings attached (no sport pilot style catch 22s) for sport, recreational, and private pilots to boost interest in learning to fly and continuing to fly.

    With more planes available for training and one less barrier to entry, I think that this may encourage more people to learn to fly.

  166. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Well thank you Kevin and good luck in your training, I just think it would be a real boost to GA right now, I’m sure we will get a lot of flack from the LSA manufacturers not to do it, those airplanes are very expensive to buy and I feel it’s keeping most older folks from flying and that is sad I think, they are still very capable of flying still, but can’t afford it. There is no reason NOT to do it, as you know they are very easy to fly, and SAFE, lets hope they see it too

  167. Mike Says:

    As smart as you all are! You guys are missing the the real problem. The government is using us(the people) because we are stupid and LAZY!.. Hence the x-box quote! Look at it like this, We the “lazy” are like cats. Cats will hunt and fend for themselves, feeding themselves just fine! But …… you put a nice bowl of kibbles on the floor and after a week the cat just WHINES and MOANS for more!!!! more free food! Same with us, the Gov hands out free food, the people get LAZY, and Bitch how bad they have it. The crazy part is the extreme they have gone with this, to not just free food, but everything is free to the lazy!… I cut my hand and had to go the hospital for stiches, example. Once they learned I had insurance(not state care) I had to right a check for co-pay($150) before they would see me! then got a crazy bill later also for work performed. Oh and buy the way, the person next to me that got full attention… full xrays.. and so on.. and had no broken bones or problem of anykind, had come in after me and left before me, paid: NOTHING, ZERO,NO CO-PAY, NO NOTHING!!!! ALL STATE FUNDED. This is what has to change to save not only aviation but our COUNTRY! It makes me sick to think my Grandfather made it through the battle of the bulge in wwll and my dad made it through 100+ missions in vietnam.. to survive to see such panzy ass people looking for such free hand outs on every corner of every street!! Stand up and be a MAN!! STOP THE LAZY CAT SYNDROME! If you quit feeding the cat…. crazy as it sounds……… it will go back out and hunt and start to feed itself on its own! And ps. to the business owners that gave up.. and put 100+ people back to the streets.. YOU lost, not the employees! YOU had a chance with your resources to fight against OHSA and other GOV agencies and make them back down!! It is this roll-over and die attitude that will kill us as a nation.. So someone has a gun to my head!……. Oh I guess i’ll help them pull the trigger! EJECT EJECT EJECT!

  168. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Well I just got my renewal they raised it to 45 dollars, I am done, no more AOPA for me, that’s it good by

  169. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Mike is another guy that gets it…100% correct

  170. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Obama got reelected because he gives everyone free anything they want AND they don’t have to do anything for it but walk in with their hand out…

  171. Mike Says:

    Exactly!.. This election should have been the last wake-up call all of us should need! When the majority votes for (free) over “earning something” The Nation has already Failed! Just sinking like the titanic.. The funny thing is.. it is the opposite of what the Gov wants you to believe! IT IS UP TO THE FEW WITH RESOURCES TO DO SOMETHING! You hold your money as if its gold! Not willing to fight against politics and taxes… but wait… ready to bitch about your fuel bills or the fact a new C-182 cost $400k!! NEWS FLASH!! Don’t buy the new 182! Everyone knows how cheap aviation COULD be. GARMINS for hiking @ $40.. and $15,000 for a 530w whatever for a plane…. If I built a NEW 6place single piston engine airplane with good performance for $60,000 it is ONLY up to the public to see that it would sell and survive!! Classic- The NAVION …. people bitched about a cheap affordable airplane.. at that time!!! We all no what happened to that story!! Do we NEED a CITATION PERSONAL JET? …… f@#!-no!!!! BUT……………………..wait for it……………………………..”YOU CAN NOT HELP STUPID!” Quit blaming others and do something yourself… one less xbox…. or beer drinking binge on friday night would pay for some flying.. People can do things if they want.. I have watched more rich people….. be sooooo dam good in business… so called! penny pinch everything, supplies, wages, raises!!! to survive they say…… and then turn around and buy themselves there nice $300k motorhome….. oh oh oh yea.. and then complain about high fuel prices… and how they can never use it. It is great to reward yourself!…. JUST QUIT COMPLAINING ABOUT IT!!!! ………. since I have never had the opportunity to have surplus money I might be outta line in saying…….. MONEY MUST CREATE STUPID!! because they seemed smart when they started these companies….. or is IGNORANCE BLISS!!!!! Aviation has always been full of smart people! Are there no smart lawyers in aviation that want to stand up and fight these polices? ADS…. Manditory AD’s STC…… on and on…. that are to yes make it safer BUT more is the fact that INSURANCE companies with the crazy money .. always want the money coming in!!! THEY NEVER WANT TO PAY OUT! Life did not come with a “NO-RISK” clause. So lets say all of you with your RICH MONEY stop your businesses and sit on your huge nest egg… And the us economy goes in the toilet all the way …… are you not just sitting on a ROTTEN egg? If you come from any biblical backing .. you might recall a section that states: God has provided you with your riches an resources, because he intrusted in you to do good and be responsible with it. Hmmm I wounder if Citation jet or Navion is what he had in mind. So you could see if you wanted to throw a cool million at a meridian.. go for it! When was the last time you went and promoted aviation in a good way? Flying a sick kid to a hospital .. or just one for a joy ride?… HMMM the last time I went to the local small airport I was quickly meet by nice men in blue uniforms as my child and I just watched the plans take-off and land!!! I’m sure that is something he will remember!!!.. Sir, can you please back away from the fence this is a secure airport! But we cant see the runway from anywhere else.. Not our problem move along!!! YUP… I think we have it all running smooth ……nothing to fix here!

  172. Tony Guardalabene Says:

    Mike really get’s it, few did on here….

  173. Victor Huey Says:

    GA is dead. I have held a deep interest in aviation for many years, but will never pursue GA because of the astronomical costs.

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