View Full Version : PRA is appreciated by me
11-21-2004, 12:58 PM
There is so much negative stuff being hashed back and forth about PRA. It gets tiring to read.... I consider myself having a positive attitude...so I will add something positve for a change from my side of the tracks.
My favorite magazine is the PRA magazine. I just love sitting down and reading it cover to cover. This sport is so interesting...and the articles from various people make it a good read.
The airport is really a nice asset..and I feel fortunate to have flown to the last two conventions. I have had such a good time that I would still fly to it even if it were 3-4 hundred miles. I am 121 miles away and it is a rush to arrive at such a beautiful place.
From what I have seen ....Gary...Glenn...Pam...are all hard workers for the PRA and are definately an asset.
I have been fortunate to have known Tom Milton from the very beginning of my gyro flying back in 1985. He gives a lot to this sport and the PRA is better for having had his input all these years.
Just my two cents....amd cant wait for Mentone 2005.
11-21-2004, 02:02 PM
the PRA and all the work that has been done by many folks to make it better is appreciated by all of us. Years and years of dedicated service is not ignored. Anybody that is posted here is concerned that PRA grows and it stays growing. It has been a long time coming getting answers to simple questions. That in itself raises some more questions. I don't think for a minute that there is a boggie man under every rock waiting to rip us off. The PRA is made up of some strong willed pilots, that have straightforward (blunt) opinions to present. They do this in the spirt of making a better organization. I try to offer solutions when I have enough information to give. However their are some issues, that have been sat on for far too long. I think that this conference has pushed those issues to the front burner, and should get them resolved. Communication is the key here, and that seems to be going better than it has in the past. All may not be happy in PRAland, but none of us want it to fail.
I am sure the PRA convention is a highlight of your year. The local El Mirage fly-in is sure one of mine. You are fortunate that you live so close. 2300 miles one way is just too far to make it a reality for me. You say the sport is so interesting, and it is. But what is more interesting is the pilots that enjoy it so much, and the sacrafices they make to participate in it. What a group of personalities we have!! Their are many other post of a positve nature in this forum, and avoid the crap you wish not to read. That still doesn't make the negative stuff go away, but can make the forum a whole lot less stressful, kind of like reading the PRA magazine.
Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
11-21-2004, 03:47 PM
I am admittedly a wanna bee but because of the excitement and pleasure of visiting the PRA convention and reading PRA magazine and local flyins, I have been able to keep that dream alive!!
This Forum has been so great also and I have been fortunate enough through the Forum, to have the opportunity to meet a couple of exceptionally friendly gyro nauts by their invitation. I will definitely be meeting Stan Foster and Mark Greene in the near future!! I have been following their contributions to the Forum and find them both to think positive about the sport and it's members.
I always like to look for the positive side in any discussion and I find that everyone contributing to the Forum have great and interesting personalities. I would love to have the opportunity to meet each and everyone of you. Thanks Mark Greene and Stan Foster for your expressed kindness!!
I agree with Stan regarding the PRA. If it hadn't been for the PRA, I wouldn't have found our instructor's name in the magazine, and he was only two hours away!
I also read each issue cover to cover. And while it could use some improvement, I will be one of the last to complain, I'm just happy to have more things to read about flying gyros.
My first visit to Mentone, which was this year, was a great experience. We will probably never go to Oshkosh again, after visiting Mentone. Everyone we talked to was extremely friendly, and I really liked the focus being strictly on rotorcraft.
Just my two cents worth.
11-21-2004, 07:04 PM
Sorry, guys, for shoe-horning myself into your conversation (after my approximately three years of near-silence in the gyro-world), but as a 15-year member of the PRA, gyro pilot and gyro CFI, I feel that I might add my own take (about time, huh?)
When I read Stan's and Scott's posts, I tend to agree. But then, when I read the posts thereafter by Steven, Hal, and Mark, I can also respect their perspectives. I guess I am of the more passive type and perhaps in my old age I am easily-swayed, because I find myself agreeing with one side of the coin and then being swayed a bit by the opinions of others. I find myself, then, respecting the viewpoints of all of you because they are ALL valid.
The reality of the situation is that the PRA membership is on the decline, and it has been for some time. I have been told personally by "an insider" (who shall remain nameless...for now anyway...) that about 1-2 years ago, the membership re-up rate (renewal rate) is on the order of 45%. This is a sign of the organizations' death on it's way, for sure. Not good.
Given this pathetic situation and given the fact that most people who freshly enlist in the organization have a somewhat virgin state of mind regarding gyros and how they will become involved and how the PRA operates, my take after over a decade of membership and becoming an exempted gyroplane CFI is this (take it for whatever you might think it is worth, if anything):
15 years ago, the only thing I knew about gyros was how to spell the word "gyro." All the politics aside, I still made it from Student to Private to Commercial to CFI (thank you Jim Mayfield!!!!), and also started and operated a very successful full-blown Rotax overhaul shop and aircraft maintenance and restoration business. I started with nothing other than an A&P ticket and an interest in gyros. Yes, it was a hell of a lot of work, and yes, there was turmoil here and there along the way in the PRA, but I just stuck with it.
I am no longer operating this business because I am now seeking new opportunities, but I can say without a doubt that without the PRA (corrupt or otherwise), I would have never achieved my goals. And, this was not without long conversations with the magazine editors, Pam Bundy, Dave Prater, etc. to help me understand what I needed to do and how to get there.
Sure, there are people in the organization that are pissed-off and willing to spend countless hours discussing it, but me personally? I am not all that good at debate and am not afraid to say so. It just isn't my thing. I am, however, good at achieving my goals and the PRA helped me get there, regardless of whetner or not I was pleased with the details in how they operated.
I feel that one must evaluate the value of the cost of your annual membership, and then decide if what you get out of it is worth it to you. If you wish to debate on the side, then that is great and more power to you. For me, it was and still is, without the debate. I personally feel that the organization has done more good than harm, but given the "Gary/PRA" conversations lately, I am beginning to wonder. Still, they helped me attain some much-higher level that I did not have before, which is a GOOD thing.
My advice for the newbee in the organization is to read the magazine, attend fly-ins where possible, and absorb as much as you can, but keep in mind that there are some... lets just say... "high-level concerns" within the organization. For newbees or the CFI who wishes to be exempted for instruction, the organization is great and you shoud (IMO) support it. You can learn a lot.
For the rest of us, I still think that we should have people who are willing to debate and bring awareness to the issues (Kenny J., you are very needed here!), but then others, like me, who are willing to accept things as they are (for now) and watch and learn from the sidelines (I'm just not a good politician, but I do have a few opinions).
Dr. Bensen probably doesn't like what has happened within his organization. My guess is that he had a different, more positive set of ideas ("....take off and land from your own backyard!"....). That said, I do feel that there is always a lot to learn from those more-experienced in the organization, those heaviliy involved in debate, from the magazine, etc., but at the same time, if it is corrupt, it should be fixed. The debaters will no doubt bring attention to the problems and eventually, time and people will provide the right solution.
In general, the gyro community needs a new or repaired formal organization because the existing one doesn't look so good. The decline in population within the organization is a very strong symptom of the problems within, but then the newbees tend not to really be as aware of "the issues" as some of us long-timers, which means that there are other fundamental underlying problems to be resolved.
For now, pissed-off or not, I can only hope that people will support a gyro organization that (key words here) is well-run. There are enough people to make that happen, whether it is a new organization or just an overhauled version of the old one.
It's time for change here.
I think all of you are doing the right thing, whether you be a newbee who just wants to learn (welcome!), an old-timer that will do anything to pull Gary out of office and get into heated dabates about the heartbeat within, or just somebody in the middle of it all like I tend to be. Great job from all of you to at least BE INVOLVED. Nice work!
Where ever you may be, we all have opinions, which is great, and we are all (most likely) members of a common organization that will change very soon (it has to). In the meantime, take your place inside wherever you are comfortable, try to learn a thing or two, and enjoy the show!
11-22-2004, 03:34 PM
I will personally give away two free memberships to the 1st and 7th non PRA members who email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is for all you "lurkers" out there who want to join but don't want to pay the annual membership fee!
Why am I doing this? Because I am tired of reading all the negative posts about the PRA so I challenge any PRA member to come up with a better idea to increase membership!
So to repeat my offer, the 1st and 7th email I receive at email@example.com will get a one year paid membership to the PRA. The 2 people must be a first time, new member. No renewals! I will verify this with the PRA officer prior to paying your membership. This offer is for a regular membership - U.S. only = $35.00 per winner.
11-22-2004, 03:56 PM
Good going guys! You rock!!
Just remember, the PRA is a great association with some minor problems and this forum is a small part of the entire picture.
I am confident that people read stuff and analyze it to take their own conclusions about the problems and solutions available.
Gyro people are great to be around!!
PRA sucks!!! Lets make it better
11-22-2004, 04:10 PM
Randy: Excellent post and the least I can do is match your effort.
I will just copy exactly what your offer was and I will also buy two memberships to the PRA. I will take the 2nd and 6th e-mail to me from completely new members. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
I will post the names of the two new members. :D
11-23-2004, 05:53 AM
yeeeeeee one more!!!
11-23-2004, 09:08 AM
I was going to do that myself (sign 2 people up in my area for a pra membership).
But as long as questions go unanswered, misdirected, or answers given to questions that were not asked......
the people who have the guts to ask them, be attacked and smeared, I cannot in good faith give my hard earned dollars to this organization until this is resolved. 400+ posts and the last 2 are the same as the first 2.
And stan, I would add that if you like the mag, then let them know. In a mention to cut costs it was been floated that the pra should do away with the magazine, like they have done away with the web site and the tv show. Pretty soon there will only be a convention and I would not bet much on how much that might go on given the pra does not own the airport but of course thats just a minor detail we should all accept.....
Bet every dime you have, I share your passion but make sure you do not misdirect your efforts. I am going to join the ASC as soon as I deliver a few jobs.....
11-23-2004, 02:34 PM
It never ceases to amaze me that so many people are so negative...the topic of this thread is PRA is appreciated by me. I applaud you Stan for starting this post
I also appreciate the PRA. If not for them there would be no magazine....no convention....no training exemption.... and on and on and on.
The PRA rocks!!!
This is a positive post!!!!!! Please take your negativity elswhere!
Thank you :D :D
11-23-2004, 03:16 PM
Kandace: Thanks :)
Any organization has its problems....this PRA is all I have for my sport in particular. I just am trying to balance out the negative the best way I know how...by positive posts. Either by my posting flights in my RAF...or trying to help out the PRA. We are all one family.
Glad to see you are actively pursuing your gyro flying. I did not realize that you have a pilots license. Way to go...and that should keep more doors open for you.
Also...good luck with your gyro project.
11-23-2004, 03:45 PM
It is just a joke Kandace, look beyond words . . .
I have a huntch that pretty soon I will have to change my PRA call . . .
PRA will rock too! :D
11-23-2004, 04:05 PM
The PRA does rock!
Thanks to the PRA gyros were not omited from sport pilot and we know they would have been without the tireless efforts of the PRA. Do you think the EAA or anyone else would have done that for us?
The PRA magazine is far more exciting to me than any of the other club and UL mags I get.
Want something more out of the magazine? just contribute and it will have it! Also, the magazine comes with an amazing kit. This kit can fix any problem you think the PRA might have and it requires no negitivity at all. The kit is called a ballot and no AN hardware is needed, just a stamp to assemble.
Where else would we get a magazine that only allows kits in the directory that have actually flown? The other kit directories have listings for company's whos only interest is to sell plans, not a flyable gyroplane.
What other magazine would run a story about CLT and HStabs without first checking with their advertisers to make sure they were not upseting the gravy train?
Without the PRA magazine's list of trainers I would have never had my first lesson.
Without the PRA magazine's classifieds I may have never found my first gyro.
Without the PRA magazine I would have not bought the best book I have read in years, From Autogiro to Gyroplane.
I'm sure if I spent more time pondering this list could go on much longer, and if I were an 'old salt' I could fill pages. However, I have a new Rotorcraft magazine to read so... til later!!
Rock on! :)
11-23-2004, 04:14 PM
Tim: HEY....now thats not fair....I dont have my magazine to read :(
Oh well......looking forward to something is about as much fun .. :)
11-23-2004, 04:15 PM
Stan, Periodical postage is a weird thing. I got the last issue about 2 weeks after everyone was already talking about it...
11-23-2004, 04:32 PM
the PRA and.....
11-23-2004, 05:55 PM
Ron: Looks like you have been eating too many McBurgers... :D
11-24-2004, 09:57 AM
I'm with you Stan. I got tired of being the last one to get the PRA Mag so, two years ago I started getting mine by 1st. Class mail. Sure makes a difference for me. I received the Helo issue last Sat.
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