Mentone 2015

Sheldon

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
1,050
Location
Battle Creek Mi.
OK turn out was rather disparaging this year. Even less than last....:(

So what can be done to bring back the vendors, the factory reps, the other aircraft, to liven up the grounds enough to get the Amish back with their prime home made Ice cream and pies, what :noidea:

And yes there was a heap of this type of discussion on the side lines, along with those upset with those that did the thrust test by the hangers....:argue:

I have really enjoyed and look forward to Mentone every year but if this trend keeps up I fear it will be...:rip:
 

StanFoster

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
16,963
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
It takes people willing to volunteer to set up events for those that want to watch events , but unfortunately complain when there isn't enough going on. We are the PRA and if just 10% stepped up, we would have a lot more.

The thrust test added to the event. Some were worried about a gyro breaking loose and going into someone. I suggested John park his rental car in front of the gyros to shut up some people, and he did!

My kerocooked hot dogs was a big success, lots of people eating, smiling, laughing and taking pictures. A few typical naysayers comments were heard, but that didn't stop me from eating one.

The pylon race I started was the crowd favorite and we participants had a lot of fun. Once again some naysayer comments could have stopped that.

John ran a nice spot landing contest for the crowd to watch and all had fun.

The cluster cluck was fun for all and I got hit!.

It takes different people coming up with different things to do, and we have to decide if we want to just turn the convention into a sit and knit session between flying, or have some fun.

I had a blast and am looking forward to selling out another batch of t-shirts for my crazy cooked hotdogs off my turbine exhaust idea......plus my bent and twisted mind is working on another odd side show for next year.


Its takes just a few of us to make these events interesting....so just imagine if a few more added some off center ideas.


Stan
 

Sheldon

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
1,050
Location
Battle Creek Mi.
I have been attending for a great many years, at one time the show was so well attended that parking was at a premium.:party:

The long drive is not an issue there are others that go further. And for the last several years I spend the better part of my stay across the field helping to set the evenings fireworks.:wave:

But the issue is not just the light attendance, but vendors have dried up, the Amish even gave up, what is needed is to get these people back in droves for it is them as well as the aircraft that people show up to see.:D

We need to granter more interest, basically even the locals were not aware of what was going on, (Yeah I stopped at TEALS for some really yummy food and mentioned what was going on).:sad:

We need someone who knows these people, to call, to ask, beg plead and get them back, and need I say advertising?:help:
 

cburg

Newbie
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
3,908
Location
Houston
More AC types...I've tried on other forums (it's sort of now). Joint fly-in...FW, PPG, PPC, HG, Balloon, Hover, especially Trikes...way too few fly-ins for them. Every little bit helps.

Before Oshkosh…less burn out...no gap...the gap is a problem. I passed it up twice due the the schedule gap.

I pitch it on several other forums every year. Needs more.

Celeb...comedian, band, athlete, reporter...

Air show pro(s)

Sky Diving schedule window

AeroTow hang gliding window

Balloon launch window

Bicycle ralley

Motorcycle ralley

Running ralley:
http://www.runnersworld.com/race-finder

Chili cook-off

Corn roast

Get the word out to the above segments...
 
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cburg

Newbie
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
3,908
Location
Houston
Look at the running rally list in Indiana...same with bycycles:


Indianapolis, IN

Voyage to Venus Running Challenge -Indianapolis

Sat 08/16/2014



Noblesville, IN

2014 Noblesville Fit Fest Triathlon/5k Run/Walk and Kids Aquathon

Sat 08/16/2014



South Bend, IN

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Jasper, IN

Don't Sweat It Fitness Donut Challenge for Autism

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Crazy Legs Race Series - ABSolute Fitness 5K

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Warrior 4-Miler 2014

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fort wayne, IN

Fox Island Sprint Triathlon Series 'Championship'

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Katie's Run for Autism Noblesville

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The Zombie Run - Anderson, IN

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Kenda DINO Mountain Bike Series - SouthWestway Park

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2014 CFW Mini Marathon

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2014 Lawrence Sprint Triathlon

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NACAC End of the Day 5-K

Fri 09/19/2014



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2013 5k Run & Fun Walk for LaPorte County Red Cross

Sat 09/20/2014



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Second Annual Ian's Race

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Middlebury Walks For a Cure

Sun 10/05/2014



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Superhero Undie 5-K Trail Run

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19th Annual Indianapolis Marathon & Half Marathon

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2014 HERO Half Marathon and 10K

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Sun 10/19/2014



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2014 Muncie Mini Marathon

Sat 10/25/2014


Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis Fitathlon Challenge

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Thu 11/27/2014



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Turkey Recovery 5-K

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2014 Red Nose Run 5k/10k

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Tecumseh Trail Marathon

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Gingerbread Pursuit 4 Miler

Sat 12/13/2014



Indianapolis, IN

Santa Hustle Indianapolis Half-Marathon & 5-K

Sun 12/21/2014
 

cgmg

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,149
Location
El Paso, IL.
Aircraft
Empty hangar right now, have owned and flown Air Command & RAF
Total Flight Time
375
The question about vendors was asked at the Meet The Board meeting.

It's a simple matter of economics. There isn't enough attendance to support those businesses making enough money to come. The Amish actually told Jane not to contact them any more.

Bear Perkins could not attend due to a death in the family.

If we don't have enough members willing to make the financial and time investment it takes to just attend at Mentone, how in the world can we expect vendors to spend literally thousands of dollars to come from the West coast, Texas, or the East Coast?

Bob Rymer gave us a financial report at this meeting. The only paid staff of the PRA is Jane, our part-time office staff, and Lisa, who edits the magazine.

The Mentone convention is the only income source that keeps the PRA going. And, based on the low attendance this year, I'm worried. If you do the math on what 1300 members times the dues brings in, it ain't much to work with.

There are a number of groups who are interested in using the airport, but need to have 50-amp electric service to attend. Don't quote me on this, but I believe the quote to upgrade the airport's electrical outlets was around $12,000. That's most of what the typical convention brings in for the PRA lately. It's hard to justify that expense to the membership, and not know for sure whether it will actually pay off.

And Stan is right, it takes dedicated volunteers to make the effort to support the PRA, specifically the convention. Luckily, there is a small die-hard group of individuals who do all the legwork to both set up for, and close down, the convention itself. Otherwise, there wouldn't be showers, food, mowed grass, or defined driving/flying/parking areas.

If you want a better PRA, or a bigger convention, step up and volunteer. And, make the effort to attend the convention, so the PRA can continue to support itself. Only if enough people start actually attending the convention is there any chance the vendors will return.

Stop being one of the "somebody else needs to do this" members, and volunteer, or at least attend the convention.

As a person who is working with John Rountree to learn how to do more than I can currently do to clean up the PRA website, and who helped out this year at the convention, I am one of the contributors to the PRA.

Are you?
 
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cburg

Newbie
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
3,908
Location
Houston
What about the dates and Oshkosh as mentioned. Anybody agree?

The question about vendors was asked at the Meet The Board meeting.

It's a simple matter of economics. There isn't enough attendance to support those businesses making enough money to come. The Amish actually told Jane not to contact them any more.

Bear Perkins could not attend due to a death in the family.

If we don't have enough members willing to make the financial and time investment it takes to just attend at Mentone, how in the world can we expect vendors to spend literally thousands of dollars to come from the West coast, Texas, or the East Coast?

Bob Rymer gave us a financial report at this meeting. The only paid staff of the PRA is Jane, our part-time office staff. And, based on the little amount the office costs us(includes Jane's salary), I don't know why she does it.

The Mentone convention is the only income source that keeps the PRA going. And, based on the low attendance this year, I'm worried. If you do the math on what 1300 members times the dues brings in, it ain't much to work with.

There are a number of groups who are interested in using the airport, but need to have 50-amp electric service to attend. Don't quote me on this, but I believe the quote to upgrade the airport's electrical outlets was around $12,000. That's most of what the typical convention brings in for the PRA lately. It's hard to justify that expense to the membership, and not know for sure whether it will actually pay off.

And Stan is right, it takes dedicated volunteers to make the effort to support the PRA, specifically the convention. Luckily, there is a small die-hard group of individuals who do all the legwork to both set up for, and close down, the convention itself. Otherwise, there wouldn't be showers, food, mowed grass, or defined driving/flying/parking areas.

If you want a better PRA, or a bigger convention, step up and volunteer. And, make the effort to attend the convention, so the PRA can continue to support itself. Only if enough people start actually attending the convention is there any chance the vendors will return.

Stop being one of the "somebody else needs to do this" members, and volunteer, or at least attend the convention.

As a person who is working with John Rountree to learn how to do more than I can currently do to clean up the PRA website, and who helped out this year at the convention, I am one of the contributors to the PRA.

Are you?
 

bell206

Newbie
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
33
Location
Lexington,Ky
Aircraft
own Cessna 421C, L-39 jet
Total Flight Time
16000
I would have preferred the week before Oshkosh ending on Saturday and Airventure starting on Monday. It might be easier to get some venders on the way there, but I think they are burnt out after Oshkosh.
 

Sheldon

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
1,050
Location
Battle Creek Mi.
I would have preferred the week before Oshkosh ending on Saturday and Airventure starting on Monday. It might be easier to get some venders on the way there, but I think they are burnt out after Oshkosh.

Yeah I overheard a lot of Burn out complaints, and offering the Vendors free access, and camping would help their profit margin a heap too...:usa:
 

Smack

Re-member?
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
761
Location
Georgetown
Aircraft
Kitfox IV / F1 Rocket / Magni M-16 / Beech 18 / Aviomania G2sA-2
Total Flight Time
500+
A newbie's view on his first PRA convention

A newbie's view on his first PRA convention

So, right up front, I do not own ("yet"?) a gyroplane, but am a FW pilot.
This was my first PRA convention and I drove 22 hours from Texas to attend.
My fear was that it was going to be a small show and I was right about that.
Regardless, my goal was to learn more about gyroplanes than I have so far by asking my silly questions on this forum. I did learn a lot. My opinion:

Compared to EAA Oshkosh forums, the PRA forums left a bit to be desired.
I much enjoyed the 3000 mile flight talk (too bad about the videos); that gives me hope that I, too, could fly a gyroplane cross-country (thanks Greg).
I had hoped to learn a lot about what is my favorite gyroplane currently, the Aviomania Genesis, but none were there and John's talk was not all that more informative than what I've read on the Aviomania website. I thought he might have some pictures of HIS Genesis build, but I don't recall such. Thanks for the effort John, but low marks from this "newbie" on content.
I did enjoy Bob's talk about Autogyro products and Ron's open discussion regarding rules/regs etc. Both seemed knowledgeable.
Much of the discussions were centered around Sport Pilot, but that lesser certificate does not interest me, nor does the aircraft aimed at that group.
Might I suggest that someone knowledgeable hold something like an abbreviated gyroplane ground school at the convention? You want more gyro pilots? Maybe start there.
I'm a technical person; I would have liked to see a forum that goes over HOW a gyroplane flys. What are the part names? What are their functions? I'm up for a little physics even, if not mechanics!

I did pay $50 for a short 15-minute ride in Craig's MTO. That was my very first gyro ride and I loved it. Way too short, but a good first step and demonstration of what gyro flying is all about. Thanks, Craig.
I understand that the CFI's there would like to make a few $$$ for their efforts, but $200/hr is a tad steep for most of the folks. No one else (non-CFI) offered to give me a ride, but a few pilots/owners entertained my endless questions (thanks Bob, Doug, Pam, Jane, Greg).
The EAA has the Young Eagles program that provides free rides for youngsters. Does PRA have anything similar? No one offered to share their toys with me. You don't HAVE to, just sayin' that's another way to get people interested. I'll buy LOTS of gas !!

The food service was good, the prices VERY reasonable, and the two ladies who ran the kitchen were GREAT personalities. I enjoyed every interaction with them and the quality of food was good. Thank you, ladies!

I camped and was a bit disappointed in the facilities (showers/toilets). Who designed the stalls with minimum distance between the doors and toilet? Heck, the handicapped stall had crap sprayed all over the back of the stall for days. Yes, I could have cleaned it up, but really, who does that and leaves it? I did look around Mentone for a hardware store to at least add a latch to it, but came up empty on the search. The hot water was always on; that was great.
Wi-fi? Sorta.

Who was that guy that decided he HAD to fly his 2-stroke around and around the campers BEFORE DAWN? Two days in a row. No sleeping in. Is that neighbor-friendly? Yeah, I guess that I could have mentioned to him that such activity is obnoxious, but I'm a "newbie" and maybe this is acceptable there. That's just my opinion on such activity, if you want it, and maybe that affects the number of campers.

The atmosphere is very layed-back. I like that. Grass roots! Everyone that I spoke to was very approachable, but no one (except Pam) approached ME, the newbie that helps to grow the sport. Now, I don't suggest EVERYONE talk to the newbies, but you might think about ways to promote inclusiveness or PULL people into the group. It seems very clique-ish which is probably not unusual for this extremely small segment of a small segment of the population. You want to increase the number of members? This might be another area to investigate. Why put it on the newbie to bust into the group? That's against human nature for most of us.
Was there a newbie social get-together? Maybe any kind of social hour? I may have missed it, if there was. Some kind of ice-breaker?

I don't mean this to sound as harsh as it likely does, but maybe someone out there wants to know what a first-timer thinks about the PRA Convention. This is my way of contributing and trying to make it better.

Brian
 

cburg

Newbie
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
3,908
Location
Houston
Brian going to Reklaw (Texas)? It's my favorite. I brought my gyro last year and will bring my Mosquito this year.

100's of aircraft...up close and personal.

So, right up front, I do not own ("yet"?) a gyroplane, but am a FW pilot.
This was my first PRA convention and I drove 22 hours from Texas to attend.
ter.

Brian
 

AirScooter

Scott Waggoner
Joined
Sep 27, 2009
Messages
869
Location
Bear Poplar, NC
Aircraft
Tandem Dominator-Zenith 701
Total Flight Time
8 minutes, 31 seconds
I am going to make some very unpopular suggestions here, but the status quo isn't working, so unless change is welcomed, demise will continue. I am NOT a PRA member because I see no value in it. ( I know I will take heat for not being a member, and not seeing value, but everyone has their opinion and that is mine.)

Suggestion 1: The PRA airport is an anchor to the organization. Sell it, pay the investors back and move on. Or keep it, but move the convention around the country to different spots.

Suggestion 2: PAPER MAGAZINE, I use computers everyday, I am not going to sit on the throne reading a tablet, laptop, or whatever. But, I read magazines there everyday. (One of them comes from the EAA)

Suggestion 3: Align the PRA with the EAA, become part of the EAA or at least copy their business model. (I suggest becoming part of it, while maintaining some sort of identity) Plenty of room for the PRA in the ultralight area of airventure. AND lots of younger folks too.

Suggestion 4: Remove head from sand and admit that there is a demise.

I want to be a member and have been in the past, but it is hard for me to send my dues to an organization that is too proud to admit that it is going down hill, and do something.

I know there are a lot of folks doing a lot of hard work and volunteering to make the convention happen, problem is, noone outside of the immediate gyro community knows that the convention or PRA exists. I have yet to run across a GA fixed wing guy who has heard of the PRA. They have heard of gyros, but not PRA nor mentone. That is one of the issues. The same GA fixed wing guys usually state they would never fly a fixed wing experimental, but they know who the EAA is.
 

HobbyCAD

Homebuilt Heli Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
1,598
Location
Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia
Hi All,

Just talking about the magazine now... and a printed version, not an online version.

Why do I buy RC magazines? They have tech info, pull-out plans, sharing of designs. Look at the old PRA magazines, you had rotorheads plans that were published, drawings of technical parts, lots of good technical data to drool over.

How about someone gathers some "free to share" data, such as the Hornet plans, and starts publishing them. I have a lot of heli stuff, such as the original Weilage Boon Jr plans, Harold "Pop" Emigh booklets, and so on. One can turn old design drawings into new "typical design" drawings. I'm sure guys like Bryan could churn out a CAD drawing to go with an article. Hell, I'll be able to compile data to produce 50 articles..... Once we start sharing stuff, the printed copy circulation numbers will pick up, interest will go up, the PRA can be revived, by sharing ........ Too much advertising, not enough info for newcomers to be able to join the ranks.

Cheers,

Francois
 

SWaRC

PRA Chapter 26
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
432
Location
Wauchula
Suggestion 1: The PRA airport is an anchor to the organization. Sell it, pay the investors back and move on. Or keep it, but move the convention around the country to different spots.

Suggestion 2: PAPER MAGAZINE, I use computers everyday, I am not going to sit on the throne reading a tablet, laptop, or whatever. But, I read magazines there everyday. (One of them comes from the EAA)

Suggestion 3: Align the PRA with the EAA, become part of the EAA or at least copy their business model. (I suggest becoming part of it, while maintaining some sort of identity) Plenty of room for the PRA in the ultralight area of airventure. AND lots of younger folks too.

Suggestion 4: Remove head from sand and admit that there is a demise.
I for one am agreeing with you Scott 100%! I know nothing about putting up an event but it is my understanding that having the convention in IN year after year alienates the chapters that are not in reasonable driving distance away. Not everyone has an extra week of vacation and that sure puts limitation of attendance. If the event is not in reach of convenience it is hard to attract people. This year I have decided to have Sunstate pay for the pilots for their intro rides. This takes out the somewhat embarrassing negotiations for the ride givers. I think if our little club can afford it the PRA probably could. The real magnet to the sport is the introductory flight hands down. Scott is also absolutely right about having the convention travel around. Maybe this year I could not make IN, but if it were in GA or the Carolinas I might have. Even if it's for Saturday only! That would have been counted as an attendance. I have heard the cons and pros about having the convention travel. If you don't give a chance to chapters to host it, they will never gain the experience to run one and get better at it. So having a bad experience once should not be a reason to stop trying!!!! I know for a fact that Texas/Utah/California/Georgia/Carolinas/Florida are just a few chapters that are capable and willing to put up the convention. They have been doing it and believe it or not but even on a larger scale than apparently Mentone is becoming lately. Give them a chance and let them prove themselves. What does the PRA have to lose? When I am consulting with other chapter presidents I always see the same people putting in the work. Once they burn out there won't be any event going on. Leaders need to be able to recruit volunteers if this sport is going to survive, and we need to reward those volunteers if this sport is to thrive. It's just my $ 0.02
 

GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
16,656
Location
Fort Mill South Carolina
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Vans RV4 / Dominator 582 Ultrawhite
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ALOT
I don't think the location matters. Its a long drive to indiana but its also a long drive to florida. No one is asking sunstate to move Bensen Days to texas or Georgia, etc....

Indiana is nice and much cooler and less humid than a good chunk of the south and southeast. When I have attended Mentone I was glad to escape the heat of the carolinas.

Now one thing I will say about Indiana verses Florida.... is there isn't a ton of gyro people in indiana ( compared to florida ) and especially gyros based at Mentone, compared to gyros based at Wauchula. So Florida has a advantage right off the bat, since there is 20-30 gyros already based there.

In my opinion, attendance is down simply because people just aren't as interested in this stuff now as they used to be. There are more people leaving the sport than new people entering it. There is a slew of reasons why thats happening... And I don't think any of that is the PRA's fault. I see a decline in aviation in general here at home.... there is less and less activity in the sky period. Even at my airport, there are several hangars empty... just a few years ago there was waiting lists and people begging for hangars.

I don't know that there is any one or even 3 things that can be pinned down that would " fix " the problem. Until then, it is what it is...

Smack, what you encountered, is typical at pretty much all gyro fly-ins. Someone always likes to be the early bird and fly before the suns up. Ive done it, Dave Prater used to do it... its a tradition.
 

scottessex

Sling-Wing Pilot
Joined
Nov 12, 2003
Messages
11,172
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central, ga
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Ron, I think much of it is due to the economy sucking so bad right now that many people are cutting out recreational spending.
 

cburg

Newbie
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
3,908
Location
Houston
Agreed...changing demographics and culture. It will never rebound IMO and the best thing to do is group with other AC types.

In my opinion, attendance is down simply because people just aren't as interested in this stuff now as they used to be. There are more people leaving the sport than new people entering it. There is a slew of reasons why thats happening... .
 

ultracruiser41

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,845
Location
NC
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Cavalon, OutBack Tango, Ryan PT 22, JetGyro, Jet Provost, Champ, Radial Rocket Gyro, HummelBird
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Too many to count
I've been to Mentone twice, not many vendors and not enough stuff geared towards newbies. During my first visit..... I felt like it was all a good ol boys club. Didn't have anything depicting introductory rides...etc.

When we hold fly ins.....our main attention is focused on new visitors and introducing FW pilots to the world of gyros. We seek out new people that are there...answer questions......and offer FREE rides. We NEVER charge a dime for rides!!! We fly for fun and the extra fuel cost is just part of this hobby. The joy is seeing their smiles....getting more people interested in gyros.....and making new friends. If you cant afford the gas.....don't buy the boat!

Just my opinion.
 

cburg

Newbie
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
3,908
Location
Houston
I can’t count how many times I’ve offered free rides to people. I hear folks always say, “yeah I’ve always wanted to do that” then I ALWAYS I say ok let’s go it’s free. I’ll pick you up and drive you to the airport. 95% have some reason they “can’t do it right now”. The real truth is that most people are afraid to fly...even when it is free.

And completion stats for student pilots is abysmal. I’ve read numbers between 3%-15%...not sure what’s correct.. They are the ones who have the courage to at least try, but find it’s not worth the effort and cost to finish.

In today’s…“instant gratification”…” short attention span”…“virtual world”, there are fewer and fewer people getting into flying.

It can never be made safe enough and cheap enough to reverse this trend IMO (slow it down…maybe…reverse…no).


Mayday! The declining pilot population

"Every measure of general aviation activity started to decline after 1979"

http://airfactsjournal.com/2012/10/mayday-the-declining-pilot-population/
 

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