As we bill ourselves as Heroes of the PFA how do we all feel about the proposed name change?
I've just read James Tannock's article in the latest Popular Flying and, while my idea of a perfect day is standing round "in tweed jackets and trilby hats, grouped around a Luton Minor or Flying Flea, smoking cigarettes" and I have to admit that "Heath-Robinson wood and fabric single seaters, with ancient twin cylinder engines and eccentric pilots" sums up my side of PFA life; I fully support the name change to the Light Aircraft Association.
The association must move forward if it is to survive. I actually hope that it's a precursor to the British Light Aircraft, Microlight and Sailplane Association, one voice for recreational flying in the UK.
Some sort of enlarged body representing all the aboveforementioned tribes has to be a good idea. There are too many disparate bodies trying to represent us, with predictably less force than could be achieved. I'd prefer a less cumbersome name - but Light Flying/ers Association suggests odd images involving 60 watt Osrams....
The current name is the Popular Flying Association.
However what it appears to be all too often is the
"Popular Build Your Own Aeroplane But Not a Microlight And Not a Helicopter and Not From a Kit Association"
We need a change of attitude to put the emphasis on the "Flying" bit, whatever you care to do it in. The ULA started as a way of getting people into the air cheaply. When you can buy an old factory built aircraft for well south of 20k but it would cost you nigh on 40k to get one of the modern self-build types into the air the priorities seem somewhat skewed.
I'm certainly not against those wishing to build their own but I would welcome the PFA being more receptive to change and PFA Engineering being a part of the organisation rather than its raison d'etre.
apparently, the BMAA have more active members than the PFA a merger ! why would the BMAA want to merge with an association that doesn't allow microlights to land at its airfield ? ( turweston ) even though most 3 axis microlights are just as capable as any spam can. it seems some major shake up is needed
Firstly, this is the first I've heard of it despite being a member (no mag yet). Secondly, as Mike says, PFA includes the word "flying" which encompasses all flying rather than just "light aircraft" which does not. I'm not against a name change (although I've always liked PFA as a name) but I'd have liked some say in what it might be. I'm also very in favour of a merger with the BMAA and BGA (I've been a member of both) .... but I can't see it happening anytime soon
Last edited by shortstripper; 20th Aug 2007 at 17:22.
Reason: I've been drinking and my spelling needs an edit
why would the BMAA want to merge with an association that doesn't allow microlights to land at its airfield ? ( turweston )
That is NOT the case. The PFA does not prevent microlights landing at Turweston. The airfield operator has to because of a planning restriction. You could also say that the BMAA prevents me from landing at its HQ because it's nowhere near an airfield.
Not sure where that one comes from. IME, the resentment works mostly in the opposite direction. Owners of IFR tourers (whether turboprop or not) aren't in the least bothered about what happens lower down the GA food chain.
As the old joke goes:
When a poor American sees a rich American, he asks himself "what can I do to make even more money than he has"?
When a poor Brit sees a rich Brit, he asks himself "what can I do to bring him down to my level"?
What IFR capable pilots do not like is the "permit/kit/microlight/whatever it's called" people claiming that this is how everybody should fly. This doesn't go down well because IFR capable pilots have spent vast amounts of time, hassle, effort, money, etc to get the mission capability they have, and they have done it for a well calculated reason.
Frankly I think that the name issue is a complete red-herring, as it is in most corporate re-branding exercises.
Either the PFA is providing the service it's members want and need, or it isn't - what it's called is irrelevant. And if it isn't, it's up to the members (and staff of-course) to sort things out.
Given that GA keeps changing (regulations, EASA, airspace, etc....) it's almost certain that at any point the PFA isn't providing exactly the right service and needs to improve (ditto BMAA, BGA, AOPA, etc...). Given that, why on earth are they wasting valuable time and resources mucking about with a well established and known name, however anachronistic it may be?
"Given that, why on earth are they wasting valuable time and resources mucking about with a well established and known name, however anachronistic it may be?"
I, as a long-time supporter of the PFA, wish it to be known that my old Klemm L25, the tweeds I wore to keep warm and myself have a deeply-rooted objection to the thought of being regarded as anachronisms. I do admit that the leather strap on the trilby looked a trifle bizarre but it was practical.
The nearest I ever got to the Flying Flea was a Douglas Dragonfly and that was quite close enough!
I think that the PFAs time & effort would be better spent forging better diplomatic relations with all other aviation organisations. The suspicions & mistrust between organisations who are all in basically the same business are detrimental to a strong force to forward all our interests. Name changing only serves to point out to the not so well informed that there is something wrong with that organisation. An amalgamation into perhaps The General Aviation Advisory Authority, with an understanding within it that their "clientele" vary widely between wanting to fly IFR airways or light singles or Microlights or Gliders (fixed wing) or leap from hills or whatever. The main thing being we want to fly with as little beurocracy as possible, full stop. If such an organisation existed it could have just as big a stick as the CAA & would have to be listened to. However, Britain being as it is, flying pigs, heavy drinking & breweries spring to mind.
I think the reason why the various bits of UK GA are not working together is because each is suspicious of the other doing some sort of a "deal" with the authorities, which will mess up others' privileges.
The GA operator scene is one where most people are relatively insecure. Only a few have total security in the form of their own runway and their own hangar, and of course their own plane which they can easily afford to run.
All the rest is wondering what is just around the corner, who is going to kick them out of the hangar, kick them off the airfield, close the airfield and turn it into a housing estate, who is going to screw them on maintenance, licensing, medicals, you name it. There is a whole pile of things, any of which can end your flying career.
This kind of pressure results in a lot of backstabbing.
On a note more serious than my last piece of nonsense, I have to agree with the last two posts.
Sadly, the days of Britain being "air minded" died with Sir Sefton Brancker. Since the war there has been a succession of governmental administrations keen to deter anything that might be construed as aŽrial initiative. That they have been most effective in this pursuit is evinced by the pitiful state of what remains of the British light aircraft industry and the imposition of super-restrictive control of domestic airspace. Of course, all these administrations have been wined and dined by Big Air and others who would like to see GA disappear altogether.
For as long as the GA (and in that category I would include all non-transport stuff) interests remain seemingly adversarial, fragmented and un-coordinated, there can be no reasonable expectation of reversing this pernicious tide. Our interests should be presented to the outside world by one body and that world should perceive this body as being the accepted corpus of GA interests. Division guarantees only failure. Obviously, many sectarian interests would be represented under this umbrella but that is a different subject and not germane to the public/political perception of GA.
This lack of cohesion gives rise to such aberrations as the tree-huggers recently reported to be laying siege to Biggin Hill.
PS All this has caused me to wonder about the current circumstances of my old chum John Blake and the BLAC . . . .?
There seems to be far to much suspicion around as to motive.
I don't think the motives are particularly opaque.
VFR pilots want easy VFR privileges and (for the most part) they couldn't care less if IFR pilots got shafted.
Some might say that IFR pilots want easy IFR privileges and (for the most part) they couldn't care less if VFR pilots got shafted, but this is actually untrue since all IFR pilots know full well they are a small group and that if VFR GA is shafted then they are gone as well.
Farm strip pilots, operating as they usually do in relatively secure and secluded groups, want to continue their way of life and (for the most part) they couldn't care less if the rest of GA (and all their expensive airports with towers and ATC and landing fees) got shafted.
Permit pilots want their regime to continue and (for the most part) they couldn't care less what happens to the CofA crowd.
And so on.
A typical owner/pilot has climbed a helluva mountain to get where he is. Even VFR (a plain PPL) is a year's worth of hassle and frustration. Then, more hassle trying to do something useful with the piece of paper. It's no wonder that people who have "made it" this far are going to defend what they have achieved.
There is no way out of this, other than to create a regime in which GA can exist in a secure and predictable manner. Once you have this (as they have in the USA) then people will get on a lot better, each playing with what they enjoy, and a single body could represent the lot.
At present there is this perception that the CAA is out to screw everybody. This is quite wrong; the CAA is a good supporter of GA but they have some awful internal politics and funding issues to deal with.
But this problem exists in every other European country AFAIK. It isn't going to go away. Maybe, many years from now, things will get better, but by then the property sharks will have shut down most GA airfields.
VP959 I agree with that. Cohesion of the various groups would be the answer, depending on just how cohesive it is. The flying schools could help considerably, at the moment they seem to work on the assumption that ALL would be pilots want ultimately to go the big silver bird route & train accordingly, ie: no, or very little spin training, I was never trained to sideslip, nor fly off grass. Most of my training hrs were navigation exes & I might point out proudly that from the start I always hit the target, & being an engineer by trade the sums were easy. So why keep doing it over & over? No mention was ever made of the PFA or any other organisation. Neither was any mention made of the handling charecteristics of any other a/c than those in the fleet. All in all "this is the first step up to the Flight Deck". This has been a steadily progressing attitude since the days of the trilby hat, plus the non air minded view of Joe Public that an aeroplane is a thing with room service that takes him & his kids to Torremolinos once a year. We are now ruled by Jobsworths & yeller jacks & if we dare to stick our heads over the parapet we get them shot off with "if you don't keep quiet we will close you down!" So we creep about with our heads down, ears back, tail between the legs hoping no one notices us. How many times have we heard, referring to airspace busts that if an accident ever occurs between GA & a commercial jet then GA will be finished. Why? are we only here on sufference? have we no rights at all, just priveleges bestowed upon us by those on high? If the likes of France or USA were pushed about like this I think they would likely taxi through the high street to make their point. Definately not cricket old boy!!" We will remain in this state until there is some form of revolution initiated by a big enough & loud enough organisation that is prepared to say "No more" in a big way on Our behalf & to have the guts to tell the country that we are not causing the planet to burn up, the floods of this summer are not our fault, we did not spread foot & mouth & our average carbon footprint is a lot smaller than the average Chelsea Tractor!.
Same here as elsewhere - It all seems to turn towards more inter cooperation between the current associations.
Why can't the UK have a single, coordinated Air Sport Association that is run on a commercial footing and has the clout to negotiate with the CAA and EASA on an equal basis.
Running the PFA, LAA on a volunteer basis is quite frankly pissing in the wind - and that does not take away one ounce of the effort put in by the superb volunteers we already have, I just believe that in 2007, that system is way outdated
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
At least at NPPL level, with the CAA's encouragement, we have a single body, the NPPL Policy & Steering Committee, which represents AOPA, BBGA, BGA, BMAA, CAA, GAPAN and PFA interests.
But there seems to be another 'People's Front of Judaea' nonsense building up over the EASA LAPL/LAFI Rating - with various pressure groups determined to push their own private agendas, rather than with a single, combined voice.