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Death Of The EAA?!?!

Posted By:
Dwayne Parkinson
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
3
Posts
0
#1 Posted: 2/3/2010 16:59:42

Perhaps the single most telling metric of the health or popularity of any thing in the world is to look at how it performs in Google Trends.  This shows how many people all over the world are searching for a term or set of terms.  Here is a link to the Google Trends for "experimental aircraft."

http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=experimental%20aircraft&cmpt=q


The trend is pretty obvious.  Now that you've seen the chart look at the major headlines that are featured off to the right.  What two words jump out?  Death and Crash.

My question is:  What can the EAA and our chapters do to rewrite the headlines for experimental aircraft?  What can the EAA do to combat this downward trend of interest in experimental aircraft?  How do we get headlines in the news that say experimental aircraft but don't include the words crash and death? 

I'm just putting it out there and looking for ideas!


Dwayne



Russ Zimmerman
237
Posts
88
#2 Posted: 2/3/2010 17:26:48

I'm not so sure just how much credence one should put into these trending statistics.  I went to that site and entered numerous topics, such as automobiles, food, etc., and practically every topic trended down.  I had a hard time finding any topics that did not trend downward, with perhaps the exception of "health care reform", and "sex".  LOL

As a result, I don't think I would be able to concur with "Perhaps the single most telling metric of the health or popularity of any thing in the world is to look at how it performs in Google Trends".  That's just my opinion and you are certainly entitled to yours.  But, I think one can look at the tremendous success and turnout of AirVenture 2009, to put things into their proper perspective regardless of what google trends thinks.

Russ



EAA #292524
John Reid
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
43
Posts
15
#3 Posted: 2/3/2010 19:01:48

Aviation has been around for over a hundred years and I have been around for seventy of them myself.Interest comes and goes but the trend for anything that takes time and patience,art and workmanship is a hard sell in these days of instant gratification.I don't see kids at hobby stores anymore or even hanging around airports like they did years ago or even playing in the park.Darn! I hate to sound like my grandfather talking about the good old days that really weren't all that good but something has truly been lost recently.Wish I knew where it went.Cheers! John.



Adam Smith
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
538
Posts
381
#4 Posted: 2/3/2010 19:38:34 Modified: 2/3/2010 19:44:36


edited... embed does not work...

I'm a bit skeptical about the Google trending stats too, but to answer the original challenge, this was sent to me today, good example of positive creative PR.

 

http://www.q13fox.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=24aa93ee-d23d-4a02-bc0c-0b16c2d85390&src=front  

 

 



Ron Wanttaja
246
Posts
98
#5 Posted: 2/3/2010 22:49:29

 

Adam Smith wrote:

 


edited... embed does not work...

I'm a bit skeptical about the Google trending stats too, but to answer the original challenge, this was sent to me today, good example of positive creative PR.

 

http://www.q13fox.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=24aa93ee-d23d-4a02-bc0c-0b16c2d85390&src=front  

As you say, the embed doesn't work, but one can copy the link and paste it into their browser.

Here's some more positive press for Seattle-area homebuilders.

 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pacificnw/2009604823_pacificpairplanes09.html 

 

Bob Dempster, the man leading the construction of the Douglas World Cruiser, is a long-time local EAAer.

 



Ron Wanttaja
Joe LaMantia
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
175
Posts
69
#6 Posted: 2/4/2010 10:43:29

Hi guys, interesting topic.  I would agree with Russ on taking too much from Google trends.  The News is a business first and foremost and big headlines get a lot of attention which sells a lot of "toothpaste".  In the good old days, newspapers made a lot of $ off "Lucky Lindy" and just about anything to do with flying.  In those days plane crashes were common and the equipment was not very reliable.  Covering aircraft crashes became an easy source of revenue and part of the news culture.  The only thing that has changed is everybody flies via the airlines today and there is no  story in going out to any major airport (class C or B) and interview the passengers on their flight experience.   That only happens if something goes wrong...like holding a plane load of people on the ramp for many hours, or a shoe bomber incident.  Death, destruction, and sex still bring the big audience, the internet hasn't changed that set of facts. 

Aviation as a community has been dealing with this issue since day one, we can and should continue to "advertise" the positive thru human interest stories like the "Douglas World Cruiser" or somebody's garage project.  Maybe some of you homebuilders can get your wives or girl friends into a bikini or less and have them pose in front of your new homebuilt.  That might put the story on the front page if your married to Paris Hilton!

The only thing I can say to John is that the world has changed considerably, maybe the kids in China will be running out to their local airports.  We are seeing a shirking of the middle class in this country and there is nothing going on in our culture that is going to turn that around. I watched a TV program called "Digital Nation" the other night and it looks like the new Air Force will be flying drones using "pilots" from the video arcades.  I don't know if thats good or bad, it's just different.


Happy Flying


Joe



Bob Mackey
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America Member
15
Posts
4
#7 Posted: 2/5/2010 11:48:57

Hello All!  (Good Discussion!)

 

I see trends in my business but it is definitely not consistent.  SP and LSA have had a positive impact but at the same time I see the value of many expensive Standard category airplane falling.  The demand for used RVs is still up as well as many other popular homebuilts.  I believe we all must work to knock down the hurdles as we encounter them.  We need to welcome new folks into aviation as often and sincerely as possible.  Take a friend flying!  Take a youngster flying!

 

Bob



Bob Mackey Falcon Insurance (EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan
Michael Zenner
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
12
Posts
5
#8 Posted: 2/5/2010 12:07:12 Modified: 2/5/2010 12:07:59

 I agree, I think one needs to look at membership activity, whether or not people are continuing to renew their memberships and how many new members are joining from year to year. I also believe that EAA and General Aviation in general will continue to stay strong and possibly gain support in the near future with the emergence of more light sport aircraft. In 2009 there were a few airshows that had gained in attendance, such as Arlington and Oshkosh. Being in a recession and having attendance increase is saying something about the General Aviation community, and the support, love and interest in aircraft.

Michael