Monday, August 24, 2009
USUA / Can We Survive?
The United States Ultralight Association is a name that is recognized and respected by local clubs and national aviation authorities. This organization was once at the forefront of the ultralight movement and helped to shape the opinions of rule makers in giving our hobby, our sport, some autonomy when it came to flying the machines that we love to associate ourselves with. They did this by promoting safe, affordable flight and flying for fun in general. This is the primary reason that CCUC associated ourselves with USUA in 2004. It now appears that USUA has fallen on hard times. For many reasons the membership is decreasing. Employees have been laid off or let go. The board of directors is in turmoil and the organization is in a spin that they may not be able to recover from before they crash and burn. Our regional rep., Kathryn Ridgeway, did a great job assisting CCUC and gave USUA a face and name to our members. It now seems that USUA nationally failed to do the same for the rest of their members. To make a long story short USUA is in trouble. Roy Beiswenger, the well respected voice of "Ultraflight Radio" has taken up the USUA torch and is trying to save the once respected organization. Roy is without a doubt an expert on ultralight, sport pilot, training, and many other aviation topics. Roy is a no holds barred, slash and burn, type of guy. He does not seem to care too much if he burns bridges behind him. He will get his point across in a blog, newsgroup or some other venue other than on the air at Ultraflightradio. I think USUA needs to have a guy like Roy involved. I do worry about his slash and burn, knee jerk reaction to people. I think he could save or kill USUA. As I say, he has taken up the torch of USUA. We will just have to wait and see if he can save an organization that was in deep trouble before he stepped in to help or if he just steps in to damn those who were riding a sinking ship just before the vessel sank. In either case Roy has put himself in play with a nationally recognized organization with a lot of people looking on from all sides of the light sport aviation game. Thanks for your help Roy and we as members will help you if we can and if you conduct yourself in the best interest of USUA and in a respectable manner. Say what needs to be said, you are good at that but please use a little diplomacy. The light sport aviation community struggles for good press. We do not need a slash and burn, knee jerk reactor who does a great job promoting our sport by day and killing it by night in the newsgroups or email forum.