Thursday, April 10, 2014

This blog post represents one USUA members view of USUA in 2014
EAA.....Impression.... homebuilders, experimental, innovators, member benefits, advocacy.
AOPA.....Impression....general aviation, major player, member benefits, advocacy.
USUA.....Impression...ultralights, former national organization, former innovator, former advocate, still taking members money, one man show.
As stated in the first line of this post this opinion represents one USUA members opinion.  I joined the ultralight world on in the early 2000's.  USUA was "the name" to join and create a new club or member organization with if you had or were starting a new group of ultralight enthusiast's.  I was part of a group of folks who did just that.  USUA Club 203 was an enthusiastic group of guys who grew from nothing to becoming USUA Club of the Year in 2008.  Then for some reason, unknown to Club 203, USUA fell on hard times.  As time rolled on we were not sure USUA was even still a functional organization.  One thing was for sure, our club wanted to make sure we supported USUA.  As the time and years rolled on we kept paying dues and bought a subscription to Powered Sport Flying Magazine for our members.  During this time the only USUA member benefit that appeared to be offered as a value to our members was a small discount on Third Party Insurance for members aircraft.  The USUA website became and still is stagnant.  Membership dues checks were cashed, club certificates that were always mailed out stopped. Members no longer received membership cards to provide to their insurance companies as proof of membership.  USUA seemed to have dried up and disappeared. ENTER ROY BEISSWENGER!!  I don't know where Roy came from with regard to USUA but hallelujah, USUA appeard to have a savior, a person that was known on the national stage and a advocate of ultralights.  USUA appeared to be a train wreck but Roy was gonna save our organization.  20 ataboys to Roy!!  We waited to see how Roy would recreate USUA.  I called him and offered USUA club 203's help and support.  He seemed appreciative, said to send him photos from our club, he would publish them in his mag. (by the way contacting him was a very long, difficult, pain in the ass process)
In summary, I think Roy means well with regard to USUA.  He has taken the reigns of USUA with or without the memberships approval. 
Here is my concern and what I feel should be every USUA members concern.  I have asked Roy several times over the last year to provide the names of the USUA board of Directors and provide an annual financial reports that reflect where our dues have been spent.  This is where the communication from Roy stops and my concern begins.  I have asked Roy to provide this info to USUA club 203 several times.  He will not provide this info and does not reply to these questions.
Is Roy Beisswenger using our dues to fund his pet projects?  I doubt it but who the hell knows, he won't provide annual financial statements.
Is Roy Beisswenger using the USUA name to place him on the natioanl stage at places like Sun 'N Fun and drive his own agenda home without membeship input?  I doubt it, but who the hell knows? He will not tell us who is on his board and how they form opinions to represent USUA.
Has USUA been hijacked by Roy Beisswenger to promote Roy Beisswengers agenda at the expense of the membership?  Who the hell knows, but as time rolls on it appears that may be the the case.
Sadly, I think I have paid my last USUA membership dues and as much as I like Powered Sport Flying Magazine, I don't think I will support Roy Beisswenger's magazine.  I am sure he had great intentions but his lack of concern to keep USUA members informed, even when we asked, has given me the impression that Roy only wants to use USUA's name to promote Roy.  Demand an answer from Roy, he cashes your checks.
Tom Freeman
USUA Member

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