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Effect of Corona / Covid-19 on EuroGA forum

Relating to the general situation, and to specifics such as this.

Clearly it has affected the forum. Not in a measurable traffic-level way

but in the content. The weekly periodicity, pre-lockdown, is because many people read EuroGA only at the office

The Q is Why. I think that a lot of people who contribute well to EuroGA have simply stopped flying, due to CV19 and related hassles, and their priorities are elsewhere. Hence fewer GA posts. That’s why I asked here.

Some people reported increased aeroclub activity but that’s probably because many people have more time because they aren’t going to work, and they are in the “golden time” before the inevitable economic crisis hits them in their pockets. Or these are among the many people who are insulated from the crisis – delivery drivers is one of many groups. However it is really obvious that aeroclub participation in a “serious” forum like ours is limited. It isn’t encouraged, at multiple levels. It would be great to get more participation from this sector and I once mailed – at considerable cost – some hundred+ clubs in France, Germany, etc with EuroGA leaflets and got a join-up response which was practically zero, while the same number left at airports which people actually fly to as a destination would have produced an immediate and obvious response. Clubs are found on “instant one-liner fun” sites like FB, twitter, etc. And few people there are interested in going anywhere far, and then discuss it. Also I reckon the club president thinks “I don’t want people here to be renting one of my planes and taking it away for a week” etc etc and he bins the leaflets. Controversial? Yes… There is a direct tradeoff between low cost / accessibility (for short runs) and the ability to go places, and clubs of necessity largely serve the former market. And sites like FB are simply doing a great job destroying advert click traffic on www sites that carry ads.

Regarding the US v. Europe stuff, this is always going to be tricky. Some of our best contributors are in the US. The US GA flies 5x to 10x more hours than all of Europe, plus the mission profile is different due to the much greater utility value there. The “mod test” is whether the Guidelines are being breached. If they are, action will be taken. Nowadays, they are very rarely breached. Remember that a statement like “US is the land of the free / Europeans prefer govt authority” is not a personal attack on a European, or anybody else. It is just a personal opinion / rant. What would be over the line would be a post like “Brits are fu****g stupid islanders” (I removed a poster for that one; had someone posted that about his country, we would have WW3 here, and most of his posts were useless anyway). What was also over the line was “anybody who voted for brexit is an idiot”; that one led to the decision to ban brexit related posts; no useful discussion is possible anyway on that topic due to the sheer level of venom and this is amply demonstrated by every other site that still carries it.

What needs to be remembered is this:

  • politics has to be allowed (GA is full of politics especially regulatory / airspace matters)
  • you get right wing politics, left wing politics, and everything in between
  • most complaints which Mods get are from the left of the spectrum
  • left wing posters post ~10x more personal attacks ( → mod acts mostly against these, and gets labelled as right wing / nazi / fascist / etc and believe me it can get pretty unpleasant)
  • in brexit debates, remainers post ~10x more personal attacks than leavers ( result similar to above )

Last two and probably three points above are true across mainstream social media and EuroGA is no exception.

I think the “political excursions” in the current debate are well controlled. Sure; some repeated banging going on in the general CV19 thread, and some of that gets moved to the OT/political one, but that’s just one thread. Most people don’t participate in it anyway. The “CV19 flying restrictions” thread is much more useful to us pilots, yet few pilots from around Europe bother to update it… why? Probably because they aren’t flying.

The simple answer is: think of some good discussion topics and start threads on them

We also have the weekly Zoom meeting which is great for those who come but again there isn’t much participation, and when we had a lot, a lot of the people had the cams turned off which is not exactly nice to whoever was making a presentation which they spent some time on.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This is an interesting graph and thank you for posting.

It would be even more interesting to know to what extent there has been a shift to the more general discussion topics. My impression is that as pilots have flown less, and as other topics have become more relevant, there has been a shift between the subjects of discussion?

Perhaps to some extent this is also a general trend with forums over the years?

I recall in times past, forums being plagued with heated discussion over all sorts of technical aviation stuff that was disseminated in great detail. I suspect because much of it has all been done before, or, perhaps, so far as Euro GA is concerned, simply because of the more mature (I dont mean in age) participants, there are few threads of this nature. The type of thing I have in mind at the worst extreme is “are we on final or finals!”.

I also wonder if there may be some reflection of how GA is progressing in general. I notice and indeed recall from my own experience, when we start out in any new field we are full of questions. There is so much to ask and understand. In consequence, novices find these forum very useful and are great at filling the pages with questions for the more experienced to field.

Aviation is interesting in that as expereince grows there are less questions and points directly related to aviation perhaps to discuss. I think this may be more true than other arenas. I have an interest in boats, being the only other forum I really frequent. Perhaps surprsingly from a paractical point of view boats are much more complicated than aircraft. I mean this in the sense that much of the technology with aircraft pilots do not get involved with, beyond hopefully understanding how it should work! On boats, there can be a vast number of systems, and boat owners often like to be very hands on with all of these systems. This, in itself, produces endless discussion points about batteries, and charging system, and toilets (yes toilets) and chart plotters and transponders and so on.

May Euro GA long continue and flourish and ask, and answer all sorts of questions, challenge authority, discuss politics (because you are right this inevitably effects aviation in all its forms) and grwo in its influence and its contributors across Europe and in the States.

It has long surpassed the other forums in the UK and (perhaps) Europe, some of which have now banned discussion which isnt aviation related and seem to increasingly attract more and more rather trivial discussion and banter between a certain clique of contributors.

Please don’t get me wrong I am all for healthy debate but I am getting shall we say “dispirited” by the fact that every time I check out the " latest posts " I get a whole page full of " Coronavirus "
I really enjoy the trip reports and all the other GA related topics, even those from the USA and Canada . There are many on here from all round the world who are both interesting and informative on GA matters. Even on political and health matter I value the contributions of people like Medewok and Kwif.I also valued the GA contributions of Timothy as I value others like Airborne_Again, Capitaine and all too many to write up. I even find myself occasionally agreeing with Silvaire, Le Sving and Malibu :) especially in GA matters.
When it comes to regulations I don’t think there is a more knowledgable crowd than those on this forum.
But for gawd’s sake can’t we be a bit more optimistic and upbeat.
Please also do not take it personally about the lack of response from clubs to your flyers. If you take the club I belong to now, out of 100 listed members only 4 would think their English good enough to contribute to this forum. Many more, however, will regularly read it.

France

Gallois – I agree.

Unfortunately Covid is a game changer, which, unlike most news stories, is having such a profound impact that I suspect as soon as people feel they should get on with life, it redawns that it is some while before it will have played out to its conclusion.

I happen to be listening to the news and there is a discussion about the long term impact on health of individuals who have had Covid. Aspects such as this are I suspect part of the reason why we all continue to be so concerned.

BUT .. I am engaging in exactly this discussion, and, therefore I agree, it may fuel a lot of traffic on Euro GA, but discussion of other topics must be encouraged and perhaps, if gradually our collective pysche accepts we will be living with the current mess we are in for some while, and we become more confident that we can operate within these new parameters, we will see an increase in other topics.

I suspect it is a change in pysche that will be difficult to control. People, pilots need to feel a return of this confidence and I suspect this will take time.

I think it’s an unusual time with everything going on and people have had major changes to their routine.

Whilst I’m now flying much more regularly and very much enjoying it.

I’ve noticed that there’s very much reduced light aircraft activity from my nearest airfield. There are additional factors such as it being closed to visitors and not selling fuel. I I get the impression that the based pilots and renters aren’t flying so much. I also feel that if one slips out of flying and gets into doing something else or other hobbies it gets more effort to return to the longer it goes on.

I enjoy the conversation and find the quality of threads is generally excellent (The corona thread in particular I find useful to dip into and see different thoughts on the subject).

The observation that the left tends to shout the loudest and want to exclude other points of view and shut down counter discussion seems to be pretty true across the board. Cancel culture, etc.

Unless we have a total economic disaster which stops large numbers of people from being able to afford to fly, I think as things head back towards a normal so will the forum conversation.

Actually I feel that this foum has handled the Corona topic very much better than all the other forums i visit.

That is partially thanks to Peter and his team but also thanks to all of the participants who kept civil at all times. for a forum like this, this is a huge achievement.

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Mooney_Driver
14-Jul-20 17:58
06

Actually I feel that this foum has handled the Corona topic very much better than all the other forums i visit.

That is partially thanks to Peter and his team but also thanks to all of the participants who kept civil at all times. for a forum like this, this is a huge achievement.

Hear, hear.

Peter wrote:

And few people there are interested in going anywhere far, and then discuss it.

Well, clubs consists of many people. Discussions are done there, not on forums, and especially not on foreign language forums.

As far as I can see, after a short month of grounding, it’s been business as usual, only better due to much less CAT. A couple of months ago, we almost had the entire airspace and ATC all to ourselves (GA). Right now I would say CAT is at 50%. and increasing each day. People are even getting used to holding patters again

Since Corona, or rather since we could fly again after the grounding, we (my club) have had a “formation” flying over the nearby counties on the National Day. We have had a Lancair fly-in here. We have got an Alphatrainer in which I have been very occupied with (what a truly fantastic machine). Right now we are doing glider tow training for a bunch of people in cooperation with the local gliding club (nothing to do with the Alphatrainer). Several have had long trips to Northern parts of Norway, and lots of shorter trips, 1-2 days. I did a “sleep under the wing” trip a few weeks back myself, and I’m not all that found of cross country flying We have also had a fatal accident, less than a week ago, very sad and unfortunate and with a strong feel of – unnecessary. I spent the entire Saturday on the site together with police investigators and investigators from the Safety Investigation Authority.

Just saying. If you think this site is any sort of measure of the activity going on, you are severely mistaken. As far as I can see, my club alone do more flying and more diverse flying than this site can come up with, and we discuss all of it – a lot And there are lots and lots of similar clubs around in Europe.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

I can only speak about our club and am of course based in the US, but our activity is now above pre-covid levels. As CA has gone back into partial closure earlier today it remains to be seen if this holds up, but unless there is another ‘stay-at-home’ order I don’t expect any dramatic impact.

FYI, aviation was always classified as ‘essential’ here, explicitly including GA and personal aviation. We never shut down, but did stop training for about 6 weeks or so. The good thing (if there is anything good in this mess) is that a few of us flew club airplanes to KLAX – great fun, I did one of these flights with our C210. What has happened is that some of our older members have decided to stay away from high-touch environments like GA cockpits, but that affects only a handful of people.

@172driver, the California stay at home order has never been rescinded, although it has certainly been ‘ignored by popular/99% demand’

Flying, particularly at present is my way of getting into the more pleasant aspects of nature and away from nonsense on the ground. My US base is busy, no different than at any other time AFAIK.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 15 Jul 02:12
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