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Thread: Mike Roe

  1. #11

    Mike Roe

    Gary hits the nail on the head when he says the name of the association isn't important - it's not at the forefront of any visibility to the outside world and doesn't at present engage in any marketing or promotion outside, so what it is called doent really affect any public perception or recruitment. It's a back room support organisation. It gets its members from those who have already entered the community.

    I don't really buy that the BHPA name helped any more people take up paragliding or hangliding, or that the PFA rebranding to LAA got more people to get their PPL.

    The visible elements to the outside world for our sport are the schools and clubs. They are free to describe themselves and the craft as they think fit - rather like Steves point about paragliders / Parapentes / Paracsenders / class three hangliders all being individual descriptions of the same thing. Lots of our schools sell what they do as ' Airsports', some light sport aviation, and some stick to microlights. Their websites show the aircraft, the capabilities and the license category and name gets the small print or abbreviation treatment if they want to play down the M word.

    What we don't have at present is any concensus for a new category umbrella name. Until we have one that is snappy and descriptive and hasn't been taken already we are a bit stuck and can't really move forwards and collectively market a new brand.

    This debate comes up like clockwork every few years since inception 35 years ago, and no one has yet come up with a good alternative name.

    So put you thinking caps on and come up with a good one, or this is all just pointless.

    IMHO it needs to avoid diminutives ( like micro, or small) and should avoid reusing anything that already is in use and has a different definition ( like Light Sport Aircraft) and shouldn't be so close to an existing category name as to be confusing and diminish building a clear identity.

    Paul

  2. #12
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    Mike Roe

    My poll amongst some of my non flying friends seems to suggest that the m word isn't too important. Microlight to many simply means flexwing by the look of it, three axis machines are light aircraft not microlights aren't they? Seemed to be the majority view. Predictably most people are more willing to have a go in an ikarus c42 type than quiks thrusters and dragons as I presume they look more flimsy (I posted 4 pictures of microlight types and asked which they'd have a go in).
    If going on name alone then light aircraft sounded more appealing than a microlight, presumably because of its more sturdy sound.

    I fly a microlight and I'm rather proud of it.
    Jk
    .

  3. #13

    Mike Roe

    Paul Dewhurst wrote:

    1. I am not on council

    Paul
    Well, in the words of that well known Eagles song, ...

  4. #14
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    Mike Roe

    "...You can check out any time you like...."

  5. #15

    Mike Roe

    ;-)

  6. #16
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    Mike Roe

    Stuff the pointless navel gazing; 'tain't broke.

  7. #17
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    Mike Roe

    Rebranding an organisation just for the sake of it, particularly one that is irrelevant to the public at large, is pointless. It doesn't matter what it is called. What matters is what it does and how well it does it - ie the service it provides for its members - and how well it communicates with its members and potential members. If those services markedly change over time so that the name no longer reflects what the organisation does, then a name change to reflect the change may be in order. But changing the name in the hope that magically everything will get better is wishful thinking in the extreme and is putting the cart before the horse.

    Where is the evidence that changing the name of the PFA to the LAA has increased its membership (for example)?

  8. #18
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    Mike Roe

    Dominic Connolly wrote: When a founder member of an organisation makes the effort to write an open letter calling for a change of name it's time to sit up and take notice. [Dave Thomas July MF p15]. .
    Dave's letter was interesting, particularly for its historical perspective. But I find myself wondering if the organisation had been called the "British Minimum Aircraft Association" whether or not we'd now be seeing letters calling for us to ditch the word "minimum" on the grounds that it is wrong to call, say, a Eurostar or a CT, a "minimum aircraft".

    Dave unfortunately does not make a distinction between the name of the organisation and the name of the class of aircraft that it looks after. Just changing the name of the organisation won't change what the public think of as microlights.

  9. #19

    Mike Roe

    I couldn't disagree with anything Dominic said at the start, even though it never occurred to me before that we might need a name change at all.

    One bug-bear of mine, which may not be directly relevant, but which does touch on definitions and the magazine, is why the close relationship and endless reference to gyrocopters / autogyros? They are not microlights and microlighters cannot fly them. I love them....I wrote my dissertation on them, partially....and I'd love to fly one, if I could afford it. I don't need my nose rubbed in it constantly that I cannot fly them.

    I have no problem with the word microlight, but it does irritate me that people always say, "Oh, a microlight. So, not a real aeroplane, then".

  10. #20
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    Mike Roe

    Surely, when BCAR section S was amended to allow microlights up to 450kg (and now beyond with added extras), they introduced the term Small Light Aeroplane. Why can't the name-changers just use this if they are ashamed of eth microlight moniker?

    As far as I'm concerned, for my own flying I don't care what other people thing of what I fly - it flies :-)

    As far as the business is concerned, when people come to us for a microlight trial lesson, they don't want a 'real aeroplane'.

    How about you call it what you want to call it, the rest of us call it what we want to call it. if you want to fly a 'real aeroplane' there are plenty of 'real aeroplane' licences out there to go for.

    Joan
    ...Setting off now to give a lesson or two in a microlight :-)

    PS. re gyros, somebody once suggested that they're like microlights because "they're slow, they're noisy, and everybody thinks they're dangerous' I like that.

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