A group of Recreational Aviation Australia members led by member David Jardine are trying to force a General Meeting of the organisation over the issue of the "Freedom to Fly" trademark, according to documents made public yesterday.
Jardine is incensed that RAAus trademarked "Freedom to Fly" in the face of prior use of the slogan by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), saying the move has damaged RAAus' reputation. Jardine needs the signatures of at least 100 members to forces a General Meeting.
"The response online by both RAAus members and aviation industry participants has been clearly and overwhelming in stating that the decision to trademark this slogan was an enormous error of judgement," Jardine said in an open statement to members.
"Unfortunately our board and management have elected to continue to assert the ownership of the trademark and ignore the overwhelming opinion of members for RAAus to surrender the trademark 'Freedom to Fly'.
"This has bought the reputation of the RAAus into considerable disrepute and has significantly damaged the relationship between RAAus and our peer aviation organisations.
"As such I feel the board must be reminded that they are a membership organisation and must act in the best interests of its members. The RAAus constitution has been set-up to allow members to exercise those membership rights and hold the board to account if it strays from the direction the majority of members desire."
In a note to the RAAus board, Jardine said the aim of a meeting would be to discuss two resolutions: one to surrender the trademark and another to call for the resignation of those responsible for registering the trademark.
At the time of writing, Jardine is believed to have 17 firm signatures with further promises from members that will take the number up to 70.