New AMA Catagory??

I just received an email from AMA about a pro[psed new catagory of membership that is for the park flyers only. While I know this will
start another argument and such, I am putting in my two cents worth. As far as I am concerened, I realize that having a cheaper membership will put money in the till for the AMA, I look upon those plastic and foam electric things as just one step above a toy...and again, as far as I am concerned, they can stay in their back yards or in the street in front of their houses and fly....we have a couple of them at our field and they spend most of their time hovering over the runway which really causes a problem with "regular" glow R/C models which are taking off and landing. I am going to write AMA and tell them just that and I am against a "second class" membership....I don't care that they think the hobby is going that way...and if it does in the next decade or two, AMA may well implode..... If the foamie mini electric people want in, let 'em pay the regular dues just as the rest of us do. Frank Schwartz
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Lonely this morning Frank ;-)

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Frank Schwartz wrote:

Oh Boy! Here we go......they ain"t gonna get into our club without full coverage. Picture one of those foamies getting onto the highway which is in front of our field and causing an accident.....$500 won't go very far.
Phil AM609
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pcoopy wrote:

Bet more accidents are caused by pet cats on the freeway than a $20 piece of foam..
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Last fall, I was traveling down US 84 heading west toward Fort Sumner, NM, when a Saint Bernard wandered into my path. Passing through a village, I slowed from 45 MPH (73 KMH) to almost a complete stop (dumb dog), when some impatient eejit behind me tried to pass a double solid line. Then he saw the dog and backed off.
However IMHO, it is easier to sue the owner of a $20 (11 GBP) piece of foam than a pet.
--
HPT

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I replied as follows:
In answer to your 2 questions : 1) No, I cannot fit myself into this type of plan. 2) No, I would choose no alternate program other than the full membership I now enjoy. Think! How do you intend to administer a program? 1) Decreased size,altitude and weight do not necessarily equate to decreased severity of injury or liability. 2) Enforcement seems to be fantasy. Consider this! Electricity is simply another means of powering our models. Park flyers are not the extent of electric powered models. We all exist as complimentary parts of a complete hobby. Electric flyers should not be segregated into " flying fields in urban areas and not being part of existing clubs". We don't separate jets, gliders, etc., they fly together many times and coexist in clubs. I feel you should reconsider your approach Sunny_B
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| As far as I am concerened, I realize that having a cheaper membership | will put money in the till for the AMA,
It might ... or it might not.
There may be members of the AMA who would give up their existing membership and switch to the cheaper membership if it were available.
| I look upon those plastic and foam electric things as just one step | above a toy...
And the bigger glow planes aren't?
| and again, as far as I am concerned, they can stay in their back | yards or in the street in front of their houses and fly....we have a | couple of them at our field and they spend most of their time | hovering over the runway
Odd. At our AMA field, most of the people who spend their time hovering over the runway are flying big planes with gas (not even glow) engines.
I'm fully aware of the sort of plane you're referring to (and I even have one, though I'm no good at hovering and it's not much fun anyways) -- and they're usually not even flown at the AMA field -- instead, they're flown at the local park, school yard, etc. Unfortunately, that flying location may only be a fraction of a mile from your AMA field ... which would be unfortunate.
And just for the record, most park fliers do NOT do 3D -- that's only a small subset of the sort of airplane that people fly in the parks.
| which really causes a problem with "regular" glow R/C models which | are taking off and landing.
Ok, but that's not a `park flier' problem. It's a rude person problem, or a problem of perception, or just poor planning on somebody's part.
| If the foamie mini electric people want in, let 'em pay the regular | dues just as the rest of us do.
That sounds fine, except that they just ... won't. The AMA needs the park fliers more than the park fliers need the AMA. People will disagree with this view, but ultimately the people who disagree tend to be more AMA and less park flier.
As I see it, the only reasons park flier fliers will be joining the AMA is 1) they're already flying bigger planes, 2) they have no where else to fly but the local AMA field (rare, but some places do prohibit all RC flying except at the specified field), 3) they think they need an AMA `license' to fly (they don't, but it's a relatively common misconception), and 4) they like the camaraderie and the magazine. (And I'm guessing group #4 is pretty small.)
In any event, I've heard of a cheaper AMA membership level being proposed for years now, but have never heard that the AMA was seriously considering it befor. Where are people reading this?
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler."
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Joyce, thank you for your e-mail requesting my feedback. To answer your two specific questions:
1) Given my current involvement in the hobby, the current AMA membership program best suits my needs. I fly glow and electric, and take full advantage of AMA sanctioned flying fields. I hope to be flying glow aircraft for a long time to come.
2) Given my current involvement, an "electric only" program would not be preferential to my existing membership.
I love the idea of the AMA including more of the electric-only and park flyer crowd, and of the AMA working toward establishing e-flight fields in metropolitan areas. The attitude of some clubs toward park flyers is almost hostile due to radio interference concerns, but the hobby itself would be far better served by inclusion and cooperation.
I hope that the AMA can move forward with these ideas in such a way as to not divide the membership into two seperate catagories. It would be ideal for the $58.00 "full" members to be treated like e-flight only members as well, meaning that they should receive the bi-monthly electric publication as well as Model Aviation. Most of my friends and club members that I fly glow models with also fly electric aircraft, myself included. If the two programs were presented as either "e-flight" or "all" instead of "e-flight" or "gas/glow," flyers would be less likely to feel like they have to choose between one or the other.
I started out as a clueless owner of a parkflyer just last spring. I bought a Hobby Zone Aerobird Challenger at the local hobby store and I had no idea about the AMA or "sanctioned" flying areas. I went and threw my park flyer around local soccer fields and baseball diamonds and watched it crash. It was by happenstance that an aquaintence mentioned a local flying field and I ran into the RC Clubs to which I now belong. I gained a swift interest in glow flight and indoor electric flight and I joined the AMA. My enthusiasm for the hobby continues to flourish long after that Aerobird Challenger has been reduced to scrap.
Adding folks like myself to the ranks of the AMA will vastly improve the success of true r/c flying novices so that they can continue to explore our hobby. Without the help of an R/C flying club, every year countless consumers buy park flyer aircraft, crash them, and then give up on the hobby. Drawing those same consumers into the AMA club structure will give them guidance and encouragement that will make the difference between becoming life long flying enthusiasts or becoming another one-time purchaser who "tried" flying once.
The AMA can, and should, develop an e-flight membership program that will improve the health of not only the AMA, but the hobby of R/C flight as a whole. If carefully constructed, such a program should have a minimal impact on existing full memberships in the short term, while actually increasing the growth of such memberships in years to come.
The challenge for the AMA is to find consumers who have never heard of the AMA, and to start signing up folks who are buying their first aircraft at Toys R Us and Wal Mart instead of their local HobbyTown USA or Hobby People store. In that endeavor, I wish you luck!
Ed Paasch AMA # 839155 ----- Original Message ----- From: Joyce Hager To: Edward Paasch Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 5:02 PM Subject: Survey of Modelers on New Proposed Program
Dear AMA Member,
I am sending this E-mail to you in a request for your assistance. With recent advancements in electric R/C technologies and the advent of the very popular "Park Flyer" aircraft, the demographics of the modeling community are rapidly changing. In order to better serve our members the AMA Executive Council is considering instituting a membership program that is specifically aimed at addressing the needs of the park flyer pilots. We have defined these "park flyer modelers" as having models that weigh 2 pounds or less, do not exceed 60 mph, and do not fly higher than 200 feet.
This proposed program would have less insurance coverage, be limited to non-sanctioned events, and include a bimonthly magazine focusing on electric-powered aircraft. Additionally, we view this new membership group as establishing electric-power flying fields in urban areas and not being part of existing clubs. We have priced this program at $29.95 per year.
To better assess the views of the membership, the AMA Executive Council is seeking your input in answering the following questions:
1) Given your current involvement in the hobby, would an "electric only" program as described above better meet your needs?
2) If such an alternative membership program was offered, would you be inclined to choose this program over your existing full-service membership?
Again, I want to underscore that this is a proposed program.
Thank you for your assistance!
Joyce Hager
Acting Executive Director on behalf of the Membership Development Committee
Program comparison details: (also attached as comparison.gif)
Current Open AMA dues Benefits Park Flyer AMA dues Benefits Rate $58 $29.95 Insurance $2.5 million individual liability coverage $500,000 individual liability coverage $25,000 medical coverage No medical coverage $1,000 Fire, Theft & Vandalism coverage No Fire, Theft & Vandalism coverage Participation in sanctioned events Yes No Flying site Fly at current AMA chartered fields New park flyer E-fields to be established. Magazine Monthly Model Aviation magazine Bimonthly E-focused AMA magazine melding MA E-type articles and E-flight articles from existing publications

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Well, I did get things going...didn't I??? for myself, having started with solid models in 1935 (yeah, that's right)..graduating to rubber power and 1/16th square 10 cent kits and then to "gassie" free flights and then after WW2 into early R/C and very active ever since...I am ambivalent about the ARF planes...yes, they are cheaper than a kit and the supplies and they do fly well...but where is the satisfaction of saying "I built it myself"? And in this era of instant gratification those who can scratch build, kit build or design their own are getting fewer and fewer...I think that is a shame, although others will disagree. And as for the "toy" classification, you can go to Harbor Freight and buy a radio controlled electric R/C plane complete for $29.95 and sometimes less.... So, is that a true R/C plane or is it on the level of a "toy"??? Some things defy definition, I suppose. So if a fellow or kid shows up at our field with the $29.95 wonder and wants to learn to fly, ok with me, but does that mean he gets to join AMA cheaper than the rest of us? I agree with some of the posts here...if they want to join AMA, they should pay what everyone else pays.... Sorry, gents, that's my opinion and I don't mind saying so.... Regards to all..... Frank Schwartz AMA123 80 years young.. P.S. Still building and flying everything from Quadra sized planes to Lazy Bee's with .074 and all in between...and scratch building, kit building and on occasion designing my own plane, building it and flying it....now, again, in my opinion...that's what a real model airplane man does.... and with all due respects to the "buy and fly" bunch....I do not consider them modelers...just flyers..................and there is a difference.......
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Frank Schwartz wrote:

Hobby? While flying electric foam toys fits the dictionary definition, it doesn't fit the educational mission of the AMA, nor does it fit in with the implied definition those over fifty or so seem to recognize.
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On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 10:09:52 -0500, Frank Schwartz

I don't much care what AMA management does. They no longer serve my interests. They haven't for a long time. Each year when I rejoin, I feel victimized by an organization I helped create and whose organization management tells me I am a part of. I am not.
The AMA has problems. Most of which, the AMA management created themselves. The last thing the AMA needs is more dissension, controversy, and general mud-slinging. Taking a stand on Park Fliers is the best way to create the thing they do not need...but I think they want. Such controversy fuels and inspires management. It gives them something meaningful to do when they aren't building buildings and adding to the overhead costs that we members get to pay for. They create problems for which they can be the savior and answer. That is just what management does.
Leave Park Fliers out of all discussion of AMA business. If those fliers won't to join with "full" membership, they can; they won't because they do not need the AMA...like a lot of independent model fliers used to do, they just call a buddy or two and go fly.
Ken, AMA 69222, CD
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That's exactly why it makes sense to attract them with cheap memberships. Once they're in, they can be attracted to more "serious" stuff.
Before this discussion I had the impression that the AMA is an elitist club - now I start to think that it's not elitist enough for some folks...
--
Hubba Balu...


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On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 20:55:29 +0200, Peter Stegemann

OK, I guess that puts me in the "elitist" group... Frank
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Separate membership for Park Flyers? How about rubber powered models, indoor models, hand launched gliders . . . . . modelers that only fly on weekdays between the hours of 7 am and 11am, modelers that fly less than once a month . . . . . .modelers in northern climates that fly only 4 months out of the year, retired modelers in the sun belt that fly daily, year round? Cut this modeling worm in enough pieces and it won't wiggle any more!
--
Red Scholefield
AMA 951
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Red Scholefield wrote:

Precisely.
There is no 'The Hobby'
There are guys who commit aviation in various ways in various places at various times of phenomenally different budgets and completely different motivations, who simply have one thing in common. They commit aviation with toy planes.
Insofar as SOME of them need radio equipment with shared frequencies and fly planes that need runways and landing strips, they need organized clubs. And a few rules.
Insofar as a smaller subset of these compete, they need national competitions organised.
Insofar as a smaller subset fly stuff that is capable of inflicting damage, they need insurance.
NONE of the above implies a *need* for the AMA.
Indeed for the vast majority, its *TOTALLY IRRELEVANT*.
If the AMA doesn't start realizing it needs toy plane pilots more than toy plane pilots need the AMA, it will go the way of all dinosaurs.
And frankly, it can't be too soon.
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On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 16:26:50 -0400, "Red Scholefield"

The worm analogy was pretty accurate, Red. <g> You could have used baloney slices and made the same point...more accurately? <g>
But I would go for that variable insurance rate, Red. We repeatedly connect "AMA/Insurance," as if that is one word or concept. Why should the rubber free flight boys pay the same for insurance as those who fly much larger, louder, faster, heavier, more expensive models? That is hardly fair, is it?
The reason the AMA says, "it isn't WHAT you fly but the WAY you fly" is that they know the poor logic in having everyone pay the same insurance for the difference levels of risk and liability.
Consider the poor logic in the AMA's insurance position. Does the insurance companies tell us, "it isn't WHAT you drive but the WAY you drive?" Semi's pay a lot more insurance than the fellow with the sub-compact. If the AMA had anything to do with their insurance, they would pay the same. Would that be a good idea?
"It isn't WHAT you live in, it is the WAY you live in it"...so the value and potential risk of fire, flood, and storm to your home does not affect the amount of home owner's insurance? Not if the AMA had anything to do with it. The rich mansion and the hovel would have the same level of insurance.
"How you fly" is asinine. The AMA is unique. The AMA is like a big, wealthy non-denominational church with a paying congregation who has been hoodwinked by propaganda that defies logic -- and being unaligned to any oversight organization, the church management can invent their own words and concepts. And the church member can take it or leave it...but they aren't likely to change it. But if they leave it, they are bound straight for uninsured Hell.
AMA management created the desire for park flying; the toy companies enabled it. Big clubs with distant fields to be maintained demonstrated the need of park fliers. Let the AMA management get involved with park fliers and they will bombard the cities with every sort of horror story there is and the city would either demand AMA membership (wouldn't AMA management love that!) or more likely, just say, "anything so dangerous as to require that sort of insurance should not be done on any city recreational area -- insurance or no." And wouldn't the AMA management love that! Yes, the AMA management is in a no-lose situation.
Perhaps there is something the membership can do...everyone start petitioning the FAA to maintain oversight of the AMA on the grounds of home land security. We all know how our models could be used as weapons. There has already been a model death in a crowded football stadium, and that was with a flying lawnmower.
Since the insurance on full-size aircraft varies by WHAT is being flown, maybe the free flighters and park fliers would get the representation AMA management thinks they need, and the fliers not have to pay the same insurance as those flying the larger, louder, faster, heavier, more expensive models.
But then, if the AMA gets involved with the FAA, then the rubber free flighter end up paying the insurance rates the man-carrying airplanes have. After all, it isn't WHAT you fly; it is the WAY you fly. I jest, of course. <g>
If I were a sarcastic sort, I could suggest that someone make those little mats we kneel on when we work on our models at the field and they put a little map of the US on them. Then before each flight we know which way Muncie is and we can prostrate ourselves that direction. Hey! Don't knock this idea. The flight might go better. One can never tell.
I wouldn't suggest these things, though, because I am not a sarcastic sort. <g>
I said early on that I don't care, but I am always interested other's sanity. Lets see some from the AMA management relative to insurance.
Ken
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From your last post I was pretty sure you belong to that group, yes.
--
Es ist nur der ein Superheld, der sich selbst fuer super haelt.


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On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 20:55:29 +0200, Peter Stegemann

More "serious" stuff? THAT is an elitist term. <g> If implies that we, who do not choose to drive to a field and do all the negative stuff that goes with a larger organization, do not have serious stuff. (And a club is a natural extension of an even larger organization.)
A big R/C club is an organization. It has the human problems and it has the field problems caused by larger, louder, faster, heavier, more expensive models which demand that sort of flying field.
I dare say that the Independent Model Fliers know about the other aircraft choices (and the field and organizational problems that go with them) and that is exactly the reason they are flying smaller, quieter, slower, lighter, and less expensive models.
Chances are they have bought magazines or looked on the net at the other (maybe all) model choices before making theirs. They might have inquired here. No one here is asking them if they are AMA members before they offer their advice. <g> It is supposed to be a hobby and hobbies generally try to provide a break from the stress of a work week. I understand that some people have boring jobs and the excitement of larger, louder, faster, heavier, more expensive models has an appeal.

The AMA is an organization for competition and it is assumed that the beginner (the education part) is just the stepping stone before the modeler starts doing "serious" flying...flying in competition. <g>
Ken
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I got the same email and I have a few questions.
How would these new program members be segregated from the full members using a designated flying field? The clubs would have to change their by-laws to exclude ALL 'park flyers'. If not, you know what would happen! To get a reduced annual dues rate to AMA, a person (male or female) would pick the cheaper membership and then bring ALL their planes to the field. If they had a SERIOUS accident with one of their glow/gas planes, who would be sued and who would be held responsible?
Q(s). What is a 'Park Flyer'? HOW WOULD THEY BE DEFINED? Would it include or exclude Helicopters?
In my humble opinion, a 'foamy' is nothing more that a 'cheap' Helicopter. There are electric planes that fly very similar to the glow engine planes. Would they be put in the category as 'park flyers'. NO, because they take off and land similar to glow planes. Where and how do you draw the line or make the distinction? BIG PROBLEM! There will always be that someone who would push the rules to the very limit and a bit beyond, if they could get by.
Questions and defined categories could go on and on and on.
Creating this new program within AMA would be like opening 'A Can of Worms'.
Even though I have NOTHING against 'electric park flyers', I would be against the program. Keeping the foamies in a designated area of a club field might require a change to their by-laws. Fortunately, our club has a large field and the foamies stay to the side and off the run-ways. Large scaled electric planes have full use of our field, same as glow/gas planes.
Earl Scherzinger, AMA 40329

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Frank Schwartz wrote:

I totally agree, and I am sure they need the AMA even less than you do.
YOU don't want the parkflyers, and they sure as hell don;t need the AMA.
Let sleeping dinosaurs die.
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