Newbie wondering about licensing costs...

Hello
After many years away from the hobby I have decided to give it another shot.
A guy at my local club informed me that club costs are $70 per year and I al
so need a license at $75 per year from the 'AMA'. Does this sound correct to
you guys? That would be $145 in costs before I even look at equipment. Any
info or links to licensing details appreciated. Thanks...Alan
Reply to
Jelly
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| After many years away from the hobby I have decided to give it another shot. | A guy at my local club informed me that club costs are $70 per year
Higher than most, but not that much so.
| and I also need a license at $75 per year from the 'AMA'.
AMA dues are $58/year. They do give you a discount next year if you join in the middle of the year and explicitly ask for it next year. (Not that this changes your initial outlay, of course.)
(Of course, I guess that the plan is that they get to keep your money if 1) you don't renew next year at all (perhaps you decided you didn't like R/C planes?) or 2) you forget to ask for the discount next year.)
It's also not a license, even though it says it has a `license number'. Basically the reason the club is making you join it is that the AMA provides insurance (they don't care if you have insurance from elsewhere, they want AMA insurance.)
You don't need to be an AMA member to fly R/C ... but if the club requires it, then that's what you've got to have. Without it, you can still fly, but you'll have to fly somewhere else.
| Does this sound correct to you guys? That would be $145 in costs | before I even look at equipment. Any info or links to licensing | details appreciated. Thanks...Alan
Quite a racket, eh? :)
Of course, you do get something for your money. You get $2.5 million dollars of insurance (assuming you follow the AMA rules (which are reasonable)), and you get use of the club field, and they'll probably teach you to fly for free. Less tangable benefits include knowing that you're helping the AMA promote the hobby, and you're helping the club continue doing all the things that the club does.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
NOT! An adult membership in the AMA is $58/year. Someone is lying or stupid...
The AMA site is
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Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
Reply to
Dr1Driver
If you have AMA 'insurance', then why does the AMA tell you to seek resolution in insurance matters using your home owners policy first?
Ed
Reply to
Edward Cameron
AMA insurance is secondary insurance. If you have some kind of coverage that will cover damage caused by your model airplane, you need to tap that insurance first. If you exceed the amount from this primary insurance, or don't have any that covers model airplanes, then AMA insurance kicks in.
Reply to
John Thompson
Ok, thanks. Secondary insurance eh? So, if you have insurance that covers model airplanes, and can prove it by way of a letter from the Insurance company, or some kind of card - why can't one fly anywhere - providing nsurance is the issue and not an attitude of "if you aren't a member, then go away". Basically talking about the times when a club holds a funfly and invites other pilots to join in the fun.
Ed
Reply to
Edward Cameron
The $58 AMA license includes, as a benefit, insurance. Actually three different policies that cover $2.5 million in the aggregate.
One for you that is secondary. That means that any over insurance you have comes first. Typically, that means homeowners or renters insurance, although those are not the only primary insurances available. If you have no other insurance, the AMA insurance is primary.
The second is liability insurance for the club. When you consider that half of the claims paid by the AMA are not flying related, but, instead "trip and fall" liability type claims, it is a "must" for the club, and for you as a club member.
The third is for the landowner. This is the reason many landlords will allow a club to be on the premises. It is a primary policy and does not rely on any of the landlord's other policies.
The AMA does not determine who may fly at a chartered club field. That decision is made by the club and/or the landlord.
AMA sanctioned events insurance covers the participants and the landlord if it not on a chartered club site and if such coverage is requested as part of the sanction when the Contest Director (CD) applies for it.
As to the cost of membership in a club, the price varies widely from area to area, and even from club to club, in the same area. It must take into account the cost of any lease or purchase of land as well as maintenance, newsletters, etc, etc.
Generally the cost of an AMA license is less than green fees for a year if you are a golfer, or lane fees if you are a bowler. $10-$12 a month is not bad for a place to fly and AMA membership.
Before you join the club, make some inquires. The AMA has an intro pilot program that some clubs participate in that reduces the fees while your under instruction for a limited period of time. Other clubs do not offer the program.
You may find that joining, and then selecting equipment after watching at the club, is preferable to trying to make your own choices. Such things at the brand of radio make a difference when it comes to finding an instructor for "buddy box" training.
While many will tell you that the AMA is an insurance company, it is not. Insurance is just a benefit, the same as your employer may supply. To get some idea of the other things the AMA does on a day to day basis, take a look at their web page, the current postings are of interest.
If you are really interested in the coverage the AMA offers, read the club renewal package on the AMA page at
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to determine the facts for yourself instead of accepting some of the misinformation here.
Also be aware that safe operation of aircraft is paramount. The AMA Safety Code is a list of exclusions to the individual member and club, but not the landowner.
JR
Reply to
JR
Thanks for all the info guys. $58 seems a little more reasonable than $75. The links you all provided were very useful and I appreciate it. Sounds like in fact Im getting a pretty good deal as the club has a runway/shade/tables/fences. I was just a little shell-shockes as I have never been a member of an RC club and in my innocence imagined the costa around $25. Thanks guys...
Reply to
Jelly
Phil
If you think the AMA is only insurance, read the article on "BPL" on the AMA page and look at the document that was filed. You might also keep an eye for information regarding Chip Hyde's exploits with the TSA on his trip to the World Championships. That's another issue where the AMA is involved. The AMA has just changed the definition of a model in an effort to keep us from being regulated by the FAA.
Yeah, they do some stuff some of us don't agree with, but, others do. You can't please everyone all of the time.
JR
Reply to
JR
Let's see here... It costs money to maintain a flying field. This cost varies from place to place depending on many factors. In an area where real estate is very valuable, the cost to lease a flying field may be very expensive. Sometimes clubs find a benevolent landlord who will lease them the field at reduced cost. There are lawn mowers to buy and maintain, fertilizer for the grass, asphalt maintenance on paved runways, and liability insurance for the landlord... It all costs money.
$70 per year for club dues to help defray the cost of field maintenance is about average. I've seen it as high as $250, and as low as $20 per year. Running an R/C club is not a money-making proposition.
AMA membership is NOT a license. Licenses generally require you to do something more than just mail in a check, like demonstrate proficiency. If you can find a flying site that is not operated by an AMA-chartered club, you don't need AMA membership to simply fly. Still, it's a good idea. The AMA is NOT an arm of the Federal government, and they have no regulatory power. What the AMA is, is basically a national "club" that helps represent and protect our interests. You'd be surprised at how much actually happens behind the scenes that threatens our ability to fly "toy airplanes." Right now, the FCC is working on regulations for Broadband Internet over Power Lines (BPL). BPL promises cheap broadband internet access, but it also threatens to cause severe interference on all frequencies in the 2-80MHz range. Our R/C channels are 72MHz. You do the math. The AMA is lobbying the FCC to have them look further into the ramifications of BPL. Recently, the AMA worked with the TSA (transportation safety administration, a Federal regulatory body) to educate them as to what a model airplane is, and what luggage inspectors should expect when people travel with their model airplanes as luggage. In the past, the AMA was responsible for getting the frequencues we use today, and this is just the "serious" side of the AMA.
AMA dues are only $58, not $75.
You have to realize that flying model airplanes isn't like playing baseball at the local park.
Reply to
Mathew Kirsch
Matt
The AMA does in fact issue each member a license. As a matter of fact, the AMA By Laws require it in Article 2, item m: "(m) To license model aircraft and fliers thereof for competition."
I am not certain where you get your definition of a license. I suppose it is perfectly acceptable for you to use your poetic license to define it any way you please.
JR
AMA membership is NOT a license. Licenses generally require you to do
Reply to
JR
No I don't think the AMA is just insurance, that was my point. Most members will never go to Muncie, why should they pay for it. Most members don't care if who goes to the world events. They primarily care about: 1. A focal point for the hobby what the AMA should be first and foremost. 2. Organization to monitor/lobby our interests. 3. Insurance body for clubs and fields.
Everything else is just expensive fluff. I don't want the AMA to take my membership dollars to publish a magaine I don't want, amongst other things. If the AMA dues were down in the mud, I wouldn't care, but they have reached a point where membership to a club and the AMA scares some people away. Look at how this thread was started.
Phil
JR wrote:
Reply to
Phil
No I don't think the AMA is just insurance, that was my point. Most members will never go to Muncie, why should they pay for it. Most members don't care if who goes to the world events. They primarily care about: 1. A focal point for the hobby what the AMA should be first and foremost. 2. Organization to monitor/lobby our interests. 3. Insurance body for clubs and fields.
Everything else is just expensive fluff. I don't want the AMA to take my membership dollars to publish a magaine I don't want, amongst other things. If the AMA dues were down in the mud, I wouldn't care, but they have reached a point where membership to a club and the AMA scares some people away. Look at how this thread was started.
Phil
JR wrote:
Reply to
Phil
I lost $145 in a split second(pulled up on an inverted pass). $145. lasts longer at Harrahs and they have free cocktails. IMHO flying is more fun.('cept of course when you crash) If you live near me, I'll let you fly my trainer until you decide if you want to be in the hobby. Just show up, no cost. mk
Reply to
mk
| At $58.00 per year, AMA is the best deal around. Our club charges | $50.00 per year dues, but we have a $100.00 initiation fee. Haven't | had anyone not join because of this.
How would you know?
I think you're being a bit naive if you truly believe that -- I suspect that many people have decided not to join *precisely* due to the $208 needed up front.
Of course, I know nothing about your specific club. But here in Austin, TX -- the club has a lot of members, but I've met a lot more R/C people at the local slopes and parks, flying gliders, park fliers, and other electric planes. Most of these people are not AMA and/or club members, and those that I've talked to about it usually mention the price.
I'm not saying it's not a good deal, but you're really not looking at the big picture if you believe that *nobody* has decided not to join your club due to the cost.
| 80 members
Reply to
Doug McLaren
One reason is that many clubs get free use of land if they can show some method of ensuring that all the members are insured. The EASIEST way is to require AMA membership because the fee is paid on an annual basis and due at the same time every year. It is very easy for clubs to verify that the person is covered, unlike homeowners which can be cancelled at any time.
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
If that much money scares someone off, then maybe they weren't very serious about the hobby to begin with. Most flyers I know spend more than that on fuel over a couple of months.
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
We have 82 members, the most that we have ever had. (Our club was charted in 1971) There is a group of members who would like to see dues raised to $1000.00 per year, turning our club into an "R.C. Country Club." (Two chances of that ever happening, slim and none.)
Our position is that if anyone with an interest in the hobby is welcome to fly the club's trainer with buddy box and club instructor. We have training sessions on Wednesday, and Sunday. We tell them up front what it costs. Some people have tried and decided it wasn't working out for them. Some people join right away. Most of the people realize that compared with golf, full size aircraft, auto racing or skiing, this is a pretty inexpensive hobby.
We had a group of guys who flew at one of the city parks for years. There was around twenty of them, they said they were independent and didn't want to belong to an organization that had rules. They also said they didn't like the thought of paying membership dues. Since they were so independent, they didn't have frequency control and flew where they damn well pleased. This lasted until they pissed off one of the city heavy hitters and were promptly kicked out of that park. Most of them joined our club or got out of the hobby.
Seems to me that anyone who would balk at paying $208 for the first year would be out of the hobby after they crashed their first plane anyway.
Reply to
me
Plus the AMA requires ALL parties flying with a chartered AMA club to be individually insured through AMA membership. This includes guest visiting for any reason.
Reply to
Fly Higher
This is absolutely not true. Read the Club Renewal Kit on the AMA page thoroughly. If it were true, the situation where a governmental body, such as a city, owns the land and allows others to fly could not exist. The decision as to who flys at a clubs field is up to the club and/or the landlord. There are some very compelling reasons for a club and/or landlord not to allow anyone else to fly there.
JR
Reply to
JR

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