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Old Dec 04, 2012, 09:29 PM
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St.Louis, MO
Joined May 2007
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I am lucky to be involved with a very good local club. Our members fly everything including electric indoor flyers, helicopters and 30% gas-powered 3-D stuff. We are very welcoming to new pilots and new members, whatever they fly.

One of the benefits of joing a club like this is being able to learn new things and try new things. While I am mostly flying ARF and scratch-built electric foamies I've gotten the bug to actually build a classic balsa aircraft, maybe even nitro-powered.

Everybody CAN get along, you just have to find the right club.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 09:37 AM
Gravity is patient............
Joined Mar 2006
1,908 Posts
It can be done without an instructor and I am living proof of that. Never belonged to a club and probably never will.

I have my own personal liability policy and fly mostly in my backyard, but sometimes at local parks.

I don't like having to share airspace and I don't like the politics of groups so I've avoided the whole mess by staying on my own. I am fortunate to have forums like this one to teach me everything I need to know.

How did I learn on my own? Lots of reading and lots of crashing. Now I've gotten to the point where crashes usually only happen with some kind of mechanical or electrical issue, instead of pilot error, although I can still dumb thumb with the best of them.

Being on my own allows me to experiment, without having to deal with murmurs from the group about the possibly odd choices I might make. I do what I want. I really enjoy the solitude of it, and if I screw up, I don't have to deal with snide comments or backstabbing that will sometimes happen.

I miss out on the positives of a club, such as making new friends and getting face to face help or advice. But I have family and friends for social occasions. Model flying for me is a personal thing, not a party or group event. JMHO.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 09:55 AM
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United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by billyd60 View Post
It can be done without an instructor and I am living proof of that. Never belonged to a club and probably never will.

I have my own personal liability policy and fly mostly in my backyard, but sometimes at local parks.

I don't like having to share airspace and I don't like the politics of groups so I've avoided the whole mess by staying on my own. I am fortunate to have forums like this one to teach me everything I need to know.

How did I learn on my own? Lots of reading and lots of crashing. Now I've gotten to the point where crashes usually only happen with some kind of mechanical or electrical issue, instead of pilot error, although I can still dumb thumb with the best of them.

Being on my own allows me to experiment, without having to deal with murmurs from the group about the possibly odd choices I might make. I do what I want. I really enjoy the solitude of it, and if I screw up, I don't have to deal with snide comments or backstabbing that will sometimes happen.

I miss out on the positives of a club, such as making new friends and getting face to face help or advice. But I have family and friends for social occasions. Model flying for me is a personal thing, not a party or group event. JMHO.
Pee-Wee the loner rebel (0 min 33 sec)
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 10:02 AM
Gravity is patient............
Joined Mar 2006
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You must be a club member.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 12:00 PM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by billyd60 View Post
It can be done without an instructor and I am living proof of that. Never belonged to a club and probably never will.

I have my own personal liability policy and fly mostly in my backyard, but sometimes at local parks.

I don't like having to share airspace and I don't like the politics of groups so I've avoided the whole mess by staying on my own. I am fortunate to have forums like this one to teach me everything I need to know.

How did I learn on my own? Lots of reading and lots of crashing. Now I've gotten to the point where crashes usually only happen with some kind of mechanical or electrical issue, instead of pilot error, although I can still dumb thumb with the best of them.

Being on my own allows me to experiment, without having to deal with murmurs from the group about the possibly odd choices I might make. I do what I want. I really enjoy the solitude of it, and if I screw up, I don't have to deal with snide comments or backstabbing that will sometimes happen.

I miss out on the positives of a club, such as making new friends and getting face to face help or advice. But I have family and friends for social occasions. Model flying for me is a personal thing, not a party or group event. JMHO.
I basically learned the same way with the aid of a sim and a couple of highwing trainers, however, I recently joined a local club after meeting some of the members and going out to their field. I look forward to meeting new friends and having new places to fly.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Joined Aug 2011
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My worth-what-you-paid-for-it comments on clubs.

Back about 1972, I taught myself to fly using an Airtonics Q-Tee and Cox 2-channel radio, with an all-in-one lit I bought from the JC Penney's catalog. Then moved up to a 1/2A SST for aileron time. Later, a friend and I designed and flen scale WWI types -- all of these planes being 1/2A to .09 gas powered. After a couple of years, time and moving kept me away from flying (except brief interludes) until last August.

I then bought a little Hobby Zone Champ and also, dug out the old Q-Tee and SST and converted both to electric power. After c couple of months, I joined the AMA and then a flying club near where I had other business a couple of days a week. The club members I met (on weekdays, early in the morning) were very friendly. Eventually, my reasons for being on that side of a very large southern city ended, and I joined a club closer to my side of town, albeit still 30 minutes away.

The new club was also very friendly, but surrounded by late-comer houses, filled with people that would complain about almost everything (people who were NOT RC'ers, by the way). This results in very strict flying, noise and behavior rules, but for a very good reason -- the members don't want to loose their county-provided flying field!

To fly there, I had to be certified as capable, or "trained" enough to fly without a trainer cable pilot hooked up. (My first flight ended in a very tall pine tree, as I was afraid the plane was getting away downwind). But, eventually, I was deemed okay to fly solo. I usually fly with the old-timers group -- who are very tolerant of most types of planes and flying. They have no real "rules" about age; anyone who shows up, is a member of the club and the AMA can fly. I have a great time when I can make it, but sometimes I fly little foamy things (UMX micro size in) in little fields here and there, and even designed a little foamy trainer that I can fly in my front yard.

Two things I will mention about my flying club experience: First, as a self-taught flyer, I was used to standing in the middle of the flying area, and always pretty much flying a right-to-left pattern; then landing coming in pointed right at myself, looking over my right shoulder. The hardest things about the club were learing to fly patterns either way around AND landing either way on a strip some 20 feet away from where I was landing. Those "wrong-way" (to me) downwind turns onto final for landing were VERY hard to learn, but I did. So, if you want to join a club and you already fly, begin to practice this first, if you can.

Second is the old advise that they used to give kids: "a child should be seen and not heard". This applies well to new joiners of any group, not just RC. That is, show up, respect the rules and others, be friendly, respond cheerfully to questtions and comments -- and let the people who are already there respond to you. Sort of like unions or the military, despite the fact the you paid the same money or took the same training -- or may even be better then the others -- just "pay your dues" and give it some time. You'll probably find that soon enough, you'll just become "one of the guys".

Good luck.
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Joined Nov 2004
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I've been flying fairly regularly since 1999...self taught ...I've belonged to 3 different clubs.The first in Atlanta Ga who refer to themselves unofficially as the "Drones"...I've forgot the clubs actual designation.A great bunch of guys ,I have the utmost respect and admiration for most of them and still keep in touch despite my move here in WVa 4 years ago.

It soon became apparent to me shortly after joining my second club in Beckley WVa that the club was mostly an old school nitro club.While I was tacitly "welcomed " with open arms ...me and my all electric squadron,it soon became apparent to me that before I'd truly be considered one of the guys ,I'd need to conform and get me a nitro (or equiv) plane.After being asked for the umpteenth time by one of the old boy regulars "when are you going to get you a real plane"?I told him I already own one ,its hangered out at the local airport....it wasn't long afterwards that it was suggested I might be happier flying elsewhere .

I couldn't be happier with my present club.Theres only a few of us ,no one to my knowledge has AMA .our one and only rule in that regard is that if you crash it ,you are responsible for cleaning up the trash and dealing with whatever consequences are .Since our flying field consists of nearly 35 acres of open pasture surrounded by a heavily wooded mountainside on one side and one of the best trout streams in the state on the other long side ,my house on one end and the a very rural state highway on the other ...we don't have any problems.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 03:50 AM
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Denmark, kbh
Joined Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by daddiozz View Post
...I couldn't be happier with my present club.Theres only a few of us ,no one to my knowledge has AMA .our one and only rule in that regard is that if you crash it ,you are responsible for cleaning up the trash and dealing with whatever consequences are .Since our flying field consists of nearly 35 acres of open pasture surrounded by a heavily wooded mountainside on one side and one of the best trout streams in the state on the other long side ,my house on one end and the a very rural state highway on the other ...we don't have any problems.
Sounds wonderful - where do I apply for membership?
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 07:34 AM
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United States, WV
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Sounds wonderful - where do I apply for membership?
Well,once you immigrate to the USA and southern West Virginia(mercer county) PM me and we'll set it up....
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 07:59 AM
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United States, MA, Oxford
Joined Sep 2009
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May I add to Azarr's excellent post by saying that unhappy people generally are more motivated to speak up. satisfied customers seldom yell at sore managers -- it's true in restaurants, stores, on-line, product reviews, etc.

What you hear are the P-O'ed vocal minority. I've had excellent results with the several clubs I've belonged to.

howell
Have to agree with you 100% on that one.
I was the first electric member and I flew smaller planes than the rest of them. They welcomed me and made me feel at home. Only time I had a problem was my first flight at the club five of the regulars where there plus the club president.
Well I put my SC up and one of the old guys speaks loud enough so I could here and tells the pres. I am breaking the rules. I froze up now I am all ears listening to the conversation first flight, and I am thinking what have I done. He tells em I don't have a muffler on that plane! They all started laughing. The one that said I was breaking the rule came over after I landed, and shook my hand, and said I am the joker of the bunch. He's a darn good friend and has been a big help in setting up a plane, and has helped me be a better flyer.
If you don't like the club fly at another as a guest feel em out, but all clubs have rules, and there in place for a reason.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 09:39 AM
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but all clubs have rules, and there in place for a reason.
As a "satisfied customer" I agree whole heartedly .....as a (one time )member of the vocal minority however ,its the unwritten but clearly 'understood,rules that tend to cause problems....if you are someone that enjoys being ridiculed and /or discriminated against because you didnt buy/fly a certain product from a fellow club member who also happenes to be a club officer ...then I say ...go for it...
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 09:57 AM
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United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Mar 2012
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And remember only build and fly NITRO stuff! That's just the way it goes. Don't tell ANYONE in any club that you have ANYTHING to do with electric stuff! and last of all pay your membership fees on time EVERY time.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 12:17 PM
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United States, KY, Leitchfield
Joined Jul 2008
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I couldn't find a dedicated thread for this post, so I'll put it here in Foamies, as I'm probably not the only one on this path.

After seeing the Multiplex TwinStar 2 on youtube, I purchased a kit on the net 6 months ago and have flown it and my 3 later additions singlehanded in fields, parks, over frozen lakes and on the seaside. Learning a lot from this site, I have managed to get all the models airborne pretty easily and without major incidents.

Being on my fith model now, I have felt a need to share my new passion with someone, and last Sunday, I visited a local club to say hello and check out if I'd join it. But, I was very disappointed.

I was greeted by a "Are you out of your f* mind trying to fly outside an organized club?", "Without an instructor it can't be done", "You have no insurance and will end up in hell" attitude. A couple of the guys were more open and positive, but I instanty lost any interest in joining the crowd.

Before visiting the club, I always tried to stay within the regulations and always to pay proper respect to safety, mainly flying in deserted fields or over water, so I can't really say that I feel guilty of commiting any major crimes. My planes are all docile electric flyers that don't make much noise.

So is this a unique experience? Or are we divided into the happy-go-lucky ebay/HK buying solo-flying bunch and the ultra conservative clubbers?
I have been the member of some different clubs in the past (RC, model trains and plastic scale models) and what I find the most pleasing part of the experience is the freindship and sharing of your interests by like minded people. The opportunity to gather and discuss ideas, other peoples planes, and share knowledge is invaluable. We are a social animal, us humans, and we like to gather and socialize. To do this with others who share our interests is key to a happy and balanced life style.
Saying that, perhaps you found a club that was very "Clickey" and stuck in their ways. Many clubs do the same thing, with the same people, for years and don't do much growing. To be honest, fresh blood such as yourself with new ways of looking at things, new experiences and open ideas of the hobby may be just what that club needs to move forward. Perhaps you could give them another try? If not, may I suggest you try and start your own club?! I would bet that others like yourself have been put off by the reception they received at that club and would welcome another option, with a more open minded group.
That's my 23 cents worth. I am an older guy, but I beleive in progressive thinking. Many times it is up to us to make changes if we want to see change.
Please let me know how it all turns out, you can message me if you like.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 06:46 AM
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Australia, NSW, Grafton
Joined Dec 2012
635 Posts
After reading all of the posts here, I think I am in a lucky situation with my club. If my club has a fault, it is that we are too keen to give new comers help. In fact, it is system overload as everyone tries to give a new person advice.
I stand back a little as I am not in a position to give much help as I am fairly new to the hobby this time around. (making a comeback after thirty years)
We welcome all forms of models with no thought of what they are. Of course there are plenty of jokes flying between different groups but it is all light hearted. Most of our members have both i.c. and electric, chuck in some self powered gliders (both i.c and electric) and add a few helicopters and you have our group.
We do not 'bash' the rule book but use a mainly common sense approach to safety and well being.
I have the utmost respect for my fellow clubmates. Having said that, I was made feel very unwelcome at a nearby flying field during the Christmas holidays. They can go jump in the lake but with a population base of a couple of million people, maybe they think that they can pick and choose their crowd.
If you are ever coming to Australia or if you live on the east coast here, let us know if you are coming and we will make you more than welcome.
Regards and respect
Daryl
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