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Old Mar 08, 2012, 08:29 PM
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It's very easy for a person who is considering the hobby to be seduced as it may be, into purchasing a plane that is well beyond the capabilities of the student. It looks flash, it's a warbird, and a plane such as the P-51 Mustang has a great deal of appeal. However as I stated before these types of planes are well beyond the capabilities of the student. Further more the student may become tempted into flying the plane on his own long before he is ready for it. The results can be disappointing to say the least. To make matters worse, the student has just crashed a perfectly good plane at the loss of many hundreds of dollars.
Another thing to consider is the student may decide RC planes are not to his liking." Now what do I do?" He asks. He has money invested in not only a trainer and field equipment but also in a plane that he is still one or two seasons away before he should consider himself capable of flying.
The hobby shop owner knows what often happens and is quite aware of the frustration a new pilot goes through. The owner is not in any way attempting to talk him out of a purchase, but instead to help the potential flyer from making a mistake as well as educating the customer about what he really needs to consider in starting out. Remember, When a potential customer walks through the door chances are he knows next to nothing about flying RC, just what he's seen at a local club. He thinks it's so cool to see someone buzz the field inverted with a giant scale war bird, without realizing the countless hours that person has spent flying RC.
In short, it is part of the shop owner's duty to educate the customer about this hobby. To help him in ways that will make it an enjoyable experience and to provide sales and service which keeps the customer returning.
We know about those shop owners who don't appear to care about the customer...they will soon fade away blaming everyone else but themselves, in the meantime those shop owners who put even a modicum of effort into the business can at least remain open and pay the bills.
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 06:02 AM
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Frustrated Hobby Shop Owner

I offer flight instruction with every RC airplane or helicopter sale.
If someone is dead set on buying a scale warbird, I first suggest that he start with a trainer. I sell him the warbird and give him his first flight on my trainer if he doesn't have his own. It usually only takes less than an hour for him to be able to learn to takeoff, fly very confidently and land. Then, I will be able to give him transition training on his warbird. He should learn to fly his warbird safely on his own within a couple of weeks, more or less.

This isn't just a theory, as I've done this many times in the past.
See:attachment. I am currently teaching others how to do this, including school teachers and another hobby shop owner. I'm not at all worried about any competition.

Fliers1
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 10:56 AM
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I offer flight instruction with every RC airplane or helicopter sale.
If someone is dead set on buying a scale warbird, I first suggest that he start with a trainer. I sell him the warbird and give him his first flight on my trainer if he doesn't have his own. It usually only takes less than an hour for him to be able to learn to takeoff, fly very confidently and land. Then, I will be able to give him transition training on his warbird. He should learn to fly his warbird safely on his own within a couple of weeks, more or less.

This isn't just a theory, as I've done this many times in the past.
See:attachment. I am currently teaching others how to do this, including school teachers and another hobby shop owner. I'm not at all worried about any competition.

Fliers1
Oh Clarence...is that you? I read the article yesterday that got published in this month's AMA Model Aircraft magazine. How you taught one of the prospective students, Gary, 30 years ago on MRC Hawk without using the training cord and buddy box and how he is thanking you for what he is today, the executive vice president.

Glad to see legends like you on the forum.
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 02:22 PM
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Frustrated Hobby Shop Owner

Yes, it is me. Still working on growing the hobby/sport.

Take care,
Clarence
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 04:37 PM
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We normally turn down a couple people a week who come in wanting to purchase a warbird, jet, helicopter, etc with no previous flight experience. The problem is that most people are under the misconception that they can just pick up any plane and successfully fly it - especially with the ready to fly stuff that is everywhere. Sure we are in business to make sales, but we are also responsible for promoting the hobby and making sure people are successful and happy with their purchase. We have other stores in our area who will sell anything to anyone just to make a buck. Normally, those people crash immediately and leave the hobby, never to return. They also tell everyone they know about their experience. That's not a good thing for your business or the hobby in general. Thankfully, most of those shops close their doors after a year, so the damage is usually limited.
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 05:33 PM
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We normally turn down a couple people a week who come in wanting to purchase a warbird, jet, helicopter, etc with no previous flight experience. The problem is that most people are under the misconception that they can just pick up any plane and successfully fly it - especially with the ready to fly stuff that is everywhere. Sure we are in business to make sales, but we are also responsible for promoting the hobby and making sure people are successful and happy with their purchase. We have other stores in our area who will sell anything to anyone just to make a buck. Normally, those people crash immediately and leave the hobby, never to return. They also tell everyone they know about their experience. That's not a good thing for your business or the hobby in general. Thankfully, most of those shops close their doors after a year, so the damage is usually limited.
I've had a few come in who had already purchased a warbird wanting to learn to fly them. Obviously, they couldn't find anyone in any club who would train them with their P-51. You're quite correct that it's not a good thing for a business to sell a complete beginner such a plane, but if someone comes to me with one, there is a good chance that in short order, I will be able to teach them to fly their scale ship. Of course that's me, as I realize that it may not be possible for others to do so. My goal is to teach other instructors how to use my method.

My last student learned to fly within an hour, now has 11 airplanes, included a couple of scale airplane and flies them pretty well. He had his first lesson last September.

Fliers1
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Old Mar 09, 2012, 10:07 PM
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On the subject of new flyers; we, at our club have been wracking our brains trying to find a way to attract new and younger members. We know times are tough but the thought is in our club that far too many young people, especially in middle to high school have the money to spend on computer games and especially when they spend far too much time indoors playing simulated games and flight sims, when in reality they could be flying an actual airplane in real time in real airspace.
There are now available a number of fine trainers available, especially the RTF variety that include electric power where all one has to do is charge the batteries and go flying. Some are very reasonable and fly very well at less than $200.00 and I'm talking about good quality RTF planes with good power and radio systems with good warranties and customer service available from the dealer backed up by the distributor. This does not include the cheap, poorly designed crap sold to unsuspecting customers from overseas who end up being disappointed and give up entirely.
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Old Mar 10, 2012, 07:15 AM
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On the subject of new flyers; we, at our club have been wracking our brains trying to find a way to attract new and younger members. We know times are tough but the thought is in our club that far too many young people, especially in middle to high school have the money to spend on computer games and especially when they spend far too much time indoors playing simulated games and flight sims, when in reality they could be flying an actual airplane in real time in real airspace.
There are now available a number of fine trainers available, especially the RTF variety that include electric power where all one has to do is charge the batteries and go flying. Some are very reasonable and fly very well at less than $200.00 and I'm talking about good quality RTF planes with good power and radio systems with good warranties and customer service available from the dealer backed up by the distributor. This does not include the cheap, poorly designed crap sold to unsuspecting customers from overseas who end up being disappointed and give up entirely.
I sincerely wish I lived in your area, as I find is extremely easy to bring in new members including young folks. For literally decades I've been trying to get the word out to the industry and the AMA on how to bring in new blood. But apparently they thought it was all but impossible for me to do so because until recently, no one would give me the time of day. If someone said they had an already in the works growth plan, one would think those who requested help, would at least want to discuss this plan.

I have gotten a lot of flack from clubs, be it locally, or on related forums. Why would clubs not want a means to increase their numbers? There then lies the rub. Could it be fear of overcrowded flight lines? Fear of instructors being swamped with an ever increasing number of beginners sent by hobby shop owners, who unlike clubs, for financial reasons, needs as much newcomer business as possible? Clubs have a finite need for new members. Hobby shop owners do not. Oil and water.

fliers1
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Old Mar 10, 2012, 11:35 AM
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There are a number of clubs up here in Northern Michigan who are in need of increased membership, not just ours. These clubs are very small and it doesn't take much to thin the ranks to a point where the club no longer exists. Our club is in a very precarious position: We own our property. We have to pay the yearly property taxes as well as maintenance on the club house and field. We have to maintain the lawn tractors which sometime can be very expensive. Gas continues to rise almost daily and this coming season who knows what it will be at. On top of all that we are facing a decline in membership due to old age and the loss of members who have passed away. We simply have no idea how to get new members into the club and I suspect there are a few who do not want new members.
We are at an impasse. the nearest hobby shops are 50 or more miles away and so many people especially young people are either unemployed or underemployed. Where I work we bring in a substantial number of temps to fill the ranks when things get really busy. I estimate that 90% are young kids just out of high school. Therein lies one of the dilemmas we face: a growing population of unemployed or underemployed young people and the situation is going to get worse, much, much worse.
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Old Mar 10, 2012, 04:10 PM
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I don't if you will get this, but this is what I've been dealing with for years.
No matter how much a club needs more members, they will turn down my offer to help. My guess is as good as any.



http://www.theflyingknights.com/phpB...php?f=12&t=399
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:16 PM
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I don't if you will get this, but this is what I've been dealing with for years.
No matter how much a club needs more members, they will turn down my offer to help. My guess is as good as any.

http://www.theflyingknights.com/phpB...php?f=12&t=399
I followed that link but judging by the conversion, it doesn't appear you are a club member. Can't you just join the clubs in your area and become an AMA certified instructor at each field?

Most of the younger people that come into my shop have purchased a plane on the internet at some point, taken it out and crashed on the first flight. They are no longer interested in the hobby - most will simply purchase a car and spend their outdoor time with that.

As the amount of hobby shops decrease and the age of knowledgable R/C flyers increase, I believe things will only get worse before they get better. Before we opened our hobby shop, the amount of local R/C flyers was decreasing every year. Much of that was because people didn't really have anywhere to go for accurate information. Unfortunately, the internet is filled with "armchair experts", so trying to find a correct answer to a question is as easy as finding a needle in a haystack! For most young people, it's simply too overwhelming.

Hopefully, with the help of better simulators, better quality, less expensive, easier to fly airplanes with more durable materials, we will get to a point where people can fly successfully after only a small amount of training. When that will happen is anyone's guess but I believe that is what it will take to get new, younger people interested in the hobby again.
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 05:19 AM
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I followed that link but judging by the conversion, it doesn't appear you are a club member. Can't you just join the clubs in your area and become an AMA certified instructor at each field?

Most of the younger people that come into my shop have purchased a plane on the internet at some point, taken it out and crashed on the first flight. They are no longer interested in the hobby - most will simply purchase a car and spend their outdoor time with that.

As the amount of hobby shops decrease and the age of knowledgable R/C flyers increase, I believe things will only get worse before they get better. Before we opened our hobby shop, the amount of local R/C flyers was decreasing every year. Much of that was because people didn't really have anywhere to go for accurate information. Unfortunately, the internet is filled with "armchair experts", so trying to find a correct answer to a question is as easy as finding a needle in a haystack! For most young people, it's simply too overwhelming.

Hopefully, with the help of better simulators, better quality, less expensive, easier to fly airplanes with more durable materials, we will get to a point where people can fly successfully after only a small amount of training. When that will happen is anyone's guess but I believe that is what it will take to get new, younger people interested in the hobby again.
Clue: Check out this club's beginner link: http://www.theflyingknights.com/begginers.html Doesn't mention anything about what their club offers beginners. Looks like they don't offer anything in the way of instruction. BTW, this link is from Towers.

I already belong to 3 clubs and listed and signed up for intro pilot insrtructor for all 3. I was simply offering my services to this club after I was told that that club didn't offer much in the way of instruction. This came from several members of that club who were beginners.

Apparently, for whatever reason, that club didn't want outsider help. People begging for help, I offered, and was flatly turned down by those who already know how to fly.

I simply felt that this was my job as Leader Member. That club is over 30 miles away and don't believe they would accept me as a member if I did decide to join their club. Besides, I have a very good flying field 2 miles away and several others within 10 miles. I have many beginners to train as it is, but thought I should try to help other clubs with training. BTW, those beginners from that club asked me to train them, even without their club's "permission". lol

If teaching was made much easier, more people would want to teach. No matter what the industry does, nothing will change without creating more instructors.

Fliers1
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Clue: Check out this club's beginner link: http://www.theflyingknights.com/begginers.html
Fliers1
Is it a bad sign when they misspell "beginners"!
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Fliers1 - Just my few cents...Why don't you try "Train the trainers"? What I mean is that there are lots of people visiting RC events from various clubs across the country. Why don't you register an event for yourself during one of those shows. In that event you could train few pre-registered members on your methods? These trainers could train other people and future trianers as well. That way your methods could be benefitted to lots of young pilots across the country.
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Fliers1 - Just my few cents...Why don't you try "Train the trainers"? What I mean is that there are lots of people visiting RC events from various clubs across the country. Why don't you register an event for yourself during one of those shows. In that event you could train few pre-registered members on your methods? These trainers could train other people and future trianers as well. That way your methods could be benefitted to lots of young pilots across the country.
Great idea, but for several reasons, I can't afford to travel, but if someone wants to come to me, I'll be glad train them. Locally, I finally have two fliers who actually asked me to show them how to teach this way. I've had a standing offer to do so for decades, but it seems no one wanted to be bothered.

Back in 1998 and 2000 my wife and I went to AMA headquarters in Muncie to participate in what was known as The Grand Event, mainly to demonstrate and teach others how to use this method. No one showed any interest, whatsoever. There were thousands of people there, more than likely many were club members and club instructors. Although I was treated well, seems that the use of the buddy-box was the best way to teach. Even though I had several non fliers fly very well in a 20 mph wind and with high ranking witnesses and no buddy-box...my method was totally rejected.

Or course that was then and attitudes have finally changed since then. If someone had a means to teach anyone to fly very well and solo in an extremely short time frame, one would think, as a skeptical member once said, "Everyone would be banging on my doors". Hasn't happened yet, but who knows if it will in the near future? I mean, what was everyone afraid to simply make an investigation? I'ts almost as if there are those in the hobby/sport who didn't want such a means to mass and rapid growth. lol

Fliers1
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