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Old Apr 21, 2006, 05:32 PM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
United States, TX, Fort Worth
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AMA defines park flyers in official email today.......

...well...provisionally, at least...

It looks like the AMA has issued their definition of a park flyer in the course of considering creation of a special Park Flyer AMA program at 29.95.

The AMA has defined park flyers as models that weigh two pounds or less, fly 60mph or less and do not fly higher than 200 feet. See below

The first two are reasonable, but the 200 foot altitude requirement is a little silly, IMHO. Flying a parkflyer at 300 feet is not going increase liability...

The AMA does get some points for trying to respond to the needs of the casual parkflyer. I sure there will be many flames and much posturing.

Below is the email I received today from Joyce Hager and the AMA:


Quote:
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)
and here are the standard and parkflyer programs compared in this GIF:
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 05:42 PM
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I wouldn't really want anything that flies at more than 40mph and weighs ion at 2lb to hit ME thanks...and as for altidude..the higher the better. Even a 2s LIPO IPS model will easily top 500ft...takes time...but it can get there..

I think the AMA will be largely ignored by parkflyers.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage1
I wouldn't really want anything that flies at more than 40mph and weighs ion at 2lb to hit ME thanks...and as for altidude..the higher the better. Even a 2s LIPO IPS model will easily top 500ft...takes time...but it can get there..

I think the AMA will be largely ignored by parkflyers.
What is your point, then? Hmmm - I bet you're wrong, but time will tell.

It's a good response on the part of the AMA to a changing hobby, I bet it will get a lot of positive feedback.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 06:00 PM
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Vintage, I think that the more intelligent and reasonable park flyers will at least consider the idea, whereas the more militant and slashingly independent ones will not receive the idea as well...

The AMA needs to communicate this to a much wider group of people than just the regular members who have already bellied up to the bar and paid their $58, though...
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 06:20 PM
cfw
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Spokane, WA
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The only reason I just signed up with the AMA is so I could fly at the local AMA fields. (i only fly electrics under 18oz) This was the ONLY reason for coughing up the dough.

It states "Additionally, we view this new membership group as establishing electric-power flying fields in urban areas and not being part of existing clubs."

so assuming new electric only fields pop up, am I going to need a second membership, or will the existing membership include the parkflyer group? hope not. good thing I moved out of a major urban area awhile ago.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Unless you have been already flying, I don't believe new flyers will be joining AMA any time soon. Their reasoning is why pay 58 bux a year to fly a $129 plane and have to abide by rules made up from a group of stodgy old pharts.



Dave...
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 06:58 PM
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I think it's good that they want to create a cheaper parkflyer program. I fly in parks, and I don't belong to the AMA. I just can't justify the cost of membership. $29.95 I could handle, but the fact that it would only give me the insurance, and not allow me to participate in AMA sanctioned events, means that I probably wouldn't do it. The fact is that If I wanted to fly at one of the model plane festivals, I would probably just pay for the regular membership, and consider it part of the cost of the event. The lack of theft/vandalism insurance is also off-putting. And it looks like I would only be able to fly at E-flight only fields that are supposed to be estalished. I won't get it, If I want to fly at a club or go to an event, I'll just get a regular membership. Untill then, I'll just be a renegade.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 07:38 PM
turn, turn, turn.
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I'm honestly surprised at SaMxs' comments.
I was going to say that most people who continue to fly more than a year...that is, bitten by the bug,...will naturally join the AMA. It is an evolution.
Now, it appears I'm incorrect.

MY AMA# 831369
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 07:53 PM
Rehab is for quitters
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Quite a few bitten by the bug will not join. Probably never will unless their current flying areas are closed. What will be left is AMA sanctioned clubs and fields. And we all know you need AMA membership to fly there. Some say the park flyer boom is great for RC. On the other hand, thats the more people cramming into your flying area with no channel management, out and out rogue flyers that fly uncontrollably, no consideration to others, etc. etc.
Public areas are closing all the time and all it takes is for one idiot to screw it up for everyone.

Dave...
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkens4
I'm honestly surprised at SaMxs' comments.
I was going to say that most people who continue to fly more than a year...that is, bitten by the bug,...will naturally join the AMA. It is an evolution.
Now, it appears I'm incorrect.

MY AMA# 831369

I have been flying for 25 years and just joined the AMA this year.

I think the AMA is on the right track with this one. Insurance will help with the cities as far as flying fields go for electrics.

Jim
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 08:07 PM
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I'm wondering who "establishes" what a park flyer field is.
Around here, with a blanker proscription against ALL model activity in any city park, those that do fly legally have to appear before the city council to get personal approval.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 08:13 PM
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Most of us "Park Flyer" guys started flying small planes because it didn't envolve the hassles of joining clubs and paying AMA membership fee's.......We can fly just about anywhere that we choose without people getting bent out of shape. BUT......If this new program would lead way for electric flying sites and clubs that are less expensive than MY local ones.....I might buy into it. I would love to join the local club just to be able to fly at their flying field but I am not going to pay the $50 dollar a year club dues plus their $375 runway fee....(whatever that is) and the AMA insurance fee's. But I would pay $30 a year for insurance if it would give me rights to fly at electric flying fields...........I'm getting tired of not having a descent runway
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
if it would give me rights to fly at electric flying fields
No doubt that the club in question would still have a fee.

I'd join just to support the organization and to get the publication.

I joined so I could fly my gassers at the big Navy Fields. I now fly electric 10X as much but do get out the gassers every so often.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 08:32 PM
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Park flyers are an important and growing segment of the hobby but some of the unsafe flying I have seen and heard about make my hair stand on end.

I do hope that park flyers embrace the AMA, and are influnced by its constant emphasis on safety.

A park or field lost to flying, or an ordinance banning RC flying in a community because an adult or child was hurt affects all flyers. If public parks are lost to the park flyer, he or she may only be left with the alternative of a santioned club anyway.

The AMA is not perfect and they are not just an insurance provider. They do provide a voice in Washington and in local communities for the model flyer. I belive they provide value far beyond the dues cost.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 08:39 PM
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Lucky Armpit
Now Dave you know the AMA CHARTERS clubs and SANCTIONS events. Fields are not sanctioned. They are insured through the club charter.

There will be a backlash to be sure to this proposal. Most parkies feel because their planes are small and fairly low powered that insurance is not needed. There will be arguements that theft protection should be included as well as medical coverage. But the fact remains that if these options are added the cost would grow considerably and that has been what has been what was most objected to.

The fact that the AMA recognizes the impact of this type aircraft on the hobby is encouraging. But if this is accepted there will be an urgent need to fullfill the promise of Park flier fields quickly. That falls on the AMA to accomplish through whatever means they have.

It would be to the AMA's benefit to establish guidelines as to what a parkflyer field should be. I'm sure that this has been considered but should be made available asap. That could start the search for avaiable or better said suitable sites for these fields.

Just some thoughts on the subject.

BM
AMA 83870
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