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Old Nov 16, 2007, 09:20 PM
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LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Originally Posted by PLATINUM
And how many have been turned away? How many guys and gals came to your club and wanted some help.. and ya just sent em packing over the years?

Omega II? Nice plane. We have several members of our club who fly those. They seem to like them a lot.


What do you tell the guy who comes to your field.. sorry bro.. we don't fly that plane..
I don't recall ever turning anyone away from applying for membership over the 5 years I have been in the club. Certainly not in the last year that I have been an officer of the club.

As for people who show up with planes that can't be flown at our field. We say, "sorry but you can't fly that plane here for the following reasons.... If you would be interested in trying the types of planes we fly here we would be happy to teach you." Flight lessons are free.

In fact I was one of those people. After I joined I purchased a plane that did not meet the club's guidelines. I did not do it intentionally. I did not understand the rules, because they were not written down.

I was asked not to fly it at our field. I complied, but I was not happy about it.

As a result of that incident, I pushed for a clearer statement of the clubs rules and guidelines so that it would not be an arbitrary thing. There would be clearly stated guidelines. It took a lot of work but we got it done. A proposal was brought forth and voted on. It was amended by the membership and adopted. It now stands as the clubs packet for new members.


AMA Fees

If you think the AMA fee structure should be changed I think you should submit a proposal. I am sure it will receive consideration. If you can get enough support you will get it passed. I would encourage you to take it forward. If the membership of the AMA agrees with you, it will be enacted.

And those clubs who can not or choose not to change will either pony up for the extra $$ or drop out of the AMA and find insurance coverage elsewhere.

That is how the free market works.

Nice country America. I think I stay a while.

Ed
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Joined Nov 2000
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I started this "discussion" so I guess I ought to comment a bit on my experiences.
I hold membership in 2 clubs. I wrote the charter for one of them in 1968. We fly at the same field today as we did in '68. The club started with about a dozen guys. The landlord wanted to restrict membership to 25 members for reasons I wont go into here. We got him to agree to 35 and it has remained there for all these years. Five of the original members are still active in the club. We allow 3 guest visits per year to non club members--AMA required.
The second group has about 70 members. This club supports 2 fields. One of the fields--the smaller of the 2--has been designated "electric only" due to some development that has taken place since we obtained permission to use the site. The larger field is open to all types of airplanes. Both fields are on public land and we hold exclusive use contracts with the controling entities. As a result the fields are open to ALL AMA members providing they abide by our rules.
We encourage all local visitors to become club members. Out of towners are always welcome.
The surprising thing is we have very few visitors. Many spectators but few people who wish to fly. We do get visitors from other local clubs and most clubs have an open door policy to other clubs so I dont consider their visits as potential members but more like neighbors stopping by to say hello. Besides they are all AMA members as all local clubs are AMA chartered.

If someone happened by the smaller field with a wet fuel plane he would be directed to the other larger field where he could enjoy a day of flying. The fields are about 7 or 8 miles apart.

I would not consider either group to be exclusive in any way except for the membership limit impoed by the landlord. We have tried to get that changed every year when we pay our rent. So far --no go.

BM
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 11:18 PM
Turn down for what?
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
14,408 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by PLATINUM

I expressly agreed that the land owner, terrain, and local laws should be absolutely followed, maintained and respected.


The reality is.. the ammount of fields under such high regs is low!
Actually, I'd say that the terrain is the biggest issue. There are lots of fields that probably for safety should limit the type of planes because of the size of the field and probably more than anything how restricted the field is from general public. Many clubs make their home in small public areas (parks, sports fields, etc). These places are probably appropriate for smallish or slowish planes but not say turbines. I'm a member of a RC sailplane club that has permission from a park to fly sailplanes there on Sundays. This field is absolutely not marked with a flight line (and can't be so, they are not allowed to put any perminant structures) and has a playground right next to it. This field is appropriate for gliders and smallish slowish electrics, but I'd be hesitant to say fly something that travels at 70+mph in level flight there.

I doubt Ed's club has turned anyone down. I doubt many people show up as new pilots to Ed's club field with planes that are innapropriate (unless they are fuel powered). Slow trainer type planes seem to fit the guidelines of his club...

Ryan
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 12:00 PM
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USA, VT
Joined Nov 2004
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"As for people who show up with planes that can't be flown at our field. We say, "sorry but you can't fly that plane here for the following reasons.... If you would be interested in trying the types of planes we fly here we would be happy to teach you." Flight lessons are free."


I think your missing it right here.. how many people showed up with a plane not wanted by your field.. and you never saw again after the fact.

I seriously doubt that in your 5 years that there wasn't at least a dozen (and I am being conservative with that number) who came and left and never went any further with the AMA because of what your field wants.

I have only been at my current field a year.. we have had 15 new members this year alone. I live in Vermont which has less people in it than a suburb of Atlanta.

I would not call terrain, property owner wishes, or local law a part of the exclusivity being discussed here. It is simply out of what a club wants

And considering fields are shrinking as membership is shrinking. The exclusivity that clubs choose is not helping the overall growth and sustainability of the AMA.

We as individuals should care more about the sustainability of AMA than we do about the small inconveinance of having different types of aircraft around.

This is why a VP should inspect fields and why fields who choose exclusivity should pay more.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 12:34 PM
Turn down for what?
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLATINUM

I think your missing it right here.. how many people showed up with a plane not wanted by your field.. and you never saw again after the fact.

I seriously doubt that in your 5 years that there wasn't at least a dozen (and I am being conservative with that number) who came and left and never went any further with the AMA because of what your field wants.
Err.... Bold talk for somebody that has never been at that particular field. Bold talk is pretty easy on the internets, so not to be unexpected.

I have flown at eajr's field. Have you? I'm pretty sure I live quite a bit further from eajr's field than you do...

That is a pretty wag, if you ask me, with respect to the "dozen people". What kind of planes would those folks have to have to be turned down? So it would be people that happened to show up with a glo/other fuel powered plane, right (and one that is hand launched and belly landed, due to the field often not being cut low enough for ROG). How often do people just show up at a field having no knowledge of the AMA/this club yet have a glo powered plane? Or they would have to show up with an unusualy fast/high powered/heavy electric plane. Once again, how many folks that don't already know about the AMA would have something like that? Seems to me, much, much more likely that they would show up with an Aerobird or a Slow stick or something like that. And that is within the guidelines of Ed's field, if I understand it correctly (I was flying sailplanes when I was at his field, this was before I had ever owned a propeller of any sort).

Re your last point, I suspect if a DVP was at the LISF field, he/she would agree with the kind of planes that they fly there and that they request their membership fly there.

Ryan
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 01:39 PM
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USA, VT
Joined Nov 2004
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It isn't talk.. it is a question with a suposition.

In my little po-dunk state.. we had 5 of the 12 new members who had their 1st maidens this year. In Long Island there are aprox 200,000 more people than in my entire state. One could easily suppose based on simple population density.. that this club had as many if not more people inquire to their field who were potential AMA members.

So someone can't mow a bit of the lawn .. and this is why you can't have x type plane? is that really the best answer ya got for why potential members of AMA might be turned away?

What I am proposing is.. the DVP would not be considering what the members of the club wanted, but he would evaluate what the site was capable of.. and as previously noted, with consideration of terrain, the property owner, and local law.

If the club still wanted to remain exclusive... they would have to pay more to maintain their charter. I think that fee should be steep considering the potential loss of AMA members.

So tell me Ryan,

What is more important to you? The long term sustainabilty of AMA which charters and insures flying fields or being able to fly a single type of aircraft?

As previously noted.. that field could opt out of the AMA and find their own insurance, but considering AMA gets a volume discount.. going solo would probably be an expensive proposition.

This isn't about just this one LI field either.. this is about 100s of fields who choose to be exclusive.. and the potential 1000s of new members who end up not becoming AMA members.

Take a low ball number of 200 fields across the USA who are exclusive, then take another low ball number of 5 noobs who have never flown but want to.

They live close to these fields, and other fields are to far away for them. Thats $65,000 in potential revenue for the AMA that would help AMA grow and sustain itself.

I don't disagree with Ed that some might pick up that fields type of plane.. but even if 50% don't your still talking about $32,500..

From just some quick research I think there are approx 2100 fields, based on throwing the entire list of sites from AMAs www into excel and taking a quick count. 10% as an estimate of exclusive fields again.. is a low ball number.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLATINUM

I think your missing it right here.. how many people showed up with a plane not wanted by your field.. and you never saw again after the fact.
I used to belong to a Chess club. Every once in a while a guy would show up with a Checker board. When nobody would play with him, he would either learn Chess or move on.

I still can't figure out what your point is, so logic dictates that you don't really have one. I think you just like to moan and grumble.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 02:00 PM
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Mesa, AZ
Joined Aug 2004
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For me the club is first, the AMA is second. I'm a member of my local club because I like the people I'm flying with, I like to fly the same types of planes they do, etc. My club requires AMA membership - I'd be an AMA member anyway, but we require it because we're AMA chartered so we can get the support of a national organization - but that national org doesn't run our club. We do.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 03:03 PM
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LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLATINUM
It isn't talk.. it is a question with a suposition.

In my little po-dunk state.. we had 5 of the 12 new members who had their 1st maidens this year. In Long Island there are aprox 200,000 more people than in my entire state. One could easily suppose based on simple population density.. that this club had as many if not more people inquire to their field who were potential AMA members.

.
I think we had 6 or 8 new members this year. Our membership typically floats between 65 and 75. I think we have 5 other clubs within about a 30 minute ride from us. And if you go out to an hours drive, there are probably 6-10 more. So people have plenty of choices.

We are the only glider club in the area. At most of the other fields pure gliders are not really welcome, for practical reasons. Electric gliders are probably OK since they don't need the kind of launching equipment we use or the type of field opertion we follow. That is why we have members from as far as 90 minutes drive. If you want to fly winch launched, hi-start launched or hand launched gliders, the best club to join is ours. We also host regional glider competitions as part of the Eastern Soaring League.

I am at the field one day almost every weekend. New people are often directed to me as I spend a lot of time teaching new members how to fly. While I mostly fly gliders today, I started on an Aerobird and have several parkflyers in this class. So I know their planes and how they fly.

I only recall a few people looking to fly planes that were not suitable at our field. We told them of the other clubs in the area that better fit their interests. Often they spend the day with us, watching us fly and getting to know some of the members. Sometimes the decide to join and fly what we fly.

We had a couple of people join without really understanding the type of planes we fly. We happily offered to refund their membership fees and direct them to clubs that were more suitable.

We have many members who are also members of other clubs. They fly gliders and small electrics at our field. They fly glow, gas, control line, jets and other types at other clubs. In fact one of my club buddies is supposed to take me to his other club to teach me about control line flying. Sounds like fun.

Likewise, we do get AMA visitors. They come with gliders mostly, as we are known primarily as a glider club. They check ahead to see which clubs fly what and what the guest policy is, when there will be a winch at the field, etc.

I have done this myself when visiting other clubs. I never just show up and expect to be admitted. That would be rude. I call ahead.

Most of the clubs have locked gates and specific hours of operation. Most require guests to be hosted, sponsored by a club member who can explain field operation, local rules, etc. So I arrange all of this ahead of time. It has always worked well.

Most of the potential new members who visited our field who already had planes come based on recommendations from hobby shops in the area. Those shops know the local clubs so they know where to direct these guys.

Typically the "walk ons" do not have planes. Those who do typically have the beginner RTFs which are very welcome at our field. They either liked what we flew or asked where there was a club that flew some other kind of planes. In that case we directed them to the proper club. This workes well.

Since our planes are all hand launched, there is no need for a runway, the cost of runway maintenance, or the regular cost of grass cutting equipment. The county cuts the grass 4-5 times a year. If it gets a little long, no problem. We can still fly. And we don't need to spend money on a contractor to do it.

Most of the other clubs have runways, either grass or asphalt. Their dues are several times ours, in order to cover that cost. High maintenance = high dues. Low maintenance = low dues. Our dues are $35 per year. Typical power clubs in the area have dues between $100 and $200 per year.

So, it all works out well for everyone, except for you, Platinum, apparently. But if you want to visit Long Island and have a particluar type of plane you want to fly, let me know. I can tell you which clubs are set-up for that. I can give you contact information so you can discuss their visitor policies and when the field is open for flying. Glad to help.

I find this discussion quite stimulating. However I think we have beaten this horse well past mortality.

Where shall we take it from here? Glow vs. Electric? Fixed wing vs. heli? RTF vs. kits? Those are usually good for 25 posts or so.

Whatever you wish to explore, I am sure we are all game.


Ed Anderson
www.lisf.org
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 04:50 PM
Turn down for what?
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLATINUM
It isn't talk.. it is a question with a suposition.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then, brah. From my perspective, LISF does a great job. They train new members, they have a member that is writing up lots of informitive stuff here on 'groupsweb for new folks, they host contests, they hosted a F3J team selection for the AMA within the last decade. All good stuff. All stuff that helps grow the hobby, their club, and the AMA.

I suggest you take Ed up on his offer to come visit his field. Then perhaps you can make suggestions for their improvement in person.

Best of luck,

Ryan
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 06:30 PM
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USA, VT
Joined Nov 2004
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You guys are focused on your piece of this.. this is NOT only about your field. Think about the greater picture for a second. Think about how many fields don't have others in close proximity.. and have a similar policy as yours.

Great, you got a buncha fields close to you.. what happens when they are filled up? property owner says only x amount of people? And you guys are sitting on a field that could easily be used by a multitude of different aircraft that are currently banned. Seems pretty unfair to other AMA members who make it possible for you to charter this field. It would certianly seem that in a place like LI.. it would be very difficult to find a field..even if you did have several folks to help you.

We cut our own grass. We don't get a contractor, because we are capable of pushing a mower for 20 minutes once a week. You can get a cheap mower for about $150.00 that will last 5 years, I doubt you would use 20 gals of gas for the summer.


Our dues are $35.00.. we fly every type of plane. Including winch launched gliders... I have seen a 172inch glider put in the air. We launch high end model rockets (all planes grounded while they launch).. not the estes stuff.. big mofos! 30% gas Yak.. large scale warbirds.. shrikes..hotliners. We all take turns, when it makes sense to take turns. We call out landings, takeoffs, and speed runs. There is plenty of time and airspace to share.

$100 dues? sheesh .. they mowing the lawn with diamond blades or something? Can't see someone who is 20 being able to afford those dues, ama and their gear very easily. High dues is a whole nother can of worms though.

All I am saying here guys, is that when you look at the big picture.. the old ways have really hurt this org. AMA membership has declined for 5 years straight. That is a big problem. I understand there are circumstances that prohibit some types of flying, but when a field does what it can to make room for as many types of flying within those limits, it benefits everyone in AMA. It can work out!

The only difference between my field and your field at the end of the day..is that we make an effort to make it work out
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Mesa, AZ
Joined Aug 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLATINUM
You guys are focused on your piece of this.. this is NOT only about your field.
Sure seems like most of us on this thread feel that way.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 10:09 PM
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Joined Nov 2000
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platinum
Of course it's about our club's field. That is the piece of this earth we are interested in. It's OUR field and we need to protect it as best we can or face losing it. I've been in clubs that have lost their field for whatever reason (like the guy who chased the birds and the owners wife took offense--we were out the next week) and we lost the better part of a year finding another. So if we feel there is a potential noise problem glow and gas are out. If we see any problem we will move to overcome it even at the expense of a few members who might object to the required fix.
In this hobby NO FIELD means NO HOBBY. The field is the center piece of model aviation regardless of what you fly. It is what holds the club together.


BM
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Old Nov 18, 2007, 05:40 AM
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LI, New York, USA
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BillM,

Well said!
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Old Nov 18, 2007, 05:48 AM
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LI, New York, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLATINUM
You guys are focused on your piece of this.. this is NOT only about your field. Think about the greater picture for a second. Think about how many fields don't have others in close proximity.. and have a similar policy as yours.


...............

The only difference between my field and your field at the end of the day..is that we make an effort to make it work out
The only reason I have continued this dialog is because I believe you are sincere in your statements. Your view of the greater good is a nobel one, but it is not how the world works.

Net net, I care about my club and my field and what we need to be successful. As an officer of the club, that is my job.

Now, if you would like to visit our club or our field, operating under our rules you are welcome. If not, don't come! Is that clear?

Our field works great. We have nothing to work out. There is no problem to fix. There is no issue to resolve. It ain't broken so we have no interest in fixing it.

Am I making myself clear?
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