RC club? No thanks - RC Groups
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Mar 30, 2012, 03:16 PM
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mike_o's Avatar

RC club? No thanks

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?
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Mar 30, 2012, 03:30 PM
If it spins, wear it.
whirlcap's Avatar
Your experience sounds about typical. I felt the same way after visiting my local field. I'm sure there are some nice fellows over there, I just didn't meet any of them the couple times I've stopped by. One of the visits was an open house day too, go figure? The local field is also pretty stuck on Nitro power and they dont like electrics. There are plenty of safe open places for me to fly and I joined the AMA Park Flyer membership. It will provide insurance for the outside chance something bad happens. Several guys fly at one of the parks and the park ranger is cool with it too, he stops by to chat and check out the planes when he is present.
Mar 30, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Mendo's Avatar
I'll toss my 2 cents in here.

Clubs are made up of people, and therefore can be good or bad depending on said people, its hit and miss anywhere you go. That said they were 100% correct about you needing insurance whether you fly as a club member at the field or in your own backyard or local school. AMA membership isnt expensive and in our lawyer happy world nowadays its a no brainer. I would also like to point out that while you may have no problem with accepting all the liability for any damage or injury caused from an accident involving your aircraft, it affects all of us why fly responsibly in the eyes of the non rc folks. Flying sites are dissapearing at a staggering rate due to housing, noise complaints, and uninformed people who think its dangerous. Something to think about, as one bad incident involving a uninsured pilot can very quickly change the mindset of your community and lose the privilege of flying for everyone in your area, legal flying site and all. I hope you dont take this the wrong way, Im not trying to lecture or anything, but if you are going to fly please get yourself an AMA membership, if for no other reason than to protect your fellow modelers and their ability to enjoy this hobby.

Mar 30, 2012, 04:25 PM
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mike_o's Avatar

Thanks for your 2 cents. I pretty much with you, which is also why I went to the club in the first place. However, I live in Denmark where things are a bit more relaxed in the liability department. I am considering getting a "union" membership outside the clubs, to get the insurance. Or at least check with my own insurance company if they will provide a special insurance. Some of the companies have done that previously.
Mar 30, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Mendo's Avatar
Originally Posted by mike_o

Thanks for your 2 cents. I pretty much with you, which is also why I went to the club in the first place. However, I live in Denmark where things are a bit more relaxed in the liability department. I am considering getting a "union" membership outside the clubs, to get the insurance. Or at least check with my own insurance company if they will provide a special insurance. Some of the companies have done that previously.

I hadnt noticed you are from Denmark, thats Im sure going to have differences than here in the USA. I would only say that like most folks in a hobby they enjoy, use the tools avaliable ( like the ama here ) to continue your fun in the hobby and have the support it provides if something goes wrong.
Mar 30, 2012, 06:09 PM
You can get a rider on your home owners INS thats what I did.
I fly all over town and in the country and have no intrest in flying at a club just not my cup of tea.
I tought myself to fly and yes it can be done plus I dont like some of the silly rules that ama and clubs have.
Mar 31, 2012, 04:57 PM
Registered User
I guess it pretty much boils down to the type of people who fly at any particular club.

Personally I've been very lucky. I pretty much taught myself to fly with small, lightweight (under 120g) foamies in a field close to my house which has a small lane running through it. Like the OP I was very careful to fly sensibly and away from the myriad of walkers that use the lane. After 9 months I've not had one single negative remark from any passer by. In fact quite the contrary.

However, I realised that if I was to progress with my flying I would need somewhere else to fly. So, I joined my local club, and I must say, that it's the best thing I've done.

My club is one of the best appointed in the country (Spain) and has excellent facilities. But, in addition, everyone I've met have been very friendly and extremely helpful. Please note that I'm English and my Spanish isn't particularly good. I undertook the obligatory training sessions and after only a few flights my instructor signed me off as competent enough to fly as a regular member of the club.

I now fly at the club every weekend. While not flying myself I get to watch fully aerobatic 2-3 metre nitro planes being flown in amazing ways along with gliders of 5m + wingspan and a plethora of scale models. A small group of us (a sort of mini club) also fly at another location most weekends too, where the onus is on having relaxed flying fun.

So, for me, joining a club has been great experience. I've learnt a lot, and made some new Spanish friends. Which leads me back to my opening statement.

It all depends upon the type of people that run and belong to the club.

Mar 31, 2012, 06:33 PM
Foam Av8r
RogueTitan's Avatar
I don't need no stinking club
I am a one man gang
besides RCG is all the club I need
I fly foamies on open farm fields, what do I need insurance for?
now if I was flying giant models professionally and had no place to fly then ya I could see the need for having to pay premium prices on an AMA card and club membership fees
not to mention I don't like dealing with all the air traffic or the old holier than thou farts at the local RC club field.
Mar 31, 2012, 09:20 PM
cat herder
jimmycashley's Avatar
It is nice to get together with other modelers and see what and how they fly. You can learn a lot by talking with and watching others. This can be at the park where people casually gather or at a club field.

Just like life though some folks are a PITA. At one time I was new at a club in an area outside Washington DC. I was told I needed a spinner on a .25 powered shoulder wing model. This while watching one of the club insiders flying a 50cc gasoline model with, yes, no spinner.

Keep looking and hopefully you'll find other cool guys and girls.
Apr 01, 2012, 09:40 PM
Registered User
I had the same experience as the OP. The old dudes at my local flying field defined the word "crusty". My take is that they looked down on my electric foamy. No one made an effort to welcome me or even say hi. I just got barked at for not standing in exactly the right spot on the flight line.

Hell with that. I can fly at the local park. I dont need that much space. And I agree with the previous poster ... passersby who stop to say hi think the planes are awesome.
Apr 02, 2012, 11:50 AM
Registered User
My guess it's from old time gas/fuel only guys. Their mind hasn't opened to parkflyers quite yet!!
Apr 02, 2012, 02:25 PM
Registered User
I used to belong to the AMA and a club back in the 90s. While I prefer the true flight experience that a nitro model provides, I am now into foam electrics strictly because of the freedom. I want to be able to go wherever I want and hand launch a model into the sky. Dealing with clubs, rules, and time limits sucks enough to actively avoid it.
Apr 02, 2012, 08:13 PM
cat herder
jimmycashley's Avatar
Originally Posted by rtbates
My guess it's from old time gas/fuel only guys. Their mind hasn't opened to parkflyers quite yet!!
I'm an old time nitro/gas, silk and dope guy too, but some people have closed minds to anything other than their wishes. I remember when crusty curmudgeon guys were lamenting the fact that ARF's were going to kill the hobby.
Apr 02, 2012, 08:25 PM
Registered User
circletree's Avatar
nothing new....when I got back into R/C after my first layoff (1986) the same attitude held at the local AMA field. the old guys don't like the ARF proliferation as now they don't like the foamy crowd. Shoot, back in the 1970s i remember the old guys fussing about monokote and the satellite city CA glues. the cycle goes on.
Apr 03, 2012, 11:43 AM
Registered User
restlessswind's Avatar
I'm a club member because I like the need for a runway without obstacles (inanimate objects and life-forms). Yes, I originally got the vibe from the old timing club members that " if it aint making a lot of noise, it ain't flying", but I ended up making a lot of new friends and have people to talk to and share interests with instead of kids at the park playing chicken with my landing approaches or dogs chasing my plane, or worrying about the security of my equipment, etc.
I ignore the @-#oles and enjoy my thing, usually with someone else.

I am considering recruiting some folks to come up with our own fuel-free type club. I would like one with solar powered charging, irrigated grass strip for belly-landing, a youth-outreach program and no cranky jerks to ruin it.

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