RC club? No thanks - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Nov 13, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Oh yes, the ins and outs of being in a club. I am now 46. I joined my first club when I was the ripe ole age of 7. It has always been the same. The club I started in was great. They welcomed my brother and I. We became the adopted kids of the club. It was great fun and they helped us out so much. Our single mom of 5 kids did not really know much about model airplanes. The members of the club were there to help us any way they could.

After 5 or so years, the club lost the lease on the land. They tried to find another place but just could not do it so the club disbanded. We were not able to do much without a club so we sort of left the hobby. When I was old enough to drive I joined a club that used the local stadium parking lot for the field.

What a complete disaster that place was. Not once did I ever show up to fly and not get hassled for some reason or another. They did not like my plane. They did not like my radio. They did not like me . All they ever did was complain. After about 2 months I figured out how to deal with these bozo's. Once the wind started blowing over 10 mph they headed home. To windy for them to fly. Well me and my Goldberg Jr Tiger, Airtronics VG6DR were really happy when they were not there. I flew there for about 2 years.

I tried another club but they said my Jr Tiger was to fast and I was not allowed to do high speed fly bye's. Now, a Goldberg Jr Tiger, O.S. FP.35, I did not think was a speed demon? But I guess next to the Astro Hogs I saw in the pits, it was. Every member I saw that day had an Astro hog. I mean every member had their's all lined up and pretty looking. I guess it was a club rule, you had to have a Hog!!.

Now, the last club I belonged to, they were a great bunch of people. Fun to be around, loved every type of flying machine. From the micro foamy's to 33% planes. Helicopters and all. On my Second Saturday, I lined up at the pilot box with my Rookie.


It is a push button 2 channel plane. I was getting all sorts of laughs about it. I tossed it out there and she flew like a dream. I was able to get about 100 feet of altitude and flew for almost 5 minutes. They loved it. They came by to check it out and see what it was.

So yes, clubs can be the best thing out there, or the worst waste of time. All depends on the people in the club.

Where I fly now, AMA would not cover me, but that is another topic in and of its self.

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Nov 14, 2012, 01:11 AM
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Interesting thread. I am new to the hobby this year after purchasing a 3ch JXD coaxial on a whim. I had so much fun I started looking for my next heli and watching videos of how they fly. I wanted to take the next step and get a slightly bigger fixed pitch heli that I could fly at a local park, like I saw everyone on youtube doing. I got a double horse 9116 and had great fun flying over a field in a secluded corner of my local park for a few days until I was stopped by a park ranger. He informed me that I would have to go to one of the designated rc fields and have a park pass to operate anything rc no matter the size. I was pretty surprised but I wanted to get flying again asap so I started looking into it. In my county there are 2 heli/plane fields and one heli field. The park pass is $40, but to get that you also have to show ama insurance. I got my ama insurance and county park pass and went to the field. I didn't really know what to expect but airplanes on one side and helis on the other, each of which have their own club, which also cost money for membership. There was only one guy there at the time who was nice and helpful but I kind of got the idea that I would need to ditch my "toy" and get a 6ch heli with a real tx. I actually became more intrigued watching the planes fly on the other side. I got a um t-28 trojan and went there to fly a few weeks later after some simulator time and I was definately out of place thats for sure. Almost all the guys have nitro and seem a little "old fart" as you guys describe. I have been back several times now, as its the only place I can fly without worry of being ticketed, and their are actually some pretty nice guys who are slowly converting to electric it seems like. I have also stopped by the heli field which is close to my work, and at all three fields I got the feeling you should join and pay dues if you want to fly there, and possilby even pitch in maintenance as club members have to take turns cutting the grass. I havent joined any of them yet as I decide what to do but next year I may find myself paying dues at 3 or 4 clubs on top of the ama and park pass because I would like to fly helis and planes at the field by my house, but it would be nice to be able to stop by the one close to work sometimes too, and then the other field I havent been to yet has a paved runway and you can fly jets. sorry for the long boring story but are all you parkflyers rebels, or is my county a rare exception? From what I hear you will be ticketed a pretty hefty fine. I wish I could fly in various locations wherever I find vacant space like you guys.
Nov 15, 2012, 11:45 AM
Registered User
It is not true that AMA insurance only covers you at a sanctioned club flying field. It will cover you as long as it is not illegal to fly RC at the site you choose, have permission to fly there, AND you adhere to the AMA safety guidelines.

Our informal club flies in a large open field behind our local Senior Center with full permission of management. We use an asphalt easement that is a dead end on either end as our runway. We all park to one side of the easement and fly a specific circuit with no flyng behind our agreed upon flight line. We make sure to adhere to the AMA safety code so there will be no question as to insurance issues. I believe that one should use common sense when flying at a non-club field. We all fly exclusively electric.

BTW - I used to feel the same negative way about clubs until I met some members of one of our clubs here in San Diego. The guys at the Silent Electric Fliers of San Diego are a great group of guys and I have recently applied to join. One of their fields is on Misson Bay, almost at the entrance to Sea World and it is a fantastic flying site. I hope to fly there soon!
Last edited by chucksolo69; Nov 15, 2012 at 11:52 AM.
Nov 15, 2012, 05:30 PM
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Island Runner's Avatar

Lesson learned.

This is an interesting thread. For some background info, I have been flying nitro and gas for 15+ years. Taught myself to fly by the trial and error method (many planes and many $). I'm more of the sit in the corner with my own thoughts type and not much of a conversationalist, hence not many posts here and the reason I don't belong to a club.
I recently built my first 3D foamie and now have a few, and really loving the toss up the plane, fly, charge, repeat thing! On the other hand, I have built kits, ARF's, and 20+ scratch built nitro and gas planes. I have even built planes from motorhome sidewalls! I live in the middle of nowhere. My closest neighbor is .9 miles away and all my neighbors in all directions are Amish . My home is surrounded by fields and no trees for 3/4 of a mile. My driveway to my house is 200+ feet long, 60 feet wide, and perfectly straight. Great flying site for sure, so what could possibly go wrong?
I have taken off from my driveway hundreds and hundreds of times without a mishap until last month. I had made a few flights that day and a buddy had stopped in. Being I had all my nitro/gas stuff out in the lawn he was curious and I was proud. I was eager to have an audience for my airshow that no one ever sees. So I fueled the plane back up, and taxied out to the driveway as usual. I punched the throttle after she picked up some speed and just as she was about to lift off, it musta hit the wrong stone in the driveway as it shot 90 degrees to the right and lifted off directly into my wife's shiny black Cadillac!!! The prop put 17 dented stripes that look like tiger stripes right down the side of her Caddy!!! My friend fell over in laughter. The funnier part is that it took her 3 weeks to notice!!! Luckily she is a good sport and knew what had caused the damage.
I guess my point is that mishaps and injury to persons and property can happen out of the blue even in the best of settings. Now I have been thinking more and more of joining the club that is 7 miles down the road!!!
Nov 15, 2012, 06:02 PM
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mike_o's Avatar
Originally Posted by Island Runner
... it musta hit the wrong stone in the driveway as it shot 90 degrees to the right and lifted off directly into my wife's shiny black Cadillac!!! The prop put 17 dented stripes that look like tiger stripes right down the side of her Caddy!!! My friend fell over in laughter. The funnier part is that it took her 3 weeks to notice!!! Luckily she is a good sport and knew what had caused the damage. ... Now I have been thinking more and more of joining the club that is 7 miles down the road!!!
Island Runner,

thanks for sharing that story, and sorry for the shiny Caddy. That was just bad luck. I started this thread in the Foamies sub forum, because I think it's the most relevant place. Your situation with nitro models are probably very different from my own - currently my favorite model is a 450gr MPX EasyStar with a 20gr, 40W pusher motor. When I fly it FPV, the weight goes up to 490gr.

This is a recent low and slow video of that plane - I really can't imagine it doing any major damage to anything:

Multiplex EasyStar very low. Chopping plant stems at 3:17 (4 min 42 sec)
Last edited by mike_o; Dec 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM.
Nov 15, 2012, 06:51 PM
Closed Account
Originally Posted by mike_o

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 don't know if it is typical for Denmark but yes, it is typical for the U.S. Or so that have been my experience. If one does not belong to AMA and buy exclusively from Towers, then they are looked down on.
Nov 15, 2012, 11:28 PM
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Nov 15, 2012, 11:28 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Obake
I don't know if it is typical for Denmark but yes, it is typical for the U.S. Or so that have been my experience. If one does not belong to AMA and buy exclusively from Towers, then they are looked down on.
Power hungry club members don't know what they are talking about, just make more rules than what the Gov already has in place, also tell you fake rules if they can get you to believe them. Those people are a dime a dozen and looked down on by me Just don't join a club and you won;t have to follow AMA or the clubs rules. Follow Gov rules along with common sense safety.
Last edited by Thermal Hobby; Nov 15, 2012 at 11:34 PM.
Nov 16, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Island Runner's Avatar

I agree your situation is probably much different. On the same hand, it is what has led me to foamies. Even though I only fly around my home and I don't have to haul all my stuff to a different location to fly, the ease of use and less potential for damage to the planes, house, cars, people, and myself is what makes foamies so appealing to me. The foamies I currently fly are a HK Reaktor and a MS Composit Pitts Bulldog.
Dec 01, 2012, 09:07 PM
Suspended Account
I had no idea these clubs were so bad! "I don't like dealing with all the air traffic or the old holier than thou farts at the local RC club field." I picture 70-85 year old men from a local nursing home standing at a runway using their walkers for support!. I got into this hobby for the fun and challenge!. I had a major brain stem stroke last December 4th. Although I was lucky enough not to die, It took my vision and my left side. I have since recovered my vision and the use of my left side although it still is numb. I have a giant Aneurysm in the base of my brain 3CM round and 4.5 CM in length. My condition of course is inoperable by today's technology and I dont have many years of life left . I have a NAZA F450 and just this week ordered my first Foamy. It has a 1600MM wingspan. I wish there was someone here in Tucson Arizona that had some spare time to spend with me so I can avoid all the pitfalls most first timers face. The one thing I do have is a vast desert to fly in. The sonoran desert is massave! the chance of me hurting anything other than a Taranchula or rattle snake is remote. I had though about looking for a local club, but after what I learned here I don't think I will waist my time.
Dec 02, 2012, 02:15 PM
Registered User
[QUOTE]I wish there was someone here in Tucson Arizona that had some spare time to spend with me so I can avoid all the pitfalls most first timers face./QUOTE]


I'd start a quick thread on this subject in the park flyer forum asking for help in the Tucson area in the title. I'm sure there's more than a couple of flyers there who'd be more than happy to assist you.
Dec 02, 2012, 03:04 PM
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My club is not like that -- unfriendly, judgmental, hostile. But 5 years ago, it WAS. Things change, idiots get something new to play with, etc. Wait a few months, go out at a different time, and see if that makes a difference.

Dec 03, 2012, 03:36 AM
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Markran's Avatar
Unfortunately, I have to agree with most of these club reviews. I went out to my local club which is conveniently located about 12 minutes drive from my front door but the reception wasn't exactly friendly. They seem to be focused on large, loud gas planes. I suppose for those kind of planes you need to have a lot of rules for safety but for my 8-12 oz. foamies it's a bit ridiculous.

Also, I enjoy flying my planes very close doing 3D hovers etc and even in circles right around me a few feet off the ground. The club rules are that after take-off, the plane must stay well on the far side of the runway. That's over a hundred feet from the pilot position. So, by their rules my plane would have to stay a minimum distance away from me that is farther than the maximum distance I usually fly it at a park. No fun at all. I'm busy with family and work, leaving precious little time for this hobby anyway and when I do get a free hour here and there to fly I really don't want to be spending it not having fun. I love the idea of a club but my experience left me cold.
Dec 03, 2012, 05:34 AM
RIP Azarr - "Old age is not for sissies"
Azarr's Avatar
Originally Posted by goldsworthy
I had no idea these clubs were so bad!.
Despite what you're reading here, most aren't. Although large, RCG membership is a small part of the RC community at large and those that tend to be most vocal post. I've belonged to many clubs over the years (moving in the USAF) and although I've bumped into a few unfriendly individuals, most clubs are very accommodating. Quite often, like in any social situation, how you are perceived depends on the attitude you display.

The only problem we've had at my current field were caused by non members sneaking on our land to fly without our permission, insurance, or paying the dues that we use for rental and then saying we're "unfriendly" when they were caught. My club, like most in the area have a guest provision where you can fly 3 times before being required to join. That lets you check out the field and the people and see if you're interested before you commit.

There are a bunch of clubs in Arizona, you can locate them here. Why not check one out for yourself before you decide based on other people's opinions.

Dec 03, 2012, 12:10 PM
Registered User
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.


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