AMA Flying Site Assistance Program - RC Groups

AMA Flying Site Assistance Program

The AMA has teamed up with RCGroups.com to give you a place to discuss the Flying Site Assistance Program. Talk to other members about your thoughts and experiences!

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Flying Site Assistance Program Info

RCGroups is excited to partner with the AMA to provide a place for pilots and users to discuss their experiences and suggestions about keeping and creating RC flying sites. The AMA Flying Site Assistance Partner Program is the perfect tool for this. A big thanks to the AMA for not only helping our hobby, but also propelling it in the future!

From the AMA:

The AMA has been involved in helping clubs with flying site issues for many years. After all, without flying sites, we can't enjoy our hobby! As AMA's Flying Site Assistance Coordinator, my job is to assist clubs with any and all issues in regard to flying sites.

Two Main Aspects of the AMA’s Flying Site Assistance Program

Getting a Flying Site

Getting a flying site remains a matter of local people locating a suitable piece of ground and then making the correct approach to the owners/administrators. This approach must dignify the sport; legitimize the need; and show how model aviation is a constructive, educational, and excellent recreational activity that is governed by a safety code and federal regulations. The size of your national organization (AMA), the number of chartered clubs and the wide support from industrial and educational institutions add up to an excellent story to support your requests for flying privileges.

AMA Flying Site Assistance (5 min 51 sec)

Keeping a Flying Site

Keeping the flying site you have is an issue that, unfortunately, is many times left to chance by clubs. A renewed effort is being placed on educating clubs and members on way to ensure that the flying site you enjoy today will still be there for you tomorrow. We can provide assistance to you to help you have peace of mind concerning your flying site and its future.

Where to Start

So, where do we begin? I’m glad you asked! If you are brand new to this journey of finding a flying site, I suggest you start by getting a copy of our “Bible”. It is the “Getting and Keeping Flying Sites” book. This book provides detailed information to help you all the way from planning your search to designing your field layout and safety rules. There is also a video for your on-line viewing that is a presentation of the book, done in a seminar format. This is handy, especially if you don’t really want to read a book.

Now that you have an overview of the Flying Site Assistance Program and you are somewhat familiar with the two main sections, you can select the specific support page to help you. These pages are filled with success stories and downloadable documents that can give you very specific help. We also have some Power Point presentations that you can download and modify to fit your clubs needs and situation. Feel free to review any and all of these documents. Keep in mind that I am always here to help.

Links

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This thread is privately moderated by Jim T. Graham, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Old Apr 01, 2017, 10:46 AM
Everything Goes
A moderator felt this post violated the following rule: Trolling (Widespread).
Apr 01, 2017, 11:04 AM
Capitalist
fnlrun's Avatar
That link to view potential sites is damn funny LOLOLOLOL. We have 3 in our county, and the only "potential site" on the map is smack dab in the middle of train tracks in the center of a run down welfare town.
Apr 01, 2017, 11:50 PM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Yeah, 5 miles northwest of Dulles probably isn't realistic either. Same with 4 miles west of the White House in Falls Church, or the one 3 miles south of DCA in Alexandria. But there's always downtown Rochester, or 3 miles west of Wright-Patterson AFB, or the one in Plainview Indiana (3 miles west of Indianapolis airport), or maybe the one 6 miles nw of O'Hare. But I'm sure that one in downtown Seattle has real possibilities!

Does anyone even bother to check these? There's a very basic QA/QC of information that seems to be a bridge too far.
Apr 01, 2017, 11:59 PM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
This must be an April first joke...

Downtown San Jose California...approx 5,000 feet on the extended centerline to the airport?
Or adjacent to the Stanford University stadium?
Or 5 miles on the extended centerline near Portland's airport?

Or downtown Atlanta, on the Capital Grounds?
Apr 02, 2017, 12:19 AM
Registered User
Based on the Texas sites on the map, it appears to me that the map is showing cities where new flying sites might be desirable or feasible, but not the specific locations themselves.

For instance, a new flying site in the Bandera, TX area would be great, and there are plenty of potential sites. However, I don't think that they intend the specific location shown on the map to be THE location...
Apr 02, 2017, 12:23 AM
Registered User
The ones in San Jose and Seattle are the local Parks and Recreation offices. I live in Seattle and it is illegal to operate an RC aircraft in any city park not designated for such activity. There is one such park and it's a control line circle crowded in with trees, probably 50 feet diameter of flying space. I can see why the AMA would want to try to start with the local parks office.
Apr 02, 2017, 07:58 AM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Interesting...

The link to "potential" flying sites has been removed
Apr 02, 2017, 08:27 PM
Registered User
I say this as a full AMA member for several years, but the problem that I have with these flying sites is that most require an AMA membership to fly.

I've not always been fortunate enough to afford the yearly costs of the membership, so I can relate to those who express frustration with the dues. It would be really nice if there was some kind of "day pass" to allow non-members to fly without AMA or club membership. Otherwise I'm afraid that flying will become some sort of exclusive group that only allows those prepared to commit the funds and time on a regular basis to participate. Those who are just wanting to try it out or participate a few times a year would be completely excluded.

Maybe that's the direction we're headed, I'm not sure, but it would be nice to include the casual hobbyist.
Apr 03, 2017, 11:49 AM
Registered User

Potential Flying Site Locations Map


This "Potential Flying Site Locations" map represents local government agencies that have shown some interest in using public land for a model flying site. The pins on the map aren't intended to be specific locations for the flying site.
http://www.MODELAIRCRAFT.ORG/FLYINGSITEASSISTANCE

Sorry for the confusion, if you would like to learn more about the potential for flying sites in any of these locations please contact Tony Stillman, AMA Flying Site Assistance Coordinator (800) 435-9262 ext. 230 or fsac@modelaircraft.org
Apr 03, 2017, 11:51 AM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by matheweis
I say this as a full AMA member for several years, but the problem that I have with these flying sites is that most require an AMA membership to fly.

I've not always been fortunate enough to afford the yearly costs of the membership, so I can relate to those who express frustration with the dues. It would be really nice if there was some kind of "day pass" to allow non-members to fly without AMA or club membership. Otherwise I'm afraid that flying will become some sort of exclusive group that only allows those prepared to commit the funds and time on a regular basis to participate. Those who are just wanting to try it out or participate a few times a year would be completely excluded.

Maybe that's the direction we're headed, I'm not sure, but it would be nice to include the casual hobbyist.
Mathew, I agree. There's also another factor at play, I call it the "customer experience." For $75 to AMA, that gets me free flying at Muncie. Unfortunately, that's over a thousand miles away. So my $75 to AMA gets me access to fly at fields closer to home - but wait - only if I pay another $100 a year. So for my $175 entry fee, I get to fly. That's where the "customer experience" comes into the equation. If you're lucky enough to live in an area with good weather, some critical mass of members, and cooperative land owners, you may well have access to nice paved runways were you can fly pretty much anything you want. But that's not the case for a great many, the $175 I spend gets me a rough grass field. If I want to fly massively over powered tail draggers, or hand launched stuff, I can fly anything I want. Otherwise, it's ripped out or bent landing gear. So what I have interest in flying is electric jets, but the field doesn't support them. Over time I found myself going less and less, opting instead for smaller stuff I can fly for free in the park near my house. And that's of course if someone an afford the $175 annually on top of radios, batteries, models, or other supplies.

I've talked to more than one AMA exec about this, and honestly it's falling on deaf ears. They're washing their hands of the local flying field quality issue, and they seem to have zero interest in working to ensure a more consistent AMA experience. So what I fear is that AMA is going to be an organization that caters more an more to those clubs in areas with a critical mass of members, those who live close to Muncie, or those who are willing to pay regardless of the field quality. But as EVP says, open adult renewals are down, senior memberships are down, all those free youth memberships aren't converting in significant numbers, and there's a shift toward park fliers. So rather than try to understand what's happening, and why people don't see value in open memberships anymore, all they're doing is chasing drone members and plowing more money into "Taj-Muncie."
Apr 03, 2017, 04:34 PM
TonyF3A

Flying Site Assistance map


Guys, just wanted to give more info on the map that has been discussed. This map was created as a result of leads that were generated at state and national conventions, such as National Recreation and Park Association, National League of Cities, etc. While at the event, we had government officials (some Mayors, City Councilmen, and such) and Park and Recreation managers come by and we discussed with them how we would like to work with local clubs and create flying sites on underutilized government lands, like soccer fields. Many responded positively and gave us their information so that they could be contacted by an AMA club or member who could meet with them and review possible areas where a flying site could be established. It was very important to have a local club person connect so that when they went to look at a site, the club member would be able to tell if the site was really suitable or not. It could be that the site is a large one that traditional RC aircraft and even Giant Scale or Turbine aircraft could fly there safely. Or it might be small and only suited for park fliers or multi-rotors electric models.

AMA Potential Flying Site locations - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...en&usp=sharing

I didn't list the contact person, as none wanted to have their info on an open website, so I ask those that are interested to contact me and I will give them the contact person's info. So, the location pin on the map is the location of the contact person, not where the potential site is.
This list is grows with each new data that is collected. I am hoping that this forum will bring new interest in these areas. This map has been out for a few years, and I have only had four people contact me about a possible site. I had hopes of much more interest.
Anyway, I hope this explains it a little better.
Tony Stillman, Flying Site Assistance Coordinator for AMA
Apr 03, 2017, 08:48 PM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Where are members concentrated in relation to these contact locations? For example, if there's 10 AMA members within 50 mile of a contact, it's probably unlikely that there's enough critical mass to accomplish much. Additionally, if you're looking for the member masses to do this, then that means asking people who more than likely already have a field. What's the value to them of expending more time and effort to try and support a second field? Are folks really going to walk away from any improvements at the existing field in favor of a new one?

Lastly, what about market research? How many members / potential members are within some specified distance of these folks? Or are we following the "build it and they will come" strategy? I think there's always some who will drive a distance for a great field. As the quality of the field goes down, or as the limitations on what you can fly go up, I suspect fewer and fewer people will be interested.
Apr 03, 2017, 09:12 PM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMAstaff
This "Potential Flying Site Locations" map represents local government agencies that have shown some interest in using public land for a model flying site. The pins on the map aren't intended to be specific locations for the flying site.
http://www.MODELAIRCRAFT.ORG/FLYINGSITEASSISTANCE

Sorry for the confusion, if you would like to learn more about the potential for flying sites in any of these locations please contact Tony Stillman, AMA Flying Site Assistance Coordinator (800) 435-9262 ext. 230 or fsac@modelaircraft.org
One way to help minimize confusion ... if they're not "potential flying site locations" but rather the location of government agencies showing interest, then it's probably best to use something other than "potential flying site locations" in the titles.
Apr 03, 2017, 10:23 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m
One way to help minimize confusion ... if they're not "potential flying site locations" but rather the location of government agencies showing interest, then it's probably best to use something other than "potential flying site locations" in the titles.
Chances are they can possibly be both. Seems like a stretch to try to make something of that though, doesn't it?


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