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Sep 16, 2019, 11:25 AM
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exf3bguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Challenged
You can argue about whether AMA gives you any benefit with membership, but who in AMA is getting any membership dues money for their own enrichment? I may be a naÔve life long member, but don't believe that any elected official or volunteer is spending dues money on themselves or socking it away in personal bank accounts. I didn't agree with embracing/promoting multi-rotor drone flying as part of the hobby but realize the difficulty in excluding it. I believe that hobbyists of all sorts need some representative organization to interface with federal and state governments and police to promote, protect and preserve their participation in their hobby pursuits. Such organizations need membership dues or other funding to operate.

Right and I would openly state that my belief is that anyone who discourages membership in the ONLY national organization that represents model aviation in the US is against model aviation. The AMA is far from perfect however they are the voice that we have, it only makes sense to help strengthen the organization through increased membership. More members would not only have a louder voice with our goverment but the membership as a whole would have more power to change the direction of the organization.
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Sep 16, 2019, 11:49 AM
aka ShadowVFX
Suko's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exf3bguy
Right and I would openly state that my belief is that anyone who discourages membership in the ONLY national organization that represents model aviation in the US is against model aviation. The AMA is far from perfect however they are the voice that we have, it only makes sense to help strengthen the organization through increased membership. More members would not only have a louder voice with our goverment but the membership as a whole would have more power to change the direction of the organization.
I'd argue that over the last 10 years, Flight Test has brought way more people into the hobby than the AMA has. And from what I've read, they don't require people to have AMA to fly at Flight Fest (or if they do, it's obvious they don't check for it regularly). This is the largest and most popular RC event in the USA. And what do you see at Flight Fest? Hundreds of young kids getting their first flights in and having a blast. I firmly believe THAT approach is far better at getting new people and families into the hobby. If you required every one of those kids to sign up for AMA, fill out forms and pay a fee (even a nominal one) just to try flying an RC plane, it would absolutely kill that enthusiasm and energy.

I want to help as many people as possible enjoy this hobby. That's why whenever I'm helping someone get started I will continue to point them to a UMX plane and offer to meet them at a soccer field for their first few flights. No bureaucracy, no club-required AMA fees to pay. It's just as simple as taking a Sport Cub S out and seeing if they enjoy themselves enough to go deeper. If they have a blast and want to jump head-long into the hobby, then I fully encourage them to go get their AMA and join a club. But I know that if I told someone they need to go spend $120 on a RTF Sport Cub S package and THEN tell them they need to dump another $200 just to fly and a club (AMA + Club Fees), I'm positive they'll just decide that's not worth it and there goes another potential RC pilot.
Sep 16, 2019, 11:51 AM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by exf3bguy
Right and I would openly state that my belief is that anyone who discourages membership in the ONLY national organization that represents model aviation in the US is against model aviation. The AMA is far from perfect however they are the voice that we have, it only makes sense to help strengthen the organization through increased membership. More members would not only have a louder voice with our goverment but the membership as a whole would have more power to change the direction of the organization.

The mistake the EC and many make is to thing that everyone eats, lives, and breathes model aviation like they do. For a vast many, which means itís hobby in which they may dabble, but then leave. For those, AMA is very much a rational economic decision like any other, perhaps even less emotional. So for them it does come down to what they get for their membership dollar. While ďthe ONLY national organizationĒ may matter to those true believers, to the casual participant, thatís intangible ... and thus not of direct value. What is value is what they get. Which is access to club fields (albeit at even more cost), a magazine, and secondary insurance.

On the other hand, someone could say ... for the price of AMA I can buy a handful of 3s /2200ís and just fly smaller planes in a field nearby ... with no need for access to a club field and thus no need for AMA. And anything that might be of value in the magazine, is likely covered already a bunch of times online.

AMA needs to focus on tangible value for money, or their two decade long revenue decline will continue.
Sep 16, 2019, 11:58 AM
Drone Pilot (Trainee)
I'm an officer in the organization of a different modeling organization, the National Model Railroad Association. Based on similar concerns, I'd say this actually doesn't have much to do with flying at all, it's mostly about maintaining insurance coverage.

First, of course, granted there's differences between the liability exposures between the two organizations. No one has ever complained about a flying train taking out the front picture window in the living room. In our case, we can have guest non-members at our meetings just 3 times before they have to sign up.

The institutional concerns have to do with maintaining club benefits for club members. If you allow anyone to walk in the door and fly, then you're not really focused on offering benefits to members. That makes insurance companies nervous -- all these people who might be placed in a position where they could either make a claim or be involved in an incident that causes a claim against the club. They write the insurance for club member's protection, not all these other folks.

If your club happens to be an IRS 501c7 non-profit, allowing non-members free access to use the facilities also directly effects how the IRS sees things because 501c7 status is supposed to focus such service on the member and not just to anyone in the public that shows up. The IRS might find that you're not operating as you should under 501c7 and withdraw it.
Sep 16, 2019, 12:05 PM
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exf3bguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suko
I'd argue that over the last 10 years, Flight Test has brought way more people into the hobby than the AMA has. And from what I've read, they don't require people to have AMA to fly at Flight Fest (or if they do, it's obvious they don't check for it regularly). This is the largest and most popular RC event in the USA. And what do you see at Flight Fest? Hundreds of young kids getting their first flights in and having a blast. I firmly believe THAT approach is far better at getting new people and families into the hobby. If you required every one of those kids to sign up for AMA, fill out forms and pay a fee (even a nominal one) just to try flying an RC plane, it would absolutely kill that enthusiasm and energy.

I want to help as many people as possible enjoy this hobby. That's why whenever I'm helping someone get started I will continue to point them to a UMX plane and offer to meet them at a soccer field for their first few flights. No bureaucracy, no club-required AMA fees to pay. It's just as simple as taking a Sport Cub S out and seeing if they enjoy themselves enough to go deeper. If they have a blast and want to jump head-long into the hobby, then I fully encourage them to go get their AMA and join a club. But I know that if I told someone they need to go spend $120 on a RTF Sport Cub S package and THEN tell them they need to dump another $200 just to fly and a club (AMA + Club Fees), I'm positive they'll just decide that's not worth it and there goes another potential RC pilot.

While I applaud what Flite Test has done to bring good press to our hobby, they are not representing us to congress or the FAA. True that the AMA has fallen behind in many respects but as I have said previously they are our voice like it or not. All of those kids you mention would be getting free AMA membership and virtually every club gives those under 18 memberships for minimal cost if not free. The club I belonged to in Sacramento gave those under 18 free memberships, I'm sure they are not the only club. There are instructors at clubs that are able to give lessons to those without AMA a limited number of visits before they are required to join AMA. A club in Morgan hill Ca ( SCCMAS ) held an air show once a year that got over 5,000 visitors a year. Each day there was a two hour slot where ANYONE was able to fly a trainer on a buddy box. There are programs in place if you care to see them.
Sep 16, 2019, 02:24 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suko
I'd argue that over the last 10 years, Flight Test has brought way more people into the hobby than the AMA has. And from what I've read, they don't require people to have AMA to fly at Flight Fest (or if they do, it's obvious they don't check for it regularly). This is the largest and most popular RC event in the USA. And what do you see at Flight Fest? Hundreds of young kids getting their first flights in and having a blast. I firmly believe THAT approach is far better at getting new people and families into the hobby. If you required every one of those kids to sign up for AMA, fill out forms and pay a fee (even a nominal one) just to try flying an RC plane, it would absolutely kill that enthusiasm and energy.

I want to help as many people as possible enjoy this hobby. That's why whenever I'm helping someone get started I will continue to point them to a UMX plane and offer to meet them at a soccer field for their first few flights. No bureaucracy, no club-required AMA fees to pay. It's just as simple as taking a Sport Cub S out and seeing if they enjoy themselves enough to go deeper. If they have a blast and want to jump head-long into the hobby, then I fully encourage them to go get their AMA and join a club. But I know that if I told someone they need to go spend $120 on a RTF Sport Cub S package and THEN tell them they need to dump another $200 just to fly and a club (AMA + Club Fees), I'm positive they'll just decide that's not worth it and there goes another potential RC pilot.
The other question Iíd ask is ĎHow many kids attending Flite Fest events continue on in the hobby?í I only ask this because, with 1 exception Iíve only ever run into 1 person who ever had any involvement with or built a model from Flite Fest.

Iíd suggest that the demise of the local Hobby Shop has had a much greater effect on loss of new starts. If kids donít see it, they arenít likely to become interested, and Mom and Dad donít have time these days to help.

RStrowe
Sep 16, 2019, 03:20 PM
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exf3bguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RStrowe
The other question I’d ask is ‘How many kids attending Flite Fest events continue on in the hobby?’ I only ask this because, with 1 exception I’ve only ever run into 1 person who ever had any involvement with or built a model from Flite Fest.

I’d suggest that the demise of the local Hobby Shop has had a much greater effect on loss of new starts. If kids don’t see it, they aren’t likely to become interested, and Mom and Dad don’t have time these days to help.

RStrowe

Hammer square on the head right there. I have been quoted many times saying there are many online vendors selling goods but who do we have selling the hobby? As someone who spent 15 years behind a counter in a hobby shop, customers were often exposed to our enthusiasm. IMO the loss of our hobby shops has more to do with the decline of the hobby more then anything else.
Sep 16, 2019, 03:33 PM
Registered User
This might have a little to do with the hobby/s decline
Sep 16, 2019, 03:41 PM
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exf3bguy's Avatar
Maybe on your side of the country. I have been involved with R/C clubs for 43 years and at least 10 clubs. The only time I have seen a student shunned is when the student did not want to follow the training program or were argumentive. You need to keep in mind that success not only depends on a good instructor but a good student as well.
Sep 16, 2019, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exf3bguy
Maybe on your side of the country. I have been involved with R/C clubs for 43 years and at least 10 clubs. The only time I have seen a student shunned is when the student did not want to follow the training program or were argumentive. You need to keep in mind that success not only depends on a good instructor but a good student as well.
I've been in the hobby for over 47 years. I've trained somewhere in the area of 400 beginners over the years, from hundreds of different clubs and I've get the skinny straight from the horse's mouth. They all agreed with the info in those two links. Dave Scott also gets his info from his customers who felt it necessary to travel hundreds of miles and spend $1200 to finally learn how to fly. More than likely, most, if not all of his customers come from clubs. Not to bad mouth any club or their instruction program, but due to usually scheduling, his customers found it much more efficient to pay Mr. Scott than go through their club's training system than waiting for their once a week session. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't read anything about a student being shunned. If you are referring to a different post, my mistake.
Sep 16, 2019, 05:53 PM
Registered User
Iíd have to agree with both letters. Started flying C/L around 1968, and R/C in the early Ď70ís. Have been a club instructor for years, in several clubs around the country. Not getting a student in the air ASAP (while still respecting safety) is critical.

There seem to be two basic types of personalities in every club Iíve been involved in. The upbeat, enthusiastic types, who teach well and have good outcomes. Then there are the old grumpy types, who are super negative and hyper-critical. Theyíll easily turn off the new or prospective hobbyist in seconds.

As a side note, for probably the last decade the #1 trainer Iíve recommended is the Apprentice. The only area I disagree with Dave is with the use of SAFE technology. If your students are on a buddy box, then SAFE isnít necessary.

RStrowe
Sep 16, 2019, 06:00 PM
Registered User
exf3bguy's Avatar
So you are comparing training at clubs for free by volunteers and training done by paid professionals? I would think that if you are willing to spend $1,200 for training, you are also going to take the instructor seriously.

The reality is that I agree that club training could be better. Clubs struggle to get whatever guys that step up to do the job. It's not an easy job as most new guys want to rush through the basics. I myself have stepped up to offer " advanced training " that not only included aerobatic flight training but advanced airplane trimming. I haven't a single guy take me up on it because it starts off with 4 hours of classroom discussion. At the end of the day guys just want to get through the training process so they can just go out and fly.
Sep 16, 2019, 06:00 PM
aka ShadowVFX
Suko's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by RStrowe
As a side note, for probably the last decade the #1 trainer Iíve recommended is the Apprentice. The only area I disagree with Dave is with the use of SAFE technology. If your students are on a buddy box, then SAFE isnít necessary.

RStrowe
I agree. The Apprentice is a fantastic learning aircraft. Unfortunately, due to its size, if you want to do everything legally and by the letter, you'll need to register yourself with the FAA, explain all the rules and stuff to the student and find a nice large space to fly.

In my neck of the woods, open space is not very easy to come by. That's why I still recommend the Sport Cub. Cheaper and easier to find a flying spot. It still helps teach the basics, but I admit that the Apprentice would be better.
Sep 16, 2019, 06:20 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by exf3bguy
So you are comparing training at clubs for free by volunteers and training done by paid professionals? I would think that if you are willing to spend $1,200 for training, you are also going to take the instructor seriously.

The reality is that I agree that club training could be better. Clubs struggle to get whatever guys that step up to do the job. It's not an easy job as most new guys want to rush through the basics. I myself have stepped up to offer " advanced training " that not only included aerobatic flight training but advanced airplane trimming. I haven't a single guy take me up on it because it starts off with 4 hours of classroom discussion. At the end of the day guys just want to get through the training process so they can just go out and fly.
Oh, no argument. Iíve tried the same thing, with the exact same results as you. Most people seem to think they can do advanced stuff, without a good understanding of what, where, how and why. And they donít have the patience to sit and do ground school. In a way, maybe having an FAA written test might be beneficial, in that itíll get the majority of modelers to sit through some organized training to get through the written test, which would lead to a willingness to learn more about the maneuvers they are doing, and how to do them better.

Ahh, who am I kidding? The turn-only-right crowd wonít sit still for that! Of course they tend to be the grumpy ones.

RStrowe
Sep 16, 2019, 06:46 PM
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aeronaut999's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RStrowe
In a way, maybe having an FAA written test might be beneficial, in that it’ll get the majority of modelers to sit through some organized training to get through the written test, which would lead to a willingness to learn more about the maneuvers they are doing, and how to do them better.
The FAA test won't have anything about aerodynamics or the physics of flight or how an airplane maneuvers. Remember, it will be a one-size-fits-all test for airplane flyers, heli flyers, droners, and whatever else.

As far as "sitting through training" goes, I'm sure that will be offered on-line, for free or for pay, whichever way you prefer to go. I don't see much overlap between someone wanting to learn enough about the airspace system to pass the test, and wanting to learn more about how an airplane flies.

Besides, lots of modellers fly very well without knowing much about how an airplane flies. Just look at some of the "discussions"/ debates that have gone on and on for a gazillion posts in the "Modelling Science" section of this forum for proof of that. You'll see lots of very proficient fliers expounding ideas that just don't quite hold water. (You may have to scroll back a ways-- it's been quiet there lately-- I'm talking about discussions that have gone on and on for many hundreds of posts.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by exf3bguy
So you are comparing training at clubs for free by volunteers and training done by paid professionals? I would think that if you are willing to spend $1,200 for training, you are also going to take the instructor seriously.

The reality is that I agree that club training could be better. Clubs struggle to get whatever guys that step up to do the job. It's not an easy job as most new guys want to rush through the basics. I myself have stepped up to offer " advanced training " that not only included aerobatic flight training but advanced airplane trimming. I haven't a single guy take me up on it because it starts off with 4 hours of classroom discussion. At the end of the day guys just want to get through the training process so they can just go out and fly.
Starting with four hours of classroom instruction would sure be a turnoff to me. You ought to be able to fit the important stuff into a lot less time than that. Why not write it up on a website and have the students read through it before coming to a Q-and-A answer session?
Last edited by aeronaut999; Sep 16, 2019 at 08:25 PM.


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