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AMA Parkflyer level....interesting

Old 04-22-2006, 02:55 AM
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rcers
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Default AMA Parkflyer level....interesting

Just got this from the AMA - sounds pretty good. Some odd things, but nice to see them "trying" to address the needs of the true parkfliers...

Dear AMA Member,
I am sending this E-mail to you in a request for your assistance. With recent advancements in electric R/C technologies and the advent of the very popular "Park Flyer" aircraft, the demographics of the ing community are rapidly changing. In order to better serve our members the AMA Executive Council is considering instituting a membership program that is specifically aimed at addressing the needs of the park flyer pilots. We have defined these "park flyer modelers" as having s that weigh 2 pounds or less, do not exceed 60 mph, and do not fly higher than 200 feet.
This proposed program would have less insurance coverage, be limited to non-sanctioned events, and include a bimonthly magazine focusing on electric-powered aircraft. Additionally, we view this new membership group as establishing electric-power flying fields in urban areas and not being part of existing clubs. We have priced this program at $29.95 per year.
To better assess the views of the membership, the AMA Executive Council is seeking your input in answering the following questions:
1) Given your current involvement in the hobby, would an "electric only" program as described above better meet your needs?
2) If such an alternative membership program was offered, would you be inclined to choose this program over your existing full-service membership?
Again, I want to underscore that this is a proposed program.
Thank you for your assistance!
Joyce Hager
Acting Executive Director on behalf of the Membership Development Committee
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:19 AM
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Don Sims
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Hey I was going to post this!! Thanks rcers!!

I sent her back a message that my concern is that we wouldn't be allowed to fly at current AMA sanctioned fields or events. I am not a member of any club but enjoy mooching at the Jackson, TN fields every few months and fly at sanctioned fly ins as well as events like SEFF.

Just my 2 centavos...
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:29 AM
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Yep Don - I agree the sactioned events coverage is needed. I too sent that off to Joyce.

I have several 5+ lb electrics and would need "full" open membership, but this might just attract a few to the AMA.
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:41 AM
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I agree with what you both said. I don't think trying to acquire 'park flyer only fields' is a good idea. What needs to be done is the already sanctioned AMA clubs and fields need to welcome park flyers with open arms and better attitudes. There's no reason park flyers and regular flyers can't share the same fields. Especially with the increasing popularity and success of 2.4ghz systems. A model airplane is a model airplane, no matter how big it is. Just my opinion.... lets see what kind of debate this sparks....
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by vax6335 View Post
I agree with what you both said. I don't think trying to acquire 'park flyer only fields' is a good idea. What needs to be done is the already sanctioned AMA clubs and fields need to welcome park flyers with open arms and better attitudes. There's no reason park flyers and regular flyers can't share the same fields. Especially with the increasing popularity and success of 2.4ghz systems. A model airplane is a model airplane, no matter how big it is. Just my opinion.... lets see what kind of debate this sparks....
I've been sitting here pondering the same thoughts after reading the email I also received.

I mostly agree with the above posted by vax although from experience flying at a nitro centric club field may not be the best idea for most park flyer types. Since our planes are smaller we tend to fly them closer. This, in my eyes, creates a problem with traffic (airborne I mean) unless you want to wait until nobody else is flying.

Otherwise I am glad to see AMA at least trying to address the growing problem of Park Flyers.

One item that I don't agree with among their proposed program is not being allowed to participate in sanctioned events. I'm still thinking about their proposal as a whole.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:29 AM
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I understood the motivation behind the email as primarily trying to address the issue of flyers in urban areas, areas where nitro flying is prohibited. I think it has the potential for bolstering our membership and providing a service for a lot of people who normally would not be part of the organization.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:29 AM
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Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way but I see them saying we want to let the park flyer group be members but

not fly at our fields
not fly at our events
not be a member of our clubs

My take on it... sounds like more of the good ol boy syndrome to me
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way but I see them saying we want to let the park flyer group be members but

not fly at our fields
not fly at our events
not be a member of our clubs

My take on it... sounds like more of the good ol boy syndrome to me
I had the same thoughts Bill and wanted to be nicy nice about the issues. But the fact is that it is finally under consideration which is a giant leap forward. The lectric crowd is finally making an impact on the overall organization as we should be. There is a need for reform and be sure to email in your thoughts.

Wonder how many replies Ms. Joyce will be a getting???
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:04 AM
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Oh I agree with that Don! They have been looking the other way for too long already.

The fact they are looking at it and putting it out there for debate is a big step forward. Some people will never accept the "lekkies" as anything more than toys
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Oh I agree with that Don! They have been looking the other way for too long already.
<Mike nods agreement per my previous post>

The fact they are looking at it and putting it out there for debate is a big step forward. Some people will never accept the "lekkies" as anything more than toys
Then these slimer drivers need to see a hotliner in action....

Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way but I see them saying we want to let the park flyer group be members but

not fly at our fields
not fly at our events
not be a member of our clubs
It's not just you feeling this way either. Those were my initial reactions to the email.

As proposed in the email I don't like it and would vote against it in current form. I still think it's a good thing they (AMA) are taking some step forward. Now to work out something better methinks.
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:11 AM
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"Additionally, we view this new membership group as establishing electric-power flying fields in urban areas and not being part of existing clubs"

"This proposed program would have less insurance coverage, be limited to non-sanctioned events"

These need to be readdressed. It's like saying, "you guys play in the kiddie pool, and the rest of you can swim in the Olympic sized pool."

I also agree that at least they are making an effort. And they are putting out feelers. Lets hope they get it right.
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:00 AM
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Sorry but I take the AMA plan as a MAJOR insult to park fliers. So let me see if I have this straight, I give them money to keep flying in my local park that no one has a problem with? Too some this might sound like a good idea but I'm sure those are the same ones that keep Megatech in biz. Sounds like they want your money but don't want anything to do with you after that. The 200 foot limit is a major joke just like there 400" limit is now and it would be a rare day not to find someone breaking that on most AMA fields as is.(Just watch the videos posted) I would be very surprised if the AMA suckered even 2% of guys that thought about joining before this. I just for the life of me see no reason the AMA is needed to fly a 10 ounce Slow Stick anywhere.
I and many others look at the AMA price as a new battery,motor, Etc ...
I just dont see the value and Im not alone.
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:02 PM
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Good points Kosh and they would apply for a lot of people out there. But there is a sizeable amount of folks who like flying at events or established fields. I get a kick out of taking a brushless Magistar to a field full of IC planes and showing what it can do. Or flying a Devistator faster than 90% of the planes out there opens some eyes. Then the next time I go there lo and behold, a few lectrics flying around...
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:51 PM
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Just because an airplane is electric powered doesn't make it any less expensive to cover insurance wise.

Excluding the reduced priced coverage people from existing clubs of people who already pay the higher amount. Don't see a problem there either. If your not on the paperwork and enforcement end of your club then perhaps you wouldn't understand the problems that will arise.

Perhaps you will never go bigger than your coverage allows or fly higher than your coverage will allow. But there will be those there that will and then the enforcement part of the rules will have to come in to play and then there will be hard feelings and we'll read all about it here in a forum.

Because we know that those who apply for the lower coverage will never ever ever, advance up to the level to which electric is allowing us to fly with authority like any glow or gas 1/3rd scale. We know that the "park flyer" member will never get the itch to convert their slimer 40 size and fly it like everyone else. We know that will never happen. Because no one would ever want to cause strife in the club by making another human being have to come over and tell them they can't fly because they don't have the right coverage for liability within the club. Oh, no that will never happen.

Enforcing rules has been the biggest thing to cause rifts in our club. Not sure about yours.

I hope we can all come to a satisfactory agreement as to whom should have to and whom shouldn't to enjoy one single hobby. Flying.
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:37 PM
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Well said Debbie. The points you make are right on target regarding the 'line' between parkies and everything else.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Sims View Post
Hey I was going to post this!! Thanks rcers!!

I sent her back a message that my concern is that we wouldn't be allowed to fly at current AMA sanctioned fields or events. I am not a member of any club but enjoy mooching at the Jackson, TN fields every few months and fly at sanctioned fly ins as well as events like SEFF.

Just my 2 centavos...
From a practical financial point, why would an organization offer a lower fee with the same benefits? You'd end up losing operating fees since flyer's who feel this way would assume the lower levels of coverage and still take advantage of all the benefits, even if only on occasion. As debhicks pointed out, it could be a nightmare administering it at the club level.

It sounds to me like the intent is not to ostracize electric flyers, but to bring more into the fold. If nothing else, it provides reduced insurance coverage for those that may now have none. I also see it as a gateway to full membership. Some of those flying nothing but parkflyers may want to explore other facets of the hobby and move up to "full coverage"

I really hate it when people bring up the cost of the AMA membership. If you're under 18, it's probably less than the cost of one video game, DVD or night at the movies ($15.00) If you're over 18, it's about the price of a tank of gas. What you get in return is a year's worth of comraderie, insurance, magazine, a lobbyist in DC and whatever else you can make it. Try one day of green's fees at a golf course or a weekend lift ticket at a ski area and see what that costs.

Yes, I've been an AMA member and supporter forever

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Old 04-22-2006, 05:17 PM
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Azarr,

I'm not questioning the cost myself either, I just recently joined myself still being fairly new at this.

I just think if they want to bring new folks into the fold they should let them fly just as everyone else at events and be members of existing clubs. You can still have a mulit tiered program and let everyone join in this great hobby together as Deb says, of "FLYING" I mean that's what it really boils down to... gas, nitro, elctric, rubberband, whatever the power source may be it really shouldn't matter.
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:19 PM
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Hi, Absolutely correct and I support your views regarding the AMA
proposal. We are getting recognition and that is important.
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Azarr,

I'm not questioning the cost myself either, I just recently joined myself still being fairly new at this.

I just think if they want to bring new folks into the fold they should let them fly just as everyone else at events and be members of existing clubs. You can still have a mulit tiered program and let everyone join in this great hobby together as Deb says, of "FLYING" I mean that's what it really boils down to... gas, nitro, elctric, rubberband, whatever the power source may be it really shouldn't matter.
This is a done deal. The AMA has seen the poor subscription rate for park-flyer newcomers, and the drop-out rate of past members, and they have to do something to stop the bleeding. Feedback is requested by AMA to pacify those who might feel they didn't have any input in what went down. That's how things are done in the real world. The AMA is not a democracy. The directors are laying the groundwork for a multi-tiered structure for the rest of the membership who fly larger and heavier models, mostly IC. Go back and read some of the editorials in the AMA mag that have been written. You may have to read between the lines, but it is there. Realistically, shouldn't it cost more to purchase insurance to cover a fifty pound model that flies at 100 mph than a one pound model that flies at thirty mph?
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Azarr,

I'm not questioning the cost myself either, I just recently joined myself still being fairly new at this.

I just think if they want to bring new folks into the fold they should let them fly just as everyone else at events and be members of existing clubs. You can still have a mulit tiered program and let everyone join in this great hobby together as Deb says, of "FLYING" I mean that's what it really boils down to... gas, nitro, elctric, rubberband, whatever the power source may be it really shouldn't matter.
I don't understand what the tiers would be if everyone had the same benefits. Are you suggesting that the tiers be insurance related only? It seems reasonable, but again, most of us are not lawyers and most of our field owners are swayed by the fact that we come with insurance, both individually and for the land owner. Again, I think while reasonable, the administration would be a nightmare for the club. Let's say I have "tier 1" insurance and show up at the field with a "tier 2" plane. It's possible that I now have no valid insurance and the club and field owner would be liable for any problems. I think the proposal is a great start the way it was presented.

The way I see it, as presented there would be 3 options:

1. As now, join the AMA with full membership rights and benefits associated (Contest/event participation etc) with both the AMA and/or an affiliated club.

2. For those who want to parkfly in public areas or just feel that they're not "joiners" they would now have another option for insurance coverage and a magazine that may or may not be worth the cost of membership alone. I'm pretty sure I'd take advantage of a $30 half million insurance policy if I was going to fly in a park (as it stands now, I can fly at any club or park and have a full mil coverage (secondary, of course).

3. Stay a nonmember and fly in a safe and sane manner in parks that allow that type of activity - cost =$0.

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Old 04-22-2006, 09:07 PM
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When I said mulit tiered I was just referring to what they have proposed. I guess I used the word tiered, maybe it's not the right word.

Anyway, I do think the insurance should be based on what you fly. I mean the biggest thing I have is a Mini Funtana. Why should I pay the same for insurance that some big giant scale flyer pays. Car insurance is rated based on what you drive...

It would be difficult to manage but could be done.

With what they are proposing though, If I went the parkflyer route then I wouldn't be welcome at any of the "Grown Up tables"

Implement the Park flyer program if they want, just don't exclued people in the process.
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Sims View Post
Hey I was going to post this!! Thanks rcers!!

I sent her back a message that my concern is that we wouldn't be allowed to fly at current AMA sanctioned fields or events. I am not a member of any club but enjoy mooching at the Jackson, TN fields every few months and fly at sanctioned fly ins as well as events like SEFF.

Just my 2 centavos...
I currently fly at a State Park which is home to an AMA Charterered Club of which I am a member. Anybody who shows up with a valid AMA card is permitted to fly whether they are a member of our Club or not, provided they follow the rules. The Club has the lease, maintains the field, and enforces/sets the flying rules. We have a mix of IC and electrics flying at the field and don't see how we could stop those with a half-baked card from flying there. That part about not be allowed to fly at a current AMA field or event doesn't make sense to me at all, and is probably not enforceable on State property. It sounds like somebody threw that in the proposal to muddy the water. I do not see anything wrong with charging a different fee for the card depending on what type model you fly. Can you imagine what it would cost to provide insurance if everyone flew a forty pound turbine model? Some are getting a cheap ride now. I'd bet a fee schedule based on weight/size is in the works; this park flyer proposal is the trial balloon.
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Old 04-22-2006, 11:07 PM
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Well said Joe, I know you meant the half baked card in jest but a lot of folks would think just that!

This will be an adjustment but I agree, this is a trial baloon and as big as some of these giants are getting with turbines and all it probably will eventually go to a insure what it is based on what it is type thing.

Not all bad...

Last edited by firemanbill; 04-29-2006 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:20 AM
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I'm glad I have sixty acres with another clear eighty across the gravel road all to myself, I got in this game last year to have fun, and it's working All that political crap sucks, it's really something how homosapiens can turn anything into a turf war.
Edited to add, anybody is welcome on my turf anytime with anything that flys, no separate but equal here.
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Old 04-23-2006, 03:54 AM
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I think after reading and talking with my husband that the AMA meant that those that wanted to start clubs in town would be able to with the umbrella of the AMA insurance. It does not say they can't be members of current clubs. A lot of public places will indeed require that you have some sort of coverage to fly on their property so they are not liable.

I am pretty sure that is what it is saying.

Last edited by debhicks; 06-21-2006 at 06:31 PM.
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