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TORKS is losing field. HELP!!

Old 10-03-2011, 11:45 PM
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Hernthehunter
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Default TORKS is losing field. HELP!!

My club TORKS in Grove City, OH is losing their field. SWACO, our landlord, is taking the property back after 18 years. I need ideas for where we can set up for a new field. Already talked to the electric company to see if they have any land available. Please help fellow RC'ers. We have some club funds from dues, but land around us is expensive. Please help and give me your suggestions.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:10 AM
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cyclingsarge
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is that the field in the middle of the corn field?
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:46 AM
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simibill
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I'm guessing your club is not an AMA charter club, at least I couldn't find a listing by the name.
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:14 AM
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Hernthehunter
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Yes the club is AMA chartered. It is not in the middle of a cornfield.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:43 AM
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Try for a park, municipal, state, or federal. If you can have it designated as a park, there are no fees, and it takes a bylaw to take it away. It worked for me nearly 40 years ago, and many companies and corporations have tried to bust it out with no success. It takes awhile, but the effort is worth it...
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:23 AM
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My concern with parks is that being public lands they wont limit access. (By the way, I worked for a Federal and three county park systems in my lifetime.) To be frank, why would I even pay $150/year dues to belong to a club if I can fly someplace with just an AMA card?
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:55 AM
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Larry3215
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Contact the AMA. They have an entire department dedicated to helping clubs in your exact situation.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:23 PM
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Big Johnny
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What a bummer. Try talking to local farmers. Sometimes they have Hay fields away from the roads. With a little work Hayfields are excellent flying fields. Just be weary of the large round bales, they will jump up and snag your plane. This the type of arrangement our club has. I can also fly in my front yard 750' X 300' of Centipede grass. I does get lonely flying by myself and thats why I also belong to the Local Club. I get more talking done than flying there.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:07 PM
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Sorry if I got you upset about the cornfield comment. I visited a flying field in grove city about a 2 years ago and the corn was tall I cannot remember the name of the field or cub but it had a nice grass landing area building stations just like most fields. Thought this might have been the one I visited. You just sounding like I insulted your club field.

Anyway there is another nice field on the north side on park grounds right on the dam a little northwest of Polaris area. Hurricane hobby owner flies there and told me about it really nice field. I think your best bet is the parks system like Larry suggested. I know in Louisville at John Loydd park they have a really nice field with asphault runway and everything and for the most part it's access is limited and it is on state park land.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:31 PM
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Larry3215
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Originally Posted by Hernthehunter View Post
My concern with parks is that being public lands they wont limit access. (By the way, I worked for a Federal and three county park systems in my lifetime.) To be frank, why would I even pay $150/year dues to belong to a club if I can fly someplace with just an AMA card?
Sometimes, any field is better than no field

That said, there are a number of clubs in my area that do fly in public parks. Most of the ones that are in developed parks do have to allow public access at least on some days. Other days are for club use only. They pay the parks dept for use of the land but the "public" users do not pay anything.

Seems unfair, but like I said - might be better than no field at all.

other clubs do have exclusive use of the property - including my club. We fly on parks dept land but its undeveloped land and is not open to the general public so we have exclusive use of it - until the parks dept changes their mind and develops it at some point - if they ever have the money to do so.

We get to use it for free for now since there is no parks dept expense involved.

Check with your parks dept for any undeveloped land they have and see if you can be an interim tennant.

Again - the AMA has people who specialize in helping you

1)Find locations
2) do the negotiations
3) setting up user agreements, leases etc
4) explaining the insurance etc.
5)helping the landlords feel like they are dealing with a pro orginazion that is national and legit

They are very very good at this.

Get them to help
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:44 PM
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Our club is on city park property. We have exclusive use of it also. The city requires a permit to be able to fly there and the only way to get the permit is through paying our club dues, a portion of which goes to the city permit.

It works well and we are pretty much set as all the land surrounding our field is watershed property for the city water reservoir. We have no concern over the land surrounding us getting developed and pushing us out.

We are very fortunate for sure. As others have said, check with your city. and definitely check with the AMA!
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:21 PM
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Murocflyer
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
Contact the AMA. They have an entire department dedicated to helping clubs in your exact situation.
And here is the link.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/clubs/fsap.aspx

Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:52 PM
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Like Big Johnny said, talk to local farmers. One of the clubs I belong to, uses a strip of land next to the field, where the owner grows some type of grass hay, he makes more money per square foot on our area, than he does on the rest of the land. He is very nice, and walking out to get a plane that sometimes gets "planted" in his field does not damage enough hay to worry about.

If you can find a friendly farmer that will sit and listen to you and your club, you may be able to work something out.

We pay a base fee, plus an additional amount per member. Plus we invite him and his wife to our BBQ's.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:17 AM
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Good responses, guys, as always it takes time to find a good site.

And Wildflyer is on the right track: we kept our field for decades with simply invitations to the club functions and a bottle of good scotch or two...
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:29 AM
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Hernthehunter
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Thanks guys. Your relationship with the parks is an interesting concept. Are they local, county, or state? The executive committee of my club has talked to AMA about it and they said they didn't get much help. Some of us leary about leasing again but we need a site soon. Keep the ideas coming too. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:50 AM
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Mine is in a city park

http://www.nnparks.com/parks_nn2.php#aero

http://www.newportnewsrc.org/
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Hernthehunter View Post
Thanks guys. Your relationship with the parks is an interesting concept. Are they local, county, or state? The executive committee of my club has talked to AMA about it and they said they didn't get much help. Some of us leary about leasing again but we need a site soon. Keep the ideas coming too. Thanks.
County park in our case. The county takes care of mowing and rolling, which allows us to keep the dues low. The field is open to the public, but you need a county permit (in addition to AMA card) and take a solo test. The solo test is administered by our club. For the most part, this arrangement works well and, as firemanbill pointed out, is a heck of a lot better than having no field...

Also, our field is in a flood zone and regularly floods with several feet of water. While this is an inconvenience, it virtually guarantees that no one will ever try to develop the land.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:12 AM
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Perfect, an entirely unusable property, not even any good for sports fields...

I ain't sure I understand why it is that model flyers are considered second-class citizens, and that was the argument I used with our municipality. They installed soccer fields, baseball diamonds, even tennis and lacrosse courts, and none of the groups lifted a finger. We demanded the same concessions, and the bureaucrats fought tooth and nail! What is that about??? We didn't back down, and after 7 years they finally conceded the fact that we had rights as well... Ya gotta fight, guys, if you really mean to get the job done, they ain't gonna give it to ya!!!
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Hernthehunter View Post
My club TORKS in Grove City, OH is losing their field. SWACO, our landlord, is taking the property back after 18 years. I need ideas for where we can set up for a new field. Already talked to the electric company to see if they have any land available. Please help fellow RC'ers. We have some club funds from dues, but land around us is expensive. Please help and give me your suggestions.
If you have any large rivers in your area, check out for dedicated flood plain areas.

My club is in a flood plain area, and has been for 30 years. So far, we've never had a flood. Not true of another club in this area, they've been flooded out a half dozen times a year for the past few years.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by TLyttle View Post
Perfect, an entirely unusable property, not even any good for sports fields...

I ain't sure I understand why it is that model flyers are considered second-class citizens, and that was the argument I used with our municipality. They installed soccer fields, baseball diamonds, even tennis and lacrosse courts, and none of the groups lifted a finger. We demanded the same concessions, and the bureaucrats fought tooth and nail! What is that about??? We didn't back down, and after 7 years they finally conceded the fact that we had rights as well... Ya gotta fight, guys, if you really mean to get the job done, they ain't gonna give it to ya!!!
That is not everywhere... We have a great relationship with our city. Years ago they put in our paved runway at a cost of $90k, just a few years ago they built us a wonderful pavilion with concrete pad and all. And just this spring we approached them to say the runway was developing cracks in it and with one question to the city about it they told us to get the estimates to repair it. We did and they stroked a check for $6k to get it sealed and resurfaced.

No, not all folks have to fight their city for use.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TLyttle View Post
Perfect, an entirely unusable property, not even any good for sports fields...

I ain't sure I understand why it is that model flyers are considered second-class citizens, and that was the argument I used with our municipality. They installed soccer fields, baseball diamonds, even tennis and lacrosse courts, and none of the groups lifted a finger. We demanded the same concessions, and the bureaucrats fought tooth and nail! What is that about??? We didn't back down, and after 7 years they finally conceded the fact that we had rights as well... Ya gotta fight, guys, if you really mean to get the job done, they ain't gonna give it to ya!!!
It has to do with numbers. How many people use those sports fields? You have a couple local teams for each, consisting of what, at least ten to a dozen people, if you count players, coaches and support staff.

That doesn't count the traveling groups of people who show up to compete with the local groups. Bringing in money, buying food, fuel, possibly lodging, and other supplies.

Now, take your typical rc club, how many people in that, using up as much, if not more space of land, that needs municipality resources such as irrigation, landscaping, access maintenance, etc.

The sports fields get much more use per city/county dollar with a higher return, both in revenue, and votes.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
It has to do with numbers. How many people use those sports fields? You have a couple local teams for each, consisting of what, at least ten to a dozen people, if you count players, coaches and support staff.

That doesn't count the traveling groups of people who show up to compete with the local groups. Bringing in money, buying food, fuel, possibly lodging, and other supplies.

Now, take your typical rc club, how many people in that, using up as much, if not more space of land, that needs municipality resources such as irrigation, landscaping, access maintenance, etc.

The sports fields get much more use per city/county dollar with a higher return, both in revenue, and votes.
Very true, good post.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:41 PM
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Why not try for a capitalist approach?

Look at what Mac Hodges has done. He has a magnificent field. This field hosts several large (and I presume profitable) events a year.

The most impressive thing to me is the forward thinking of having the hobby shop right there at the field.

I have a long rant why I think this is a stroke of brilliance, I won't go into that right here and now. Long story, short, the pilots benefit by being able to fly at the field, the shop benefits by having those customers right there. It's a win cycle for all.

Why people who want to open shops don't work with this model, instead of sinking money into a loss like rent at a strip mall, where your target customer base isn't going unless they have to. Instead of breaking out the "field of dreams" business plan.

But I'm crazy, really, who would drive all the way to the middle of the country, just to fly at an rc field. Right?
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
Why not try for a capitalist approach?

Look at what Mac Hodges has done. He has a magnificent field. This field hosts several large (and I presume profitable) events a year.

The most impressive thing to me is the forward thinking of having the hobby shop right there at the field.

I have a long rant why I think this is a stroke of brilliance, I won't go into that right here and now. Long story, short, the pilots benefit by being able to fly at the field, the shop benefits by having those customers right there. It's a win cycle for all.

Why people who want to open shops don't work with this model, instead of sinking money into a loss like rent at a strip mall, where your target customer base isn't going unless they have to. Instead of breaking out the "field of dreams" business plan.

But I'm crazy, really, who would drive all the way to the middle of the country, just to fly at an rc field. Right?
LOL, I drive 1400 miles round trip every year to go Mac's field to fly. My dream is to have a place just like it! Well, it'll never be just like it but something similar anyway.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:34 PM
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Hodges Hobbies franchises!



I think this is a possible solution. The only problem I can see, is the issues of conflict between a club and the business/land owner. I could see the owner not wanting to be tied to a single club. Something would have to be worked out in that regard.
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