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Open AMA Discussion Thread (Park Pilot Program Included)

Old 12-18-2007, 10:04 AM
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Murocflyer
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Default Open AMA Discussion Thread (Park Pilot Program Included)

I noticed in the thread debating the need for an actual AMA Forum here on WF that it appears that were many questions about AMA, its safety code, insurance questions (that always come up in threads about the AMA), and numerous other questions so instead of going off topic, I figured I'd start a thread to discuss those issues here.

First thing I'd like to address is the AMA's General Safety Code. Here it is below:

1. A model aircraft shall be defined as a non-human-carrying device capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere. It shall not exceed limitations established in this code and is intended to be used exclusively for recreational or competition activity.

2. The maximum takeoff weight of a model aircraft, including fuel, is 55 pounds, except for those flown under the AMA Experimental Aircraft Rules.

3. I will abide by this Safety Code and all rules established for the flying site I use. I will not willfully fly my model aircraft in a reckless and/or
dangerous manner.


4. I will not fly my model aircraft in sanctioned events, air shows, or model demonstrations until it has been proven airworthy.

5. I will not fly my model aircraft higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level, when within three (3) miles of an airport without notifying
the airport operator. I will yield the right-of-way and avoid flying in the proximity of full-scale aircraft, utilizing a spotter when appropriate.

6. I will not fly my model aircraft unless it is identified with my name and address, or AMA number, inside or affixed to the outside of the model
aircraft. This does not apply to model aircraft flown indoors.

7. I will not operate model aircraft with metal-blade propellers or with gaseous boosts (other than air), nor will I operate model aircraft with fuels
containing tetranitromethane or hydrazine.

8. I will not operate model aircraft carrying pyrotechnic devices which explode or burn, or any device, which propels a projectile of any kind.
Exceptions include Free Flight fuses or devices that burn producing smoke and are securely attached to the model aircraft during flight. Rocket
motors up to a G-series size may be used, provided they remain firmly attached to the model aircraft during flight. Model rockets may be flown in
accordance with the National Model Rocketry Safety Code; however, they may not be launched from model aircraft. Officially designated AMAAir
Show Teams (AST) are authorized to use devices and practices as defined within the Air Show Advisory Committee Document.

9. I will not operate my model aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or within eight (8) hours of having consumed alcohol.

10. I will not operate my model aircraft while using any drug which could adversely affect my ability to safely control my model aircraft.

11. Children under six (6) years old are only allowed on a flightline or in a flight area as a pilot or while under flight instruction.

12. When and where required by rule, helmets must be properly worn and fastened. They must be OSHA, DOT, ANSI, SNELL or NOCSAE
approved or comply with comparable standards.

Seems like common sense to me. Most folks practice this every day without even realizing it.

Frank

Last edited by Murocflyer; 01-08-2008 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 12-18-2007, 02:08 PM
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Yeah yeah yeah, we know all THAT informaiton. We want information on the new Park Pilot Program.

Here are some of my questions:
  • Does the PPP allow me to fly at club fields requiring AMA membership?
  • Does the PPP allow me to fly at contests requiring AMA membership?
  • Does the PPP allow me to fly at "Fly-Ins" requiring AMA membership?
  • I have seven (7) airplanes which meet the requirements (fly at less than 60 mph, and weigh less than 2 pounds) -- but I have three (3) airplanes which do not (one is too fast [RTF Parkzone Stryker], and two are too heavy [Sureflite P-51, and GWS P-38]). Does that exclude me from the Park Pilot Program, or am I just not covered when I fly those three models?
  • How does the pilot (and the AMA) determine the maximum airspeed of the model after a crash? (In my experience, prop pitch speed calculations are not a TRUE indication of actual top speed -- the RADAR gun doesn't lie!)
  • How does the pilot (and the AMA) determine the maximum weight of the model after a crash? Does this maximum weight include the battery? In the case of an Aerial Photography platform, does this maximum weight include the camera? (If someone crashes, what's to keep them from saying there was no camera, and the battery was smaller, which would bring the weight into the acceptable range?)
  • Doesn't this very low weight limit encourage builders to "build it light", which can be synonymous with "build it weak" -- wouldn't you rather a PPP pilot "build it strong"? For example, if I want to build a GWS P-38 under 2 pounds:
    • I'm going to have to make some radical changes to the airframe (hogging out a lot of foam)
    • I won't be able to fiberglass it
    • I won't be able to use a lot of glue
    • I will have to leave out a lot of the carbon fiber rods
    • I will be forced to leave out the landing gear
    • I will be forced to use small, inexpensive outrunners, instead of inrunners with gearboxes (are inrunners and gearboxes now DEAD, as a result of the Park Pilot Program?)
    • I will be forced to use a very small battery, to save weight.
  • Please educate me on the new "officially-recognized AMA Park Pilot sites". Where are they? How do I start one in my town? Why do I want one? Why do I NOT want one?
More questions to follow...

...and where's that AMA representative when you need him?

Last edited by Lieutenant Loughead; 12-19-2007 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Adding more questions... :)
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:50 PM
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I always wear my helmet
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:46 PM
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LL, I think you're missing the point.
AMA is not a regulatory body. They provide insurance through a carrier.

If you have an accident then the carrier decides whether to pay or not.

If you've followed AMA guidelines there is less wiggle room for the carrier to squirm out of paying.

If you're flying something that's close to the guidelines it will depend on the severity of the accident and the claims adjuster.

Now I heard it said AMA is self insuring, if so, it will be very hard for AMA to wiggle out of a claim if their own guidelines are followed.

If a club wants it's members to be also members of the AMA, I think the individual club might determine if the Park insurance is adequate or not.

I think the AMA is hoping to get the new guys with the pod and boom flyer to join at a discount, then over time to upgrade to regular membership.

Even if I didn't have planes that exceeded the park flyer criteria I'd still opt for the full membership.

I like the magazine.

Paul
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
LL, I think you're missing the point.
LOL -- I don't think so, but you are welcome to your opinion.

Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
Now I heard it said AMA is self insuring, if so, it will be very hard for AMA to wiggle out of a claim if their own guidelines are followed.
Yes, the AMA is self-insured for the first $xx,000 (I believe it's the first $30,000, but I could be wrong) of damages. This is AFTER your homeowner's insurance policy, but before the AMA insurance carrier gets involved. My guess is that PPP accidents will never make it to the AMA insurance carrier... :o

Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
If a club wants it's members to be also members of the AMA, I think the individual club might determine if the Park insurance is adequate or not.
Not exactly true -- if the AMA says PPP members are included in "AMA membership", then the clubs will have to follow suit. What we are talking about is the difference between state and federal governments -- the feds always win (just like the AMA would always win).

Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
I think the AMA is hoping to get the new guys with the pod and boom flyer to join at a discount, then over time to upgrade to regular membership.
I disagree -- this is about getting all those "rogue" parkflyer pilots to join the AMA. Otherwise, we would all be AMA members already.

Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
Even if I didn't have planes that exceeded the park flyer criteria I'd still opt for the full membership.
Again, you are welcome to your opinion -- but I assure you that is not the norm.

Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
I like the magazine.
From what I can tell, the "standard" AMA magazine is entirely different from the PPP magazine.

Here's another question -- "regular" AMA membership includes lost model insurance -- does the PPP membership include similar coverage?

Where's the AMA representative when you need him?!
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Yeah yeah yeah, we know all THAT informaiton. We want information on the new Park Pilot Program.

LL,

Yes, you do I'm sure. But a lot of new electric fliers don't. Lets try to assist others in educating them about the AMA.

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
LOL -- I don't think so, but you are welcome to your opinion. quote LL


Yes, that's just my opinion and I have been known to be wrong. PD


Yes, the AMA is self-insured for the first $xx,000 (I believe it's the first $30,000, but I could be wrong) of damages. This is AFTER your homeowner's insurance policy, but before the AMA insurance carrier gets involved. My guess is that PPP accidents will never make it to the AMA insurance carrier... :o quote LL


My $58 gets me a monthly magazine, lobbying services, normal running of the AMA, and some insurance.
I don't expect much for the small amount I pay. I expect a lot more from my homeowners and umbrella policies, for which I pay dearly.
I'm also not much of a risk.
People can be irresponsible and cause accidents and it doesn't matter what kind of airplane or where they fly. pd


Not exactly true -- if the AMA says PPP members are included in "AMA membership", then the clubs will have to follow suit. What we are talking about is the difference between state and federal governments -- the feds always win (just like the AMA would always win). quote LL


I fly in a couple of parks and I fly at a chartered club.
We do not have to adhere to the AMAs wishes .
We have set our own rules, and if we choose to be contrary to the AMA we have to shoulder the burden ourselves. pd


I disagree -- this is about getting all those "rogue" parkflyer pilots to join the AMA. Otherwise, we would all be AMA members already. quote LL

I don't see people that fly in parks as "rogue" flyers.
I personally feel that is an insulting term.
I know you didn't mean it as insulting, but we really shouldn't insult people that fly at parks. They have just as much right to fly as anyone else. pd


Again, you are welcome to your opinion -- but I assure you that is not the norm. quote LL

From what I can tell, the "standard" AMA magazine is entirely different from the PPP magazine. quote LL

Here's another question -- "regular" AMA membership includes lost model insurance -- does the PPP membership include similar coverage? quote LL

I was unaware of lost model insurance, you're right where 's the AMA when you need them.
Maybe I'll just give them a call. pd

Where's the AMA representative when you need him?!
Sorry I don't know how to multi quote.
I added quote references but I think I messed it up a bit.
My intent was not to quote out of context.
Paul

Last edited by pd1; 12-18-2007 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Yeah yeah yeah, we know all THAT informaiton. We want information on the new Park Pilot Program.

Here are some of my questions:
  • [1] Does the PPP allow me to fly at club fields requiring AMA membership?
  • [2] Does the PPP allow me to fly at contests requiring AMA membership?
  • [3] Does the PPP allow me to fly at "Fly-Ins" requiring AMA membership?
  • [4] I have seve (7) airplanes which meet the requirements (fly at less than 60 mph, and weigh less than 2 pounds) -- but I have three (3) airplanes which do not (one is too fast [RTF Parkzone Stryker], and two are too heavy [Sureflite P-51, and GWS P-38]). Does that exclude me from the Park Pilot Program, or am I just not covered when I fly those three models?
  • [5] How does the pilot (and the AMA) determine the maximum airspeed of the model after a crash? (In my experience, prop pitch speed calculations are not a TRUE indication of actual top speed -- the RADAR gun doesn't lie!)
  • [6] How does the pilot (and the AMA) determine the maximum weight of the model after a crash? Does this maximum weight include the battery? In the case of an Aerial Photography platform, does this maximum weight include the camera? (If someone crashes, what's to keep them from saying there was no camera, and the battery was smaller, which would bring the weight into the acceptable range?)
  • [7] Doesn't this very low weight limit encourage builders to "build it light", which can be synonymous with "build it weak" -- wouldn't you rather a PPP pilot "build it strong"? For example, if I want to build a GWS P-38 under 2 pounds:
    • I'm going to have to make some radical changes to the airframe (hogging out a lot of foam)
    • I won't be able to fiberglass it
    • I won't be able to use a lot of glue
    • I will have to leave out a lot of the carbon fiber rods
    • I will be forced to leave out the landing gear
    • I will be forced to use small, inexpensive outrunners, instead of inrunners with gearboxes (are inrunners and gearboxes now DEAD, as a result of the Park Pilot Program?)
    • I will be forced to use a very small battery, to save weight.
  • [8] Please educate me on the new "officially-recognized AMA Park Pilot sites". Where are they? How do I start one in my town? Why do I want one? Why do I NOT want one?
More questions to follow...

...and where's that AMA representative when you need him?

Wow, that's a lot of questions. You must have a lot of free time on your hands.

Since the PPP does officially begin until Jan 11, as you know, there really is not much information that we have right now. I will not speculate on anything, just tell you what I know from talking with my District VP and AMA customer service. You may want to contact your district VP to get more info from him. Please share your findings also.


I have numbered your questions to help with answering them.

[1] That will be up to your local club's officials

[2] Yes, but see #1

[3] Yes, but see #1

[4] Your best bet would be to get the open membership since not all of your planes meet the PPP restrictions.

[5] Good question. I would contact your VP or the AMA to find that out.

[6] Weight is considered to be AUW. If it's on the plane it counts. In the case of adding a camera, if you exceed the 2lb limit you should up your PPP to an open membership.

[7] No it doesn't. Lighter is better.

[8] Another good question. You are encouraged to start your own PP field. Information is here. http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/clubkit.pdf

Hope that helps.

Frank

Last edited by Murocflyer; 12-19-2007 at 01:09 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post

[1] I disagree -- this is about getting all those "rogue" parkflyer pilots to join the AMA. Otherwise, we would all be AMA members already.

[2] Here's another question -- "regular" AMA membership includes lost model insurance -- does the PPP membership include similar coverage?
LL,

[1] Actually the PPP is an effort by the AMA to help park flyer pilots join an organization that they might have thought was too expensive at $58. Now that can enjoy the same benefits but at half the cost.

[2] Unkown that this time. Will we know more after 11 Jan.

Frank
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpea42 View Post
I always wear my helmet
I thought it was "always wear your raincoat?"

Frank
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:30 PM
  #11  
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Remote Control Safety Code

1. All model flying shall be conducted in a manner to avoid over flight of unprotected people.

2. I will have completed a successful radio equipment ground-range check before the first flight of a new or repaired model aircraft.


3. I will not fly my model aircraft in the presence of spectators until I become a proficient flier, unless I am assisted by an experienced pilot.

4. At all flying sites a safety line or lines must be established, in front of which all flying takes place. Only personnel associated with flying the model aircraft are allowed at or in front of the safety line. In the case of airshows or demonstrations a straight safety line must be established. An area away from the safety line must be maintained for spectators. Intentional flying behind the safety line is prohibited.

5. I will operate my model aircraft using only radio-control frequencies currently allowed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Only
individuals properly licensed by the FCC are authorized to operate equipment on Amateur Band frequencies.

6. I will not knowingly operate my model aircraft within three (3) miles of any preexisting flying site without a frequency-management agreement. A
frequency-management agreement may be an allocation of frequencies for each site, a day-use agreement between sites, or testing which
determines that no interference exists. A frequency-management agreement may exist between two or more AMA chartered clubs, AMA clubs and individual AMA members, or individual AMA members. Frequency-management agreements, including an interference test report if the agreement indicates no interference exists, will be signed by all parties and copies provided to AMA Headquarters.

7. With the exception of events flown under official AMA Competition Regulation rules, excluding takeoff and landing, no powered model may be flown outdoors closer than 25 feet to any individual, except for the pilot and the pilot's helper(s) located at the flightline.

8. Under no circumstances may a pilot or other person touch a model aircraft in flight while it is still under power, except to divert it from striking an individual.

9. Radio-controlled night flying is limited to low-performance model aircraft (less than 100 mph). The model aircraft must be equipped with a
lighting system which clearly defines the aircraft's attitude and direction at all times.

10. The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other
than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the pilot. No model aircraft shall be equipped with devices which allow it to be flown to a selected location which is beyond the visual range of the pilot.

More easy to follow guidelines.

Frank
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:05 AM
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Frank::Thanks for all your work an input my bub, you do good stuff, bub,steve
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by stevecooper View Post
Frank::Thanks for all your work an input my bub, you do good stuff, bub,steve
Thanks Steve. Just trying to get the word out. Seems there is always a lot of mis-information being spread about the AMA. It's always nice to get the facts straight.

I'll try to touch on a fact or two when I get the chance.

Frank
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
I don't see people that fly in parks as "rogue" flyers.
I personally feel that is an insulting term.
I know you didn't mean it as insulting, but we really shouldn't insult people that fly at parks. They have just as much right to fly as anyone else.
I am so glad to hear you say that -- I certainly did not mean for it to sound like I was calling anyone an insulting term!

I was simply repeating something I heard someone else call ME, and I was insulted as well... I suppose I said that to point out that there are a bunch of people "like me" who are not currently AMA members, and may be enticed to join under this new Park Pilot Program. :o
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
I thought it was "always wear your raincoat?"

Frank
And all this time I've been carrying around an extra pair of nickers. Man, I need to get with the program.

I do believe all of my planes would fit the current guidelines. At least what guidelines I know of so far.

Dan
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:44 PM
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Dan -- how heavy is your GWS P-38?
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Dan -- how heavy is your GWS P-38?
I'm not sure. My scale is pretty crappy. I think it only goes to 20 oz. If I were to guess, I'd guess around 24-25 oz. I'd bet my GWS C-47 is pertty close to that as well. I'd be very surprised if they were over 27 oz.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:20 PM
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LL. I know you weren't trying to be insulting.
I have heard that term elsewhere as well.

Paul
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:44 PM
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Rogue, outlaw, outcast, rebel. Seen all of them and probably a few more I can't remember in reference to park flyers. Never took any of them seriously as they're nothing but opinions.

A wise old man told me his viewpoint on opinions a long time ago. It's not a family friendly phrase so I won't repeat it here. I keep it in mind when I disagree with anothers opinion, or they mine, and it keeps me sane.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:03 PM
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Frank when u started this thread u said u didn't want it to become a gripe session on the AMA and look whats happened
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:15 PM
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Thanks Alpea42 -- I now realize that I've meandered down a familiar path that I swore I would never visit again... My mistake. :o

I think I'll gracefully bow out of the discussion now... :o

Last edited by Lieutenant Loughead; 12-20-2007 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:22 PM
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And one more thing .I flew R C in the 80s in a large metropolitan area Orange Co. CA.At that time we had maybe a doz. citizen band and 5 ham band aircraft frequencies designated by colored ribbons .At the field available Miles Square Park on a Sat. or Sun. you would get 4 or 5 15 min. flying turns in an 8 hour day.Yep all day 4 turns.Now we have 40 channels and unlimited 2.4 ghrtz use of the air waves.Was it me that improved this ,was it you ,was it the hobby co. and industries NO I believe it was the AMA nough said
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:48 PM
  #23  
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Seems like there are two views. The AMA is a blood sucking, self-perpetuating bureaucracy and why should I give them money instead of buying a new battery? Or the AMA is the champion of RC flying everywhere, fighting for our rights, spectrum, reputation and space. I tend toward the latter view. I'll bet that without them, it would be a lot harder to maintain a field and get a frequency in a busy metro area where both are at a premium.

The web is supplanting one of the AMA's original functions, which was to bring together the community of RC flyers. The forums are doing that. Meanwhile spread spectrum technology is going to make the fight for channel space less critical. And now parkflyers are making fields less critical. So you could argue that the AMA is becoming an anachronism.

But if it went away, I would feel the loss acutely. I'll bet that having a national organization with a safety code makes it a LOT easier for clubs to keep their fields, and for people to fly at parks in the first place. So I consider it my obligation to pay a portion of my flying budget to support the guys that are supporting me in my desire for quality airspace and respect by my community.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:09 PM
  #24  
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LL, I saw in your post that you wondered about AMA PFP still applied to you if your planes were outside their parameters.

My opinion, You would be covered with your smaller planes that meet the guidelines.

The larger ones technically wouldn't be insured.

I don't think anyone from the AMA would research an accident unless it was major.

For smaller accidents just the fact that your P-38s were foam would probably be enough to make the impression it met the criteria.

I don't think most clubs would care if the plane was a little heavier or faster.
I think how they are operated would be more of a deciding factor.

Even if AMA covered all accidents regardless, it still wouldn't be acceptable to be reckless in your operating them.

Since I don't believe you would be reckless I think there wouldn't be a problem with insurance.

Just my opinion.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:30 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Alpea42 View Post
Frank when u started this thread u said u didn't want it to become a gripe session on the AMA and look whats happened
No, that was the other thread concerning whether or not we needed an AMA forum here on WF.


Gripe all you want. We can always gripe about United Hobbies customer service if you'd prefer.

Frank
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