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Old 05-23-2017, 08:39 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
The AMA is a parasite and we need a dewormer for our hobby. AMA is an active enemy to the RC Hobby.
I was going to attempt to counter your points, but quickly realized I'd only be wasting my time.

Let's just say it's fairly obvious you're not a fan of the AMA.

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Old 05-23-2017, 11:20 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Stay Quiet View Post
I was going to attempt to counter your points, but quickly realized I'd only be wasting my time.

Let's just say it's fairly obvious you're not a fan of the AMA.
Not only am I not a fan of the AMA, but I have verifiable and logical reasons based on experience with alternative ways of doing business. Those who are on your side just rely on boldly stated baseless opinions. Or bullying, which is strategy #1 of the AMA itself. No similar hobby club does "business" like the AMA. That is because to do so is to attack the hobby you say you stand for.

If the AMA is so good, why has it NO imitators? The only reason we in the hobby tolerate the existence of the AMA is that we lack perspective of how other hobby club umbrella organizations work. For one thing, they defend their hobby and all practitioners of it, not just their members at the expense of the hobby.

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Old 05-24-2017, 01:00 AM   #28
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Robbins for president. 2020
You dont have to agree with him but be ready if you wish to debate him

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:49 AM   #29
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Robbins forgot to mention that the AMA also spreads "propaganda" through it's monthly publication Model Aviation Magazine.........which the "bulk" of the cost to print and deliver is paid for by it's advertisers, not it's members.

Like he said, it's a club, who's voice caters to it's constituents, not the hobby as a whole. Like all commercial organizations that offer social amenities and benefits, not everyone will be served or appeased.

Clubs aren't for everyone. Some folks aren't "joiners".........AMA is not a "professionally" registered organization where a govt. regulated license is required to join or operate.....like many car, motorcycle racing clubs where at least a drivers license and insurance are required...........It's kind of the reverse with AMA, you pay to be a card holder that's suppose to imply "you know the rules and how to fly".....which in turn gives you permission to use an AMA sanctioned airfield, for another fee......and you receive an insurance waiver and a monthly magazine......lol

Like all CLUBS, they have their place in society........some will be joiners (followers) and others will be independents (trail blazers)........it's a matter of choice, which we all have the ability to make.....
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:12 AM   #30
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Let's take the Astronomical League, umbrella hobby club for amateur astronomers in the USA. This organization, as ALL OTHER umbrella organizations, promotes and defends the HOBBY, not an AL monopoly over the hobby. Its activities are directed toward attracting more people to the hobby, not locking them out of participation.

The AL only accepts clubs as members, individuals are members by virtue of their club's membership. AL does not sell insurance to clubs or members as that would be a conflict of interest with its mission: to promote the hobby. Astronomy clubs, like mine, St Petersburg Astronomy Club, purchase their insurance by choice from INSURANCE COMPANIES, which make primary coverage liability policies without a plethora of weird exclusions, available at reasonable cost to all.

The AL has no strange rules prohibiting non-members from attending member events. Remember, its goal is promotion of the hobby (novel position, no?) It is not playing monopoly, setting hobby member against hobby member for the purpose of extracting cash twice, once from the club, another time from the member. The AL is not a parasite, as the AMA is. It is a benefactor to the hobby.
HAM clubs: same thing. Bicycle clubs: same thing. Auto clubs: same thing. Service clubs: same thing. Model Rocketry Clubs: same thing. Odd man out: AMA.

Now I'm not talking about irrelevancies like magazines or advertising. I'm not trying to justify something as "just another organization" when it plainly and clearly differs from all similar organizations. I'm not making bland general statements about how people sometimes don't like clubs, implying that I am anti-social and that's the problem, not the AMA. I'm not talking about legal requirements to engage in the activity. Those would exist without the AMA. I'm not pretending that a club engaging in monopolistic practices is somehow the same as a required driver's or pilot's license. I'm talking specific points that the AMA is doing wrongly, in conflict with its stated aim of promoting and defending the hobby. I don't need to distract attention from the matter at discussion because I have actual central concerns with the function of the AMA itself and its predatory relationship with the hobby. It doesn't serve the hobby, it feeds off it, contributing little of value while draining its life blood. Why do we see the wrong when it is done to others and are blind when it happens to us? Good crooks are friendly and helpful. Sheep are loyal to the one who feeds them, even when that same person will kill them soon.

There is no justification for a "club" to engage in restraint of trade and monopolistic practices. All other hobbies do not have a problem with insurance. Neither would model airplanes, were the AMA to vanish tomorrow. The AMA is already irrelevant and impotent. They are already vain, self-serving, predatory and detrimental to our hobby. They need to die. Their strangle hold on American flying fields needs to be irretrievably broken as an illegal restraint of trade, unjustifiable in a moral society. Only with the perspective of looking at other hobbies and how they do business can the true nature of AMA be understood. Our general lack of such perspective has resulted in our toleration of an organization which works against the hobby as a whole in favor of selfish commercial gains. Legitimate profit is a side effect of serving your constituents, who gladly pony up the cash for voluntary services, rendered without coercion. Ask 100 AMA members why they join. "I have to do it in order to fly." That is prima facia evidence of coercion. The Mafia does that too, and we all agree it is wrong.

And this is only a single reason they have gone astray of serving our hobby. There are others which may be MORE COMPELLING than this. The originators of the AMA were well aware of their rightful function. They were against the self-serving predatory practices of the AMA today and are certainly rolling in their graves.

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Old 05-24-2017, 04:15 PM   #31
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Well Robbins, I'm sure quite a few of us in the U.S., who still chime in here from time to time, feel a sense of "preaching to the choir".........Like yourself, most likely we have been AMA members at one time or another.

Many, like myself joined AMA originally to use their facilities and or get acquainted with fellow RC aerial hobbyists. Believing there would be some benefit to the experience.

But, after a few visits to the facilities and meeting Club members running the operations, it soon became apparent that all is not as advertised, especially if you didn't know anyone or showed up with a helicopter or inexpensive 30" foam fixed wing and "knock off" 4 channel radio. Generally speaking (where the crowds were larger), not many warmed up to you or showed genuine interest. Those that did seemed more interested in constructive criticism and or pressing your knowledge base.

In many cases, that left one with either a feeling of inadequacy, I don't belong or I need to step-up my game. In any case, unless someone took you "under their wing", most likely you searched else where for a better comfort zone.

Then one day, you pass upon a school play ground early one weekend morning, and find a bunch of guys flying anything and everything, laughing and seemingly enjoying the entire experience...........such was my case.....and I know you've provided, practiced and experienced the very same thing....!

A whole different world of RC'ers........no formal membership, no insurance requirements (other than permission from the school district), no fees and no elitism, no mafia, no extortion, .....self policed, clean-up and offers to help by almost everyone.......I've personally made a few long time friends from that experience, and today three of us are now involved in commercial UAV ventures..........all of us were AMA members at one time. Thanks to the AMA, we all learned the errors of our ways.....

Like stated previously, we all still have the freedom of choice. There is no black without white, no light without darkness and no good without evil. Otherwise, there would be no choices to make......
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:25 PM   #32
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Pizzano I'll go along with you 99% on that one. But the one percent is that the AMA removes freedom of choice, requiring membership in AMA to fly at someone else's flying field. That's just like the Mafia extorting protection money from gambling houses and whacking those who choose not to participate. The "freedom" is simply academic.

The practice would be an abomination to any other hobby. It's a conflict of interest and a monopolistic practice.

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Old 05-25-2017, 10:54 AM   #33
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@Rockin Robbins

+1........ You said it brother!
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:45 PM   #34
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Somehow, I think the level of potential property damage or personal injury at an astronomy club meeting is somewhat lower than at a field where model aircraft are being flown. Could just be me, though.

I was a club officer and member of ROAR when I raced 1/8th scale on-road cars. They weighed upwards of 5 lbs and were capable of speeds over 60 MPH (actual, not scale). Our club carried insurance, and every person participating in an event (race) was required to be a ROAR member. Without those stipulations, we would never have gotten permission to use (in this case) a parking lot. I don't see any difference in that and the AMA.

I guess both organizations are criminal elements in our society.

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Old 05-25-2017, 04:43 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Stay Quiet View Post
Somehow, I think the level of potential property damage or personal injury at an astronomy club meeting is somewhat lower than at a field where model aircraft are being flown. Could just be me, though.

I was a club officer and member of ROAR when I raced 1/8th scale on-road cars. They weighed upwards of 5 lbs and were capable of speeds over 60 MPH (actual, not scale). Our club carried insurance, and every person participating in an event (race) was required to be a ROAR member. Without those stipulations, we would never have gotten permission to use (in this case) a parking lot. I don't see any difference in that and the AMA.

I guess both organizations are criminal elements in our society.
How about full scale motorcycle and car clubs? How about model rocketry clubs? They are not run that way. There's only one reason to do business the way AMA and apparently ROAR do: to establish, expand and enforce a monopoly, which is universally considered an unethical process.

And you missed that at my astronomy club star party our RC flying is a covered activity. I think falling off a 15' ladder at night is a pretty hazardous thing. And solar observing, if improperly done, can eliminate someone's eyesight in less than a second. Some of our telescopes weight a couple hundred pounds. There's plenty of opportunity for harm, believe me.

But unlike AMA's insurance, which excludes injuries for someone who is supposed to be at a particular place, excludes officials and operatives of the sanctioning body, won't cover consequences of a plane which is not under control at the time (!!!!), and many other equally inscrutable and arcane weasel clauses, my astronomy club's insurance covers any legal activity our club cares to engage in. I'm sure there are exclusions for skydiving and other extreme "sports" but the exclusions are not for the purpose of making the insurance voidable for every possible damage or injury as the AMA's is. And it's primary insurance, not secondary insurance.

We deserve better. The AMA is not on our side. They don't defend us or the hobby/sport. Their business model is strictly monopolistic and at the expense of the hobby. (To Serve Man....it's a COOKBOOK!)

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Old 05-26-2017, 02:26 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
How about full scale motorcycle and car clubs? How about model rocketry clubs? They are not run that way.
Wow, I'll have to let the WKA (World Karting Association) and SCCA know. They both require that you be a member before you can race at their events. Just think of the money I could have saved!

I've attached part of the SCCA guide for you, in case you don't believe me.

You and I are not going to see eye to eye on this. You're entitled to your opinion. Don't join the AMA. I really don't care. I am a member. I just don't see them as the Darth Vader of the hobby.


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Old 05-26-2017, 04:54 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Stay Quiet View Post
Wow, I'll have to let the WKA (World Karting Association) and SCCA know. They both require that you be a member before you can race at their events. Just think of the money I could have saved!

I've attached part of the SCCA guide for you, in case you don't believe me.

You and I are not going to see eye to eye on this. You're entitled to your opinion. Don't join the AMA. I really don't care. I am a member. I just don't see them as the Darth Vader of the hobby.
That's a distant reach to find a similarity in such dissimilar activities. I understand the point, but reject the idea that AMA is anything like those two professional racing organizations. They are more like the AOPA, which still doesn't restrict recreational flying to only AOPA members, or try to restrict any airports to AOPA members only.

My argument is that the AMA presents its monopoly as if it were a necessity: the only way RC flying would be possible. Coercion is never necessary to the business, just necessary to a mindset that thinks that forcing people to buy your product is the same as public demand.

At one time, we were all forced to buy ATT telephones designed in the 1930s and with no improvements made for 40 years: clicker dials, no push buttons, clumsy design, a couple hundred 1970 dollars to buy a phone, answering machines were illegal, no other companies could design and sell telephones. ATT had an iron monopoly of the phone business and used the same language the AMA uses. It had defenders, just like you, happy with the status quo and who didn't have a clue of the great things that would happen to the telephone industry when ATT was split up and anyone could make phones. Suddenly answering machines were legal and cheap! Long distance fell from dollars per minute to pennys, then to included in the basic phone rate! Phones that cost $200 for a 30 year old design were coming out for $15.00 and features Ma Bell would NEVER have implemented like number memory, call hold.....

This is what will happen in the RC hobby if we have the courage to do the right thing and tell AMA to take a walk. We can't possibly imagine the good things that will happen. But none of that can happen until we break the AMA stranglehold.

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Old 05-26-2017, 06:14 PM   #38
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As an outsider looking in and also as an Ex Rep of the National UK Body ... SMAE (Society of Model Aeronautical Enginers) which later created the BMFA (British Model Flying Association) ..... I can see many sides to the argument. But will say this. AMA is not acting differently to many other National Bodies in RC where it comes to membership and coverage at Shows / Events.
As to representation of RC modellers to Govt etc. - then I can only say that BMFA is pretty good at it and as to AMA ... I have no idea. But I am alarmed at the anti feeling of some.

We had a period of anti SMAE in UK for a while ... and we went out of our way to convince people to join to vote and change the system. It took time but BMFA was one of the results making it more recognisable and less intimidating.

BMFA introduced the Flight Levels A and B certificates to assess flight capability for entering shows / events. It all panned out well and generally was accepted.
To allow foreign flyers access to shows and events to fly - BMFA offers a short term packet that sorts all and I for one have never heard complaint. It gives not only a secure confident feeling to organisers but also gives Insurance Coverage.

Back to the AMA here ... this is the first thread I have read that has so seriously voiced concerns about AMA. I read all the rubbish that 'Drone' people wrote - but to be honest most was just biased rubbish because they felt they should be free to fly whenever / wherever they wanted. Something that any decent RC'r knows is not possible or sensible.

Each country in my view needs a national representative body. Without one - you have no consensus, no negotiable position, no rights. If the body is not working for you - then get in there and voice concerns to maybe drum up support within to change it. WE did in UK.

Finally - I have an abiding fear. The USA is the biggest RC location in the Western world with a large influence on what other countries official bodies do. I am a member of LARPAS ... the group assigned the job of evaluating and proposing rules and guidelines for Model Flying in Latvia. We already have had a 'fight' to resist implementation of rules based on USA ... we wish to have a reasonable discussion and devise a sensible, acceptable set of rules that are not a 'knee-jerk' reaction as FAA seems to have done in USA.
Yes - I'm a Brit - so BMFA guidelines to me are far more sensible than the USA ones. UK Govt has allowed BMFA to literally Self-Govern most activity with only the really serious regulations near airport etc. set by UK CAA. Its been so far a good marriage.

Maybe time for AMA to look outside for ways to be ?

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Old 05-27-2017, 05:08 PM   #39
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Certainly, new ideas are called for. The money goes to the wrong place. The President of AMA, for instance, is in the top 5% of Ohio wage earners. How's that for a little hobby club without much money? Instead of touring the country in a way similar to the Olympics to give people a chance to go to one every once in awhile, they're all held at Taj-Muncie so they have some flimsy excuse for all the money wasted on private flying fields for the AMA elite. And this coincides with the primary AMA interest in restricting activities to the elite and locking out the rabble from the hobby.

They are terrible with transparency. Since early this year, their minutes no longer show each representative's vote by name or district, they just say "bill passed 12-4" There is no longer any accountability as a result.

Four times a year they fly Executive Committee members from all corners of the country to Muncie for the quarterly meeting. They spend MUCH more money for this than they do to club site grants to improve local club flying fields. And they are very busy building multi-million dollar buildings named after their high muckey-mucks--kind of mausoleums for their elite.

Last time they paid millions for mausoleums they promptly moved from New York to Ohio, abandoning their memorials so they could build new ones at Taj-Muncie.

They proudly toss hobbyists under the bus, saying they only represent AMA members, not the hobby, then deny they said that when pinned to the wall. The whole thing is an institutionalized web of hypocrisy, selfishness and a strong sense of entitlement. My conclusion is that it is so bad that changing leadership can have no effect on changing the course of the AMA. It must be destroyed so something better can emerge.

What we have is a considerable lot worse than nothing anyway. The vast majority of RC fliers already have no advocate, no representation anyway. They've been locked from participation, branded non-persons by the oligarchy.

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