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Old 01-01-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Flying at Parks and Schools -Beginner Concerns and Other Info

There has been some confusion about AMA's liability insurance coverage for those that fly at places that are not chartered club fields such as parks, schools, church property, etc.

For those folks like me who fly at these places, you will be happy to know that you are covered under AMA's liability insurance. Although keep in mind your home owner's or rental coverage is primary and AMA's will be secondary. But for those with no insurance, AMA's will be the primary.

Your AMA insurance covers you from the time your payment is received and even if you aren't flying it is useful in the event of break in to your vehicle or home resulting in a loss of modeling supplies or due to a fire when your home insurance does not provide full coverage.

While the insurance benefit to members is often given as the primary reason for new members to join the organization, the insurance program is actually just a means toward the main goal of promoting model aviation. Having the insurance makes it easier to gain access to flying sites.

For Open Members at $58 a year or members under 19 for $0 per year.

•Liability Coverage for the Operation of Model Aircraft, Boats, Cars, and Rockets

•$2,500,000 Comprehensive General Liability Protection for model activities for members, clubs, site owners, and sponsors

•$25,000 Accident/Medical Coverage for members

•$10,000 Maximum Accidental Death Coverage for members

•$1,000 Fire, Theft, and Vandalism Coverage for members

For Park Pilot Members at $29 per year.

•$500,000 personal liability insurance coverage

•Park Pilot quarterly magazine

•Access to the members only section of the website

•AMA Park Pilot Partner network to help you get started

•$2.5 million liability coverage is available for owners of AMA-designated Park Flying Sites



Hope this helps clear up any confusion.


Also here is a good link to check out for new pilots:

http://www.modelaircraft.org/getstarted.aspx

Frank

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Old 01-01-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
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Frank, this needs to be more clear. Yes the insurance covers you "IF" you follow the AMA safety code.

Primarily this means that you need to have an established flight line and not fly over people!

1. All pilots shall avoid flying directly over unprotected people, vessels, vehicles or structures and shall avoid endangerment of life and property of others.

3. At all flying sites a safety line(s) must be established in front of which all flying takes place (AMA Document #706-Recommended Field Layout):
(a) Only personnel associated with flying the model aircraft are allowed at or in front of the safety line.
(b) At air shows or demonstrations, a straight safety line must be established.
(c) An area away from the safety line must be maintained for spectators.
(d) Intentional flying behind the safety line is prohibited


In a park, school, or church setting that can be very difficult to do as you can not keep people out of your flying area.

If your flying at a park and hit someone without having an "established" flight line then I dare say your coverage is going to be in question.

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Old 01-01-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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Bill,

Good put. Let me check with Ilona on that because I thought I read something about "established" flight lines in a park/school field scenario that doesn't include an established flight line relative to insurance liability. Since parks and schools do not have established flight lines like a club field I can't see how that would be possible to follow that rule and still be covered but yet I know you are covered when flying at parks and schools and such.

More to follow.

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Old 01-01-2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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Line 3 states. "AT ALL" flying sites.

If you are flying at a school, that is a flying site. Seems pretty clear to me.

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Old 01-01-2011, 07:27 PM   #5
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I hope that is not the case because that will put a damper on the parkflyer crowd since I do not know how you can establish a flight line IAW PDF #706 at a public school or park that is not a club field. We should have clarification on it sometime later in the week straight from the source.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/forums/tm.aspx?m=11749

Besides that, what are your thoughts on the newcomers guide? http://www.modelaircraft.org/getstarted.aspx

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Old 01-01-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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In order to be covered by the AMA insurance you MUST be flying in accordence with the safety code. It would be pretty silly for AMA to cover people who were flying in an unsafe manner or an unsafe situation. THAT is why AMA has a safety code.

You don't have to be at an AMA club field. This applies at an AMA club or away from an AMA club. Ignore the safety code and you may find yourself without the coverage you thought you had.

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:43 PM   #7
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I think in the case of the "established flight line" it is dependent on you flying in a location that is free of people underneath. If at a soccer field, you can claim an established flight line, up to the point where people show up, and decide to use the field, even if you're flying over it. At which point, I would imagine you're required to bring the plane in safely until the field is clear again.

I think we can all agree, that unless it's specifically designated as a flying site, you will not get people to recognize a "flight line".

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
For Open Members at $58 a year or members under $19 for $0 per year.

Frank
I think the "$" is a typo here?

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:54 PM   #9
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You can have a flight line at any field. I agree it is just like saying...we stand here...we fly here....

The overfly area should not have, cars, soccer players, people, streets etc.



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Old 01-02-2011, 12:25 AM   #10
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i think a lot of this topic was covered in a thread on AMA park program and it value to all flyers.

also to note is the fields used at parks or ball field require permission from the owners. if your flying in a large public park and the town doesn't allow any RC anything ...it should be posted,but if its still a town ordnance to not RC in any parks its our responsibility to find out if its OK. if the answer is yes to flying and the area safe to do so ,then AMA should have your back in the event of unforeseen damages we caused.

example:i call the police in the town of Westwood NJ to inquire if RC planes were allowed in a large park[police had driven by and stopped to watch me fly and drove off]and they didn't know,so i called the parks dept and they were shocked to even be asked as it never came up for years and no decision was ever made years before my call....they said go ahead and be careful . very cool!!! but people keep walking the track that circles the 4 baseball,and 5 soccer fields so it almost alway a risk to fly there.

i wounder where AMA draws the coverage line to approving its responsibility to cover any issues at that site.

so the question is "what constitutes a approve covered field to use by AMA"

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
I think the "$" is a typo here?
Thanks. Although many parent might agree that teenagers are a "$"

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Old 01-02-2011, 05:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by stuart View Post
Snip...

i wounder where AMA draws the coverage line to approving its responsibility to cover any issues at that site.

so the question is "what constitutes a approve covered field to use by AMA"
As stated several times above, read the safety code.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf

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Old 01-02-2011, 07:15 AM   #13
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If your flying site requires that you overfly people then I think your site would be outside AMA safety guidelines and therefore they could technically deny coverage. Local authorities permission doesn't change AMA safety requirements. That being said I've looked pretty hard and I haven't found any rants from AMA members claiming they were denied coverage. From what I understand about half of the paid claims happen outside the RC club system.

Has anyone ever heard of a member's claim being denied?
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:17 AM   #14
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Looking forward to hearing what you get as a clarification on this issue Frank. It comes up every so often.

I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:14 AM   #15
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Has there been a recent change in the dues structure? According to the 2011 membership applications I have the youth (under 19) membership is still $1 without the magazine and $15 with the magazine.

The rules seem plain enough to me. Follow the safety code or coverage could be denied. How else could rule 3 be interpreted?

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Old 01-02-2011, 11:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Azarr View Post
Has there been a recent change in the dues structure? According to the 2011 membership applications I have the youth (under 19) membership is still $1 without the magazine and $15 with the magazine.

The rules seem plain enough to me. Follow the safety code or coverage could be denied. How else could rule 3 be interpreted?

Azarr
Azarr,

WRT youth membership there has been a change: http://www.modelaircraft.org/forums/tm.aspx?m=11542

And I agree, following the safety code is required or you may risk losing your liability coverage. Makes total sense to me. I'm just unsure about how PDF #706 relates to school ground public park flying. Although I pretty sure common sense and knowing when it is safe to fly and not safe to fly plays a big part in that.

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Old 01-02-2011, 11:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bellylander View Post
If your flying site requires that you overfly people then I think your site would be outside AMA safety guidelines and therefore they could technically deny coverage. Local authorities permission doesn't change AMA safety requirements. That being said I've looked pretty hard and I haven't found any rants from AMA members claiming they were denied coverage. From what I understand about half of the paid claims happen outside the RC club system.

Has anyone ever heard of a member's claim being denied?
I have seen some folks talk about the AMA denying coverage, but they are few and far between but I'm sure it must happen sometimes for one reason or another. If it were common though we would definitely hear about it. A LOT!

Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
Looking forward to hearing what you get as a clarification on this issue Frank. It comes up every so often.
I'll report the findings once we hear back from Ilona. It does seem though that there is never is black and white answer when it comes to insurance questions though. Lawyers have a great way of making that so.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Azarr,

WRT youth membership there has been a change: http://www.modelaircraft.org/forums/tm.aspx?m=11542

Frank
I just get page not found when trying to see the minutes. The membership application has not been changed. Is this just a proposal or has it been approved? The other document infers that one must be a member of the young eagles program. We have several members who will be affected.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Azarr View Post
I just get page not found when trying to see the minutes. The membership application has not been changed. Is this just a proposal or has it been approved? The other document infers that one must be a member of the young eagles program. We have several members who will be affected.

Azarr
Azarr,

I get the same error as well now. The IS guys must be working on the site. But based on the EC minutes this is an approved change.

The document changes, such as the membership applications, along with website updates and notifications are in work. You should be seeing those changes real soon. I asked about this same thing just last week.

It's a joint membership program. Minors are eligible to join either organization for free. It's a great idea.

All EAA and AMA student and youth memberships are reciprocal as long as the eligible youth opt in, including scholarship opportunities from both organizations when respective criteria are met. The joint youth members will receive a membership card for both programs. This card will signify both membership and insurance coverage for model flying activity.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:06 PM   #20
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i think free membership for the young is a good way to promote the hobby with safety being important to all of us.

i read the safety code and rules and still wonder how AMA will determine if a kid whose a member or an adult member flying in a ball park looses control as all of us have at one time or another and damages a car or a person gets hurt....how will any park flyer determine the "flight line" not to be crossed?

now i need to find the AMA flying field recommendation under one of the codes stated....gives me something to do this rainy day.
the ama park pilot membership protects pilots who fly a certain weight plane[2lbs or less] ,i guess damages would be considerably less than a 8lb hog bipe would do.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:57 PM   #21
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Documents are located here: http://www.modelaircraft.org/documents.aspx

You mentioned the 'Hog. Was there a finer plane ever designed? Not likely IMHO.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:13 PM   #22
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Guys MANY accidents happen when the flight line is crossed. Establishing one, and saying we won't cover you if the accident occurred behind the flight line is not the way it works.

We had an errant plane, fly behind the flight line, behind the pits and hit in the parking lot! It missed two cars and several people. If there had been an injury I have no doubt the AMA would have delt with it, after the primary insurance.

If there had been a lawsuit, the same.

They are not looking for ways not to pay, they are looking for ways to keep people safe and make it a safer hobby. Flights lines help that.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:32 PM   #23
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the hog is an easy conversion to electric and is waiting on the table to get started once i wrap up house work first.....in one month I've had done and done myself 3 painted bedrooms and new carpet. living rm carpet and total redo the kitchen floor and cabinets.....just have to trim around the windows and doors......then a pig will fly again from the hanger.

the hogs a beautiful bird!!!!!

i did check the AMA document on field layouts that covers club field designed suggestions, but need to research the ball park regulations where pilots gather to fly as unofficial clubs in local school yards and parks...i'v been invited to several sites like that here in NJ but haven't had the desire to leave the club field in Rockland county, NY.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:36 AM   #24
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I would think (not having heard any official words yet) that in the case of flying in a public area, such as a park, soccer field or such, where it is often illegal to post a boundry without official permission and/or a permit, that the "boundry" would be an implied one: such as the edge of said field.

If that area should become populated, then the grounding of said aircraft as safely and as soon as possible would be the rule.

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Teach a man to build a plane and he'll fly for a lifetime"
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:57 PM   #25
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We kinda figured this out on our own, but here is the official answer on the flightline question. As stated above, it really comes down to just plain common sense.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/forums/tm.aspx?m=11749

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