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Old 08-07-2005, 05:45 AM   #1
AEAJR
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Cool Why join a club?

I spend a lot of time reading the internet forums for information and tips about RC flying, fixing my planes, which gadgets to buy and the like. On many occasions I have reached out to that community for specific help, and they have responded, sometimes with amazing enthusiasm. Likewise I try to help others when I can, I tying to help the new guys along into this wonderful hobby that I have come to enjoy.

I guess it is a form of being part of a club. When I read the posts in this forum and others, the names become familiar. Being part of this on-line community has helped to add a social aspect to the hobby that makes it that much more fun.

However forums, no matter how active and helpful they are, lack real contact with real people. That is where clubs come in. Clubs add that extra dimension to this hobby, the dimension of real people.

I have read many posts about people who don't want to join a club for one reason or another. I don't plan to argue those points, but to share what I have found in club membership. You draw your own conclusions.

I have found this club aversion especially common among new electric pilots because, for the most part, it is easier to go it alone with the electrics than with the fuel planes and sailplanes. You need less space, you need less equipment, the planes are typically small and quiet so you can go off by
yourself and fly and in many cases no one will bother you. However, hang with me for a moment because, while you might be having a great time, this post is about having more fun than you are having now.

I almost didn't join the club to which I now belong. I was an electric flyer and they were a sailplane club that was struggling with the idea of admitting new members who were just flying electrics. Even before I joined there was pressure being applied that I should learn to fly sailplanes, I had to build a kit, it had to be a sailplane, blah blah blah. However they were not going to force me and I can stand up to a little pressure. The field was close and large, I knew one guy in the club and there were a few pilots flying electrics in addition to sailplanes, so I joined. Boy am I glad that I did.

After almost 30 months, I am having so much fun, I wonder if I am breaking a law somewhere. :p To a large extent that fun is due to the wonderful people I have met in the club. People who are just fun to be around and share this great hobby. I have found that flying with a group of people who share my
interests is more fun than flying alone.

Oh, there are politics and I am sure not everyone likes me, but that is the world as a whole. There are people who still feel I am missing the good part of the hobby because I don't build all my planes from kits, but they have come to accept me as an RTF guy with a dabbling of ARF experience and salvaging other people's cast off planes.

Many of my planes I purchased from club members already built. Some were actually given to me because the member just didn't have room, or didn't feel like having that plane anymore and thought I would like it. Some are are called humpty dumpty projects. I put 'em back together again. In the process I am learning to build and to fix.

I recently asked for a little help during a meeting. Man, these guys could not do enough for me. People were e-mailing me with information, sources, and knowledge I didn't even know I needed. It has been great!

After a while I did try sailplanes and found that, as much as I enjoy the electrics, I LOVE sailplanes. Now the point is not that you should fly sailplanes. Heavens no, sailplanes is not for everyone. It is that I had my own ideas about things, they opened me up to new ideas, some I accepted and
some I did not. If you are a person that will be intimidated by people arguing over a point or giving you advice you didn't ask for, then stay on the edge. You will find lots of company on the edge and some of those people are wonderful people with whom you would like to fly.

If you can accept that this is how the world works and enjoy the flow of ideas, get into it and become an active member. Perhaps you can even become a leader. Heck they may make you President because you bring new ideas to the club. Our President, President of a sailplane club, started on a Firebird XL.

Net net, it is the people as much as the planes that have made this a wonderful experience for me. I have made many new friends, and perhaps an enemy or two. Yes, the club has restricted me in a few areas but they have expended my experience so much in others that, well, I can live with it.

There are safety reasons, insurance reasons, instruction reasons and all sorts of other excellent reasons to join a club, but the main one is fun. The club has made a very enjoyable experience more fun than I could ever have imagined.
If you had a bad club experience, try a different club!

If you are new to the hobby, I strongly suggest you seek out the clubs in your area. If you don't know how to find them, click on the AMA link below for the national club listing
http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubmai...72E67B6DCBD493


Stop in and chat with the members. There is probably a club in your area that is made up of people who share your interests and who would richen your flying experience.

If there are no clubs in your area, then start one. Contact the AMA or the organizing body in your country and find out what it takes to start a club. I promise you that there are other people in your area who would just LOVE to join, if they only knew there was a club somewhere to join. Most of these
people are folks you would love to meet.

Want to have more fun? Join a club!

Clear skies and safe flying!

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Eastern Soaring League
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:40 PM   #2
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Very good an informative post, Ed - Thanks again for your positive input.

"My piloting skills are proof that gravity does exist."
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:07 AM   #3
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Nice post Ed.

I also recently joined a local club (about 18 miles away) that caters to both sail planes and electrics, and I couldn't be happier. Not only have I met some really nice and knowlegable people, but it is also nice to have a LARGE field dedicated to just electrics and sail planes.....we no longer have to wait for the soccer and lacrosse kids to finish their games before flying!

Also, joining the AMA will give our hobby some political power to preserve our frequencies and flying fields (the insurance is nice also).



Jerry
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Old 08-08-2005, 07:13 PM   #4
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My club is about 15 miles away and even though I can fly my electrics off the front porch (and I do) I love spending time at the field with the guys.
My club is mainly nitro sport planes with a few sail planes. I introduced the wonder of the modern electrics and have gotten a few guys hooked. (Not nearly enough though - still have to duck out of the way of a big nitro ready to make my electric cannon fodder )
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:48 PM   #5
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Why join a club? Well why get married, you can do all the same stuff by yourself, but it sure is alot better with a partner!

Clubs make the sport more socail and more enjoyable. I can not count the times fellow members have helped me out with adice or small screws at the field. The club field is a bank of knowledge that no beginner should pass up! I kinda push the electric stuff hard at my field. I bring 2-3 airplanes and let the slimers fly them. I have converted a few now that prices are dropping. It is neat to here them say, you can't fly that foamy, there is too much wind!

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Old 08-08-2005, 09:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DoctorFive
Nice post Ed.

I also recently joined a local club (about 18 miles away) that caters to both sail planes and electrics, and I couldn't be happier. Not only have I met some really nice and knowlegable people, but it is also nice to have a LARGE field dedicated to just electrics and sail planes.....we no longer have to wait for the soccer and lacrosse kids to finish their games before flying!
Jerry
Interesting! Sailplanes and electrics seem to be quite compatible. Perhaps because e-gliders have been around for a while. Perhaps because they both value light construction. Maybe it is the quiet flight character of the planes.

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Old 08-08-2005, 09:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2dogrc
I have converted a few now that prices are dropping. It is neat to here them say, you can't fly that foamy, there is too much wind!
Oh boy do I love it when the guy with the big gas plane says that. Oh boy do I love it! Just watch me!!!

This is not a snit on my part, rather it is fun to enlighten them to how far te electrics, even teh low cost RTFs, have come. :p

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Old 08-09-2005, 03:02 AM   #8
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Default Why Join A Club?

I sure wish all of you so far, lived near me! Great attitudes! Nice first posts.

There is a club about 20 miles from me, and I have tried, to edge, work my way into their good graces. Not much going on within 100 miles of where I live...I have met with several local members and thought it was going great. They were going to call me back when they would be doing something! Now I know how those lonely dates felt sitting by the phone! I even went so far as to join the AMA as it was one of their regulations. Did not renew, as my local cowfield didn't require it.

Well a year has gone by, my follow up calls and emails have gone unanswered, and here I sit with 6 newly built planes and nowhere and no-one to fly with!

I do believe in groups, and I have been married (to the same woman) for nearly 30 years, but obviously the group near me is not looking for new members.

Good luck to WattFlyer, may the "Amperage" be with them!

Any thoughts and suggestions?!

Thanks ahead of time!
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:12 AM   #9
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Did you check the club locator? Remember that the address is not the location of the field, it is the home of a member.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubmai...5E31DE4FA6F552

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Old 08-09-2005, 11:30 AM   #10
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Talking Why Join a Club

Thanks!

I did find several that were within 25 miles!

I shot an email to them, now maybe I'll get to "skuff" some dirt!

Thanks again!
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:52 PM   #11
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the only reason i got into electrics is because when i got out of the service i was staying at my parents house who live on a gulf course and it was perfect.... no i am addected to the electrics and cant get away from them, but my next jump is into the turbine world, but electrics will always be my back yard fun... and even at the clubs the nitro guy cant beleave how well the electrics fly

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Old 08-12-2005, 12:01 AM   #12
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The only drawback to joining a club like the AMA is The Price. You can buy another plane for that kind of money. And fly free!
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:14 AM   #13
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I was given an offer of $30 from the AMA because I had done a trial membership last year. Never flew!

I went to their web-site as suggested above, I emailed several (Local Club) what you might call orginizers, and have never received a reply, so far! So, why join a club, What Club?

Anyone out there close to Blooming Grove PA? I doubt if they would come to this thread!
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by John Seidelman
The only drawback to joining a club like the AMA is The Price. You can buy another plane for that kind of money. And fly free!
Yep, joining a club is a drag!

Free flight training
Secure field
Great guys
Sometimes free stuff
Lots of fun!

Yep, I could see where that might not be attractive to some people. But I like it and I find it pretty cheap, but what is cheap to one person is expensive to another.

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Old 08-12-2005, 04:58 AM   #15
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I just joined club #II today. It helps the hobby stay alive. Course I don't join clubs with the old grumpy farts.

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Old 08-12-2005, 10:14 AM   #16
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At this point, I'd take grumpy old farts clubs!
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:37 PM   #17
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Even in this day and age of wonderous technology, some people still consider email as a secondary form of communication, especially older folks. What one generation considers rude (not answering an email), is different from what another generation considers rude (sending an email instead of calling or coming in person).

A phone call, or better yet, an in-person visit to the field or a club meeting might yield better results.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Catchinathermal
Thanks!

I did find several that were within 25 miles!

I shot an email to them, now maybe I'll get to "skuff" some dirt!

Thanks again!
If you don't get a response, don't be discouraged. When I first started looking for a club I didn't hear back from most when I sent an e-mail. Some responses came a month later.

Now, having been part of a club for a while, I have learned a few things that may be helpful.

Clubs are not businessess. They don't have paid staff. Evey job is handled by a club member. Some are very good at administrative stuff, like dealing with e-mail and some are aweful.

Jobs change often. The e-mail address listed may no longer be valid. They may have forgotten to change it or have been unable to get it updated.

As stated above, sometimes, if a phone number is listed, a call is better. You might learn that the contact listed is no longer the contact. Where they might just delete an e-mail as JUNK, they might be happy to speak to you on the phone. Everyone is different.

If you get no response from the club directly, go to the AMA site and look for the contact list. I would send an e-mail to someone in charge of membership or clubs and ask for their help.

Clubs are made up of people and some are not good administrators. Keep trying.

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Old 08-13-2005, 04:30 AM   #19
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When I wanted to get involved in R/C flying about 5 years ago, I went to the small town airport about 30 miles from me where the Kiamachi Valley Flyers flew on Sundays. I didn't call or e-mail, just went. I was welcomed with enthusiasm and help. I joined the club and the AMA, as that was a requirement.

I live in the country and have a full size runway on my land where I fly at my leisure. However, I still go to fly with the club members. Sometimes I don't even take anything to fly, I just go to help others and have a great time. We have a flyin every year, which brings in lots of other flyers and planes. I can go to any club flying field within 100 miles and know someone there.

One advantage of joining AMA is the insurance coverage that comes with membership. Don't think that flying a park flyer in the park doesn't mean that someone else may not get hurt. They can get away from us and a prop spinning at 10,000 rpm can do some damage to eyes or even fingers. Our flyers may be light but they have mass and at 30 or 40 or 50 mph, they can injure and I for one would like to have insurance on my side.

We have a great hobby and it is fun to share it with others who understand our addiction.

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Old 09-02-2005, 04:59 PM   #20
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Lightbulb Problem with rc clubs in my area

I am just getting started in this hobby at 65 yrs and have 3 clubs in my area. I go meet with them for coffee to pick brains.
My beef is these guys have been flying for many years , getting their wings on gas models and since several are now flying electrics. I or a person like me comes along wanting to fly electrics are told you have to start with gas as thats the only way you can get your wings,And to expect to pay no less than $500. for your equipment.Excuse me Ive done my research and know I can be happy flying my clean electric for less than half of that.
The way I see it is electric has come a long way in a short time and they should be putting thought into developing a means for the electric people to get their wings to fly at the field without going through the gas thing. A lot of them think you are not really flying unless its gas. Another words it our way or the highway. Typical of people set in their ways not wanting to progress with the times.
Don't get me wrong I think clubs are wonderful but they should make a bit of a effort to stay with the times. or evenually their numbers may dwindle.:o
Bottom line I guess I'll be flying at the ball field or soccer pitch.
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Old 09-02-2005, 06:30 PM   #21
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Wow, three clubs in your area and all three insist you start on a glow powered plane? That is pretty harsh. I think I would head for the ballfield as well. Or, perhaps you might consider starting your own club for electric and glider flyers. The two seem to be very compatible.

There is one thing you can try.

Either in person, or by mail, you should thank them for their warm greeting and invitaion to join the club. However, since you have no interest in flying glow powered planes, you will be seeking other locations outside the club for your flying.

If you are on a 72 mhz channel, you might advise them of the channel you will be using so that they can avoid that channel. Then tell them to contact you if they ever become open to electric only flyers.

In that way, you have thanked them, told them you would be interested when they are interested, and advised them of possible channel conflict.

They may ignore you, they might invite you in and qualify you on electric, or they may contact you in the future. Better to have you and your radio on their field where frequency control can exist than to have you floating around outside the club on one of the channels they use.

In any case you have been curtious and made your feelings known.

If you can find a place to fly that is at least 2 miles from any of the fields, that would be best. You are less likely to get into channel conflict with one of their flyers which could cause both of you to crash.

No reason you can't continue to stop by the field to chat. Once they get to know you better, and hear how well you are doing, they might change their tune.

When I approached the club I joined, they pressured me hard to start on a glider. The reason, I learned later, was fear. Many feared that electrics would take over and the glider nature of hte club would die.

I resisted and went electric. The pressure continued but I got my wings on my Aerobird.

As it turns out, I am now DEEP into gliders and love them, but most of the new flyers I bring into the club, and I bring in a lot, are electric flyers. Some of them now also fly gliders. And some of the glider guys who resisted my electric orientation, have now themselves gone almost totally electric.

So it has turned out for the better for everyone.

Good luck with your flying.

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Old 09-03-2005, 12:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by John Seidelman
The only drawback to joining a club like the AMA is The Price. You can buy another plane for that kind of money. And fly free!
You fly free until something happens and your liability insurance won't cover the cost. It's like medical insurance. Don't need it until you need it.

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Old 09-03-2005, 01:37 AM   #23
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But remember this. Your AMA insurance coverage is no good when you are not flying at a sanctioned field or event.

On the subject of clubs, I had been a member of a local club. They pretty much insisted I get a glow plane to 'qualify' on. I joined them anyway and after nearly two years left in disgust at all the politics and grumpy old SOBs. There were at least 10 others that left about the same time I did. A few of us now fly at a local school ball field. I have to agree with Ed on most of his points made in the original post on this thread. Great post. I also agree that flying with others is a great thing. I genuinely dislike flying alone.

Mike N

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Old 09-03-2005, 03:42 AM   #24
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I have a club that meets just a few miles from me. I was introduced to it by the same person that introduced me to the hobby. My main motivation to join is to get the key to my local field. Right now I have to park in the lot and walk into the field (a clearing in the woods about 5 min from my house) with all my equipment. The club has a contract with the parks department that allows their members to drive right onto the field.

Right now i just have to join AMA and then join the club. They are officially a sailplane club but seem to be very receptive to electric. I attended the annual glider competition that they put on, and got to see a winch launched glider rip to shreds in mid air :o (major bummer for the owner, but we warned him).

After the competition was over they got out their little electric park fliers and I got out my Combat Wing. They were really impressed with it and with my flying.

My overall impression of the club is a good one, i just have to officially join.

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Old 09-03-2005, 05:21 AM   #25
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Sounds like our club. Been a great experience for me. I hope yours is even better than mine.

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