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Club Issues

Old 01-04-2009, 05:18 PM
  #126  
Figure.N9ne
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land in cape coral a few years back was actually dirt cheap. its where everyone was buying land as an investment because it was so cheap. you also have to think of how many members are in the club. my club is $200 a year and is limited to 70 members total so its never crowded. the other local club is $100 but has over 300 members and is always crowded. then north of me we have 2 clubs with beautiful runways and great flying areas and they only cost $25 a year BUT have over 500 members a piece.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:34 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Wait a minute.....Guy, are you thinking of starting a club?
I've always wanted to start a club. The "Unclub" is my first attempt, and it's working pretty darned well.

However, I'd like to have something a little more "permanent".
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:36 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Thanks for your response, guys. However, I think you missed the heart of my question. Here it is again:

Why can Cape Coral (http://www.rseahawks.org/default.htm) have such an AMAZING club, with AMAZING amenities (huge 60X600' paved runway, three buildings, flightline, fence, AMA sanctioning, etcetera), and only charge $55 per year -- when, Tulsa clubs offer FEWER amenities, and charge 2 to 3 times as much?

It can not be due to the cost of the land, because land in Oklahoma is certainly less expensive than land in Florida. (I'm not saying that land in Oklahoma is inexpensive, or free -- I'm just saying it's inexpensive when compared to FLORIDA.)
There are a lot of possible reasons:

It could be the land costs - some clubs are given land by an interested individual or the city or the county.

Some area businesses support their clubs better than other areas ie. donate materials, labor, or money.

Some clubs are older and have most of their improvements and land paid for while others are new and are making payments for improvements and land. Some have leased property.

Some have more members than others.

Some spend more money on events, club raffles, awards dinners, etc.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:58 PM
  #129  
Larry3215
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Im sure it comes down to membership numbers and total yearly costs.

Take the smaller club I belong to. Yearly expenses are IIRC in the $800 range. Thats to cover NON-AMA insurance and porta Poty and a very small reserve. We have 30 members so dues this year are going to be $29.00. But remember we have no other amenities and we fly in an over grown field.

The larger AMA club I belong to has an anual budget of $8,000.00 with a membership of aprox 130. We still dont have any significant fixed land costs but we are doing site improvements and we put on a large air show and several events each year and we do raffles and give away prizes. Our dues this year are $65.

If we had 200 members that cost could go down to $40/year. On the other hand, if we were paying a mortgauge for land that cost us $15,000 per year extra our membership dues would need to be $180.00 per year. Thats still without a paved runway.

Its all in the details of each situation.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:16 PM
  #130  
Murocflyer
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Guy,

Let us know what you find out after you contact them.

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:18 PM
  #131  
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Guy, I think probably one of two things has happened with the Florida clubs. They may have assessed all the members some amount to cover the construction expenses in the past. That may be why they charge a sizable fee to join the club, to recover those costs that have already been paid. These fees could be used in the future to maintain or add to the amenities.

Or the improvements occurred a long time ago and have already have been paid for and it is just maintenance required.

Or a third answer is that the Tulsa clubs are still paying for their improvements.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:12 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
A few years ago when we decided we couldnt afford a paved runway, we went with a landscape cloth surface and its worked out pretty well.

Is basically a heavy fiber reinforced fabric that is layed over a leveled compacted dirt/sand/whatever underneath. We dug a shallow ditch all the way around the runway and stretched the cloth and burried the edges in the ditch. Its held down and tensioned by 12" nails all along the seams.

We do repairs every spring with adhesive roofing patch compound and scrap pieces of the fabric.

Its been down about 6 years now and is still holding up reasonably well. There are a lot of repairs due to guys crashing and prop strikes, but over all its a good smooth runway. Beets the heck out of dirt or mud or grass

We wish we had done a better job on the grading and compacting of the base though. We get some errosion under neath and there are dips and heaves but its tollerable.

The cost was about $1500-$2000 IIRC for enough fabric, nails, adhesive etc for our 50x300 runway. The stuff we bought came in 12 foot wide rolls but other sizes are available and in different weights.

I have read of other clubs using a fabric thats intended to be used on roads that gets laid down and can then be sealed with hot tar or used plain but I dont have any other info on that.
Larry, that is what I plan to use. They are widening the highway near my house and the foreman gave me most of a leftover roll of the cloth that is 15 feet wide. I just am not sure which cloth I have and don't know if I need to double the layers or not. I probably have almost 300 feet on the roll and part of another roll that I will save for repairs.

Did you just put the cloth down or did you add anything to the cloth. They said this is just like the cloth used in landscaping to keep grass and weeds from growing.

This spring I plan to work on it, so I have to get my ducks in a row, as it were.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:32 PM
  #133  
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You got a good deal there! Thats several hundred dollars worth of cloth!

We didnt use anything on ours other than the nails/washers to tack it down and tension it and the adhesive in the seams.

The key is grading and compacting underneath. If the base isnt level and good and hard you will get dents and dips under the fabric that create little trampoline areas that can cause problems. It seems like its easier for the fabric to tear when its stretched over a hole also.

You for sure dont want water running under it. That creates more problems as soil washes away from one area and builds up in another. You can get a washboard effect whis is a bear.

So good prep is the key to a long lasting flyable surface.

A single width will definitely make better pilots of you all - one way or another
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:34 PM
  #134  
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One other note - I seem to remember a club in Oregon that used that cloth but they oiled it with road oil that gets hard so it ended up more like very thin asphalt.

You might search on that. I think there was an article in the AMA mag a while back.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:42 PM
  #135  
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Thanks, Larry. You are correct about the good deal. We figured the cost of the cloth was around $1,000 per roll.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:52 PM
  #136  
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Whew! Prices have gone up in the last 6 years!

Good luck with it!
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:32 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post

Man! That's REALLY nice!

Is the area over that signifigantly large field past the line of trees considered "legal air space" as well? Chop them down and you will really have something!
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:35 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
Is the area over that signifigantly large field past the line of trees considered "legal air space" as well? Chop them down and you will really have something!

yes it is, those trees were about 5 ft tall and are all gone now though. all thats left is a 5 ft fence but its no big deal. the rest is all open farm land.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:02 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
Come on guys get real.

Sometimes there are very good reasons for the hi fees. As mentioned before, paved runways are very very expensive. Land isnt cheep either - even in Oklahoma
The York, SC. club I mentioned earlier charges $60 a year (they dropped the $60 initiation a couple of years back). Their field is about 10-12 acres, I'm guessing. It is surrounded on two sides by trees. There is no runway of any type, just a mowed area. The pits are a bunch of picnic benches under an open air roofed area, there is a small shack with electricity (a few outlets) and a fence separating the flight area from the pits. I have never seen anything flying there over two meters, gas or electric. Personally, I would think it rather difficult for any really big planes.

All of this is built upon a "recovered landfill" and is leased from the owners of such (who are currently filling in the area across the street). I'm not expressing an opinion, this will likely seem nice to some, spartan to others and a ripoff to a few, I'm sure. This is my only experience with flying clubs, so I really have nothing to compare it with. Bike clubs, which also have to dael with insurance issues (and have no "AMA" to back them) are usually only $10 - $15 a year.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:09 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Yaniel View Post
yes it is, those trees were about 5 ft tall and are all gone now though. all thats left is a 5 ft fence but its no big deal. the rest is all open farm land.
Wow! Just how large is that field? The pic. only shows a tittilating part of it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:15 AM
  #141  
Figure.N9ne
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Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
Wow! Just how large is that field? The pic. only shows a tittilating part of it.

oh its not to large... you can see our field on the bottom left of that pic and everything else in front of the field is open flat farm land.

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Old 01-05-2009, 04:20 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Thanks for your response, guys. However, I think you missed the heart of my question. Here it is again:

Why can Cape Coral (http://www.rseahawks.org/default.htm) have such an AMAZING club, with AMAZING amenities (huge 60X600' paved runway, three buildings, flightline, fence, AMA sanctioning, etcetera), and only charge $55 per year -- when, Tulsa clubs offer FEWER amenities, and charge 2 to 3 times as much?

It can not be due to the cost of the land, because land in Oklahoma is certainly less expensive than land in Florida. (I'm not saying that land in Oklahoma is inexpensive, or free -- I'm just saying it's inexpensive when compared to FLORIDA.)

Also, I'm not knocking the clubs in Tulsa -- I'm just trying to figure out what the Cape Coral club did to keep their costs so low, and become so profitable. In the end, I want to emulate that kind of club here in Tulsa.
I can't say what makes Cape Coral so special. Probably alot of members. Knowing the area, they probably have alot of members.

I WON'T BOTHER joining as an Electric Flight only kinda guy.
They can take their OUTRAGEOUS FEES and "PRIVATE COUNTRY CLUB" Mentality and SHOVE IT! (btw....not speaking of Cape Coral)

This issue is DEAD for me.

FOr others, GOOD LUCK and GOOD FLYING!

Last edited by dmarko; 01-05-2009 at 04:21 AM. Reason: info
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:29 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Yaniel View Post
yes it is, those trees were about 5 ft tall and are all gone now though. all thats left is a 5 ft fence but its no big deal. the rest is all open farm land.
Believe me, I could find that fence....
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:54 PM
  #144  
Figure.N9ne
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Originally Posted by Airhead View Post
Believe me, I could find that fence....

you wouldnt be the first!
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:21 PM
  #145  
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My club charges $65 year + MAAC. new members pay a $50 initation fee.
We have 2 locations one in a city park with paved runway, heated insulated steel building with hydro and a large parking lot maintained by the city including snow plowing. The other is located inside a provincal park. Between the two locations we own 3 toro ride on grass cutters one garden tractor several (3?) push mowers and a couple of weed wackers. Yes cut our own grass as the city mows too high. Plus have approx $20,000.00 in the bank ($17,000.00 in GIC's balance cash) I have served on the board for several terms over the last 20+ years. Lots of drama over that time We have a Heli pad for hovering practice, a control line circle and happly mix both glow gas and electric. There are about 5 members flying 3D with perhaps 3 including myself flying hardcore in close 3D. The best way to make change is to be involved. I run our electric pylon races and in the past some glider events. I attempted to get some combat going but that fell flat.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:14 AM
  #146  
Lieutenant Loughead
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Originally Posted by Yaniel View Post
you wouldnt be the first!
NICE PIC!!! I especially love the hanging aileron...
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:26 AM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by flashburn View Post
My club charges $65 year + MAAC. new members pay a $50 initation fee.
We have 2 locations one in a city park with paved runway, heated insulated steel building with hydro and a large parking lot maintained by the city including snow plowing. The other is located inside a provincal park. Between the two locations we own 3 toro ride on grass cutters one garden tractor several (3?) push mowers and a couple of weed wackers. Yes cut our own grass as the city mows too high. Plus have approx $20,000.00 in the bank ($17,000.00 in GIC's balance cash) I have served on the board for several terms over the last 20+ years. Lots of drama over that time We have a Heli pad for hovering practice, a control line circle and happly mix both glow gas and electric. There are about 5 members flying 3D with perhaps 3 including myself flying hardcore in close 3D. The best way to make change is to be involved. I run our electric pylon races and in the past some glider events. I attempted to get some combat going but that fell flat.

OK two questions for you. Not that I'm knocking or diminishing the way your club does business, just curious.

Why the initiation fee, and why so much money in the bank? That's a lot of money. Are you guys anticipating a big expenditure?
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:14 AM
  #148  
Larry3215
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I'll answer that for my club as we have/had a similar situation.

Our club likes to keep reserves of around 1 years operating funds in the bank. Lately we have started the year with around $8000.

My club also had a $100 initiation fee for several years. It was intended for two purposes.

1)was to replensih our operating fund - we had just spent all our reserves on our new fabric runway and a large tent to cover the pits area and some other improvements to the new field we just moved into and we were broke.

2)Once our reserves were built back up, the money was to go into a "land purchace fund".

We have lost our fieled and had to move at least 3 different times in the last 10 years. Our current location is on County park land and there are several other groups (horses and bikers and soccer players) who have their eyes on our little spot. It seemed prudent to be prepared this time.

However, a more conservative(old farts) bunch came back into power in the club and vetoed the land fund and put the money back into the general operating fund. Then for some silly reason the put the bulk of that money into a long term CD!! Dont ask me why, it makes no sense but they voted it in.

We no longer have a land fund and we no longer charge an initiation fee. That now makes us one of the cheepest clubs around in our area - but no telling how long we WILL be around.

Of course, once the 'club' retires it will have that long term CD to fall back on
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:20 AM
  #149  
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Well like I said I wasn't knocking it, just curious. We start the year with about a $4k balance. We do not charge an initiation fee and our dues are $105 per year, $50 of which go to the city for a park use permit.

We too are on City park property. I can see the need for those who are not to have a reserve for sure just in case.

$20k just seems like an awful lot.

On the CD thing, Who pays taxes on the interest it earns?
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:54 AM
  #150  
Larry3215
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Well like I said I wasn't knocking it, just curious. We start the year with about a $4k balance. We do not charge an initiation fee and our dues are $105 per year, $50 of which go to the city for a park use permit.

We too are on City park property. I can see the need for those who are not to have a reserve for sure just in case.

$20k just seems like an awful lot.

On the CD thing, Who pays taxes on the interest it earns?
$20K could go pretty fast if you were forced to move to a new spot and had to put in a new runway and pits facilities, other up-front fees etc.

Thats a good question on the interest! We are a non profit club but I have no idea how that works. I'll bring it up at the next meeting.
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