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Why join a club?

Old 09-03-2005, 12:26 PM
  #26  
debhicks
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Perhaps we are fortunate then to have great noise restrictions in the Mountains of North Carolina. It encourages electric or quieter methods to fly. The Asheville Club has lost more fields than they can count. But they have a nice club on the closed landfill. They fly everything there within their restrictions.

The second club we have flies everything too.

Sometimes we run into conflict with Heli's but with some discussion we have a sperate area for them to runup and train in and then when they want to fly with the flying flow they come onto the main field.

The little patch works nicely for those who have the small electric's and want to fly without bothering the bigger glow airplanes. That is in Asheville.

We don't have those problems yet at the Etowah club. They are both AMA Sanctioned clubs and enjoy the protection of the insurance, the group flying with our friends and everything else that comes along with being able fellowship with others that have the same interests.

It is simply something we believe in. We pay the AMA dues both of us and we pay dues at two clubs. To ensure we have places to fly. I will be looking into some the programs available to the AMA Sanctioned clubs in the future for some field improvements.

We have to squeeze our belts at certain times of the year because we outlay a lot of dues to fly. So we know about expensive.

The scary thing of flying off in a park setting is how close you may be to a field. With park flying more and more popular, until we get the synthisized radio's that will choose the free channel to fly on there could be more accidents. Increasing the risk of damaging property or hurting someone. It will only take one incident, to take a flyer to task, in a community to change community rules about using public area's to fly.

I do know of a park that will not allow flying and banned it because of reckless flying. They didn't want the liability either.

Those are just some experiences that I first hand know about. So I guess be safe and enjoy. At least with the spectra module I can change my frequency for no conflict and my husband just got the EVO 12 with the scanner module in it. It locks out the radio so it won't operate when someone else is on. It's cool. The future of frequency control is cool too. The AMA is working hard to get it working properly on 72 mHz so the freqency control/conflict will no longer be a problem. It will be expensive when it first comes out I imagine. (maybe not)

If this post has wierd characters in it my mouse is doing it's own thing.
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Old 09-03-2005, 01:03 PM
  #27  
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Sounds like you need to start a rc club of your own. Some of us old men can't see the hand writing on the wall. That is the reason they are losing some of their flying fields. However, there are some of us who would welcome an electric club and field and the help you can provide us to change from glow or gas to electric. You would be suprised of how many of the older ones are afraid to show their ignorance of electric power. Building the plane is simple compared to finding and fitting an electric motor to it. Try helping them and they may welcome you.
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Old 09-03-2005, 03:03 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by locolobot
Sounds like you need to start a rc club of your own. Some of us old men can't see the hand writing on the wall. That is the reason they are losing some of their flying fields. However, there are some of us who would welcome an electric club and field and the help you can provide us to change from glow or gas to electric. You would be suprised of how many of the older ones are afraid to show their ignorance of electric power. Building the plane is simple compared to finding and fitting an electric motor to it. Try helping them and they may welcome you.
This is so true. Some of these guys are so deep in their knowledge and experience of the glow power world. They are the masters, the wizards and eveyone comes to them.

Now you have some new guy show up with an electric and they are stumped. Suddenly some kid ( 55 maybe) is the wizard and they are lost.

This is a hard thing to face. Help ease 'em into it.
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Old 09-03-2005, 03:11 PM
  #29  
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The Asheville NC Club has a master Electric builder. He builds his own stuff and you would be amazed. I mean this out of awe struck respect, he isn't a spring chicken. But he is one of my electric hero's and a flying sandbager
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Old 09-04-2005, 06:14 AM
  #30  
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My local club is $94 per year and requires AMA membership. Another $58. That's $152. A little steep for a newbie flyer. I'll stick with open fields and parks.
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Old 09-04-2005, 07:15 AM
  #31  
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[quote=Twmaster]But remember this. Your AMA insurance coverage is no good when you are not flying at a sanctioned field or event.

Not true. Contact the AMA for exact details.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...+AMA+insurance++

Check out post #22. It gives a reference to an AMA document that explains the rules.

John
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:10 PM
  #32  
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I understand the dues of some clubs are a little steep. However, most clubs provide a new person with an instructor and a buddy box to help him learn without destroying his plane. So it seems to me that if you have to buy 2 or 3 planes to learn to fly verses having an instructor help and still have your first plane you are cheaper in the long run. Most electrics that I know of cost enough that two of them would pay your dues to AMA and the club for a year.
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:24 PM
  #33  
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Know about the cost. We pay $75 at each club, and both our AMA's. Of course I take advantage of the family rate at both clubs and the AMA. There is always a cost to safely do anything.

It is a quandry with the AMA to have so many flyers that are out doing their own thing and not involved with clubs. Again, it will only take one incident in your area, to change the entire makeup for one or all that fly model airplanes. I have watched it happen more than once and been involved in "putting out the fires" that incidents have caused in the local community.

It was with glow, but we had a member who lost his high speed projectile in the middle of downtown and left a 12" pit in a thankfully empty parking lot. The club field was way too close to town and it caught up with us. Had another member loose his parasail and it landed about 3 miles after hitting the side of one of our pawn shops in town. Thankfully nothing came of either but it could have.

For instance the airplane incident was during one of the biggest festivals we have in town where most parking lots are full. I was thankfully early enough and he was simply "Lucky" that no one was below to experience "something falling from the sky".

The parasail incident was just pure luck as it crossed a busy intersection in town. I couldn't tell you what all the passers by thought.

We got the field out of town by the way. We don't need that kind of publicity.

The community about 10 miles away stopped all park flying because of unsafe flying practices.

Now, electric's are a little different as they are made to fly in small places. But as we all know and most who have been in this hobby or any other hobby where you have groups involved, someone is going to go out and do something that will draw undue attention to the hobby in general. If it's the right person, then the AMA will be getting involved to protect flying sites and justifying why the hobby should be allowed to continue.

Here are some things that I am aware of the AMA has done.

Lobbied for frequencies to be dedicated to flyer from the FCC. A Washington trip was required for that.

Lobbied for use of public lands such as closed landfills.

There is more and a great history of what the AMA has done to ensure that this hobby remains a safe and accepted hobby.

The clubs are extensions of the AMA and do the local politicing when necessary.

Sorry don't mean to get on a band wagon but we do try hard to encourage those getting into the park flying scene to get involved with a local club. If your in a spralling area and frequency conflict is not a problem then don't worry about it until something happens. But where we are we have communities on the sides of mountains and we are in a valley. Can't prove it and hope we don't have too, but some days are nothing but glitchy crash days. Usually on holidays and when school is out. In the summer that is hard to pin point. We have a R/C sailboat club not more than a stones throw from the field. We know for a fact that some do or have sailed on 72 mHz. Not out of meaness but more out of ignorance to find out what was around and what frequencies are for what R/C's.

All these issues are things that can be resolved if LHS educate their customers. That means being familiar with what is around them. And with these forums and other access to the internet one who claims the didn't know will not be an excuse.

I feel strongly about this issue as you an see. Don't want to impose my personal disciplines on anyone else, but want to make others aware. As my Daddy used to say, I can only give you the information for your backpack of life. When and how you draw on that will be up to you.
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:45 PM
  #34  
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All of the above!!!

I still don't have my "wings".

I have been corrected so many times politicly and told to shut up he was trying to tell me something.

Trouble is it took a while to find the right people. They were the quite ones that you didn't notice over on the side.

I go early in the morning, being retired helps, and when they show up I pack up my stuff and go home.

I am one of the "DUFFS", the person that told me to shut up said that the home built foamy that I was flying was a Dirt Ugly Foam plane.

Some of us are now the DUFF's.

Guess after looking at it it is ugly, but I carry it to the field almost every time I go.
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Doesn't fly very well either.

The ones that made the remarks are singing different now. A lot of the guys are now flying electrics.

That was about three years ago. Talking about an electric flyin one day now.

By George:p
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:53 PM
  #35  
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Well, I say shame on those who resist change and when ever I see others trying to do things that are new or different, I look at it as a person who is living life large and learning.

I have a gentleman who is 82 years young. I would never, ever ever discourage his willingness to learn something new.

Resistance to change? MMMMM I say try it first. Love to fly. Even if I don't do it well and don't take undue risks. Still have fun. Well, building right now. Gotta go. So I can go fly Estarter.
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Old 09-05-2005, 02:39 PM
  #36  
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My field is relativity small, which is actually good because it doesn't attract the masses like some of the other do. Our club doesn't really meet there very much ether. I have NEVER come there to fly and had to ask someone their channel. It is still big enough to fly my XE2 and my Formosa. The really nice thing is that its a 5 min drive from my house. Just across the resivour, which is btw a great place to float fly. I know it is close to the field, but the only people who I have seen useing the field are my friends, and I know their channels. I have ever seen anyone else there exept at our clubs annual glider competition but I know when that is lol. And I dont think anyone on the club has channel 25 ether.
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Old 09-05-2005, 03:45 PM
  #37  
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Hi All

The posts (good and bad) all make sense. There is nothing better than the comaradrie of sharing your achievements and mishaps with fellow club members.
At the age of 57 I started flying 6 months ago, went to the local Hobby shop bought a 40 gas trainer, asked where the club was and just turned up the Saturday morning and was overwhelmed with the welcome and assistance I received.
We all know how it goes, got hooked up with an instructor who unselfishly gave up his flying time to train me. Went solo in three weeks and got totally hooked.

Joined R/C Universe and what a pleasure to be able to gain knowledge and experienced on-line help without having to wait for the week-end. The guys at R/C Universe helped me in choosing my first warbird and of course when I read Greg Covey's review went the electric route and lo & behold up pops WattFlyer. This is by far the best club I have ever belonged to, from being the beginner in a new club the knowledge I have gained about larger scale electrics has made me the local expert and all our club members were totally amazed with my 60" Corsair.

You have got to admit the presence of other people who enjoy doing what enjoy doing only adds to the pleasure.

Geoff
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:31 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by dregsfan
My local club is $94 per year and requires AMA membership. Another $58. That's $152. A little steep for a newbie flyer. I'll stick with open fields and parks.

Same situation here in my area, Club is $75, must be in AMA which is another $58 so total is $133. Just for the "privilege" of flying in "their" field which by the way you can't do alone for the first 3 months until you "prove" you're a safe/good flier. No thank you. That's rediculous IMHO. No offense to those who like clubs but they're to "clicky" and politic laden for me anyway.

I too will stick to school fields/parks when I finally take a plane out. There's a national park near me that should have a field big enough to fly in.

Tom
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:59 AM
  #39  
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I just found a sailplane and electric club field near me that's only $20.00 per year + AMA membership. That's a little more realistic, but I'll stick with the parks and alfalfa fields for now.
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:39 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by dregsfan
I just found a sailplane and electric club field near me that's only $20.00 per year + AMA membership. That's a little more realistic, but I'll stick with the parks and alfalfa fields for now.
Man, you don't realize what a bargin going that club would be. So much knowledge, so much help, so many new friends and exposure to things about flying you probably never imagined.

Someone just offered you a bargain and you are passing it up. Too bad!
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Old 09-08-2005, 06:46 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Twmaster
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.
That particular club used to have 254 members in 2003. It is down to 119 and losing members at a rather brisk pace. Ask the LHS owner four miles from its location and he'll tell you the same thing.

There are also other clubs in the area where the chances they may lose their flying fields because of their proximity to private property and or dwelings is rather real.

Homeowners do not like to have 'old men flying their noisy toy planes' (Glow & Gas) near their neighborhoods. Then, there are some other clubs where the AMA rules are violated by members and even members of their BODs on a constant basis. Case in point: beer and R/C flying do not mix. Beer and the AMA are to each other like oil and vinegar. Alcohol consumption and flying can get the county to send a club packing quickly!

Worse, if one complained to the powers that be, in certain cases the complainant may get thrown out of the club as I almost witnessed happen in this area two months ago. Get rid of the messenger was the solution they had in mind in order to 'resolve' the drinking at the field issue (?). No, they haven't gotten rid of him yet. Guess they are afraid that by so doing they may be signing the death warrant for that particular group as the individual in question has the goods on them. I'll keep all posted of how this thing ends up.

Flying alone is not so bad if you enjoy flying. I do it all the time as I'd rather fly that way than chance being hit by a drunken pilot's plane or have his plane go through my car's windshield. Besides I don't like to be around that type of squabble.

Granted, most of us enjoy flying in the company of others because we also like to chew the fat and exchange ideas about the hobby. Not to mention the dirty jokes we tell.
And, yes you are correct again. The AMA insurance won't cover your fanny if you are flying outside an AMA sanctioned and or AMA chartered club field. AMA won't cover a club's rear end if they find out that the pilot in question was under the influence of intoxicant substances at the time of the disastrous event.

Heck, even if you are at a 'legal' field and were to have an 'accident' while in full possession of your faculties, chances are they would try and get away from paying for the damages by referring you to your homeowner's insurer first.

Yep! This is a fun hobby which counts interesting characters and situations among its idiosyncrasies. Funny isn't it? Or is it ironic?

Last edited by qban_flyer; 09-08-2005 at 07:37 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2005, 11:47 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by qban_flyer
Heck, even if you are at a 'legal' field and were to have an 'accident' while in full possession of your faculties, chances are they would try and get away from paying for the damages by referring you to your homeowner's insurer first.

Your post is disturbing. I hope that club gets things straightened out.

BTW, your AMA insurance is secondary insurance which means that their coverage kicks in AFTER your primary coverage, which might be your homeowners. That is the proper process.
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:26 PM
  #43  
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I will do some more reading today, but as a club secretary I have not read anywhere to date that AMA Insurance that you pay for does not cover you except on the club property. That is like saying the Car Insurance you pay for will not cover you unless the damage incurred is in your driveway.

So I will disect the insurance provisions and become more informed so my club members will know. I suppose it would also hold true that if AMA insurance won't cover you as an individual then why would your home owners insurance cover anything that happened away from the home.

I guess what I am saying is that without AMA insurance your homeowners insurance will be all you have. So make sure your home owners covers your activities. If you don't have homeowners insurance then your totally at risk.

Again, I will do some more studying today if the store doesn't get too busy because I was not under any impression that I was not covered when I go down to the school and do a flight demo for the kids. If that is the case then perhaps I should not do that anymore. Then promoting the hobby would be restricted to only those who found a field or saw someone out in the park flying. And that would be sad.

Off to study. If someone reading this has referenc paragraphs I would appreciate it. I do know there is mention in this string and will go back through and read it.

Off to work.
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Old 09-08-2005, 02:44 PM
  #44  
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http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/memanual05.pdf

The insurance summary can be found here. For those who would like to read it. Sometimes it's hard to find this stuff.
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:34 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR
Your post is disturbing. I hope that club gets things straightened out.
The member is in 'hot water' with the "powers that be" at that club since bringing the drinking and flying issue up to them. He's been at it with that club's BOD since February 05 without arriving to a solution of this problem. The solution a few of them suggested to the rest of the BOD was to eject the member from the club (i.e. kill the messenger for being the bearer of bad news). Unfortunately for those this man has the backing of some other members at large, and a minority of the BOD 'realizes' they truly have a problem that needs attention before the field is lost.

Beer bottles have been found at the field on many ocassions, although the field has a lockable entrance gate. This field is not one easy to find, even if you have explicit directions on how to get there. It also is one that happens to be within the confines of a public park (the Maryland Park & Planning Commision has absolute jurisdiction over the flying site).

Some members of the BOD have been observed not only drinking while at the field but also offering beer to other members. So here we have BOD members violating the AMA Rules, the AMA Safety Code and MD's Park & Planning Regulations, but to add insult to injury they are also encouraging others to do likewise.

I think that if the MD Park & Planning people, the adjacent property owners, and neighbors within reach of an out of control model in general were to get hold of this information that club's permission to use that locality will be terminated immediately. If the AMA knew these facts they may even revoke that club's charter. It is against the MD Park & Planning rules to bring alcoholic beverages to a MD public park, any and all parks without distinction just as it is against the AMA rules and regulations to consume alcohol eight hours before flying a model aircraft.

The 'neighbors' have been wishing that club gone from their midst for at least two years now.
It really is a bad situation for the rest of the membership (over 200 individuals) as they are the ones who foot the bill with their annual dues and will be the ones to suffer the consequences if the club is shut down by either the AMA, the county or Park & Planning. Talk about finding themselves in a Catch 22 situation if this came to pass!

P.S. I should also mention that this member has the backing of at least 12 to 15 club members, some of them have also found beer bottles at the field as well as having observed BOD members drinking while at the flying field.

Last edited by qban_flyer; 09-09-2005 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Addition of a Post-Script
 
Old 09-10-2005, 05:28 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Catchinathermal
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!
Too bad for them. It is their loss not yours. I have come across two clubs like that in the 37 years I've been flying R/C. Both believed their stuff didn't stink, especially that of the president of one of the clubs.

So happen that in those days I was in charge of the audio engineering and custom installation section of a large firm in the area I live in. When the "higher than thou president" found out I had 'connections' with the audio industry he became extremely friendly and accomodating in regards to the club.

My reaction toward him was just as cold as his had been toward me when I wanted to join their group and they gave me the cold shoulder. As far as the 'assistance' he needed from me with his rig? I straightened everything for him personally and made him pay through the nose in the process.

That club? I did not join as I was not in the mood to associate with those snobs. They lost the field when the land was sold eight years later and now it counts less than 30 members among their ranks. Their former gorgeous field is history and now they fly from a very confined area.

The moral of the story? No one knows what they may be missing out on by acting so stuck up. Wat those guys did to me and the ones who refused you the courtesy of a reply e-mail are the big losers.
Like I said, it's their loss because they have no clue as to what you may have been able to do for the organization as an active member.

There probably are many other clubs out there not far from you. Try and look them up by AMA District number.

Good luck

Last edited by qban_flyer; 09-14-2005 at 05:35 AM.
 
Old 09-13-2005, 11:21 PM
  #47  
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I would like to add something to this.

Saturday I was flying a 3M sailplane in prep for a contest in two weeks. I had the plane in a GREAT thermal. She was flying wonderfully!

I was getting ready to leave the thermal and head back to the field when all of a sudden the plane literally fell from the sky. I was way up and way out.

No sooner did I anounce what had happened when 3 guys landed their planes, asked for a spot and we headed for the woods. Two hours later and no joy so I declared it a loss, but these guys were right there with me.

Later another guys suggested we go back and look again and we did. Another 2 hours but still no plane. But what great guys to come to my aid.

News spread in the club and I got e-mails asking if I was going to search again Sunday so they could come and help. These guys weren't even at the field when I crashed.

Why join a club? It is the people! That's why!
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:02 PM
  #48  
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Hi Guys and especially Debbie

I do not know or even want to guess at what cost your planes are, but in my case to go and throw $300-00 into the air in un-controlled air space is looking for trouble. At the very least should someone in the vicinity switch on a Tx (may even be in his/her hooby room) you stand the chance of having your plane go down. Not to mention that while it is out of control who or what it may hit.

Debbie, I wish that I had your hobby shop in my area. I hope that your customers and fellow members realize what a sterling effort you are putting in and would like to congratulate you on your concise and thorough input you are giving members of WattFlyers. YOU GO GIRL!!

Geoff
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Old 09-14-2005, 05:27 PM
  #49  
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Many of our beginning modelers are teenagers who rely on gifts and allowances to fund their early modelling activity. Most of us started that way. A young beginner often gets a start with an ARTF all-on-one package as a last minute gift and may not even have much interest in or time for model planes at the start. There proabably isn't a club flying field within walking or bicycle distance and car or bus transportation is not often available. So they get started flying in local schoolyards, parking lots or anywhere else. Expecting such kids to spend $58 dollars to join AMA and then pay $25 dollars or more for club membership on their own is not realistic. Understanding parents and relatives can help a young modeler financially and with transportation. Club members should try harder to welcome and help kids and older beginners, it benefit's us all.
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Old 09-14-2005, 06:04 PM
  #50  
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Teenagers do not have to pay $58 dollars for an AMA Membership. Here is a link that may be quite helpful. http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/902.pdf
The problem with the above statement is the entire enrollment form has not been read. There are several levels of enrollment including a 3 month enrollment. I understand not wanting to read the fine print. It can be a hastle. In this case it will resolve a lot of misunderstood fables of AMA membership. I hope this is helpful information.

Go join a club and enjoy being with others that enjoy what you do and others that want to get into the hobby.
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