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Why join a club?

Old 01-23-2006, 02:48 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by helo-watt View Post
"We don't do electrics here. Come back when you have a real plane."

And all this scrutiny to go on a Saturday morning and wait all day for a spot in the pattern of an over-crowded field?

The "field" I fly in is actually the parking lot/ area of a large sports complex. I'd love to get some sanctioned club going on this complex's property.

It's a shame that legal-ese, politics, and greed have creeped their way into such a rewarding hobby.
Helo-watt,

I hear your pain. I experienced it myself.

Some insights. Most clubs, whether flying, skiing, boating or the like are made up of people of like mind and interests. As such they want people in the club who are like them. They see you as different. While that seems rude, actually it should be expected, to some degree. Not an excuese, just a fact.

If the club field is that crowded, then you really don't want to join them anyway. You will never get to fly. And I have noticed that electric guys tend to spend a LOT more time in the air than glow guys, based on my visiting club fields. The glow guys seem to be forever tuning and fussing with the motors. The electric guys seem to be constantly in the air. Just an observation.

STARTING A CLUB

In many areas where the glow clubs are crowded and really don't want electrics, the electric guys started their own clubs. I belong to a sailplane club that also allows in a limited range of slow to moderate speed electrics up to 60" in wing span.

Starting a club might not be all that hard, but it does take some work. The owner of that parking lot might be willing to accomodate you if you have the backing of the AMA.

Here are a few of the basic requirements:

From the AMA Web Site.

The
following MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS MUST be met in order for your group to become (or continue to be) an AMA Chartered
Club:
1) Your group MUST consist of five (5) or more current AMA members;
2) At least three (3) of the members MUST be over 19 years of age;
3) A minimum of three (3) current adult members (19 years or older) MUST be named as officers of the club, one (1) officer being Safety
Officer/Coordinator;
4) Each and every club officer MUST be a current AMA member.

5) Each and every member of the club who participates in club flying activities MUST [per the AMA Bylaws, Article III, Section
2.(b)] be an AMAmember of Junior, Senior, Open, Affiliate, or Temporary 90-day category, or is a current Model Aeronautics
Association of Canada (MAAC) member. An Affiliate or MAAC member may not be an officer of the club.
6) The majority of club activities relates to the building and flying of model aircraft, and its organizational operation is on local (such
as city, town, village, county) versus regional or national level.
7) To charter for 2005, your club must have a current set of bylaws on file that are in compliance with the AMA minimum standard.

The Chartered Club Package
http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/2005clubkit.PDF

Contact AMA about starting a club
mailto:[email protected]

Flying Site Assistance
East - mailto:[email protected]
West - Wes De Cou mailto:[email protected]

Electric clubs are often much more accepted as they are much quieter than the glow guys. The planes tend to be smaller as well, so they are much less threatening. Sometimes if you agree to limit the size of the planes, Say 60 inches in wing span, the property owners may be more willing to let you use the space.

Local hobby shops are likely to be VERY supportive because club activity leads to business for them. Stop by your local hobby shop and talk to them about it. Maybe there is an electric club in your area already.

Worth a shot!
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:37 AM
  #102  
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Here is the link to the starter kit for an AMA club:
http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/2005clubkit.pdf
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Old 01-24-2006, 04:31 AM
  #103  
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To Helo-Watt, I have been following this thread for a while, but didn't feel any need to post 'til now. A little history:
3 years ago I hooked up with a small group of electric flyers (I had been flying alone, which isn't much fun). The group, including the "Regulars" and the "Occasionals" numbered maybe a dozen. We flew at a large Athletic Complex, about 10 soccer fields, 2 wide, 5 long. I mentioned starting a club but a few flyers were against it- "Too much paperwork, Politics, Regulations, blah, blah". In the meantime we were getting pushed out during soccer practice, tournaments. Our chances of getting a dedicated field without some liability insurance was zero.
I wrote to the Electric columnists at Model Aviation & Quiet Flyer, describing our group and inviting area e-flyers to join us. Both magazines published my letters. Flyers came from all over metro Denver!
I persisted and got 4 others to join AMA so we could apply for a charter. The fee was $ 20.00 for the Charter and $ 40.00 for (one) field insurance rider. So we pitched in. Paperwork wasn't that bad, mainly names and AMA numbers, a few forms. We became the Rocky Mountain Electric Flyers, AMA Charter 4525, Feb, 2004. Now we have 64 members, have just entered a partnership with a very large (primarily) glow club (Arvada Associated Modelers) to use their grass field which has a great infastructure, fenced field and lots of support.
The local hobby shops were extremely helpful, they had been seeing these "starter" electrics flying out the door but didn't have a good single resource to direct them to. Once we came along it helped the shops, the new flyers and us! What a deal!
All you need are a few flyers who are willing to put in some time off the field, and the desire to get it done.
I'll bet, within a few years, some of the guys who didn't have time for you will be joining the electric club!
Good Luck!
Ron www.rmeflyers.org
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:46 AM
  #104  
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Wow...all this support, you guys are great! Thanks so much. I think i just may have a talk with the management at the complex and figure out exactly what they need. If it's feasible, I'll put out the word here and with some flyers at the hobby shops and see where things go. Who knows? I may be telling a similar story to Ron's soon. If the clubs were HALF as supportive as the people on this site, I'd have been a member years ago. I'm sure they will be ok with it, especially if we have AMA backing. There is already some other activity going on at some of the other lots, so they at least seem open to it.
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Old 01-25-2006, 02:08 AM
  #105  
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BEFORE you speak to the complex, understand that package. Understand the insurance. Speak to the AMA. Speak to the site team at AMA.

This way when you go visit the complex, you know what you are talking about. If you ask what they want .... clearly you don't know what you are talking about.

Then go in. They may just say yes, or they might say no, but at least you will be prepared.

If you can find an open area, undeveloped, that is a better choice.
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Old 01-25-2006, 02:31 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
BEFORE you speak to the complex, understand that package. Understand the insurance. Speak to the AMA. Speak to the site team at AMA.

This way when you go visit the complex, you know what you are talking about. If you ask what they want .... clearly you don't know what you are talking about.

Then go in. They may just say yes, or they might say no, but at least you will be prepared.

If you can find an open area, undeveloped, that is a better choice.
To Helo-Watt, I believe Ed's right; Email or write the AMA and get a package, let them know what you intend to do. That's what the site Committee is for. Your idea about posting at the local hobby shops is a good one. Here, the owners knew Jorge (RMEF President) and I by sight so they just said " Go see Jorge and Ron" and gave them directions. You will be getting some visits to the site or phone calls, trust me! It takes one person to stir the pot and I hereby nominate YOU!!
Once you have the details of the AMA coverage and hopefully a few other AMA members (to have enough for a charter), go see whomever you need to see to ask about a site. You may even have to fly a demo to prove how quiet the planes are. Be Prepared! If the weather's bad, bring a video. If you get an OK or even a "maybe", start the club. A half-dozen guys, the worst that can happen is you'll be out $ 10.00 each and you'll have a year to keep looking. The AMA Charter year is February to February, so time's a'wastin'!
Good Luck!
Ron
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:51 AM
  #107  
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Once again, a wealth of knowledge & info...thanks guys I appreciate it many times over. I'l do some AMA homework and then see about how much interest there is in a club (via flyers & internet). Perhaps some of the people who respond will be a bit more savvy at these things than I am. For now, I'm gonna concentrate on homing my skills at my secret site (heh heh heh) and check out the AMA. -Paul
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:03 PM
  #108  
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Post this thread on all the major boards:

Looking to form an electric club in "name of your town and state" Interested?

See if anyone responds.

Post something in all the local hobby stores. Tell the owners. They will probably be VERY happy to help you. They might even have suggestions for flying fields.

Contact the other clubs in the area, especially the one that doesn't like electrics. They would probably be glad to send you their cast offs.

But careful! You could become the most popular guy in town. :-)

Site Tips

Make sure the sites you are considering are at least 3 miles ( air miles, not road miles. ) from any other club in the area ( AMA requirement ) and try to stay away from airports.

When you talk to land owners, offer a demonstration of the types of planes you will be flying. Take something slow and VERY quiet.

Slow Stick, Slo-V, ParkZone J3Cub. Firebird, etc. GWS Pico Tiger Moth

Offer to let them fly it. Offer them a lesson. Offer free membership to the employees of the company that owns the lot. It might be the building owner rather than the company in the building. Explain that some of the planes are a bit larger and some are a bit quicker but they are all quiet and they are all electric. No fuel powered plane to be allowed. You might allow silent gliders.

Bring a copy of the AMA rules with you for their review. Bring a copy of the insurance certificate with you.

Don't go out there with fast, big hot planes and show off how wild and dangerous they are. You may find them cool, but they may find them scary. If you have a Zagi type EPP wing, bounce it off a phone pole or the like to show that there is no damage. Fly it at a moderate speed.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 01-26-2006, 08:58 AM
  #109  
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Ed, Ron, thanks again. I was parusing the AMA stuff...lots to learn there. I want to make sure that if/ when I talk to someone I know all the answers for them GREAT ADVICE on letting these guys fly a plane. I make take my old Commander out there for them to see just how docile they can be. As far as glo-power is concerned, as much as I hat to say it, they have their own clubs. I don't want to exclude anyone, I just don't want the property owners to say we went back on our word. This all may be happening sooner than expected. I've still yet to see ANYONE else flying there besides me. I drive by there to/ from work and at all hours of the day..."our own private Idaho."-Paul
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:23 PM
  #110  
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I had no problem flying "wild" (only electric). I found some places which would fit. It is easy with a Shockflyer, but not so with a 2m Hotliner. But around here there are only few fields which are not used for farming, where I can drive to and park and few neighbours which could complain. We also have an airport which outrules quite an areal.

The main reason for me was a nice landing strip as my models grew and couldn't any longer be thrown or landed on high grass.

There are no problems between electric and IC flyers here. All in all I think we are about 50:50, maybe more electric, because they are mostly smaller/cheaper/easier to handle.
Only with helis there are some problems as they are not so compatible with fixed wings at flying and landing.

RK
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:24 AM
  #111  
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Most of you guys are pretty lucky. Our club is very lucky to have a great flying field, at a price. We barely cover the Lease every year with the dues and other limited income. Our dues are $200 this year as the lease went up. But the next nearest flying field is 50 miles away, and going out only once a week, will use more than $200 over a year.

We have an active training crew, and they can take a beginner to soloing in a short time. For training, they do use glow planes and a buddy box system. But Electric is welcome, and upon joining I had to do a qualification flight which I did with my Electric.

Our group is very active, and anybody that asks for help better step aside as there will be a stampeed to get to them with assistance. I have seen guys arrive at the field with a limited amount of time to fly, and spend his entire time there assisting a beginner, and never get his plane out.

The backbone of our club happens to be us "old farts" that have been there and done that, and are willing to pass on what we have learned over many years of experience. Without these guys, there wouldn't be a hobby.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:15 PM
  #112  
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DickCorby,

$200/yr is a lot, but sounds like you have a fantastic group of guy. So, if you look at it as $18 per month, or less than $5 per week, if you go weekly, then it isn't quite so bad.

How many members do you have? I would imagine if you have such an active training crew your membership must be huge. Lots of conflict for the pin?
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:30 PM
  #113  
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Hey guys. I was at the field this morning. Out of curiosity I measued the distance from the field to the nearest airfield. It's exactly 2.5 miles. Do you think that's too close? It's a straight shot from the end of the runway along the road to the field I fly in. I'm sure that as the crow flies it's a little firther. I'll double check with the AMA, but was wondering oif any of you knew right away.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:36 PM
  #114  
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When you say "the field" is this a club field? Is the air field your talking about an R/C field or a Full Scale Field?

27Mhz really doesn't matter for R/C unless of course someone else is flying over there, however the range is not far enought to reach. You run a far better risk of getting shot down by a passing truck driver.

If the field is a Full Scale field and the club is established they have probably already worked out an agreement or know that full scale have priority.

Again, don't worry about 27mhz. If you were flying one of the parkzone's 72 mhz stuff I would check. If it's a straight shot there is a risk. AMA is currently 3 miles but they were talking about shortening that to 1.5 miles. We are just over 3 miles from another field. Have a mountain between us but we have had no problems and have a frequency agreement. They don't fly at the other field enough to really worry about it. It's only 5 members and very private.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:57 PM
  #115  
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Deb, thanks for the quick response. "my" field is an empty parking lot...acres of short grass, & a nice paved area for RTO's. The "airfield" is a runway..real planes...FAA stuff. -Paul
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:01 PM
  #116  
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Nothing you have to worry about except to know full scale always has right of way. And if there were any complaints made you would have to cease flying. Our field is in the flight path of our major air field and we also share are space with a small municipal air field. They use our field as a training guide for new full scale pilots.

Just a note on that, they used to hold the Joe Nall in the direct flight path of the Greenville Airport in SC. Not only that it was easy to fly over a very large industrial complex. After doging full scale (during competition) and realizing that perhaps the people in the industrial complex may get a little miffed at crashing airplanes and depris on top of their buildings it was finally moved to a far less inhabited area with little or no air traffic except for the owner who flys full scale off of his manicured r/c field
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:04 PM
  #117  
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I've been in and out of this hobby for 25 years and have at different times been a member of AMA and three different "official" clubs. I no longer belong to either.

I guess I just got tired of unbalanced fees; i.e. why do I, with my 1 1/2 lb or less slow flying electrics pay the same for AMA as the guy with the twenty pound 150 mph jet? And clubs that are made up of guys that relate to you based on how much your equipment costs.

I now fly outlaw with a few good friends and have a ball... I spend the $60 AMA fee and $150 club fee on planes / equipment. Seems to give me more bang for my buck.
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:29 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by helo-watt View Post
Deb, thanks for the quick response. "my" field is an empty parking lot...acres of short grass, & a nice paved area for RTO's. The "airfield" is a runway..real planes...FAA stuff. -Paul
AMA guide lines ask that you not exceed 400 feet altitude within 3 miles of an airport. Unless you are flying sailplanes, or like to thermal your parkflyer to a dot, you are not likely to exceed 400 feet in normal flying of a plane with a wing span of under 60 inches. You could, but not typically.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:08 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
AMA guide lines ask that you not exceed 400 feet altitude within 3 miles of an airport. Unless you are flying sailplanes, or like to thermal your parkflyer to a dot, you are not likely to exceed 400 feet in normal flying of a plane with a wing span of under 60 inches. You could, but not typically.
Hi Ed

Don't you think 400 feet is a bit low? Flew my 60" wingspan Rainbow which is electric and a GPS inside. Flew it high enough to be a small speck and was amazed that it got to 500 meters from ground level - yes 500 meters.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:25 AM
  #120  
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Hi all..thanks again. I'm pretty sure that I'll be staying below 400 ft. Of course, if a club does come out of this, that will all have to be hammered out one evening during a "research session" before anything is presented to the field owners. I mean, if we stick to the concept of a "park flyer" then there shouldn't be anything to worry about. Small, slow, lightweight planes don't pose the threat that a fast moving 15 pound object does. I know electrics have become bigger and faster thanks to technological advancements, but for the most part, we're still small enough to be harmless in most instances. I feel really privelaged to have such a vast amount of space to fly in considering some of the posts I've read.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:43 AM
  #121  
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Hey guys - lets not start that BS about not joining clubs, and/or the AMA because you fly small and un-dangerous planes. I could care less about an argument that is pointless. And has been gone over and over in this forum.

What I do care about is having lost my 72 inch Yak on it's maiden flight, and then being told that there was an empty field about 2-3 miles away where some guys came out to fly big helicopters, on Sunday mornings, and on 72 MHZ of course.

Belonging to a club, and the AMA didn't protect my $1500 investment, but thats OK, I'm sure there are days when the Heli guys lose control when we are flying at our field, protected by the insurance, abiding to the frequency control rules, and trying to help each other have a good time. Which is what this hobby is suppsed to be all about.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:01 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by Geoff_Gino View Post
Hi Ed

Don't you think 400 feet is a bit low? Flew my 60" wingspan Rainbow which is electric and a GPS inside. Flew it high enough to be a small speck and was amazed that it got to 500 meters from ground level - yes 500 meters.
No I don't. Under all circumstances planes with people in them have to take priority over planes we play with.

If you are within 3 miles of an airport going over 400 feet could put you in the path of a full scale plane placing lives and property at risk.

I don't care how high you can fly your plane, keep the altitude low near airports.
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:39 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
No I don't. Under all circumstances planes with people in them have to take priority over planes we play with.

If you are within 3 miles of an airport going over 400 feet could put you in the path of a full scale plane placing lives and property at risk.

I don't care how high you can fly your plane, keep the altitude low near airports.
Like the man said earlier - lets not go there.

PLEASE read this post

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4020

before jumping all over me. I only made a comment that I thought the altitude of 400 feet was a little low and nothing about flying at a height where my plane is a little spec in the sky. I do like to see my planes in flight and not have to guess as to their attitude.
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:07 PM
  #124  
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Geoff,

Sorry if I came on a bit strong. The topic is a sensative one and I can see no room for compromise where people carrying planes are involved.

Technically the FAA asks that our planes not exceed 400 feet ever, anywhere in the country. However this is more of an advisory request rather than a regulatory mandate.

AMA has chosen to interpert this as applying within 3 miles of airports. So, for that zone, I am very strong on my support of that ceiling.
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:16 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
Geoff,

Sorry if I came on a bit strong. The topic is a sensative one and I can see no room for compromise where people carrying planes are involved.

Technically the FAA asks that our planes not exceed 400 feet ever, anywhere in the country. However this is more of an advisory request rather than a regulatory mandate.

AMA has chosen to interpert this as applying within 3 miles of airports. So, for that zone, I am very strong on my support of that ceiling.
Hi Ed

Thanks for the response and the PM and I do accept.

I would like to perhaps explain here why I feel as strongly as you do (and this is apparent). Our club is situated on very long finals (about 8 Kms away) for a local flying club which operates mainly Micro Lights and Gliders with the occassional 2 and 4 seater planes.

The micro lights are guilty of low flying over our registered field and seem to take delight in chasing all of us back to the pits until they become bored and go away. We as club members are obeying our association rules by making sure we are not even in the air and yet they flaunt every rule in the book.

I often wonder if they realise what damage and consequence there will be if an accident does happen.
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