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"Our Industry Is Suffering" M.A. April 2017

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Old 04-01-2017, 06:41 PM
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Default "Our Industry Is Suffering" M.A. April 2017

In the April edition of Model Aviation , page 8 , Jay Smith (the man who writes "The Inside Loop") describes the state of the hobby as seen through the closing of multiple hobbyshops and the lackluster participation of both manufacturers and consumers at the various trade shows and other events related to RC model flying . Looking at his article , the future don't look all that great for the hobby .

Now , since he (Jay Smith) brought it up in an AMA publication , the natural follow on question would be ;

"What , if anything , can the AMA do to reverse the decline in the hobby ?"

Personally , and this is just me speaking and is my opinion alone , I don't believe there is anything the AMA can do differently to reinvigorate the hobby anymore than there is anything RadioShack can/could do to bring the kit built electronics hobby back to where it was in the 1950s/1960s , when enough people DID build their own electronics for there to be a nationwide chain of stores catering to those hobbyists . Our generation (read ; old farts) have been around so long that the thought of remote controlling anything seemed downright futuristic in our youth and aircraft themselves were still new enough (remember 1953 was only 50 years after Wilbur and Orville) to be seen as the most awe and imagination inspiring machines that man could produce . Fast forward to today when flight is around 114 years old and is now just a commonplace routine event and folks have been remote controlling various mechanical devices for better than 50 years , and I'd say the "shine has somewhat worn off" of both flying and remote controlling things for most folks as to be just not all that special anymore .

Bottom line to me = This recent drone fad has done a bit to prop up our sagging hobby's sales figures of late , but once that fad fades to the level of interest the rest of the hobby has (or more accurately doesn't have ?) I believe things will get ugly for even more of our hobby retailers , and that there ain't a whole heck of a lot the AMA can do about that .

Any and all opinions on this are of course most welcome , whether they align with my thoughts or not

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Old 04-01-2017, 09:13 PM
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You got the latest Model Aviation issue? Still waiting for mine.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:01 AM
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I think the biggest problem is society in general. Society has gotten into such an "I want it now" state of mind that it doesn't really matter what the hobby is, be it R/C, sewing, dancing, painting or anything else, if it takes time to learn, obtain, build(read assemble) or any other delay, it's not going to happen. At the same time, if the hobby uses something that can be damaged, it has to be disposable or so quick to repair that a drop or two of CA will take care of it.
I've been in the R/C world for almost 35 years and, like many others of similar experience, I've seen hobby shops fail that were serious "going concerns" just a few years back. The reasons are simple:
1) the kits were "too difficult to build" or "everything costs so much" or, in a nutshell, the usual excuses why someone couldn't do something
2) "I have to wait too long to get the stuff I need so it's faster to just order off the web" or "I can get it cheaper on line so why spend the cash at the LHS when I don't have to?", killing the bottom line of the LHSs and driving them out of business

Now, with the influx of cheap quadcopters from overseas, available almost everyplace that sells toys of any sort, the hobby shops are having to sell the same products a barely "break even" prices just to keep in business. We, in the US, are known worldwide as the biggest consumer market in the world. I think, if we want to make things better for our hobby and those that are scraping by on almost nothing for a profit margin, the hobby shops should be our first stop rather than our last and, at the same time, tell the shops we want hobby products and to lower the amount of throw away products on the shelves
I'll get off my soapbox now
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:07 AM
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I read Jay's article in MA as well, and I think AMA should be very concerned. A couple things I noticed:

- He also commented that MA's advertising isn't what they'd like it to be. I get other magazines, and I notice no shortage of advertising in them. So why are companies choosing other magazines instead of MA? Maybe Jay should focus on that instead of trying to shame us to use the LHS or spend hundreds of dollars on travel to attend a show. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to spend hundreds of dollars, it's going to be on equipment rather than hotels, gas, and meals to attend a show.

- Couple the tenor of the "Our Industry is Suffering" article with the recent announcement from AMA's EC that open adult and senior membership fell. And what paying membership area saw growth? Park fliers, where you don't need an AMA field, and really have little need for AMA at all. Maybe advertisers see these trends and realize that MA (and perhaps AMA) is becoming necessary only to those who need club fields - the large and fast plane crowd.

I believe in free market forces and I've become convinced that AMA as we know it is dying. They've not been able to capture MR operators in any significant number, the free youth memberships are not converting to paid memberships, and all but park flier memberships are declining. I don't know about others, but I don't appreciate a voluntary membership organization trying to preach to me about what I "should" do with my money.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tailskid View Post
You got the latest Model Aviation issue? Still waiting for mine.
Hi tailskid ,
I got it in the mail on Friday March 31 so hopefully yours will get to you early this week . The cover has lots of Drone stuff but there is a fair amount of regular plane stuff in there too , an article on building an electric model out of Balsa was a welcome sight to see .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
I think the biggest problem is society in general. Society has gotten into such an "I want it now" state of mind that it doesn't really matter what the hobby is, be it R/C, sewing, dancing, painting or anything else, if it takes time to learn, obtain, build(read assemble) or any other delay, it's not going to happen. At the same time, if the hobby uses something that can be damaged, it has to be disposable or so quick to repair that a drop or two of CA will take care of it.
I've been in the R/C world for almost 35 years and, like many others of similar experience, I've seen hobby shops fail that were serious "going concerns" just a few years back. The reasons are simple:
1) the kits were "too difficult to build" or "everything costs so much" or, in a nutshell, the usual excuses why someone couldn't do something
2) "I have to wait too long to get the stuff I need so it's faster to just order off the web" or "I can get it cheaper on line so why spend the cash at the LHS when I don't have to?", killing the bottom line of the LHSs and driving them out of business

Now, with the influx of cheap quadcopters from overseas, available almost everyplace that sells toys of any sort, the hobby shops are having to sell the same products a barely "break even" prices just to keep in business. We, in the US, are known worldwide as the biggest consumer market in the world. I think, if we want to make things better for our hobby and those that are scraping by on almost nothing for a profit margin, the hobby shops should be our first stop rather than our last and, at the same time, tell the shops we want hobby products and to lower the amount of throw away products on the shelves
I'll get off my soapbox now
Hi Hydro Junkie ,

Yes sir I will agree that for the most part these days it seems that the hobbies are supposed to be "shake it out of the box and go fly" rather than the flying being the reward for building something straight true and strong enough to handle the stresses of RC flight . But even of the "instant gratification" crowd , and I've said this before ; for an old guy I get out . A lot . And each time I drive by the huge open areas near me , and the schoolyards and parks too , I never ever ever ever see anyone flying any of the supposed millions of parkies that have been sold in these places like in years past . I really do think the hobby itself is dying off with those of us who were fascinated with aviation just as the Lionel train hobby isn't what it was back when it was Trains that captured a young techie's imagination before the aviation thing really took off (pun intended) . I really do think all new "latest & greatest" tech has it's days in the sun and then the public at large are off looking for the next "latest & greatest" leaving only the really clearly and dearly interested folks as the few still carrying the torch for a hobby that has seen it's days and now has been largely replaced by video games . How many of today's youth play video games VS play with any kind of RC ? , in the answer to that question is the very reason I believe "our industry is suffering" .

Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
I read Jay's article in MA as well, and I think AMA should be very concerned. A couple things I noticed:

- He also commented that MA's advertising isn't what they'd like it to be. I get other magazines, and I notice no shortage of advertising in them. So why are companies choosing other magazines instead of MA? Maybe Jay should focus on that instead of trying to shame us to use the LHS or spend hundreds of dollars on travel to attend a show. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to spend hundreds of dollars, it's going to be on equipment rather than hotels, gas, and meals to attend a show.

- Couple the tenor of the "Our Industry is Suffering" article with the recent announcement from AMA's EC that open adult and senior membership fell. And what paying membership area saw growth? Park fliers, where you don't need an AMA field, and really have little need for AMA at all. Maybe advertisers see these trends and realize that MA (and perhaps AMA) is becoming necessary only to those who need club fields - the large and fast plane crowd.

I believe in free market forces and I've become convinced that AMA as we know it is dying. They've not been able to capture MR operators in any significant number, the free youth memberships are not converting to paid memberships, and all but park flier memberships are declining. I don't know about others, but I don't appreciate a voluntary membership organization trying to preach to me about what I "should" do with my money.
Hi Franklin ,

The AMA's membership numbers (or lack thereof) are of course tied to the numbers of folks "club flying" the traditional .40 and up sized RC planes , and like I said above as years go by it seems less and less folks are aviation interested VS video game interested . Tell me , do you have any meaningful numbers of park flyers flying in the local open spaces of your area ? This lack of participation is in my opinion not because of anything the AMA did or didn't do , it's because to the younger generations video games are the pastime of choice , leaving RC planes and the AMA with not enough "new blood" to replace us old farts as we croak . Yes I too believe the AMA will go the way of the dinosaur when enough of us have died off that the remaining numbers can no longer support it . It will get smaller & smaller till it finally either totally disappears or ends up becoming only an insurance broker for the few still flying the big stuff .

And to anyone who wants to comment , What do you think of the lack of AMA sanctioned flying events listed in this April's edition ? We're talking April May & June , three great spring months that in years past there would be page after page of flying events , the whole thing now takes up what ? maybe 4 pages ? I'd call that a serious lack of participation leading directly to the above noted suffering of the industry ......
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:41 PM
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Init4fun, concerning your post; I agree with you 100%.....it hurts to see such a great hobby decline....I've often said I would have been a juvenile delinquent if I would NOT of had my evenings filled with building models!
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
The AMA's membership numbers (or lack thereof) are of course tied to the numbers of folks "club flying" the traditional .40 and up sized RC planes , and like I said above as years go by it seems less and less folks are aviation interested VS video game interested . Tell me , do you have any meaningful numbers of park flyers flying in the local open spaces of your area ? This lack of participation is in my opinion not because of anything the AMA did or didn't do , it's because to the younger generations video games are the pastime of choice , leaving RC planes and the AMA with not enough "new blood" to replace us old farts as we croak . Yes I too believe the AMA will go the way of the dinosaur when enough of us have died off that the remaining numbers can no longer support it . It will get smaller & smaller till it finally either totally disappears or ends up becoming only an insurance broker for the few still flying the big stuff .

And to anyone who wants to comment , What do you think of the lack of AMA sanctioned flying events listed in this April's edition ? We're talking April May & June , three great spring months that in years past there would be page after page of flying events , the whole thing now takes up what ? maybe 4 pages ? I'd call that a serious lack of participation leading directly to the above noted suffering of the industry ......
I fly mostly in two areas now: a small park near my home (450/500 helos, small aircraft, 220 size racing quad) and at the school (larger foam aircraft, .15 -.25 size electrics, nito helos, nitro CL (.40 size). Both are within walking distance. So convenient, I made a carrier out of a wagon my kids no longer use.

Other than me, I've seen a couple guys flying sailplanes at the school (big open field makes hi-starts easy). Lots of people will stop by when walking dogs etc. I generally stop flying while they're nearby, as the last thing I want is any perception of risk. Is there more immediate gratification these days? Sure. But I think there are other factors as well. Think back 30+ years ago. If you wanted to mess with something requiring technology, it was model airplanes, HAM, or trains (maybe). Now you have Raspberry Pi's being turned into robots, home controllers, weather stations, etc. You have RC cars, boats, etc. You have ROVs, model subs, etcc. And you have quads. You have other computers, video games, etc. My point is there's lots more methods to scratch that technological "itch" and model aircraft is just one of many. The "market" got carved up and it's much easier for people to specialize in the technological interest that best suits their interest.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:27 AM
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That same topic was discussed by Mathewson on page 120 in the March issue. Guess they needed content to fill pages.

Mike
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Old 04-04-2017, 05:34 PM
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If you look at what the FAA did to general aviation, that should explain a lot about why the hobby is declining. Fewer people can get into general aviation because of the intense regulations, so they take less of an interest in aircraft overall, whether full-sized or miniature versions (models). They go after other interests. Model aviation used to be a stepping stone towards general aviation, for most people involved with it. Since 9/11, that hasn't been so much the case. I feel that more are interested in aerial photography than any form of a model plane, because they want to see what things look like up in the air. And this is why quad copters have taken over other forms of RC flying. But with more restrictions like seen in Canada, it appears that what remains of the hobby, will be beyond the reach of most individuals. Flying will be nothing more than a form of transportation, like taking the bus.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:04 AM
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Very astute of the AMA to FINALLY recognize that our hobby is in trouble!

Only a couple of years behind the curve....

Astro
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
Very astute of the AMA to FINALLY recognize that our hobby is in trouble!

Only a couple of years behind the curve....

Astro
The "droners" will save us.

Mike
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Yes I too believe the AMA will go the way of the dinosaur when enough of us have died off that the remaining numbers can no longer support it . It will get smaller & smaller till it finally either totally disappears or ends up becoming only an insurance broker for the few still flying the big stuff .
.
I added the bold

I HOPE this happens, meaning I hope they don't goof around at the end and not see what is coming and we lose the whole organization, even lose the insurance. I have been trying to tell them this for years, even as the Park Flyer program was theorized. I told them to prepare for a future of <80,000 members ( I meant paying, heck that might be all we have now). And I was ignored and ridiculed.

To me the drone situation (while different with the side show of federal regulations), is really just Park Flyer/Park Pilot redux. You did not need an AMA club type flying site to do park flyers. You need AMA even less for mutirotor (not withstanding racing). And the only real value the AMA offers is field insurance (as much as that pains them to hear).

So yes, I hear the number of people signed up with the feds (drone registration) is now north of 770,000......but we still are suffering membership declines. And if they are saying it publicly, it is 10X worse in (private) reality.

We are facing a dire problem in Muncie. It is a true bureaucracy that needs to shrink itself by 75-90% and just provide the insurance program. That is maybe 4 people in a small office.

Who will lead the AMA to that end? Not the guys that are there now. They will fight it tooth and nail.

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Old 04-06-2017, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_matt View Post
I added the bold

I HOPE this happens, meaning I hope they don't goof around at the end and not see what is coming and we lose the whole organization, even lose the insurance. I have been trying to tell them this for years, even as the Park Flyer program was theorized. I told them to prepare for a future of <80,000 members ( I meant paying, heck that might be all we have now). And I was ignored and ridiculed.

To me the drone situation (while different with the side show of federal regulations), is really just Park Flyer/Park Pilot redux. You did not need an AMA club type flying site to do park flyers. You need AMA even less for mutirotor (not withstanding racing). And the only real value the AMA offers is field insurance (as much as that pains them to hear).

So yes, I hear the number of people signed up with the feds (drone registration) is now north of 770,000......but we still are suffering membership declines. And if they are saying it publicly, it is 10X worse in (private) reality.

We are facing a dire problem in Muncie. It is a true bureaucracy that needs to shrink itself by 75-90% and just provide the insurance program. That is maybe 4 people in a small office.

Who will lead the AMA to that end? Not the guys that are there now. They will fight it tooth and nail.

Dang....you hit the nail on the head! I'm engaged with TonyS on another site. He wants a pat on the back for providing a contact list from conferences. He's frustrated that he's not received more members talking to him about this. I told him "well, that's a complete failure of AMA's internal communication." I have to wonder how may people we're paying for such crummy internal communications?

Additionally, I told him that gathering a list of names of cities etc. that might be interested in a field is an activity, not a result. Why? Because AMA HQ & EC still expect the members to do all the heavy lifting.

Meanwhile, they continue plowing big dollars into "Taj-Muncie" and spend quite a bit more on EC travel for their quarterly conclave than they give in field grants. And there's the EVP who wants to put MORE money toward recruiting drone members -- despite two years of effort without result. I think they call that putting good money after bad.

These three actions alone send a huge signal to me as a member. I'm paying to support the bureaucracy. Back in the military, we used to call that a "Self Licking Ice Cream Cone" -- and it wasn't a compliment. That's what AMA HQ and the EC has become.

Meanwhile, you've got two folks in Government affairs, one of whom is so knowledgeable about aviation that he says the 107 material is really hard. Wow. That's who's telling people what they can and cannot do? It's like having a plumber tell you how to do brain surgery. And what is that sort of "expertise" costing us? Serve up another "SLICC."

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Old 04-06-2017, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcmiket View Post
The "droners" will save us.

Mike
EVP (GF) seems to think so. In fact, he wants to spend more money to capture them. I guess he missed the memo that their efforts to capture them thus far have been a resounding failure. And his solution? Spend more money!
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Old 04-06-2017, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Dang....you hit the nail on the head! I'm engaged with TonyS on another site. He wants a pat on the back for providing a contact list from conferences. He's frustrated that he's not received more members talking to him about this. I told him "well, that's a complete failure of AMA's internal communication." I have to wonder how may people we're paying for such crummy internal communications?

Additionally, I told him that gathering a list of names of cities etc. that might be interested in a field is an activity, not a result. Why? Because AMA HQ & EC still expect the members to do all the heavy lifting.

Meanwhile, they continue plowing big dollars into "Taj-Muncie" and spend quite a bit more on EC travel for their quarterly conclave than they give in field grants. And there's the EVP who wants to put MORE money toward recruiting drone members -- despite two years of effort without result. I think they call that putting good money after bad.

These three actions alone send a huge signal to me as a member. I'm paying to support the bureaucracy. Back in the military, we used to call that a "Self Licking Ice Cream Cone" -- and it wasn't a compliment. That's what AMA HQ and the EC has become.

Meanwhile, you've got two folks in Government affairs, one of whom is so knowledgeable about aviation that he says the 107 material is really hard. Wow. That's who's telling people what they can and cannot do? It's like having a plumber tell you how to do brain surgery. And what is that sort of "expertise" costing us? Serve up another "SLICC."
Hi Franklin ,

I'm with you on the idea that any additional spending on either Muncie or attempting to attract a disinterested audience should be put on hold until (IF ever) the paying membership numbers rise . I remember one gent who used to post here that would get all upset if anyone mentioned the number of paying VS free youth memberships , making it sound as if anyone was the ultimate Scrooge just for mentioning it , but the unfortunate fact is that there are less paying members now than in years past and nowhere in the pattern of negative financial growth is there a path toward spending even more "good money after bad" . You at one time or another have mentioned the lack of free youth memberships becoming paying adult memberships and I think I may know a partial reason as to why ; How many of us here have signed up our own children or grandchildren that aren't all that interested in model aircraft just so the kid can be eligible for one of the scholarships the AMA offers ? Or maybe so the kid has their own membership for when (IF ever) the kid finally decides to get off of his butt and fly something real outside in the sunshine rather than something fake on a TV screen ? (yea right , like that's ever gonna happen , , NOT !) . So here we have , what , 40K youth memberships , does anyone care to wager any kinds of guesses about how many of those are youth actually into model aircraft VS "signed up by grandpa because ......." ?
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Old 04-06-2017, 03:24 PM
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Why more money isn't allocated to grow the the local clubs is beyond me. I mean come on isn't that where members come from? We recently applied for a AMA Take Off and Grow grant. Our plan was well thought out and will be executed as presented in the grant application. This money is to attract not only new members for our club and ultimately new AMA members .
We received 1/3rd of what we requested. While we will make it work I don't get the logic there.

Mike .
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcmiket View Post
Why more money isn't allocated to grow the the local clubs is beyond me. I mean come on isn't that where members come from? We recently applied for a AMA Take Off and Grow grant. Our plan was well thought out and will be executed as presented in the grant application. This money is to attract not only new members for our club and ultimately new AMA members .
We received 1/3rd of what we requested. While we will make it work I don't get the logic there.

Mike .
I can't imagine how bad your club must feel when they consider what AMA's EC spends on themselves just to attend their quarterly conclaves. Looking at the November 2016 minutes as an example, here's who attended and where they came from:

President Bob Brown, Bradford, PA
Executive Vice President Gary Fitch, Delevan, NY
Chief Financial Officer Keith Sessions, Burlington, KY
I-Andy Argenio, Smithfield, RI
II-Eric Williams, Schenectady, NY
III-Mark Radcliff, St. Marys, WV
IV-Jay Marsh, High Point, NC
Interim VP District V-Andy Griffith, Jacksonville, FL
VI-Randy Cameron, Springfield, MO
VII-Tim Jesky, Monroe, MI
AVP District VIII-Tony Breyen, Wichita Falls, TX
AVP District IX-Paul Frankum, Lenexa, KS
X-Lawrence Tougas, Fairfield, CA
XI-Chuck Bower, Langley, WA

Let's assume the guys from Kansas, Missouri, and even Michigan drove. That leaves eleven guys that had to fly at, say $750 a ticket on average (most appear to be going small airport to small airport vs. major hub to major hub which is cheaper). Let’s assume a two full days of meetings, which means three nights in a hotel (arrive night before) at $75 a night per person per room. Then assume four days per diem at $35 a day per person (travel day, meeting day x 2, and travel day). Throw in one rental car for every other person at $50 a day for two full days in Muncie. And throw in four days parking at home airport at $10 a day per person per day.

Airfare: 11 x 1 x $7500 = $8250
Hotels: 14 x 3 x $75 = $3150
Per Diem: 14 x 4 x $35 = $1960
Rental Cars: 7 x 2 x $50 = $700
Parking: 14 x 4 x $10 = $560

So that’s $14,620 a meeting, four times a year, or $58,480 for a year...just in travel for the knights of the round table to meet. And during that same period, what did they give the unwashed masses in field grants? Less than half that ($23,000 - Note 1).

How an organization spends money is a direct measure of its priorities. By an objective measure, it appears that spending money on the EC to meet is twice as important as money to help fields where members actually fly.

Note 1: http://www.modelaircraft.org/members...itegrants.aspx

Last edited by franklin_m; 04-07-2017 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:25 AM
  #18
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Franklin I found out about this program while going though the EC minutes from 11-16. As far as our feelings I figured it would end the way it did.


" Take off And Grow Program (TAG)
The Grant Program is $22,000 in total; this is $2,000 for each of the 11 Districts. It came to E. Williams’ attention that in the last cycle there were two districts that had no applicants. The program was developed to encourage our members and clubs to promote modeling as a positive recreational activity to those in their communities; intended to indoctrinate and welcome the general public to our hobby.

Current policy is that if not all districts have applicants, the unspent funds are not dispersed amongst the districts that have applicants.

MOTION II: Moved by E. Williams (II) and seconded by R. Cameron (VI) that during an individual TAG grant year/cycle, any un-awarded TAG Grant Program Funds will be made available for even redistribution among all AMA Districts with unfulfilled but deserving TAG program applications. In no event shall any TAG grant exceed $1,000 per existing TAG limits.
MOTION passed unanimously."


I figured since the program was apparently not being taken advantage of by some districts I figured I had a good chance of getting the funding to do the program right. So I went ahead with the application. I just noticed that during the April EC meeting the program is on the agenda again. That should be a interesting read in a few months when they get around to posting the minutes.

Mike

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Old 04-07-2017, 04:39 AM
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Franklin I found out about this program while going though the EC minutes from 11-16. As far as our feelings I figured it would end the way it did.


" Take off And Grow Program (TAG)
The Grant Program is $22,000 in total; this is $2,000 for each of the 11 Districts. It came to E. Williams’ attention that in the last cycle there were two districts that had no applicants. The program was developed to encourage our members and clubs to promote modeling as a positive recreational activity to those in their communities; intended to indoctrinate and welcome the general public to our hobby.

Current policy is that if not all districts have applicants, the unspent funds are not dispersed amongst the districts that have applicants.

MOTION II: Moved by E. Williams (II) and seconded by R. Cameron (VI) that during an individual TAG grant year/cycle, any un-awarded TAG Grant Program Funds will be made available for even redistribution among all AMA Districts with unfulfilled but deserving TAG program applications. In no event shall any TAG grant exceed $1,000 per existing TAG limits.
MOTION passed unanimously."


I figured since the program was apparently not being taken advantage of by some districts I figured I had a good chance of getting the funding to do the program right. So I went ahead with the application. I just noticed that during the April EC meeting the program is on the agenda again. That should be a interesting read in a few months when they get around to posting the minutes.

Mike

I just sent Mark Radcliff (D3) an email saying that with membership revenue declining, maybe it's time the EC join the 20th century and use GoToMeeting or something like that and save some money. I pointed out that it would also give rank and file members the ability to tune in, thus also increasing transparency.

I laid out the case that how an organization spends money is a direct measure of priorities, and by conservative estimate, flying site grants are half as important as EC meetings.

We'll see if he responds.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:13 AM
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Join the 20th century? I think they are still in the 18th!
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:32 AM
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Join the 20th century? I think they are still in the 18th!
Well they certainly are "living high on the hog" considering the lackluster recruitment results of late . Guys like Mike should have gotten their field grant WAY before money was spent flying folks to and from these meetings that could just as easily be accomplished on line .

Somewhere between this picture and what the AMA has become today , I think somethings been lost in the shuffle , and I don't think it's ever coming back . Flying just isn't magic anymore to most folks and I don't think the AMA nor anyone else can do anything about that . Maybe that's why they will continue to spend lavishly on meetings & such rather than the rank & file till the numbers no longer support the excess , they see "the writing on the wall" and will ride that bus right up till the wheels fall off .....
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:14 PM
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We still sell the crap out of those Guillows Gliders at the Hobby shop.

Mike
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:40 PM
  #23
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We still sell the crap out of those Guillows Gliders at the Hobby shop.

Mike
A colleague of mine used one at Navy Test Pilot school to demonstrate stability derivatives and the axis to which they apply. Really simple tool to help people visualize.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:12 PM
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there will always be some rc flying, but as times change so do peoples interests, I am 82 and been in the hobby 72 years from carving out race cars from blocks of balsa to rc planes. how many youths today do you see shooting marbles or jumping rope, playing hopscotch.or with yo yos . as pointed out by others the interest is just not there. I am just an old geezer living in the past and cant get to excited about the future. I also salute m franklin as I am also a proud vet
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:13 AM
  #25
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there will always be some rc flying, but as times change so do peoples interests, I am 82 and been in the hobby 72 years from carving out race cars from blocks of balsa to rc planes. how many youths today do you see shooting marbles or jumping rope, playing hopscotch.or with yo yos . as pointed out by others the interest is just not there. I am just an old geezer living in the past and cant get to excited about the future. I also salute m franklin as I am also a proud vet
Hi oh44077 ,

What you just said is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote the paragraph I've re posted below . I really don't think the decline in RC airplanes is the AMA's fault just as I've also said I don't think the decline in electronic kit building is Radio Shack's fault . Times do change and folks' interest changes with those changing times , your shooting marbles example is a great one indeed , how could a youth who was brought up with such advanced technological toys as voice command robots and video games be expected to embrace a pastime SO "low tech" as shooting marbles ? I mentioned this in an AMA context because it was a representative of the AMA who opened the discussion and I'd really love to hear from both the AMA brass as well as my fellow RC airplane flyers here what if anything the AMA or anyone else could do to attract folks to a hobby that the greater public just ain't interested in anymore ?

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...........How many of us here have signed up our own children or grandchildren that aren't all that interested in model aircraft just so the kid can be eligible for one of the scholarships the AMA offers ? Or maybe so the kid has their own membership for when (IF ever) the kid finally decides to get off of his butt and fly something real outside in the sunshine rather than something fake on a TV screen ? (yea right , like that's ever gonna happen , , NOT !) . So here we have , what , 40K youth memberships , does anyone care to wager any kinds of guesses about how many of those are youth actually into model aircraft VS "signed up by grandpa because ......." ?
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