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Bless the AMA for trying , , , , But .......

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Bless the AMA for trying , , , , But .......

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Old 04-30-2018, 02:33 PM
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init4fun
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Default Bless the AMA for trying , , , , But .......

Has the ship sailed ? Is there anything that will bring back the allure of remote controlling models of real life aircraft ?

I see the cover of this month's AMA mag is devoted to getting folks interested in RC aircraft , Kudos for that , but are we "playing to an empty house" ? I am more and more convinced the intended audience isn't getting the message as the population grows and our percentage of that population shrinks .

How DO you get folks interested in a hobby that seems to have had it's best days behind it ? The AMA is trying , I give them credit , but fear there is no breathing life into something that just don't seem to captivate the public's attention like it used to ......
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:21 PM
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Amen
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Old 05-01-2018, 04:11 AM
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I've read that is a pilot shortage. Be it military, airline, private and aeromodeling.
I've heard that many full scale pilots started with aeromodeling.

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Old 05-01-2018, 04:58 AM
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Kids are still interested but as stated, not to the level it was decades ago. The hobby will survive but the AMA won't unless it makes some hard changes. Dwindling membership can't continue to support the ever increasing yearly expenses of the "non-profit" AMA.
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:01 AM
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$$MILLION$$ indoor flying facility will fix it!!

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Old 05-01-2018, 05:35 AM
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Seems that AMA feels pretty safe in their comfort zone. All of these years and they can't seem to go that extra mile and think outside of the box.
Maybe Chad Budreau, the interim ED will dare to open his mind and try to do something different. With all due respect to Chad, I won't hold my breath.
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:22 AM
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When the AMA lobbies the government to mandate that people must join their organization in order to fly, you know that they are in self preservation mode. The main goal of the AMA at this point is to keep money flowing in order to keep up with payroll and bankroll their facility. Expanding the model airplane hobby is the farthest thing from their mind. Unfortunately, most clubs are not helping the situation because nobody younger wants to be part of a club that is run by grumpy old guys who are afraid of technology and change. They are the ones who are killing the hobby. Eventually, we will start to see more people coming back into the hobby as soon as these guys give up control of the clubs and allow others to make them an inviting place to gather and have fun again. Sometimes things just have to break down before they can get better!
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:23 AM
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A look at this site shows that the AMA is a symptom, no the problem. What was once a reservoir of knowledge and a place for help and encouragement has become a classified ads section. And the very few real threads that do get listed on the front page are often bickering. Not very encouraging at all.
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
When the AMA lobbies the government to mandate that people must join their organization in order to fly, you know that they are in self preservation mode. The main goal of the AMA at this point is to keep money flowing in order to keep up with payroll and bankroll their facility. Expanding the model airplane hobby is the farthest thing from their mind.
Spot on. Here's two trends that tell the whole story. AMA gets 90%+ of its revenue from membership. The second chart, charter club fees, I see as a leading indicator of "true believer" support .. since those are the folks paying the club fees.

Data for both charts comes from AMA's IRS990 tax filings and are inflation adjusted using the USG inflation adjustment calculator.

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Old 05-07-2018, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by fliers1 View Post
Seems that AMA feels pretty safe in their comfort zone. All of these years and they can't seem to go that extra mile and think outside of the box.
Maybe Chad Budreau, the interim ED will dare to open his mind and try to do something different. With all due respect to Chad, I won't hold my breath.
Budreau appears to be primarily a media and marketing guy...
Ball State - Production Assistant
Rodgers Broadcasting Corp - Asst. Station Manager
Miami University - Manager of Marketing and Computer Systems
AMA Govt Affairs
https://www.linkedin.com/in/budreau/
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:15 PM
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The “Golden Age of Aviation” has long ended. We are no longer entranced by the exploits and accomplishments of people with names like Wright, Curtis, Lindbergh, Yeager, Bong, Doolittle, Post, Hartmann, Boyington, or Earhart. Folks no longer gaze into the sky to see the marvel that is an airplane crossing the sky, In short the magic is GONE. The folks that were impressed by these things are retiring or checking out from life altogether.

What we like to do in our spare time is no longer “Cool”, in fact it is “eye rolling boring” to most of the Iphone, Xbox younger set.

Pilot shortages, General Aviation decline and reduced AMA membership are the new normal. Sadly, the AMA needs to re-calibrate and return to their roots as a niche hobby organization like they were in the “olden” days, because their membership levels are sure to return to the levels they were in the 1950’s.

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Old 05-07-2018, 05:10 PM
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I've said it before , to youngsters who grew up in and around the 1950's full scale flight was only 50 years old and still quite fascinating to us mechanically minded people . Now more than Fifty years have passed since then and aviation has become so routine and taken for granted by Joe Q Public as to not be seen as being all that special anymore . Ditto for the (now simple) act of being able to remote control a mechanical device , we who thought Zenith's "Space Command" TV remote control was nothing short of magic have been replaced by a generation or two for whom the TV remote is nothing special (and of course they laugh at the primitive nature of the "Clicker" when I show them one) .

Another consideration , look at the picture I enclosed in the opening post and what do you see ?

A Father preparing a model airplane for flight . Could part of the lack of participation center around the fact that we don't allow today's children nearly as much leeway as we had with such hobbies ? I was 10 or 11 years old flying control line planes with a McCoy 35 and my Dad worked 2 jobs , he wasn't around to build my airplanes and start the engines for me , I was trusted (expected) to master my hobby myself whereas today it seems that if the parent isn't directly involved in every aspect of the hobby the youth doesn't "take the bull by the horns" and strive for self reliance in the hobby .

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Old 05-09-2018, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
When the AMA lobbies the government to mandate that people must join their organization in order to fly, you know that they are in self preservation mode. The main goal of the AMA at this point is to keep money flowing in order to keep up with payroll and bankroll their facility. Expanding the model airplane hobby is the farthest thing from their mind. Unfortunately, most clubs are not helping the situation because nobody younger wants to be part of a club that is run by grumpy old guys who are afraid of technology and change. They are the ones who are killing the hobby. Eventually, we will start to see more people coming back into the hobby as soon as these guys give up control of the clubs and allow others to make them an inviting place to gather and have fun again. Sometimes things just have to break down before they can get better!
I don't think so.. I see a lot of younger people getting involved in the hobby.. grump old farts or not. It's a combination of things.. Like the Government. No parent relishes the idea of having to sign their child into the Government database..
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by maximusminimus View Post
I don't think so.. I see a lot of younger people getting involved in the hobby.. grump old farts or not. It's a combination of things.. Like the Government. No parent relishes the idea of having to sign their child into the Government database..
Many years ago, I owned a hobby shop and had quite a few customers who belonged to many different clubs. They all said the same thing, which was their clubs had many people who either wanted to join or did indeed join, but it was the same story of not receiving much if anything in the way of help on the flight line. Meaning their club instructors was either hard to find or non existent. After a season or two or even within a couple of months, the newbies, whether youngsters and/or their parents simply quit showing up. So, the old hands said that "I guess they didn't have the patience to stay in the hobby". You know, the instant gratification society.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:26 PM
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Fliers, I agree with you on the established members not helping maybe as much as they could in the past.. But anymore so many of the ARF foam trainers fly so well...It seems like the second time I see a new person at the field they are solo flying. I am a build it guy.. not much of an arf flier.. But I have to admit they have made some really amazing stable foam trainers....

Our field used to have a really active promoted trainer night all summer long for (no expense) visitors.. Some times we would have a pretty high count of new people.. I think one night there were seventeen guest trainees.. However almost nobody continues past that. We used to have a couple members that lacked good eyesight and confidence.. They would use trainer night to get some flying in.. knowing there solo days were not that safe anymore.
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:35 PM
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I see a lot of young people and newcomers buying cars and trucks. they don't turn into slivers on the first mistake you make and some of the bigger hobby shops have indoor carpeted tracks for organized weekly racing where the kids know they will be able to go and use their stuff any day in any weather. it's too bad,..i hate to say it, but,,....I can understand the trend on several levels. I will stick with my planes and maybe a boat or two, but the car thing just doesn't get my attention all that much. I really have no ideas what can be done by the AMA,....it's hard to justify against Johnny's arm full of balsa chunks and pile of torn up mono cote that mom and dad just spent 200 bucks on a week ago when his buddy is sitting in an air conditioned store tearing up the track with his new stadium truck. not to mention the AMA membership that was purchased and now wasted because johnny doesn't want another plane, because they're way to hard to fly. there's just no argument for that...... you have to want to fly a plane and accept the idea that it will likely need to be repaired a time or two and accept that you will also likely have to buy permission to fly it. the younger generation just doesn't have the willingness to commit to that, so they get cars and trucks. and all you see at the flying field are the dinosaurs like me. now I know families with 3 and 4 boys that all have rc trucks,....can you imagine mom and dad paying for 3 or 4 AMA memberships every year for several years ?. something has to be done,....there has to be an "introductory price" and or a "family price", or an "extended membership price" ( $x less for 5 years at a time) or some kind of group price for clubs, or something. it somehow has to be made less expensive to have a place to fly your plane. if the clubs are doing the promoting and funding of certified flying fields,..... the clubs should be reaping some benefit on a group basis maybe.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:25 AM
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We keep talking about how difficult it is to get kids into the hobby, but I've ran into hundreds of adults wanting to learn how to fly. Many already had airplanes and were great builders but unable to find anyone to teach them. Most already belonged to clubs and had been waiting patiently, some for several years to earn their wings.

Some said that they had kids wanting to also learn but even though both father and son had the same, wait until the club instructor felt like giving up his time prdicament to give father and son a few minutes of token flight instruction. Yes, there are kids having a desire to learn how to fly RC airplanes, but can't get much if any help from clubs. Some clubs have listed instructors, but since they are volunteers there is no way anyone, including AMA can force or even encourage volunteer instructors to teach. I agree that RC cars, trucks, quad copters, and foamies with auto pilot technology is the easy way to go, but if flight instruction was readily available, maybe aircraft would be much more popular. BTW, AMA membership for kids 19 yrs and under is free. Look at all the school aeromodeling programs

When I had my shop, most of my customers were indeed builders and those who first bought arfs, after they were certain they would learn how to safely fly, right away became excellent builders. They said that building and flying were equally as enjoyable.

As far as kids, check out Facebook, Youth and education model aviation group
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:49 AM
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Default State of the hobby survey ....

So , the AMA has just sent me a "state of the hobby survey" . Maybe someone at HQ really does read these threads , since pretty much all of my poll threads involve the state of the hobby (the good and the not so good) . I did honestly answer the questions with what I felt were my actual observations of today's hobby activity and my guess is that if everyone answers the same way I did , the AMA ain't gonna be all that happy with how we , the rank & file , see the future of our hobby evolving .
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:38 AM
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For all intents and purposes, even with all their resources, logically there is really nothing AMA can do to stem our hobby's decline. It's up to the clubs if they want to grow, but as they say, you can lead a horse to water...
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Old 05-27-2018, 01:46 PM
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I think the focus in this issue of Model Aviation on trying to get kids interested is a good thing. Only one problem, the article is in a members only magazine! I have already exposed my kids and attempted to expose my grandkids to the hobby. Somehow if we want to interest more young people in this hobby of ours we are going to have to find places to generate that interest outside of publications that are only available to club members already interested.

Just a thought,

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Old 05-27-2018, 05:27 PM
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"Ladies & Gentlemen , , , Elvis has left the building"
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rgburrill View Post
A look at this site shows that the AMA is a symptom, no the problem. What was once a reservoir of knowledge and a place for help and encouragement has become a classified ads section. And the very few real threads that do get listed on the front page are often bickering. Not very encouraging at all.
I don`t feel that way about this site. A free public forum with a wealth of experience and knowledge that I and I`m sure many of us have benefitted from I think is a fine thing. A place where, for example, a factory representative can walk a customer through a fix for his very electronically sophisticated piece of equipment? Way cool! Getting advice from someone who has been in R/C since forever and knows more than I could ever hope to learn? Again I exclaim, Way cool!
I realize few things are truly free, but I think putting up with the commercials is a pretty good deal for all the good here. As for all the hand wringing about our "hobby in decline", I feel the best thing we can all do is try to stay positive. To quote a television personality that I`ve forgotten the name of, lets not be "Nattering Naybobs of Negativity".
It gets pretty confusing sometimes to hear on one end that the hobby is in it`s death spiral, on another it`s going great guns. Who really knows?. I for one am going to keep enjoying this hobby and help out who I can.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Stickslammer View Post
I don`t feel that way about this site. A free public forum with a wealth of experience and knowledge that I and I`m sure many of us have benefitted from I think is a fine thing. A place where, for example, a factory representative can walk a customer through a fix for his very electronically sophisticated piece of equipment? Way cool! Getting advice from someone who has been in R/C since forever and knows more than I could ever hope to learn? Again I exclaim, Way cool!
I realize few things are truly free, but I think putting up with the commercials is a pretty good deal for all the good here. As for all the hand wringing about our "hobby in decline", I feel the best thing we can all do is try to stay positive. To quote a television personality that I`ve forgotten the name of, lets not be "Nattering Naybobs of Negativity".
It gets pretty confusing sometimes to hear on one end that the hobby is in it`s death spiral, on another it`s going great guns. Who really knows?. I for one am going to keep enjoying this hobby and help out who I can.
On the negative side, I imagine it depends on those who lost their flying field and can't find another.Then there are those who's membership has drastically decline to just a small handful. Also the constant news of all the hobby shops closing not to mention all of the large distributors going bankrupt. There there is the FAA and the drone situation.

On the positive side, there are those who consider the hobby is doing just dandy probably are quite satisfied with their club's status quo and that they can still fly at their heart's content.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:24 PM
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it is only one part of the hobby that is "dying". the old line sport/line of sight side.
the drone/blvos stuff is on very rapid growth curve.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Has the ship sailed ? Is there anything that will bring back the allure of remote controlling models of real life aircraft ?

I see the cover of this month's AMA mag is devoted to getting folks interested in RC aircraft , Kudos for that , but are we "playing to an empty house" ? I am more and more convinced the intended audience isn't getting the message as the population grows and our percentage of that population shrinks .

How DO you get folks interested in a hobby that seems to have had it's best days behind it ? The AMA is trying , I give them credit , but fear there is no breathing life into something that just don't seem to captivate the public's attention like it used to ......
Figured this thread was good to bump right about now , 5 months later still as the world's population grows our membership shrinks , anyone got any good constructive ideas of things the AMA could do to reverse this trend ? Let's not focus on the past , going forward what would the AMA's best moves be to increase membership now and in the future ? There are lots of intelligent AMA associated people here , one of my AMA member opinion polls netted close to 100 respondents , so let's hear it , let's hear what if anything the AMA could/should do to make itself more appealing to today's/tomorrow's hobbyist ...

Last edited by init4fun; 09-22-2018 at 06:08 AM. Reason: fixing typos
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