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Was it simply the money or ???

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Old 10-29-2004, 03:20 AM
  #1  
Hossfly
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Default Was it simply the money or ???

Since my '05 dues were paid up from a 2 year option in '03, I just sent my renewal back with some bucks for the site, and about 4 times that for the museum

Well last Fri. I was thinking, 'ell I could do better and save myself some worries each year, plus perhaps it might make good 'ol DB have some sympathy and not get me kicked out of 'ama' should he survive the election!! [X(]

So I called in and made a Life Time deal.

[sm=sunsmiley.gif] Well OH WOW was I surprised when that new membership card arrived today -- Thursday. Now that is FAST![sm=greedy.gif] So wuz it tha' *moaney* or was it because they like me and have grown accustomed to me?

All kidding aside, Thanks Joyce, Rwanda (sp?) and company, ya'll did good!
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Old 10-29-2004, 05:23 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

I guess the lifetime deal is good if you arent a fossil when you get it...so if youre 70, and just got the lifetime deal, they are happy,lol...if youre 12, then they are bummed, hee hee..

Congrats
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Old 10-29-2004, 09:38 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Horrace,
I am sure it was NOT the money, rather the clear commitment the money demonstrated being acknowledged by equally committed people.

I rarely have had any problem getting responses from the staff in Muncie. They are MUCH more responsive and involved in problem solving than my ‘representative’. But you knew both parts of that.

I might do that some day soon just to keep some idiot from taking (or threatening to take) action against my class of membership again.
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Old 10-29-2004, 10:43 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

ORIGINAL: Jim Branaum

Horrace,
I am sure it was NOT the money, rather the clear commitment the money demonstrated being acknowledged by equally committed people.

I rarely have had any problem getting responses from the staff in Muncie. They are MUCH more responsive and involved in problem solving than my ‘representative’. But you knew both parts of that.

I might do that some day soon just to keep some idiot from taking (or threatening to take) action against my class of membership again.
Jim-
Better sooner than later. CDignition does make an interesting point. If the trend in AMA demographics stays the course, there's going be a point where folks that avoid buying green bananas are in the majority. Maybe a month-to-month membership will get more takers than the lifetime deal.

Abel
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Old 10-29-2004, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

First: Horrace, congratulations… oh, and enjoy the tax write-offs

Abel

Don’t put too much stock in the AMA’s published demographics. About the only one you can really believe is that the total membership is in a two year decline.

When it comes to the latest lament… that of the average member being 57.5 years old… you need to look at the methodology. The MA survey was sent only to MA subscribers. By doing that, the survey eliminated about 77% of the members under 19 from being considered for the survey, since they do not subscribe. Coupled with the fact that youngsters were probably considerably less likely to return a questionnaire, even if they received one, doubt must be cast on any conclusions about the age of the membership. The survey, by it’s very methodology, gave us the average age of a Model Aviation subscriber and not the average of an AMA member. You didn’t really believe the average age of an AMA member went up 10 years, from 46 to 57.5, in less than 10 years did you?

There are no accurate records of the age of members. There are no accurate records of how many members are actually members of clubs. There are no accurate records of the venues of interest to individual members. The list goes on.
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Old 10-29-2004, 01:45 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

ORIGINAL: J_R

<snip>
You didn’t really believe the average age of an AMA member went up 10 years, from 46 to 57.5, in less than 10 years did you?
JR-

Why would I believe that the methodology that came up with an average age of 46 yrs at some time within the past 10 years was any better than the methodology that produced the 57.5 figure?

Guess I'll just have to rely on my own unscientific observations:

Modelers flying in parks, streets, backyards and other sites of opportunity >>> young people
Modelers flying at AMA chartered club sites >>> old people.

Abel
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Old 10-29-2004, 03:23 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Abel

I don’t know what the methodology was 10 years ago. What I do remember is that there was no $1 membership for youngsters. I think it was 7 or 8 bucks without the mag and 15 with it. If that is not adding youngsters at a higher rate now, than then, something is very different than what appears on the surface. Perhaps, as Red suggests, more retirees are joining than ever, thus offsetting the lower fees for kids.

In any case, it would seem a relatively easy matter to accurately monitor new membership applications, ignoring the current membership, and know.

I can’t argue with your observations, although mine are quite different. In this community, flying in parks and schools is prohibited and we are seeing more young people at the club. Obviously local ordinances are skewing what I see.
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Old 10-29-2004, 05:36 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

ORIGINAL: J_R


I can’t argue with your observations, although mine are quite different. In this community, flying in parks and schools is prohibited and we are seeing more young people at the club. Obviously local ordinances are skewing what I see.
JR-
Hmmm.........local ordinances are prohibiting the young folks from flying in public places, and forcing them into AMA chartered clubs. Sounds like the Torrey Pines deal, but on a broader front. I really don't want to think about what some in Muncie would do with that.
Actually, you really don't need the stats to get a good feel for what is happening. If you can find some old pictures from the 50's - 70's of model flying events (the AMA Nats, e.g.), look at the faces in the pictures and compare them to the faces you have seen more recently, say the group mug shots that have filled the D-V VP column for a few years. Do you remember (don't want to age you with this..) when one of the leading model rags was called 'Young Men?' I'm really not crabbing about it, and there are some reasons for the age creep that are evident, though perhaps not obvious. Hal DeBolt can probably claim 50+ years experience as an R/C modeler. Nobody else could claim 5 yrs when he started, though. Even if guys as young as Hal was when he started are joining, the average age is inescapably bound to rise as long as the guys like Hal stick with it. I sure wouldn't want to see guys like him drop out to make the stats look better.
I do put model aviation on a higher plane than AMA, which I regard as a means to fostering/preserving the ideal, rather than an end unto itself. I sense something is out of kilter when I see model aviation growing at a very robust pace, and yet AMA is declining in membership, and apparently, relevance. I don't have a nice package of answers to that quandary, but I do think the 'closed shop' mentality that has prevailed in AMA for quite some time needs some serious rethinking. On the surface, that is not having seen any of the details, I think perhaps the motion to help locate indoor and park sites that has been put on the EC agenda by S. Frank could be a step in the right direction - unless it's just another attempt to gain AMA control over model flying venues, in which case it will fail before it gets started.

Abel
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:16 PM
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Jim Branaum
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Abel,
I don't think we should be having the AMA gain 'control' of more modeling venues when we are driving away the new entrants with our stellar dues rate. Remember MANY (as in almost all) of those indoor airframes cost LESS than dues.

Years ago Red wrote a thing about the old guys having the $ and making a better target group than the kids who generally are broke. He was right and we all told him so. The problem is that clearly we hhave allowed the AMA to drift off the course set in the charter. Now instead of more modelers we seem to want more money.
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Old 10-30-2004, 09:28 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Frankly, I don't see where AMA dues are "Stellar". I pay almost $10.00 a year more for NAR, (National Association of Rocketry) per year for a similar insurance plan, a newsletter and a magazine about 6 times a year, and as far as I can see, fewer resources available than the AMA has.
I also find it hard to believe that a many kids are finding the dues for AMA and many clubs a problem when they seem to have money for some of the expensive tricked out R/C cars, skate boards and such. Watch what some of them are spending at some of these new small amusement parks with their go-karts and other amusements. Heck, one 16 year old I had as a student when I had time to spend as an instructor had enough money to by a Jett 40 for his ARF Pylon racer. We developed an opinion talking about his progress that his main attitude problem was that it was taking too long to get an 'A' level so he could fly solo. He also had some problems with field rules about no fly zones.
We've seen more problems with spoiled brat type kids who are just dropped off by their parents who buy any kind of equipment and actually are more concerned about being able to drop the kid off with cheap baby sitters. Of course, I've heard similar comments from friends who try to help out with things like junior bowling leagues, hot stove leagues, jr. golf, and other activities. In other words, parents who don't really care about their kids.
I guess the 'instant gratification' is just a side symptom of the 'Fast Track' where people move up the management ladder just by completing an assignment that lasts a few weeks to a few months and file a report showing how well they completed the assignment even if the results are going to fall apart shortly after they start their next assignment, usually in an entirely different department or even a different facility in a different state.
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Old 10-30-2004, 11:00 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

WOW
I found out if you state a fact , you had better run and hide. Not anough people realize what is going on in this world today. Seems like the younger generation are, or will be, well you know what I mean. We are to old to tell any one any thing, but where did it start!
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:34 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

50+AirYears,
Sorry, but you and I are talking apples and oranges.

You speak of those kids who have more $ than sense, but I am NOT. You speak of those who think nothing of dropping $150+ on an engine and I am not. You are speaking of the few who are stepping into club activities and don't have financial issues, AND *I* AM NOT!

Rather I am speaking of the big AND GROWING LARGER crowd of e fliers that meet down at the local park (or fly in front of their house) because they can have fun without spending more than an airframe costs for AMA membership with its SECONDARY insurance. I bet your NAR insurance coverage is primary. Most of the e guys cannot even figure out why they might need insurance, much less support an organization that appears to only limit their activity (the Li-Po warning for example) rather than look for ways to make their segment grow and the hobby thrive. More e guys are looking for solutions than AMA folks who even care about the problems.
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:30 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Actually, the NAR insurance is also secondary.

My club has juniors in it who do work for their money, and do have their own membership in the AMA. They don't have any problem or complaint with $15 for the AMA and $15 for the club dues. Several of them are also managing to save for college. These are the kind of kids who get pretty good at it till life hits, then they drop out for a while for school, family and starting a career. Then they often get back into it when life stabilizes again.

I have flown CL, Electric R/C, FF rubber and hand launched glider, Model Rockets and R/C hand launced gliders in a park across the street from my house. I Will Not Fly There when other people are using the park. 2.5 acres isn't big enough. Even a 1 ounce HLG can cause some moderate bruising, or dents in car bodies. I won't bother mentioning what a glow engine or a C/L model can do. And as far as electrics, a 400 sized ferrite electric motor can cause a nasty cut, and a fact of life with electric motors is that when something stalls or slows an electric, current draw goes up, torque generated goes up, and the motor continues trying to turn. To me, the "Why do we need insurance" attitude is like the "No Fear" attitude sometimes pushed by some martial arts or other sports. The attitude shows the person doesn't understand the big picture.

I'm happy that the E-movement is bringing more flyers into the sport. I am happier that more of my club's members are starting to get interested in E-power. The first exposure a lot of us had with E-power was watching early planes barely cover more ground in a powered landing than they would as an unpowered glider. I may have been the first person in my club to get one to fly. I get a little scared when I read what gets talked about in some posts. There was one this week where an E-flyer seemed to be bragging about flying his plane into the side of a moving car after the car hit a dog in the street. Even more scared about the movement when other posts in this thread started real trash talk about what they'd do in that case. I calmed down considerably after more responsible people started logging in to the point where the originator admitted he was way out of line.

I am also concerned about the number of schlock outfits selling cheap underpowered junk out there in the name of E-power, including an add which stated "Available in 27 mHZ and 49 mHz so you can show off by flying two planes at the same time!". Hopefully, nobody tried by themselves.

I've seen in local parks E-flyers flying over other people using the same park. Just down the street from where I work, there seems to be somebody flying a slow park flyer in the parking lot of an almost dead strip mall. While I haven't seen him delibrately buzz traffic, I have seen him shoot touch and goes on the asphalt in the face of on-coming traffic. Because of incidents of this type of behavior, including buzzing of people, not only is all type of model airplane flying prohibited in one local community's parks, they have even banned R/C cars and where a park has a pond, any kind of model boat activity.

The increase in flying activity may appear to be helping model aviation right now, but if any significant number of the new flyers do go along with this type of irresponsible flying, they could end up doing more damage to the sport than the AMA with all it's contacts and legal staff can ever hope to overcome.

AMA membership has it's peaks and valleys just like anything else. I remember when it was less than 100,000, and when it was pushing 200,000. It's leadership has, like any other human run group, been at times Good, Bad, and Indifferent. I remember Don Dewey raising complaints about the AMA ignoring R/C back in the mid sixties and eventually helping get the SFA started. The effect on the AMA was minimal and short lived. I also remember talking with a member of WAM (Western Association of Modelers) in my squadron about what Dewey was trying to do and this Californian told me that Dewey had approached the then head of WAM for support and was told bluntly that replacing the AMA was the worst thing that could happen for model airplane flyers. It would take years if not decades for a new group to begin to work up to the contacts and influence in Washington the the AMA had.

I frankly think that's right. My attitude was once reflected in a letter to the editor in our club's newsletter. It dealt with members who were always complaining about things the officers 'Railroaded' through. These members, of course, were always at the back of the room during business meetings complaining among themselves but never joining in the discussions, and never voting one way or the other. Lost us a couple of them. They came back after a couple years when they went to another club where they found out what Railroading really was. Still wouldn't vote or join discussions, but at least you didn't hear grumbling during meetings.
The bad part for me of writing this letter was getting hit with a put up or shut up challenge. I've since been on three committees redoing operating and field rules, a financial committee to develop a guidline for the club's treasurer, and 13 of the last 16 years as club treasurer.

Sometimes I think that a lot of the people knocking the AMA are like those club members.
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:22 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

ORIGINAL: Jim Branaum

50+AirYears,
Sorry, but you and I are talking apples and oranges.

You speak of those kids who have more $ than sense, but I am NOT. You speak of those who think nothing of dropping $150+ on an engine and I am not. You are speaking of the few who are stepping into club activities and don't have financial issues, AND *I* AM NOT!

Rather I am speaking of the big AND GROWING LARGER crowd of e fliers that meet down at the local park (or fly in front of their house) because they can have fun without spending more than an airframe costs for AMA membership with its SECONDARY insurance. I bet your NAR insurance coverage is primary. Most of the e guys cannot even figure out why they might need insurance, much less support an organization that appears to only limit their activity (the Li-Po warning for example) rather than look for ways to make their segment grow and the hobby thrive. More e guys are looking for solutions than AMA folks who even care about the problems.
Jim-
I'm sure the cost is a deterrent for many/most of them. Some can't readily afford the cost, and many that could won't, just because they don't feel they get a return in value that is commensurate with the cost.
Lots of young folks can afford to buy cars, or have somebody that will do it for them. Most of those that have cars could afford membership dues in AAA. Most of them don't feel moved by an obligation to AAA for what that organization does/has done to protect their driving rights and safety. Most of them do not join AAA. They percieve more value in a tank of gas.
I can relate to that - I don't buy anything because I can afford it, but rather because I want it more than something else I might have spent the money on. Too simple?

Abel
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:31 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Sometimes I think that a lot of the people knocking the AMA are like those club members.
Such is true in any organization, however there are also those that are definitely trying to make changes for the better, as they so define "better" and additionally trying to educate others what and why "better" is needed.

In addition those that object to any change usually accuse those that desire change as being simply AMA "knockers". In reality those working for real change in AMA direction usually are familiar with where AMA should be focused, believe in what AMA should be doing, and rather than being an AMA "knocker" they are the few that really support AMA. Unfortunately, when the unlearned masses elect those with personal focus on their personal agenda more so than where AMA should be going, then again the voices in the dark are simply dismissed as rabble-rousering "knockers". Therefore it is not the AMA that is being knocked, it is the leadership and administration thereof.

The unlearned parasites quickly attach to the elites, and the truly dedicated often get run over in the stampede of those running to where they know not, will not know when they arrive and when they return, they will not know where they were.
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:12 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Abel,
The cost issue is a smoke screen that everyone seems to hide behind, but the REAL issue was covered in the last two sentences of my prior post. Horrace the horrible implied the same things, so I guess the earth has moved twice this month.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:15 AM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

So I called in and made a Life Time deal.
One of the ironies of Life Membership is having to send a copy of your membership card along with your local club membership renewal every year, even though the membership roster shows "Life Member".

My personal favorite was when a local field Nazi wannabe tried to take a frequency flag away from me because he thought the paper LM card on the board was counterfeit.

Good on you.

That's two things we agree on, but I'll be dipped if I can rememer what the first one was . . .
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Old 11-03-2004, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Money in this hobby is every thing, see where you go with out it an 'RC Outlaw"
No flying site, No club, No AMA, and NO insurance. You can't even be a politicatian!!

AMA36417
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:45 PM
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Default RE: Was it simply the money or ???

Its been said before, but for many members, they belong to AMA because they have to in order to fly at an AMA field. The new member doesn't give a rip what AMA did for freq control way back when, or what they are doing for anyone else. They know they have to have it to fly at the ama sanctioned field or they can't fly. Its another expense, in an already expensive hobby. I know a large and growing number of people that have quit AMA and fly on a dirt road west of town. Granted, they can do this, but because they have no affiliation with a club, no experienced members to teach them right from wrong, and no care in the world, they are often very dangerous to be around. I went out with them once and they fly directly over the vehicles, they fly right at you, and they buz cars that drive by.

If there was an option to join AMA just for the insurance, which is a very small percentage of the fee we pay, plus a small fee for the office staff, the dues could be greatly reduced, and many more people would be members.

The down side of this, is a huge number of members would also want to pay this reduced rate, because they also don't care about owning a large field in Muncie that they will never get to, or trade shows that have no benifit to them.

The AMA has gone from being a relitively small group interested in teaching model aviation, to a very large business. Unfortunately, a business can't be there if it doesn't make money, so charging members for just the services they want isn't possible.

Yes, the dues to you and me is a pitance. I spend more than that on a dinner when I go out. But for me, and many many members and perspective members, the dinner has a lot more worth. I don't mind paying the AMA dues, but I do mind supporting all the other things that go with that membership.

I know that many don't want to hear that and are going to give me a ton of crap about it, but in all reality, if you want to fly contests, you have to pay it and support the whole works, weather you believe in it or not. Just part of the breaks.

The new people don't see it that way. They don't see the benifits, so they just don't buy it and fly elsewhere. AMA is a bit short sighted on that.
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