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  1. #351

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    What may hel[ the AMA is for younger people( less than 60 yrs) to step up to the plate and get involved directly with the organisation. That means wilingness to run for officers and maybe even president or associate VP for your district.
    Now I,m not knocking our senior pilots. That are the clubs asset for newcomers and to maintain some sort of organisation, but, many of them are not tuned in with todays kids, or even able to use a computer. There are many in our club that have no computer and have no idea what some of us are talking about when we mention websites.
    There does need to be a change of thinking in the AMA and I feel if younger people were directly involved, as they may well be more in tune with the situation regarding getting kids into the arena.
    What I'm trying to say is that the Dave Browns, etc, etc may be so involved with the manegerial aspects of the AMA and other duries or persuits, they may well be neglecting to investigate other avenues to increase membership. BTW their website does not work very well.
    The AMA needs to update its entire organisation. It needs to become more aware of the situation such as the park flyers, and not just moan about the fact they do not feel the need to join the AMA.
    As president of our club, it behooves me to say this but sometimes the AMA can be their own worst enemy..

  2. #352

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    jollyroger- you are definitely right about needing to get the younger people involved. But I can tell you this- I'm a 34 y/o, white midwestern male, and I will never belong to a club. I have no personal interest in the AMA except for the necessary insurance (I fly in public places that are designated for RC aircraft, all you need is the card).

    Now, I'm not saying that the AMA isn't necessary, but there is the thought that it is necessarily an old man's game, since I and many of my peer-group flying buddies have at least 50 things that we'd rather do than go into small-time AMA politics. In other words, we're not retired.
    #26 Club Saito (2) FA-62's, FA-90TS, FA-120R3
    -Glowhead Brotherhood #2 -

  3. #353
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: flycfii

    I can tell you this- I'm a 34 y/o, white midwestern male, and I will never belong to a club.
    Never is a very long time.

  4. #354
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    Memberswhip wise, what is the critical number before the AMA becomes too small to exist? I don't care how young, brilliant or influential the leadership is that the daydreamers here want to insert into the leadership......no amount of salesmanship, bribery or anything else will convince todays' young men that they need to join the AMA. Either the advantages of being a AMA member can sell itself on its' own merits, or it can't. Sure, the AMA could send videos out to public school libraries, as well as public libraries. They can also make their presence known very easily and inexpensively in other ways already discussed [over and over], it doesn't take very talented or age specific leadership to carry this simple stuff out.
    I'm thankful that for only $60 I can fly at most any club field in the US.......if the cost of insurance was to triple because of a lack of membership, I would still ante up if flying at sanctioned fields was important to me. Point of all this is that the AMA isn't growing because many flyers don't need it to enjoy the hobby.
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  5. #355
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: combatpigg

    Membership wise, what is the critical number before the AMA becomes too small to exist?
    Ask this in any organization that has been established to promote their sport/hobby/whatever. NRA, American Motor Cycle Association etc.

    We are in an era where cohesiveness in a cause is practically non-existent. So many people are intellectually incapable of grasping this.[:'(]

  6. #356

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    It seems like everyone is missing the point as to why AMA isn't growing.

    If non instructors recruit newcomers, the active instructors might not appreciate non instructors sending more and more beginners to the active instructors. Instructors might strongly suggest to the non instructors, "if you don't do the instructing, you better not do the recruiting."

    CCR
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  7. #357
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

    What makes you think that you can recruit people to join the AMA? First you would have to locate where non-AMA flyers are out doing there thing. Second, you would have to physically approach them and I suppose perform some kind of mesmerizing hypnosis on them so that they will whip out their checkbooks and willingly hand you drafts for $58, then I suppose after the effects wear off they will resume their activities....which basically amounts to guys flying "as happy as clams" over private property, which is something that I do everyday.

    Ain't gonna happen in the world I live in.
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  8. #358

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    Since this thread has some recent posts, and the fact that I just stumbled across it, I will add my 2 cents. I do not fly, I have rc cars only. 1st, clubs are still popular, look at the amount of drift, offroad, and rock crawling clubs that are flourishing. Most clubs do well because people have an interest in being with others who have the same interests.
    I thought about flying many years ago, I have a few buddies who would like to try it. Is it the expense that is the main obstacle? My one buddy has a tmaxx, a 1/8 buggy, and a few electrics, so I don't think it is the expense that is stopping him. Go to any park where people are running cars, most are much more friendly than the fliers. If I am interested and want to know more, am I able to do the research myself? Certainly. Will I research something knowing that the majority of people who have the same interests will be unfriendly, and too absorbed to share some of their passion and insight? Most likely not. There are many posts here about younger people wanting instant gratification. Saving money to purchase a new rc vehicle and learning how to tune (nitro) and maintain it is not instant gratification, sorry. So having that attitude and trying to make it seem like YOUR hobby is some magical skill that will take many years to master, well, how many people do you think will have an interest? Most people know where to find rudeness and unfriendly/unhelpful people, why does anyone think it would be worthwhile for them to spend time searching for more of that (AMA Members)?

    Most newcomers would be happy to spend a little amount to go fly where others are, have some friendly competition and receive help and advice. Most people will not do this if they are uncertain about what type of experience they will actually have. Almost all hobbyshops charge a fee to practice on their track, and also to race. I do not see too many people complaining about this, and most are quite willing and happy to drive a fair distance and pay the fee to enjoy racing against others. Why do you think it is that many are opposed to paying to join the AMA?

  9. #359
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    Badaml, by the time you were done doing everything the "AMA way" as a newcomer, you would be out quite a bit of cash and time before you earned your wings, no question about that. I have seen plenty of newcomers waiting patiently at the local club field, sitting on their tailgates waiting for "certified" instructors who never showed up. What a shame. Have also seen a couple of certified instructors pre-flight check newcomers' planes, then proceed to crash same plane, both newcomers never returned. Alternatively, you can buy a $30 plane at a drugstore, go to a hay field or school yard and then see if RC flight appeals to you. In the meantime, you might also learn the basics of flight control.

    Hmm, tough to choose which way to go here .
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  10. #360

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    Exactly. The club flyers that I have met (with a few exceptions) have been rude, or egotistical, or have exhibited any number of behaviors that say "I'm better than you; you don't belong". I have finally come to the conclusion that their hobby is all they have left in life, and they will not willingly let some new guy show up and make it look easy.

    When I had to lay off of full-scale flying, I decided to take up RC. Bought a NexStar package and field equipment, got AMA, and headed to the local field. Right away it was clear that there was an Inside Group, and they were the self-proclaimed Rules Enforcers. Except they seemed to be exempt from the same rules- flying over the pits, taxiiing to and from the pits, things like that. But oh-so-quick to point out the mistakes of others.

    I left. Got on the Simulator and practiced. Returned a few weeks later and soloed. To hell with those guys, I don't need 'em I have since progressed to more advanced flying and kit building. Thankfully I fly on public land that has been designated for RC aircraft! I don't need anybody's permission to be there.

    Conclusion- RC Airplane Clubs are havens for has-beens and retired dreamers who never really achieved their dreams. Mean-spirited old farts who would rather see someone fail than to step up and help the hobby. And you all wonder why the young ones avoid you like the plague!!

    #26 Club Saito (2) FA-62's, FA-90TS, FA-120R3
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  11. #361

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    flycfii, I would argue with you based on my experience in the two clubs I belong to. Problem is that they are control line clubs and I am 72.

  12. #362
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    ORIGINAL: flycfii

    Exactly. The club flyers that I have met (with a few exceptions) have been rude, or egotistical, or have exhibited any number of behaviors that say "I'm better than you; you don't belong". I have finally come to the conclusion that their hobby is all they have left in life, and they will not willingly let some new guy show up and make it look easy.

    Conclusion- RC Airplane Clubs are havens for has-beens and retired dreamers who never really achieved their dreams. Mean-spirited old farts who would rather see someone fail than to step up and help the hobby. And you all wonder why the young ones avoid you like the plague!!
    This is very strange. In my 60 years of modeling I have visited many clubs, from East coast to west coast, north to south. None match your accessment.

    A guy new in town entered the local hobby shop. He asked the owner if there was a club in the area and what was it like? The owner asked him where he came from and what was the club like there. He replied that the club was terrible, a real bunch of jerks so he never joined it. Whereupon the hobby shop owner said, "I'm afraid you will find the same thing here."

    On another day another new guy in town came in and asked the same question. The owners response was the same, what kind of club did you have where you came from. The guy replied, "Greatest bunch in the world, I really will miss them." The owner told him not to feel bad as he would find the same thing in the local club.

  13. #363
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    That is a great story and there is a lot of truth to it. However, I have witnessed the inner circle thing, especially when the newcomer doesn't have the "right" equipment or fly the "right" kind of planes. Especially true if the newcomers' stuff looks a little bit dangerous to them. I've seen the motions at the club meetings to limit model speed to 80 mph, ban hovering, etc. The "inner circle" are also usually the same guys who donate their time to keeping the field as neat as a pin, or appearing in court to defend the club. or in contact with angry neighbors to disfuse a conflict or to pull a plane out of the roof. There is always a story behind the story that many newcomers can't appreciate.....all they can see is the grumpyness on the surface. Most of the club elders I've ever met were very congenial and loved to see the young whippersnappers bring out the high performance gear, if not put on a show themselves.

    flycii, your experience might change 180 degrees if you were to visit the same field at a different time of the day or week. RC plane flyers might appear to be edgier and more anal than the car guys, but let's face it....how happy-go-lucky would you be if your plane cost $2000 and was capable of killing a spectator or a passing motorist?
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  14. #364
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    ORIGINAL: flycfii quote

    Exactly. The club flyers that I have met (with a few exceptions) have been rude, or egotistical, or have exhibited any number of behaviors that say "I'm better than you; you don't belong". I have finally come to the conclusion that their hobby is all they have left in life, and they will not willingly let some new guy show up and make it look easy.

    Conclusion- RC Airplane Clubs are havens for has-beens and retired dreamers who never really achieved their dreams. Mean-spirited old farts who would rather see someone fail than to step up and help the hobby. And you all wonder why the young ones avoid you like the plague!!
    Not sure if I agree totally 100 percent with all the above quote, which BTW is ironic, but there are some truths in that, most people deal with change differently. The hobby is changing and has changed. ARF and RTF, Foamies, etc. has allowed people who are not inclined, to experience RC and not build/construct like most have done in the past. Even though I raised four, two were boys, they watched me cut, glue, paint, crank glow plug engines, get my fingers bashed, and wipe all that castor off, clean, wipe and go through the check list, the rituals at the field, waiting for your turn again and again.... Never did they join me, no big deal, but we built rockets together, electric "Big Foot" cars, and all that easy stuff. The fun and appreciation in building, scratch or kit was all there was available, back when. The R/C Hobby industry is growing fast, and the stores are selling the stuff like crazy, because we now live in a different world, where not only just the younger people want it all yesterday, everybody does, that is not their fault….

    IMHO, The AMA is growing! But not in the ways we are looking at it here. Membership is not the only measurement. This Forum represents just a very very tiny fraction of the whole real picture of what I feel is really happening.
    AMA 885041, Pica Rapier, Royal Air 40T, Cx2, CxPro

    \"Come to the edge,\" he said. They said, \"We are too affraid.\" \"Come to the edge,\" he said. Finally, they came. He pushed them.... And they flew.

  15. #365
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: budpro



    most people deal with change differently...

    ...because we now live in a different world, where not only just the younger people want it all yesterday, everybody does, that is not their fault….

    IMHO, The AMA is growing! But not in the ways we are looking at it here. Membership is not the only measurement. This Forum represents just a very very tiny fraction of the whole real picture of what I feel is really happening...
    yep...I think you got it to dead nuts.
    It is very important to understand that Jesus not only died for our sins but died because of our sins...even harder to understand now, exactly what were those sins???

  16. #366

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    I understand your comments you posting a tucson address. I am a snowbird and a longtime ama member and I found the local flying fields in the Tucson area not even receptive to out of the area ama members.The end result being myself and numerouse other snowbirds located a dry lake bed west of Tucson a few miles wnere some new to the hobby flyers were flying . I'm both embarresed and sorry to say we found more comoradory and friendship there than at the ama. sites , even when we promoted the ama as a worthwhile organization to join. I don't want you to feel I'm picking on Tucson only as I have found this to be the case in a lot of the metropolitian areas in tne western US.

  17. #367

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    In response to never, (1) when they fence the school yards accessible to school functions only,(2) the city, county, or the state pass a ordinance banning model aircraft from public parks ,soccer fields, ball fields, etc.and by the way there is a law banning aircraft from flying lower than 2000 ft. with in a 800 ft. radius of a dedicated road or hyway without prier permission or flight plan. this law exists in numerous states as a judge explained to a friend of mine as he presented him with a 800.00 & fine. This is not to consider the consequenses of an accident that presents the private property owner with a lawsuit he had nothing to do with. So in saying this maybe you should consider NEVER.





  18. #368

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    If the majority feels that the AMA is growing and there is nothing to worry about, then that means that there are that many more people who feel there is no need to work on a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Of course if there truly is a lack of growth problem, we all will lose out in the end. The numbers seem to be stagnant at around 160,000 and it's been that way for many years now. I do wonder where all of these people who claim thehobby is in good shape get their informaton?.
    I wonder why the newest AMA cards are so thin?

    CCR
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  19. #369
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    You can look at the products that are available to see what kind of shape the hobby is in. There is a mind blowing supply and variety of planes, engines, radios, etc. Take a guess at how many fuel tanks a day that Sullivan sells world wide each and every day.......100?......1000? All indicators show that the hobby is in great shape. The local hobby stores are full of shoppers. The local flying fields are full of planes. Demand for this sport is huge.......how many different .40 - .50 sized engines under $100 can you name in a minute? The factories can't spit this stuff out fast enough. In spite of what some of you are warning, I don't see where the "sky is falling".
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  20. #370
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    If anybody notices the first post to this thread was December 2004 and here we are going on 3 years later still batting this around. Still flying airplanes, still paying dues, still buying way too much stuff ( sometimes ). While I don't claim to know all about the AMA and it's shortcomings, we are all still doing what we love. At the local hobby shop people are there quite a bit getting their start in the hobby. I personally haven't ever heard anyone complain about having to join the AMA at least while there if they were interested in joining a club. I may be naive but it seems that the AMA is doing what it is supposed to be doing to TRY to further our hobby. ( Let the stoning begin ). I would suppose that the success ( i.e. interest in ) of any hobby is very cyclic. My interest in the hobby was rekindled a little over a year ago after a decade of absence. Did I keep my AMA all those years without flying - no. It wasn't because the big bad AMA had dissapointed me, my interests for that period had changed. But now I'm back, AMA card in hand. I know of a few fliers at my field who have went through the same type of situation, waxing and waning. I belong to this hobby because I like planes, like building them, like flying them, like being with my buddies at the field on a Sunday afternoon. My point is that people like myself are in this hobby for reasons completely and having absolutely nothing to do with having an AMA card in their wallet. Nor is there anything the AMA could have done to entice me back during the absent years.

    My take on the AMA is an organization that is there to help my club if we should ever need it, an insurance policy ( I don't need to be lectured on it's shortcomings, limitations or secondary coverages ) if I should ever need it and a pretty decent monthly magazine. I actually do like reading about free flight and CL. I participate in neither aspect but it's nice to see what others do ( sometimes makes you think outside the box too. ) If my dues in part went to build in Muncie, well that's alright too. I'd like to see it someday and I guess it had to be built somewhere. The role of increasing membership, as it pertains to this thread I believe is up to all of us out here in the trenches so to speak. Here's something to think about - If all of us dues paying AMA card carrying members would get just one person involved in the hobby, and their interest was enough to participate in a sanctioned club, well then the AMA membership would double. That sounds real easy but I doubt it could ever happen. Again not because of what the AMA is ( or isn't ), but maybe that people weave in and out of the hobby as time goes by. I would suspect that the bulk of the AMA membership is people that have been in the hobby for many, many years rather than " new aquisitions " every year. If the number of members is what is used to gauge the health of our hobby, which I don't agree with, then if it is to change it's up to each of us to try and make it better. Meaningful change starts at the street level, not the top. Taking the newbie in and helping and guiding them will go miles further than anything the AMA could throw at them.

    My two cents,
    Dan
    Hi Dad, Doing anything? Want to go to the field?

  21. #371

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: fliers1

    If the majority feels that the AMA is growing and there is nothing to worry about, then that means that there are that many more people who feel there is no need to work on a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Of course if there truly is a lack of growth problem, we all will lose out in the end. The numbers seem to be stagnant at around 160,000 and it's been that way for many years now. I do wonder where all of these people who claim thehobby is in good shape get their informaton?.
    I wonder why the newest AMA cards are so thin?
    CCR-

    I don't feel that AMA is growing, so I am in the minority I guess. I just tend to look at the membership stats, and that's the conclusion I come to; simple numbers and trends, not mystical 'feelings.' You seem to equate the the status of the hobby with that of AMA, and I don't think there is a positive correlation there at all. Model aviation is growing, AMA isn't. That divergence has been apparent for some years now.
    Maybe AMA can catch up with the surge in model aviation, if some desperately needed leadership at the top can be found. If not, I'm not sure how to assess the damages and decide if that would have a significant downside for me and my progeny - model aviation is prospering nicely outside of AMA purview, apparently much better than within. Where does that leave AMA as to purpose?

    Abel

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  22. #372

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    I equate AMA and flying fields. Without AMA to insure flying fields, where does that leave those who need flying fields, be it for RC, free flight and control line? AMA is the only real barometer, unless one has the numbers of the RC aeromodeling industry, if they do, please post them here. Many years ago, AMA projected our numbers would be around 1,000,000 by this time.

    The only other thing the consumer can go by is a general perception they receive from magazines and locally. One would think that RCM would still be in business if things were going so well. No, I have no real idea how the hobby in general is faring, but just like those who consider the hobby in good shape, I guess we're in the same boat. Guess only someone associated with the industry could junp in to let us all know how things are really going, other than that, we can only go by a good or bad perception.

    If you have a place to fly, the perception is good. Although it is a fact that hobby shops are getting scarcer and scarcer and you can still buy mail-order for those consumers, the perception is good. If you have the skill to fly on your own...the perception is good. I just wonder how the hobby shop owner and the rest of the RC industry and those who can't find a hobby shop or flying field near by, if at all, feels about the state of the hobby/sport of RC aeromodeling?

    For those who feel since the sky isn't falling in this hobby/sport and if your wrong, means there are that many fewer people working on a solution to a problem, in their minds, doesn't exist. What, me worry? lol

    CCR
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  23. #373

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: fliers1

    I equate AMA and flying fields. Without AMA to insure flying fields, where does that leave those who need flying fields, be it for RC, free flight and control line? AMA is the only real barometer, unless one has the numbers of the RC aeromodeling industry, if they do, please post them here. Many years ago, AMA projected our numbers would be around 1,000,000 by this time.
    Ahh.........now I better understand where you are coming from. I agree with you on equating AMA and flying fields, given that we are talking about private (including public property that has been privatized via exclusives leases) flying sites, and the segment of model aviation that depends on them. That segment of model aviation seems to have stagnated (as to growth), in accord with the AMA membership numbers.
    As for estimating the size of the model aviation community outside AMA's sphere of influence, numbers are elusive as you have noted. In a recent post, Hoss offered an estimate that AMA members represent about 5% of the total based on some knowledge of production numbers by some vendors. I think his figure is in the right ballpark. I recall Fox citing in ads years ago that they had sold over a million Fox .35 engines. If most of them were bought by AMA members, everyone should have half a dozen of them. I think there are clues in the volume of traffic in the on-line forums. I have seen discussion threads thousands of posts long about a single model airplane of the sort that is almost never seen at at an AMA club field. When the BOD in control of an AMA club site I fly at banned Li batteries, I inquired at a LHS about how many sales they made of a particular toy airplane powered by a Li battery. Answer was an average of 100 week, 2-3 times that in the weeks before Xmas. Even if 99 out of 100 ended up in a trash can, the number of people flying them must be larger than the numbers joining area AMA clubs. You might ask your LHS owner how sales figures for flying toys and park flyer models compare to figures for the type of models normally constrained to sites dedicated to model flying.

    Abel

    Keep the game on the playing field

  24. #374

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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    i tie ama membership to the number of traditional flying fields, a variable which is beyond the control of the AMA, and which is on the decline due to development and encroachment. the ability to insure a field with the ama is a convienence, but as the SFA showed, not an exclusive right to the AMA. the AMA enjoys a sort of monopoly because they are a not for profit, and that gives them a competitive advantage over a for profit. but if the ama was to fold their tent i doubt it would be that tough to replace it, in fact, i am sure that what would emerge would be a far more forward thinking and professional organization. but the fact is that flying fields are the key variable, not lobbying or marketing or other efforts aimed at generating "members". only a handful of people join the ama because they want to, the larger majority do it because it is the price of admission...not that that is a bad thing, but if there was another cheaper option, people would go there. as for leadership, anyone who had read dave brown's rants for the last few years knows that the ama is a bit nearsighted in understanding it real role in model aviation. and anyone wanting to run against dave should understand the glacier slow mentality for change that is so pervasive in the hobby. and i suspect that five or ten years from now, not much will have changed, including the steady decline of membership.

  25. #375
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    Well one reason AMA mebership may decline is becasue of what happened to me recently with the AMA. I purchased A 90 Trial which was good till October 31,2007. I decided ah what the heck i want the card, i can put in my wallet and have a full year of mebership. So i go for the full mebership. I paid $19.00 for the trial mebership then after deciding to go with the full mebership paid 38 or 39 dollars i think which isnt to bad. But i receive my card and it says that it is only good till December 31 2007. Shouldnt it say august 2008 that would be a full year or have i missed something. Well regardless i wrote a letter to the AMA inquring about this and will be interesting to see what they have to say.

    If they say nope thats it you get till the end of the year then have to renew do you think i will no. I purchased the mebership for insurance reasons. I live in a town were there are no flying fields withing at least 40 to 50 miles of me. And the ones that are close are not accepting of new members. There in a closed community call bear valley and most the people who live there are rich and snobs and dont want anything to do with a noob as i am.

    So i took my Superstar 60 with its Saito GK .72 Out to a field were i learned to fly it alone with my son have had 8 sucessful flights with it and no stresses and it was great alot of fun. Seems to me the reason the AMA is not growing is the fact that even if you get the licence and goto a flight field there are going to be those there that are not going to welcome a newcomer. Kinda like get off my turf thing i guess or at least this has been what i have experienced lately.

    But i will keep my search going and driving further and further away from my home to flight fields and maybe eventually one of them will be excepting. But i'm going to know how to fly and not going to bother with an instructor. Seems that takes all the fun out of it. If i crash in my field i goto. It's only my son and i and our disapointment at the loss. But necomers do need to realize they are going to crash it does happen. But If the AMA is going to jack someone like me around that is new to the hobby then that is whty mebership is declining and if people at flight fields are going to be unexcepting of necomers then why would they even consider getting the Membership. I got it for insurance just to be safe.

    AMA 888111 Club Saito 572


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