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  1. #2351

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

    Without reading 92 pages of comments, why does the AMA HAVE to grow?

    Kurt

  2. #2352
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: Bozarth

    Without reading 92 pages of comments, why does the AMA HAVE to grow?

    Kurt
    So that the "Triple Chinned" leadership may develope "Quadruple Chins"...?
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  3. #2353

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

    Why the AMA is not growing...........

    I'm 35, I grew up flying with my dad... and took a short break in my late 20's early 30's from the hobby.. so I've been flying for some ~20 years and an AMA member since as early as I can remember.


    my 2 cents....

    -This hobby is costly to get into, not quite but getting close to turning into a rich man's sport.. especially if you are testing the waters, its a bit daunting the costs associated with the hobby to start up
    - AMA dues $65
    - club dues $75
    - club new member inititiation fees $25
    - 4 channel radio that is compatible with teh clubs buddy box systems $150
    - trainer/engine/gas/batteries/flight box/chargers etc ... $300-500

    If I dont know if I'm going to like this hobby, I'm hard pressed to drop $600 bucks to try it out... much easier to go and get a $200 RTF foamie and go to a local park. With that though I think you risk losing people from the hobby due to them not flying with a good group that is willing to help them out and get them going successfully. A couple crashes with your first plane can discourage a potential lifelong member, however I can certainly understand the appeal that going that route as opposed to going the AMAroute would be just from a cost savings perspective.





    - There are a number of processes and "hoops" to jump through to join a club. Most clubs I've talked with have several battles they are fighting
    - keeping the rights to fly at their field
    - encouraging new membership
    The issue with these two is that the first "battle" tends to make clubs very protective. They've worked hard and paid $$ to towns/cities/counties for the right to fly where they are, and many deal with issues where neighbors don't want them there. Noise complaints... accidents etc can all impact a clubs right to use the land that they've turned into an airfield. With new membership you want to be open and inviting, yet also be screening and cautious and making sure that the people you are inviting in to your club are going to help promote the hobby, not detract from it. Not everyone is good at this, and it can create a very conflicting message being sent to new prospective members.




    - lets be honest , the hobby has changed. 15 years ago the hobby was building/flying/crashing/building/flying/crashing... with building being a significant component to the hobby. ( I'm not getting on an ARF rant here...don't worry) building = time commitment = investment in hobby. I think with the new prevalence of ARF's we also see a much more "casual hobbiest" component coming forward that we hadn't seen before. I can order a plane today, have it delivered to my house thursday, and be flying saturday. If I crash, there is non of that "I just spent 6 months building that!" anguish anymore... I can be flying next weekend with a couple clicks of my mouse and another hour or two of my time, or I can take a few weeks/years go do something else and get back to flying "whenI get to it" . I could be wrong here but I feel like that is a little bit less involved, a little more emotionally detached from the hobby as compared to when I grew up. I know I fly my arfs much more aggressively and take many more risks than whenI'm flying my kits... It just doesn't bother me when they crash. I think there is a challenge here to keep the "casual hobbiest" involved in the AMA. When its so little time investment and its so easy to walk away and come back, walk away and come back at a whim... how do you keep those people engaged and encourage them to become members in something like the AMA?



    - lastly the hobby has very much become a buy buy buy buy hobby... as evidenced by the magazines. it is hard to be commited to something that is just about spending money.


    Carl Goldberg Ultimate Brotherhood #103
    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #148

  4. #2354
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    Last year our club enlisted a few motivated members to do something about declines in membership. These motivated individuals put in the effort.

    As a result we've put more people through the Introductory Pilot program than any club in the nation ( over 250+ people in one year ).

    We also began a far more structured training program than we had in prior years, and undertook a bit of free advertizing... e.g. leaving stickers on old magazines strategically placed in public locations... etc.

    To offset training costs for the club, aside from the club and AMA membership requirements, we added a small $30.00 "consumables" fee for those undergoing training.

    The end result has been that our club ( and AMA ) membership grew dramatically over a very short period of time.

    We've added and certified many dozens of new pilots a year and doubled our membership. Those that did not finish the training program last year stuck around.

    This year is no different. We find that we have to TURN AWAY students from our training sessions because the slots fill up quickly.

    The interest is there in spite of comments to the contrary.




    There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

  5. #2355

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

    I have been flying RC airplanes since 1974. Over the years I noticed about every RC Club has had many problems. It the same story...a "click" develops and just a very few enjoy belonging. The rest are kinda out of the picture. In every case people start arguing about this & that. Members then leave. That folks is the biggest cause for AMA membership going lower & lower. I am still looking for that "right" RC Club. Capt,n
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

    http://www.lambertsrc.com/

  6. #2356

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


    ORIGINAL: captinjohn

    I have been flying RC airplanes since 1974. Over the years I noticed about every RC Club has had many problems. It the same story...a ''click'' develops and just a very few enjoy belonging. The rest are kinda out of the picture. In every case people start arguing about this & that. Members then leave. That folks is the biggest cause for AMA membership going lower & lower. I am still looking for that ''right'' RC Club. Capt,n
    This^. I've been in the hobby since 1987. I finally found that "right" club.

    Its not really a club; its more of a benevolent dictatorship. The "president" owns the land and facilities, and what he says goes; period. Everybody understands this, and we all get along famously. There have been a few individuals who joined and tried to make it a more "democratic club"... which is polite-speak for they tried to take control for their own purposes, whatever those may have been. Basically, these individuals come in two versions; older types who want to run things for the power trip, and younger types who are allergic to any sort of authority and don't want to be told how they should behave themselves. Neither lasts long at our place.

    Jerks come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. THIS is the real problem, and I've seen it at four different clubs in two different geographical locations.

    Fortunately for me, this fifth "club" is 17 miles from where I eventually built a house and settled in. We have maybe 50 members on the roster. A dozen or so are active. On any given Sunday, there are maybe five or six folks who actually show up with an airplane or two to fly. No crowded airspace, and we never had any frequency issues even before 2.4.

    .

  7. #2357

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


    ORIGINAL: K-Bob


    ORIGINAL: fireman350

    Its not that one individual is running anyone from the sport its one or a few individuals at AMA clubs that are running people away from the clubs and the AMA I am on of them I used to be AMA I will never be again I also know 7 other guys in the same boat as me I have always been a safe pilot never once getting so much as a warning but aftyer I changed from nitro to lipo my planes were suddenly toys and not good enough for some of the balsa snobs. The seven of us now own 2 of the best fields in th state and we will not tolerate any mention of the AMA on our properties will an AMA member ever stop the desire to fly in my heart, no but I will never support the AMA again this is how one club member can kill the AMA 1 potential pilot at a time image this one bad apple turns away 1 potential pilot at every wednesday or saturday club open flight how many pilots has that member turned away at the end of the year from the AMA ? now those pilots that have been turned away will talk to other friends and get them into flying as well if those guys even have 1 other friend they tell "you don't want to go to that club they are jerks they have this ama thing that says I can't fly there so we will fly at the park" how many people did the AMA membership just loose now? why isn't the AMA growing ? there is your answer as an AMA member you can't look at just your club You have too look at all of the other AMA clubs as well they reflect on you as well, before you point the finger at all of these unsafe pilots on youtube and scream how they are killing the hobby ask yourself how many of these guys have gone to an AMA field looking for guidance only to excluded or laughed at because they only have a $50 dollar model that wasn't good enough for the guy with a $5000 dollar model and he insulted that new pilots model and made fun of him for flying a toy Combatpigg is right you can't stop the desire to fly and that pilot will take to the skies the question is will the AMA be there to teach him safe pratices and welcome him into th fold or will he be shunned and have to figure it out for himself in a possibly unsafe manner simply because he doesn't know any better?
    Gee, you hold the AMA responsible for this?*If the individuals all ate peanut butter, are you boycotting PBJ now?*Seems silly to me.

    What in the world does peanut butter have do do with it. You may be more silly????
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

    http://www.lambertsrc.com/

  8. #2358

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

    Hoss Cain wrote:

    "One of our biggest events for about 5 years running was having two booths in the Old Humble Oil Days. That was a downtown Humble, TX show of all kinds of stuff, booths lined back to back for 6 or more blocks down Main Street. Lots of folks coming by. We had all the things, models of all sizes, simulators, actual LARGE Trainer with Tmtr. and Buddy Cord for demonstrating how actual training worked. Lots of old magazines, with Club info inserted in, Club/Event Flyers for when, where,, contacts and about everything one could imagine for showing our fine facility on Club-Owned 50 acres with 5000 ft. shelter, and indoor rest facilities.
    Each year, the CLUB AND A LHS DONATED AWARDS including a low cost electric trainer for a raffle at the show.

    DID WE EVER GET A NEW MEMBER OUT OF THAT? NOT ONE! Therefore we shut the program down as the club could no longer invest the 3-500 yankee dollars each year it cost us to show there with ZERO return on investment.

    We have advertised and performed the AMA TAG program a number of times. In Sep. '09, we had a huge IMAC event. Sunday afternoon we ran a TAG program. Over 40 - I forget actual number - spectators received both sim. time and actual hands-on training by Club Intro. Pilots. Any new members? Not that I know of.

    http://www.modelaircraft.org/insider/10_01/leader.htm

    http://www.rc-float-flying.rchomepag...instructor.htm

    Collectively millions of ad and promotion dollars have and continue to be invested in what has proven to be a vain attempt to grow the hobby/sport. Yet, even after 75 years of the existence of AMA, the hobby/sport has shown, at best, anemic growth. Why? Could it be the reason is written in the above paragraphs? Logically, there is really nothing more anyone could do. Or is there?

    Fliers1

    www.abchobbyshop.com- information

  9. #2359

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

    Yep, people will come to model flying only when they are ready.

    Traditionally, they have "been ready" when they have gotten cars, bikes and girls out of their systems ... when the kids have become independent ... and so forth.

    If you want to have a recruiting drive, you might target the older person ... just like the people who are already flying at your club.

  10. #2360

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

    I always shake my head ruefully when someone blames the AMA for the rude behavior of a clique or crotchety old (or young!) club member.

    Blaming the AMA for the misguided behavior of a few flawed individuals does not pass the smell test as these sorts of folks will still be exactly that way no matter what kind of hobby or social or sporting group that they are part of. The AMA has no policies that encourage this type of behavior whatsoever.

    However, it is certainly fair to hold the local club responsible for the behavior of the members. If you are genuinely mistreated at a club, I would certainly communicate in writing with the club management and give them the exact reasons why you are leaving.

    If a group that was annoyed by a few brain donor club members goes off and has a great time doing their own thing at their own field, would that change if those same 5-10 guys formed a club and became a chartered AMA club?

    Would they suddenly become the exact negative personality types that caused them to leave the previous club ?

    Nope.
    Electric Coolhunter

  11. #2361
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: Thomas B

    Blaming the AMA for the misguided behavior of a few flawed individuals does not pass the smell test as these sorts of folks will still be exactly that way no matter what kind of hobby or social or sporting group that they are part of. The AMA has no policies that encourage this type of behavior whatsoever.
    Well said.

    -

    From my perspective the AMA IS growing by leaps and bounds... at least I and my fellow club members are doing our part to "make it so" with good success so far.

    Those who think that it is NOT growing, need to GET INVOLVED or keep their traps shut and let others do their positive work.

    Negativism is counter productive and can be self fulfilling.



    There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

  12. #2362
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    To promote the hobby I think we should start an organization that excludes potential enthusiasts from flying with us unless they join our organization.
    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???

  13. #2363

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


    ORIGINAL: opjose


    ORIGINAL: Thomas B

    Blaming the AMA for the misguided behavior of a few flawed individuals does not pass the smell test as these sorts of folks will still be exactly that way no matter what kind of hobby or social or sporting group that they are part of. The AMA has no policies that encourage this type of behavior whatsoever.
    Well said.

    -

    From my perspective the AMA IS growing by leaps and bounds... at least I and my fellow club members are doing our part to "make it so" with good success so far.

    Those who think that it is NOT growing, need to GET INVOLVED or keep their traps shut and let others do their positive work.

    Negativism is counter productive and can be self fulfilling.



    opjose, sure you going to say the AMA is growing because you promote dealers like Nitro Planes Hobby dealers!
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

    http://www.lambertsrc.com/

  14. #2364

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

    Don't think anybody is blaming the AMA for a few rotten eggs... some of us are questioning how relevant the AMA is in the current scope of things especially when it comes to the 6-ounce park flyers and indoor helicopters. LOL! It's also morphed into a more general discussion on how the hobby has seemed to stagnate in some ways. Back in the late 90's when I first got into the hobby our club had at least 50 members and more that were on the sidelines watching and once in a while participating. Now the club is down to maybe 5 core members and a couple more like myself that are mainly flying micro-helicopters in the driveway.

    Some of it I know has been the economy... people around here just don't seem to have the money like they used to.

    Some of it has been the change-up in the fields we were using.

    We did have a problem with a couple of rotten eggs that got R/C flying banned in a couple of spots.

    Some of it is image... the core members I mentioned are in their 60's and up and pretty old school about the hobby in general. Teens and young adults are attracted to what is hip and fresh... not a bunch of old-farts who's dentures fall out every time they lean over their Piper Cubs (and no offense intended to said old-farts! :-P).

    We also live in a society that values tech and instant gratification. It MAY be the reason why despite our club dying on the vine that I notice the Parrot A.R. drone is selling relatively well at our local Fred Meyer.

  15. #2365

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


    ORIGINAL: littlecrankshaf

    To promote the hobby I think we should start an organization that excludes potential enthusiasts from flying with us unless they join our organization.
    That should get us millions of members.
    undesirable model airplane flying renegade

  16. #2366

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


    ORIGINAL: Reindeer

    Don't think anybody is blaming the AMA for a few rotten eggs... some of us are questioning how relevant the AMA is in the current scope of things especially when it comes to the 6-ounce park flyers and indoor helicopters. LOL! It's also morphed into a more general discussion on how the hobby has seemed to stagnate in some ways. Back in the late 90's when I first got into the hobby our club had at least 50 members and more that were on the sidelines watching and once in a while participating. Now the club is down to maybe 5 core members and a couple more like myself that are mainly flying micro-helicopters in the driveway.

    Some of it I know has been the economy... people around here just don't seem to have the money like they used to.

    Some of it has been the change-up in the fields we were using.

    We did have a problem with a couple of rotten eggs that got R/C flying banned in a couple of spots.

    Some of it is image... the core members I mentioned are in their 60's and up and pretty old school about the hobby in general. Teens and young adults are attracted to what is hip and fresh... not a bunch of old-farts who's dentures fall out every time they lean over their Piper Cubs (and no offense intended to said old-farts! :-P).

    We also live in a society that values tech and instant gratification. It MAY be the reason why despite our club dying on the vine that I notice the Parrot A.R. drone is selling relatively well at our local Fred Meyer.

    So, considering the current society, there is really nothing that can be done. No one, including AMA can be blamed for something that realistically no one has the power to change.

    Right now clubs that have done a great job in bringing in new blood and therefore has a hundred or so members, but only a dozen or so are active fliers, the rest may be those who are still waiting patiently to earn their solo wings. In some clubs, leaders reports to AMA headquarters how great they are doing with recruiting new members, yet as a whole, there is stagnation in growth, or worse, a decline in our numbers.

    Like an auto dealer who tells customers that they have to buy the car before he can take it for a test drive.

    Also:
    http://www.rc-float-flying.rchomepag...instructor.htm

    fliers1
    www.abchobbyshop.com- information

  17. #2367

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

    ORIGINAL: Reindeer

    Don't think anybody is blaming the AMA for a few rotten eggs... some of us are questioning how relevant the AMA is in the current scope of things especially when it comes to the 6-ounce park flyers and indoor helicopters. LOL! It's also morphed into a more general discussion on how the hobby has seemed to stagnate in some ways.
    I have to respectfully disagree with you first statement. If you read a thread like this, there will be a certain number of people posting that they hate the AMA and quit the AMA because of how a few negative personality types treated them at a club. Fireman350's post number 2277 in this thread is a good example of blaming the AMA for something that is not the AMAs fault. I will not defend the club that treated him that way, though.

    I agree with the rest of your post, mostly. I have seen recent growth in clubs with great facilities and friendly people. And I have seen some clubs stagnate that are not well run and inviting.
    Electric Coolhunter

  18. #2368
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: JW0311


    ORIGINAL: littlecrankshaf

    To promote the hobby I think we should start an organization that excludes potential enthusiasts from flying with us unless they join our organization.
    That should get us millions of members.
    Finally...somebody agreed with me in here!
    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???

  19. #2369

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

    I see lots of parallels between hobby clubs and churches (my main area of interest). Lots of the same conversations are happening in churches about why we aren't growing and how to reach out to new people. What I've found it comes down to is the group culture, and that's something that takes a couple of decades to get wrong. Any group, no matter what its purpose, tends to turn inward in its focus and therefore divert resources away from the community and growth and toward making the experience better for the existing members. When your club meetings are all about how someone's flying weekend got ruined because there was an event they didn't like or how the shelter isn't wide enough or the parking is too far away, you know your group is pretty much completely turned inward. Such group don't necessarily hate growth at that point, but they do become unwilling to endure any inconvenience, change anything, or sacrifice anything for it. So that's the point when new people say the club has too many "cliques." The club doesn't feel that way, but there is a general attitude that they only want to grow if new people are able to fit in with them exactly. And, of course, no one can because they haven't been "trained" in the club culture. The next step in turning inward is to become honestly hostile toward new people after all the bad experiences of people joining and not fitting in then leaving. At that point the club/church/family or whatever the group is becomes for all practical purposes a closed group that officially doesn't want new people to join.
    The counter to this is having leaders who consistently push for outreach and acceptance of new people. This runs counter to human nature so it's a constant effort that no one will thank you for. But over time, leaders who consistently push for members to intentionally connect with new people will create a group culture of welcoming them, which will create steady growth. No AMA outreach program can do that for you, no amount of money spent on events or advertising can do that for you, and no amount of complaining will do it. It has to be done at the person to person level and consistently in the club meetings to create an element within the group personality that says "new people are a good thing, even if they stress us out or think differently about the hobby than we do."
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  20. #2370

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

    Oh and BTW, the fact that most clubs require AMA membership is in no way a deterrent to the growth of the hobby. Most hobbies have a national organization, and many aren't bothered in the least by it. Look at B.A.S.S., the NRA and NSSF, the NHRA, and a host of others. Many of those national organizations are totally voluntary, and committed hobyists join by the thousands every year. The $60 or so that it costs to be an AMA member for a year is a pittance compared to the total cost of doing this hobby even if one does it on the cheap with used equipment and a no cost flying site.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  21. #2371
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........


    ORIGINAL: JW0311

    ORIGINAL: littlecrankshaf

    To promote the hobby I think we should start an organization that excludes potential enthusiasts from flying with us unless they join our organization.
    That should get us millions of members.
    There have been several, at least two relatively big ones and one that never really got off the ground, and they simply never made it in the real world.
    AMA has been here since the 1930s and has had its problems but it is here today. It will be here tomorrow.

    Personally I would never participate with any toy airplane club, group or any organization not aligned with AMA, yet I am probably AMA's biggest critic. [:-]

    jester_s1: Oh and BTW, the fact that most clubs require AMA membership is in no way a deterrent to the growth of the hobby.
    Right ON! It has always been there as jester_s1 so states. Just because every school yard game playing person loves to play some game there does not mean that any specific person will be out promoting any specific sport. If all those that belonged to AMA really had an interest in AMA itself, then I daresay that AMA would be a very different organization. [8D]
    Horrace Cain AMA L-93

    Peace is the brief glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.\" T. Jefferson

  22. #2372
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    ORIGINAL: captinjohn

    opjose, sure you going to say the AMA is growing because you promote dealers like Nitro Planes Hobby dealers!
    You are correct.

    I promote Nitroplanes, Horizon Hobby, Hobby People, Hobby Hangar, Hobby King, Tower, BP Hobbies, etc. etc. etc.

    I promote any product that is a good value for the money. I also promote the hobby, clubs & the AMA in general.

    Instead of whining about a perceived declining membership, I elected to DO SOMETHING and got involved and exactly as Jester_s1 posted I became one of those "leaders" who consistently push for outreach and acceptance of new people.

    ( btw: well said Jester_s1 you hit the nail squarely on the head! )

    I have met with great success.

    BTW: Of late I've been championing using Giant Big Stiks as club trainers equipped with Tower ( chinese ) DLE-20 engines, Turnigy power distribution boards & LiFe packs & cheap Nitroplanes/Hobbyking Hextronics digital metal gear servos...

    We put in over 120 flights a DAY on those planes teaching new students...

    oh, I built the planes too, as well as do training, membership, outreach, publicity, event help, photography, liason, maintenance, etc. etc. etc.

    All it takes is effort by motivated indivduals who instead of sitting in front of a computer complaining about the AMA or others, instead DO SOMETHING.



    There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

  23. #2373
    tailskid's Avatar
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    "Giant Big Stiks"...............are they Great Planes ARF's?
    # 93 in Club Saito; Carl Goldberg Ultimate Brotherhood # 12; Pulse brother # 2;Hellcat Brotherhood #8;P-47 Thunderbolt Brotherhood #18

  24. #2374
    opjose's Avatar
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    ORIGINAL: tailskid

    ''Giant Big Stiks''...............are they Great Planes ARF's?
    Yes sir.

    They have held up quite well to the abuses of training.

    I re-inforced the main gear with B&B Specialties hardware, replaced the front gear with Fult's struts, installed TWO 4200mAh Turnigy LiFe packs behind the firewall as well as a separate ignition LiFe pack, etc. etc.

    We had some 20cc engines from last year ( alas poor Telemasters did not fare well in training! ) so I used those on the Stiks. They are a bit underpowered this way, but perfect for training.

    The planes fly for 22 minutes per flight. Two students get a 10 minute turn up a bat during this time. We go through close to five gallons of fuel per training session.


    There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

  25. #2375
    bigedmustafa's Avatar
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    RE: Why the AMA is not growing...........

    Our clubs are only as good as we make them, and the AMA is only as good as we make it:

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10035568/tm.htm

    It's our hobby, our sport, our club system, and our Academy of Model Aeronautics. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world. Your club president and your AMA District VP both still have to pick up their dry cleaning, get their yard mowed, and take their dog to the vet. That great idea that you think they should be working on is something that they're going to need your help with, so thank you for pitching in and helping!
    When everybody is out to get you, paranoia is just good thinking!


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