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Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

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Old 02-16-2005, 08:11 PM
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J_R
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Default Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

http://www.modelaircraft.org/mag/0305/president.htm
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:43 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

This statement by Dave Brown really raises the hackles on my neck:

******
"It is obvious to most that some costs—such as those of providing insurance—are not the same for all types of models. When I addressed tiered membership in the past, it was as a way to allow less restriction at the upper end of the aeromodeling spectrum (turbines, large-scale aircraft, racing, etc.) without that advancement increasing the dues of the members who fly lighter, lower-performance models.

The case for tiered membership now is more obvious as our sport has expanded in both directions. The popularity of turbines is increasing, while the appeal of small models—sometimes flown indoors—is exploding. The diversity makes the possibility of a tiered membership a reasonable alternative."
******

Why is it obvious? Over the last 5 years, when new rules have been in place, is it obvious because of the deaths caused by these "upper end" aircraft caused? Well, no, every death we know about was caused by a lower end model. Is it because the turbines and other upper end models have created more or larger claims? Well, no, not as reported to the membership in the claims disclosures from the Special Services Department. Is it obvious from some unshared claims data that is objective? I don't think such data exists over all claims by AMA members to all insurance companies. Is it because of some perceived risk that these models represent, unsupported by facts? Sure looks that way to me.

If we look at the facts surrounding this idea, we find that we know insurance costs roughly $22 per year per adult member (2003 financial statement). We also know, from Dave Brown's prior column that about 50% of the liability claims, on a dollar amount basis, are generated by clubs and not by flying type accidents. That means we have approximately $11 to tier.

If such a program was to be done in any sort of fair way, even on the perceived risk, you could charge the most risky models $11 + $10 for a total of $21 dollars, and, at the same time reduce the least risk models to $1. The net affect is to raise the dues to some to $68, with a reduction at the other end of the scale to $48. I somehow doubt that a $48 membership is going to cause the park flyers to flock to the AMA. Also keep in mind that there are only about 1000 turbine waiver holders to tier. Small numbers probably apply to the other groups highlighted by DB as well. I can't figure out how he plans to subsidize the "exploding" number of small models.

I suppose, since Dave Brown, has never actually mentioned numbers, that the AMA could raise the membership for turbines to, say, $500 a year and have the 1000 turbine waiver holders subsidize $9.95 memberships for a few thousand park flyers, or some other nonsensical numbers.

If something like that were to happen, some guy in Florida might start a new organization. We know the UMA admitted to having a 1000 members. They went out of business, charging $48 for a membership. Presumably, because the cost of the policy had become prohibitive. They were a for-profit organization. Suppose the policy doubled and allowed a new organization to charge $100 to $150 per member (make your own guess). In this scenario, we now loose the turbine flyers. Who do you think now subsidizes the park flyers? As I said, nonsensical.

I prefer the stance of Don Koranda, in his March column: "That's good, because we're all in this together, and the more members we have, the stronger our organization will be."

On the other hand, I can see a bright side. This type of tiering would require clubs to constantly be checking memberships against what is being flown. Maybe such duties could be added to the position of Club or District Safety Coordinator.


To Dave Brown: Dave, the last time you raised this idea, it was a bad idea, and, in my opinion, nothing has changed.

JR
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:48 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

I agree 100%. This is the most asinine of many assinine proposals from this administration.
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:59 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

And the fun never ends with DB!!!!!!!



[:'(]
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:01 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

Therein lies the question: Who will administer such a program? Who will stand guard at the pin board at every flying field, every hour of every day, with a scale and a tape measure to make sure someone's not cheating the system?

What's going to happen is that EVERYONE save for the brutally honest and upright will choose the cheapest alternative, and fly whatever they want. The end result? Either the AMA will go bankrupt, or they will raise dues across the board to make up for the shortfall. Best case scenario, we end up right back where we are now. Worst case, we're paying hundreds per person for a private insurance policy on the field and spending hours reviewing homeowner's/renter's policies. Events of all kinds will become a thing of the past due to the insurmountable effort required to make sure everyone's rears are covered.
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:24 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

They have the waiver holders on record so that part will be automatic. They'll know exactly who to charge what there!!!!!
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:31 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

What BURNS ME is that (almost all) turbine flyers are schooled, Flight tested and constantly being watched. but we are the more liable flyers?

Yet still anyone can buy a gaint scale and go fly. 150cc engine large plane. NO PROBLEM.

And the 'sport' planes that tend to dominate the hobby are left alone, and this is where we all have seen those pilots that shouldn't be on the planes they are.

I HAVE NEVER HAD TO WATCH MY BACK WITH A TURBINE FLYER!

I have left the pits or the field for the guy that the plane is totaly out of control.
Yep 40-60 size plane or heli.

These Turbine manufactuers, and jet airframe guys are going to be selling prop jobs again.

AND THAT STILL WON'T solve the problem, we will all just be flying GWS planes with no AMA at the local park!

my .02
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:51 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

ORIGINAL: J_R
//snip//
I prefer the stance of Don Koranda, in his March column: "That's good, because we're all in this together, and the more members we have, the stronger our organization will be."

On the other hand, I can see a bright side. This type of tiering would require clubs to constantly be checking memberships against what is being flown. Maybe such duties could be added to the position of Club or District Safety Coordinator.

To Dave Brown: Dave, the last time you raised this idea, it was a bad idea, and, in my opinion, nothing has changed.

JR
There was a time, and not so long ago, that I was a staunch supporter of tiered memberships. My support was in reference to services received and the costs of providing those services, especially in the competition areas.

Now since I see nothing more than AMA being both the FAN and the proverbial $--t slinger reference to services etc., I no longer support any tiers.

I see only the AMA Chartered Clubs as the source of AMA membership recruitment. I see there are no longer any services provided for the competition people, that they don't already very well pay for (NATs entry fees -- WOW!![sm=greedy.gif] ).
I do very well see the bureaucracy increasing exponentially, so now, I FAIL to see just how some form of tiered membership is going to do any good. I see a commercial magazine unfairly competing in a relatively small market and that magazine has destroyed any help of AMA being supported by the real modeling media.
Actually, if just 50% of the membership really gave a damn about AMA at all, then there would be a Pres. and an EVP that would already be moving AMA UP. Unfortunately the future is very bleak for significant change.

HOWEVER: Maybe AMA could elevate DB's 16000 groupies into the "A" members and let them pay the $500.00 dues for the roughly 8 million budget. The rest could get in for $1 each. Would a park flier go for that? WOULD YOU?
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:52 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

ORIGINAL: Matt Kirsch

Therein lies the question: Who will administer such a program? Who will stand guard at the pin board at every flying field, every hour of every day, with a scale and a tape measure to make sure someone's not cheating the system?

What's going to happen is that EVERYONE save for the brutally honest and upright will choose the cheapest alternative, and fly whatever they want. The end result? Either the AMA will go bankrupt, or they will raise dues across the board to make up for the shortfall. Best case scenario, we end up right back where we are now. Worst case, we're paying hundreds per person for a private insurance policy on the field and spending hours reviewing homeowner's/renter's policies. Events of all kinds will become a thing of the past due to the insurmountable effort required to make sure everyone's rears are covered.
And in the meantime alot of the membership will get Peed Off and we will lose them to more common thinking like lets just fly alone. What does one see in an organization, where the organization constantly thinks about more $$$$? Is that the primary agenda of our organization or is it to make the existing membership happy. WE are the ones who work the shows, clean up the trash, cook on the grills, fly models and raise money to promote our hobby. You can promote this hobby on any given day just by asking someone if they would like to come and watch you fly. We need our organization to listen to what we have to say, we're the backbone that makes the whole thing work. There are issues that need some form of resolve now, but I don't think anyone is listening, do you??

Larry - AMA# ******

R.F.A.
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:05 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

I say we just revolt..... lol Banish him
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:24 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

I agree with you all about this tiered memebership BS. I've never really gave a rats petoot about the AMA except for the fact that I had to join to fly at any of the fields in my area. But I too have seen the vast majority of flying accidents come from the 40 - 60 size fliers. Once you get into the $1,000.00 and up range for the price of an airplane, for the most part the skill level increases as well. Not to mention the maintenance that the fliers of more expensive airplanes tend to perform. And the jet guys, man I have to take my hat off to most of them for the investment not only in $$, but in time to learn how to operate and fly and maintain these magnificent birds.

Hey, did you ever notice that it is usually the guy flying the $100 garage sale airplane who loses control and instead of just unhesitatingly putting it in, he will fly over the pits, spectators...anything to try to save it. Now think about this...did you ever see a guy have problems with a $1,000 or more airplane make sure that it went in far out simply for the fact that he didn't ever want to take a chance of injuring anyone else!

I'll definitely stop by the booth at the WRAM Show and give my 2 cents worth as well.
Rob / Pickupsticks
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Old 02-17-2005, 12:13 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

We need to address the idea of attracting those exposed to aeromodeling through park flyers into the fold, but the economics of that will be a challenge. A marketing effort to bring these potential members into AMA at the current dues level is proving to be difficult, yet creating a cheaper alternative without undermining the existing financial base is challenging in its own right. We have our work laid out for us.
The small minority of AMA members who have large models and highly complex models (read : the expensive toys) and who generate the least number of insurance claims are going to pay extra to make it easy for the Toys-R-Us flyers to clog the flying sites ?

Sure thing, Dave.
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Old 02-17-2005, 12:16 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

OH MY GOD!?!?! He can't be serious... DB just keeps showing me over and over how totally out of touch he really is. I think I feel another pent up rant coming. My 8 year old daughter could run AMA with more style than this.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:52 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

Tiered membership is just another word for soak, er tax the perceived rich to 'pay' the perceived poor. A much better approach is to stop throwing money down the black hole of a national flying site, cut costs, move MA from a loss to a break even and reduce dues.

This is a hobby and supposed to be fun. People in this hobby who form clubs ARE a social group by definition. Who in that group is always going to play policeman to insure that class B flyers are not flying in class A territory? This idea is almost as bad as having AMA cards expire at anytime during the year. Suddenly we have to have some appointed field nazi to make sure you ARE a class A member or the entire club is at risk of no insurance coverage.

Tiered membership is just another way to say let's destroy the AMA as we know it.

I propose we hand him his head again.
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Old 02-17-2005, 05:03 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

This DB-think is predictable. Last year we (the AMA membership) had the chance to get rid this in-the-box thinking and the membership chose DB.

Let them eat cake.

--Bill


AMA 607983, District V, and proud of it.
Dave Brown, step down.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:31 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

The problem is, the VAST majority of AMA members are completely uninformed, and they have no clue how screwy DB is, as far as they're concerned, he's doing just fine. How else do you explain the number of votes he got? Remember the thread on here not too long ago about the "I just want to fly and avoid the political BS"? "We don't want to get involved, we don't want to be club officers, we don't want to help, we just want to fly". THOSE are the people who voted DB back into office!
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Old 02-17-2005, 08:07 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

Another problem is, there are a bunch of park fliers that are actually FOR this! They don't think it's "fair" to pay the same rate for a GWS foamie as someone who flies a 33% Extra. Out of those two, which do you think is more likely to be flying a plane beyond his/her skill level? Out of those two, which would be more likely to be diligent about keeping their plane in tip-top flying condition? Yes, there are very skilled, very diligent park fliers. Yes, there are clueless schlubs with more money than brains flying 33% Extras. But, where are you more likely to find a clueless schlub, and where are you more likely to find a skilled, diligent pilot? I rest my case.
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:01 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

The answer to this entire thing is to put DB in the turbine business. His interests would change I think.
TOmmy
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:47 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

I think that DB has forgotton that AMA is about promotting aviation and is not an insurance company. The insurance is just a "benefit" of membership. I wonder if he would consider tiered rates along these lines?:

Those with primary insurance (such homeowners) $1.00 a year
Those using AMA as primary insurance $1000.00 a year
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:47 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

ORIGINAL: P-51B

Those with primary insurance (such homeowners) $1.00 a year
Those using AMA as primary insurance $1000.00 a year
BINGO

Most jet pilots I know (over half) carry a PUP in the several million dollar range. AMA will most likely never have to pay for any personal liability of a typical turbine pilot.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:47 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

Sorry, I didn't mean to take the "let them eat cake" attitude; one gets so tired of this nonsense from the top... []

I'm inclined to suggest writing DB to express your concern and dismay over this idea but, traditionally, this has not had much of an affect. DB tends to stay the course much like the ExxonValdez.

But write anyway. Write DB and cc: your district VP.

He needs to consider retirement.

--Bill[]
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:09 AM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

Well,

Good Old Dave (hereinafter G. O. D or just GOD) Brown should look at a tiered system we currently have, the regressive income tax. Granted, the Liberals and Democrats call it "Progressive," but the only thing progressive is the rates as you work harder/smarter and increase your income.

It gets nasty with exceptions, exemptions, credits, tax-frees, long complicated forms, and worst of all, a scum-sucking breed called "Tax Lawyers" who earn (or steal) a very good income by interpreting the complexities they have written into the regulations to ensure their own survival.

If we get GOD's tiered system, it will begin by being unfair as noted earlier with the group generating the least dollars in claims paying the highest prices, Joe Average with his 40-60 planes and the highest claims amounts will most likely pay the same, and the folks flying the less than 2 pound planes who seldom do anything more than scratch paint will have the lower rates.

Then will come the SSLs (scum sucking lawyers) with their amendments and addendums, you will find your legal fees are far more than the AMA dues. AMA, of course, will have to hire their own full time legal staff with their added operating expense, the concomitant employment benefits, retirement plan, and so forth.

End result? We'll pay $580 annual dues, instead of the $58 it is now. and probably have fewer benefits as well. But there will be some more SSLs living high on the hog. At our expense. Until we all quit the AMA.

Who has the ax? Time to hand GOD his head again. Silver platter not required, but putting his head on one would lend a little touch of class to the beheading.

Bill.
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:06 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

Yes, the HO policy and PUP will always pay out in full before any of the AMA coverage is used. However what we seem to have let slide is DB's own statement of the source of most of our claims. It is NOT from aircraft, but trip and fall accidents. So if he WANTS to tier things, the answer is to charge clubs $1000 as a charter fee so he can continue on his regressive tax and spend ideas. If that is not enough, he can raise the rate to $10,000 and then he could afford to buy his airport with our money.

Clearly the long term impact of any tier plan would be to destroy clubs and split up groups who enjoy the fellowship of the hobby. I guess some view the basic cause for the AMA to be bad and tiered plans attack it directly.

This has bee a bad idea from the very beginning. This is getting real old.

Another thing we all seem to have overlooked is that this might be a direct attack on some efforts that have surfaced from other members of the AMA EC. I guess the answer is to figure out what the AMA modeling public thinks. Clearly if the EC is looking for ways to get the PF involved with the AMA, as Sandy Frank's many comments strongly suggest, some are looking to the future of the AMA.

I strongly suspect that if dues were reduced back to the levels prior to our white elephant, more PF's might seriously consider the AMA as a viable option. Going back in dues might mean some significant cuts in give away programs and Muncie development, but the AMA was not created to make more money sucking black holes. Tiered rates are NOT the answer.

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Old 02-17-2005, 02:23 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

How are you going to tier memberships when some individual members have 1/4 scale, park flyers, mid-size gas planes, and sailplanes all in their stable?
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: Tiered rates: revisited by Dave Brown

Luke:

A member would be assessed at the highest rate he flies. A member who flies PF and sport would be charged the "Sport" rate for example. The only way to get the lower rate would be not flying in the higher class.

Bill.
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