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Dave Brown is right on!

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Old 02-24-2005, 06:18 PM
  #1  
Richardfast
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Default Dave Brown is right on!

After reading Dave Browns latest editorial in the AMA magazine I am sure glad I voted for him. He really seems to have a handle on what is required to balance growth of the AMA membership, catering to the young with high tech and the high dollar boys with the jets and IMAC, with those of us who still build from scratch and are drawing social security. I embrace ARF's and technology, but I personally just enjoy working with the basics. Being in the minority, my kind of hobbyist can't be the only supporter of AMA. We have to let the new, young, computer jocks, with their brushless, motors, LiPoly batteries and EPP foam, in. Dave's challenge is to keep us working together to save our flying sites and keep the lawyers and politicians away from our hobby. I am the president of our local RC club and more and more I have to consider the interests of all types of flyers, young and old. The only way my club can survive is with new members and new interests. Now, if I can just keep them from flying the "foamies" in the pits! Keep up the good work Dave!
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:44 PM
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rw Guinn
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Please don't feed the trolls....
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:07 PM
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J_R
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!


ORIGINAL: rw Guinn

Please don't feed the trolls....
I don't think he is a troll, but, I do think he has some seriously rose colored glasses.

Richardfast

Are you aware that the AMA is in what now appears to be the third year of a membership decrease? If this year turns around, you can give the credit to Don Koranda, the new Executive Director and the other members of the EC that hired Don. If you read Dave Browns prior coulums, you know that he admits to not having been involved in that decision.

Also, if you have read his prior columns, you know he has taken positions against turbines, fomaies, profile planes, large planes, and about anything else involving new technology. In the current column, he again takes his shots at these groups.

At any rate, welcome to the AMA Discussion forum. It's pretty apparent you're new here.

JR
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:44 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

You know, Richardfast might just be one of those fortunate guys that hasn't seen the problems in AMA. Most of us, and I am guilty of this too, don't know the ins and outs of AMA politics like we should and only see the success our own club is experiencing...it's like giving credit to the President of the United States for a good economy, when he really doesn't have much, if anything, to do with the economy at all (read Greenspan is really in charge in that arena).

When a club is ticking along nicely no one complains, they read only a couple of articles in MA and don't really care what the Editorials say. When things start getting rough in a club all of a sudden someone is at fault. As our numbers overall in AMA decline it may well be partly Dave Brown's fault, or at least people that report directly to him that do the work around the nicely trimmed, paved and painted headquarters facility.

Things like raising the cost of membership and creating a huge hole for money to be thrown into that 99 out of 100 modelers will never see the benefits from (read Muncie, IN Model Mecca) couldn't possibly be the decisions of one person... Although, I've been wrong and naive before...[&o]
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:33 AM
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vicman
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

While not a big fan of the "money hole", I still make a small contribution to it just to keep the regular dues where they are. Please go easy on me JR. The Tiered membership sounds like a decent idea to me. Even tho 18 wheelers are in the minority they pay more for licenses and insurance than the regular car on the road. I am ok with this system in AMA especially if it will make it easier for new people to get involved. His other comments in the article regarding club limits was also right on. Any activity has a need for some kind of organization. AMA does a better job than alot of others I have been involved in.
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:17 AM
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Ben Diss
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

If DB proposed to REDUCE the membership costs for a sector of our hobby in order to attract more members, then this might make sense. Otherwise, it is a tax on the upper tier in order to subsidize the rest of the membership.

-Ben [AMA L412]
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:38 AM
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Jim Thomerson
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Hey, as long as the membership cost is reduced for my sector of Model Aviation I'm all for it. Actually, I think there is a real problem of creating or accentuating divisions in the model aviation community. I do think the matter needs to be considered, however. The growth in model aviation today is largely outside the AMA.

Jim
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Even tho 18 wheelers are in the minority they pay more for licenses and insurance than the regular car on the road
A similar comparison but not quite accurate. I believe that the reason they pay more for licenses and insurance is because they are used 24/7 where the average car isn't!!! There's a much higher chance of an accident happening if something is used constantly rather than occasionally!! Insurance has a lot to do with usage or at least that's what my insurance agent tells me when they ask how many miles a week I drive!!! Jet's are a minority in the hobby along with their use!!!! I fly my jet 1 time to at least 20 flights of my other airplanes, ie, foamy, 40%, heli, etc..... If the insurance was tiered according to potential danger the amount of usage would play a substantial role. I think realistically the sport/trainer section would take a pretty big hit. Most of us know though that large aerobats and turbines are not in the good graces of our illustrious leader :^(

edited to ad:

Remember, we're all on the food chain... In an old article DB wrote he thought that the entire hobby had gone way to far and that it ALL needed to be put back into perscpective!!!
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!


ORIGINAL: Ben Diss

If DB proposed to REDUCE the membership costs for a sector of our hobby in order to attract more members, then this might make sense. Otherwise, it is a tax on the upper tier in order to subsidize the rest of the membership.

-Ben [AMA L412]

Sandy Frank says this is a social hobby and the AMA brings people together. Dave Brown seems to be taking a different direction entirely.

Divide and conquer is a very old strategy, but it works.

I predict that dues for some special segments would go down. You get to guess what those segments might be, and the ones for which dues would double or more. Oh, by the way try to guess what impact it would have on the bottom line and make sure you take into account the administration costs at the AMA HQ level. No one cares anymore about the local clubs as can be seen by all the new CLUB ENFORCED regulations created for the pond scum membership, so don't worry about local administration costs they are all social and not financial any way. The membership can handle it.

/* sarcasm off

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Old 02-25-2005, 10:36 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!


ORIGINAL: vicman
Even tho 18 wheelers are in the minority they pay more for licenses and insurance than the regular car on the road. I am ok with this system in AMA especially if it will make it easier for new people to get involved.
LOL ... if you want to run with that analogy to motor vehicle insurance, remember that NEW inexperienced drivers pay HIGHER insurance costs than experienced drivers do, because their lack of experience makes it more likely that htey will be involvedin a crash.

So, those new people that you think will find it easier to get involved should be paying HIGHER AMA dues than the established members. Does paying more make it easier for them ?

Gordon
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:51 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Put that newbie in an 18 wheeler and the ratio is still there. I doubt my dues would go down at all. I do think this is an interesting approach to getting favorable attention and growth. I personally have no problem with how the AMA is doing. Frankly the $58 dues is a good deal. I realize for the beginner it seems like the bloodletting of the wallet is unstoppable to get started but after a year or two things seem to settle down a bit. See the "how much have you spent" thread here in RCU for a good laugh about spending $. Please don't disect my words too closely, I am a satisfied areomodler who enjoys the flying, building, and even the social activities. This hobby has improved my quaility of life immensly and if it cost me a few bucks more to belong to an organization that is attempting to improve it, thats ok by me.
Also in case I sound like a disciple of DB, he was not my choice in the last election.
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

I don't think members who fly certain types of models would complain about paying more if it got us more freedoms, however.....we are getting less. That's not very appealing......

It's painfully obvious that most of the membership thinks like Richardfast....they voted for DB.
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:45 PM
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Richardfast
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Just from a club standpoint, the tiered membership concept would be difficult to enforce at the field. Our club membership requires AMA membership (has for over 30 years) so there is no sorting out at the field. You just have to put your club card in the slot for the frequency pin. We are a pretty loose group having a lot of fun. All type of models in all sizes are flown at our field, except turbines. The only reason none fly is that our grass runway is not too smooth. We sit on top an old landfill and the nearest house is a mile away. Our only rules are the AMA safety rules, plus we require a hold down device when starting a plane. I guess all of us support the AMA because we don't have any specific axes to grind right now. We did have to raise our club dues from $50 to $60 because of field improvements we want to make this year.
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:48 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Parellels with trucks and such just don't hold. Insurance rates for big rigs are based on their accident rate per year. The auto insurance industry is very good at figuring out just how much differnet segments actually cost in the real world. They don't guess, and they don't go based on what "looks" more dangerous. They go based on how much money they paid out in the last few years. No guessing, no emotions, all facts.

Trucks also pay more for licenses and taxes because they tear up roads. If you build a road, and keep the trucks off it, the road will last for many many years. Run 18-wheelers over it, and the road breaks up much much faster, or you have to spend a lot more money to build a much much stronger road. That's again backed up by years and years of research, studies, and real science, not just what someone thought might cause more road wear and such. No guessing, all fact.

Too bad the AMA doesn't take the same approach. And too bad they don't publish real, complete, and useful data about payouts. Ie, of the payouts due to model accidents, how many actually were due to various types?

Ideally, you should normalize that based on actual popularity of various types of planes. You need a lot more research than has been done so far, since I don't think anyone can claim to know exactly how much more popular some classes of models are than others. You could guess based on units sold, but that doesn't necessarily reflect actualy usage (should be close though), you wouldn't cover scratch built, and there are so many small kit companies, it would be very hard to tell for sure. Maybe doing some real research by sending folks to various club fields over a period of time and actually logging what is flown.

In any event, with out some real numbers, any kind of graduated dues system is pure guess work, and punishes one group of pilots in favor of others. I think that's a bad idea. A very bad idea. And the absolutly wrong way to get all those "rouge" park flyer guys in to the AMA.
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:08 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Interesting response from someone who is already comfortable paying an additional $15 to fly combat.[sm=sleeping.gif]
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:22 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

I don't pay $15 to the RCCA so I can fly combat. You don't have to be an RCCA member to fly at any RCCA event. Any AMA member is welcome to any AMA sanctioned combat event. Never mind all the non-sanctioned combat that does on around the country. There's far more of that than AMA/RCCA combat events, that's for sure.

I pay the $15 for a handful of reasons that are good ones to me. GREAT BIG #1 ---> The size of the Special Interest Group and the attendance at Nats are the 2 ways the AMA judges how much interest in an activity. By being a member, and flying at Nats, I tell the AMA I exist and I fly combat.

Combat is actually flown all over the place, in all kinds of forms. Yet the AMA in the past, has done what it could to make it as hard as possible to do it. (the AMA is less antagonistic towards combat than it used to be, but I wouldn't call it "supportive"). And one justification is that there aren't many combat pilots out there. Well, there are TONS more guys out there who fly an occaional bit of combat, but have no interest in serious competition or joining the RCCA. That's fine. In fact, it's almost 100% exactly the same problem the AMA has with park flyers.

Reason #2 -- I'm an incredibly aggressive and competitive guy. I fly to win. And I like to see where I stack up head to head against the best in the country and in the national rankings. (I held on to the #1 slot in 2610 class scale combat for the majority of the year, 1 round at one contest in December by Lee pushed him ahead of me for the year). I drove from Maryland to sites including Texas, GA, IN (twice), Ohio, MI (twice) to go to competitions to fly against the best in the country and prove that I am one of the best in the country. That's me, that's my personality. And joining the RCCA makes sense for ME in that way. But most guys aren't like me, and that's cool.


Reason #3 -- the AMA rules, and rules changes come, in a large part, from the RCCA. So my voice is more heard by being in the RCCA and speaking my mind. Consdering that I spent a huge amount of time and money flying combat last year, that's important to me.

Reason #4 -- when you spend over $400/mo building combat planes and flying competitions (not counting hotel nights, road food, and gas), Really, $15/year is nothing. I burn more money in that in props in a single big contest. For me, it's a no brainer. But I'm not exactly "average" or "normal" either.
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:25 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Hoever, the really important point is that anyone can fly combat and be covered by the AMA as it is. No one pays extra to get their insurnace to cover them if they decide to chase a friend around a bit at their field.

That might just change under DB's plan. And that's going to be nearly unenforceable.

Would I pay a surcharge? I'd complain, but yeah, I'd pay. I have way too much fun flying combat to stop that easily.

But a surcharge would probibly kill combat off in many ways. The guys who aren't as "hard core" as I am wouldn't pay. If the AMA then forced CD's to check to make sure all contest participants paid up, it would kill off causal combat guys who fly a contest or two each year at their home field.
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

You have several points, Montague. Jon, when I retired and stopped driving to work, my car insurance didn't go down .01. Talk to your car insurance person, unless you are upset with him, too. You are drawing parallels of questionable validity, but it's your nickle. Jim
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:10 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

I'm sure there are other aspects besides mileage that the rate is based on and very rarely does insurance go down, it does however seem to go up very easily. PS, I'm not upset.... Just think that DB has it out for several aspects of the hobby based on what he's said and done.. I haven't spoken as elagantely as some of the other posts but i think that the parallel between dues/tiers and 18 wheelers has been shot all to..............
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Old 02-25-2005, 04:53 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

Also, if you have read his prior columns, you know he has taken positions against turbines, fomaies, profile planes, large planes, and about anything else involving new technology. In the current column, he again takes his shots at these groups.
don't forget the infamous article about lipos, or the popular no-tail-touch rule for 3d'ers...
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Old 02-25-2005, 05:56 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!


ORIGINAL: vicman
Even tho 18 wheelers are in the minority they pay more for licenses and insurance than the regular car on the road.
You analogy is nonsensical with respect to model aviation.

Over the road trucks can weigh up to 40 tons (80,000 pounds) and the interstates and major highways must be built to withstand the pounding given them by those trucks, so their registration/licensing fees are right on up there - to help pay for the markedly increased wear and tear on the roadways caused by the large trucks.

I am unaware of any damage my giant models do to the air or to the flying sites where I play, and AMA doesn't pay for the sites anyway.

The notion that large models and the builders/flyers thereof should pay a higher membership fee is sheer nonsense because there is no justification for slapping a penalty on those models or on their builders/flyers.

If anything a tiered system should charge the highest membership fee to the largest base of models in AMA, i.e. glow models up to 1.2 engine size. It is those models which, of all model classes in AMA, generate the vast majority of operations-based insurance claims.

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Old 02-25-2005, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!


ORIGINAL: sideshow

I don't think members who fly certain types of models would complain about paying more if it got us more freedoms, however.....we are getting less. That's not very appealing......

It's painfully obvious that most of the membership thinks like Richardfast....they voted for DB.
I agree with sideshow however i dont think parkflyers need the same liability ins as 30%
planes and turbines ect. i say lower the liabilty on some planes and raise it on others
you pay according to what you fly.

At the same time get rid of waviers and the 55 pound rule and some others rules as well
I also think the AMA insurance should be primary with $100.00 deductible for parkflyers
class planes and $500.00 for turbines and large planes.
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Old 02-26-2005, 01:05 AM
  #23  
Jim Branaum
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

IIRC the total insurance cost is about (in very generous round numbers) $25. Figure $10 per member to administer the program and add it to whatever numbers you come up with and see what the overall impact is. Compare your results against the current dues structure and justify this tiered rate stuff after working on REAL numbers instead of pipe dreams and wishes.

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Old 02-26-2005, 01:48 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

This may have been mentioned but I think AMA could offer the new younger pilots with small entry level planes a membership with reduced benefits. For example $ 100.000.00 of liability instead of millions for the present members. How about 6 issues of model aviation instead of 12 and what else for $ 19.95 a year! With upgrading possibilities. $ 14.94 maybe $ 9.95?

The highest risk in any endeavor is the new-bee because they never have experience. Why should we risk our insurance at our present coverage limits by letting in new high risk people. Limit our exposure to their crashes and accidents with lower levels of coverage for them.

Things are a changing, what we have now is working fairly well. We will never get all the people who by toy planes, and thinking we will is dreaming. Getting just a few with our marketing skills will be a daunting task in itself.
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Old 02-26-2005, 01:56 AM
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Default RE: Dave Brown is right on!

I think the rc hobby has moved past the point that everybody fits
the same mold . we see that with waivers and the 55lb pound rule
20yrs ago no one thought of either. also haveing a bunch of rules
that cant be properly enforce or being able to prove someones
plane caused damage because it was over 55lbs let those who
may need it pay for more liability
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