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The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

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The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

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Old 03-01-2005, 12:48 PM
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Default The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

January 26, 2004

Presidents "State of the Union" address to the EC on the start of a new term of office

As I embark on another term as President, I look out at AMA, and see a healthy organization, lead by a dedicated group of elected volunteers, and managed by a hard working staff. I see an organization which has come a long ways since the days, in the 1960's when a number of people in the aeromodeling industry, ran a "dump the defecit" campaign, in order to keep the association afloat. AMA has grown into a financially stable, effective organization, dedicated to advancing the sport of model aviation. The facilities we have for our employees are first class, as is the Museum, and the flying site, which we maintain for the members. Our balance sheet is the envy of many organizations, and our standing within the international model aviation community, is at the very top. Our education, and heritage programs are doing a very good job of fulfilling our charitable premise, and the number of young people being exposed to model aviation, as a result of that work, is inspiring.

While the organization is very healthy, it faces a number of challenges, in the years ahead, including slowly shrinking membership, and constantly advancing technology, which will challenge our ability to keep pace. Technological advances are the lifeblood of our sport, and organization, yet they will challenge our rules, and structure. The organization needs to be prepared to meet those challenges. Safety should continue to be our number one priority, as the availability of, affordable insurance coverage is of paramount importance to the sport.

Among the challenges we face in the immediate future is one which is both a challenge, and an opportunity. Park flyers, as the new breed of "little" R/C model airplanes have become known, present an opportunity for AMA, and the sport, to grow to a size, unimaginable in the past. Creating programs to attract that group into the AMA "family", without undermining the core membership of AMA will be difficult, yet, it will be necessary if we are prosper in the future. Park fliers present a major opportunity to bring the sport of model aviation back into the more populated areas of this country, where it was common for youths to be permitted to fly control line 1/2 century ago. Melding the need for liability control, with the financial realities will be difficult, but is an obstacle we must overcome if we are to attract this new generation of aeromodeler. Efforts must be made to work with municipalities, to create safe, and acceptable places for these models to be flown. In the end, these modelers, if only as a result of the number of them, will have a profound effect on aeromodeling of all types, and we need to expend the effort to ensure that the effect they have, has a positive effect on aeromodeling, rather than a negative effect, which could transpire, if they do not act responcibily.

Facilities for the enjoyment of our sport are central to the activity, and the need to acquire, more flying sites, as well as to preserve the ones we have, must remain high on the list of priorities. Somehow, we must convince the membership that we cannot afford the luxury of having members who disagree with some policy adopted by a club, to control it's facility, going to the govt dept which controls the usage of that site, in an attempt to resolve their grievance. We must convince the members to address those concerns, internally, within the aeromodeling "family", in order to avoid, needlesly losing flying sites, over internal squables. Most importantly, we need to be responsive to the needs of the membership.

Diversity is considered a strength for any organization, and if this is true, then AMA should be the strongest organization on earth, as we are, certainly, diverse. The challenge we face is to unify those diverse interests into a single voice, which can speak for, and to, the issues we all face. As the sport grows, it becomes more, and more, diverse, particularly as technology, and economics, allow us to expand the boundaries of feasability, and popularity. At one time, not so long ago to some of us, the extremes of aeromodeling were, confined into a narrow group ...... 60's were "Big", 15's were "Small .......... a "light" model was 4-5 ounces, a "heavy" one was l01bs........ Speed records were set in the 140mph range, while sport models flew at 70...... Those extremes could be handled within a "one membership fits all" policy, and there was little need to consider any other policy. Technology has not only made it possible to fly a greater cross section of models, it has made flying models over a much wider spectrum, practical, and popular. Who would have thought, 25 years ago that models capable of 300MPH would become available to the common modeler? Who would have thought that an RC model, weighing, but a few ounces, would be available to the average modeler, and have enough thrust to hover on it's electric motor, and fly for nearly 1/2 hour. Who would have thought of 50 Ib models, with enough power to accelerate, vertically. These are common place models, today, and what the future will bring is exciting to ponder. I believe we have outgrown the idea of "one AMA Membership fits all", and it is time to consider a multi tiered membership structure in order to best serve the interests of all aeromodelers. Those flying at the high end of the envelope don't want any more limitation than necessary, while those in the rest of the sport don't want to carry the liability cost, in their dues. Those who need only invest $100 or less in their equipment, ready to fly, are not inclined to spend $58 to join the association. I believe a multi tiered system of membership is the only, logical, way to address these needs, at both ends. The challenge is in accomplishing this, without undermining our current base of membership.

I see AMA as a strong, organization, rich in heritage, and vibrant with some new, enthusiastic, people recently elected to join those leaders who have all been a part of bringing AMA to this point. Over the next few years, I expect to see a lot of changes in the AMA, not only among it's leadership, but in it's basic being. AMA must change, not as a reflection of it being out of step with the times we are in, but, rather, in response to changing times. I feel confident that the leadership of AMA now, and the leadership of AMA in the future, will continue to serve the sport of aeromodeling well.

To those new members of the Executive Council, I extend a welcome, your fresh idea's will bring a lot to the table, and to those members of the Executive Council, who have been here for a while, I thank you for your service to the aeromodeling community. Together, we are responsible for the future of AMA, and the sport of aeromodeling in the USA. We had better strap in, and get to work, as it's going to be a thrilling ride.

Dave Brown AMA President
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA


[ We had better strap in, and get to work, as it's going to be a thrilling ride.

Dave Brown AMA President

[/quote]
I think this pretty much sums it up....
Tommy
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

quote"not as a reflection of it being out of step with the times we are in" Oh no couldnt be that.
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:52 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Oh boy, It's going to be a LONG 3 years!
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:56 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Dave Brown

Who would have thought, 25 years ago that models capable of 300MPH would become available to the common modeler?
Which model that is available to the common modeler can go 300 mph? Which model has actually been clocked at 300?!

He's definitely trying to play the general membership against the sig's.....with cash.

Those flying at the high end of the envelope don't want any more limitation than necessary, while those in the rest of the sport don't want to carry the liability cost, in their dues.
Divide and conquer.......

Edit: To correct the ownership of the first quotes.....sorry JR.
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:59 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA


I feel confident that the leadership of AMA now, and the leadership of AMA in the future, will continue to serve the sport of aeromodeling well.
Oh boy .. he sure has his blinders on.
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:37 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

sideshow

Please be more judicious in your use of quotes. There is nothing in the post that should be attributed to me. Thanks

JR
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:14 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

I agree, there are no commonly available 300 mph models that I know of. I thaink that statement is gratuitous.


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Old 03-01-2005, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

If this is the kind of data being presented to the insurers, there is no wonder they are breathing down our necks...
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

I have to agree. When I talk to the insurance people, they never bring up this technology problem. I have sat through hours of briefings from these insurance guys and they always talk about props and safe field operations, stuff like that.

It seems to me we have limits right now...200 mph for turbines, 55 pounds wet., no autonomous flight...I mean what are we missing, we are already safe from all of these things right?
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:21 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Some little idiot birdie mentioned that we probably need to outlaw props to be safe. Maybe spread spectrum radios are next because they MIGHT cause sterility or something.

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Old 03-01-2005, 05:24 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA


ORIGINAL: mr_matt
I have to agree. When I talk to the insurance people, they never bring up this technology problem. I have sat through hours of briefings from these insurance guys and they always talk about props and safe field operations, stuff like that.
It's not about what the insurers wanted though - its about what DB wants... and it seems that he doesn't mind what has to be misrepresented in order to achieve his goals.
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Only in California, probably. The State of California will, eventually, find that it causes cancer and birth defects.
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA


ORIGINAL: J_R

sideshow

Please be more judicious in your use of quotes. There is nothing in the post that should be attributed to me. Thanks

JR

My apologies....
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

it would be interesting to see his proposal price break downs and classes of membership
ect, also what rule changes he proposes.
i think some including myself would not really mind multi level coverage if it can be
afforable and fair also if it would ease some restrictions.
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Old 03-01-2005, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Those flying at the high end of the envelope don't want any more limitation than necessary, while those in the rest of the sport don't want to carry the liability cost, in their dues.
Hmmm, wonder who he was referring to as having a higher 'liability cost'? (high end of the envelope)


Get your emails and your speed dial ready to contact the EC and your District Reps!!!!!
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Old 03-01-2005, 09:05 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Actually, there might be a way to have tiered memberships without tearing the fabric of the existing membership apart.

Establish and entirely new class of membership for planes under x oz.
Buy a completely new and separate commercial policy that would supply $.5 or $1 million secondary liability coverage.
Deny membership in, or access to, all AMA chartered clubs and AMA sanctioned events
Include MA magazine, as apparently required by the IRS; that’s about $8
Include enough to cover the overhead of such memberships at HQ
No voting rights in AMA elections. No CD or LM status for members of this class. Can’t be an AMA officer.
Sell it for $19.95, $24.95, or whatever can be done and still make a dollar or two to go toward other AMA programs.
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Old 03-01-2005, 09:43 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

I believe that it could be done. It would be great to work in the park fliers as long as it doesn't penalize the rest of us.. Unfortunately I think that there will be a lot more involved than just that. As implied in the quote, I think he's referring to a restructuring of dues for the turbine and giant scale aircraft also, to the worse..... On top of all this, it's easy to implement new rules, agenda's, whatever when you don't have to police/enforce it. It will put an additional burden on the clubs!!
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:08 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Hi Jon

Dave Brown was not elected Dictator of the AMA and he knows that. He has to lead where the rest of the EC will follow. If he decides to be a mule, his efforts will lead to nothing.

Since the new class of membership would not be allowed access to clubs or sanctioned events, you could make their cards a different color. A color that would never have to change, since no one would be checking it as to whether it is for the current year. That makes it pretty easy on the clubs. Most frequency control schemes implimented by clubs use some sort of AMA card recognition. If the card is pink (or whatever) it would stand out like a sore thumb. I suppose a few clubs might have to re-think the frequency scheme they use.
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:50 PM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Well, I believe that he touched on most of the topics that we have been discussing here in this forum in recent weeks. Therefore I believe he does have his finger on the pulse, so to speak ,of the trends and concerns out in the field. One thing that I do think was off, diversity. I see white men at all of the fields. That is far from diversity as is defined in the work place. But I don't believe that is an issue that the AMA can address . I just don't think that he should claim diversity.

300 mph planes. I've seen 350 mph planes. They are common, or I should say they will be soon. It was all off the shelf stuff, nothing special at all. Just wad up 100 dollar bills and through them at a model as hard as you can.


I am very glad to here that DB has recognized the same hurdles that we have spoken of here on RCU. That is encouraging to me. But, lets face it, I haven't heard to many workable solutions to those problems . These challenges ahead are not the kind of challenges that are easy to get your hands around. It might take some "outside the box" thinking and some "outside the box" answers.
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Old 03-02-2005, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Has the park fliers ASKED to be included or are we assuming that they wish to be? In my opinion these guys who are spending $100 for a park flier (I know there are some that are much more) are not very likely to join the AMA when they see their activity as a low liability, go anywhere I want to fly, no restrictions activity. I thought that was the beauty of the park flier. Of course some of them have no regard for the fact that their radios may interfere with the $1000 model flying down the street. Until this guys want to come into the fold, no amount of tiered membership drive is going to bring them in. But I assure you it will drive others away.
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Old 03-02-2005, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA


ORIGINAL: DocYates

Has the park fliers ASKED to be included or are we assuming that they wish to be?
I believe DB simply thinks that the park fliers desperately want to:
[ul][*] spend their money on a flying site in Muncie that they (like most of us) don't want[*] spend their money on a piece of crap magazine[*] spend their money supporting the AMA's model museum[*] spend money supporting the AMA's Heritage / education programs[*] spend money supporting the flying-site assistance program that help secure flying sites that these guys don't care about anyway.[*] ... and so on & on...
[/ul]

All of these things have nothing to do with the type of model being flown, so need to be paid for equally by all tiers in DBs plan.

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Old 03-02-2005, 09:54 AM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

Gordon,
....And all this time I thought you guys in California had the wool pulled over your eyes. Good to see that I am not the only one that thinks big government has found its way into the AMA as well.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:42 AM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

The fact that those entering areomodeling with under $100 park flyers will probably not join the AMA does not mean that those that go on, or enter at a more expensive level will not join. The assumption that people that fly park flyers do not want or need insurance is a poor one. The fact that some do not see value in Model Aviation Magazine is an irrelevant one, since some do.

Not making an effort to embrace park flyers makes about as much sense as banning turbines. It’s shortsighted and foolish.

Those that believe every single thought that Dave Brown puts forth is wrong are more shortsighted than some of the positions he has taken.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:51 AM
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Default RE: The essence of Dave Brown and his vision for the AMA

I am not making the statement that we should not embrace them, but at the same time there is a certain mentality that do not want the hassle of a club, or an organization with a set of safety rules, or an extra $40-50 a year for membership. They do not want to progress past the small electrics, ie park fliers.
When they progress past them, and enter the sport flier category, in my opinion they are now in a higher level of liability and most will seek to find a club to fly with, or again will fly "outlaw" and do not care to be a member of the AMA.
It is about as shortsighted to make this assumption as it is to assume that if we offer a $10 per year membership for them that they will flock to our door en masse to join our ranks. If the organization is stable, as DB has stated, and things are good, why jump up and down and try to make a change that is not in the long run good for the AMA? [&:]Why not look elsewhere to find ways of cutting overhead?
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