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Assistance needed for flying site

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Old 01-30-2007, 03:14 PM
  #1  
KingCrash
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Default Assistance needed for flying site

You know what they say, "Put up or shut up". Well, I'm putting up and could use some help getting information together.

The Centerville-Washington Township parks department has a rule against operating R/C craft without permission of the director. That being said, they have a 101.1 acre park they are just starting to develop and a multitude of smaller parks and I'd like to get them to allow electrics and sailplanes to use these parks in designated areas. (at this time there aren't any designated areas)

What I've already done:
1. RESEARCH
2. Contacted the Parks Department to ask with whom I'd need to speak about the matter
3. Contacted AMA for anything they can dig up to assist (the old be prepared thing)
4. RESEARCH

I know glow/gas is not in the cards and since I'm not starting up a club, just trying to get a place for park flyers to fly, the club charter information isn't exactly helpful.

Has anybody else successfully petitioned their parks department for a similar goal?

Anyone near Centerville, OH want to jump in and help?

Any information, thoughts, etc. is welcomed. I feel this may be a very hard sell and I ain't no salesman

Greg S
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:37 PM
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Joe Beshar
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Please call me at 201-261-1281 and I will try to assist you. Joe Beshar AMA Flying Site coordinator
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:23 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Greg-

Well, you got a reply from THE MAN. Best wishes on successfully getting the parks director on-board with with your cause.

Abel
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:11 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Greg, the Cincinnati Soaring Society has been working with the Mason Parks Dept. on flying at VOA Park. They fly contest there and a club of electric guys fly there too, which many are sailplaners too.

Marc Gellart
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:45 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Thanks for the well wishes, abel.

I knew the Dayton Area Thermal Soarers had use of a park in Beaver Creek and have that as a talking point, but I didn't know CSS used the park's land. Thanks, Marc!

....Giving Joe a call.

Greg S
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:58 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Thank you Joe!
As soon as I receive my next response from the parks department, I'll be able to ask for more specific information.

With any luck, I'll be posting progress on getting use of the local parks!

Greg S
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Old 01-30-2007, 09:48 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Greg, also, DARTS uses the Twin Towers Park for their stuff, been there forever.

Marc
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:51 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

I've been talking with the DARTS and will be heading to their next club meeting - Great group of people from what I've seen so far.

Actually that's what got me started on this goal. Every club in the area is at least 30 minutes away from me as the crow flies (read 40+ minutes in traffic.) Not a huge deal, except I have 4 parks of 5+ acres within a mile of my house. When i first started purchasing planes, all I knew was 1 flying site that, while the people are nice, isn't my cup of tea. The hobby shop 2 miles away didn't know any place to fly except there (to their credit, the manager has told me she just hasn't found a good plane person - they're mostly cars). I found the DARTS after I joined AMA and really like what I've seen so far. However, I just keep thinking about how nice it'd be to catch that last 20 minutes of good sun basically in my back yard, as well as all the others who could be out there with me from the LHS.

Greg S
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:35 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

In the Sacramento Area, several of our club members arranged for a local city to sell annual permits for $ 5.00 to allow small electrics to
fly in two of their parks. We suggested they only allow AMA members to participate for insurance purposes. Our primary selling point was the reality of "park fliers" being flown "unsupervised" by somewhat inexperienced pilots in every available park. By allowing two specific sites and requiring AMA membership, the city reduced its exposure to accident claims since there are now two semi-organized flying sites instead of dozens of unorganized locations, the pilots are covered by AMA insurance, plus the city gets to sell $ 5.00 annual permits...everyone wins.

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Old 02-06-2007, 02:50 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Well, here's where it stands.........

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Stephenson,

The Park Board approved revisions to the Park Rules and
Regulations, including the section on remote-controlled toys. Here is the
new rule:

"Remote-Controlled Toys and Models Rockets
No person shall operate any type of combustible engine powered model
airplane, rocket, boat, ship, car or truck within any area of a park without
the written permission of the Director. The use of battery powered radio
controlled models is permitted only when their use does not compromise the
safety of or interfere with activities of other visitors to the park."

We no longer require a permit for battery powered models, but ask that you
exercise caution when using it in the park so that it does not compromise
the safety of other park users.

I recommend you stay in the larger community parks for this type of
activity, as there is more space available. Those parks include: Activity
Center Park, Oak Creek South Park, Yankee Park, Iron Horse Park, Forest
Field Park, Schoolhouse Park and Oak Grove Park. All parks are open daylight
hours, 365 days/year.

Thank you for your interest.

Carol Kennard, CPRP
Director
Centerville-Washington Park District
221 N. Main Street
Centerville, OH 45459-4617
(937) 433-5155
(937) 433-6564 fax
ckennard@cwpd.org
www.cwpd.org
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
And my follow-up.

Mrs. Kennard,

Thank you for your reply regarding the new R/C rules revision for the parks. I cannot fully express my joy over the new usage guidelines. As always, my children and I will use the park system with care and respect for nature and other park patrons.

Sincerely,
Greg Stephenson



Thanks Everyone. Centerville Parks are R/C friendly
I cannot take full credit for this. Seems it was up for discussion and I was just the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Greg S

{edited to add my follow up e-mail}
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:41 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Most would be amazing surprised that most parks respond in just the same way, it's just a matter of asking the right way which you obviously did.

Good job, but I suggest you try to create some kind of small club to help keep it's existence. Wonder if that park knows that we now have 55 lb planes which are battery powered, prolly not. You don't want them to find out the hard way.

Good stuff ...
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:05 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site


ORIGINAL: STLPilot

Most would be amazing surprised that most parks respond in just the same way, it's just a matter of asking the right way which you obviously did.

Good job, but I suggest you try to create some kind of small club to help keep it's existence. Wonder if that park knows that we now have 55 lb planes which are battery powered, prolly not. You don't want them to find out the hard way.

Good stuff ...
No mention of adapting the AMA codes. Reference "does not compromise the safety of or interfere with activities of other visitors to the park", so there is no weight limit. No speed limit either. What is expressed is a big disconnect between the potential injuries of a gas/fuel powered aircraft and an electrically powered aircraft of the same size. It may also be a noise issue too.

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Old 02-06-2007, 11:07 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site


ORIGINAL: Red Baron Mike

In the Sacramento Area, several of our club members arranged for a local city to sell annual permits for $ 5.00 to allow small electrics to
fly in two of their parks. We suggested they only allow AMA members to participate for insurance purposes. Our primary selling point was the reality of "park fliers" being flown "unsupervised" by somewhat inexperienced pilots in every available park. By allowing two specific sites and requiring AMA membership, the city reduced its exposure to accident claims since there are now two semi-organized flying sites instead of dozens of unorganized locations, the pilots are covered by AMA insurance, plus the city gets to sell $ 5.00 annual permits...everyone wins.
So one has to join a private organization to use a public park.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site


ORIGINAL: KingCrash

Well, here's where it stands.........

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Stephenson,

The Park Board approved revisions to the Park Rules and
Regulations, including the section on remote-controlled toys. Here is the
new rule:

"Remote-Controlled Toys and Models Rockets
No person shall operate any type of combustible engine powered model
airplane, rocket, boat, ship, car or truck within any area of a park without
the written permission of the Director. The use of battery powered radio
controlled models is permitted only when their use does not compromise the
safety of or interfere with activities of other visitors to the park."

We no longer require a permit for battery powered models, but ask that you
exercise caution when using it in the park so that it does not compromise
the safety of other park users.

I recommend you stay in the larger community parks for this type of
activity, as there is more space available. Those parks include: Activity
Center Park, Oak Creek South Park, Yankee Park, Iron Horse Park, Forest
Field Park, Schoolhouse Park and Oak Grove Park. All parks are open daylight
hours, 365 days/year.

Thank you for your interest.

Carol Kennard, CPRP
Director
Centerville-Washington Park District
221 N. Main Street
Centerville, OH 45459-4617
(937) 433-5155
(937) 433-6564 fax
ckennard@cwpd.org
www.cwpd.org
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
And my follow-up.

Mrs. Kennard,

Thank you for your reply regarding the new R/C rules revision for the parks. I cannot fully express my joy over the new usage guidelines. As always, my children and I will use the park system with care and respect for nature and other park patrons.

Sincerely,
Greg Stephenson



Thanks Everyone. Centerville Parks are R/C friendly
I cannot take full credit for this. Seems it was up for discussion and I was just the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Greg S

{edited to add my follow up e-mail}
Greg

I applaud you for your efforts. Thanks for promoting our hobby without using the scare tactics many others often use that have the opposite effect in the end game. You are a great asset to our hobby.



Thanks


BTW
"Has anybody else successfully petitioned their parks department for a similar goal?"

Yes.

Our club, The Texas Unlimited Fun Flyers ( http://www.tuffclub.net/ ), was recently successful while working with the city to get park flyers allowed, AMA or not, to fly in one of the city's largest parks, North Side Park. We were also successful in getting the city to allow any R/C plane (electric, glow and gas) to fly there via a Parks Department issued permit. Previously there was a city wide ban, due to ordinance, leaving non AMA park flyers only one option…Join the AMA and then join a old club that wasn’t very friendly to new model enthusiasts, especially electric park flyers. Matter of fact the old club members still complain that the city allows Park Flyers now…go figure. [:'(]

We have made great strides in repairing damage done in our area by less than model aviation friendly types here. AMA membership is now growing, Our club is growing at a rate that is unprecedented, there have been new club start ups and the hobby is growing at a until now unseen rate since a handful of real model aviation enthusiasts decided to get busy and promote the hobby selflessly.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:16 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site


ORIGINAL: STLPilot

Most would be amazing surprised that most parks respond in just the same way, it's just a matter of asking the right way which you obviously did.

Good job, but I suggest you try to create some kind of small club to help keep it's existence. Wonder if that park knows that we now have 55 lb planes which are battery powered, prolly not. You don't want them to find out the hard way.

Good stuff ...
[:'(][:'(][:'(][:'(][:'(] I hope he does not listen to your goofy input.


Leave club affiliation out if possible. Most clubs sooner or later will practice self preservation at the expense of the freedom of others!
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:37 AM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

ORIGINAL: SoCal GliderGuide

So one has to join a private organization to use a public park.
In fact there is ample precedent for this around the country. While some public agencies do not make this a requirement, many others do. For instance to fly the slope at Torrey Pines you must belong to either the Torrey Pines Gulls or the scale club that flies there. They both are AMA clubs and therefore require AMA membership. To get an annual or day pass from the PRIVATE party that has the concession for the slope you must prove your membership in both the local club and the AMA AND pay a fee to the private party!!.

Whittier Narrows now requires proof of liability insurance and prefers AMA. They stop short of requiring it however. San Bernardino county parks dept. requires AMA to fly at Prado under their agreement with the PVMAC.

So there are plenty of examples around. Many public agencies look at AMA from the standpoint that they are a national organization and also a non-profit group. Seems to change their attitude towards requiring membership.

The subject of this thread however also shows that it is possible to get a positive result if the right approach is used. Sadly around SOCAL most Cities and County laws still prohibit flying in any park except as authorized by the Park Department or City (Fairview Park, Sepulveda Basin, Prado, El Dorado Park, and Whittier Narrows for example). Hopefully nobody will mess it up for them. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies!!

Example - there is a huge open field near my house. It has become a place for many people to gather to fly electrics and I fly thermal planes there. The security people from the land owner gives us a wink and a nod and only ask that we not make a mess and not cause any problems for them. All nice and cozy and working nicely.

Then some numb-skull who flies helicopters decided to come out and frame up and pour a concrete pad for a helipad. About 4 feet square. Security company and landowner now unhappy and thinking of fencing off the entire site. So the action of one selfish pilot may negatively impact an entire group who have been using the site without incident.
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:17 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

Congratulations KingCrash. Man, you 'done did GOOOOD!' 'Nuff said.

However saying more, perhaps YOU can relate your Labor and Results to AMA. They could use the advice.
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:02 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site


ORIGINAL: SoCal GliderGuider
What is expressed is a big disconnect between the potential injuries of a gas/fuel powered aircraft and an electrically powered aircraft of the same size. It may also be a noise issue too.
As I understand things, it is more a noise issue than anything else.


Littlecrankshaf,
Thanks
As for my thoughts, the park system is public use. It should stay that way.


Phaedrus-MMVI,
Dayton parks have a similar requirement for their designated flying site.
I hope that by sharing my experience, others can benefit.

Hossfly,
Thanks
Ilona at AMA already has a thank you e-mail.
Joe Gets a big THANKS! right here in public!


Greg S
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:15 PM
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ORIGINAL: Phaedrus-MMVI

In fact there is ample precedent for this around the country. While some public agencies do not make this a requirement, many others do. For instance to fly the slope at Torrey Pines you must belong to either the Torrey Pines Gulls or the scale club that flies there. They both are AMA clubs and therefore require AMA membership. To get an annual or day pass from the PRIVATE party that has the concession for the slope you must prove your membership in both the local club and the AMA AND pay a fee to the private party!!.
As for the 'precedent' set at Torrey Pines, the requirement for club/AMA membership is a direct result of AMA (HQ people, including Maroney) politicking with the city council. Maroney even came with a novel interpretation of the AMA Safety Code to counter the argument of the 'private party' (the hang glider concessionaire) to the effect that model pilots were in violation of it - - that's why the SC no longer specifies a straight flight line.
For many years TP was open to the public. Even at that, the use agreement negotiated with the city by the TP Gulls included permit terms so draconian that no other club or individual has obtained one in the decades since. Flying an unpowered sailplane model from/over any city property without the unobtainable permit is a misdemeanor crime. It can get you jail time and thousands in legal costs and fines.
My thoughts echo those of LCS regarding how Greg went about it "I applaud you for your efforts. Thanks for promoting our hobby without using the scare tactics many others often use that have the opposite effect in the end game."
As for AMA and the TPG, they provide a perfect counterpoint - an object lesson in how not to do it responsibly. By no stretch can that example be regarded as promoting model aviation.

Abel
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:51 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site


ORIGINAL: littlecrankshaf


ORIGINAL: STLPilot

Most would be amazing surprised that most parks respond in just the same way, it's just a matter of asking the right way which you obviously did.

Good job, but I suggest you try to create some kind of small club to help keep it's existence. Wonder if that park knows that we now have 55 lb planes which are battery powered, prolly not. You don't want them to find out the hard way.

Good stuff ...
[:'(][:'(][:'(][:'(][:'(] I hope he does not listen to your goofy input.


Leave club affiliation out if possible. Most clubs sooner or later will practice self preservation at the expense of the freedom of others!
Goofy input in the AMA forums??? Nobody said it has to be AMA but it could be a smart idea to establish some kind of order and designated flying sites in the park sooner then later. But if the OP is not looking for a bipartisan opinion, then he can do whatever he wants. My goofy input is only based on practical experience.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

ORIGINAL: abel_pranger

As for the 'precedent' set at Torrey Pines, the requirement for club/AMA membership is a direct result of AMA (HQ people, including Maroney) politicking with the city council.

As 15 year member of TPG and long time slope flyer at Torrey I probably do not really understand the situation very well. Thanks for helping set me straight.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:54 PM
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ORIGINAL: Phaedrus-MMVI

ORIGINAL: abel_pranger

As for the 'precedent' set at Torrey Pines, the requirement for club/AMA membership is a direct result of AMA (HQ people, including Maroney) politicking with the city council.

As 15 year member of TPG and long time slope flyer at Torrey I probably do not really understand the situation very well. Thanks for helping set me straight.
Hard to imagine how you missed it as a veteran club member and AMA maven. [link=http://groups.google.com/group/rec.models.rc.air/browse_thread/thread/c05f1b2f37d3aa7e/dd93c34e77f94930?lnk=st&q=torrey+pines+group%3Arec.models.rc.air&rnum=4#dd93c34e77f94930]Here[/link]
is one of the many Usenet group rec.models.rc.air threads regarding the topic at the time the flap with the hang glider concessionaire occurred.

Abel
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:01 PM
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ORIGINAL: STLPilot


Goofy input in the AMA forums??? Nobody said it has to be AMA but it could be a smart idea to establish some kind of order and designated flying sites in the park sooner then later. But if the OP is not looking for a bipartisan opinion, then he can do whatever he wants. My goofy input is only based on practical experience.
STLPilot,
I have not ruled out starting up some type of loose organization of park flyers. The truth of the matter is this information is not common knowledge as of yet. (park allowing RC) That aside, I will certainly be looking for someone in the area who'd like to get together and fly close to home. Those who ask me what my sons and I are doing will be given an opportunity to learn about the hobby and decide for themselves what they'd like to do.

(Hope that makes sense)

Long story short, I'm open to all ideas. It's much easier to pick the tastiest fruit from a full basket than it is from an empty one.

Greg S
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:08 PM
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Default RE: Assistance needed for flying site

The requirement for AMA insurance predates the flap you are quoting by a long time. AMA was required by the previous vendor before Dave Jebb took over. Once he did he made it his mission in life to run the long time RC users out of Torrey. AMA was a requirement as far back as 1991 when I first moved to SOCAL. You are quoting a situation that occurred in 2002.

None of this changes the point I was making that it is not an unknown or uncommon situation for public agencies to require AMA membership.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:42 PM
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ORIGINAL: Phaedrus-MMVI

The requirement for AMA insurance predates the flap you are quoting by a long time. AMA was required by the previous vendor before Dave Jebb took over. Once he did he made it his mission in life to run the long time RC users out of Torrey. AMA was a requirement as far back as 1991 when I first moved to SOCAL. You are quoting a situation that occurred in 2002.

None of this changes the point I was making that it is not an unknown or uncommon situation for public agencies to require AMA membership.
The requirement for insurance was in form and fit copied from the AMA insurance provisions in effect at the time, but did not mention AMA specifically as the source. This is a common ruse for working around the aversion of public entities to requiring insurance available only from sole-source private enterprises.
Yes, I am referring to a situation that occurred in 2002. I am amazed that your selective memory erased that episode, considering how close to the situation you were as a member of the club involved.
The bottom line line is, TP was once accessible to the public as it should be, being publicly owned property and furthermore a slope soaring site of of national importance. Now it is the exclusive domain of the TPG and AMA, and I think that is sad. YMMV.

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