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International Park Flyers Association

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Old 07-02-2007, 11:38 PM
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TheHobbyGuy
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Default International Park Flyers Association

I have started a thread here and on RC Groups to begin the formation of a Park Flyer SIG. If you are interested, please read on.

**EDIT - I was asked by RCU to move it all here and my original post in the Electric Forum was removed. It has had so much interest that we have decided to simply and have la central point where everyone can discuss and vote on the issues. I plan to post (hopefully) daily summaries here on RCU in this thread. I ask if you want to participate to pop over and post there. Hopefully in the near future we can have a permanent home for IFPA. Thanks for the support and lets get going.

The link is
[link=http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=115400]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=115400[/link]


Here is my original Post and Idea that was in the Electric Forum -

I am proposing the founding of an International Park Flyers Association (IPFA). I propose the IPFA to be formed and have the following goals

- To be the organized unified voice for Park Flyers around the world
- To formulate and maintain the definition of what a Park Flyer is.
- To have an agreed upon and unified Safety Code
- To be an AMA Special Interest Group for those who have AMA membership and to have an outreach and value to those who are not or will not be AMA members.
- To be a non-competitive organization focused on advancement of the hobby.
- To engage in activities that would promote and educate the public about Park Flyers.
- To be the voice of Park Flyers to the hobby manufacturers.
- To be more value than a “magazine and insurance”
- To use technology to benefit the members and the organization
- To assist in the attainment, creation, and the organization of outdoor and indoor flying locations for Park Flyers.

I am not suggesting the above is the entire list of goals but rather a start. There is much work to do to make this into an organization. Here are some ideas I have regarding how we can accomplish some of these goals. These are not all my ideas as I have been reading posts all over the web and sifting through comments and AMA meeting minutes. I have recycled some ideas and reworked some ideas and added my own ideas. I call on you to expand on these and help me put this into a working form.

Unified Voice for Park Flyers – The time is now. The AMA executive Committee has been talking about Park Flyers since 2001. I have read estimates that say there exist between 500,000 to 2.5 million Park Flyers. I do not know what is accurate, especially since it depends on how you count them. But I can say that Park Flyers are here. I can also say, even without scientific data, that the average age of the park flyer is probably half that of the rest of the Model Aviation population.

It’s our turn. We need a unified voice to the AMA, to the manufacturers, and to the public.


Definition of a Park Flyer – we should look towards a formula and not a set description.

For example, Americas Cup Yachts use a formula to determine if they fit the category. If they increase the sail then you have to change something else to fit in the definition. For Park Flyers it does not have to be complicated and we should still be able to summarize for general clarification. The result of the equation should be a number that is easy to understand.

For example weight times top speed divided by some factor such as the major material the aircraft is made of. The definition would be useful for manufactures and we could come up with classes based on the result. For the general public it would be helpful if it translated into “OK to fly on a baseball field for a beginner pilot.”

Also a 2 lb foamy is probably safer than a 2 lb fiberglass fuse. So maybe the material is a factor too. We should start simple then expand with experience.

We also need to define accepted power plants for the aircraft. We should state that the models do not utilize any combustion engine of any type, etc.

UAV type of aircraft should not be part of our charter as this is a different special interest and has its own special needs.

Helicopters could be part of the charter but would need their own definition. We would need some sort of formula here too.

Safety Code – I propose we adopt the AMA safety Code as is (http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/105.pdf)
AND
(mind the AND before you flame me) we work with the AMA to create a Park Flyer Supplemental Safety Code and include the definition of Park Flyer as IPFA members have defined it.

IFPA should apply and Become an AMA Special Interest Group - I can see this could be a hot topic for many, but I think there is a way to do this and provide a lot of value for non-AMA members as well. Hold on to your thoughts for a bit until you read below about the membership levels I suggest.

Perhaps the IFPA could actually be two organizations. One half could actually meet the AMA requirement for a SIG. The second organization could be for non-AMA members. Both organizations would be equal and have their own executive committee. The joint committee of both could be the overall ruling body. We need to think this out more.

The IPFA should be focused on non-competitive advancement of Park Flyers. Similar in thought to the IMAA charter. We are a group of SPORT flyers. Later if someone wants to create a Park Flyer Aerobatics SIG, we can support that – that time will come.

Being an AMA SIG is important. Like many other Park Flyers, I am an AMA member and I want to be sure the AMA hears the needs related to Park Flyers. We can not do this if we do not participate. In addition I would like to see AMA sanctioned Park Fly events at AMA chartered clubs and even at public venues.

In order to achieve this we would need to fulfill the needs of different groups, but I believe it can be done. Membership could be tiered or split something like this:

Membership ideas:

IPFA Member - HAS AMA – Has paid full dues to IPFA and receives all IPFA benefits, plus voting rights, right to run for office, and we can clarify a few other rights they are entitled too. Have full AMA rights as defined by the AMA (thought – give these guys a discount off the IPFA rate to encourage joining the AMA)

IPFA Associate – Non-AMA – Has Paid full dues to IPFA and receives full IPFA IPFA benefits, plus voting rights, right to run for office, and we can clarify a few other rights they are entitled too. Agrees to AMA & IPFA Safety code – but can not fly at AMA Chartered clubs or events.


We could limit executive council to 1/2 AMA and 1/2 non AMA so neither side has advantage or split into two groups with a joint council. Perhaps an International Park Flyers Association (AMA) and an International Park Flyers Organization (Non-AMA) could exist.

IPFA Enthusiast – NON AMA – Has paid minimal dues and does not have voting rights and is limited to access to services via web. This could be as easy to join as signing a pamphlet we require manufacturers to include in their products if they want to be IPFA certified. I remember the rockets have this; you buy your Estes rocket at Wal-Mart and in the package is a NAR Safety Code you can sign and agree to. Something similar just to ensure that new pilot has an understanding that there is support and a way to be safe.

Voice to the Public – At the Toledo Show last year I was so disappointed to see no young people – not even people just coming to see the cool planes. Only a few weeks earlier I was at RCX (mostly RC Cars) in California and it was packed with Kids, Teens, Dads, Moms. Are we missing the mark with our public outreach? I think so! Some AMA clubs do great job (WRAM comes to mind) but 99% are missing the mark.

While growing up I always wanted to fly, but had no one who would teach me. The local club was a good club but they were all adults and no one wanted to teach a kid. So I took up RC cars and boats. 4 years ago I picked up a park flyer and was amazed. I could fly it. I waited 30 years to finally find a way to get into the hobby. I am sure many of you relate. I am now an AMA member and fly everything from foamies to giant scale. I don’t care what anyone flies, as long as they fly because they enjoy it.

However, in my opinion Park Flying is the best way to educate, communicate, and most importantly, involve all generations and interest levels in our hobby. The IPFA needs to be a voice to the public and needs to educate those who may have prejudices toward park flyers.

People may go WOW at a 30% 3D ship – but it’s the $30 foamy that they but to give this hobby a shot.

Voice to the Park Flyer Manufacturers – We can work on safety and outreach programs designed to promote the hobby and we should look to the manufacturers to support us in return.

VALUE – “more than a magazine and insurance”

I have read this on so many posts…too many. And not just about the AMA. I have read this about other SIGs. Many people have a hard time defining what value some of the organizations in our hobby are providing. At the core of the IFPA should be a desire to be more than this, with the understanding that you can not please everyone. We should have a clear value proposition.

Technology - I believe we can deliver a lot of the value through the use of technology and innovation. Here are some ideas I have of what we can offer our members. Not all are fully baked but here they are.

Magazine – NOT! No magazine in physical form. Instead all published communication should take advantage of web technologies and e-zines, RSS, and other technologies would be fine. This would save money and trees and be more dynamic. Optional for members.

Online video library - serious content for members. How to, events, etc. We do not have to do these ourselves we could partner with those who do and offer as a tier of the membership. Optional for members.

Billing – automated, timely, and online.

Membership – all aspects of membership handled online.

Events – event database and notifications online.

Flying field database. We should keep an ongoing database of current AMA Charted fields and their GPS coordinates. We can then merge that with a database of IPFA flying locations (parks, private land, and open spaces) and what the activity and expectations of the field are. Think of Hotels.com meets match.com for flying sites. Looking for field with paved or hard packed runway with pilots who like warbirds – search the database. Overlay this with Google Maps or earth and it becomes a great tool. Members would be able to search both and locate other park flyers, park flyers with certain interests, and even AMA clubs. This could solve a safety issue as we ensure flying sites are not too close.

Rating System - We could use an EBay style of feedback on flying sites, clubs, and members. We have to think about this a little but it could work – as long as we make it so people can’t flame each other. Maybe just a star rating. See a field with only 1 star and it has 1000 votes – avoid it as it may be a swamp.

A Virtual Frequency board could be created by using the database to help locate who is currently flying on what frequency. Members could send a text message that hits the website with their id, frequency, and location. You then have checked that frequency out for a 10 mile radius. As spread spectrum become more prevalent this would not be an issue but this idea could also be used to find other people who are flying if you decided you just don’t want to fly alone today. This could become a great tool to prove how popular a location is when the town comes in and says no one uses this land so we are going to make it a such and such.

Call To Action

There are so many ideas in my head and I will post them as I think about them some more. I look for all of you to jump in and participate.

To be straight forward – if you are not interested – move on. I do not care! If you do not like Park Flyers, then don’t comment. I am not opening this up as a debate on the merits of park flyers vs glow pilots. On the flip side, this is not an AMA bashing session.

I am looking for people who want to advance Park Flyers as a segment of our hobby and make a positive difference for all of us.

I will be posting this on other sites too and getting the troops rallied. We then need to have a central meeting spot (online) to get down to the nitty gritty. My goal is that by Toledo 2008 the International Park Flyers Association becomes a reality. And if they won’t have us, we will have our own show. 

So with that said and my foot in my mouth, lets Git-R-done!
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:45 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Great Work Hobby Guy. I'm not a Park Flier, however I have all respect for anything that flies. You are to be commended for your LEADERSHIP and making things happen.

Best of luck to you. Keep it going.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:45 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Thank You! The encouragement is welcome and appreciated!!
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:43 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

I posted this under your other thread:

Just FYI, here is part of what the AMA looks for in recognizing a SIG:

CRITERIA FOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS

AMA recognized Special Interest Groups shall:

1. Require continuing membership in AMA for each of its US resident members who fly. It is
the policy of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, Inc. that membership be available without
regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, age or disability.

Here is the entire document:

http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/158.pdf


It will be interesting to see if your dual membership track idea works for the AMA.
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:17 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Good for you! Formation of a parkflier SIG is long overdue. The AMA has no clue as to what the AMA can do to make life better for parkfliers. A parkflier SIG is, I think, the best (only?)mechanism to inform the AMA.
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:30 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association


ORIGINAL: Silent-AV8R

I posted this under your other thread:

Just FYI, here is part of what the AMA looks for in recognizing a SIG:

CRITERIA FOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS

AMA recognized Special Interest Groups shall:

1. Require continuing membership in AMA for each of its US resident members who fly. It is
the policy of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, Inc. that membership be available without
regard to race, color, creed, national origin, gender, age or disability.

Here is the entire document:

http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/158.pdf


It will be interesting to see if your dual membership track idea works for the AMA.
To be a SIG, all flying members must be AMA members. The IMAA tried the dual membership track and had to give it up in order to retain their SIG status.
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Old 07-03-2007, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Hey what's happening here? I click on Hobby Guy's link and get a "Access denied" "Bad thread holding xxx"


Something going on because he did something like multiple posting or whatever??? [&o]

Edited to add: IIRC Hobby Guy offered the possibility of an AMA SIG and a non AMA association. Sometimes things have to be modified as progress increases. At least the guy is going OUT beyond the AMA fences to try to get something accomplished without waiting for AMA to do it for him.

I applaud his efforts. >>>>Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. Albert Einstein <<<<






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Old 07-03-2007, 02:37 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Hi all. RCU killed the other thread and marked as SPAM because I had a thread here that pointed there. So here is what we will do. Keep this as the tread and I am going to repost my original message. The guys on RCGRoups have suggested that we centralize somewhere - so I am actually moving the main discussion to my website until we can get a permeneant home. Also keeping up with two threads (RCU and RCGROUSP) would duplicate a lot of effort.

What I hope to do is post daily summaries here and on RCG so those who are not in the mix of things can still know we are working on it.

Here is the Link -

OK - Edit one more time, We have moved to keep it even more central. I have opened threads in my blog on RCGroups Here is the link

[link=http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=115400]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=115400[/link]
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:35 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association


[/quote]

To be a SIG, all flying members must be AMA members. The IMAA tried the dual membership track and had to give it up in order to retain their SIG status.

[/quote]

Thats why I hope through all these dialogs we can come up with something better. If we have to have 2 seperate orgs altogether it would be harder to manage. More by-laws to ensure things work, etc. But I think before we get that far out something will come out of all this to help solve the issue. Perhaps this is such a change to our hobby that a compromise is needed.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:56 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Update - I have proposed a terminology change. Currently the term "Park Flyer" is used to described the people who fly and the model aircraft. I have suggested that the Term Park Pilot be used to describe the person and Park Flyer be used for the model.

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Old 07-06-2007, 07:54 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Hobby Guy,
Go for it!!!!!!!
It's time the electric side got their due.

I posted this over on Dave M's forum on RCG.
I got my latest issue of the AMA mag yesterday.
Starting to notice a trend developing.
DB, and another of the contributors both had editorials about electric flight and how the rest of the AMA/Clubs needs to accept them. The second editorial was about an electric indoor fly in. The author stated that they folks there didn't care if it was a cheapy foamy from Radio Shack or a high dollar bird, they just wanted to have fun. And that if this could happen inside why can't it happen outside.

Is the tide starting to turn? Finally? Or is it just an election ploy trying to get electric votes?

Sorry to get slightly off the subject, but I agree that a SIG may be what we need to finally get someone to pay attention.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Thanks for the support!

I have not received my Mag yet - looking forward too it though.

Thats what this is all about - fun! know there are many who take this "serious" but I hope they take it a "serious fun". At my club we fly everything, foamies, park jets, foamy jets, electrics, glow, helis, and we even had members by dozens of the Air Hog Aero Ace planes - its all about having fun!

Lets keep the momentum - lets keep this going.


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Old 07-06-2007, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

I support this idea. Been over 6 years that I've been watching the AMA sit idly around and do little for Park Pilots and Park Flyers. I'm a little worried about becoming a "little brother" to the AMA as a SIG, but as long as our issues and needs are heard and attended to I'll support this.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

I definitely support this and feel, if successful, could add much more utility to the AMA as a whole.!!
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:56 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

The gains gotten by both the AMA and the Clubs could be tremendous. New blood, the ever popular additional influx of cash, the knowledge base we've aquired, it goes on and on.
Ditto us, we learn from the folks who help start all of this. We could develop so much more in our knowledge. And we'd all make a lot of new friends.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:49 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Glacier Girl,
I received my Model Aviation magazine on Saturday and I belive this is for real. I think we are in the right place at the right time. Bob Hunt said it best, this is a return to the roots of Aeromodeling. FF, CL, and RC all started out in the front yards and parks across this country. Now we have the ability to bring it back.



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Old 07-20-2007, 08:45 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Hi all,
I just wanted to post an update that much is going on "off the boards" to move the SIG forward. The response has been great and people are seriously coming to support the cause. I have heard from many AMA and non-AMA members who have ideas, concerns, solutions, and who want to see this happen. keep the good stuff coming.
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Old 07-22-2007, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

I am with you 100%. I have been park flying for some time and get all kinds of folks asking about something like this. I have been an ama member since 1992 and would like to see this done. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. I have wanted something like this for a long time. Kevin
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Kevin,
Thanks! I know you feel! Most of the conversation is happening over at rcgroups, in my blog section - please join in. I would love to hear more of what is needed.

[link=http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=708233]http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=708233[/link]

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Old 07-27-2007, 08:44 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Yeah, I'd join
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:25 AM
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Cool! Welcome!
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:30 AM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

I don't think Dave Brown has a firm grasp at reality. Most park flyer's sold at place's like Wal-mart and Radio Shacks do not express the need for coverage of any type, nor will they ever.
I have never seen anyone shunned from the flying field because they have one of these type's of airplanes. In one of his columns he make's this remark. As if he is coming across as the park flyer savior, when in fact he is stagnating the AMA. AMA membership has dropped more under his administration than at any time before. The bottom line is even if you fly park flyer's, you still need to know how to fly. And if you never have flown before and you get one of these "anyone can fly this plane out of the box" airplanes, you will most likely crash it any way.
Most new people that buy these planes have no clue about clubs and the AMA. Of course there is not a lot of info available to the overall public about clubs and the AMA. The AMA spends millions of dollars advertising in it's perceived target market but not realizing the true target market. If they spent have as much on getting info out to the general public and flight instruction, the membership number's just might go up. I wonder how many Airhogs have been sold? Out of all those sold how many have learned about the AMA thru this? How many have actually learned to fly? How many said to themselves gee I am glad I didn't spend $300.00 on that nitro plane?
Happy landings,
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:21 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

TheHobbyGuy, Modeling is on an unstoppable roll! In addition to other positive things happening in modeling, Bobby Hunt's Sep. '07 article in MA nails the key target of CHARACTER!

Past successful efforts to control modeling with "negativism" are not going to be allowed in the future. A neat thing about the key people at MODEL AVIATION magazine is that they know about the positive as well as the negative influences that influence modeling. They are not about to let the negative influences win! There is a place in the now vast market place of ideas for modeling and modeling progress is inevitable.

So, modeling enthusiasts now clearly have a choice. Be positive and supportive of modeling ideas or succumb to the creativity destroying esoteric tyranny of a narrow minded chosen few!

In the words of one of the most famous leaders in world history, "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, . . ."

madwebtvscientist [sm=lol.gif][sm=cry_smile.gif]

______________________________________________

The key to victory for modeling is cultural relevancy. Esoteric, "better felt than told modeling" is obsolete, truth is triumphing - there is no escape.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:40 PM
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Just out of curiosity I stopped and asked the guys who fly their 14 oz foamies every night, [800 feet due West of the run way at the Arlington airport] about this venture and all they did was shrug. Then I meandered over to the local high school where the only other electric park flyer within spitting distance is known to hang out [about 1/4 mile from ERMA, an AMA field] and he gave me the same routine, except he also rolled his eyeballs at me.
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:04 AM
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DelRay
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Default RE: International Park Flyers Association

Now, this is just a wild guess on my part, by from what you've said, I think the secret lies either in the "shrug" or the "rolling of the eyeballs", I can't quite decide which one it is.
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