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Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

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Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

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Old 07-27-2007, 09:31 PM
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budpro
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Default Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

A first-time visitor to this AMA Discussion Forum to some degree is similar to dropping in on a new flying field. What is found written here could leave a lasting impression whether a return trip is worth it. An older thread, “Why the AMA is not growing…” started (12/30/2004) continues today with 15,000+ hits and 370+ replies; A recent reply reads:

Quote, by flycfii:
"Exactly. The club flyers that I have met (with a few exceptions) have been rude, or egotistical, or have exhibited any number of behaviors that say "I'm better than you; you don't belong". I have finally come to the conclusion that their hobby is all they have left in life, and they will not willingly let some new guy show up and make it look easy.

When I had to lay off of full-scale flying, I decided to take up RC. Bought a NexStar package and field equipment, got AMA, and headed to the local field. Right away it was clear that there was an Inside Group, and they were the self-proclaimed Rules Enforcers. Except they seemed to be exempt from the same rules- flying over the pits, taxiiing to and from the pits, things like that. But oh-so-quick to point out the mistakes of others.

I left. Got on the Simulator and practiced. Returned a few weeks later and soloed. To hell with those guys, I don't need 'em I have since progressed to more advanced flying and kit building. Thankfully I fly on public land that has been designated for RC aircraft! I don't need anybody's permission to be there.

Conclusion- RC Airplane Clubs are havens for has-beens and retired dreamers who never really achieved their dreams. Mean-spirited old farts who would rather see someone fail than to step up and help the hobby. And you all wonder why the young ones avoid you like the plague!!"
This quote reflects what ONE person found, and it may have hit close to home for some, but I can’t agreed this attitude is at all widespread in the over 2500 chartered clubs. I feel we all have the responsibility to promote the sport/hobby on this AMA forum, just like the support found on the other forums here at RCU. We also have a free choice to support AMA here, and I am one of those that will try to do just that.

Hopefully a newcomer at any flying field would always find a warm welcome, and it should also be felt, and happen here. We now debate high club dues, initiation fees, etc., and also AMA’s recent credit cards plans, and special DVD programs. I hope everyone understands these moneymaking methods actually generate more income for AMA than a $1 dues increase would.

If we want AMA to grow, it must start in LHS’s, the club fields, and on this open forum. We all have an opportunity to be Ambassadors of the sport, and AMA…or just kill it…by what we write, and the way we act towards one another, especially to newbies….
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:01 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

Budpro, what he found isn't that rare, it exists in all walks of life, it is part of life. Many of us animals who patrol this planet are clannish by nature, nothing surprising about that. Outside of being genuinely congenial and friendly by nature, there isn't much more you can be to reflect a positive image at the field. You can't enlist folks to be what they aren't, but you might be able to shame some into realizing being a nepatistic, overly officiast jerk, isn't the positive image that we come to expect.
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:29 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

It's all well and good to shove sunshine up peoples butt but the truth is the elitist attitude between the old guys and us youngsters, youngsters hell I'm 30, and new interests in the hobby is on the whole getting worse IMO. The instant gratification of ARF isn't helping produce avid modelers, It has increased numbers trying out the hobby but not as many stay. Instead of the old guys trying to be role models in the hobby and in life they simply shun first and judge the little ****s by their reaction. Then use that ammunition to say all them damn kid are out of line and don't give a rats a about anything, they'll never admit they were the same impatience rule breaking pranksters we are when they were young. Seriously if I was just starting out in the hobby and showed up at my club I'd of never got past my trainer. Luckily back in the day we had a couple really great members that would mentor us young punks, teach us to fly help us build and build right and made us successful, not today. I kind of have to thank the SOB's that shunned me to the point I simply stopped coming around cause I went on to flying real planes and haven't looked back, though I'll admit there are allot of elitist in that realm as well, difference is I just get in the plane and go elsewhere or shut the damn hanger. Now I found a spot were I can fly models with my own group behind a locked gate. Anyway, I'll always be flying in some form or other, the days of putting up with clubs is over, I'm still having reservations one weather or not to renew my AMA, I've been a member for 15 years now and am to the point were I wonder if it's worth the money
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Old 07-28-2007, 12:59 AM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

I promote the hobby/sport first and foremost. I use the AMA as tool to promote the hobby. That is what it was meant for. Somehow many have gotten it turned around and actually try to use the hobby to promote the AMA...very frustrating when people get the order wrong.
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Old 07-28-2007, 05:07 AM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

Maybe if someone could post the numbers for AMA's Sign 3 Fly Free Ambassador program, http://www.modelaircraft.org/ambassador.aspx then we would know how things are going for all of the 2600 clubs. It's interesting how both sides like to say how "most" clubs are doing this or that. How would anyone know what's happening in "most" clubs?

Then there are two sides to consider. That of those who already know how to fly and that of the newcomer. The old hand bunch in charge can say anything that like but the newcomer tends to remain silent as not to jeapordize his chances of receiving his once or twice a week instruction session. If the general perception that "most" clubs are doing fine and that perception is totally wrong, that means there is no one left to work on solutions to a problem that in their minds, doesn't exist.

Newcomers are told to join a club and "most" clubs have members who will be overjoyed to provide instruction. The newcomer takes them at their word but doesn't realize how time consuming and stressful the once or twice a week learning process can be before he joined. Those who recruit new members, (in the minds of the overburdened club's instructors) these recruiters had better provide flight instruction to all beginners he brings in. In other words, if you don't teach, don't recruit. I'm sure this doesn't happen in "most" clubs. lol

CCR

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Old 07-28-2007, 08:04 AM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

I find it rather interesting that a post I made just a few short days ago becomes (at least imo) applicable again so soon.

I said this over in "Have we forgotten our beginnings". The original post may be found here: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/fb.asp?m=6159042

IMO, it holds true for this discussion as well. Again, I'm taking a slightly different view here...not to say that the OP is incorrect, but rather that, for me at least (and this is just one opinion), it's not about promoting the AMA, the Club, or even the hobby of aeromodeling....but rather, it's a broader desire to promote aviation. I've quoted the original post here, with only minor edits to remove references to the original thread/poster:


I'd like to approach this from a slightly different point of view.

[edit : remove reference to OP]

Forget, for a moment, what models, radios, airplanes, wages, or costs we started with. Those will vary quite a bit from person to person. What we all have in common, however, is a more simple "beginning"...our childhood.

As a parent, RC flyer, and scale student pilot, and as the son of an aeronautical engineer, it is my belief that there exists almost NOTHING...no pursuit, hobby, passion, or interest...that offers MORE benefit to a child than aviation.

Now...let's not get into a big "oh, but this is good for kids too!" thing here...by no means am i saying other pursuits, such as athletics, or various academic pursuits, or whatever, are BAD...far from it. I simply contend that nothing offers MORE benefit than an interest in aviation.

Think about it for a minute...from an academic standpoint, consider the mathematical disciplines involved : Basic math, algebra, calculus, and geometry all play fundamental roles in how airplanes do what they do. And the sciences...physics, of course....but what about meteorology? Bilogy, as we consider the properties of various woods. Geology as we consider the properties of metals. Chemistry, as we consider the composition of fuels....even ecology, as we consider the impact our aircraft and their fuels might have on the environment or flora and fauna at our flying field.

Now let's talk about trade skills...the skills we all pick up, to one degree or another, in the shop, or at the LHS, learning how to better mount, construct, build, cut, sand, polish, or fit. Think, for just a minute, about the HUNDREDS of tools, construction and finishing methods, adhesives, and utensils we're exposed to simply assembling an ARF...much less if we tackle a building project.

What about the benefits of being outdoors, away from the TV, and the video games? What about the socialization a club, or group of fellow hobbyists provides? Heck, we could even stretch a bit here and say that SOME of us get a great deal of exercise looking for lost planes in the woods.

Finally, consider the life lessons aviation teaches. The FAA's GOLDEN RULE is "Pilot in Command"...the PIC is responsible for EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING that happens to that airplane. Talk about learning some personal responsibility! And don't forget the safety, the organization, the patience, the craftsmanship, the wisdom of 'doing it right the first time", the value of shared company and resources....the list goes on.

Now...I dare say there's not a SINGLE hobbyist on this whole SITE that will say "oh, no, i don't want my kids learning that!" LOOK at that list....those are traits, skills, and values that, I believe, every one of us holds near and dear.

And NONE of us had them when we "began"...began in life, that is.

Sure...parents and teachers can teach any or all of those things...but they require opportunity to do so.

Aviation IS that opportunity.

THAT, imo, is what's worth paying back.
Ok...sure...I'm talking about children there. But does the same idea not hold true for promotion of our passion in general? Is it not in ALL of our best interests to see aviation...of ANY type...promoted, embraced, and expanded? General Aviation is a HUGE benefit to ANY community...doesn't a growing love for MODEL aviation translate (at least potentially) to an interest in Model Aviation? For that matter, as the quote in the OP mentioned, doesn't model aviation offer a scale aviator another opportunity to feed his addiction? Can it POSSIBLY be a bad thing for a ful scale pilot to be willing to share his experiences and knowledge???

It really, imo, doesn't matter if the "kids" we're talking about here are 8, or 38...if we have an opportunity to promote aviation, in all of its forms, to a "newbie", we are, imo, missing the boat if we fail to take it.
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?


ORIGINAL: littlecrankshaf
Somehow many have gotten it turned around and actually try to use the hobby to promote the AMA...very frustrating when people get the order wrong.
I'm up in Oshkosh right now, a statment like that would not make any sense up here. Of course you're supposed to promote the AMA, heck exploit it if you have too, whatever it takes. I don't think you would even believe how much EAA members try to promote the EAA, it would be mind boggling to you. That's why we are where they are now. Sorry but you've got it backwards LCS.
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Old 07-28-2007, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

BudPro, very interesting post. As an AMA member for over 10 years, I have noticed the same problems. I recently relocated to a new town and joined the local club. I got the same cold reception that many of these anti-AMA post seem to describe. Thankfully, I'm a good enough pilot that they just left me alone after a while. All the oldtimers seem to like my Kaos, and the younger ones liked the rolling circle....

To tell you the truth, I'm hesitant about flying on Sundays. It's time for me to get a profile and huck it on weekdays when I don't have to wory about anyone else. After all, last time I went out there, they were flying trainrs- well, those who weren't sitting on the bench complaining. I'm finding that I can be more af an ambassador of this hobby and the AMA by flying my foamie in a park.(it sure got attention about 1:00 AM this morning) As far as glow and gas powered planes, I keep debating whether I'm going to stay with it while I'm here. I don't really enjoy flying at this club. Why should I renew? If this was my first experience with RC, I would certainly give it up. "Screw the AMA. Why buy insurance for something worthless."


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Old 07-28-2007, 10:01 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?


ORIGINAL: STLPilot


Sorry but you've got it backwards LCS.
Not a bit. Sorry, but you are wrong again.Nah,nah, nah na,nah Wiggling fingers with thumbs in ear.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:04 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

Group,

Sadly, I too have experienced the "chilly" welcome as well. As a military member, I've moved around the country quite a bit. Sadly, the problem is much more common than I think some (in AMA leadership) want to believe. I've personally experienced the "don't do that," only to then watch a long time club member do the exact same thing (drive up to the field and fire up his radio w/o talking to anyone). At other places, I've seen club members fly over the pits (after I'd been warned not to even though I didn't do it to warrant the caution), fly over the pits (again, warned w/o justification then watch others do it and get away with it), flying behind the pit area (pork chop pattern), and failure to call landing intentions in crowded pattern.

I would really like to see the AMA do some "random sampling" of clubs ... it seems they owe us this from a quality control viewpoint.
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:22 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

franklin_m, what you and a few others say here shows it is happening, but I still
wonder how widespread this (I guess “Attitude”) really is? There are several
other threads right now in progress that paint the picture even darker even
though I have read AMA is concerned about membership, and has several
approaches to the problem. I have to wonder what really can be done?

I read the thread on Park Flyer's and IPFA and the estimated 500,000 to 2.5 million Park Flyers out there…that is a staggering number, if it's accurate. Makes you wonder how many R/C hobbyist are really out there right now total, that are not park flyers, and in non AMA clubs, or just finding places and just fly. Actually I am just that right now, flying off an old road I found, and no one knows, just 3 of us having some fun. The other fields are all 25 miles away, and I’m 5 minutes away, so for now that’s the way it is… I guess I will visit those other clubs soon, and with all this in mind, just see what kind of reception I get??? Kind of scary…hehe.

Anyway, I appreciate the replies and wish everyone the best of luck.

Fly high and be safe, later Bud
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

I also had the your not good enough to be here enviroment experience. They let me join the club and I fly 10 times the amount of the ones that tried shunning me. On the other hand there are a group of us that fly at the High School parking lot instead of the AMA sactioned joke for a field that welcome everyone and anyone interested, we tell anyone we see in the Hobby Shop or anywhere else as far as that goes to come join us or just watch and several of us let folks that come around just to watch fly our foam cubs and other planes hoping that maybe because of us more of them will try out our hobby. But it is not the way it is at the flyin field santioned by AMA there you are not welcome and are made to feel your in the way. If you just come to spectate then by no means are you welcome. That is why at the club I joined [&o] so many of the younger and by that I mean 50 and under are going elsewhere to fly. Did not know that the CLUB was going to be like that are would under no circustances joined. Why is this that way. By the way most members of that club are older than dirt and live retired lifestyles inside gated communities where the public is not welcome to begin with. Not even us guys that build there dream homes and are very welcome and great guys while there homes are beign built but as soon as they move in where not welcome and they act as if they had never met us. And I would venture to say that in most cases I make double or triple what they have made in there lifetimes. And possably in one yr. But folks tend to forget where they come from. I don't and never will cause as a young person growing up with a crippled father we were dirt poor and loved every min of growin up. That is the mentality of most of the older flyers or folks that talk a good flight. Because as everyone knows it is an expencive hobby and the guys that have to save up to buy a servo or two are my kind of people. They are the ones willing to help newbies not the retired money guys they could care less.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:57 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?


ORIGINAL: budpro

I read the thread on Park Flyer's and IPFA and the estimated 500,000 to 2.5 million Park Flyers out there…that is a staggering number, if it's accurate.
OK. If that number is accurate, where in the H*ll are they? We have a large regional park here and I might see one or two people a month trying to fly an underpowered, practically unflyable, toy in other parts of the park which usually lasts less than an hour.

Maybe 490,000 to 2.499 million park flyer models are in a trash can or laying busted up in the bottom of some kids closet.

When anybody, and I do mean anybody, shows up at our field with any kind of aircraft we try our best to assist them. For awhile anyway. We have had three people show up this summer with park flyers and we got their equipment up and going and assisted them with flying them. Two of them still come out but have yet to get their AMA or join the club. We are in a public park so their is little we can do to force the issue. They sit in club chairs, work at club tables, and never help with mowing or field maintenance.

I guess my point is that if they would prefer to fly in a school yard somewhere rather than at our flying site then there is no loss to us or the AMA so why should we care.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

If I didn't know better I would guess that the people you feel are shunning you might have detected somewhat of an attitude problem, but then maybe none of them have seen your posts here. But I'm only one person, maybe others have not picked up on it.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:38 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?

the part i find the most amusing is that someone actually thinks that watching a toy airplane fly in circles could be called a sport. the club i used to belong had a great policy towards beginners - we would direct them to another field where they woudn't threaten our big birds.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:57 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?


ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

If I didn't know better I would guess that the people you feel are shunning you might have detected somewhat of an attitude problem, but then maybe none of them have seen your posts here. But I'm only one person, maybe others have not picked up on it.
I felt it too. It's SO easy to believe the worst about folks who are just doing their thing. I'm sorry, but a club is not a for-profit-business always looking for customers. It's a club, and just like any association, church, soccer team, etc., it takes some effort to "crack" the group. People tend to associate with people kind of like themselves, so if there is a big age, race, culture or other difference between you and them, then it might take a little more than a little effort.

These posts puzzle me. While I want to be respectful of the posters' experiences (and not make the mistake of thinking the worst about them), it doesn't match my experience in three different clubs. I'm not saying that on any particular day the members would pull out the red carpet for a stranger that came to the field, but I can say that in general they are very willing to share their club, their field, and their expertise with new comers. I am always amazed by the time and work the members (particular the officers) put into the field and training new members.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:10 PM
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Default RE: Are you an Ambassador of the sport, AMA, both…or none?


ORIGINAL: Mike in DC

People tend to associate with people kind of like themselves, so if there is a big age, race, culture or other difference between you and them, then it might take a little more than a little effort.
65 years in modeling and all this time I have been suffering under the illusion that modeling brought us together regardless of age, race or culture - and that is pretty well supported in my personal experiences from California to Maine, Michigan to Florida - and a few places in Europe. Perhaps we have transition into an era where there are modelers and then toy airplane fliers and a common ground does not exist.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:46 PM
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I travel a lot with my planes. Last year i pulled into a club field and asked to fly there for the afternoon. I was told that the club rules are that i had to be buddy-boxed first by the safty officer. Then both of the older men walked off and sat down. I went over to them and asked for the phone number so I could call him. While I was waiting for the man I got out my planes and started to set up, that got their attention it was a H-9 Ultimate. when the safity officer arrived at the field with the buddy-box and saw my plane, he justed stared and said he's never seen one that big. To make a long story short, I put him on the box so he could fly the Ultimate and then the two older men in turn tried and after some phone calls half the club were there. I've never flown that much since, but everybody had fun. I could have given up and left and yes I had to make the first move, but I was the new guy. two of them took my wife and me out to dinner that night. i will always remember those two older men with a smile when i gave them control of that bib. Dennis
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:52 PM
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ORIGINAL: DadsToysBG

I travel a lot with my planes. Last year i pulled into a club field and asked to fly there for the afternoon. I was told that the club rules are that i had to be buddy-boxed first by the safty officer. Then both of the older men walked off and sat down. I went over to them and asked for the phone number so I could call him. While I was waiting for the man I got out my planes and started to set up, that got their attention it was a H-9 Ultimate. when the safity officer arrived at the field with the buddy-box and saw my plane, he justed stared and said he's never seen one that big. To make a long story short, I put him on the box so he could fly the Ultimate and then the two older men in turn tried and after some phone calls half the club were there. I've never flown that much since, but everybody had fun. I could have given up and left and yes I had to make the first move, but I was the new guy. two of them took my wife and me out to dinner that night. i will always remember those two older men with a smile when i gave them control of that bib. Dennis

Just like good landings, it is all in the approach.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:28 PM
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ORIGINAL: highK

the part i find the most amusing is that someone actually thinks that watching a toy airplane fly in circles could be called a sport. the club i used to belong had a great policy towards beginners - we would direct them to another field where they woudn't threaten our big birds.
Dictionary.com, among other descriptions, defines sport as " diversion, recreation, pleasant pastime." Also I fail to see how directing beginners away does anything for our "sport".
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:29 AM
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I travel a lot for my job. I haven't taken any planes with me (yet), but I always try to look up the local RC flying fields on the weekends. I have recieved every range of reception from warm welcomes and invitations to fly someones plane to being completely ignored. Just like life, there is an entire range of people involved in this sport. There are no "typical" clubs, as each has its own personality. Having said that, I've found the most friendly people are those that I've approached on my own and started asking questions about their planes. Those that build their own are usually the most interested in talking about what they've built. Believe it or not, the ones most likely to ignore me are the younger pilots flying the ARF or RTF birds.

Brad
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:01 AM
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Red Scholefield
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As I may have said earlier, one group are modelers, the other are toy airplane flyers.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:33 PM
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ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

As I may have said earlier, one group are modelers, the other are toy airplane flyers.
well said!
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Old 08-01-2007, 04:25 PM
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DING DING DING.....we have our first winner.

You are the very reason that these folks have had a bad experience. That is pretty arrogant, tell them to go away? Wow nice attitude.
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Old 08-01-2007, 07:30 PM
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ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

65 years in modeling and all this time I have been suffering under the illusion that modeling brought us together regardless of age, race or culture - and that is pretty well supported in my personal experiences from California to Maine, Michigan to Florida - and a few places in Europe. Perhaps we have transition into an era where there are modelers and then toy airplane fliers and a common ground does not exist.
I must not have been clear. I absolutely agree with you that R/C clubs exhibit more friendly diversity than any other activity I'm a part of. What I was trying to say (and it might not even be true) is that if you, as a newcomer, seem a lot different to the group for any number of reasons, both you and they are going to be a bit more apprehensive at first than if they can quickly identify you as one of them. In such a case, you may find that it takes a little more effort on your part to get to know them.

Posts that say, "I went to this new club, and the [insert epithet here] gave me the cold shoulder" appear here regularly, and I'm trying to make sense of them since, like I said, I've never seen anything like that at any of the three fields I've flown at.
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