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What does it cost to run a club?

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Old 08-21-2012, 06:08 AM
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KaP2011
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Default What does it cost to run a club?

Asthe title implies, I would like to know what it truly costs to run an R/C Airplane club.

There are some obvious costs. AMA charter fees, field maint., etc. What I want to know is how much are those fees. At my club I'm told thattheAMAcharter is $90 a year, I thought the AMA charter was $30 a year. Also I'm told that we have to be incorporated. Why?

What is required to start a club? I have read the info on the AMA website so Iknow we need at least 5 members.Is there a limit to how many clubs can be in a certain area? I can think of 5 within 30 miles of my home. The reason I'm asking is that I'm surrounded by farmland, much of it unused, and I don't like driving 60 miles round trip to go flying.

Someone please help to clear up some confusion.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:36 AM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

The expenses for the club are what you make them. The charter is $90, but the rest is what you make it Dues, type of runway,lease if it applies,maintanance.and what ever you decide to have at your field flight stands ect. And I believe you keep flying sights at least 3 mi, apart, but with 2.4 it may have changed.
Larry K
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:39 AM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

In the simplest form it doesn't cost anything to form a club. A club is nothing more than a place where people can come together to fly their airplanes. So you can do this for no cost at all. 

However, there are things that will add to the cost of forming a club.

The biggest cost for most clubs is the cost of the land/facility that they use. In the case of our club we lease 80 acres for the cost of $1,500/year. 

Now I know the next thing is going to bring many people out of the woodwork and scream that the sky is falling if you don't do this. But the AMA costs for a club. First of all, you do not have to have AMA to be a club regardless of what some may say. There is no law stating that you club must be an AMA club. But for most clubs out there they want to be part of the AMA. Why?? Very simple, insurance. When a club is chartered through the AMA there is insurance that protects both the club and the land owner in the event an accident happens and legal actions are taken against the club and/or the land owner. This insurance is separate from the individual liability insurance provided to individual AMA members. If you decide to AMA charter your club the costs are $90/year. The fees are $30 for the club charter and $60 for the insurance provided to the club and land owner. 

It's not required that you incorporate your club, but many do for legal purposes. If a club is incorporated then all of the members and officers of the club are protected if any legal actions are taken against the club. Many clubs in the US operate without doing this, it's going to be a personal choice made by your club. The fees will vary from state to state so I don't know what it's going to cost you.

It is correct that you have to have 5 AMA members to start an AMA chartered club. It's a very easy process. We formed out club 5 years ago and it's quite easy to do. The best advice I can give is skip asking here in the forums and simply pick up the phone and call the AMA. When we chartered our club I called the AMA and within 15 minutes I had all the info I needed on getting our club up and running. The staff of the AMA is very helpful and they will be able to give you the exact information you need to get your club formed.

Hope all of this helps some.

Ken
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:39 AM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

This should clear up some:

[link=http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/915.pdf]http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/915.pdf[/link]


The insurance is the variable depending on if or how the site owner requires special wording on the document. This is typical on county, state or corporate owned property.

Our club is incorporated as a non-profit organization. I believe the current costs to have this done is a min of $300.00 and up depending where you live.

Other than AMA the yearly operating expenses can vary greatly. Own or leasing/renting the field. Grass cutting, etc...are all variables.

Starting from scratch you may want to build a pavilion or a club house....a few to several thousand dollars.

Will the ground need a lot of prep? That could run a few hundred or thousand...depending. We rent a large vibratory roller each year for a few hundred dollars and roll the field....of course it was groomed by the club members 30 years ago and needs dirt brought in to fill holes, etc.. before rolling. Do you want to cut your own grass & weeds or hire it out? You would need a mower or tractor and a secure place to store it plus insurance on it plus the annual maintenance and the weekly fuel use. Our field we use a 70" mower and use about $20.00 per week in fuel. Hiring it out could be $30.00/hour or more depending .

Also don't forget the 20% rule. No matter how many members you end up having in your club you will only get 20% of them to commit to doing any work !

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:15 AM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

Page 6 in the pdf file above list your expense to charter a club. $30 minimum, add $60 if your land owner needs a insurance certificate. Incorporation is not required. Of course how are you going to mow, what about field improvements...? No restriction on how many in a certain space, although I believe if your 3 miles or less to another club you need a frequency agreement (something that says your are not interfering with each other). Lots of good information here, what is your situation? You can do it cheap, my club has an annual dues of $10 a year.

Found the Frequency Agreement: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/923.pdf
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

I figured this in this way. All 3 clubs in my area are about $65-75 in dues. So it costs $65-75 per person. Maybe this a bad way to figure, but that's the way I did it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:08 PM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

As mentioned there are very few fixed cost to running a club. It all depends on what type of club you want. In my club ideally we could get away with the charter/insurance and mowing, so it really only cost a few hundred a year. However we like to have nice tables with fresh paint and maintaining the runway costs money. Our dues are $50 for working age members and $20 for the old farts...most of our membership is the latter. With 35 members we don't put a lot in the bank annually.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

Ok, I think I get it. You have,

AMA Fees - $90 a year, $30 a year if no insurance certificate is needed.

Incorporation Fees - In our case $75 a year. (I believe this is worth having)

Mowing costs if you hire it out.

Rent or lease costs - property and porta pot.

These are the costs that can't be avoided. Everything else is what you make it.

So 15 to 20 members @ $100 a year would cover it if extra costs are kept down.


Thanks for the info guys.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:29 PM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

The $90 includes AMA insurance for the club and property owner.
$1500-$2k is tons of money to run a small club like that. $100 is steep for clubs in my area.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:53 PM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

I believe the mowing and porta potcostsare what would eat up the money. We have been without a porta pot for some time now and it has not been a problem for the most part. Now however, we have a new female member and a couple of guys who have not been active for awhile that are nowbringing their children out to fly. Aporta pot is now pretty much required.

Mowing has been an issue for me. We pay a person to mow but he is inconsistant and I have spent a lot of money mowing the field myself. We have a couple of olderfoundingmembers who refuse to change the way the club deals with the mowing issue. ( They don't mind when the grass is 6" - 8"tall) We have a paved runway and that is nice but I don't always want to land or takeoff on the runway.Last night we had a very heated discussion about the mowing and now I'm begining to think about joininga new club or starting a new club that is closer to my home. Why should I drive 30 miles to fly on a field of tall weeds?
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:42 AM
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Default RE: What does it cost to run a club?

If this point is hijacking the thread, please disregard it ...

Incorporating will, in my opinion (I am not a lawyer), only partially protect the leadership of the club. Why do it then? Yes, it will protect the leadership IF the club is sued and loses (assuming AMA backs out for some reason like safety rules not followed). If the club has no assets, what lawyer would pursue such a suit? On the other hand, a plaintiff's lawyer may NAME club leadership or other member on the suit, then their incorporation protection is lost. All they have to do then is prove to a jury (of which not a one will be able to spell "RC") that the action (or inaction) by the names person contributed to the loss.

If someone knows better, please pipe in. I think it is risky to take a leadership position in a flying club. Even if you "win", you could be out immense sums and inconvenience.

That's just me.

Bedford
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