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IMAA Dead

Old 08-15-2014, 02:42 PM
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RickVB
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Default IMAA Dead

Put this here since IMAA is (or was) an AMA special interest group.

Just received the following email from IMAA District VII Director Lloyd H. Swanson. The contents were a complete shock to me, as I knew that we had membership issues, but had no idea things were this bad. HighFlight has been my favorite hobby magazine since the demise of R/C Report; now where will I get all my (printed) Dick Pettit reviews?

Hello to everyone in Michigan,

Four months ago I took over as district seven IMAA director from Bill Oberdieck. In that time I have been spending time and effort in an attempt to revitalize the organization in the district without a lot of success to date.

As some of you may have heard through the grapevine the IMAA as an organization is closing the doors. Sadly I will have to confirm that this is a true statement. In a correspondence to the magazine advertisers Taylor Collins stated the context well and I am going to utilize what he “said”.

“I wish that I could contact each of you personally, but since time is of the essence, I'm afraid that this less personal e-mail message will have to do the job. Sadly, last night, the IMAA Board voted to cease operations and shut down the organization. We have struggled with declining membership, and increased costs, to the point that we cannot proceed beyond this point.

The Fall issue is at the printer now, and will be mailed to the members as planned. The Fall digital edition will also be available on the server, as it joins the three previous digital editions for our electronic subscribers. For those of you who have reserved ads in the Fall issue, there will be nothing unusual, except that there will be no Winter issue to follow.

Unfortunately, this will be the last issue of HighFlight Magazine that will be published. This marks the end of a 34 year history of the International Miniature Aircraft Association. Starting with our formation in 1980, at the Toledo Weak Signals Conference…. at a time when giant scale RC models were the exception, rather than the rule, the IMAA has been proud to be a part in the growth, development, and sharing of knowledge in this amazing "Big Bird" hobby. In 34 years,
the hobby has evolved from the point where the modeler had to grind large chunks of casting off an industrial engine… to the point where he can buy a completely ready-to-fly, IMAA legal model in the local hobby shop.

Words cannot express how honored I am to have been able to work with all you, over the past thirteen years. It just does not seem possible that I have overseen the production of 51 issues of HighFlight…. but they are all here on the bookshelf in my office, so it must be true. I want to Thank each of you for your loyal support, your help, and your friendship. I hope I'll see you at shows and events in the coming years, so that I can personally Thank You for being part of a
great adventure.

Sincerely,


Taylor Collins”

Please pass this along to whomever you need to and accept my thanks for your support in the past. The reality of not having the membership base to financially support the organization is an item that cannot be overcome. Unlike the federal government we can’t just raise the ceiling and print more money.

Do get in touch with any questions and I’ll field them as best I can. I hope to someday meet each of you at an event somewhere and sometime in the future. Until then blue skies and safe landings.

Best Regards,

Lloyd H. Swanson
Academy of Model Aeronautics - District VII Associate Vice President, Iowa
International Miniature Aircraft Association - District VII Director

Words cannot begin to express my dismay...
Old 08-15-2014, 08:17 PM
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RickVB
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Wow... I admit I've been fairly dormant in the hobby the last few years, but I guess my head's been completely in the sand. Not even one reply?
Old 08-15-2014, 09:16 PM
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I believe IMAA has become outdated. I was at Toledo when IMAA was formed and there was a real need for just plain information concerning "Giant" sized planes ( that was when a .91 engine was very large and rare ). Today large sized planes are all to common.
Old 08-16-2014, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tailskid View Post
I believe IMAA has become outdated. I was at Toledo when IMAA was formed and there was a real need for just plain information concerning "Giant" sized planes ( that was when a .91 engine was very large and rare ). Today large sized planes are all to common.
Even though they will be missed, IMAA accomplished its primary objective...so therefore a success! If only the NRA and likewise SIGs could be so successful as to not be needed...
Old 08-16-2014, 01:03 PM
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Yep, I guess IMAA should advertise on their cover of the last mag issue: "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"
Old 08-16-2014, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tailskid View Post
Yep, I guess IMAA should advertise on their cover of the last mag issue: "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"
Would be fitting...sometimes when we have visitors they often ask "is this a big bird event?" They are often surprised when we say "just an average TUFF club day".
Old 08-16-2014, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by littlecrankshaf View Post
Even though they will be missed, IMAA accomplished its primary objective...so therefore a success! If only the NRA and likewise SIGs could be so successful as to not be needed...
That's a healthy, positive perspective on it, and I can relate in a way because of my bread and butter thing. R&D projects have relatively short lifespans, and the best of them are often the shortest...........the ones that pass operational evaluation and go to production and deployment to fulfill end user needs expediently.
Old 08-16-2014, 04:46 PM
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Holy cow.thats depressing.
Old 08-16-2014, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RickVB View Post
Put this here since IMAA is (or was) an AMA special interest group.

Just received the following email from IMAA District VII Director Lloyd H. Swanson. The contents were a complete shock to me, as I knew that we had membership issues, but had no idea things were this bad. HighFlight has been my favorite hobby magazine since the demise of R/C Report; now where will I get all my (printed) Dick Pettit reviews?
Yes, IMAA is a goner. I joined IMAA sometimes around back 1986 or so. I liked the way they did things back then, especially that events were for relatively
large (for those days) models. Unfortunately some of AMA fellows did not like such, especially some hierarchy types. Then the IMAA people seemed to simply
forget AMA and set up their own Sanction procedures. Then comes the superior brains that allowed regular AMA events sanction for same such events in
the same area. IMAA would not be sure to keep their events off the AMA slots. IMAA was very -- IMO -- much less than sharp in this process because after really
setting up for a nice event the local AMA clubs reaped the whirlwind, therefore the IMAA group had very little turnout. BTDT
The IMMA officials were so much afraid they would lose the AMA insurance so AMA had IMAA by the round things!! As time passed, IMAA attendance fell by the wayside.
The average modeler is cheap when it comes to dues money, club dues, etc. but will throw away his last $$ for the very latest new item being sold.
AMA had IMAA by the backside, and IMAA Leaders were/are far too stubborn to see the easy way to get around it. Average modeler doesn't really care, he/she just wants to fly his/her latest masterpiece. AMA had the cannon, and IMAA stayed with their slingshot. So surprised that IMAA has lasted this long!
Old 08-16-2014, 05:40 PM
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Yes sorry to see this fine magazine bite the dust along with R/C Reports and Flying Models.
IMAA # ps04
Old 08-16-2014, 05:43 PM
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tailskid
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Now the real question: what will Dick Pettit do for models to build?
Old 08-16-2014, 07:11 PM
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Wowser, well I guess I won't need to give my IMAA number at events any longer.
Old 08-16-2014, 08:27 PM
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John Sohm
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Originally Posted by cj_rumley View Post
That's a healthy, positive perspective on it, and I can relate in a way because of my bread and butter thing. R&D projects have relatively short lifespans, and the best of them are often the shortest...........the ones that pass operational evaluation and go to production and deployment to fulfill end user needs expediently.
Now if we could just get some government agencies to do the same and get rid of them, we'd all be better off. Remember back in '77 when the Dept. of Energy was initially formed to break our dependence on foreign oil? Look how that turned out. $4/gallon.
Old 08-16-2014, 11:03 PM
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Just sent this message to Ken Shapiro. Come on members are you really ready to let a very good modeling organization die?????

Ken:


Amazing news about the organization closing the doors. I know times have been tough but look at the attendance at large scale events. Castle is the largest West coast event by far. Was a dues increase by double or triple considered? Certainly the annual dues have been a bargain, Highflight remains the only true Modeling magazine available, all the others are giant catalogs and ads. With the price of the models flown by IMAA members, 50 or 75 or even 100 dollars per year would not be out of the question to maintain the organization.


Hopefully something can be done to save IMAA as there is definitely a need.


Paul Stenberg
House of Balsa
Old 08-17-2014, 06:38 AM
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Ron Stahl
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Nice that they took my dues for two years at Toledo and I got nothing for it! No card, no magazines, no extra insurance! They should cough up my dues at least for next year.
Old 08-17-2014, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by John Sohm View Post
Now if we could just get some government agencies to do the same and get rid of them, we'd all be better off. Remember back in '77 when the Dept. of Energy was initially formed to break our dependence on foreign oil? Look how that turned out. $4/gallon.
Great post...When I first read it I thought it was JohnShe's, as your user names a similar... I almost fell over LOL I thought maybe, just maybe he had come around...but alas that really doesn't happen on these forums...they just keeping digging in. Anyway, couldn't agree more.
Old 08-17-2014, 09:46 AM
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Sorry to see it go. Maybe they needed to keep the requirement that you had to be a IMAA member to fly at IMAA type events.
Old 08-17-2014, 11:55 AM
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Sorry and I know how it feels. My favorite S.I.G. was the CRCJA, founded by the late George "Snoopy" Allison, and other jet guys in California. It founded the "best in the west" jet rally, which still exists once a year, but the California Radio Control Jet Association was disbanded when other special interest "clicks" began to resent Our presence, and stealing Their thunder. They started to use bogus safety excuses to get us kicked out of most club fields, The numbers dwindled, and so did the association. People did'nt stick together to keep it worthwhile. Sorry but, welcome to the "New Normal".

Last edited by F-16 viperman; 08-17-2014 at 11:57 AM. Reason: spelling
Old 08-17-2014, 04:18 PM
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Strange, the passing of the IMAA is not noticed by so many of this crop of model aviators. Many of the newer folks have no idea what the IMAA was. Mission Accomplished is the best of many good comments so far. It was needed and it helped change the way we did things and the change was for the better.
Old 08-17-2014, 04:48 PM
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porcia83
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I was a "member" for the past 4 years. "member" meaning I paid by dues each year, but never received so much as an e-mail from them. No card, no magazine, no e-mail directing me to an online portal etc. I did get a t-shirt once from a two year old previous event, along with an older magazine, but that was it. So perhaps I got more in the end than Ron Stahl in post 15.

Perhaps I came to the organization late, and maybe the end was near so things didn't run as smoothly as they did in the past. Also, I'm not sure what the goal or mission of the group was (I see the comments above about "mission accomplished). For most at our field it was just another event, so that meant two days most members couldn't fly. And, for those that did, it was usually when they paid their renewal which I think was $20.00, plus another $10 for a landing fee. For many of the members who had eligible planes, they just refused to pay that kind of money to fly at their own field. I am the president of our club, and only flew a Telemaster to do the noontime candy drop and still had to pay the full amount. Didn't bug me too much, the landing fee was doable, and some of the other fees came back to the club anyway. The landing fee went to the club, and the local chapter of IMAA was usually pretty generous with other funds. The annual event was our signature event, and brought in tons of spectators, as well as an amazing assortment of giant scale planes. Folks from as far south as Delaware and as far North as Canada would come and stay the weekend.

I don't know that we will see a huge change in things going forward. Our event will still go on but will be a club sponsored "giant scale" event. Perhaps the drop in fees will get more club members to fly, at least I hope so. Most of the members who do fly giant scale only show up at the field to practice once or twice, and they fly the event.

Could the organization still stay in tact without the magazine and website in it's current iteration? My understanding was that the website was much more expensive than expected. I still other organizations still going, IMAC, vintage pattern ship groups etc.
Old 08-18-2014, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
I was a "member" for the past 4 years. "member" meaning I paid by dues each year, but never received so much as an e-mail from them. No card, no magazine, no e-mail directing me to an online portal etc. I did get a t-shirt once from a two year old previous event, along with an older magazine, but that was it. So perhaps I got more in the end than Ron Stahl in post 15.
Wait a minute... are people saying they chronically haven't been receiving their High Flight? I don't get it, as far as I can remember, I've been getting mine as regular as clockwork for the last 25 years (except a few times when I forgot to renew my membership on time), including last month. That also included when I moved. Haven't heard that before, but again maybe my head has been in the sand...
Old 08-18-2014, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RickVB View Post
Wait a minute... are people saying they chronically haven't been receiving their High Flight? I don't get it, as far as I can remember, I've been getting mine as regular as clockwork for the last 25 years (except a few times when I forgot to renew my membership on time), including last month. That also included when I moved. Haven't heard that before, but again maybe my head has been in the sand...
That's what I'm saying. No card, no info, no magazines, no nothing, not even an email telling me of the end of the organization. Really has left a bad taste in my mouth about supporting any other SIG's.
Old 08-18-2014, 05:57 PM
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Yes Rick, that's exactly what I'm saying. Not so much as an e-mail. Although, ironically enough, when I looked at my e-mail tonight lo and behold, the first e-mail ever is telling me about the demise of the organization. Oddly enough there was more info about IMAA in that e-mail in terms of explaining who they were and what they wanted to achieve than I had ever seen before.
Old 08-19-2014, 04:28 AM
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To our valued IMAA members,

For the first time in its 34 year history, the IMAA is facing a serious financial challenge – a challenge grave enough that we must cease publication of both the print edition, and the digital edition, after this Fall issue of HighFlight Magazine.

IMAA is a non-profit organization and, as such, relies on member dues and donations to operate. Over the years, IMAA membership has slowly declined. At the same time, print and production costs have steadily increased so that the print version of the magazine has consumed more and more of our resources.
This Fall issue will now have to be the last printed version that we produce. The digital edition will also be released as scheduled,through the NXTBook.com server.
HighFlight Magazine has been the only publication available exclusively devoted to giant scale news, technical information, and product reviews. The IMAA Board and Officers have worked hard to find a resolution to the challenges we faced, but the bottom line is that we simply do not have the funds to continue.
In years past, the Board has made every effort to make IMAA membership, and HighFlight Magazine as affordable as possible. It appears that the Board was too successful in that effort, and the savings to the members resulted in the organization’s undoing. We ask for your understanding and support, as we wind down the organization.
We are confident that the traditions established by the IMAA..... the definitions of what constitutes a “Legal” Big Bird ... and the planning and promotion of Big Bird events will continue. Although HighFlight Magazine will be missed, in its history of over one third of a century, we have seen the hobby grow from its simple, do-it-yourself roots, to the highly sophisticated level that we enjoy today.
Readers of the first issue of HighFlight, in 1980 were taught and encouraged, with articles on how to modify chain saw and weed whipper engines to a form that could be used on a giant scale aircraft. There were instructions on how to build your own, semi-scale Cub type landing gear... bandsawed from plate aluminum, as there certainly were no “off the shelf “ landing gear available at that time. Another article in that first issue detailed how to apply Ceconite (full scale aircraft covering) to our models. There was a section of that Volume 1, Number 1 issue with some proposed by-laws for the new organization, and an invitation to meet at the upcoming Toledo Trade Show to discuss forming a new giant scale organization. Yes..... There was an issue of HighFlight, BEFORE there was an I.M.A.A.
And there was a listing of “Sounding Board” Contacts, off of whom you could bounce ideas ... or ask questions. And many of those folks, including Don Godfrey, Dave Platt, Corky Heitman, Wendell Hostetler, Jerry Nelson, and Lee Taylor are still active in the hobby today. That first issue of HighFlight included an aircraft inspection check list, and a preliminary list of safety rules and procedures. The I.M.A.A. has always championed good safety practices, and as a result, by working with the A.M.A., we were able to get governmental approval to fly larger and larger Big Birds at our flying sites.
Obviously, over a third of a century, a lot has changed in our hobby. Big Birds are probably more the norm, than the “Giant Oddity” that they were in 1980. One of the first “Giant” kits that became available was the Bud Nosen J-3 Cub. At 1/4 scale, it spanned 109 inches, and everyone was in awe of that “Huge” model. Today, it is the same size as the Aeroworks CubCrafters Sport Cub S2 that is featured in this issue. Today, this is a plane that is regarded as somewhat small, but manageable.
Today, you can walk into any hobby shop, and find a huge array of giant scale engines, airframes, hardware, and servos, and even completely assembled “Bind and Fly” aircraft that are I.M.A.A. legal. Everything you need to get started with a Big Bird is right there on the shelf....with no grinding of engine castings required.
I’m sure that I speak for all of the I.M.A.A. Officers and Board members, when I say that it was a very sad day when they had to formally, finally shut down the organization. But I also know that they are proud of the contributions that the I.M.A.A., and HighFlight Magazine has made in the hobby. Big Birds truly DO fly better, and they will continue to fly better for a long, long time. Thank you to the members for your support along the way. Fly Safely, and Have Fun! It’s been quite a ride!

-Taylor Collins, Editor
&
The Officers and Board of Directors of the I.M.A.A.

P.S. - Wil Byers, the publisher of RC Sport Flyer Magazine has graciously offered a free, one year subscription to RC Sport Flyer, to any of our members who are reading this message. If you go to https://kionasubscribe.com/rcsubscribe/ and enter the promotional code IMAA-Mems you will receive a one year subscription to that fine magazine. Thank you, Wil, for your kind support of our members.... You can learn more about RC Sport Flyer at http://www.rc-sf.com/
Old 08-19-2014, 07:45 AM
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All fluff... the questions I want answered are still open, that is what the exact financial situation is that required the immediate termination of the whole organization, and what the details of the wind-down are. My district director declined to answer these, and deferred them to the higher officers. Still have to wonder why they chose to throw in the towel at this precise minute.

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