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Dues increase coming? 1 million spent on government relations.....

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Dues increase coming? 1 million spent on government relations.....

Old 06-04-2015, 07:02 AM
  #76  
porcia83
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Meh...more accounting jargon and theories, hurts my head. I see what you are saying though.

As to the AMA membership, it's always been aging no? I think the more salient question might be is it growing? I did not go back in and look at the numbers, once for the week was enough thanks), but I might at some point. Anecdotally I seem to recall that it has grown overall in the past few years, or perhaps grown in some segments (youth etc, which I know is really free). My first guess would be the explosion of multi-rotor usage might draw more folks in to the hobby and then the AMA, but I don't know if there is anything to back that up results. Don't know if more members would automatically mean a decrease in dues, but it sure seems like that would make sense. Nothing gets cheaper though, and the FAA issues have certainly taken a chunk o change to deal with.

Got me thinking though about membership numbers, off to send an e-mail to the HO to see if I can get some more specific numbers, at least for my district.
Old 06-04-2015, 07:12 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Not alleging anything nefarious, just thinking that we've got a fee increase coming.
I think you are on target with that statement...and you do have some good points about the orgs. decline financially speaking in your later posts as well.

I think AMA has long seen the hand writing on the wall. Just a matter of time before all this cheap hobby junk isn't cheap anymore. We may be at the brink of our spin now. That's why AMA has catered to the new FPV crowd and pushed to be a quasi federal agency... All wrong moves in my opinion...Maybe raising the dues will be the tip-in to accelerate the crash. Wish we had spent our time growing the hobby over growing the organization...that is the only durable strategy IMO.
Old 06-04-2015, 07:44 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by littlecrankshaf View Post
I think you are on target with that statement...and you do have some good points about the orgs. decline financially speaking in your later posts as well.

I think AMA has long seen the hand writing on the wall. Just a matter of time before all this cheap hobby junk isn't cheap anymore. We may be at the brink of our spin now. That's why AMA has catered to the new FPV crowd and pushed to be a quasi federal agency... All wrong moves in my opinion...Maybe raising the dues will be the tip-in to accelerate the crash. Wish we had spent our time growing the hobby over growing the organization...that is the only durable strategy IMO.
More chicken little doom and gloom...say it ain't so? The AMA hasn't "catered" to any one group, nor have the pushed to be a quasi federal agency, lol. I'd say they wisely chose to get another group of folks involved in the hobby and AMA, safely.

There is no crash looming. As for growing the hobby/organization, they go hand in hand no? But it's interesting in one breath you're seeming to complain about the AMA "catering" to the "new" crowd, and then in another complaining that you wish the spend more time growing the hobby. Sure seems like a no win. Just as it would be if they decided to strong arm and resist the FPV crowd, chances are people would complain they missed a chance to increase membership, and to expand the hobby.

Can't please everyone!
Old 06-04-2015, 08:00 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
More chicken little doom and gloom...say it ain't so? The AMA hasn't "catered" to any one group, nor have the pushed to be a quasi federal agency, lol. I'd say they wisely chose to get another group of folks involved in the hobby and AMA, safely.

There is no crash looming. As for growing the hobby/organization, they go hand in hand no? But it's interesting in one breath you're seeming to complain about the AMA "catering" to the "new" crowd, and then in another complaining that you wish the spend more time growing the hobby. Sure seems like a no win. Just as it would be if they decided to strong arm and resist the FPV crowd, chances are people would complain they missed a chance to increase membership, and to expand the hobby.

Can't please everyone!
Wait a minute partner... You gave a clear perspective of my point with "The AMA hasn't "catered" to any one group" then immediatly followed up with; "I'd say they wisely chose to get another group of folks involved in the hobby"... Can't have it both ways...either they are trying to get another group involved or they are not...pick one.
Old 06-04-2015, 08:17 AM
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They can involve a group without catering to a particular group.
Old 06-04-2015, 08:25 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
They can involve a group without catering to a particular group.
I am surprised, you of all people haven't got the point...the point is that most people, as well as AMA see it as "them"...as "in" another group...the problem is the distinction!

Sorry, don't know how else to put it....

Last edited by littlecrankshaf; 06-04-2015 at 11:53 AM.
Old 06-04-2015, 08:28 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
They can involve a group without catering to a particular group.
Yes...exactly. This is a nuance that some cannot or will not accept, it must be all or nothing for them.
Old 06-04-2015, 08:31 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by littlecrankshaf View Post
I am surprised you, of all people haven't got the point...the point is that most people, as well as AMA see it as "them"...as "in" another group...the problem is the distinction!

Sorry, don't know how else to put it....
You are now the spokesperson for "most people", as well as the AMA? What do you mean your constituency sees it as "them" ?
Old 06-04-2015, 09:10 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
Yes...exactly. This is a nuance that some cannot or will not accept, it must be all or nothing for them.
Ok...have you way... AMA's actions to create documents for FPV specifically instead of a simple line in the safety code is just a nuance then...
Old 06-04-2015, 09:56 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
I see what you are saying though ... Got me thinking though about membership numbers...
Last number I saw was paying membership up 2.2%.
Old 06-04-2015, 10:19 AM
  #86  
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IMO, the fundamental challenge to the business model is that an increasing number of people are able to enjoy the hobby in the park or school near their house and don't have any compelling reason to join AMA because they don't need to be members to fly. That's certainly the case with all but the most gigantic quads.

In my case, I've got a nice sized park right in my housing development where I can fly 500 size and below heli's (scale type flying) quite easily. If I want to fly something that needs more airspace, I can walk a hundred yards and fly in a large field at a nearby school (.25 size electric, 2m gliders, nitro CL, or nitro heli). I can fly at the park or at the school w/o being an AMA member. By contrast, I've got a garage full of 40 - 75 sized planes that haven't flown in over a year. Why? Because it's additional $$ on top of AMA membership to join a club and 15 miles one way. I can walk five minutes and be flying (for no cost other than what I'm flying), or pay AMA $$ plus club $$ and a 15 mile one way drive to fly. That, plus any claims go first against my homeowner's anyway, there's not a marginal benefit to AMA membership.

At this point, given how busy my kids with baseball, softball, and such, I'm much more inclined to fly in my back yard, in the park, or at the school -- spending more time flying than driving. From a rational perspective, there's just not much tangible benefit to being an AMA member. I'm giving it two more years, then if things don't change, I'll probably drop my membership. The only real loss will be the magazine. Oh well. I wonder how many people out there are in similar situations? A good number I'd wager.

So, look at the group of people buying FPV aircraft and high tech quads. Most don't require the airspace you have at a typical AMA field, they can fly in a park or school. If there's not some function that forces membership, then there's no reason to join.

So, I could be wrong, after all the above is just my opinion. But I for one will be very curious to see if they can sustain membership growth. I hope they do, but fear they will not.

Last edited by franklin_m; 06-04-2015 at 10:21 AM.
Old 06-04-2015, 10:24 AM
  #87  
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god you folks piss moan and groan over any dues increase.i would to see how much you spend on the hobby annually or spend at a bar every friday night.give it a break the 1 million was well spent saving the damn government from totally screwing up our hobby .now at least we can continue buildinfg and flying as usual and the drone freaks can continue with their utterly boring toys. stop *****ing.
Old 06-04-2015, 10:29 AM
  #88  
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no its not a captive audience leave if your so unhappy.captive is more like living with duke energy in florida screwing us over for a rate increase in a nuclear plant that was deep sixed. theres no option there but if you dont think any organization is within its rights to raise its dues hand in your card burn it go play by yourself whatever.
Old 06-04-2015, 10:38 AM
  #89  
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yes it was a good investment .how much do think lobbyists get for promoting a corporations pet project or protection.1 million is chicken fee.yes we are limited but the results with the faa were favorable and most wont have to revise or do anything different except a small due increase .rc has and always will be a fairly expensive hobby.the plastic planes and foam crap with hobby king el cheapo electronics lets thousand more play.its expensive to get into helis or giant scale planes.its not for everyone.thats life.pick a hobby thats inexpensive if there is such an animal.
Old 06-04-2015, 11:06 AM
  #90  
Chris P. Bacon
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I welcome a dues increase. Our dues have been too inexpensive for far too long. Protecting and growing our hobby is going to take lots of resources so it's important the only voice we have is adequately equipped for the job.
Old 06-04-2015, 11:10 AM
  #91  
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no new dues for me at 83 i cant aford any more money to spend
Old 06-04-2015, 11:32 AM
  #92  
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I don't mind paying dues, but I do mind:

- Paying fees and see them used to gold plate a flying site in Muncie that many members will never use
- Paying fees but losing fields anyway
- Paying fees only to see them spent on PR firms (of dubious value thus far IMHO)
- Paying fees but still have any claims go first against MY homeowners
- Paying fees and see them used to fund competitions where the only people who are competitive are those who get servos by the box from their sponsor

Just to name a few
Old 06-04-2015, 11:44 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
I don't mind paying dues, but I do mind:

- Paying fees and see them used to gold plate a flying site in Muncie that many members will never use
- Paying fees but losing fields anyway
- Paying fees only to see them spent on PR firms (of dubious value thus far IMHO)
- Paying fees but still have any claims go first against MY homeowners
- Paying fees and see them used to fund competitions where the only people who are competitive are those who get servos by the box from their sponsor

Just to name a few
Have you been to the flying site in Muncie? I have and it's far from anything I'd call gold plated.

Note sure what competitions you're referring to that the AMA funds, but I was under the impression for competitions held at the IAC the events pay the AMA to use the field.

It's impossible that a few dollars is going to save every flying field. IMHO many fields are lost due to irresponsible AMA members. If folks can't act responsibly then I'd rather not see my dues go to support those members/clubs who cannot fly responsibly.

PR firms are a fact of life. No investment in life is guaranteed.

It would be nice if an upgrade was available so members could make AMA primary, but the coverage we have for our dues is quite inexpensive.
Old 06-04-2015, 12:27 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Ace Dude View Post
Have you been to the flying site in Muncie? I have and it's far from anything I'd call gold plated.

Note sure what competitions you're referring to that the AMA funds, but I was under the impression for competitions held at the IAC the events pay the AMA to use the field.

It's impossible that a few dollars is going to save every flying field. IMHO many fields are lost due to irresponsible AMA members. If folks can't act responsibly then I'd rather not see my dues go to support those members/clubs who cannot fly responsibly.

PR firms are a fact of life. No investment in life is guaranteed.

It would be nice if an upgrade was available so members could make AMA primary, but the coverage we have for our dues is quite inexpensive.

I'd rather see them sell the Muncie site and put that money into regional fields positioned to be closer to more members. As for paying to use the Muncie site, I should hope so. I'm of the opinion the PR firm was a complete waste - but intelligent people can disagree on that point. As for the fee? My homeowner's is going to be more than adequate for anything that might happen, so at this point I'm basically paying for a magazine and subsidizing insurance for everyone that is using it.

AMA is useful if you have to have it to fly at a field. Otherwise, I'm not sure I could rationally recommend it.
Old 06-04-2015, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
I'd rather see them sell the Muncie site and put that money into regional fields positioned to be closer to more members. As for paying to use the Muncie site, I should hope so. I'm of the opinion the PR firm was a complete waste - but intelligent people can disagree on that point. As for the fee? My homeowner's is going to be more than adequate for anything that might happen, so at this point I'm basically paying for a magazine and subsidizing insurance for everyone that is using it.

AMA is useful if you have to have it to fly at a field. Otherwise, I'm not sure I could rationally recommend it.
IMHO the Muncie site is beautiful and serves its purpose, the last thing they should do is sell it. I think adding additional regional fields is a good idea, but a field anywhere can only serve a very small number of members. More fields require more maintenance and overhead so it may simply not be practical to have many fields serving a small number of members. IMHO fields are what clubs are all about.

Are you saying your homeowner's policy entirely overlaps everything covered in the AMA insurance plan?
Old 06-04-2015, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
I'd rather see them sell the Muncie site and put that money into regional fields positioned to be closer to more members. As for paying to use the Muncie site, I should hope so. I'm of the opinion the PR firm was a complete waste - but intelligent people can disagree on that point. As for the fee? My homeowner's is going to be more than adequate for anything that might happen, so at this point I'm basically paying for a magazine and subsidizing insurance for everyone that is using it.

AMA is useful if you have to have it to fly at a field. Otherwise, I'm not sure I could rationally recommend it.
I agree with many of the points you made but I think since they already have the Muncie facilities and they are established they should keep them. I would like to see the AMA partner with some
clubs around the country and establish some regional sites on par with the Muncie site. Also I think the AMA should make full coverage a option so some people don't have to use their HO ins
if you choose not to.
Old 06-04-2015, 02:11 PM
  #97  
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double post.

Last edited by ira d; 06-04-2015 at 02:13 PM.
Old 06-04-2015, 04:14 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by ira d View Post
I would like to see the AMA partner with some clubs around the country and establish some regional sites on par with the Muncie site. Also I think the AMA should make full coverage a option so some people don't have to use their HO ins if you choose not to.
With modern marketing software, it shouldn't be that hard to feed it the members' zip codes and have it geolocate candidate lat/longs around the country to serve maximum number of members.
Old 06-04-2015, 06:20 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
IMO, the fundamental challenge to the business model is that an increasing number of people are able to enjoy the hobby in the park or school near their house and don't have any compelling reason to join AMA because they don't need to be members to fly. That's certainly the case with all but the most gigantic quads.

In my case, I've got a nice sized park right in my housing development where I can fly 500 size and below heli's (scale type flying) quite easily. If I want to fly something that needs more airspace, I can walk a hundred yards and fly in a large field at a nearby school (.25 size electric, 2m gliders, nitro CL, or nitro heli). I can fly at the park or at the school w/o being an AMA member. By contrast, I've got a garage full of 40 - 75 sized planes that haven't flown in over a year. Why? Because it's additional $$ on top of AMA membership to join a club and 15 miles one way. I can walk five minutes and be flying (for no cost other than what I'm flying), or pay AMA $$ plus club $$ and a 15 mile one way drive to fly. That, plus any claims go first against my homeowner's anyway, there's not a marginal benefit to AMA membership.

At this point, given how busy my kids with baseball, softball, and such, I'm much more inclined to fly in my back yard, in the park, or at the school -- spending more time flying than driving. From a rational perspective, there's just not much tangible benefit to being an AMA member. I'm giving it two more years, then if things don't change, I'll probably drop my membership. The only real loss will be the magazine. Oh well. I wonder how many people out there are in similar situations? A good number I'd wager.

So, look at the group of people buying FPV aircraft and high tech quads. Most don't require the airspace you have at a typical AMA field, they can fly in a park or school. If there's not some function that forces membership, then there's no reason to join.

So, I could be wrong, after all the above is just my opinion. But I for one will be very curious to see if they can sustain membership growth. I hope they do, but fear they will not.
What I'm getting from this is that you need to change over to all electric....get rid of those loud nasty wet motors! Then you can fly anywhere...ha, if that were only true. You're right in that for some folks it's not cost effective, nor convenient to join a club. You also bring up a great point that's not an issue for some, trying to fit in your fun time when you've got kids and the family to deal with. I'm in the same boat, and it's a balancing act. I've read here an elsewhere that many folks have room to fly til their hearts content, for free...so why join a club. For some it's a social thing, for others a learning experience. Who knows.

I do recall the 2.2% as well,. might have been from 2012 or 2013. I hope the numbers increase, and hope that the AMA's investment of time/effort/energy and of course money brings more folks (of all flying persuasions) into the hobby and AMA. With the explosion of multirotors you would think it might, but again who knows.

I think the advances in technology have also brought more people into the hobby. ARF, RTF, and foamies sure have made it easy, and works well with the tech savvy younger crowd. Someone here, or in another thread mentioned the HH plane that can now basically land itself. Between this and buddy box flying (remotely even), sure takes the fear and cost of crashing down a few notches. I know the purists don't like the whole arf/foamy thing...planes should be scratch built after all! I'm not into building at all, I'm fine with whatever anyone else wants to do to get into the hobby. If it's the HH SuperCub with a gyro..have at it.

Finally, I think it's also up the clubs to actively seek out new members to bring into the AMA, and hopefully their clubs too. I'm part of one club that is pretty proactive in getting new members, with an emphasis on family memberships, and more girls too. We advertise our events and get everyone up on buddy boxes when possible, have schools come to the field for outings, get the scouts involved, and partner with the town we are in whenever possible for parks/rec programs. We pick up about 5-8 new members that way every year. Not a huge amount, but better than nothing.

Time will tell though, I hope for the best.
Old 06-04-2015, 07:17 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
With modern marketing software, it shouldn't be that hard to feed it the members' zip codes and have it geolocate candidate lat/longs around the country to serve maximum number of members.
What problem are you trying to solve? It's not clear to me that there is a shortage of flying fields in the areas where the maximum number of AMA members could be served. By and large clubs do a good job securing and maintaining flying sites. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, just saying I'm not sure it's a high priority item.

However, thinking about it a bit more, if there were dedicated AMA sites around the country that members/clubs could use to host events that would certainly be a good thing as many club fields don't have the facilities to host events.

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