Go Back  RCU Forums > RC Airplanes > AMA Discussions
Reload this Page >

What is the rational economic reason for joining AMA?

Notices
AMA Discussions Discuss AMA policies, decisions & any other AMA related topics here.

What is the rational economic reason for joining AMA?

Old 03-11-2020, 06:29 AM
  #1  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default What is the rational economic reason for joining AMA?

For those that are members, note the "declining...", "decreasing...", etc. in the most recent EC meeting (note 1). Also note the changes to charge for things that were previously free. And all this before the market tanked, and states are recommending AGAINST large gatherings (like NATS?). It causes me to wonder:

"What is the RATIONAL economic justification for joining AMA?"

"What if FRIA part of Remote ID rule is watered down and AMA doesn't get all those forced members?"


Note 1: https://www.modelaircraft.org/execut...tes-01-25-2020

Last edited by franklin_m; 03-11-2020 at 06:55 AM.
Old 03-11-2020, 07:17 AM
  #2  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

All I can say is, like when it comes to other hobbies; besides the groups for drone racing/fpv etc What other organization has stepped up or advocated for our hobby as a viable alternative to the AMA?
Old 03-11-2020, 07:35 AM
  #3  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
All I can say is, like when it comes to other hobbies; besides the groups for drone racing/fpv etc What other organization has stepped up or advocated for our hobby as a viable alternative to the AMA (emphasis added)?
At $75 a year? But whatever. A quick search found three:I'm sure there's more...
Old 03-11-2020, 07:42 AM
  #4  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Yes, the EAA came out again the the new laws advocating the traditional plank flying, but i'm talking on a consistent year in year out 365 a day basis...
Old 03-11-2020, 09:10 AM
  #5  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

What you said then....
Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
All I can say is, like when it comes to other hobbies; besides the groups for drone racing/fpv etc What other organization has stepped up or advocated for our hobby as a viable alternative to the AMA?
And after proving there are others, THEN you move the goal posts...
Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
Yes, the EAA came out again the the new laws advocating the traditional plank flying, but i'm talking on a consistent year in year out 365 a day basis...(emphasis added)

So again, what's the RATIONAL economic justification for joining AMA and sending them $75 a year when:

About HALF of that goes to pay for magazines and HQ staff?
And when less than $14 pays for insurance?
And when less than $1 of that goes to field grants?

Last edited by franklin_m; 03-11-2020 at 09:16 AM.
Old 03-11-2020, 09:18 AM
  #6  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Maybe people don't need a rational reason, it's their money; let them spend like they want. Bash the AMA all you want, but let people decide if they wish to pay dues to the AMA or not; you spend your money how you want and we will spend out hard earned money how we please, even if we want to pay the money sucking no good AMA you call it.
Old 03-11-2020, 09:32 AM
  #7  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
Maybe people don't need a rational reason, it's their money; let them spend like they want. Bash the AMA all you want, but let people decide if they wish to pay dues to the AMA or not; you spend your money how you want and we will spend out hard earned money how we please, even if we want to pay the money sucking no good AMA you call it.
And therein you cite rather elegantly the fundamental reason AMA will ultimately fail. That is the overwhelming majority of people make rational economic decisions. Yes, there are true believers like you that will tithe any amount to the AMA. But a great many more can take or leave the hobby. Witness the nearly two decades of nearly constant declining membership revenue (in constant inflation adjusted dollars). There are just not enough folks like you to keep AMA afloat.
Old 03-11-2020, 09:33 AM
  #8  
dryverman
My Feedback: (2)
 
dryverman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Proctor, VT
Posts: 224
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

I usually don't make comments regarding AMA threads, I spend most of my spare time in the basement building "toy" planes. When I'm on RCU it's mostly checking the warbird and scale threads, but your question got me thinking. I have belonged to a club of 40-50 members for many years, we fly at an old airstrip owned by the town. Each year we go to select board to get their approval to fly, as we have been doing for many years. Economic reasons aside, they require us to have site insurance and we as a club require all members to have a current AMA membership. The town has no other requirements, we basically use the property for free. The site could not be better, 800X75 runway, no restrictions at either end. Being an AMA member is a small price to pay to have what we have... would you agree?
Old 03-11-2020, 09:38 AM
  #9  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dryverman View Post
I usually don't make comments regarding AMA threads, I spend most of my spare time in the basement building "toy" planes. When I'm on RCU it's mostly checking the warbird and scale threads, but your question got me thinking. I have belonged to a club of 40-50 members for many years, we fly at an old airstrip owned by the town. Each year we go to select board to get their approval to fly, as we have been doing for many years. Economic reasons aside, they require us to have site insurance and we as a club require all members to have a current AMA membership. The town has no other requirements, we basically use the property for free. The site could not be better, 800X75 runway, no restrictions at either end. Being an AMA member is a small price to pay to have what we have... would you agree?
No he wouldn't agree, the Anti AMA messiah hates Taj Muncie, he really thinks they are all about corruption and just wasting our due moneys and not even advocating for the hobby. He really likes to dive into their finances alot and then post them here to try to make us instead follow his pied pipping.
Old 03-11-2020, 09:40 AM
  #10  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by dryverman View Post
I usually don't make comments regarding AMA threads, I spend most of my spare time in the basement building "toy" planes. When I'm on RCU it's mostly checking the warbird and scale threads, but your question got me thinking. I have belonged to a club of 40-50 members for many years, we fly at an old airstrip owned by the town. Each year we go to select board to get their approval to fly, as we have been doing for many years. Economic reasons aside, they require us to have site insurance and we as a club require all members to have a current AMA membership. The town has no other requirements, we basically use the property for free. The site could not be better, 800X75 runway, no restrictions at either end. Being an AMA member is a small price to pay to have what we have... would you agree?
That sounds like a decent deal for your money. The problem is that many AMA members get far less for their membership dollar. For years I've advocated that the strongest rational reason for joining AMA is a quality field close to where members live and work, and thus putting money out there to "level" the experience would be well placed. But what I've found is that those "haves" generally don't support spending money for the "have nots".

So if your AMA dollar gets you ready access to what sounds like a great field close to home, that's fantastic. But what about another member sending the same amount to AMA and all it gets them is a rough grass field? If they have some compelling "need" for an AMA field, I suppose they'll pay. But absent a need to fly large planes or jets, a great many can just save the money and fly smaller stuff at the park or school within walking distance and spend that $75 a year (plus the $100 a year club fees) on planes, batteries, etc.
Old 03-11-2020, 09:43 AM
  #11  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
That sounds like a decent deal for your money. The problem is that many AMA members get far less for their membership dollar. For years I've advocated that the strongest rational reason for joining AMA is a quality field close to where members live and work, and thus putting money out there to "level" the experience would be well placed. But what I've found is that those "haves" generally don't support spending money for the "have nots".

So if your AMA dollar gets you ready access to what sounds like a great field close to home, that's fantastic. But what about another member sending the same amount to AMA and all it gets them is a rough grass field? If they have some compelling "need" for an AMA field, I suppose they'll pay. But absent a need to fly large planes or jets, a great many can just save the money and fly smaller stuff at the park or school within walking distance and spend that $75 a year (plus the $100 a year club fees) on planes, batteries, etc.
He's always trying to justify his ANTI AMA stance, you don't need to justify to us; to each his own...
Old 03-11-2020, 09:58 AM
  #12  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
He's always trying to justify his ANTI AMA stance, you don't need to justify to us; to each his own...
Perfect example of five-digit AMA "nobility" saying that "I've got access to a great field for my $75. You don't? Too bad for you."
Old 03-11-2020, 11:39 AM
  #13  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Perfect example of five-digit AMA "nobility" saying that "I've got access to a great field for my $75. You don't? Too bad for you."
Wow, you get that from all that?, what do you care about people with low digit AMA membership number, just because we've been associated with them for a long time... You are the one with a mentality that anything good about the AMA, you want to discredit and bash away..
Old 03-11-2020, 11:59 AM
  #14  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
Wow, you get that from all that?, what do you care about people with low digit AMA membership number, just because we've been associated with them for a long time... You are the one with a mentality that anything good about the AMA, you want to discredit and bash away..
As for the five digit number, I didn't raise that issue, you did. As if it's some sign of piety or nobility.

No, I think it's time that people understand just how little of their membership dollar supports them directly. "Tooth to tail" we call it. Taj-Munice is the classic self-licking ice cream cone. That is a bloated bureaucracy that exists mostly to support it's own bureaucracy. The numbers bear that out:


Nearly HALF of all membership dollars supports two things: HQ Staff & two magazines

Total executive expenses increasing at a rate 4 times faster than non-executive staff expenses

Less than $14 of a members' $75 pays for insurance, and that's high as "Insurance" on AMA's 990 includes other insurance not directly supporting members

Less than $1 of a members' $75 goes toward field grants ... and that dollar is shared among the 3,000 fields.

Maybe people will come to the realization out of every $75, only about $15 supports them directly. All the rest "feeds the beast" that is the AMA bureaucracy.
Old 03-11-2020, 12:15 PM
  #15  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Why did the OP even post this? what is his rationale? He must have nightmares about Taj Muncie all the time, their financial numbers haunt him, instead of leaving a single bad review on yelp or google, he rather come here and continue to bash em and kick em while their down.
Old 03-11-2020, 12:26 PM
  #16  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
Why did the OP even post this? what is his rationale? He must have nightmares about Taj Muncie all the time, their financial numbers haunt him, instead of leaving a single bad review on yelp or google, he rather come here and continue to bash em and kick em while their down (emphasis added).
But wait, I thought AMA was the pinnacle good management, financial stewardship, and organizational strength? On the other hand, if "their (sic) down," then perhaps it's not the best strategy for the hobby to hang its future on the effectiveness of a weak and "down" organization.
Old 03-11-2020, 12:36 PM
  #17  
mach5nchimchim
Member
 
mach5nchimchim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Penn State, PA
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
But wait, I thought AMA was the pinnacle good management, financial stewardship, and organizational strength? On the other hand, if "their (sic) down," then perhaps it's not the best strategy for the hobby to hang its future on the effectiveness of a weak and "down" organization.
No one ever said they are perfect, but you bash them unabaited constantly.
Old 03-11-2020, 01:29 PM
  #18  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by mach5nchimchim View Post
No one ever said they are perfect, but you bash them unabaited constantly.
Maybe because they continue doing more of the same and expecting a different result. "Unabaited (sic) constantly" bad management.
Old 03-11-2020, 03:37 PM
  #19  
J330
My Feedback: (2)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bayside Lakes
Posts: 448
Received 11 Likes on 10 Posts
Default

After 20 active flying years out of 44 years of time in the hobby on and off, I paid for AMA one year to get access to a club that had a positive vibe, in Sebastian FL, 34 miles away. The trip got old fast and I wasn't that thrilled with the place when overnight a new president changed all the events and started banning Rossi engines and races. IRKS is a joke, the most ridiculous club known to man. It's literally a flying site on top of a county dump, and yes, you smell garbage, and there are obstacles in the way while they focus on banking $60,000 to this day instead of using it to move. On the other hand, I'm 4 miles from a flying field that I used for the last 18 years on and off that is wide open 1000 acre cleared field, smells great, and you can bring your RV rig and BBQ any time on the property, compliments of Dave Platt, the PICA guy Dave Platt. It's free, thanks to him. No AMA required. No president to play politics with. In that 18 years, I haven't had or witnessed an incident where there was injury or any property damage. The only annoyance is the hovering idiot on the runway, and I fly on days I know he won't show up.
AMA hasn't provided anything I need to enjoy the hobby because I don't need a far away club of smug people to enjoy my flying time with. I don't know the history of the OP, but I don't see anything offensive in his comments. I'm not prejudiced against him. He's welcome to his opinion as well as any other member. There is no "my way or the highway" in a forum, is there?
In the rogue field, we have a very friendly atmosphere and everyone is of a time where RC was how it was 20-30 years ago I guess when, people helped one another get their plane in the air and worked together so the inexperienced had a successful flight. Need a new glow plug? I got one, try this. Want a hand getting your plane on the runway? Someone will carry it and you don't have to ask. It's not awkward. The clubs around here, certainly are awkward, cynical and if that's the benefit of being an AMA member, no thanks.

Should the FAA ban my location, so be it. My RC items will be worthless overnight. I'll probably scuba dive a wreck or buy a Concours 1400 and go ride down A1A. I did that when I was inactive in the hobby, I can do that again.


Old 03-26-2020, 10:38 AM
  #20  
049flyer
My Feedback: (18)
 
049flyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,085
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

Until clubs decouple themselves from the AMA, the AMA will continue to provide "value" to the membership (access to a flying field). The AMA can afford to be poorly managed and financially unaccountable as long as folks need the AMA "union Card" to fly at a club field. Break that bond and the AMA is toast, and the AMA leadership knows it.

Nothing anyone says on an online message board is going to change the AMA or their support by a wide majority of members. Most members really don't care about anything the AMA does or doesn't do as long as they can fly at their local field. Most care even less about sermons from those that want to shine a spotlight on the AMA's faults.

The REAL threat to the AMA and the hobby in general is the FAA and their proposed efforts to regulate the hobby. Franklin, why not focus your efforts towards the REAL fight and ignore the AMA for a while. How we got here is not relevant to solving the real problem.

Like a boil on the hind end of a man that just caught his foot in a bear trap. First get out of the trap then deal with the pain on the rear.

Last edited by 049flyer; 03-26-2020 at 10:40 AM.
Old 03-26-2020, 11:03 AM
  #21  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by 049flyer View Post
Until clubs decouple themselves from the AMA, the AMA will continue to provide "value" to the membership (access to a flying field). The AMA can afford to be poorly managed and financially unaccountable as long as folks need the AMA "union Card" to fly at a club field. Break that bond and the AMA is toast, and the AMA leadership knows it.

Nothing anyone says on an online message board is going to change the AMA or their support by a wide majority of members. Most members really don't care about anything the AMA does or doesn't do as long as they can fly at their local field. Most care even less about sermons from those that want to shine a spotlight on the AMA's faults.

The REAL threat to the AMA and the hobby in general is the FAA and their proposed efforts to regulate the hobby. Franklin, why not focus your efforts towards the REAL fight and ignore the AMA for a while. How we got here is not relevant to solving the real problem.

Like a boil on the hind end of a man that just caught his foot in a bear trap. First get out of the trap then deal with the pain on the rear.
Here's the deal. Every single time there's an issue, there's a chorus that says (paraphrase) "We know the AMA has problems, but let's get past ___________ (fill in the blank) and then address the AMA issues." And the problem is, that "...and then..." never happens. Did anyone ever stop to think that AMA has issue after issue after issue with FAA in part BECAUSE of their strategic / organization / leadership problems? Maybe if they were more professional the FAA would have taken them seriously? Maybe if they were willing to compromise earlier on RemoteID (strategic decision), they wouldn't have the problem now? Maybe if they focused on their biggest reason for joining, the club field close to where members live - they wouldn't be losing members? Or the all time mistake (in my mind) the failure to distinguish MRs from their traditional customer base?

As for the union card and the fields. That may well change. Time will tell. But unless AMA gets the only fly non-compliant equipment at FRIAs (which I think is unlikely for a number of reasons), they're going to continue haemorrhaging members, dwindling their resources even further. At what point can we not "wait until we get past this __________" anymore?
Old 03-28-2020, 09:44 AM
  #22  
Dick T.
My Feedback: (243)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Visalia, CA
Posts: 1,534
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
Default

[QUOTE= Or the all time mistake (in my mind) the failure to distinguish MRs from their traditional customer base?[/QUOTE]

Could not agree more. In my opinion, AMA thought they could grab a lot of new members ($$$$) then compel FAA into carving out a special place for them as solitary CBO. FAA may be a collection of bureaucratic fools but they are not stupid. Putting on big boy pants and travelling to DC may have gotten AMA an audience but little more. Me thinks the FAA boys snicker a little after leaving the room.

I personally think model aviation was not on FAA's radar. MR's were FAA's primary concern until we got tossed under the blanket with them.
Old 03-28-2020, 09:53 AM
  #23  
speedracerntrixie
My Feedback: (29)
 
speedracerntrixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Happy Valley, Oregon
Posts: 8,174
Received 71 Likes on 68 Posts
Default

I couldn't agree more. Although we have that same blanket over our heads I still feel that the FAA knows we are not the issue and have been and will continue to give us some latitude. A good example of this latitude is that they did not interfere with 99.9% of the airplane events that took place in 2019. The couple that they did show up to were at locations with known issues related to proximity of airports/flight path. I have every confidence that when we get back to having events later this year that 2020 will play out much like 2019 did. In the meantime we just need to hunker down and stay safe.
Old 03-28-2020, 10:36 AM
  #24  
franklin_m
Thread Starter
 
franklin_m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 3,851
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by Dick T. View Post
AMA thought they could grab a lot of new members ($$$$) then compel FAA into carving out a special place for them as solitary CBO.
When any organization makes a strategic decision so significant as embracing multi-rotors, they should have done a very serious analysis of unintended consequences. And the way they knew or should have known this might not be the best idea? The EC was seriously split on the idea (giant clue #1 it was not a good idea). But they got a tie-breaker vote (from president at the time) and did it.

Originally Posted by Dick T. View Post
FAA may be a collection of bureaucratic fools but they are not stupid. Putting on big boy pants and travelling to DC may have gotten AMA an audience but little more. Me thinks the FAA boys snicker a little after leaving the room.
There's been concrete examples that above is true. If you're a member and go back through AMA EC Meeting Minutes, you'll see them complaining about FAA not sending decision makers to meetings and FAA not acting on their CBO recognition request for years. Those are overt examples of what a government agency does when they view you as you characterized above (correctly I believe).

Originally Posted by Dick T. View Post
I personally think model aviation was not on FAA's radar. MR's were FAA's primary concern until we got tossed under the blanket with them.
Actually, because AMA decided to embrace them, it was the EC that made an overt decision to climb under that blanket with the MRs. And now public, media, many regulators (local, state, fed), and legislators (local, state, fed) now see no distinction from a policy standpoint.
Old 03-28-2020, 10:40 AM
  #25  
fliers1
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Lockport, NY
Posts: 1,276
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

7. Executive Director’s Report (Chad Budreau)
Standing Rules (Angie Martin, Andy Argenio)
 Currently have 66,000 Youth members.
 AMA is planning on bringing in 400,000 youth members through JROTC partnerships to include the Airforce.
 Insurance premiums will increase substantially for youth, costing AMA millions.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.