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AMA Bashing is Pointless

Old 02-28-2021, 08:32 AM
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Default AMA Bashing is Pointless

I have not posted on RCU in a while, but I recognize many of the usual suspects from RCG. I suspect that some of you will also recognize me and will know that I get very frustrated with those who choose to express their disappointment in the AMA by portraying its members in a derogatory and even insulting fashion. There is just no place for that. But that is not what this post is about.

The truth is the bashing the AMA is totally pointless because within 10 - 15 years, the AMA will cease to have any significance. This demise will not be the fault of the AMA leadership, the FAA, Chinese drone manufactures, obnoxious club members, or any of the other usual suspects we argue about on forums like this. It will be due to the simple fact that the the last of the baby boomers (like myself) will be aging out of the hobby by then. There is simply no stopping this immutable fact of life. BTW, the same thing is happening to the hobby industry as a whole, not just RC model aircraft.

You can say that the AMA should be doing more to recruit younger members and be more forward looking like Flite Test. That is a fair call (an I have said many times how impressed I am with Flite Test), but then the AMA would not really be the AMA anymore, and most of the membership does not want that change. The vast majority of AMA members that I know all fit the aging baby boomer demographic. Most of them are quite happy with the status quo and with the overall AMA and club experience. They most assuredly do not want the AMA to become Flite Test. They want the AMA to more or less carry on with as little change as possible (holding onto whatever aspect of their youth that they can) until they are no longer able to participate in the hobby.

The vocal minority who post ceaselessly about the failings of the AMA may have many valid points (except when they turn into personal attacks), but the simple truth is, the larger organism that is the AMA simply doesn't care, because the majority of the membership doesn't care. They just want to enjoy their retirement without drama and stress and be left alone to fly planes at a club field. Most will not participate and engage in this debate at all, and have no interest in hearing what you might have to say about the AMA's many faults.

The AMA is not the future of the hobby, It will fade away over the next decade or so and nothing we say on a forum board like this will change that. Instead of fighting the tide, wouldn't that energy be better to put into building something new that fits the needs of the future? I now that is a lot more work, but ultimately, the easy road of bashing the AMA is just pointless.

OK, let the flaming begin

Last edited by aymodeler; 02-28-2021 at 09:13 AM. Reason: typo
Old 02-28-2021, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
..... want the AMA to more or less carry on with as little change as possible......
No flaming here, because your point WRT the AMA's future is valid. Now, with that said, I will put forth the notion that the only things that can't change are those that are already dead*. The AMA may be on life support, but right up till the big financial collapse that IS coming there ARE changes that could save it. I'd personally favor some immediate major cost cutting to at least be able to survive the next few years, with a complete reassessment of how the AMA can best serve whatever becomes of the hobby in the future. One thing's for sure, an expensive glossy magazine and forced memberships ain't gonna do it, been there, tried that .........

* And, before it gets mentioned, yes of course I know that dead things DO change, but never into anything good!
Old 02-28-2021, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Now, with that said, I will put forth the notion that the only things that can't change are those that are already dead*. The AMA may be on life support, but right up till the big financial collapse that IS coming there ARE changes that could save it. I'd personally favor some immediate major cost cutting to at least be able to survive the next few years, with a complete reassessment of how the AMA can best serve whatever becomes of the hobby in the future. One thing's for sure, an expensive glossy magazine and forced memberships ain't gonna do it, been there, tried that
Maybe, but the truth is that the membership does not want change, they want their magazine and they want their existing club model to carry on.

They have no interest in reassessing anything. In fact, what I am seeing is a desire for even deeper retrenchment into the "glory days" (insert Bruce Springsteen lyrics here ). To that end, the members will claim that they can be "best served" by the AMA doing everything in their power to keep things form changing.
Old 02-28-2021, 09:18 AM
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Your 100% correct, the present membership doesn't want anything to change, and the passage of time is dwindling us old farts down to the point that pretty soon there ain't gonna be any of us around to piss&moan about the inevitable changes. Personally, as long as the hobby of flying models survives, I really don't care what organization serves the hobby, just knowing that there is still enough of a hobby to have a representative organization supporting it will be enough for my spirit to rest in peace......
Old 02-28-2021, 02:46 PM
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Not to be argumentative, Aymodeler, but it sounds like you're describing someone that has driven the same 1957 Chevy since he first got a license and, even with the modern cars being more efficient and with safety features his car doesn't have, he's stuck in the past more due to fear of tech than not wanting to buy something new. Would that same person still be watching a tube type black and white TV and listening to a tube type AM radio? Probably not since the tubes do burn out and are nearly impossible to find since society has, generally speaking, become a "throw it away and buy a new one" mentality. I don't think it's so much they don't want to change as it is they don't care. Give the members that want it their magazine and a new card every year and they don't see a problem. But what happens if they are told that their dues are going up to help pay for an indoor flying facility(and we know the ED and EC won't ever tell them why their rates are going up, just that it's due to operational costs going up) that they will never use because of distance or it's not something they would need for their flying style? Worse yet, what if that facility sits unused for over 90% of the year(something else that would never get out to the members) and yet the members are still paying for it? It's this failure to keep the members informed that leads to many not questioning the ED and EC. It's the same thing as the mainstream media not reporting any of the bad associated with the Biden family, of which there is a lot, yet everything that Donald Trump or his family did or said was turned into a media frenzy" of how it would hurt the country and "ORANGE MAN BAD" was the slogan used by both the mainstream media AND the Democratic party. You want to hear the truth, go to foreign news services, they just tell it like it is and not put a "spin" on everything. Problem is that the media has nothing to do with the AMA and the only way to get information is from the AMA or members that really keep track of what is being said by the ED and EC and are following the trail of breadcrumbs that the AMA "brass" is leaving to see where they are taking the AMA.

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 02-28-2021 at 02:49 PM.
Old 02-28-2021, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
the AMA simply doesn't care, because the majority of the membership doesn't care. They just want to enjoy their retirement without drama and stress and be left alone to fly planes at a club field.
Sounds more like RC hospice.


Old 02-28-2021, 03:50 PM
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Flite Test is like 737 Max and 777. Let the buyers buy cheap while the sellers rack in a ton of cash. To hell with regulations and quality control. Just pump out crap and let the buyers control the end product. The difference is the FAA still does control the 737MAX and 777 quality requirements and Boeing is going to learn a hard lesson. It's the Flite Test buyers who will learn the hard lesson in the long term. Even foamies are better than that cardboard crap.
Old 02-28-2021, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Not to be argumentative, Aymodeler ...
Not to be argumentative myself, but I'm honestly not sure what your point is. If you are saying that AMA members are stuck in the past, then when it comes to the RC hobby, I would say you are mostly right (that was kind of my point too). I wouldn't paint the entire membership with this broad brush, but it certainly fits a large swath. Many of us (even some of us old farts) do enjoy learning and trying new things, but I also know plenty of guys that would make your pry their 72 MHz radio out of their cold dead hands before switching to anything new. But whether its because the don't want to or don't care is irrelevant because that is just two sides of the same coin.

My point is that trying to change the AMA is a waste of time. While I do not agree with AMA on everything, I also have to say that on balance the AMA/club field model does work for me and many like me. I do find value in the dues that I pay as I get a great place to fly with a well maintained runway, some nice amenities, and a mostly pleasant company (and to put in perspective I spend less on AMA and club dues than I do on Netflix). I really don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about what goes on in Muncie and I don't let it spoil my fun. So, many like me are not terribly motivated to drive a lot of change. Could it be better? Could they offer more? Absolutely! But is it worth tearing the whole thing down ... well probably not, I'd rather spend my time building and flying.

That does not mean that I think that the AMA works for everyone. Many are finding alternate ways to enjoy the hobby, and that is OK too. If I could find as nice a place to fly that wasn't AMA I would be fine with that too, even if it required me to contribute in some way to support it's existence.

So don't rail against the AMA, your just wasting your breath. Build a better solution ... I'd gladly join in and help!
Old 02-28-2021, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rgburrill View Post
Flite Test is like 737 Max and 777. Let the buyers buy cheap while the sellers rack in a ton of cash. To hell with regulations and quality control. Just pump out crap and let the buyers control the end product. The difference is the FAA still does control the 737MAX and 777 quality requirements and Boeing is going to learn a hard lesson. It's the Flite Test buyers who will learn the hard lesson in the long term. Even foamies are better than that cardboard crap.
I have had a lot of fun with some cardboard crap! And the low cost approach is bringing more people into the hobby. And have been impressed with some of the creativity and innovation that is coming out of these younger enthusiasts. It may look different, but has the same soul. It's all about learning and having fun.

You are right that Flite Test ultimately is a for profit business (unlike the AMA). But they have a much bigger following and those younger enthusiasts are the future of the hobby.
Old 02-28-2021, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ECHO24 View Post
Sounds more like RC hospice.
LoL. Yup!
Old 02-28-2021, 04:21 PM
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Bashing the "usual suspects" at RCU, ordering them, "So don't rail against the AMA". What's up with that?

How about anymodeler "Build a better solution" before barging in and talking down to people.

Must be nobody left at RCGroups to argue with.
Old 02-28-2021, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ECHO24 View Post
Bashing the "usual suspects" at RCU, ordering them, "So don't rail against the AMA". What's up with that?

How about anymodeler "Build a better solution" before barging in and talking down to people.

Must be nobody left at RCGroups to argue with.
Fair point, my intent isn't to talk down or even to argue. My goal here is just to express an opinion, and I my intent is not to make it personal. My comment about usual suspects was not intended to be derogatory in any way, so apologies if it came across that way. Just pointing out that even if though I have not posted here in a while, I do recognize some of the players and some will recognize me.
Old 02-28-2021, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
My point is that trying to change the AMA is a waste of time.
HUH? Change doesn't come from apathy, it comes from voicing one's opinions. I get that the younger generation can't handle having adult conversations anymore, but you sound like you come from a generation where conversations and debate are the norm and how adults get things done.

Originally Posted by aymodeler
While I do not agree with AMA on everything, I also have to say that on balance the AMA/club field model does work for me and many like me. I do find value in the dues that I pay as I get a great place to fly with a well maintained runway, some nice amenities, and a mostly pleasant company
You do realize that the AMA has absolutely ZERO to do with your flying facility, right? (other than providing insurance) and your AMA dues do not pay for the, "great place to fly with a well maintained runway, some nice amenities, and a mostly pleasant company"

Originally Posted by aymodeler
I really don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about what goes on in Muncie and I don't let it spoil my fun. So, many like me are not terribly motivated to drive a lot of change
And this is a big reason why things have gone steadily downhill in Muncie, including the bank account! If more people would voice their opinions, and if you don't expect Muncie to do much, we could get the same benefits we have now for probably HALF of the price of our current dues. Now what old fart on a fixed income wouldn't go for that?

Originally Posted by aymodeler
If I could find as nice a place to fly that wasn't AMA I would be fine with that too, even if it required me to contribute in some way to support it's existence.
See, if more members were engaged, they would understand that the AMA has done everything in their power to make sure you don't have that choice, that is the whole point of many of these threads. It's too bad that members like you come in here and start threads titled, "AMA bashing", without even knowing what is really going on.

Astro
Old 02-28-2021, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
Fair point, my intent isn't to talk down or even to argue. My goal here is just to express an opinion, and I my intent is not to make it personal. My comment about usual suspects was not intended to be derogatory in any way, so apologies if it came across that way. Just pointing out that even if though I have not posted here in a while, I do recognize some of the players and some will recognize me.
You posted the thread just to start an argument ("OK, let the flaming begin ") in an "AMA discussions" forum.





Old 02-28-2021, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
Not to be argumentative myself, but I'm honestly not sure what your point is. If you are saying that AMA members are stuck in the past, then when it comes to the RC hobby, I would say you are mostly right (that was kind of my point too). I wouldn't paint the entire membership with this broad brush, but it certainly fits a large swath. Many of us (even some of us old farts) do enjoy learning and trying new things, but I also know plenty of guys that would make your pry their 72 MHz radio out of their cold dead hands before switching to anything new. But whether its because the don't want to or don't care is irrelevant because that is just two sides of the same coin.

My point is that trying to change the AMA is a waste of time. While I do not agree with AMA on everything, I also have to say that on balance the AMA/club field model does work for me and many like me. I do find value in the dues that I pay as I get a great place to fly with a well maintained runway, some nice amenities, and a mostly pleasant company (and to put in perspective I spend less on AMA and club dues than I do on Netflix). I really don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about what goes on in Muncie and I don't let it spoil my fun. So, many like me are not terribly motivated to drive a lot of change. Could it be better? Could they offer more? Absolutely! But is it worth tearing the whole thing down ... well probably not, I'd rather spend my time building and flying.

That does not mean that I think that the AMA works for everyone. Many are finding alternate ways to enjoy the hobby, and that is OK too. If I could find as nice a place to fly that wasn't AMA I would be fine with that too, even if it required me to contribute in some way to support it's existence.

So don't rail against the AMA, your just wasting your breath. Build a better solution ... I'd gladly join in and help!
My points are:
  • that many are stuck in the past, on that I do agree with you
  • that Muncie isn't giving the membership a true picture of what's going on and what they are doing, leaving the membership in the dark and not giving them the chance to make informed choices other than just going with the status quo
  • that many probably would be more engaged as to what's going on in Muncie, you possibly included, if you were kept in the loop. Since you're not, anything that happens that you probably wouldn't agree with you don't learn of until after the fact
  • that Muncie, much like the current House of Representatives, isn't spending money you provide in a fiscally responsible way. In the same vein, the HoR just passed a Covid relief bill that only puts 9% of the $1.9 TRILLION toward Covid relief. The rest goes toward personal projects(like the indoor flying facility some on the EC are pushing for) and paying some states what can be looked upon as "bonuses" for incompetent leadership. One of the projects is a $250+ MILLION subway from San Francisco to Silicon Valley and the Napa Valley so Nancy Pelosi won't have to be on roads with us common folk.
So, to put it bluntly, the ED and EC aren't giving the membership the facts and the membership is thinking all is good when, truth be told, the AMA is dying a slow, but accelerating death.
With that said, I would like to thank you for your position of keeping the discussion civil and not adversarial. It's nice to be able to have a discussion with others that doesn't include having to defend ourselves from attacks that are used only to derail a thread from the actual subject

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 02-28-2021 at 05:55 PM.
Old 02-28-2021, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
HUH? Change doesn't come from apathy, it comes from voicing one's opinions. I get that the younger generation can't handle having adult conversations anymore, but you sound like you come from a generation where conversations and debate are the norm and how adults get things done.


You do realize that the AMA has absolutely ZERO to do with your flying facility, right? (other than providing insurance) and your AMA dues do not pay for the, "great place to fly with a well maintained runway, some nice amenities, and a mostly pleasant company"


And this is a big reason why things have gone steadily downhill in Muncie, including the bank account! If more people would voice their opinions, and if you don't expect Muncie to do much, we could get the same benefits we have now for probably HALF of the price of our current dues. Now what old fart on a fixed income wouldn't go for that?


See, if more members were engaged, they would understand that the AMA has done everything in their power to make sure you don't have that choice, that is the whole point of many of these threads. It's too bad that members like you come in here and start threads titled, "AMA bashing", without even knowing what is really going on.

Astro

Believe it or not, I do appreciate your perspective on this. That's why I started this thread, to have a dialog.

Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "bashing", that is a fair point, but it seems like there is a constant stream of negative opinions about the AMA and not much of an alternate perspective. And while I honestly see the AMA as a dying organization, which was the point of my post, I also feel that it works for many of its members (after a fashion).

I do think that the AMA does provide value beyond insurance. It is my opinion that they deserve a fair amount of credit getting the changes to the final RID rule and I do believe that they are making progress on getting a streamlined process in place for altitude waivers.

I do tend to agree that they need to be more fiscally responsible, no argument there. I also do believe they could do a much better job at public relations.

So maybe I could have started this conversation a bit more diplomatically, but my intention is to have a conversation, not to attack or disparage anyone.
Old 02-28-2021, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
So maybe I could have started this conversation a bit more diplomatically, but my intention is to have a conversation, not to attack or disparage anyone.
You started the thread just fine. You gave an opinion and invited others to give theirs, nothing wrong with that. It's when a thread gets personal that things go bad. As long as this thread keeps on it's present track, I see this as a good thread that should keep going
Old 02-28-2021, 06:12 PM
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Sees AMA as a dying organization - doesn't like it when people point out why.
Old 02-28-2021, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
It is my opinion that they deserve a fair amount of credit getting the changes to the final RID rule and I do believe that they are making progress on getting a streamlined process in place for altitude waivers.
Care to list the specifics that you think they deserve credit for? And as far as progress on the altitude waivers, do you know something we don't? We've been asking for specifics for months and have not received anything at all. NADA, ZILCH, ZIPPO.

Perhaps you have just been listening to what the AMA has publicly released?

Oh, and yes, I really appreciate being able to have dialogue with those of differing opinions without the personal bashing! Thank-You!

Astro

Astro
Old 02-28-2021, 06:26 PM
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The reason for this proactive thread is RCGroups regulation forum is pretty much played out. Things have turned out the way AMA critics said it would with
the FAA taking over, etc., leaving little left to talk about over on RCGroups, as all their editorial thugs also hold some position or another at the AMA.

So be it. The forum is "AMA discussions", discuss away!
Old 02-28-2021, 07:27 PM
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Getting back to the original premise, anymodeler claims the demise of the hobby (and subsequent FAA takeover) has nothing to
do with any actions by the AMA. Arguing that's the case is fine, wrong as it is. Here is the rub:


"I get very frustrated with those who choose to express their disappointment in the AMA by portraying its members in a derogatory and even insulting fashion."

I've seen plenty of sarcasm, ridicule, etc., but in the give-and-take of an online forum. I don't know of any post portraying any AMA
member in a "derogatory and even insulting fashion" to criticize the AMA. I doubt anymodeler does either.

It's a straw argument used to talk down to his audience (us) and dispense his wisdom about our pointless discussions over the AMA.

That ain't gunna fly here.




Last edited by ECHO24; 02-28-2021 at 07:37 PM.
Old 02-28-2021, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ECHO24 View Post
Getting back to the original premise, anymodeler claims the demise of the hobby (and subsequent FAA takeover) has nothing to do with any actions by the AMA.
Arguing that's the case is fine, wrong as it is. Here is the rub:


"I get very frustrated with those who choose to express their disappointment in the AMA by portraying its members in a derogatory and even insulting fashion."

I've seen plenty of sarcasm, ridicule, etc., but in the give-and-take of an online forum. I don't know of any post portraying any AMA member in a "derogatory and
even insulting fashion" to criticize the AMA. I doubt anymodeler does either.

It's a straw argument used to talk down to his audience (us) and dispense his wisdom about our pointless discussions over the AMA.

That ain't gunna fly here.
It's funny how those who have called out the AMA have a stigma that portrays them as name-callers, when the truth is that it is the staunch AMA supporters here that continually use demeaning and sometimes vulgar names for those of us on, "the other side".

Astro
Old 02-28-2021, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
Care to list the specifics that you think they deserve credit for? And as far as progress on the altitude waivers, do you know something we don't? We've been asking for specifics for months and have not received anything at all. NADA, ZILCH, ZIPPO.

Perhaps you have just been listening to what the AMA has publicly released?

Oh, and yes, I really appreciate being able to have dialogue with those of differing opinions without the personal bashing! Thank-You!

Astro

Astro
Well I certainly wasn't in the room, but we know that the AMA maintained a regular stream of meetings with the FAA and with representatives in congress throughout the process. They also did help mobilize efforts for their membership to write in comments to the original NPRM, and there efforts also helped to publicize the situation to the public at large creating awareness with non AMA enthusiasts. They also helped to organize a coalition of industry members creating a platform for a shared voice from that community. We can never know if the outcome would have been different had the AMA not done those things, but I certainly believe those efforts contributed to the positive outcome.

As far as the altitude waivers go, in truth I am basing this on comments that were shared in the recent AMA interview with Jim William (former head of the FAA UAS Integration Office). The comments in this interview were encouraging, but to your point, part of AMA's own publicity.

I am not calling the AMA perfect, FAR from it, but they do not believe that they are completely ineffective either. Like most things, I look at this as being neither totally black or totally white.
Old 02-28-2021, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
Well I certainly wasn't in the room, but we know that the AMA maintained a regular stream of meetings with the FAA and with representatives in congress throughout the process. They also did help mobilize efforts for their membership to write in comments to the original NPRM, and there efforts also helped to publicize the situation to the public at large creating awareness with non AMA enthusiasts. They also helped to organize a coalition of industry members creating a platform for a shared voice from that community. We can never know if the outcome would have been different had the AMA not done those things, but I certainly believe those efforts contributed to the positive outcome.

As far as the altitude waivers go, in truth I am basing this on comments that were shared in the recent AMA interview with Jim William (former head of the FAA UAS Integration Office). The comments in this interview were encouraging, but to your point, part of AMA's own publicity.

I am not calling the AMA perfect, FAR from it, but they do not believe that they are completely ineffective either. Like most things, I look at this as being neither totally black or totally white.
Your opinion is not much different from most of the AMA members that I talk to. I think that attitude (and the resulting apathy) stems from when the AMA actually DID advocate for the hobby and DID have value for the membership and WAS in the black as far as their budget was concerned. This observation also fits with the demographic that you described in an earlier post, so it is not surprising at all.

I think what Franklin has found through his deep dive into their books and and the, "official dialogue" of the AMA vs. reality in the last decade or so, is that what the membership is being fed, is not necessarily what is happening, hence those here that are discussing and asking the questions. When there is a discussion here that questions the AMA, what we normally see is an immediate attack on the OP, followed by, "If you don't like it, go do it yourself". Franklin has taken it upon himself to send inquiries to and ask for clarification from the AMA, both here (there are AMA leader members, and AMA EC members here on this forum) and directly through the official AMA channels, as well as offering to help assist the AMA, only to be repeatedly denied (a pattern that I have also noticed for many years by the AMA where someone publicly questions their actions or policy).

Interesting stuff for sure!

Astro
Old 02-28-2021, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
Your opinion is not much different from most of the AMA members that I talk to. I think that attitude (and the resulting apathy) stems from when the AMA actually DID advocate for the hobby and DID have value for the membership and WAS in the black as far as their budget was concerned. This observation also fits with the demographic that you described in an earlier post, so it is not surprising at all.

I think what Franklin has found through his deep dive into their books and and the, "official dialogue" of the AMA vs. reality in the last decade or so, is that what the membership is being fed, is not necessarily what is happening, hence those here that are discussing and asking the questions. When there is a discussion here that questions the AMA, what we normally see is an immediate attack on the OP, followed by, "If you don't like it, go do it yourself". Franklin has taken it upon himself to send inquiries to and ask for clarification from the AMA, both here (there are AMA leader members, and AMA EC members here on this forum) and directly through the official AMA channels, as well as offering to help assist the AMA, only to be repeatedly denied (a pattern that I have also noticed for many years by the AMA where someone publicly questions their actions or policy).

Interesting stuff for sure!

Astro
So I am curious. If the AMA had no impact bringing about the moderation to the RID NPRM, what is your theory as to how this was achieved?

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