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5 Short Words

Old 04-19-2021, 04:03 AM
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Retiredat38
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Whatever your opinion of Jeff Bezos is (I happen to not like him), no one can dispute his success. So it may be safe to say he knows something about business.

He is stepping down as CEO of Amazon and in so doing has released a letter he has sent to all Amazon shareholders. In it he states that if you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to Create More Than You Consume. Now there's a thought, "Create More Than You Consume". He goes on to say that if one were to step into any business school in the world you'll quickly overhear people talking about "value creation" and "value capture."

Value! Something that has been mentioned too many times to count in threads dealing with the AMA. So let's ask the questions:
Does the AMA create more than it consumes?
And what Values has the AMA created and/or captured?

One answer to the first question is based simply on raw numbers (AMA membership vs FAA Registrations) and it would suggest the answer is a resounding No! With some 80% of all FAA Registered sUAV pilots apparently seeing no need for AMA membership. And this too then begs the question, how many AMA members are members only because they feel compelled to be for some reason or another. IOW membership isn't 100% their choice. i.e. their club requires it among other reasons.

And again, what value does the AMA offer?
And no, it isn't the social aspect because it's the local club that makes or breaks the social aspect of the area. So the AMA in my view provides little more than insurance and structured competition. And little else from what I can tell.

And before someone cries "Advocacy" and claims we wouldn't be where we are with regard to the FAA had it not been for the AMA. First of all such pundits are trying to suggest we would be far worse off had it not been for the AMA. To them I ask, how do you know this? How do you know we wouldn't be better off had the AMA stayed totally out of it? To such predictors of the unknowable I have to ask, "Why are you wasting your time here when you should be turning your soothsaying talents to the stock market or something similar and equally profitable?"

These questions should provoke some serious and interesting thought. But I fully expect it to turn into the cat fight most of these discussions turn into.

Let the senseless drivel commence!

Old 04-20-2021, 03:45 AM
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aymodeler
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So I suspect that my opinion will be in the minority here, but I will maintain that the value I get out of my AMA membership is exceeds the cost of my dues. This is a very subjective opinion and I will grant that many here would not see it that way. I respect those opinions.

Why do I find value? Because I like having a nice place to fly. Many will point out that this is due to the efforts of the local club and not the AMA. Again, I respect that opinion and understand the perspective, but I also believe that without the framework of the AMA, it would be much harder for local clubs to exist. Empirical evidence tends to support this notion since nearly every flying club is AMA chartered (at least the ones I am aware of). If there was a non-AMA field that was successful, well run, organized AND offered insurance without requiring an AMA membership, I would consider joining. Per one of my previous posts, I have heard rumor of such sites, but I do not know of any active in my area.

Could the AMA be more effective and efficient in its mission? Certainly! But simply put, the AMA membership is path to getting me what I really want, a well run, well maintained, insured, and pleasant place to fly. I know of no other vehicle to obtain that, so I am happy with the value I am getting.
Old 04-20-2021, 11:16 AM
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I agree with aymodeler. An awful lot of the value is in today's results from past efforts like organizing competitions and fostering a contest culture, tying the hobby together, advocacy, helping clubs get organized and insured, and so on. If the AMA disappeared today it would probably take 5-10 years to see the effects- clubs closing, regulations without us being represented, some good events stopping or shrinking due to lack of publicity or promotion, and a general disjointedness without a national organization to set the tone. I too think we get more than the cost of membership. Shoot, I probably couldn't even buy the insurance for what AMA costs, let alone get everything else.

There are expenditures that the AMA does that I don't agree with. I also agree with many others that the current AMA business model is not sustainable. But they are giving RC pilots a good value even with that. The changes are going to be about survival rather than value.
Old 04-20-2021, 05:19 PM
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I pay my club as much as I pay AMA. Which gives me more value? Don't know. But without both, flying would be more complicated. How much? Don't know. The costs are not high enough to motivate me to explore alternatives.

I support the AMA. Like has been discussed ad nauseum, their financials are negative, which I do not support.

Is my comment "senseless drivel"? Don't know either
Old 04-20-2021, 08:35 PM
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I'm going to chime in on this one. While I get where Aymodeler, Jester and PopeyeCharlotte are coming from, I respectfully disagree. My reasons are very simple:
1) Aymodeler says he hasn't found a nice flying site that isn't operated by an AMA sanctioned club. Did you ever wonder why? The AMA has basically made it where anyone that wants to operate a flying field almost has to be sanctioned by the AMA for any of the members of that field to be able to fly anyplace else. For sake of argument, let's say I fly at a local park with an electric foamy. A friend invites me to go flying with him at Marymoor Park's flying field in Redmond Washington. We arrive and I'm not allowed to fly, not an AMA member. Now, all I can do is sit and watch my friend or pay for a membership that I probably won't ever use again. Where's the value in that for me
2) Jester referred to organizing competitions and fostering a contest culture, tying the hobby together, advocacy, helping clubs get organized and insured. He then went on to say "it would probably take 5-10 years to see the effects- clubs closing, regulations without us being represented, some good events stopping or shrinking due to lack of publicity or promotion, and a general disjointedness without a national organization to set the tone". The only thing I would agree with is the contest culture and, just maybe, the insurance. The rest are all more about the people. Tying the hobby together doesn't require the AMA. It has more to do with a culture of assisting others, just having fun flying together and the social aspects of the hobby. Organizing a club just means electing officers, getting people into positions that need to be manned and getting the bylaws written, the AMA isn't needed to give directions on those either. I also don' t see clubs shutting down or events stopping due to lack of publicity. I learned long ago that if you only advertise to those that partake in your activity, the activity has no way to grow and, when you really look at it, that's where most of the advertising goes for events like the jet and warbird events. With so few actually building today, those events won't last long even with the AMA around
Old 04-21-2021, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
I agree with aymodeler. An awful lot of the value is in today's results from past efforts like organizing competitions and fostering a contest culture, tying the hobby together, advocacy, helping clubs get organized and insured, and so on. If the AMA disappeared today it would probably take 5-10 years to see the effects- clubs closing, regulations without us being represented, some good events stopping or shrinking due to lack of publicity or promotion, and a general disjointedness without a national organization to set the tone. I too think we get more than the cost of membership. Shoot, I probably couldn't even buy the insurance for what AMA costs, let alone get everything else.

There are expenditures that the AMA does that I don't agree with. I also agree with many others that the current AMA business model is not sustainable. But they are giving RC pilots a good value even with that. The changes are going to be about survival rather than value.
Don't look now, but much of that is happening anyway.

Since the peak in 2003, in constant year dollars:
- Club fees are down 18 percent
- Sanctions down 6 percent
- Magazine revenue down 49 percent
- Membership revenue down 40 percent
- Total revenue down 31 percent
- Total assets down 49 percent
- Net assets down 44 percent

Expenses (note 1)
- Total expenses down 16 percent
- Program expenses down 32 percent

Meanwhile:
- Salaries UP 19 percent
- Executive compensation UP over 156 percent

If that's "value", I'd sure hate to see the opposite!


Note 1: Program expenses are directly related to core mission of organization. Total expenses are program expenses plus overhead. Note that total expenses are being cut at half the rate revenue is dropping (not good). Also note that program expenses (direct spending on core mission) are dropping at double the rate of total expenses. That means more and more of your AMA dollar is being consumed by overhead.
Old 04-21-2021, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
I'm going to chime in on this one. While I get where Aymodeler, Jester and PopeyeCharlotte are coming from, I respectfully disagree. My reasons are very simple:
1) Aymodeler says he hasn't found a nice flying site that isn't operated by an AMA sanctioned club. Did you ever wonder why? The AMA has basically made it where anyone that wants to operate a flying field almost has to be sanctioned by the AMA for any of the members of that field to be able to fly anyplace else. For sake of argument, let's say I fly at a local park with an electric foamy. A friend invites me to go flying with him at Marymoor Park's flying field in Redmond Washington. We arrive and I'm not allowed to fly, not an AMA member. Now, all I can do is sit and watch my friend or pay for a membership that I probably won't ever use again. Where's the value in that for me
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Sure, those flying sites require AMA membership. They were started as AMA chartered clubs and use AMA insurance to limit their liability. That's the business model they operate under. So yes, non-AMA members don't like it when they can't fly there.
I'd argue though that most of those clubs and their nice flying sites wouldn't exist at all without the AMA. So there is a net positive effect of the AMA's existence, as the choice really isn't a nice flying site with or without AMA membership required, but rather a flying site with AMA or none at all.
Old 04-21-2021, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
I'm going to chime in on this one. While I get where Aymodeler, Jester and PopeyeCharlotte are coming from, I respectfully disagree. My reasons are very simple:
1) Aymodeler says he hasn't found a nice flying site that isn't operated by an AMA sanctioned club. Did you ever wonder why? The AMA has basically made it where anyone that wants to operate a flying field almost has to be sanctioned by the AMA for any of the members of that field to be able to fly anyplace else. For sake of argument, let's say I fly at a local park with an electric foamy. A friend invites me to go flying with him at Marymoor Park's flying field in Redmond Washington. We arrive and I'm not allowed to fly, not an AMA member. Now, all I can do is sit and watch my friend or pay for a membership that I probably won't ever use again. Where's the value in that for me
2) Jester referred to organizing competitions and fostering a contest culture, tying the hobby together, advocacy, helping clubs get organized and insured. He then went on to say "it would probably take 5-10 years to see the effects- clubs closing, regulations without us being represented, some good events stopping or shrinking due to lack of publicity or promotion, and a general disjointedness without a national organization to set the tone". The only thing I would agree with is the contest culture and, just maybe, the insurance. The rest are all more about the people. Tying the hobby together doesn't require the AMA. It has more to do with a culture of assisting others, just having fun flying together and the social aspects of the hobby. Organizing a club just means electing officers, getting people into positions that need to be manned and getting the bylaws written, the AMA isn't needed to give directions on those either. I also don' t see clubs shutting down or events stopping due to lack of publicity. I learned long ago that if you only advertise to those that partake in your activity, the activity has no way to grow and, when you really look at it, that's where most of the advertising goes for events like the jet and warbird events. With so few actually building today, those events won't last long even with the AMA around
Would you let someone drive your car if they weren't covered by your insurance?

The fact is a flying site created by an AMA chartered club carries insurance through the AMA, and a stipulation of that insurance is that one must be an AMA member to be covered. Pretty straightforward to me.

R_Strowe
Old 04-21-2021, 09:51 AM
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And aside from the insurance part, the AMA has done so much to help the hobby grow. Without it, aeromodeling would still be mostly C/L or maybe simple RC planes being flown in parks and school soccer fields. The whole notion of an RC club with it's own permanent facility took the leadership of a national organization to take root.

It's like people who go to church but maybe complain about some of the procedures or policies of the denomination. But without the leadership, that church probably would never have been planted to begin with.
Old 04-21-2021, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Don't look now, but much of that is happening anyway.

Since the peak in 2003, in constant year dollars:
- Club fees are down 18 percent
- Sanctions down 6 percent
- Magazine revenue down 49 percent
- Membership revenue down 40 percent
- Total revenue down 31 percent
- Total assets down 49 percent
- Net assets down 44 percent

Expenses (note 1)
- Total expenses down 16 percent
- Program expenses down 32 percent

Meanwhile:
- Salaries UP 19 percent
- Executive compensation UP over 156 percent

If that's "value", I'd sure hate to see the opposite!


Note 1: Program expenses are directly related to core mission of organization. Total expenses are program expenses plus overhead. Note that total expenses are being cut at half the rate revenue is dropping (not good). Also note that program expenses (direct spending on core mission) are dropping at double the rate of total expenses. That means more and more of your AMA dollar is being consumed by overhead.
So I get your point about the efficiency of how the AMA operates and am total agreement. BUT, when I look at the notion of the value I get out of my AMA membership, I look at it from a transactional perspective. Do I get what I want at a price I am OK with?

Think of it like this, you go to a store to buy some drill bits. You look at the product and the price and you make a decision if the drill bits are worth the price. You don't analyze the manufacturer's financial statements and say, hmm if this company operated more efficiently, they could sell these drill bits for less. You assessment of value is purely a transactional.

Now I know that this is not an apples to apples comparison, The AMA is supposed to be a club, not a for profit enterprise and we as members of the club have a right to demand that our dues be used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. No argument there at all! The AMA does need to improve and we have a right to demand that.

But if I go back to the question that was asked, do I feel like I am getting what I need at a fair price (i.e.; do I feel like I am getting value out of my dues), then I have to say yes. I get exactly what I want (a nice place to fly and insurance) for a price I consider to be reasonable.
Old 04-21-2021, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Sure, those flying sites require AMA membership. They were started as AMA chartered clubs and use AMA insurance to limit their liability. That's the business model they operate under. So yes, non-AMA members don't like it when they can't fly there.
I'd argue though that most of those clubs and their nice flying sites wouldn't exist at all without the AMA. So there is a net positive effect of the AMA's existence, as the choice really isn't a nice flying site with or without AMA membership required, but rather a flying site with AMA or none at all.
People were control line and free flight flying before the AMA and will continue to fly after the AMA is dead and gone. IF you go back and read the original mission statement, the AMA was started as an information house for modelers, not an advocacy and insurance providing organization. The information they provided was a place to get plans for aircraft and get answers to problems in a build that the builder couldn't figure out on their own. Everything else the AMA has claimed to be their responsibility they have taken on themselves over the years and, as they took on more, they have tried to become an all-important organization to all builders and flyers. We can see where that got them now.
Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
And aside from the insurance part, the AMA has done so much to help the hobby grow. Without it, aeromodeling would still be mostly C/L or maybe simple RC planes being flown in parks and school soccer fields. The whole notion of an RC club with it's own permanent facility took the leadership of a national organization to take root.

It's like people who go to church but maybe complain about some of the procedures or policies of the denomination. But without the leadership, that church probably would never have been planted to begin with.
And that is an assumption on your part, not supported by fact. Look at how full sized aviation progressed over the last century. While some of it was driven by the various country's military, much of the advancement has come from ideas that were from the rank and file workers that built the planes, mechanics that worked on them or those that flew them. With that said, R/C was going to happen since control line and free flight limited what the flyers could do with their models so you can't say the AMA drove that, considering Futaba was a company that started in Japan. The old push button radios were designed and build by someone in their garage and sold as kits, again not by someone that had to have an AMA membership. Sorry, your argument doesn't hold water
Originally Posted by R_Strowe View Post
Would you let someone drive your car if they weren't covered by your insurance?
The fact is a flying site created by an AMA chartered club carries insurance through the AMA, and a stipulation of that insurance is that one must be an AMA member to be covered. Pretty straightforward to me.
R_Strowe
The fact that insurance is required to drive a car means that the person driving my car SHOULD BE COVERED BY THEIR OWN INSURANCE. I know my insurance covers anything I drive, whether I own it or not.
A flying club or site doesn't and never has had to be chartered by the AMA, it's the those that are AMA members that forced it. They will claim that the club and field has to be affiliated with the AMA for this reason or that when it really comes down to they have been programed to believe it by the AMA's propaganda. What must also be remembered is the FAA has basically ignored the AMA over the past five years because the AMA hasn't been trying to work with the FAA in good faith and the FAA is tired of the games. The AMA has become irrelevant and anyone that really looks can see this, even if the members can't.

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 04-21-2021 at 02:14 PM.
Old 04-22-2021, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
So I get your point about the efficiency of how the AMA operates and am total agreement. BUT, when I look at the notion of the value I get out of my AMA membership, I look at it from a transactional perspective. Do I get what I want at a price I am OK with?

Think of it like this, you go to a store to buy some drill bits. You look at the product and the price and you make a decision if the drill bits are worth the price. You don't analyze the manufacturer's financial statements and say, hmm if this company operated more efficiently, they could sell these drill bits for less. You assessment of value is purely a transactional.

Now I know that this is not an apples to apples comparison, The AMA is supposed to be a club, not a for profit enterprise and we as members of the club have a right to demand that our dues be used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. No argument there at all! The AMA does need to improve and we have a right to demand that.

But if I go back to the question that was asked, do I feel like I am getting what I need at a fair price (i.e.; do I feel like I am getting value out of my dues), then I have to say yes. I get exactly what I want (a nice place to fly and insurance) for a price I consider to be reasonable.
Word choice is important. I disagree that the financial trends above are about efficiency; survival is a more appropriate word. You and many others find value now, but at what point do you consider that w/o major changes at Taj-Muncie, the AMA may not be around at all. As more and more of your dollars go to support the self-licking ice cream cone that is the HQ staff, the less money there is for core mission. Look no further than the fact that program spending (core mission) is dropping twice as fast as all spending.

You find value. Great for you. However many people have an opposite view of that transaction. A great many members' local clubs don't have great runways and facilities. I've said multiple times the biggest incentive to join AMA is the presence of a club with GREAT facilities close to where people live and work. Your comments would support that perception. However, are there enough clubs like yours close to enough potential members for AMA to survive? The numbers would indicate no. And yet the financial black hole of the Muncie HQ is consuming greater and greater percentage of member dollars - dollars that could otherwise be used to double or triple the budget for field improvements close to members. But they won't do that.

So, absent a much larger focus on building and/or enhancing clubs close to members, ask yourself this: "Are there enough folks like you who see value to support AMA at any cost?"
Old 04-22-2021, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by R_Strowe View Post
Would you let someone drive your car if they weren't covered by your insurance?

The fact is a flying site created by an AMA chartered club carries insurance through the AMA, and a stipulation of that insurance is that one must be an AMA member to be covered. Pretty straightforward to me.
Auto insurance is required by state law. There is no similar requirement for toy plane flying. The AMA created this perception that you need insurance, which curiously enough you have to get from them. If it was REALLY about insurance, AMA would accept any insurance that met their coverage requirements. But they don't.

Also, if AMA operations are as safe as they contend - an "impeccable" safety record I think they say - then why the need for insurance at all?

Definition of impeccable
1 : free from fault or blame : flawless

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impeccable
Old 04-22-2021, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
So I get your point about the efficiency of how the AMA operates and am total agreement. BUT, when I look at the notion of the value I get out of my AMA membership, I look at it from a transactional perspective. Do I get what I want at a price I am OK with?

Think of it like this, you go to a store to buy some drill bits. You look at the product and the price and you make a decision if the drill bits are worth the price. You don't analyze the manufacturer's financial statements and say, hmm if this company operated more efficiently, they could sell these drill bits for less. You assessment of value is purely a transactional.

Now I know that this is not an apples to apples comparison, The AMA is supposed to be a club, not a for profit enterprise and we as members of the club have a right to demand that our dues be used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. No argument there at all! The AMA does need to improve and we have a right to demand that.

But if I go back to the question that was asked, do I feel like I am getting what I need at a fair price (i.e.; do I feel like I am getting value out of my dues), then I have to say yes. I get exactly what I want (a nice place to fly and insurance) for a price I consider to be reasonable.
I bet there was more than one brand of drill bit at the store......

Astro
Old 04-22-2021, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Auto insurance is required by state law. There is no similar requirement for toy plane flying. The AMA created this perception that you need insurance, which curiously enough you have to get from them. If it was REALLY about insurance, AMA would accept any insurance that met their coverage requirements. But they don't.

Also, if AMA operations are as safe as they contend - an "impeccable" safety record I think they say - then why the need for insurance at all?

Definition of impeccable
1 : free from fault or blame : flawless

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impeccable
What strikes me funny Frank is the number of people, AMA members who on the one hand cry the need for insurance. "Must Have" "Required" etc!

While on the other hand these same people declare the so called impeccable safety record of the AMA. Almost as if saying one has to be AMA in order to be safe. Oh but, the AMA tried that too when they claimed one had to be a member in order to follow their safety code. Bull!

But then we also have the "Landlord requires insurance". After the club pointed it out and sold him on it. Thus making the flying site exclusive! Curiously not unlike the racially based exclusive neighborhoods one found in the US the last century. And can still find today. And yet they don't understand why many don't buy in to their hypocrisy.

That said, I believe insurance is a good thing and a must for some levels of this hobby. There are models approaching the size of full scale airplanes. Can you imagine the damage one of those things could cause in the wrong place? Then we have the models approaching speeds unheard of 30 plus years ago. Kinetic energy is not only a function of mass but of velocity too and the kinetic energy of the models has been increasing steadily for years. AND in the hands of many more people than when the AMA started. People I might add who are mostly "Self Trained" and checked out by...............their buddies in the exclusive club with the claimed impeccable safety record?

The AMA needs to change in order to survive. Numbers don't lie and it's been pretty obvious how the AMA likes to inflate numbers when it suits them. So did Enron. The AMA is circling the drain and getting far closer to that hole than you might think. And this change needs to be driven by the members because it's quite obvious the Good Ol' Boys in charge don't want any change. So one could say they also do not want the AMA to survive which should have thousands of members clamoring for an answer as to Why?

I'd be curious to know how many people here who are AMA members have actually contacted Muncie regarding the financial situation of the AMA? And I don't mean a single e-mail asking a question. I mean multiple times in pursuit of a real explanation from Muncie. I'd wager the truth would be a not surprising very few if indeed any.

And all this is part of the perceived value non-members see.

Last edited by Retiredat38; 04-22-2021 at 04:01 AM.
Old 04-22-2021, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Word choice is important. I disagree that the financial trends above are about efficiency; survival is a more appropriate word. You and many others find value now, but at what point do you consider that w/o major changes at Taj-Muncie, the AMA may not be around at all. As more and more of your dollars go to support the self-licking ice cream cone that is the HQ staff, the less money there is for core mission. Look no further than the fact that program spending (core mission) is dropping twice as fast as all spending.

You find value. Great for you. However many people have an opposite view of that transaction. A great many members' local clubs don't have great runways and facilities. I've said multiple times the biggest incentive to join AMA is the presence of a club with GREAT facilities close to where people live and work. Your comments would support that perception. However, are there enough clubs like yours close to enough potential members for AMA to survive? The numbers would indicate no. And yet the financial black hole of the Muncie HQ is consuming greater and greater percentage of member dollars - dollars that could otherwise be used to double or triple the budget for field improvements close to members. But they won't do that.

So, absent a much larger focus on building and/or enhancing clubs close to members, ask yourself this: "Are there enough folks like you who see value to support AMA at any cost?"
I agree that the trends are in membership are down and I am sure that AMA practices are a contributing factor, but it is a much more complicated and nuanced situation. The entire hobby industry is in decline driven by Baby Boomers aging out of the population. Not just traditional RC airplanes (the kind that require a well maintained runway), but model rocketry, model trains, slot cars, model ship building, scale plastic modeling are all on the decline. The local hobby shop has become a thing of the past. But its not just modeling, hot rods/custom cars, general aviation, even scuba diving are all on the decline. Surely, the AMA cannot be to blame for the shifts in the hobby/leisure industry as a whole?

The AMA is in an existential battle and it is unlikely to survive, but this has more to do with changing demographics. I agree that this will be hastened by the total failure of the AMA to keep itself relevant as demographics have shifted, but in the end, as I said in the thread I started earlier, the AMA will fade away as us Baby Boomers continue to age out of the population. New organizations, like Flite Test (which is a completely different kind of animal), will capture interests of a new, younger, entrants and a new, smaller, less structured form of the hobby will emerge.

In the mean time, I will continue to pay my dues and enjoy the hobby (as long as I can) and continue to enjoy flying at the local club fields (also as long as I can).
Old 04-22-2021, 05:52 AM
  #17  
R_Strowe
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Auto insurance is required by state law. There is no similar requirement for toy plane flying. The AMA created this perception that you need insurance, which curiously enough you have to get from them. If it was REALLY about insurance, AMA would accept any insurance that met their coverage requirements. But they don't.

Also, if AMA operations are as safe as they contend - an "impeccable" safety record I think they say - then why the need for insurance at all?

Definition of impeccable
1 : free from fault or blame : flawless

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impeccable
Of course the is no 'requirement' for insurance to fly toy airplanes (as you like to call them).

But if a land owner, who has a agreement to lease land to a club, which happens to be an AMA club, is going to agree that one must be covered by some policy, simply to cover potential liability. If that happens to be insurance through the AMA, then that is the landowner and the club's prerogative. Fly on that property with other (or no) insurance, and you have now exposed the landowner and/or the club to serious potential liability. That is why AMA clubs do not allow you to fly at their fields without being an AMA member.

My last club flew at a field owned by the DuPage County Forest Preserve. They did allow you to fly without AMA. But you had to have a park permit, and to get it you had to provide an ACCEPTABLE form of liability insurance to the Forest Preserve. If you just showed up and flew at one of their fields without said permit, you might get away with 1 warning (if caught by the Forest Preserve police). After that you would get fined. I've watched it happen.

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Old 04-22-2021, 05:53 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
The AMA is in an existential battle and it is unlikely to survive, but this has more to do with changing demographics. I agree that this will be hastened by the total failure of the AMA to keep itself relevant as demographics have shifted, but in the end, as I said in the thread I started earlier, the AMA will fade away as us Baby Boomers continue to age out of the population. New organizations, like Flite Test (which is a completely different kind of animal), will capture interests of a new, younger, entrants and a new, smaller, less structured form of the hobby will emerge.
This is the whole point of the vast majority of these AMA threads, and you simply dismiss it above with a, “but”.

The AMA has enjoyed an 80+ year monopoly on modeling competition and insurance. The fact that they haven’t adapted to the changing demographics and needs of its members is abhorrent to me and the other regulars in this forum.

The fact that the AMA faithful continue to ignore and defend the AMA despite the facts, completely baffles me.

Astro
Old 04-22-2021, 06:05 AM
  #19  
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Okay Astro, don't be to hard on aymodeler. You do have to admit, he is one of the very few members that will even admit the AMA is in trouble.
With that said, however, I haven't seen any of the other AMA faithful willing to admit to that and the usual "excuses" of why the AMA basically rules the flying sites with their propaganda of safety and following a code that isn't enforced by anyone kind of tells the opposite story. I know I'll get hammered for saying that but video evidence doesn't lie like Muncie has been doing for years so let the flaming begin
Old 04-22-2021, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
The AMA has enjoyed an 80+ year monopoly on modeling competition and insurance.
Interesting point. Do we have no choice to change?

The initial question of this topic is along the lines of "do we get value" from the AMA. I am in the "yes" camp. The drill-bit analogy is appropriate; I don't care if it is the AMA or Judy's Aeromodeler's Association.

Financials crept into the topic. I am annoyed at the AMA financial actions and situation. However the financials are independent of whether the customer derives value.
Old 04-22-2021, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Okay Astro, don't be to hard on aymodeler. You do have to admit, he is one of the very few members that will even admit the AMA is in trouble.
With that said, however, I haven't seen any of the other AMA faithful willing to admit to that and the usual "excuses" of why the AMA basically rules the flying sites with their propaganda of safety and following a code that isn't enforced by anyone kind of tells the opposite story. I know I'll get hammered for saying that but video evidence doesn't lie like Muncie has been doing for years so let the flaming begin
Thank you for the comment. I do agree that the AMA as an organization has totally failed to keep up with the times and have expressed those concerns directly to AMA leadership. The response I received made it clear that they really don't understand what is happening to them and what is at stake. BUT (there I go using that word again ), this has little impact on how I enjoy the hobby today. I go to my club field and I fly my planes just the same today as I did 10 years ago. From a personal perspective, the question comes down to who kicks the bucket first, me or the AMA!!!
Old 04-22-2021, 01:06 PM
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astrohog
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Okay Astro, don't be to hard on aymodeler.
Excuse me, but please show me where I was, "hard" on aymodeler?

Astro
Old 04-22-2021, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by PopeyeCharlotte View Post
Financials crept into the topic. I am annoyed at the AMA financial actions and situation. However the financials are independent of whether the customer derives value.
You see value at $75 a year (or whatever you're paying).

You say financials are independent of that decision? I see them as intertwined. Here's why. Say those trends continue as they have for the past two decades? As overhead consumes more and more of the member dollar with every passing year, what happens when AMA starts raising the cost? There are some who say they'll continue to pay. But one thing we know about economics, is the number of people buying a product tends decline the more the cost of that product increases. You see that in AMA financials, when they raised the dues back in the early 2000's, if memory serves within five years the membership revenue declined to a level less than it was before the hike. When they raised it again in '15 / '16, it only took about two years for membership revenue to fall below levels before that hike.

Ok. So continue this. What happens with the next hike? You will likely to continue to see value, but many will not. And if the "financials" aren't fixed soon, the AMA will sometime not too far from now have to make changes that will negatively impact their product. Then you're paying more and getting less. Will you continue to see value? Unknown. But you see why financials are inexorably linked to the "do I see value" economic decision.
Old 04-22-2021, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
Excuse me, but please show me where I was, "hard" on aymodeler?

Astro
I didn't say you were. It was more of a "Friendly Suggestion" to stay where you were, that being nice and tactful, than anything else. Truth be told, it was also sort of a thank you to aymodeler as well for his also being nice and tactful the other way and I didn't want to see the conversation devolve at that point. Hope that makes sense since we have all seen threads go down hill quickly from less. As you could also probably tell, I was expecting to get slammed for my next paragraph by others that are AMA "Faithfuls"

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 04-22-2021 at 01:46 PM.
Old 04-22-2021, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
You see value at $75 a year (or whatever you're paying).

You say financials are independent of that decision? I see them as intertwined. Here's why. Say those trends continue as they have for the past two decades? As overhead consumes more and more of the member dollar with every passing year, what happens when AMA starts raising the cost? There are some who say they'll continue to pay. But one thing we know about economics, is the number of people buying a product tends decline the more the cost of that product increases. You see that in AMA financials, when they raised the dues back in the early 2000's, if memory serves within five years the membership revenue declined to a level less than it was before the hike. When they raised it again in '15 / '16, it only took about two years for membership revenue to fall below levels before that hike.

Ok. So continue this. What happens with the next hike? You will likely to continue to see value, but many will not. And if the "financials" aren't fixed soon, the AMA will sometime not too far from now have to make changes that will negatively impact their product. Then you're paying more and getting less. Will you continue to see value? Unknown. But you see why financials are inexorably linked to the "do I see value" economic decision.
For me, it still boils down to a transactional decision. At $75/year it's still only about 1/3 what I spend on Netflix and I get more enjoyment out of flying than I do out of Netflix. So, by that simple math, I find it a good value.

As I stated before, that does NOT mean that I agree with how the AMA is running itself, but it does mean that I will continue to pay my dues. If the dues go up, then I will make a new decision. If the dues went up tp say $750/year, then my decision would be easy and I would not renew. But if the dues went up 5% - 10%, I probably would still renew. Above that, I just don't know yet.

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