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What does Flite Test offer?

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What does Flite Test offer?

Old 05-11-2023, 07:32 AM
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speedracerntrixie
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Default What does Flite Test offer?

From what Iíve seen FT has no FRIAs except for maybe their home field, no insurance, no sanctioned event altitude waivers, no special interest groups. When I went to look at their safety code it was a link that took me to the AMA safety code. I do however see them doing a excellent job at engaging youth with their YT channel but much of that content violates safety code. Are people in support of FT simply because they arenít the AMA?
Old 05-11-2023, 08:20 AM
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Yep the look of a competing organization without any substance.
Old 05-11-2023, 12:12 PM
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I think you answered your own question when you said they bring youth engagement. This should not be trivialized as this is the future of the hobby and this is something that the AMA is really, really bad at. The simple truth is that AMA members are getting older and aging out while Flite Test is bringing new people into the hobby. Unless the AMA finds a way to attract youth, it will simply fade away. I honestly don't think the average Flite Test member cares at all about the AMA, so I don't think their popularity has anything to due to with them "not being the AMA" (although I do think there are some anti-AMA types who use Flite Test as their CBO). I also do not think the average Flite Test member cares about insurance (even though they should) or events or special interest groups. They do care about fun, irreverence and not being too formal or stuffy.

They do have their own safety code (https://ftca.flitetest.com/safety-guidelines/), but I do agree that many/most of their videos push the safety envelope and some outright break their own safety code. I am not sure how that will play out over time. As I hope you know, I am no AMA hater, but I also have no problem calling out the AMA's deficiencies and problems. Flite Test certainly has their own share of deficiencies too, but they are growing and more than anything else, that is what they have to offer.
Old 05-11-2023, 12:49 PM
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if ya really want to know the answer to this question, you should really ask somewhere where a lot of flight test members will be able to see it and respond to it, not just in an AMA 'ECHO CHAMBER" OF SORTS.

and i have no idea where that might be.
Old 05-11-2023, 01:03 PM
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Of course the substantial advantage of Flite Test Community Association is the cost to join is ZERO. The annual renewal cost is ZERO. And then there's no cost to fly at a club either - because their organizational structure (and funding) does not depend on clubs!

Last edited by franklin_m; 05-11-2023 at 01:07 PM.
Old 05-11-2023, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler
... This should not be trivialized as this is the future of the hobby and this is something that the AMA is really, really bad at. The simple truth is that AMA members are getting older and aging out while Flite Test is bringing new people into the hobby. Unless the AMA finds a way to attract youth, it will simply fade away.
Excellent point. I wonder how long it'll be before the turbine guys break away in their own CBO?
Old 05-11-2023, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m
Of course the substantial advantage of Flite Test Community Association is the cost to join is ZERO. The annual renewal cost is ZERO. And then there's no cost to fly at a club either - because their organizational structure (and funding) does not depend on clubs!
Of course, if we are to talk about the pros of Flite Test, we also really need to talk about the cons too. One big con is that they do not really take safety seriously, and worse, they are setting a bad example about safety with new entrants to the hobby. I know that you take safety very seriously and are a strong believer that an organization should be compliant not only with the law but with their own code as well (something I think we can agree on). Flite Test's casual attitude about safety is well documented in their very public video postings. Many Flite Test videos clearly violate basic elements of their own code, like ignoring preflight safety checks (and even openly joking about whether or not a plane will even hold together) or flying much closer to spectators than the 50 foot lateral separation required by their code. There are many other example too.
Old 05-11-2023, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m
Of course the substantial advantage of Flite Test Community Association is the cost to join is ZERO. The annual renewal cost is ZERO. And then there's no cost to fly at a club either - because their organizational structure (and funding) does not depend on clubs!

So you agree that there is ZERO benefit to joining FT?

I do have to say that they are doing a good job of promoting the hobby to youth, just not sure of the sustainability of the ď all the fun and no responsibility ď approach.

If we addressed the credibility with the FAA aspect, telling members that anyone can apply for a FRIA and providing a template for people to send their application directly to the FAA had to have had a negative impact on theirs.

Old 05-11-2023, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler
Of course, if we are to talk about the pros of Flite Test, we also really need to talk about the cons too. One big con is that they do not really take safety seriously, and worse, they are setting a bad example about safety with new entrants to the hobby. I know that you take safety very seriously and are a strong believer that an organization should be compliant not only with the law but with their own code as well (something I think we can agree on). Flite Test's casual attitude about safety is well documented in their very public video postings. Many Flite Test videos clearly violate basic elements of their own code, like ignoring preflight safety checks (and even openly joking about whether or not a plane will even hold together) or flying much closer to spectators than the 50 foot lateral separation required by their code. There are many other example too.
Don't disagree. However, all that means is we now have two organizations not following their own safety code. Is one better or worse? That quickly becomes opinion. But generally speaking, when CBOs are not following their own codes, regardless of which ones, it does nothing but create reasons for government to regulate. But I'd argue that should any CBO start pointing fingers at the others, they'd darn well better make sure their porch is clean first.
Old 05-11-2023, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
So you agree that there is ZERO benefit to joining FT?
I do not agree. I think there's considerable advantage to FTCA for those who don't have a Freudian "need" to fly large, fast, or high. I find myself wondering why any AMA PF members would continue paying. Especially given the insurance claims rate is near zero.

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
I do have to say that they are doing a good job of promoting the hobby to youth, just not sure of the sustainability of the ď all the fun and no responsibility ď approach.
Time will tell. Though it remains that AMA is still pretty bad at it, by comparison at least.

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
If we addressed the credibility with the FAA aspect, telling members that anyone can apply for a FRIA and providing a template for people to send their application directly to the FAA had to have had a negative impact on theirs.
I really don't think the FAA has any illusions that FT will have a bunch of FRIAs. With the type of things their members fly (for the most part), they really don't need them.
Old 05-11-2023, 02:29 PM
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If your going to compare organizations you have to compare everything not just what you like to see. Everything means both the good and the bad, everything Apples to Apples so to speak. If you conveniently leave out aspects of one organization or the other its not really a comparison is it.
Old 05-11-2023, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m
I do not agree. I think there's considerable advantage to FTCA for those who don't have a Freudian "need" to fly large, fast, or high. I find myself wondering why any AMA PF members would continue paying. Especially given the insurance claims rate is near zero.


Time will tell. Though it remains that AMA is still pretty bad at it, by comparison at least.


I really don't think the FAA has any illusions that FT will have a bunch of FRIAs. With the type of things their members fly (for the most part), they really don't need them.
My ď want ď to fly larger aircraft has nothing to do with Freud at least no more then your want to drink expensive brandy. Not to mention that the larger airplanes fly more realistic.

We will always disagree on safety at chartered club fields. IMO you gotta walk the walk before you can talk. Youíre not exactly a frequent visitor of charted club fields.

I see you dodged the huge mistake FT made and had their butt handed to them requiring them to make a video stating they screwed up.
Old 05-12-2023, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
My ď want ď to fly larger aircraft has nothing to do with Freud at least no more then your want to drink expensive brandy. Not to mention that the larger airplanes fly more realistic.
I think you meant to say realisticALLY ... which is proper modification of the root "realistic" when used as an adverb to modify the verb "fly." As for Freud, we'll just have to disagree about whether size of planes are manifestation of compensation for other things. Besides, even if "expense" of something is similar, then that would apply to LARGE sUAS, which tend to be EXPENSIVE as well!

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
We will always disagree on safety at chartered club fields. IMO you gotta walk the walk before you can talk. Youíre not exactly a frequent visitor of charted club fields.
I have no reason to go to clubs, nor have I for several years now. I fly what I enjoy either on my own land or at nearby parks. Both of which have the advantage of nobody directing a 25lb mid wing aerobat directly at the flight line and then pulling vertical 30 feet before it hit us. It has the advantage of never having someone (Futaba sponsored pilot by the way) flying a 200mph 40 engine racer in circles AROUND the people gathered on the flight line and in the spectator seats behind us. Nor do I suffer the experience of turbine flyers diving at busy interstates and overflying picnic areas. Meanwhile, I've put somewhere around $1000 (club dues NOT spent on clubs) into supplies like batteries, receivers, and new radio.

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
I see you dodged the huge mistake FT made and had their butt handed to them requiring them to make a video stating they screwed up.
What I see is they have the courage to at least admit mistakes. We have yet to see AMA admit that it was a mistake to pursue MRs in an attempt to boost membership - as it didn't achieve it's primary goal AND it resulted in "traditional model aircraft" being linked forever with "drones." Come to think of it, they did this despite being warned by prominent members. Yet still no admission.
Old 05-12-2023, 04:13 AM
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LOL, when you first told the story of a 3D airplane pulling up in front of you and your son is was described as a 30cc, today it was 25lbs. I hope you see the problem with that.

You also describe a Q 40 pylon airplane. They fly 3 pole course, typically with pilots, callers, lap counters and a couple other race workers inside the race course. I agree, to an outsider this would seem unusually dangerous.

Again, you just show a lack of knowledge about the hobby, kinda like when you made the claim that smaller pattern airplanes can fly current sequences under 400’.
Old 05-12-2023, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m
Don't disagree. However, all that means is we now have two organizations not following their own safety code. Is one better or worse? That quickly becomes opinion. But generally speaking, when CBOs are not following their own codes, regardless of which ones, it does nothing but create reasons for government to regulate. But I'd argue that should any CBO start pointing fingers at the others, they'd darn well better make sure their porch is clean first.
I think there is one big difference though. FT as an organization itself (including their leadership) are actively out in front of the public demonstrating a disregard for safety (in spirit if not in the letter). While individual AMA members may be violating rules on an individual basis, I do not see the AMA as an organization being so flagrant in dismissing or trivializing safety (directly or indirectly).
Old 05-12-2023, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m
I do not agree. I think there's considerable advantage to FTCA for those who don't have a Freudian "need" to fly large, fast, or high. I find myself wondering why any AMA PF members would continue paying. Especially given the insurance claims rate is near zero.
The folks over at FT are notorious for building bigger and faster and more exotic. The things they demonstrate in there videos are far more aggressive in all of those fronts than what I typically see flying at club fields. It is true that they tend to build with foam board instead of balsa and when they build "scale" it is more of a "stand-off scale", but that does not mean they aren't flying large, fast, and high too.

They also have also historically embraced FPV and other flying styles more typically associated with the "drone" crowd and we all know how many people here feel about organizations that did not drive a large degree of separation between "traditional" model aircraft and drones.

Look, I am not trying to paint FT in bad light. I think a lot of what they are doing is great, especially their STEM program, and I think that it is fantastic that they are bringing new people into the hobby. BUT if we are going to continuously pick at the flaws of one organization, we ought to be fair about pointing out the flaws of FT too.

Last edited by aymodeler; 05-12-2023 at 04:36 AM.
Old 05-12-2023, 04:58 AM
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Exactly, I saw a video where they built a large model during an event by multiple people and then tried to maiden it off a moving vehicle. That scenario would never play out at an AMA event.
Old 05-12-2023, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
LOL, when you first told the story of a 3D airplane pulling up in front of you and your son is was described as a 30cc, today it was 25lbs. I hope you see the problem with that.
I'm sure every post you make is 100% consistent with every comment you've made years ago. Typical approach, find some minute detail to challenge. Regardless of whether it was 30cc or 25lbs, the behavior was inherently dangerous.

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
You also describe a Q 40 pylon airplane. They fly 3 pole course, typically with pilots, callers, lap counters and a couple other race workers inside the race course. I agree, to an outsider this would seem unusually dangerous.
Except of course that it while the pilot was inside the course being flown, it was NOT the callers, NOT the lap counters, and NOT race workers inside the course being flown. It WAS unprotected spectators, non participants, and children.

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
Again, you just show a lack of knowledge about the hobby, kinda like when you made the claim that smaller pattern airplanes can fly current sequences under 400’.
You very carefully say "the current sequences" which of course, are dimensioned assuming larger aircraft. I'm saying you fly the same maneuvers, with smaller aircraft, where the dimensions change proportionally with the smaller aircraft. The pattern in the sky is the same shape, just smaller.

And there's NOTHING in the laws of physics or aerodynamics or thrust and power or stability and control that prevent it. Which was my point that it appears you're entirely missing.

Last edited by franklin_m; 05-12-2023 at 06:56 AM. Reason: Correct capitalization on second comment... "e" changed to "E"
Old 05-12-2023, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by aymodeler
I think there is one big difference though. FT as an organization itself (including their leadership) are actively out in front of the public demonstrating a disregard for safety (in spirit if not in the letter). While individual AMA members may be violating rules on an individual basis, I do not see the AMA as an organization being so flagrant in dismissing or trivializing safety (directly or indirectly).
Whether FT or AMA or XYZ-named CBO, compliance with regulation (FAA or organizational) is expected.

I however disagree with your final sentence.

1. At a major public event, with a member of the EC (i.e. AMA "leadership") in place, they allowed highly aggressive maneuvering in close proximity to spectators at distances well less than the recommended minimum. And then, shock of shocks, a 100lb sUAS careens toward the crowd, people are sent diving for safety, only to have the pilot yank it into the air and fly over the heads (barely) of a significant number of spectators.

2. AMA club regularly and repeatedly violates AMA rules about overflight of non-participants, in this case by large and fast turbine powered aircraft, across YEARS. All the while, "direct representatives of the AMA" are in attendance and in fact permitted the activity. And AMA HQ held nobody accountable.

3. Sepulveda Basin (corrected "Apollo field"). Large turbine flown aggressively low and close to spectators, manytimes flying directly at them. Quick check showed the pilot was not turbine wavered (yet AMA club allowed him to fly in violation of AMA rules), and the LTMA wasn't even on the approved list - another violation.

Until AMA cleans up it's own act, and actually starts holding clubs accountable, I recommend they not play "whataboutism" with what Flite Test does.

Last edited by franklin_m; 05-12-2023 at 07:44 AM.
Old 05-12-2023, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
Exactly, I saw a video where they built a large model during an event by multiple people and then tried to maiden it off a moving vehicle. That scenario would never play out at an AMA event.
No, at an AMA event there would be spectators standing on the full scale runway filming a promo for the city about the opening of the runway after work. Meanwhile, with these non-participants standing in front of the AMA required safety line, the event is flying turbines over their heads - in violation of AMA rules.
Old 05-12-2023, 07:28 AM
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Can you provide details such as location and date so these events you claim can be verified? If not youíre going to have a hard time convincing me to take your word, SterlingD.

However true to your SOP, you take a situation then pack on a few embellishments and expect people to take it as fact. Example 30cc that weighs 25 lbs. If it were a mistake, fine I can accept that but it does demonstrate your lack of knowledge concerning the subject matter.
Old 05-12-2023, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
Can you provide details such as location and date so these events you claim can be verified? If not you’re going to have a hard time convincing me to take your word, SterlingD.
1. Warbirds over Delaware, Mac Hodges B29. EVP Gary Fitch noted in his article that he was there.
2. Fairview Flyers. Per AMA governance, CDs (for all the events) are "direct representatives of the AMA"
3. Apollo Field, BVM LTMA operated by "Koko" who was neither waiver holder nor was the aircraft on the approved list

Runway event: Titusville PA, 17 June 2021. Video and screenshots provided to His Royal "ED-ness" CB.

Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie
However true to your SOP, you take a situation then pack on a few embellishments and expect people to take it as fact. Example 30cc that weighs 25 lbs. If it were a mistake, fine I can accept that but it does demonstrate your lack of knowledge concerning the subject matter.
So ...
If it was instead 25lbs, are you saying it was safe?
If it was not 25lbs, but 25cc, are you saying that it's now safe?
Or if it was not 25lbs or 30lbs, but rather 30cc .. are you saying it was safe?

Point being, changing that detail from 25 to 30 or cc to lbs does not change that it was fundamentally unsafe behavior.

Old 05-12-2023, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m
Whether FT or AMA or XYZ-named CBO, compliance with regulation (FAA or organizational) is expected.

I however disagree with your final sentence.

1. At a major public event, with a member of the EC (i.e. AMA "leadership") in place, they allowed highly aggressive maneuvering in close proximity to spectators at distances well less than the recommended minimum. And then, shock of shocks, a 100lb sUAS careens toward the crowd, people are sent diving for safety, only to have the pilot yank it into the air and fly over the heads (barely) of a significant number of spectators.

2. AMA club regularly and repeatedly violates AMA rules about overflight of non-participants, in this case by large and fast turbine powered aircraft, across YEARS. All the while, "direct representatives of the AMA" are in attendance and in fact permitted the activity. And AMA HQ held nobody accountable.

3. Sepulveda Basin (corrected "Apollo field"). Large turbine flown aggressively low and close to spectators, manytimes flying directly at them. Quick check showed the pilot was not turbine wavered (yet AMA club allowed him to fly in violation of AMA rules), and the LTMA wasn't even on the approved list - another violation.

Until AMA cleans up it's own act, and actually starts holding clubs accountable, I recommend they not play "whataboutism" with what Flite Test does.
These are all actions/failures by members. And I know that you will say that silence by the AMA leadership effectively constitutes complicity, and I won't argue that. But I do maintain that is still very different from the very flagrant and risky behaviors that are actively and directly being promoted (and maybe even encouraged) by the Flite Test organization itself through their YoutTube channel.

Also, the AMA is not playing "whataboutism" here. Maybe you can claim that I am (and maybe I am even a little bit guilty of that), but I certainly do not speak for the AMA and I have never seen the AMA making any claims about Flite Test or any other organization. All I am trying to point out is that Flite Test has many positives and many negatives (like any organization, including the AMA). There seems to be a tendency here to highlight only the negatives associated with the AMA and only the positives of the Flite Test. Again, I have no association with either and think there is plenty to like and plenty to dislike about each.

In short, if you are genuinely concerned about safety (and I think you are) it would seem that you would be just as active at speaking up about the safety risks with what appears to the more rapidly growing organization and the one that is currently representing the hobby to (quite literally) millions of people.
Old 05-12-2023, 08:53 AM
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One other general thought about safety. Overall, despite all the risks we discuss here, model aviation is still an incredibly safe activity compared to many other hobbies and leisure activities out there. For example, according to Golf Digest, around 40,000 people each year visit the emergency room due to accidents on the golf course (mostly as a result of being struck by flying golf balls or club heads). The only data I can find on UAS related emergency room visits was an article in Science Direct which claimed statistics of 12,870 model airplane and drone related injuries over the period of 2010 to 2017 (under 2,000 per year), the majority being "propeller related" (no specifics given, but I bet we all know someone who got their finger cut up by being careless around a prop). Again, no hard data, but it is a probably a pretty safe bet that being a spectator at a model airplane field is far, far, safer than being a spectator at a golf course. Yet there is no government agency running around regulating golf courses and golf equipment

I am not saying we should be lackadaisical about safety, but I also think we need to keep this in perspective too.
Old 05-12-2023, 08:55 AM
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I made no comment about the lack of safety in that senecio, just pointed out that the fish in your story keeps getting bigger.

As you may recall, you also commented that that facility was unacceptable in part because of poor runway quality. Ruts and such, yet someone with a 30cc 3D bird deemed it acceptable for his lightly built fragile airplane.

Itís these inconsistencies in your stories that take away from you credibility.

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