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AMA alternative ?

Old 11-11-2002, 05:39 AM
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RC_nutcase
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Default AMA alternative ?

Anyone know anything about or heard of this ?

http://www.unitedmodelers.com/
Old 11-11-2002, 09:48 AM
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dennis1943
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Default ????????????

we dont need another orgnazition just fix the one we have


dennis
Old 11-11-2002, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: AMA alternative ?

Originally posted by RC_nutcase
Anyone know anything about or heard of this ?

http://www.unitedmodelers.com/
It is a legitimate modeling organization. I think they are maintaining a low profile for a while.

Competition is good and may help to fix what's wrong with AMA.
It is nice to have an option.

Take care,
CCR
http://www.kites.org/rc_instructors
Old 11-12-2002, 06:08 AM
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ctdahle
 
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Default AMA alternative ?

It would also be nice to know if they are underwritten by a real insurance company, or if they are just claiming to be underwritten by a company with a name deceptively similar to that of a legitimate insurance company.
Old 11-15-2002, 08:40 AM
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TexasAirBoss
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Default AMA alternative ?

There was another organization years ago that gave the AMA a real run for the money. I believe there was a law suit with the AMA prevailing. I can't remeber what the lawsuit was about. But the legal decision killed the competition.
Old 11-15-2002, 02:01 PM
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raistlin12
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Default AMA alternative ?

Originally posted by ctdahle
It would also be nice to know if they are underwritten by a real insurance company, or if they are just claiming to be underwritten by a company with a name deceptively similar to that of a legitimate insurance company.
I did some checking, and both insurance companies are legit. The second one, Nationwide, was a typo regarding the order of the name, and is actually Nationwide Life Insurance. No deception, apparently, intended, and the site should now be corrected. BTW, I am in no way affiliated with them, nor am I seriously considering membership, at this time. Just wanted to know if they were "fly-by-night", or for real.
Old 11-24-2002, 02:01 AM
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Capgains
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Default Yes you are correct...

A few years back another group called Sport Fliers Association formed and competed directly with AMA as an insurance provider.
The AMA polarized clubs by claiming that fliers of different insurance companies could not be flying at fields that were covered by AMA policies because of uncertainties in who covered what. Further it is AMA policy that you must be a member to be in an AMA chartered club. Makes sense. What this boils down to is that AMA used it's insurance coverage as a way to block it's competition and created a way so that AMA members would never co-exist with non-AMA members. Isn't that a positive to promoting the hobby? They sued the AMA and lost, and went out of business.

I really wish the AMA would get out of the insurance business and focus itself on promoting and protecting the hobby instead of defending it's own existence.

The problem is that the insurance is a crutch to the AMA. If they pull the insurance, AMA will collapse under it's over weight growth. So they have to keep it in place, and raise our dues to support it.

It's sad to think that many are only members because of the insurance. That makes for a potentially dangerous situation. What if it happened one day, and they suddenly couldn't get insurance coverage, or self support it? The mass exodus would crush the AMA. Members should be joining for other reasons, the insurance is just a side perk.

we dont need another orgnazition just fix the one we have
dennis1943

I have only been a member of the AMA for 12 years, and they have been saying since I started. How much longer are we going to keep saying this?

Competition and alternate insurance carriers will make the AMA better, and insurance rates more affordable.

my two bits

Dan Gellner
Old 11-24-2002, 03:24 AM
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J_R
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Default AMA alternative ?

Capgains

Several of the things that you state are true. In the 70's Johnny Clemens, put together a program of secondary insurance coverage for AMA members. The organization started to grow rapidly from about 10,000 members that were then in the AMA. I don't think anyone that knows anything about the history of the AMA will debate with you over the value of the insurance program to the growth of the AMA. If the insurance program were to be eliminated, I don't think that you would get much argument as to whether the membership would shrink back toward that number.

As far as I know, the AMA does not and never has required a member to be a member of a club. Depending on what published numbers you use, there are somewhere between 20 percent (the Axiom Survey) and 50 percent (Dave Brown's dues message earlier this year) of the membership of the AMA that do not belong to clubs. Chartered clubs do require members to be AMA members. It would appear that the members and/or leaders of most clubs see value in the AMA and choose to charter with the AMA. No club is forced to charter with the AMA, as opposed to anyone else.


There is currently a competitor out there that will sell you insurance coverage for $38/year. I guess the question becomes: How much are you willing to pay for the additional services that AMA offers? Less than $2 a month does not seem excessive to me. For that, you get competition rules and sanctioned events, a national flying site, a magazine/newsletter, educational programs, and some efforts to interface with government agencies to protect your rights as a modeler, representation in FAI and quite a list of other things.

I keep seeing the lament that the AMA is broken and needs to be fixed. That may be the case, but, I do not see many examples. The IMPRESSION is not something that can be fixed. What do you think is wrong? Specific examples might actually be able to be fixed. If you have a good idea, post it up.

I would love to see lower dues. I think it would cause the AMA to grow faster. Wishing is not going to cover the costs of doing business. The fact is that if we want the services, we have to pay for them. If you are willing to cut services, which ones? How much do you think the cut would save. Your (or anyone else's) constructive criticism of the AMA may very well be seen by someone that can make it happen.

JR
Old 11-24-2002, 06:05 PM
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Capgains
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Default AMA alternative ?

JR:

Let me clairify one point. What I was referring to in regards to the members only in AMA chartered clubs. Because of that rule that there can be only AMA members in an AMA chartered club, it creates a barrier of us or them only. If you paid one faction for a lower cost insurance, you surely aren't likely to pay the AMA dues as well, and the AMA will tell you there are all kinds of coverage complexities that will nullify this and that anyway.

Additionally, AMA made it clear that there can be no co mingeling of insurances at flying sites because of coverage issues. Therfore if you have a really great site you fly at, and the local club is AMA chartered and has coverage on the field.... only AMA members will be allowed to fly on it.

How does this promote the hobby?

There I've identified the problem, how do I suggest we fix it?

AMA should offer a non- insured member rate. How would this help? People would join for the right reasons, the programs competitions and products. If individuals were getting their insurance in different places it would create greater diversity of risk, and take the burden off of the AMA of worrying how many claims were being made to our one policy. We don't all get auto insurance from the same company, if we did all claims would go to one place and the premiums would be astronomical. Multiple carriers create competition and spread out the risk. AMA could still provide insurance for those who wanted it but you would have a choice. You would need to provide proof of insurance to get the non-insured rate rate.

Right now you are probably saying, if you did that then many people wouldn't join the AMA. If that's the case, then my statement from the previous post is correct, and we have a bunch of members that are there only for the insurance, and are no more loyal to the AMA than we are to our life insurance carrier.

Therefore the AMA needs to be more active in it's non insurance roles. Competitions are a great reason to join the AMA. More energy should be applied to promote regional competitions. And the Nats.... should be a travelling competition, not fixed to Muncie. It's nice to have a fixed location, but people from our little club in Oregon used to compete in the nats when when they were in western locations. Not anymore. The nats could be travelled like the Olympics, and whole communities would get involved to support their local club or site because of the potential revenues of visiting competitors. You might even have non-flying business owners becoming AMA members in support.

Education: Modeling is the anti-drug. That should be a theme. When I was a kid, I loved building plastics of aircraft. As I got older I built stick and tissue, and flew Cox control line airplanes. and those balsa and rubberband flyers by the ton. Where was AMA then? I'm not that old, this was during the 70's and 80's so I know they were in existance. We should be in schools working with the administrators finding out who is teaching about aviation, and offer one of our programs, delta dart, AMA cub, field trips to the flying site etc. Clubs that partake in these programs should receive special recognition awards from the AMA. Kids are the future of modeling. I am 36 years old and there are only two younger than me in our local club of 30 flyers. I see this as a problem. AMA needs to flex that 501(c) 3 status muscle so that kids know what AMA is bright and early.

This post is getting too big, and this is just scratching the surface. It's a complex issue, but I really think AMA needs to be thought of as more than a place to get insurance. At this point that's the hot benefit they promote on the top of their marketing materials.
Old 11-25-2002, 12:04 AM
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J_R
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Default AMA alternative ?

Capgains

With reference to the insurance question. Up until a year ago, your impression was the same as mine. Then, on Bill Lee's list a question came up. What happens in a situation where a government owned site does not require AMA membership to fly? It turns out, in talking to Carl Maroney, that the AMA will still charter a club there, and supply to the landlord insurance coverage at the request of the chartered club. So you do have non-AMA members flying with AMA members. In further talking to Carl Maroney about this, it turns out that the AMA will provide the initial defense for the landlord regardless of who the flyer is, in case of an accident. Apparently, this is not as uncommon as you and I might think.

Now, if your question is how are you going to change the mind of a chartered club to allow non-AMA members on a site that they probably own or lease, that is a different issue. You are correct that you must be an AMA member to be a flying member of a chartered club. I would guess that finding a chartered club that is willing to pay for the land and let others fly there is unlikely.

On the idea of non-insured member rate, that's not a bad idea. I think there are a lot of older AMA members that now pay their dues and no longer fly or build, just to support the hobby. My guess is that the cost of such a membership would be prohibitive to those that purchased insurance elsewhere. Realistically, we know that the insurance coverage this year cost will cost about $10 per member. That being the case, a non-insurance membership would sell for $48, instead of the full $58. I suspect that the only people that would buy the non-insurance membership would be the ones that do not want to fly. Keep in mind that alternative insurance companies are in it for a profit, while, although AMA provides services other than insurance, it is a non-profit corporation. I don't think the AMA is going to sell a non-insurance membership at a loss. I don't think offering a menu of services you want or don't want is likely.

As I said in my previous post, if the AMA did not sell insurance, I do not think you would get a lot of arguments about the membership would drop rapidly. On the other hand, no one else is offering or has offered the complete package that the AMA does.

The insurance is the engine that drives the AMA. If you really like the new Ford T-bird, but, really want a Chevy engine, you can't buy the Ford without the engine. It's a similar situation, you can wish all you like, but buying an AMA membership without the insurance ain't likely to happen.

JR
Old 11-25-2002, 08:54 PM
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Capgains
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Default AMA alternative ?

JR:

Using your analogy with the automobiles, we have to be willing to accept a poorly run organization simply because the engine works.

I just think it's funny when you bring AMA up to other modelers, they don't seem thrilled to be associated. Some do, but many act as this is a necessary evil that we must have. Kind of like buying a burial plot. I don't think it should be this way. AMA has some great stuff, they just market it very poorly.


I guess the bottom line is that AMA is what you want it to be. If you just want an insurance coverage, then that's fine. If you want to utilize the programs that are available you can. If you want to apply or get elected to a position in the organization, you can do that too.

AMA stresses that this is your organization. All 1000 acres of it.
Old 12-06-2002, 03:33 AM
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Default AMA alternative ?

I have been a member of the AMA since the late 1970's and remember when we only had a few wide band frequencies to fly on. It seems to me, that the AMA was the driving force that got us the 50 channels that we now use. I have always received a magazine from them every month, can fly at any AMA sanctioned field or event, visit and fly at the national flying site in Muncie, compete at the Nationals, they give away scholarships, promote the hobby/sport and I get insurance to boot!
It seems to me that the AMA is more than just insurance...

Jerry L. Orme
AMA 1157
Old 12-06-2002, 04:00 AM
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Default AMA alternative ?

UMA will send you a copy of their policy it is Gulf Insurance. There leadership seems very helpful. I join last year and had both AMA and UMA but after 48 years I am not going to join AMA for 2003...the loss of members could wake AMA up but only one will not be noticed. Yes AMA has and does do alot for MA but they take credit where others did as much such as frequencies the manufactures ARRL and others helped. I have belonged to two clubs (charter member) that have gone AMA so next year I will no longer be welcome.It sure is a freindly origanization if you are not AMA you are out. It was a long and hard decision to drop out having been a CD and Leader Member over 40 years but I still have fredom of choice. UMA may be the future but an organization like AMA will always be needed but new leadership is needed that
will make ALL modelers WELCOME......like the AMA of the 50s...
Old 12-06-2002, 02:31 PM
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Default Promoting the Hobby

Originally posted by Capgains
JR:

Additionally, AMA made it clear that there can be no co mingeling of insurances at flying sites because of coverage issues. Therfore if you have a really great site you fly at, and the local club is AMA chartered and has coverage on the field.... only AMA members will be allowed to fly on it.

How does this promote the hobby?
My flying site owner requires that we provide them with PRIMARY insurance coverage (site owners coverage) to prevent them from paying in case of a loss. The club charters with AMA which provides the primary coverage to the site owner, which then allows us to use the field. No AMA, no inexpensive site owners coverage, no flying field.
Having places to fly from seems to promote the hobby to me!
Old 12-06-2002, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Promoting the Hobby

Originally posted by s3nfo


My flying site owner requires that we provide them with PRIMARY insurance coverage (site owners coverage) to prevent them from paying in case of a loss. The club charters with AMA which provides the primary coverage to the site owner, which then allows us to use the field. No AMA, no inexpensive site owners coverage, no flying field.
Having places to fly from seems to promote the hobby to me!

Gotta agree with that!
Old 12-06-2002, 02:50 PM
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uncrichie
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I just renewed after a years layoff with AMA. I have seen questions of worry about insurance for the upcoming 2003 season. Is there an answer to the insurance issue. Do we have insurance for 2003???
Old 12-06-2002, 02:58 PM
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Default AMA alternative ?

uncrichie


The current AMA commercial insurance policy runs through the middle of 2003. For the latest information, check the EC minutes on the AMA web page. The commercial policy may or may not be renewed. The EC has created a captive insurance corporation "just in case".

JR
Old 12-06-2002, 06:57 PM
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Capgains
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Default Re: Promoting the Hobby

Originally posted by s3nfo


My flying site owner requires that we provide them with PRIMARY insurance coverage (site owners coverage) to prevent them from paying in case of a loss. The club charters with AMA which provides the primary coverage to the site owner, which then allows us to use the field. No AMA, no inexpensive site owners coverage, no flying field.
Having places to fly from seems to promote the hobby to me!
Okay, then tell me what if pbannier were to show up at your field, with his UMA insurance, as a guest of one of your club members? Is he allowed to fly? The site owner insurance should cover him right? I'd almost bet not, and that was one of the problems AMA was bringing forward. So unless the field is a publicly owned entity with it's own policy (IE a county or state park) you need the AMA site owner's coverage, and it is only compatible with AMA members. I would hope it covers the site owner against non-insured members that show up and hurt themselves. Otherwise the insurance is kind of useless. Then you would have site owner insurance that only covers the people that are all ready insured by AMA, and since the insurance company is not going to sue itself if a claim is made, everything is under control.

It would seem to me the only reason to have site owner insurance is to protect the site owner against people not covered by AMA who try to sue. Therefore you would think the UMA guy could fly there. But I still bet not.

AMA is promoting AMA membership with these tactics. How can it be promoting flying when it creates a barrier to exclude other flyers?
Old 12-06-2002, 09:07 PM
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uncrichie
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Default AMA alternative ?

JR, thank you for your response to the 2003 insurance issue.
Old 12-06-2002, 11:12 PM
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dennis1943
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Default whoooooooooooooooooooo

if a non ama member shows up at our field he will only be alowed ot fly with one of our intro pilots on a buddy box, so wake up people and smell the roses, this is the only way you will fly at EUTAWVILLE FLYERS, of Eutewville S.C.

dennis 1943

AMA7030-cd :sunsmiley
Old 12-07-2002, 07:53 AM
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Capgains
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Default Re: whoooooooooooooooooooo

Originally posted by dennis1943
if a non ama member shows up at our field he will only be alowed ot fly with one of our intro pilots on a buddy box, so wake up people and smell the roses, this is the only way you will fly at EUTAWVILLE FLYERS, of Eutewville S.C.

dennis 1943

AMA7030-cd :sunsmiley


So you are either with us, or we are going to make you feel like an outsider for not being with us. That's friendly.


How about this one. Isn't it funny how park fliers are gaining popularity? Why? Because they can be flown in smaller areas like parks and schoolyards.

I remember the first time I ever visited a flying field, I had never heard of AMA. For many of us the way we were introduced to AMA was a member of a club telling us that we needed it to fly there.

So you go to a hobby shop, you build a plane (back to the days when we only had kits), and now somebody is telling you the only way you can fly it where everybody else does is to join this thing you have never heard of, and costs as much as that kit you bought.

This kind of thing will cause people to go other places to fly. Parking lots, rail yards, private property, airports. Places where they can cause some damage. As AMA members we say "Well it wasn't anyone from our club that flew that plane through that living room window and injured that guy watching Jerry Springer."

But guess what? People will start to think, "Boy those things are dangerous. Earl is having to watch Jerry Springer from a hospital bed now." And then they will look at that little AMA insured field run by the local club south of town and say "Maybe that place ought to be closed. They could kill somebody"

Darn right... Now about the park fliers. Did it ever occur to anyone that these smaller planes are designed to let people fly in places where they won't be hassled by anyone to buy AMA membership such as parks and schoolyards?

I've heard talk in club meetings that we need to be on the lookout for these outlaws flying in public parks using our frequencies with reckless abandon they could shoot down our planes on the same channel within range. And we can't control them from turning on or off at any given time. And what are we going to do when we find them? Tell them they need to join AMA?

Smell the roses..... We AMA members are the ones who put those people there. We can make getting into this hobby, and co-existing with other model aviation bodies as easy or as hard as we want. Right now it's our way, or the park way.
Old 12-07-2002, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: whoooooooooooooooooooo

Originally posted by Capgains




So you are either with us, or we are going to make you feel like an outsider for not being with us. That's friendly.
Unfortunately, friendliness has nothing to do with LEGAL liability. No one is being unfriendly, they are just taking resoponsibility for their own actions by trying to follow a set of rules and have some secondary coverage.



This kind of thing will cause people to go other places to fly. Parking lots, rail yards, private property, airports. Places where they can cause some damage.
Are you trying to say that serious damage can't occur just because you fly at an AMA field? Sounds like magic.


But guess what? People will start to think, "Boy those things are dangerous. Earl is having to watch Jerry Springer from a hospital bed now." And then they will look at that little AMA insured field run by the local club south of town and say "Maybe that place ought to be closed. They could kill somebody"
Yep, that's the same legal logic that has people thinking McDonald's is responsible for them spilling hot coffee in their crotch while driving with, and that has some of america thinking that an inatimate gun can kill someone all by itself. Fortunately, some people still try to take responsibility for their actions. In our hobby, that means having insurance just in case of the above logic. If the best way for you to get it is by joining the AMA fine, if you can do it on your own, just as fine.


I've heard talk in club meetings that we need to be on the lookout for these outlaws flying in public parks using our frequencies with reckless abandon they could shoot down our planes on the same channel within range. And we can't control them from turning on or off at any given time. And what are we going to do when we find them? Tell them they need to join AMA?
This doesn't seem to follow your friendliness rule, calling someone an outlaw because they are frequencies you think are yours????? Sorry, but the government owns the frequencies not you or the AMA. But, I would venture to say that if an incident occurred because the park flyer turned on a radio near an AMA site, the AMA site and flyer would get off the hook with the park flyer getting the liability. Not a lawyer, just a guess.


Smell the roses..... We AMA members are the ones who put those people there. We can make getting into this hobby, and co-existing with other model aviation bodies as easy or as hard as we want. Right now it's our way, or the park way.
I agree with this, except for the last sentence about the park way. There are alternatives to what you call "our way." I think the bottom line is that maybe there should be more effort to get our fellow flyers to at least vote each year and become more active in the organization. Maybe you should even consider running for office.
Old 12-07-2002, 08:08 PM
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bpannier
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You mean that you can not have fredom of choice and have UMA insurance..or you are irresponsible. That is like saying you can only drive on I 15 with Allstate insurance and to drive on I 95 you have to have Travelers insurance....I don't think so. It is AMAs way to get you to join. AMA states the many claims are paid by Homeowners insurance.
Old 12-07-2002, 10:42 PM
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Dave Bowles
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Default ama and others

I think that part of the reason the AMA dosen't accept other forms of insurance is because you would no longer be bound by the AMA safety guidlines and the safety guidlines of UMA are not as detailed as AMAs.


There is no argument that the manditory membership to join AMA chartered and insured fields was a tactic to increase the membership numbers and a very good one, but I don't believe it was done for any Evil purpose, it was and is only to increase the strength of our hobby, who in the government is going to pay attention to a R/C organization with 10,000 members operating out of the presidents Garage.

I have no problem with the requirment, If your club wants to have both then get a charter from both.

There are many activities out there where you must be aprt of an organization to use a facility, this is one of them.
Old 12-08-2002, 12:59 AM
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Default AMA alternative ?

Originally posted by bpannier
You mean that you can not have fredom of choice and have UMA insurance..or you are irresponsible. That is like saying you can only drive on I 15 with Allstate insurance and to drive on I 95 you have to have Travelers insurance....I don't think so. It is AMAs way to get you to join. AMA states the many claims are paid by Homeowners insurance.
Not sure if this was directed at my comments, but if it is, I think you have missed the point. I said "If the best way for you to get it is by joining the AMA fine, if you can do it on your own, just as fine. " Seems to me I left the freedom of choice thing pretty much open. Nothing prevents you from going out, buying some property, getting your own coverage and flying.

A better analogy than the highway thing you mentioned would be, you go out and buy a yugo, I go out and buy a ferrari (I wish!!!!), but you come over get in my ferrari and take off. As you leave you say don't worry, we both know how to drive, and my yugo is fully covered. Or how about this one. You're a nascar driver, and decide you would rather drive clockwise instead of counter clockwise around the track. Hey, who cares, you're all nascar drivers. Who cares if you drive by different rules. You see, it doesn't work in other venues.

The point is, to fly at an AMA field you need to be an AMA member. Maybe UMA can start some fields and allow both. Nothing says you have to fly at an AMA chartered field. Maybe some guys could start a club, get primary insurance and allow anyone to fly. There are options. For me, I like the AMA. I feel better knowing the guys around are playing by the same set of rules, or driving the same way around the nascar track, if you will.

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