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Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

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Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Old 11-30-2005, 03:20 PM
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Default Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Is there anything the AMA can do to help our club from frequent vandalism? Our club, NEPRCC, is based in NE Philadelphia at a state park (Benjamin Rush State Park) and recently we have been hit by vandalizers over and over again. They bring their cars/trucks in and run over our fences, dig up our runway, and knocked down our canopy for the picnic tables. It has been almost a weekly event. We have contacted the Park Rangers and police but they really haven't done anything to prevent this. Does the AMA offer any kind of assistance in a situation like this? Thanks in advance...
Old 11-30-2005, 03:39 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

I believe the answer to your question is "no, there is nothing the AMA will do".

However...

Call your flying site assistance coordinator, Joe Beshar, at 201 261-1281. He may be able to do something I am not aware of. You might also ask him about insurance. I know the AMA was looking into offering clubs insurance for this type of thing. Not sure what the status of that is.
Old 11-30-2005, 03:42 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Tire spikes might slow them down!
Old 11-30-2005, 03:54 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

If it's that frequent, it shouldn't be hard to catch them. Station a couple club members there each night. They should be equiped with cell phones, a video camera, and a digital camera. As soon as the offenders begin their misdeeds, get on the cell phone to the authorities. Once they are on the way, get some headlights on start filming. Don't try to confront them, just get enough evidence to identify who they are in case the rangers don't show up in time. Since your field is in a state park, they're not just damaging your field, it's state property. You should definitely discuss this plan with the rangers before you do it, maybe they'll offer to help.
Old 11-30-2005, 03:54 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Thanks J_R, I will have to give our president that info and see if it can get us anywhere...
ORIGINAL: bhole74

Tire spikes might slow them down!
bhole74,
Tell me about it, believe me, it was mentioned along with many other things, but since it is a state park, we can not do anything that will "harm" someone as then we could get sued! Isn't that a line of poop... We eventually took everything down as they can't knock down what isn't there but they still can dig up the runway... It has happened for the past month or so, sometimes more than once a week, not sure if anything recent happened though. Thanks for your responses...
Old 11-30-2005, 04:30 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Your state park hours are from sunrise to sunset. Are there gates that are closed in the off hours? You should talk to your park manager, Dustin Drew and see if they could jot down license numbers of visitors since the park is essentially undeveloped and probably doesn't get that much traffic.


Old 11-30-2005, 05:06 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Just wondering if your club has had any recent conflicts with members, ex-members or others?

Sounds retaliatory to me. Ask yourself...who are your enemies.
Old 11-30-2005, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

It might be worthwhile to hire an off-duty policeman or deputy to go out there with a couple of your members and watch things. It may cost a little but would be well worth the expense.

No, other than writing a letter to some official, the AMA is not a police department.

One of our close by clubs on a County Landfill recently had someone break down the gate, rip the door off the shed where they kept their mower and ran the mower off a cliff.

Just be careful. If you catch someone in the act, their parents may sue you for spoiling their kids entire day. It damages their self esteem to get caught.

3dbob
Old 11-30-2005, 09:30 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Well to answer a few of you guys questions:
piper_chuck - A few of us, including me, offered to stay over night with camera, etc but our president would not give us the ok as then he would then be partly responsible if something had happened and also no one technically is allowed in the park after dark, go figure, which means we would be breaking the law also. We understood his point totally.
Red Scholefield - There are gates, but even if they were locked, there are other, off-road type entrances that they could enter so it wouldn't help. Our president has talked with the park manager but as I said, not much happened so he actually wrote a letter to the next person up from him with his permission. We don't wan't to get anyone angry as they are letting us use the field and we don't want to mess that up.
littlecrankshaf - Good point, it was a question brought up in our meetings, but no one can seem to think of anyone that would have a grudge other than recently a neighbor complained about the noise which is funny because there is an airport not even a mile or so from our field and jets fly over all day... he he he...
3dbob37n - We also thought about hiring an off duty police officer or a private investigator but again, it would be tresspassing on the park. Two of the rangers that cruise the park usually get laid off for the winter and we thought about asking them. Not sure what the status of that is. Yeah, tell me about it, you can get sued for anything these days, it is pretty sad. Someone can break into your house, they could get cut on a piece of glass from the window they broke to get in and sue you for the damages... SAD SAD SAD!

It seems to be a bunch of kids, because they usually start a fire in the wood stove we have in our radio impound shed and there are beer cans all over the place. They probably are just a bunch of drunk kids... I do appreciate everyones input and ideas, if anyone comes up with any other ideas, please share, I am all ears. Again thanks...
Old 11-30-2005, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Club pres. doesnt want you guys to go out there and wait on them, huh? Sounds to me like it might be time to take up "night flying". "No sir Mr. Club president, we weren't out at the field trying to catch vandals... we were learning now to fly at night. The vandals just happened to show up while we were there. By the way, here is a video tape that shows them tearing things up. We brought a video camera along to try and tape out night flying experiences." I know the position you are in. The field our club flies at is on state park property also, but the rangers here do an EXCELLENT job of making sure everything is protected.
Old 11-30-2005, 11:18 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

ORIGINAL: Steven 4 Him

Well to answer a few of you guys questions:
piper_chuck - A few of us, including me, offered to stay over night with camera, etc but our president would not give us the ok as then he would then be partly responsible if something had happened and also no one technically is allowed in the park after dark, go figure, which means we would be breaking the law also. We understood his point totally.
Yes, that's why I said you should discuss it with the rangers. If they give you permission to do it you are not breaking the law.
Old 12-01-2005, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

You could pick up a gametrail camera, basically an unattended camera that you hide in the area with a clear view of the field, whenever it detects motion it takes a digital picture. then just go back the day after the damage is done and see what you have. that way nobody is in the park at night breaking the law
Old 12-01-2005, 12:22 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

Hey Steven:

Had the same problem here at Lakeland RC in Blackwood, NJ until one got caught. We have most of our runway lined up with old telephone poles, seperating the flight line with the parking area. We had this problem with teenagers doing donuts on the runway & flightline, until he got caught. He tried going over the telephone pole with his truck & got hung up.
Police caught him because he had nowhere to go. Towed & impounded his truck!!

Good luck!
KF
Old 12-01-2005, 09:22 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

jhatton - The game camera you spoke of was actually one of the solutions we were pondering. They are getting pricing on it and hopefully by our next meeting we should know if we will be going that route.

kamakazie frank - I am happy that you guys were able to catch someone. Isn't it a shame, I mean, these kids these days have no respect for anything anymore. It is scary. Thanks for sharing your story, it give me some kind of hope that maybe we will catch someone soon and end it... Thanks again...
Old 12-14-2005, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

We've had the same problem here. Some local kids with dirtbikes continuously ride over the field tearing up the grass, and the nice printed signs that were out at the field were slashed with a razor blade, knocked over the port-o-potty, etc.

These kids are so brazen they will ride right across the field while pilots are flying. Im pretty sure its gotten to the point where they are going to have to have them arrested for trespassing, and I hope they do.

Me personally, I'd like to see razor wire all over the field and tire spikes all around the runway, and an electrified port-o-let....MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Old 12-14-2005, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

You state they are probably just a bunch of "drunk" kids, suggest to the authorities that you believe they may be "doing drugs" there and you may get alot better response than you did to the "vandalism" issue.
Old 12-14-2005, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: Can the AMA Help a Club that gets Vandalized?

If you were really going to take care of this, you wouldn't be talking about it !!

The mod should delete this thread for your protection.

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