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Request forwarded to AMA EC members

Old 04-21-2003, 04:45 AM
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To: Executive Council
Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)
5161 East Memorial Dr.
Muncie, IN 47302

From: Horrace D. Cain, AMA 539, CD & Leader
31619 Bohlssen Rd.
New Caney, TX 77357-9613

Subject: Recognition and Acceptance of the Paid Radio Control Airplane Flight Instructor.

Date: April 18, 2003

Distinguished Gentlemen:

How goes your golf game these days? Have you been out to the local course and spent a day with the "Pro" to get things up to speed? If so, did he do it for free? Or did someone there out for their own afternoon game, stop or postpone that game and spend their time with freely helping you along? I think not.
Please forgive me for bringing up that sour game in the presence of active model airplane people. However I think the point is there. Model Aviation, specifically Radio Control (RC), has long passed the "Hobby" status, albeit will always be so for some, and moved into the Sport and Recreational Activity for the majority of current participants. President Brown has recorded that he recognizes RCers as more a group of model fliers rather than model builders.
Historically, the skill of learning to fly RC model airplanes has been handed down from person to person through Club and individual help. Yet, today the demand for help now far exceeds reasonable levels from those experienced persons that are able and willing to provide that help.
It is not reasonable to expect the same few individuals from any club to, while ignoring their own pleasurable recreation, shoulder the load day after day instructing new entries into the sport (newbies). It is not reasonable that a club has to constantly search for resources to assist and maintain a training program that generally produces little, if any, return to either the Club or the individuals performing the labor. It is not reasonable that persons have to volunteer this labor simply to promote the sport and/or hobby of RC model aviation.
The current new RC Pilot "wanna'bees" lack background in model aviation, thus the new sport is frequently placed in the *hold* file after a year or so and the person seeks other recreation. I soloed three youngsters last year, and only one rejoined the club this year, and as he will soon get his driving license, and is currently not participating, I expect he will soon be gone. On the other hand, if the young person had affordable challenges, would he stay? Read on, please. Each adult soloed is back this year, however several individuals from the past five years are now gone. What have I really accomplished other than personal burnout with promoting the sport?
My club has over 100 members. There are twelve certified Instructor Pilots. Two of those are not what I call Proficient. Only two are retired and have good availability. All the others have full time jobs that require many varied schedules. None are the 9 to 5 bunch.
One of the retired lacks experience. Actually only two people, one with a full time job, bear the load. I find the same problems in many other clubs through research with a number of individuals. The sport, the hobby, the clubs, and ultimately AMA suffer because of the lack of available flight instruction.
Just to make sure, I believe that some of you may know me, and therefore you know that my information is not from simply "my club".

Where does AMA fit in?

AMA does not, at this time, recognize and/or provide insurance for the commercial flight instructor or any commercial instruction on a Chartered Club facility/property. In my, and others', opinion this problem could be easily solved by the AMA Executive Council. It would be a very easy item to enhance the Insurance Coverage to cover this activity. In my opinion, if AMA would move in that direction, then the Charter Clubs and the individual flight instructors would take the ball from there.
No one should expect such a program to be without cost to those concerned.
Now for AMA's Blessing, I would predict that the Individual participating Club, with participating instructors, would be charged $300.00 for the Club Insurance plus each individual Paid Instructor permit would be around $200.00 per individual.
Without any figures, other than various payments now being made around the country, I would WAG (wild a—guess) that a fee of $300.00 would be a reasonable fee for lessons (15 to 25 flights) from start through solo. Let the Clubs decide on that. I would hold to a flat fee for participating rather than a per-student-trained as a flat fee will be easier and less subject to "mistakes"?
Clubs and/or Instructors would not be restricted against also providing for free instruction, just as always, however the newbie and the Club would have another option. The more options, the better the job is performed.
The inclusion of paid flight instruction within AMA's Insurance coverage will provide a win-win situation for AMA, the Charter Clubs, the regular club members, and the "newbie" wishing for readily available help.

THOUGHTS:
1. How many accidents have been recorded while a person is receiving instruction? This is probably the safest time in RC activity. My experiences in both full scale jet instruction, plus 30+ years of RC instruction is that during instruction time the focus is definitely on the work being done. (Two flight instructors on a cross-country in the same airplane isn't that way ☺☻ ☺☻)
2. The ARF along with the Electrics and Park-Fliers have provided a vast opportunity for AMA to advance the favorable publicity of RC model aviation, and actually the timing is also appropriate. What one item could assist that promotion any more than a large number of Instructors available to assist new potential RC Pilots?
3. Why should there be any more available instructors if pay is made available? Simply, because pay is a motivation to perform. There are numerous retired individuals, individuals with minor disabilities, and YOUTH that could make those extra dollars needed to support themselves by doing what they already love, i.e. RC model flying. Any Club has these people. They work in rather low paying jobs for dollars to meet their personal needs, yet they would work for half the amount if they could be at the RC field earning a few dollars. My Club has an AMA Senior that is a great pilot and a recognized Club Instructor. Yet, he now needs to earn his spending money in a grocery store. I would be very happy if he was at the field doing for money what I am well burned out on and that is instructing newbies. Would it not be a good thing for AMA to be able to make public the honorable services being provided by these young persons within the educational and recreational community?
4. Any club in the metropolitan areas where a number of clubs exist would be losing potential members if they failed to participate in the program. INSTANT available instructors will be in demand just as much as the ARF or ready-to-fly model. There will also be individuals that, while not now interested in instructing, will join in as they see a way to afford some special new RC item such as that new engine/airplane which is now just a tad above their current financial level. MOTIVATION!
5. Using the WAG figures from above, let's say that of the 2000 clubs within AMA, 20% opted to participate the first year. Each Participating Club (PC) has two Participating Instructor Pilots (PIP). This means that 400 PCs each at $300, along with 2 PIPs each, total 800, at $200.00 each will contribute a total of Two Hundred, Eighty Thousand Dollars to AMA that year. This $280,000.00 is besides the amount collected for the new AMA memberships that will come about due to available training.
6. Such amounts, if placed within the currently funded captive insurance program, and adequately invested could well provide AMA with a sizeable amount of Insurance Reserve.
I predict that if correctly managed, the Paid Flight Instructor / PIP could be the best single asset that AMA could establish. Simply stated, the best possible return on the lowest possible risk.

Therefore, I ask you, the Leaders of AMA and those entrusted to establish, remove, evaluate, etc., all AMA policies and actions, to review this request, and within some not too distant time frame give due consideration to the recognition and establishment of full coverage to an asset whose time has come, the RC Paid Instructor Pilot. All our favorite sports have commercial instructors. Even RC flying has professional schools. It is now time for AMA to recognize the opportunities that exist for individuals, clubs, and AMA itself and to embrace the end-of-the-rainbow so well within its grasp.

Please give these thoughts your utmost consideration and open the door to the future.
Thank you.


Sincerely

Horrace D. Cain

Horrace D. Cain
AMA 539, Contest Director and Leader Member.

P.S. This is not for my personal thing other than to provide instruction for those that want it now, and to allow me to spend my remaining earth time doing my own thing, you know like getting my turbine waiver!!
Old 04-21-2003, 08:03 PM
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Horrace I think $300.00 is a bit steep for some to pay to learn how to fly with what it costs to get started in this hobby/sport as it is. I think $150.00 is more in line and even that will strap some, and who decides who can and cannot be the paid instructors? Do they foot the bill then for all the extra insurance costs? What about the guy that has to train the people who do not want or can't pay the instruction fee? What happens when he says the heck with this I'm tired of doing this for nothing? Pretty soon unless they come up with the extra money for instruction they don't learn how to fly because nobody wants to instruct for nothing anymore. In my opinion I think it will do more harm than good, In our club there are only 27 guys and with two paid instructors it works out to an extra $26.00 bucks a guy if the paid instructor does not have to cover his $200.00. Which brings me back to who gets to be the paid instructor? You have a lot of good ideas Horrace but this ain't one of them because the powers that be will add the extra $300.00 to every clubs insurance paid instructors or no paid instructors you know that just as well as you know your staring at a computer monitor reading this. If I thought for one minute the extra $300.00 bucks would be on a participation basis I would be on your side in a heart beat but it will not be that way, you know it will be an all for one and one for all thing all clubs will have to pay the extra insurance like it or not. And I don't.
Old 04-21-2003, 11:24 PM
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I think that this would cause some problems simply because not everyone will be able to pay the money for instruction. Think about the teenager that shows up to the field in Janurary with his Christmas present ARF trainer. I sure would hate to be the one to tell him that he can't fly until he pays for instruction. Then there will be problems with people who did pay for instruction and then someone teaches someone else "Pro Bono".

I think a better idea would be to have a standardized syllabus for both instructors and students. Perhaps a 10-15% discount on your AMA dues if you're an instructor and you solo out 1 or 2 students in the calendar year. Also put some sort of designation or distintive patch or hat instructors could wear. Maybe make it a prerequisite for Leader Member status?

I just remember when I was taught, my instructor told me that he learned for free and he was just paying back his instructor. Same for me, I'm teaching my son on the buddy box. . .

Now I'm only referring to club instructors. I think that our hobby is WAY overdue for someone to put together a true "academy" that you go to for a week and learn advanced building and flying techniques. Have a defined lesson plan with learning objectives.
Old 04-21-2003, 11:42 PM
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Very well Rockmon. you have good questions and opinions. Most are answered in the original letter however:

>>>>>>>
Horrace I think $300.00 is a bit steep for some to pay to learn how to fly with what it costs to get started in this hobby/sport as it is. I think $150.00 is more in line and even that will strap some,
<<<<<<<<<<

As I stated, those figures were WAGs you know Wild A-s guesses. Any pricing outside the AMA charges would be strictly between the Club and the paid instructors. EACH CLUB SHOULD BE AWARE OF ITS AREA'S ECONOMY AND KNOW HOW/WHAT TO CHARGE.
As I have said before on this forum, a person's financial position is HIS personal thing. When I go to the grocery store, my ability to pay is not THEIR concern, its either pay or I don't get grocery. In the same manner, I don't race in the Reno Unlimited because I can't afford it. That is not THEIR worry. I don't race in the T-6 class because I refuse to spend my money on a T-6. That is all MY problem and none of theirs. I accept that there are those that cannot afford to get scheduled training on demand. However that is NOT my or AMA's problem, and I won't comment about yours as that is your personal thing.

>>>>>
"...and who decides who can and cannot be the paid instructors?
<<<<<<<<<

Club and Individual thing. Who picks a Club's Intro Pilots? Club's business.

>>>>>>> Do they foot the bill then for all the extra insurance costs?
<<<<<<

Club and individual business. I would raise He-l if the club tried to soak me for the Individual Instructor's costs. Those that will earn the money pays their own bill. The Club would pay its portion out of operating funds and that's fine with me. They stand to earn many times their investment back and that is good for me -- like each member.


>>>>>>>
"What about the guy that has to train the people who do not want or can't pay the instruction fee? "
<<<<<<<
That is what is happening now. Individual choice.

>>>>>>>
What happens when he says the heck with this I'm tired of doing this for nothing?
<<<<<<<<<

Well, I'm saying that right now. I do it to keep the club alive and because others simply don't give a da-n.

>>>>>>>>
Pretty soon unless they come up with the extra money for instruction they don't learn how to fly because nobody wants to instruct for nothing anymore.
<<<<<<<<<<

They came up with the money for the plane and equipment. Incidentally, my first 6 channel radio, not even able to switch servo direction, cost over $600, and that was near 35 years ago.
I still can't afford Reno Racing Unlimited and no one there worries about me. Those that have financial problems in this hobby, then try something else. It's their choice and there will still be plenty of the personal help available.

<<<<<<<<<
"In my opinion I think it will do more harm than good, In our club there are only 27 guys and with two paid instructors it works out to an extra $26.00 bucks a guy if the paid instructor does not have to cover his $200.00. Which brings me back to who gets to be the paid instructor?"
<<<<<<<<<
All your local choices.

>>>>>>" You have a lot of good ideas Horrace but this ain't one of them because the powers that be will add the extra $300.00 to every clubs insurance paid instructors or no paid instructors you know that just as well as you know your staring at a computer monitor reading this. If I thought for one minute the extra $300.00 bucks would be on a participation basis I would be on your side in a heart beat but it will not be that way, you know it will be an all for one and one for all thing all clubs will have to pay the extra insurance like it or not. And I don't."
<<<<<<<<

In that case, neither do I. If AMA did follow up on such as this plan, and such plan was to be a mandated plan with each paying for all, I will fight against it even more so than I will work for it based on the individual club and member participation.

Thanks for the input.
Old 04-22-2003, 12:05 AM
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What about Insurance!
Hear we go again, If a newbie does not have a primary insurance, Who pay the deductible on prime Who is liable for any problems that my happen If you are lucky AMA will take care of the property owner. It gets scary being a instructor . Will my premiums go up will they even pay.
At most clubs you do not interfere with the norm there are people that run the show and you do not get involved . That is why so many newbie's are turned off. You are not an instructor and they let people know that they are the best. Will not acknowledge that you are better Instructor . Sorry you had your time let some one have a go at it. We'll find them A Instructor that will work you in!!!!!!!!!! some day
Old 04-22-2003, 02:35 AM
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Horrace makes some great points, and I hope that the EC responds in a favorable way.

If your club has an instructor that is always available and doesn't mind sacrificing his flying time to help a new guy you are lucky. I belong to a small club and we do not have a steady stream of beginners. Most everyone that I have flown with over the years has always been willing to help instruct, but it is understandable that it can get old after awhile.

The comments on RCU indicate that there is a shortage of instructors. A belief that instruction should be free and readily available does not generate more instructors. I think Horrace's suggestion would.

Eric
Old 04-22-2003, 03:46 AM
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Here are some of the issues that I see and my opinions about them.

First, the only reason the AMA needs to get involved, at all, is that an instructor, even if he has outside insurance, is, in fact prohibited from teaching at an AMA chartered club's field for a fee, since he and his student would not be covered with AMA insurance even if they are AMA members. No club in their right mind is going to allow that situation because it leaves the club and it's members at risk. It is not entirely clear what the coverage on the landowner might be. This creates a catch 22 where, even if the instructor has a great commercial policy, he has nowhere to teach.

Rather than have the club or the AMA get heavily involved, why not make AMA commercial instruction insurance available at a price. Leave it to the instructor to make a deal with a club. Leave it to the instructor to determine his fees. Leave it to the instructor to deal with the IRS. Etc., etc. Leave it to the instructor to recover the cost of the insurance. This is a business proposition and should be treated like one. Anyone can start a business, some will make it and others will not.

I can see where most clubs might require AMA and club membership from the instructor and student. That would be the benefit to the club. Leave it to the clubs to decide, don't start another paper mill between the clubs and the AMA.

I can see a demand for everything from basic flight instruction to advanced lessons, as someone else pointed out. If Dave Brown, Don Lowe or Chip Hyde can command $5000 for a couple of weeks of advanced Pattern instruction, more power to them.

The time honored method of teaching beginner's for free is being skewed by planes that are built by professionals (ARF's). The time has come to bring teaching into the new recreational aspect of the hobby. It's my opinion that the free instructor will continue to exist, for those students with more patience than money. If you want training on demand, be prepared to pay. Not many folks today give a second thought to the morality of having a plane built for them, so why should training be looked at differently?

I am sure that one thing that has stopped the AMA in the past is the realization that if an accident occurs, there is a higher likelihood that a lawsuit will be filed against a business, rather than a club or individual AMA member. This, obviously, raises the cost of insuring such an enterprise and would have to be reflected in the cost of such insurance. Possibly a second policy with the AMA's insurer is the answer. The cost could be prohibitive. The entire proposition should be looked at, in any case.

JR
Old 04-22-2003, 09:21 AM
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Carl Maroney said that only the paid instructor is not covered, so the club doesn't have to worry about that.

How about people who have their own property to run a flight school on? No one says that it has to be run on a club field, in fact, maybe the pro instructor would much rather have his own property to teach, rather than have to try to teach around a sometimes busy flight line. Now that the instructor is making money, maybe he can afford to rent or lease a field.

Dave Scott of the First US Flight School - (http://www.frontiernet.net/~rcfs/ ) demands a $600 fee upfront. His schedule if full all flying season and he teaches 4 people per week. $2400 per week is a pretty good income for what so many seem to think there is no market for. Also, Dave's video is listed on Towers catalogue, not to mention he is also selling his instructional book. For the skeptics, I ask, why would so many people be so ready to spend $600 plus room and board for a week if there was so much free instruction available?

As a hobby shop owner, I wish there were many more paid instructors around. Logically, it would significantly finanically help out the AMA by bringing so many more $58 members. BTW, the AMA would not even have to offer such a policy, as the multbillion dollar RC aeromodeling industry could spring for such a policy. Wonder if RCHTA and NRHSA ever gave it any thought?

Joe Bartholomew
Lighthouse Hobbies
5844 Ontario St.
Olcott, NY 14126
Fax/Tel: 1-716-778-0529
Old 04-22-2003, 09:53 AM
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Horrace (Hossfly),

You have hit the nail on the head with your letter. As you know there are some rough edges, but your idea is right on.

I too burned out as an instructor. It got to the point that I almost quit going to the field to fly. Each time I went, the newbies wanted help and I couldn't fly my own. BTW, I am retired also and this was during the day. I finally made the decision to quit instructing entirely and not to test fly anyones plane!

We have a club that ends the year at about 180 members. We teach approx 30 or more new ones each year. If the retention was so good, why isn't our membership really growing? Your point exactly.

Yes, due to attrition we loose some members and they are replaced by newbies. I roughly figure we retain about 1 out of ten for a three year period.

This year for the first time, no one will be the head instructor! Several have said they would assist but will not be the head guy.

I was getting ready to write a similar letter for our club newsletter but you have done it much better than I would have done. I would like your permission to submit your letter to our editor for publication, with credits of course.

Dan Thompson
Old 04-22-2003, 01:03 PM
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Not many folks today give a second thought to the morality of having a plane built for them, so why should training be looked at differently?
JR,

What in Gods name does morality have to do with purchasing a prebuilt plane????????????

nascarjoe,

As a hobby shop owner maybe you should work with a local club getting instructors to help out. And by working with them I mean provide a large yearly check to the club as an incentive to provide flight training for your customers. After all I'm pretty sure you don't sell your products at a 0% markup. Why should you expect the club to freely train people you send to them. As far as getting the industry to help foot the bill thats a great idea why don't you persue it with your distributors.
Old 04-22-2003, 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by Crashem
JR,

What in Gods name does morality have to do with purchasing a prebuilt plane????????????

nascarjoe,

As a hobby shop owner maybe you should work with a local club getting instructors to help out. And by working with them I mean provide a large yearly check to the club as an incentive to provide flight training for your customers. After all I'm pretty sure you don't sell your products at a 0% markup. Why should you expect the club to freely train people you send to them. As far as getting the industry to help foot the bill thats a great idea why don't you persue it with your distributors.
Unfortunately, although we have a county owned flying field very close, I seldom see any fliers there, let alone instructors. From what I gather in my experience with clubs, the few instructors I've come across have little to no desire to spend much if any time teaching, whether they are compensated in any form or not.
Then there is the purist modeler who has a religiously held philosophical belief that one should not have to pay to learn or be paid to teach.

I can understand just how stressful teaching is, meaning, if they are compensated to teach, they will have a moral/legal obligation to spend that much more time teaching, hence the instructor burnout I here so much about. Can't teach a lot for free, and it's even worse for instructors if they are paid. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Seeing that the industry has such an enormous vested interest in bringing in new blood, it would seem with so many highly paid business oriented professionals hired by the multbillion RC aeromodeling industry, they should have figured all this out for themselves.

nascarjoe
Old 04-22-2003, 01:28 PM
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Horrace,

Please correct me if I am wrong but I distinctly remember a few years ago when the Jetero had an instructor that was secretly charging for his time while instructing the whole club was in an uproar. I am almost positive you were in that majority.
What has changed your opinion?

I have been instructing people to fly since I was a teeenager and would NEVER ask for a fee. I do it because I like helping the new guys out.

In my current club we have 6 instructors. Out of that six, three of us are Intro Pilots.
The club's designated trainer plane stays in my shop. I bring it out to events, Hook people up to the cord. Answer questions etc. I do it because I like it. Not because I expect something from the people I am helping.

A couple of weekends ago I was at the field. It was one of the first nice days we've had in a while and I was continually bouncing around from one guy to another. Do I mind? No.
Would I have liked to fly my planes a little more that day? Sure.

I just have a hard time telling the new guy in the club to pay for his AMA, then spend close to 500 bucks to get a plane RTF and then by the way, I am going to charge you a fee for my time.
It just doesnt have to be that way.

Having instructors that charge isnt going to bring more competent instructors. IMO its going to do the exact opposite.

Do you think the guy who charging behind the scenes at Jetero was providing better instruction because he was getting paid for it?
Old 04-22-2003, 01:30 PM
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Why is it that a person goes to the airport and expects to pay an instructor (yes, some teach part time as a hobby for a fee) but comes to the model field and expects the same for nothing?

BTW, the airport is owned by the county so that compares to a county supplied model field.

The only things that are standing in the way of paid instructors is the AMA and clubs/members attitude. Usually the attitude comes from those that don't and won't do the instruction.

I tried to get our club to charge a newbie that used club instruction a minimum of a three year membership. A large percentage don't come back the second year, but have used the club resources. That wouldn't fly either.

I even had one fellow that came and announced that he was going to use the free club instruction and them go join and fly at another club after he learned. You know how much he got!

Soap box off again.

Dan
Old 04-22-2003, 01:33 PM
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nascarjoe,

I seldom see any fliers there, let alone instructors. From what I gather in my experience with clubs, the few instructors I've come across have little to no desire to spend much if any time teaching, whether they are compensated in any form or not.
That's not what I was asking you. Have you contacted the club officers with any type of business perposal? Not seeing many people at the field is not a good or accurate indicator of the local club's willingness to enter into a business arangement with your hobby shop.

Try finding out when there next meeting is and attend. Come prepared with a well thought out propsal that crealy states what you would expect from them and what you are prepared to do for them? It never hurts to try. I would be very suprised if you didn't generate some interest.

The only way I could see it not working would be if you offered a form of compensation that was trival in comparision to the effort that the club provided.
Old 04-22-2003, 01:47 PM
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Crashem

It was not so very long ago that there was a 'builder of model' rule in virtually all AMA events. It required that the pilot fly a model he had built and not one that required a 'few hours of unskilled labor'. It was considered the duty of modeler's to pass on the skills necessary to produce a plane. Obviously that attitude has change. There are still quite a few older modeler's that feel that way. The skill of flying the plane is still looked on by many as a duty to be passed on. It's time for that attitude to go by the wayside as well.


nascarjoe

The following was received from Carl Maroney:

"The AMA member and club liability insurance policy does cover instructors paid by the club to teach new members to fly. Although the policy does not insure commercial enterprise or business pursuits, instruction by members compensated by the club for that instruction is covered in the situation you describe.

The policy does not insure any business owned or operated by a member under any circumstances. Only the individual instructor is insured."


The way I read that is that there is no coverage for anyone when a commercial venture is involved, instructor or student. When your coupled to a transmitter by a buddy box, I can't see that there is any other way to read it.

The complete text of the e-mail is posted in another thread.

JR
Old 04-22-2003, 02:01 PM
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JR

I've been doing this for a while and the only places I ever heard of that rule were at as you put it AMA events. Before ARF's guys that couldn't build bought them from guys that could.

Anyhow rules aside it was more your choice of the word morality that I was commenting on.
Old 04-22-2003, 02:39 PM
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Crashem

Your lucky you weren't flying when anyone that showed up at the field with a plane that was built by someone else was harassed unmercifully. When you were looked down upon for that, it was a moral judgment, in my opinion. Things have changed.


In another vein, those that teach for a fee now are enjoying the lack of competition in their pricing. Like any other business, the price of instruction would come down as more people get into teaching for profit. That is one of the reasons that the AMA and clubs should not get involved in setting a price, if they make this type of insurance available.

There will always be those that feel it is their moral duty to pass on flight training for free as well. Most modeler's still pass on building tips free.

I can also see an opening in the AMA's position on paid training. What happens if a hobby shop hires an employee that can train customers and prices the planes they sell with training, but offers a discount for the plane without flight training? No specific charge for the training. Not a commercial venture and an AMA membership should supply the necessary insurance at the field.

JR
Old 04-22-2003, 03:03 PM
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Your lucky you weren't flying when anyone that showed up at the field with a plane that was built by someone else was harassed unmercifully.
WOW you're right for the past 18-19 years I've pretty much gone out and flown alone or with guys at various clubs and never had any comments.

I was one of the first to use the royal 20T and 20s ARFs at the end of the 80's early 90's To tell you the truth untill I found this web site I didn't even know about the bitter ARF debate. We just got together and flew
Old 04-22-2003, 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by Crashem
nascarjoe,



That's not what I was asking you. Have you contacted the club officers with any type of business perposal? Not seeing many people at the field is not a good or accurate indicator of the local club's willingness to enter into a business arangement with your hobby shop.

Try finding out when there next meeting is and attend. Come prepared with a well thought out propsal that crealy states what you would expect from them and what you are prepared to do for them? It never hurts to try. I would be very suprised if you didn't generate some interest.

The only way I could see it not working would be if you offered a form of compensation that was trival in comparision to the effort that the club provided.
I belong to a club and have gone to meetings where it is quite obvious that the instructors there have little to no desire to train beginners, whether they are compensated or not. The point I was making of not seeing anyone flying means that there are so few active members who know how to fly let alone teach, I cannot imagine there would be any kind of business arrangement we could discuss, considering I would need the most are the services of flight instructors who don't exist.

From what I gather from reading posts, it seems that some think that what goes on in their clubs is the norm for all or most clubs.
I've visited many clubs over the years, and the giving of flight instruction more times than not, to be kind, is not even close to top of their priority list. What AMA could do is make a serious attempt at getting the industry involved in providing a commercial insurance policy, other than that, there isn't much anyone can do except bang the subject back and forth until the cows come home.

nascarjoe
Old 04-22-2003, 03:16 PM
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>>>>>>>>>>>> From Wayne G.
Horrace,

Please correct me if I am wrong but I distinctly remember a few years ago when the Jetero had an instructor that was secretly charging for his time while instructing the whole club was in an uproar. I am almost positive you were in that majority.
What has changed your opinion?
<<<<<<<<<

Wayne, the original letter to the EC plus the explanations to Rockmon certainly should answer any questions, however....!
Yes I was in that majority. That individual charged SECRETLY. That individual used his designation as an Intro Pilot (removed and never again) to bring non-AMA non-Jetero people on Jetero's PRIVATE PROPERTY for PAY. That individual jeopardized the entire Club for his personal gain. I wanted him thrown out. Fortunately he doesn't come around much anymore.
Now if AMA could come up with a suitable plan to allow paid instructors within a Chartered Club, such as I have proposed then that would be fantastic as I think.
So Wayne, there has been NO change of mind. (At the field ask me for a glow plug, a prop, or a tank of fuel and you will get it, no repayment expected. Slip around and take it from my tool box, then, if you get caught, well, sir, that's a whole 'nother ball game.)

>>>>>>>>>>>
I have been instructing people to fly since I was a teeenager and would NEVER ask for a fee. I do it because I like helping the new guys out.

//SNIP//

A couple of weekends ago I was at the field. It was one of the first nice days we've had in a while and I was continually bouncing around from one guy to another. Do I mind? No.
Would I have liked to fly my planes a little more that day? Sure.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

There is nothing wrong with that and I say "Go for it". However why were some of the other experienced fliers doing some bouncing? Are you the only one that "likes" it.
Now let me get a bit dirty, Wayne. When you belonged to Jetero, you helped others and that help is missed.
OTOH, I never knew of you making a commitment to a newbie for constant instruction and taking the individual through a course of instruction from first flight through passing Jetero's solo check-out.
There is one He-l of a difference between jumping around when there, than making a long-term commitment. (Ask any single guy!!!)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I just have a hard time telling the new guy in the club to pay for his AMA, then spend close to 500 bucks to get a plane RTF and then by the way, I am going to charge you a fee for my time.
It just doesnt have to be that way.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<,

Correct -- It doesn't have to be, so don't. I am asking that AMA simply provide the option -- like in CHOICE!

>>>>>>>>>
Having instructors that charge isnt going to bring more competent instructors. IMO its going to do the exact opposite.

Do you think the guy who charging behind the scenes at Jetero was providing better instruction because he was getting paid for it?
<<<<<<<<<<<<

For that individual, he was not an instructor for sh-t. Under my proposal, the club would quickly weed him out.

Wayne, where was QUALITY or COMPETENCE mentioned in my proposal? In my 41 years of military and commercial aviation, I found a lot of AIRPLANE DRIVERs drawing PILOT's pay. In my terms, there is a big difference between a PILOT and an airplane-driver.

In RC instruction, there are guys that simply help someone along until someone catches on to driving around the sky.
I simply am asking for AMA to provide the plan where Clubs can provide a REAL Instruction program.
As of now, I have and it's in this forum somewhere, a letter from CM / AMA that if money changes hands between the student and an Instructor, all AMA insurance is waived except for any Insurance the Club provides the land owner. (Jetero is the landowner same as a number of Clubs in this area.)

Therefore Wayne, thanks for the nit-picking, and keep up the good work. Hopefully your first line request has been granted.
Old 04-22-2003, 04:09 PM
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I don't understand the opposition to paid instruction. If someone is willing to instruct for free that is great. Certainly if there are plenty of free instructors available getting someone to pay for instruction would be difficult.

Supply enough free instruction and the "invisible hand" will take care of the paid instructors. Alternately if there is a shortage of free instructors why should the AMA and clubs make it difficult for the paid instructors? Given the choice of no instructor or paying I would have gladly paid. Even with the great free instructors I had I might still have paid if someone had been around. As an enthusiastic newbie I would have flown every day instead of just Sunday afternoons when the free instructors were available.

Eric
Old 04-22-2003, 04:23 PM
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nascarjoe,


First off understand I'm not trying to be argumentive.

But in reading your responses I'm still not clear as to how you have arrived at your cliam that you would be unable to find instructors even if you provided compensation.

In your first response you said this:

I seldom see any fliers there, let alone instructors. From what I gather in my experience with clubs, the few instructors I've come across have little to no desire to spend much if any time teaching, whether they are compensated in any form or not.
My reply may not have been percise enough

That's not what I was asking you. Have you contacted the club officers with any type of business perposal?
Your response was that you belong to a club. Is this club the same one that uses the field you were talking about.


The reason I ask is that I have found that most peoples motivation level is proportional to their compensation level.

Agian have you actually brought any type of concrete proposal to any club? How about approaching individuals. I find it hard to believe that given the right incentives you would find it impossible to find at least one qualified instructor that would allow to add value to your sales.

You may have thought of these but How about ;

1. Sponser a local training night you provide some fuel and maybe a RTF trianner. Get a bunch of your customers to come out and try it before they buy.

2. How about a coupon system give your customers coupons that the instructors could reedem (after each lesson or a preset group of lessons) at your shop.

It seems to me that if you are creating a demand for instructors (by selling to beginners) then there should be some way for you to fullfill that demand with the local flyers. You just got to get creative.

I would also think that your programs could be done in such a manner where expenses wouldn't be too great and they are deductible business expenses.

The reason why I think this would work is because before I learned to fly I bought and crashed several planes mail order and finally went to a LHS and bought the plane (much more expensive) with the express understanding that the he or club he belonged to would teach me to fly it. That was almost 19 years ago and I'm still flying.
Old 04-22-2003, 04:40 PM
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OK, I cant resist ,

when I pay for something I expect certian things , the same would hold true in paying for an instructor ,

I would expect to be able to recieve instruction ,according to my schedule ,

I would expect as many hours as needed for me to solo, and at that point I would expect continued attention to the point of confidence ,

I would expect help in perfecting my plane , IE control throws, radio set up , and damage repair ,

I would expect !!!!!!! that is where the problem with paid club instructors would come into effect , when someone pays they expect ,

you think that demanding people are bad for free ,just wait until they pay for the service , you will not be able to say the time conflicts with my schedule, or Im busy right now , maybe tomorrow ,

but either way , you either fly and help because you love the hobby or or you fly and help because you want the money ,

one lends itself to promotion (love of the hobby)
one lends itself to exclusivity (those who can afford it )

in business terms , you can charge yourself out of the market , either in club membership , or in pilots who were instructed for the good of the sport who will in turn instruct for the the same reason.

whats next , will you charge for your time spent here advising and helping new folks also ????

its all in the picture when you start where does it end ??

Highlander
Old 04-22-2003, 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Crashem
nascarjoe,

1. Sponser a local training night you provide some fuel and maybe a RTF trianner. Get a bunch of your customers to come out and try it before they buy.

Don't get me wrong, we have 3 instructors, but they have explained to me that they come out to the field to fly, not teach.
If I offered them $100 an hour to teach, it wouldn't do any good, because they simply do not want to go through the mental stress of teaching on a regular basis. They will give a hand now and then, but no amount of compensation will motive them anymore than they are.

I do have someone helping me who does teach for pay, but I have seen that too many club members will go out of their way to steer newbies from him, so I tend not to mention him much, if at all. I have already offered fuel and parts to the club's volunteer instructors, who like I pointed out, have no interest in providing anymore help then they do now, which is little to none. Right now, all my paid instructor asks for to teach my customers is fuel and the use of my trainers, although he has his own. BTW, you hit the nail right on the head with the idea of try before you buy.

My instructor is also helping several other hobby shops in the same manner, as he is not helping me exclusively. What he does is use fly before you buy to get new blood for the local clubs, so they can teach. To be fair, I can understand how it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for the instructor, meaning that there is a legal insurance problem, not to mention philosophical question as far as the club purist is concerned if you get paid for teaching and a fear of being overwhelmed if you raise you hands to volunteer and you might be the only one to do so. I've heard the term "giving back" but although I'm not an instructor, my question is, when does the giving back stop?

Just taking an objective perspective.

nascarjoe
Old 04-22-2003, 05:12 PM
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when I pay for something I expect certian things , the same would hold true in paying for an instructor
Highlander,

You are correct. However, I think you took your argument too far..

First of all you are not paying someone to "teach you to fly" you are paying for flying lessons.

You should be provided with an accurate estimate of the average time needed to solo and be told an average price.

As far as the rest of your statements those SHOULD be spelled out in the contract that is signed BEFORE Lessons begin.

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