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If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Old 07-12-2010, 08:33 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Some really great ideas here!
Old 07-12-2010, 09:38 PM
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Gadget
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

I am a new RC pilot and love the hobby.  The membership in our club is growing and we now have record membership.  One of the reasons for the growth in membership is a new hobby shop in our town.  There are a lot of people that "have always wanted to fly radio controlled planes" but did not know where to start.  The hobby shop is a great sources of information.  A healthy hobby shop is a great recruitment tool for our club and the AMA.  We have also noticed that new members join in pairs.  Usually one guy gets one of his buddies to join with him. 

Most new members are young singles, empty nesters or soon to be empty nesters.  Family obligations with children take priority over many hobbies including rc which may reduce the membership of potential members during their child rearing years.

To the extent that AMA membership drives target the likely to join demographic groups they will be successful. 

I would be interested if this information and surveys you have conducted with new AMA members. 
Old 07-12-2010, 09:57 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

our club has been around for more than 3 decades but this summer has been depressing as theres not much going on.when I am in flrida theres people there everyday if weather is decent.here you never know when someone will show up.wasnt always that way but it has taken the fun out for me.I really dont feel like going much .couldnt even get a group together for a simple funfly...I hate apathy.but the club has no interest in holding events or demonstrating the hobby.they have all gotten old and found several other interests so I suspect its just a matter of time before it disappears.personally I am going to move next year closer to my kids and have fun with the clubs there.
Old 07-12-2010, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

our lhs was good when the owner was alive and sadly he died along time ago and the widow has tried to run it but doesnt know the stuff and b@##$%^ because of tower and other internet merchants.I buy local when I can but the closest shop is the next state over and he has it all..

its very difficult for anyone to venture into a lhs and profit.but when they do well I try to get everything I can locally but it has become almost impossible.
Old 07-12-2010, 10:34 PM
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greengoose
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Just my 2 cents if it matters much, My 2 brothers and I used to watch pattern meets and different early RC contests in the late 60's through the 80's, my bigger brother ended up a full scale pilot, my other big brother ended up a ukie pilot and yours truly ended up starting RC in the early 80's, all 3 of us took up a rewarding hobby because it was on tv where the whole world could decide if they liked the hobby or not, like car racing, or other sports. What the heck happened to RC on tv? you don't see hide nor hair of it anymore and it is one of the cheaper hobbies out there and the sky is the limit, Today also there is a great head start tool to prevent crashes and that is the flight simulator, The better hobby shops that care have one or two operating all the time for all the good reasons and we appreciate that for the good and interest of the beginner.
As for the AMA and decline of membership if you take into consideration the individual and the tight budget that some of us are on, the AMA fee's should at least be pro rated, eg- buy in August of 2009, expire in August 2010. The whole world sells on a pro rated basis, come on AMA, improvise and modernise at least as a world standard if you are a world class organisation. Also the magazine is forced on some of the members who don't want it, I myself have my act together and don't care about what happens in Muncie Indiana, or anywhere else for that matter, to me the magazine is outhouse paper (ouch), We once had a choice if we wanted the magazine or not, It seems that everything nowadays is turning socialist including AMA, don't get me wrong, they are a great organization for the benefit of the modeler, but when I voiced my concerns of this subject matter to them, I was basically told to take it or leave it. I am thinking this could be the reason and many other reasons why park flyers were invented, you can fly renegade all you want without the AMA, It's just really sad that an organization that used to care so much doesn't care as much as they used to as the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR matters most anymore..It's really sad that everyone's actions turns their image from opaque to a transparent image revealing much more about them in that state than the eye can see, I check my subtraction with addition from the bottom up and i have earned a badge that says what I am.........
Old 07-13-2010, 01:38 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

I would like to see the fee's lowered. I don't care for the mag either. I would like to be able to join without the mag, and as far as the Ins. It's too high for a secondary. The only reason for me to join these day's is so I can fly at some fields that require AMA. Oh well I just don't fly at those fields. AMA has never done anything for me but cost me money once a year, and on top of that my club broke up and disbanded because of what the AMA said about each club being responsible for accidents on It's own. THANX AMA KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND STOP ASKING YOURSELVES WHY THE MEMBERSHIP IS DECLINING!!!!
Old 07-13-2010, 06:16 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

not that I would know but membership is really declining???If thats true then why not do a makeover and change some things to give it a chance.admittedly I pay my dues because the only place I fly is a chartered club and I like being part of a club.butthe magazine is not popular.it tries to appeal to a diverse group and likely doesnt please anyone.at least they could take the core elements of the magazine and download it to the internet.post office wants still another rate rate increase

reducing the rates of membership further might be possible .I am uncertain by what criteria you do that.

I still beieve we need a central organization for our hobby .back when I started it was about frequency controls and we needed the representation.if we disband ama and everyone goes their own way I fear the hobby would not do as well .just my 2c but I very much agree that change is readily needed.it is too easy to sit in an ivory tower and go thru the motions thinking your pleasing the masses when in fact the reality is just the opposite.
Old 07-13-2010, 06:42 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

What's the average age of AMA members???? Ihave the highest respect for the veterans of this sport. Without them pioneering the sport, it probably wouldn't exist...simple as that. BUT, until a true, honest, SERIOUS effort is made to reach the people under the age of 30 (that includes the annoying teenagers) the AMA will continue to decline. RC is much more affordable than itused to be (I wouldn't be involved if it wasn't),but nobody my age (I'm 26) even knows what the AMA is much less what RC piloting involves and even if they do they have no idea how to get involved. I work with a group of boys that whenever I bring one of my planes out their eyes light up like a Christmas tree. I think reaching these people would brighten the AMAs future some.
Old 07-13-2010, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: cloudancer03

not that I would know but membership is really declining???If thats true then why not do a makeover and change some things to give it a chance.admittedly I pay my dues because the only place I fly is a chartered club and I like being part of a club.butthe magazine is not popular.it tries to appeal to a diverse group and likely doesnt please anyone.at least they could take the core elements of the magazine and download it to the internet.post office wants still another rate rate increase

reducing the rates of membership further might be possible .I am uncertain by what criteria you do that.

I still beieve we need a central organization for our hobby .back when I started it was about frequency controls and we needed the representation.if we disband ama and everyone goes their own way I fear the hobby would not do as well .just my 2c but I very much agree that change is readily needed.it is too easy to sit in an ivory tower and go thru the motions thinking your pleasing the masses when in fact the reality is just the opposite.
That is the subject of this discussion.

Old 07-13-2010, 07:59 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: nhulsey

What's the average age of AMA members???? Ihave the highest respect for the veterans of this sport. Without them pioneering the sport, it probably wouldn't exist...simple as that. BUT, until a true, honest, SERIOUS effort is made to reach the people under the age of 30 (that includes the annoying teenagers) the AMA will continue to decline. RC is much more affordable than itused to be (I wouldn't be involved if it wasn't),but nobody my age (I'm 26) even knows what the AMA is much less what RC piloting involves and even if they do they have no idea how to get involved. I work with a group of boys that whenever I bring one of my planes out their eyes light up like a Christmas tree. I think reaching these people would brighten the AMAs future some.
So, what are you doing with those boys with your aircraft? Is that something AMA could copy anduse elsewhere?
Old 07-13-2010, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Put the Nat's back on the road, so then it is truely the Nat's and not just a membership sponsored Mid America Contest attended by those that can afford to travel to it. In the old days the Nat's were well attended and advertised. There was always the anticipation of going and competing or watching and it was something that a flyer could promote to the general public. The AMA has used the excuse that it is difficult to plan. The Scale masters do not seem to have any problems putting together world class events. Dave
Old 07-13-2010, 09:05 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: DavidAgar

Put the Nat's back on the road, so then it is truely the Nat's and not just a membership sponsored Mid America Contest attended by those that can afford to travel to it. In the old days the Nat's were well attended and advertised. There was always the anticipation of going and competing or watching and it was something that a flyer could promote to the general public. The AMA has used the excuse that it is difficult to plan. The Scale masters do not seem to have any problems putting together world class events. Dave
This has been mentioned before.

You talk about how the NATs "used to be well attended". I presume you feel they are not well attended today.

Do you have some basis for this or is this just a guess on your part?Some attendence figures?

Just asking for clarification. I was not around when the NATs traveled so I don't know.
Old 07-13-2010, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

This might be a far stretch but...what would I do to AMA to make more people want to join? I'd make it an AMA rule that no member can ever put their AMA membership number on their planes. There was a fun fly in my area a few years back which I attended. (For the record, I am a flyer but not an AMA member.) At the flying field, a good majority of the flyers had their AMA #s boldly emblazened on the wings of their planes. That right there jumped out at me as a bold statement declaring to all that "I AM A MEMBER AND HERE IS MY BADGE OF HONOR AND I WILL ONLY INTERACT WITH MEMBERS OF THE BROTHERHOOD." They have a number and I do not. The major advertisement of their numbers on their planes felt like I was being seperated into the "us vs them" club and I was clearly a "them".

So that's what I'd mandate.

Eric
Old 07-13-2010, 09:25 AM
  #39  
Nitro777
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

They are a group of boys I work with at a local church.  We built model rockets a few months ago and after launching all of them I had a chance to do some flying for them.  We called it aviation day.  This type of initiative could be used with any group of the younger generations, boys or girls.  Some of the older retired guys in the sport  just need to research a little bit and have the patience to teach some of these kids in their area.  Maybe the AMA could have some type of mentoring program for these potential members.  It doesn't have to be a group of kids either.  Maybe 1 or 2.  The AMA could somehow come up with an incentive for being a dedicated mentor.  Yes it will take some effort.  I don't believe I have ever seen anything like this with this sport.  If we don't try and reach into the future with membership then the future will catch us like it already has.  Nature reaches the older generation and membership declines.  So we must look at the younger guys who show interest and educate them a little.
Old 07-13-2010, 11:59 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: echolmberg

This might be a far stretch but...what would I do to AMA to make more people want to join? I'd make it an AMA rule that no member can ever put their AMA membership number on their planes. There was a fun fly in my area a few years back which I attended. (For the record, I am a flyer but not an AMA member.) At the flying field, a good majority of the flyers had their AMA #s boldly emblazened on the wings of their planes. That right there jumped out at me as a bold statement declaring to all that "I AM A MEMBER AND HERE IS MY BADGE OF HONOR AND I WILL ONLY INTERACT WITH MEMBERS OF THE BROTHERHOOD." They have a number and I do not. The major advertisement of their numbers on their planes felt like I was being seperated into the "us vs them" club and I was clearly a "them".

So that's what I'd mandate.

Eric
Thanks forthe post.I can honestlysay I have never heard this commentbefore.

The main reason for putting an AMAnumber on an airplane is for identification.Similar to the numbers on a full scale aircraft. Should the plane be lost you can contact the AMAand they can connect you with the owner. It is like the IDnumber on a dog's collar. Some people put their AMAnumber on the plane and some put in a name and address sticker.

I quote from the AMAsafety code which can be found here:
http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/safetycode2010.pdf

6. I will not fly my model aircraft unless it is identified with my name and address, or AMA number, inside or affixed to the outside of the model aircraft. This does not apply to model aircraft flown indoors.

I assure you that the numbers are not there to intimidate you. Sometimes planes get lost.This helps them find their way home.
Old 07-13-2010, 03:41 PM
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Jim Thomerson
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Another point is that some competition categories require AMA numbers, and specify their position and dimensions. I have AMA numbers on all my airplanes. I'm amazed that they could be thought intimidating. That is not their intent nor purpose, and I see no reason to consider removing them.

I looked at some of the Nats coverage on the AMA website. I wonder what people think about it.
Old 07-14-2010, 08:33 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Our three clubs have been losing membership for the last 5 years and has really seemed to accelerate in the last 2. I don't know what the answers are but believe there isn't any. I have seen many a new pilot show up to the field with an advanced plane like a p-51 bought at the local hobby store. I try to be gentle with them when I tell them that they should put up the p-51 for a year or so and buy some sort of trainer like an avistar. A few do get a trainer, new or used and continue in the hobby but most just disappear. I think greed and lack of any knowledge at many of the big box hobby stores has something to do with the decline. I also think that the reality that there will be some work to maintain a plane has to do alot with it. Many people have access to a sim and get used to the instant gratification of being able to hit a reset button and have a new plane and avoid the building process all together.. This is sad but true.
Old 07-14-2010, 08:40 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

To Jim and AEAJR,

I'll be the first to admit when I'm wrong ESPECIALLY when it's pointed out in a most civil way as you both did. I appreciate it and I now see the reason for the displaying of the numbers. In my shortsightedness, I didn't even think of the whole "lost plane" thing. It makes perfect sense. I fly park flyers so, by the very nature of how I fly, they never really get far away from me. Now model rockets....that's another thing. I think I've lost and replaced enough rockets to keep Estes in business. LOL!

But seriously, I do appreciate the insight. For me, it was truly an "I never even thought of that" moment. I was wrong in thinking the way I did and I will have a much better appreciation of it from now on.

Best wishes,

Eric
Old 07-14-2010, 08:49 AM
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aeajr
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Eric,

Glad we could help. 

BTW, I hope you are putting your name and phone number in all your planes and rockets so they can find their way home too.
Old 07-14-2010, 09:01 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

LOL! Excellent point! While I was writing out my last response, I meant to say that I will be doing that from now on because I was definitely thinking it. While I was flying my PZ Mustang the other night, I did accidentally clip a tree branch pretty hight up. I was thinking "Man! What would happen if it got stuck up there?" The name and phone number thing is a good thing to do.

Take care!

Eric
Old 07-14-2010, 09:35 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: aeajr


ORIGINAL: DavidAgar

Put the Nat's back on the road, so then it is truely the Nat's and not just a membership sponsored Mid America Contest attended by those that can afford to travel to it. In the old days the Nat's were well attended and advertised. There was always the anticipation of going and competing or watching and it was something that a flyer could promote to the general public. The AMA has used the excuse that it is difficult to plan. The Scale masters do not seem to have any problems putting together world class events. Dave
This has been mentioned before.

You talk about how the NATs "used to be well attended". I presume you feel they are not well attended today.

Do you have some basis for this or is this just a guess on your part?Some attendence figures?

Just asking for clarification. I was not around when the NATs traveled so I don't know.
Clarification ? To compare figures from 20 years ago to attendance now ? Can you say apples and oranges?

The NATS were held near the eastern population centers for a good reason, to bring the hobby to the people and promote attendance. But the west coast boys hated it. Too far. So Muncie was born, so that nobody was happy equally.

What would the numbers be if the NATS were near Ocean City or in South Carolina ? Ask the folks at Joe Nall. They will tell you. Thats a pretty good idea of what you might see. The Muncie NATS look like someone took a fire hose to Nall and drove them off.
Sorry, Iknow you want to move forward on the seating chart and leave the Titanic on the bottom. ButI don't like to moveforward with my eyes closed. Fixing this is possible. This should be done. And it is important for the future of the organization which is becoming more and more marginalized.

As for being fair to the west coast boys ? Well, 2/3rds of the population lives east of the Mississippi. 2/3rds over rules. Give the west coast gang a divisional meet in someplace pretty and that will be larger than Muncie also.

The NATS were the heart and core of the AMA once.It gave the AMA its standing. Now its a footnote. That really needs to be fixed first and foremost.
Old 07-14-2010, 10:26 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

You could put HQ in the Northwest, cause flying in the rain is fun.
Or we could move HQ to the Nor'East, cause flying in the snow is fun.
Or we could have HQ in the Southwest, cause flying in clear skies under various shade structures is fun


Gameshow winners get a trip to Vegas,
nobody wins a trip to Muncie.
Old 07-14-2010, 06:32 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

I agree with the constantly moving NATS. It brings more visibility to the hobby, not just the same folks at the same place, who can afford the trip.

Get rid of the park flier program, no other segment of the hobby get's a special membership. All it does it divide the small population we have.

A better job at informing people about what the AMA is, and why it is needed. I too have seen new people come along, very excited about the hobby, and when informed
about the AMA... the 20 mile stare and they never return.

How about some direct work with the Department of Education to get some aviation stuff into science classrooms? Programs that put local clubs together with local schools?

Oh, and I agree, make the paper magazine optional for a cost. How much of the annual dues goes into printing that thing? Personally most often there isn't much in there
worth reading.
Old 07-18-2010, 10:34 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

I joined under the Park Flyer program. I get no real benefit as I don't need or want to join a club and my homeowners insurance makes the AMA insurance meaningless. It is my limited perception that the RCers get the lion's share of AMA attention (esp. the high cost R'C stuff). I would like to see some TV time focusing on youth and modelling (not just RC) as the organization name implies. I do a little RC but I have been an aircraft modeller for 40 years without the AMA or R/C.
So here is my first suggestion: Change the the name to reflect the large (if not total) R/C focus of the organization and drop the "modelling" (as in static display) as it seems to be largely ignored.
Old 07-19-2010, 12:08 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: dbcisco

I joined under the Park Flyer program. I get no real benefit as I don't need or want to join a club and my homeowners insurance makes the AMA insurance meaningless. It is my limited perception that the RCers get the lion's share of AMA attention (esp. the high cost R'C stuff). I would like to see some TV time focusing on youth and modelling (not just RC) as the organization name implies. I do a little RC but I have been an aircraft modeller for 40 years without the AMA or R/C.
So here is my first suggestion: Change the the name to reflect the large (if not total) R/C focus of the organization and drop the ''modelling'' (as in static display) as it seems to be largely ignored.
I think the word Academy should be stressed more... in conjunction with the word aeronautics...with of course, models... I think most AMAer's overlook the tools AMA offers to promote the hobby all the while focusing on validating others to inclusion of the hobby by the association bought and paid for as a member of AMA...

Even if you chose not to be an AMA member, I hope AMA will find someway to allow you to enjoy your pursuit of this hobby even more.

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