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Why join a club

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View Poll Results: A poll
Field is close to home
21.48%
Where all my friends fly
15.56%
Don't have a choice
4.44%
Membership meeting/ social activities
12.59%
Better flying field
29.63%
Membership dues
4.44%
Other
8.89%
Would rather bs then fly
2.96%
Voters: 135. You may not vote on this poll

Why join a club

Old 11-08-2007, 12:09 PM
  #1  
Minnreefer
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Default Why join a club

I have been thinking about changing flying clubs, just wondering what people think is their most important criteria in joining a club? Is it how close the flying field is to your house? Is it where your flying buddy flies, is it where you hang out with people your own age at the field and at the meetings? I am currently a member at a club with a flying field about 1 hour away, I like many of the members of the club, but the club seems a bit like a good old boys club, where people would rather bs about stuff then fly, I have another club which is about half the distance but don’t know anyone at that club. Thanks for your input.

Jon
Old 11-08-2007, 12:30 PM
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Campgems
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Default RE: Why join a club

Jon, two things come to mind. First, how likely is the club's filed to be there next month, next year, next decade. That ia a major concern for clubs today. Second, the BS is an intergal part of any club, based on any hobby. Even when I had my sail boat back in Michigan, a lot of the enjoyment was walking the docks and talking to the other boaters. Lets face it, you can't fly every minute you are at the field, so some social interaction is much better than setting and lurking.
Old 11-08-2007, 12:31 PM
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Dr1Driver
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Default RE: Why join a club

All good questions.

For me, the quality of the flying field is #1 priority. Running a close second is the secure site. Not having to worry about being run off by a cop or landowner is reassuring. The companionship of other modelers is great, too. We can learn a lot from each other. If the other members of your current club like to talk more than fly, that's GREAT! It means the frequencies and airspace are open for you to fly more! I drive about an hour to my club, the dues are $60/year, and I count myself lucky. It's a great field with great members.

PLUG: York County Flyers, York, SC

Dr.1
Old 11-08-2007, 12:38 PM
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Minnreefer
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Default RE: Why join a club

I agree with both parts, but sometimes I feel that the bs part is more important in the club that i am a current member. I know that I am a bit "bittter" but at a membership meeting a little while ago about $1000 of "door prizes" was givin away to members that went to the meeting, but they are still charging a good charge for membership or for the fall banquet I personally would have prefered at least a raffal to reduce club dues. I feel a bit stronger about this stuff since I have been laid off work a while ago and feeling very broke, and with a young family I don't get to the member meetings, I only have soo much time.

Saying that may not get me invited back into the club, but i feel better geting that off my chest.
Old 11-08-2007, 12:41 PM
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Kow
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Default RE: Why join a club

I don't have to be a member of the club to fly at my local field, but the club maintains the premises, so the least I can do is throw a little cash their way. Plus, the events they sponsor during the warmer months look like fun!

On a side note, my LHS also gives a 20% discount on certain items for club members. [8D]
Old 11-08-2007, 12:51 PM
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Firebird25
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Default RE: Why join a club

* Flying Field
* Liability Insurance
* Social Aspects
* Flying instruction


Are major considerations for joining a club.
Old 11-08-2007, 01:11 PM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Why join a club

Jon, get yourself another club.

Let's look at the facts:

Your present club is too far away, you don't care for how the club is run, and the dues are high.

Reminds me of a situation I was in many years ago. I had a choice of two clubs. I went with the one that had a nicer field, and better organization.

After two months, I dropped out and joined the club that made going to the field fun (And had much lower dues)
Old 11-08-2007, 01:34 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

Ok, there is an error in the poll - it allows only one selection - it should allow for several selections.

I've found I got into a good club here. We have a field that is owned by the City of Wichita and is being developed into a park with the main part being our field and flying needs (one of 3 fields we have under our control). We've been there for 11 years and the city wants us to stay. I don’t consider this field that far away – 11-1/2 miles, and its 160 acres of flat nothingness – a former land fill that can’t be used for anything else (unless they want something to sink into 30’ of trash). It’s large enough that we are able to fit a complete safety over-flight area as recommended by AMA on the premises’. We have some great club members who very helpful and knowledgeable. When not flying, we enjoy the typical BS sessions.

For the monthly meetings (we meet 11 months at a local aviation museum, and have the July meeting at the club field for a BBQ), we have a turnout averaging probably between 25 – 35 members out of a 150+ member club, which is probably about average for most clubs. We also have a raffle drawing every month with merchandise donated by a LHS who is very supportive of the club, and have a monthly attendance drawing – you have to be present to win.

While you don’t have to be a member of the club to fly at the field, AMA is required to fly there by the city. We also have field maintenance to contend with and that does cost money. So if you fly there we would like for you to join the club, which won’t break the bank at $25.00/year dues (not bad for access to 3 fields, 2 of which have asphalt runways). If you help out at the field with one of the work parties, your name is entered into a drawing held at the end of the year for a new radio system.

This has worked great for a club which is has been around for around 50 years.

Hogflyer
Old 11-08-2007, 01:39 PM
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Minnreefer
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Default RE: Why join a club


ORIGINAL: hogflyer

Ok, there is an error in the poll - it allows only one selection - it should allow for several selections.

Fixed for you

Thanks for the advice, I wish that I had more time to go to meetings and bs, i do enjoy doing that, but I knwo with one little boy around and another kid on the way, I need to maximize the amount of free time that I have.

Old 11-08-2007, 03:06 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Why join a club


ORIGINAL: Minnreefer

I agree with both parts, but sometimes I feel that the bs part is more important in the club that i am a current member. I know that I am a bit "bittter" but at a membership meeting a little while ago about $1000 of "door prizes" was givin away to members that went to the meeting, but they are still charging a good charge for membership or for the fall banquet I personally would have prefered at least a raffal to reduce club dues. I feel a bit stronger about this stuff since I have been laid off work a while ago and feeling very broke, and with a young family I don't get to the member meetings, I only have soo much time.

Saying that may not get me invited back into the club, but i feel better geting that off my chest.
Jon-

We'll invite you back. In the end, I think you need to do what's right for you. It's hard to say what I would do if I lived somewhere furhter north, but for me, our club is just right. Each of the other clubs I considered joining is the same distance away from me. There is one that is much closer, but I don't like the field at all.

Here's why I chose that particular club:

-We own the field. As far as I know we are the only club in the Twin Cities that actually owns their own land. The two other clubs that are on the west side of town are in grave danger of losing their sites to development.

-I like the people, for the most part. People were very friendly and helpful when I was getting started and I have enjoyed getting to know them. There are several seniors who no longer fly, but there are quite a few people who do.

For a little counterpoint on some of the objections. I probably would not have done the prize giveaway had I been in charge, but I don't have a serious problem with it. I knew about the meeting, but missed it anyway because I chose to go to my sons' football game. To be fair, this was a once in a lifetime event, in honor of our 50th anniversary. The club had some surplus funds that had built up over a few years and decided to throw a big party with prizes.

I find the dues pretty reasonable. I believe at least an equal amount of our budget is raised by the annual auction fundraiser. I just checked and see that our dues are $75, but last year I think they were $60 if you renewed by a certain time. I'm not sure if they are doing that again this year. I think most of the local clubs are between $50 and $75.

I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do. It's not easy making time to fly with young kids. Give me a call sometime when you are going out to fly and if I'm available, I'll go along.


Old 11-08-2007, 03:11 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

The first club I joined was solely for the reason of their flying instructions. Two years later when I had got some skills I joined another one much closer with a much better field that, sadly, has no flight school program. Now I have dropped my membership in the first club entirely; though probably 30% of our members belong to both. They are very different clubs in what they do and promote. The first club does pattern, pylon, flight schools, float flies while the second club is IMAA and concentrates mostly on large scale and hosts a regional IMAA fly in. Zero competition. All just for fun. Though there is a bias against small (.40 & .60 size) 2-stroke models.

Now it would seem the first club offers more - but - when you show up there are always events so you either have to be a participant in or not fly, lots of pin waiting, lots of work days. The scond club has fewer members, mostly older or even retired, and it's very common to have the whole field to myself evenings or Sunday afternoons.
Old 11-08-2007, 03:21 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

Who I fly with is more important than all the other factors combined. They don't all have to be good friends, but it's much more pleasant to fly at a field where everyone's considerate, helpful, and friendly.
Old 11-08-2007, 03:34 PM
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-pkh-
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Default RE: Why join a club

I'm a member of two clubs:

Club #1 has a good sized field, 12 safety benches for prepping/starting planes, full kitchen stocked with food & drinks, pavillion, picnic tables, etc. I know most of the guys there and we enjoy BS'ing and flying. This club is 35 minutes from my house.

Club #2 has a tiny field (300'x100'), no facilities at all, and I'm usually alone when I go out there to fly. This club is 10 minutes from my house.

I like club #1 the best, but find myself flying at club #2 more than half the time, just because I have limited windows of time, and a 20 minute round trip means more flying than a 70 minute round trip! First priority for me is being able to get some flying time in, after that, it's the facilities, the guys, and the BS!

If you have a club closer to you, I'd suggest you check it out and meet the guys, if they seem friendly to you, join up and give it a try. You'll probably make some new friends there, and spend some more time flying instead of driving!
Old 11-08-2007, 04:04 PM
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bigtim
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Default RE: Why join a club

I fly at and am a member of a club that is full of a great bunch of guys,and really were there for me when I first started out getting back into the hobby,making sure the plane was set up properly as well as helping me learn to tune the engine,and giving me some instruction whenever I needed some help.
I think you get what you give as far as being part of a club, the area where I live is so developed that finding a open area takes more time than driving to the field where we fly,as well as being on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean its hard to beat the scenery.
well worth the 65$ a yr dues www.flypcc.org we also have photos and video on our website which our club members contribute to,as well as weather information and a cam to check field conditions,all benifits of our club,and our flying site.
Old 11-08-2007, 05:31 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

If I had my way I'd have my own flying field.....no AMA dues...and just let my friends fly there for free!

AMA is a big rip-off if you ask me! They don't pay most lay suits anyhow. Just the big shots that run it! Right Dave Brown?

Case Closed!
Old 11-08-2007, 05:48 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club


ORIGINAL: hungryandbroke

If I had my way I'd have my own flying field.....no AMA dues...and just let my friends fly there for free!

AMA is a big rip-off if you ask me! They don't pay most lay suits anyhow. Just the big shots that run it! Right Dave Brown?

Case Closed!
That's just ignorance talking.

It's cheaper to pay AMA dues and club dues than to pay a mortgage and insurance on your own flying field.
Old 11-08-2007, 05:50 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

I belong to 2 Clubs. One has a nice field and is closer to home , nice bunch of guys , but not quite my flying style .
The other is farther , can be tough fly at , but it just feels like home.
Old 11-08-2007, 06:22 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

I have only just filled in my membership application form and sent a cheque to join my local club, and the initial reason that made me join is firstly to get an instructor and secondly to have a flying field, it is quiet easy here in England to find open areas i am not that sure how easy it is to fly without police interferance though
Old 11-08-2007, 06:24 PM
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Jim Thomerson
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Default RE: Why join a club

I'm a control line flier. I now live in Austin, TX. I belong to a club in St. Louis. I flew with them for many years and make a trip up to visit and go to one of our contests every September. I know most every one and it is going home for me. I also belong to a club in Dallas. I go up there for two or three contests a year. Again, I know most of those folks. I enjoy getting the club newsletters from both clubs. Both clubs have several members, like me, who live some distance away and thus don't come to club meetings very often. At the moment most of my non-contest flying is done with friends at a private airport 49 miles away.

If you travel and compete, at even a modest level, you get to know a lot of people who share your interests.
Old 11-08-2007, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

Good topic! There are four fields around our city that are extremely viable. I chose one of them that has a 100.00 membership fee every year and before you say "A hundred dollars?" let me explain.
First off, this club has over 50 years of private ownership. Nobody is turned down however and it has a couple of things I think are necessary. It has two asphalt runways one east/west the other north/south. NOT GRASS!! I think in order to feel like a pilot you must look or practice like one. We have a huge hangar with four huge work tables. We sponsor about eight events a year. Not too much not too little. Second, two of our instructors made instructors of the year. A big plus when you start to get into different types of aircraft i.e. jets, large scale, IMAC the whole nine yards. It gives you a sense of security when you build a new plane and have over 50 years experience looking at it and letting you know some fine points on the build itself. I dont know how much I've saved in money and emotional pain. We buy our members anything they want with our club credit card and ask for payment within one month, an awesome priviledge if your short that week or something.

Basically it comes down to how you like to fly. If you just like to get up in the air and do your magic theres really no need for any club. If you really want to get into this hobby I think your club should reflect you.
Old 11-08-2007, 06:58 PM
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PipeMajor
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Son and I joined to have them help us learn to fly safely. Field is relatively close by and it's a lot more fun to fly with a group of model enthusiasts than by yourself. My club was very receptive to newcomers.
Old 11-08-2007, 08:23 PM
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The place i go is not The best in the world. Sometimes the grass is way to high. The road going into is very bad. It is not real big. 100X300. This is the best time of yr. for going. The grass is just dying off and it is great.
The guys while most being older and I am 51 are very good guys and though seeming kinda prudish at first are very friendly. We have 43 members and only about 10-15 show up for meetings. I am fairly new to them about 5mnths, but fly more than any of them. I go just about everyday. Sat. Sun. I go early and usually am about ready to go when the others start showing up around 1-2pm. But for me it is only about 10min. The guys are friendly and I have the field to myself, most times. Membership is 30.00 yr. And as so many others we are afraid we are going to lose our lease at the end of it's term. The lease is only 100.00 a yr. and with no more members it is hard for us to lease anything that will be much more.
Old 11-08-2007, 09:08 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

Well hers my reasons, and I voted for em all:

Field close to home: About 6 miles from my house

Better flying field: Behind the Evergreen Aviation museum, Paved runway; all maintained by the Museum for the club. Been there goiing on 15 years or more

Membership dues: $20 a year, VS $5 every day I choose to fly there if I'm not a member.

other: I'm not a solo'd pilot, and though the club has no official instruction program one of its officers teaches nearly every Sunday.

I guess I should add social activities because Ive been known to just hang out there to BS with whomever happens to be flying on days my instructor isn't available. (I have yet to bring my plane out, still ironing out the bugs before having her flight tested again.)
Old 11-08-2007, 10:10 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club


ORIGINAL: Adui

other: I'm not a solo'd pilot, and though the club has no official instruction program one of its officers teaches nearly every Sunday.

(I have yet to bring my plane out, still ironing out the bugs before having her flight tested again.)
Get out there and get it in the air with the instructor, don't worry about getting it perfect, it is a tool to get you to fly.

Old 11-09-2007, 03:57 PM
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Default RE: Why join a club

Mine's whatever is most convienient for me (I'm selfish with my time and would rather fly than drive)

And

Whatever is best for the plane. Field layout is huge for me bc I'm hardly an expert pilot..... Actually I'm not that good... but getting better!

Besides, I can always go to the old field and bs with my old pals. I wouldn't get much flying done anyways. I suppose you don't have to pay dues if you don't fly.

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