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Lesson learned in frustration

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#21
Be careful! I make a number of FB designs for retail sale and as I do have "Seconds" from time to time my normal method of disposal is to gift them to others. Unfortunately every now and then I hit a need or desire in my local club and it becomes a little uncomfortable.

For instance earlier this week I gifted a KFM4 Flying wing of great simplicity and robustness to someone who had gifted me a damaged retail foamie. The wing was a repaired second in that the top layer had shifted while the glue was drying. So I cut off the projecting pieces and glued to fill the required layer area. This left a glue line on the layer which was highly visible and so could not be sold.

Anyway, His friend then reminded me that he had gifted me a plane a while ago and so I just finished off one of the earlier glue testers and presented it to him. Suddenly all of those who witnessed the performance of the gifted wing, including those who have massive models some are expensive and large warbirds, have been letting me know that they have not received one yet!

It appears that they respect the model performance well enough. Oh well! They do say that "No good deed goes unpunished!".

Have fun!
 

Forster

Slow, low and dirty.
#22
I've been on both sides of the debate. I flew with the local club and joined the AMA back then, I fly on my own place now and have 6 acres to zoom around in without any real restrictions. My property has a 7 figure umbrella policy that costs about twice what the high AMA membership costs, but I'd pay it anyway so it's not an extra expense. As I see it, clubs have memberships for expenses and use the AMA for their insurance, grants and to control other costs and handle other issues (like rules). It is frankly much easier to administer a club like that with an outside agency such as the AMA to pick-up the oversight/insurance functions. You can always self-insure (if you can find a policy that covers the hobby) or fly uninsured (risky) and as long as you have some place to go, perhaps you don't need a club. I can't remember anyone forcing me to join anything. I also get that the hobby can become really expensive in a hurry. A simple ARF foamie flying in the park keeps costs down but the typical hobbyist will probably move to more complex aircraft at some point. Is the AMA too expensive? It may be. I belonged to the Single Action Shooting Society when I shot Cowboy action matches (required) and that was only $50/year. But matches cost $20-$300 each, ammo was expensive and I had to join a separate range to practice, so on an annual basis I was out a lot more than an AMA and club membership would have cost. It's all about priorities I suppose.
 
#23
I visited the club field close to me 2 weeks ago and met a few of the guys. Not ancients but no youngsters either. I just put together a Mini Arrow so I will soon be introducing the concept of foamboard frugality. I'm curious to see the attitude these guys have regarding youngblood.
Guys at my field are always fascinated by the foam board FT stuff I bring. At our meeting in April a guy showed up with a Viggin. Our sister club does Bloody Wounder combats regularly.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#24
Guys at my field are always fascinated by the foam board FT stuff I bring. At our meeting in April a guy showed up with a Viggin. Our sister club does Bloody Wounder combats regularly.
I think the older folks at my club are surprised by what can be built. My first and favorite plane to fly is the Sea Duck. I bought a speed build kit from FT for it, and so it came in the WR foam board, which, because of its brown coloring, everyone assumes is cardboard. :) (I tell them it's foam, but they keep saying, "Wow! A cardboard plane that flies as nicely as that one does..." LOL)

When they see that the plane takes off from the runway, and belly lands on the runway nicely, AND that I can do all sorts of rolls and flips and fly inverted with it, they're pretty impressed (I still have yet to try knife edge, but that's a skill that I'm still working on with any plane that has a rudder).

I think, however, that a lot of guys are focused in the past. They don't want to see what can be done now, what the innovations are, and they see a lot of it as annoyances. Heli guys see fixed wing guys as problems, and fixed wing sees heli as a problem, and both see quads as pains in the butt (at least, that's how it feels around here). But we're slowly making progress when they see what can be done, I think.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#25
I think, however, that a lot of guys are focused in the past. They don't want to see what can be done now, what the innovations are, and they see a lot of it as annoyances. Heli guys see fixed wing guys as problems, and fixed wing sees heli as a problem, and both see quads as pains in the butt (at least, that's how it feels around here). But we're slowly making progress when they see what can be done, I think.
Sadly I am one of the older guys and yet still a relative newbie. This allows me to see both sides of the argument somewhat.
What you call "being stuck in the past", is often related to bad past experiences and sometimes it is related to technophobia.
Young and casual flyers tend to be unaware of the concerns, (normally safety related), of the older crowd but then some of the older crowd are definitely biased against the youth and their dexterity.
As for mixing Helis, Quads and fixed wing there is a serious lack of appreciation of the airspace requirements of each and the danger of their interaction. The number of near misses we have had has been amazing and yet we have so few rotor craft users. Fixed wing aircraft cannot easily avoid a last second sighting of an errant quad which is hovering in the landing approach path of the runway, Rotor craft users do not like flying circuits unless they are somewhat close to the ground and somewhat small in radius (except where using FPV goggles).

As each pilot is concentrating on his own aircraft the performance differences can and do cause safety issues.

Separately, We fly adjacent to a multi-million dollar thoroughbred racehorse training facility and we get complaints of errant drones crashing into their training facility, (none of which are traceable to our club membership - so far).

The only real answer to co-existence is toleration and patience. Accept the differences in performance and safety requirements and try to work together to promote the responsible growth of the sport/hobby. There will always be rogue and ignorant pilots and they should be encouraged and educated in what the local requirements are. That in itself can be a long and hard road but the results are worth it.

Whether we like it or not FB, Balsa, Foam, and composite construction do not matter when your plane crashes and causes damage in the same manner that being a fixed wing, rotor craft or a multi-copter also doesn't matter in the same event. They are all labelled as drones and each incident is yet another DRONE incident!

The lesson learned? We are all in the same boat and should work together regardless of what we fly or how old we are! Whilst we squabble among ourselves we lack unity and without unity we are not able to be represented properly to the law makers who would have us all grounded permanently if they could.

Personally I have flown Quads, Helicopters and fixed wing and personally prefer the simplicity of construction and the "hands on" nature of flying fixed wing most of all. I will not fly with helicopters or quads in the air unless they are aware and I am informed of their flight intentions. Heck! Sometimes it is rather enjoyable to watch someone else crash for a change:eek::LOL:, especially if he is a FIGJAM!

Have fun!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#26
Sadly I am one of the older guys and yet still a relative newbie. This allows me to see both sides of the argument somewhat.
What you call "being stuck in the past", is often related to bad past experiences and sometimes it is related to technophobia.
Young and casual flyers tend to be unaware of the concerns, (normally safety related), of the older crowd but then some of the older crowd are definitely biased against the youth and their dexterity.
As for mixing Helis, Quads and fixed wing there is a serious lack of appreciation of the airspace requirements of each and the danger of their interaction. The number of near misses we have had has been amazing and yet we have so few rotor craft users. Fixed wing aircraft cannot easily avoid a last second sighting of an errant quad which is hovering in the landing approach path of the runway, Rotor craft users do not like flying circuits unless they are somewhat close to the ground and somewhat small in radius (except where using FPV goggles).

As each pilot is concentrating on his own aircraft the performance differences can and do cause safety issues.

Separately, We fly adjacent to a multi-million dollar thoroughbred racehorse training facility and we get complaints of errant drones crashing into their training facility, (none of which are traceable to our club membership - so far).

The only real answer to co-existence is toleration and patience. Accept the differences in performance and safety requirements and try to work together to promote the responsible growth of the sport/hobby. There will always be rogue and ignorant pilots and they should be encouraged and educated in what the local requirements are. That in itself can be a long and hard road but the results are worth it.

Whether we like it or not FB, Balsa, Foam, and composite construction do not matter when your plane crashes and causes damage in the same manner that being a fixed wing, rotor craft or a multi-copter also doesn't matter in the same event. They are all labelled as drones and each incident is yet another DRONE incident!

The lesson learned? We are all in the same boat and should work together regardless of what we fly or how old we are! Whilst we squabble among ourselves we lack unity and without unity we are not able to be represented properly to the law makers who would have us all grounded permanently if they could.

Personally I have flown Quads, Helicopters and fixed wing and personally prefer the simplicity of construction and the "hands on" nature of flying fixed wing most of all. I will not fly with helicopters or quads in the air unless they are aware and I am informed of their flight intentions. Heck! Sometimes it is rather enjoyable to watch someone else crash for a change:eek::LOL:, especially if he is a FIGJAM!

Have fun!
Agreed, on a lot of this.

One of the things I used to do (before my knees started complaining a lot more and before I broke my tailbone), I used to participate in downhill skiing. One of the things about downhill skiing is that it's a specific style of learning, and when you come down a hill, you're usually making large S-turns and snaking down the hill. Comparing that to snowboarders, those folks should, in theory, ALSO be making large S-turns down the hill, going from heel side to toe side, and back. However, as they are learning, many of them would go toe side, and then Z pattern down on the toe side, in the opposite direction, or go down in a Z pattern on their heel side, zig zagging down the hill.

I bring this up because it reminds me in a lot of ways of how heli and fixed wing pilots fly - heli tends to do all sorts of vertical maneuvers, fly inverted over a specific, smaller area, and basically just keep in one confined area, rather than taking off and traversing in a pattern like most fixed wing pilots do. The two styles tend to clash, and so you want different field areas to fly each one. That, or you learn to fly opposite of when the fixed wing pilots do, and vice versa. You mingle, but maybe you wait until the guy with the 3D plane that's doing pirouettes 6 inches off the tarmac is clear before you start trying to "trim the weeds" with your helicopter. :)

And I hear you about the drone incidents. I think a lot of that comes with education; not just within the clubs, but with the general public as well - we need to dispel the thought that anything that's radio controlled in the air is spying on you (and to point out that 99.9% of the people who think they're being spied on aren't interesting enough to be spied upon, imho LOL).

Interesting side note - what is it with horses and RC fields? My father's RC field in East County San Diego flies next to a polo field, and my club's new drone field has a horse ranch with thoroughbreds that race out at Del Mar, next to it (we've got a hill that's mostly separating us from the horses, and I'm hoping that we don't get harassment from the noise of our drones; I know that's going to be an issue, especially being where we can fly out from with the guys who want to bring out their DJI Phantoms and Yuneec Typhoons and other photography drones, and fly over where the horses are; I'm going to have to be one of the guys telling them, "Hey, no. Don't do that. You even APPEAR to spook the horses, and we'll lose our flying field.")
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#27
Yeah, life's complicated when you have different people with different interests intersect in public spaces. Imagine an AMA flying field where the following activities go on, often times at the same time:

  • Sailplane soaring with one or two powered winches
  • Electric fixed wing planes
  • Electric Helis
  • Race quads
  • Aerial-photography quads
  • Model rockets
  • PPG (Powered Paraglider) take-offs/landings
  • Dog walkers
  • Hikers
  • Hunters
  • Youth Soccer league (pretty much the only event that means the others above can't happen at the same time, except for dog walking / hiking)
I have been at this field flying my FT foamies in between rocket launches, the PPG folks coming and going, and dog walkers. In that one case, I took it upon myself to become the ground controller so that everyone didn't conflict, but did that by just warning people that the PPG guys were either taking off or landing.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#28
I think that's becoming quite the challenge for other clubs too. It is for ours too and a lot of our members are up in there in age as well. And between the old and the young the interests are so different...old guys want planes, young want drones. But we try and be appreciative and accommodating to all forms of RC...we are even in the process of adding a racetrack. It always has made me wonder what's going to happen when the younger folks are going to be more in charge of the club. Guess we shall see.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#29
I think that's becoming quite the challenge for other clubs too. It is for ours too and a lot of our members are up in there in age as well. And between the old and the young the interests are so different...old guys want planes, young want drones. But we try and be appreciative and accommodating to all forms of RC...we are even in the process of adding a racetrack. It always has made me wonder what's going to happen when the younger folks are going to be more in charge of the club. Guess we shall see.
I think we'll see it change a bit. The quads are definitely the hot ticket right now; take a look at the Propel X-Wing and speeder bikes from right out of Star Wars. I personally don't like the way these things are designed for flight or the way that Propel does business for batteries and props, but they're pretty slick looking.

Now, you take those electronics and you allow someone like myself, who will never be capable as a fighter pilot (high blood pressure, bad eyesight, and a range of other medical problems that would prevent me from being a pilot, in addition to a mild case of acrophobia and vertigo), strap in an FPV camera and allow them to actually BE that fighter pilot, allow them to relive their dreams of being Maverick and Iceman taking on Jester in the skies above the Mojave desert?

I think we'll see the quads stay, because that's what they're familiar with, but we'll see growth in things like FPV combat, FPV pylon racing, and even acrobatics pushed to the limits with the FPV capabilities.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#30
Poetic Justice?
Today we had an incident that had many chuckling quietly. We have one new member who seems to not understand the need for "Separation" or even circuits but rather violently maneuvers his models all over the sky without any consideration for others. His stick skills are extremely high and his reactions extremely good.

Today we had an incident where 2 club members who were test flying their "New?" KFM wings and were actually having an unofficial race/speed test. The newbie took off and started his erratic maneuvers not realising that the racers were intent on winning their unofficial race.

Anyway the inevitable happened and the closest of nearest misses did ensue. It appeared that the newbie was caught off guard by the experience and he almost immediately decided to land. His normal concentration was gone, (he was severely rattled by the experience), and his landing was very poor and he broke his last propeller and so left the field almost immediately.

In the past the erratic flying had caused many to wait until he was down before even thinking of taking off. Now the joke is sending up the KFM wing Duo to "Shoot him down" next time he gets too annoying!

Hopefully the near miss is enough of a lesson to respect the airspace requirements of others, especially those already in the air.

Just another lesson!

have fun!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#31
Poetic Justice?
Today we had an incident that had many chuckling quietly. We have one new member who seems to not understand the need for "Separation" or even circuits but rather violently maneuvers his models all over the sky without any consideration for others. His stick skills are extremely high and his reactions extremely good.

Today we had an incident where 2 club members who were test flying their "New?" KFM wings and were actually having an unofficial race/speed test. The newbie took off and started his erratic maneuvers not realising that the racers were intent on winning their unofficial race.

Anyway the inevitable happened and the closest of nearest misses did ensue. It appeared that the newbie was caught off guard by the experience and he almost immediately decided to land. His normal concentration was gone, (he was severely rattled by the experience), and his landing was very poor and he broke his last propeller and so left the field almost immediately.

In the past the erratic flying had caused many to wait until he was down before even thinking of taking off. Now the joke is sending up the KFM wing Duo to "Shoot him down" next time he gets too annoying!

Hopefully the near miss is enough of a lesson to respect the airspace requirements of others, especially those already in the air.

Just another lesson!

have fun!
I like to goof around in the air a bit, but I'll try to fly a circuit, and do some of the aerobatics well away from the flight line. I also tend to run a smaller flight area than some, because about 100' off the end of our runway, we have the I-15 freeway that runs perpendicular to it. Most people know this, and turn well before they get to the flag areas that alert us to the cutoff point where the freeway is, so there's no overflying (a big no-no at our field). If I see guys are going to fly their jets/wings, and I know they're going to be doing all sorts of racing, I tell them, "I'm going to hang out high over the jungle" - the jungle being a heavily wooded area full of poison ivy and such where most people don't fly too low at, or I tell them, "Give me 30 seconds, I'm coming in for a landing and the skies will be all yours."

I tend to try and fly in the off times when the guys who fly 3D are going up, or when the warbirds are flying, just because of the nature of how those guys fly, and they make me nervous. It's pretty good; most people realize where I tend to fly is, "Let me get out of your way!", and I communicate that when I'm on the flight line - something that a lot of people SHOULD be doing, but don't, really...It's just respectful, and if I tell a veteran pilot where I'm going to hang out, most of the time they go, "Oh, awesome! Thanks!" I am more than happy to stay out of their way, and that's one thing I've found flying in a club environment has taught me - communication with all of the pilots flying, and kind of a mini "air traffic control" situation.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#32
I think we'll see it change a bit. The quads are definitely the hot ticket right now; take a look at the Propel X-Wing and speeder bikes from right out of Star Wars. I personally don't like the way these things are designed for flight or the way that Propel does business for batteries and props, but they're pretty slick looking.
I couldn't help myself when the Amazon "Treasure Truck" offer was for the Propel X-Wing. It was $45 for a gimmicky micro quad/music box/controller. Once I figured out how to turn off the barometer (with a wheel to the left of the left/yaw/throttle stick) which basically also removes the spring tension for the throttle axis, I was good. Know what though? As I was leaving the parking lot of the Whole Foods where they parked their truck, with the giant box (for a micro quad), a woman who bought one was also leaving and we smiled and said hello to each other as we passed holding up our boxes... so you can say the hobby is getting more mainstream with products like this!

Our club also has a 4 July (US Independence holiday) open house public fly-in event at our field advertised with flyers left in public spaces around the town the field is in. People come to see what model aviation is all about. We generally have simulators, buddy-box setups, and demos and I've seen youths of all ages and genders partake in the activities. This is what's needed to grow the hobby, but it takes time and dedication from those of us already experienced. When our club tries to get members to take leadership roles, it's a struggle. I'll admit that while I want to be more active with my club in volunteering as an officer, I just don't have time seeing as the club is about a 45min drive from home.
 
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sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#33
I couldn't help myself when the Amazon "Treasure Truck" offer was for the Propel X-Wing. It was $45 for a gimmicky micro quad/music box/controller. Once I figured out how to turn off the barometer (with a wheel to the left of the left/yaw/throttle stick) which basically also removes the spring tension for the throttle axis, I was good. Know what though? As I was leaving the parking lot of the Whole Foods where they parked their truck, with the giant box (for a micro quad), a woman who bought one was also leaving and we smiled and said hello to each other as we passed holding up our boxes... so you can say the hobby is getting more mainstream with products like this!

Our club also has a 4 July (US Independence holiday) open house public fly-in event at our field advertised with flyers left in public spaces around the town the field is in. People come to see what model aviation is all about. We generally have simulators, buddy-box setups, and demos and I've seen youths of all ages and genders partake in the activities. This is what's needed to grow the hobby, but it takes time and dedication from those of us already experienced. When our club tries to get members to take leadership roles, it's a struggle. I'll admit that while I want to be more active with my club in volunteering as an officer, I just don't have time seeing as the club is about a 45min drive from home.
We're going to be at a local Maker Faire next month on the 16th and 17th; I'm really working to make that happen, because I think we've got a lot of people who are interested in the hobby out there (whether it's drones, or planes, or helicopters, or even weird, wacky stuff like a flying pig), and then 2 weeks after that, on the 30th, we're having an open house at the field to try and bring in some more new blood - a BBQ, open flight invites, buddy boxing for anyone to learn how to fly.

Here's the thing with me - I know I'm not the greatest pilot out there. We've got guys at our club that are MUCH better than I am, and I tease and joke with them about their flying. Watching them do 3D flight is like watching aerial ballet, especially when they take a twin engine plane with no rudders and differential thrust and hold a knife edge the entire length of a 600' runway. :) I have a feeling I'm going to be sucked into a club officer/board member position by the end of the year; I wouldn't mind it, but I don't know if I can do a lot more unless I get permission from the wife to get out of the house more. At least she knows I'm not out partying with brown bottles and a couple of loose women (whatever those are LOL).

And I'll be honest, if someone came to me and asked, "Can you teach me how to fly my X-Wing drone?" I'd be more than happy to help them get it trimmed, get it flying, and give them pointers. That's what I want - to help someone else get the enjoyment, the shaky hands, and the nervousness of "Can I get this thing back down on the ground in one piece!?!" that I experience. :)
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#34
I used to try and emulate the 3D experts at my club and could never quite get it right. That was until one day one of them had a flight controller hiccup and he spread his model all over the runway. Prior to that day I thought their expertise was due to their skill alone, (I do not use flight controllers as they tend to mask performance problems in a design).

Now I just do my own MANUAL 3D thing!

Have fun!
 
#35
My main hobby is old muscle cars, specifically Pontiacs. We see the same thing with every car event. You have the old guys over in the "show" pavillion, listening to 50's doo-wop music, wearing wide brim hats, and sporting God-awful Hawaiian shirts. Old guy cars are pristine and meticulously detailed. They are definitely high value cars. The "young" guys mostly drive cars that are more performance oriented and less cosmetically pleasing. They hang out at the track. The two groups don't mix very well at times. We don't get them, they don't get us. I like the track.

The cost of muscle cars keeps a lot of young guys from playing in the hobby, yet we wonder how the hobby will be sustained over the next decade or two without fresh incoming hobbyists. I see some of the same things happening with RC stuff.

Me? I am GDI, which is a term that roughly describes my lack of any club affiliation. I invite friends to fly with me, which amounts to a couple of guys. I'd rather fly with 1 or 2 (or zero) guys that I like than fly with a bunch of people who don't accept me. The world is full of jerks, and that will never change.

If I really felt the need to be with a club, then I would join that club and exert my own influence. I would help shape the club into something of which I would be proud. Maybe you could chase off some of the grumpy elitists by your stalwart presence.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#36
My main hobby is old muscle cars, specifically Pontiacs. We see the same thing with every car event. You have the old guys over in the "show" pavillion, listening to 50's doo-wop music, wearing wide brim hats, and sporting God-awful Hawaiian shirts. Old guy cars are pristine and meticulously detailed. They are definitely high value cars. The "young" guys mostly drive cars that are more performance oriented and less cosmetically pleasing. They hang out at the track. The two groups don't mix very well at times. We don't get them, they don't get us. I like the track.

The cost of muscle cars keeps a lot of young guys from playing in the hobby, yet we wonder how the hobby will be sustained over the next decade or two without fresh incoming hobbyists. I see some of the same things happening with RC stuff.

Me? I am GDI, which is a term that roughly describes my lack of any club affiliation. I invite friends to fly with me, which amounts to a couple of guys. I'd rather fly with 1 or 2 (or zero) guys that I like than fly with a bunch of people who don't accept me. The world is full of jerks, and that will never change.

If I really felt the need to be with a club, then I would join that club and exert my own influence. I would help shape the club into something of which I would be proud. Maybe you could chase off some of the grumpy elitists by your stalwart presence.
I’m trying to change that with bringing more of a drone presence in, as well as recruiting people via Maker Faires - because why not? It’s free, and it’s a GREAT way to get people interested. Maybe i’m Kinda thumbing my nose at the older stalwarts; I don’t know. I just know that without fresh new blood coming in, we’re going to die off in the next 5 years. The last few months of our newsletter have been littered with news of strokes and sudden deaths of members or their spouses.

I understand your attitude about flying without a club. However, around here, if a drone or a wing is out, people are instantly distrustful that you’re spying...it’s a shame. So, if you want to fly without being harassed, you kind of need a club to back you up and have an established flying field...
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#37
Whilst I also understand the desire to fly free from the sometimes stifling atmosphere of a club run by oldies you should consider that without clubs and the oldies our sport or hobby might not even exist, Various governments who are peddling fear have a need to be seen to be doing something to protect the people. Had there been no clubs or even national associations drones and the like, (for recreational usage) would have been outlawed long ago.

Most clubs have rules and requirements aimed to show publicly that they are doing everything possible to undertake their activity safely and responsibly.

Additionally without clubs and the like there would be ZERO ability to influence legislation which allows or ceases our ability to fly at all.

Yes some clubs are a little elitist and even stodgy but they do have a role in our sport or hobby.

It is the work done behind the scenes by the clubs that you do not see but will benefit from. Here the growth in Quads and representations from clubs members, (myself included), have caused the local council to designate parks and areas throughout the council area for drone usage by the public. Prior to this it was NOT legal to use a Drone in a public park without a plethora of permissions and permits.

As for joining a club, I strongly recommend it even if you do not wish to fly with them as it will add your voice to those already trying to keep our hobby or sport alive, legal and growing! In addition being insured not only protects you from financial ruin but gives the public the view of your responsible attitude to what you do and your public obligations.

Just a thought based upon the scene Downunder!

Have fun!
 
#38
Whilst I also understand the desire to fly free from the sometimes stifling atmosphere of a club run by oldies you should consider that without clubs and the oldies our sport or hobby might not even exist, Various governments who are peddling fear have a need to be seen to be doing something to protect the people. Had there been no clubs or even national associations drones and the like, (for recreational usage) would have been outlawed long ago.

Most clubs have rules and requirements aimed to show publicly that they are doing everything possible to undertake their activity safely and responsibly.

Additionally without clubs and the like there would be ZERO ability to influence legislation which allows or ceases our ability to fly at all.

Yes some clubs are a little elitist and even stodgy but they do have a role in our sport or hobby.

It is the work done behind the scenes by the clubs that you do not see but will benefit from. Here the growth in Quads and representations from clubs members, (myself included), have caused the local council to designate parks and areas throughout the council area for drone usage by the public. Prior to this it was NOT legal to use a Drone in a public park without a plethora of permissions and permits.

As for joining a club, I strongly recommend it even if you do not wish to fly with them as it will add your voice to those already trying to keep our hobby or sport alive, legal and growing! In addition being insured not only protects you from financial ruin but gives the public the view of your responsible attitude to what you do and your public obligations.

Just a thought based upon the scene Downunder!

Have fun!
I second Hai-Lees post above. also from Australia, so my experiences are from our legal/club system

I am still learning to fly RC (hopefully wings this weekend!) and only just joined one of the 2 local clubs in Canberra (The National Capital, NOT SYDNEY!). But I have previously been involved in the club scene with paragliding.

No matter the sport/hobby that requires insurance, its going to set you back about $300 a year for National Association membership and local club fees. Its just a fact of life here. And for RC, its the only way to access flying sites if you want to fly anything more than a park flyer.

But in Australia our clubs provide the infrastructure and learning environment to become a good pilot, IF they have a good Chief Instructor. Also, our government will quite often give grants to clubs and associations for community outreach, which is used to upgrade runways/facilities etc.

We do also suffer from a fair bit of "old-codger"itis, and it was amusing explaining that I want to get into 3D printed planes and the black looks I got in return. Luckily my CFI is a bit younger and flys anything and everything and is VERY KEEN to try out printed planes.

So clubs are neccessary evil here, but they do give you someone to talk to while your fueling up your plane or straightening out your landing strut on the fence post after a hard landing.
 
#39
Just found this thread and wanted to bring it back....

I live in south florida near the nascar homestead speedway. There are a bunch of fields and empty parking lots down here but they are owned by the racetrack so you cannot fly there. There is a flying club with a field just to one side of the track. It's called osprey flying club. I drive by there a lot just to watch some of the flying. I think they are all gassers. Never seen an electric. The entrance is hard to find and has a chain link fence but always looks locked even when people are flying. You also have to drive down a long gravel road to get to the field. I made it in a while back and didn't really receive a warm reception. I was mostly ignored until some old dude around 80 came up and asked if I was a member of the ama and that I needed to be to fly here. Then he said I also need to be member of their club. He was going off. Luckily a guy in probably his early 40's saved me. He kinda gave me a run down of the club but it just seemed like too much expense and trouble. Plus like what has been posted here, most members seemed to be over 65. I fly about a 1/2 mile away at an old baseball spring training camp. It has several active ball fields. I fly in a large open area near the parking lot. There are usually baseball or soccer games going on by I have my area to fly and no one cares. I think I'll just keep going to my park and flying for free.

PS. Just got a used Traxxas Nitro truck. Can't wait to get it running and take it to my "field".
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#40
Many people are vary suspicious of people just coming out to the field, they do not know if you are someone looking to shut down there field or try and cause problems amongst the locals. What I have found if I drop into a field I have never been to before is walk right up to the first person and just start talking to them about what they are doing, and that I fly RC. It helps break the ice and puts the other person at ease, many will respond right back.