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PLEASE READ, AMA Insurance, flying in Fields/Parks etc. PLEASE READ

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#1
To all,
Another spot of the forums here had a thread concerning what size plane is too big to fly in certain locations. It started me thinking about the liability that goes along with flying. With the growing popularity of our hobby and park flyers in particular coupled with a lack of flying areas or at least a lack of knowledge of local flying areas, there's a growing risk of injury or damage to the public.
When I go to fly with my brother at his local field, they require all members to carry the AMA insurance. You're allowed one "supervised" trial visit and then you are expected to come prepared. They are an AMA approved field and they take it very seriously. I looked into it and it turns out that it's very reasonably priced and there are a lot of benefits that go with it. Here's the link.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/membershipoptions.aspx

It only takes a few minutes to register, and you can see that for only $29.99 per year, you can get into the Park Pilot program for electric only planes under 2 pounds and 60 mph which comes along with $500,000.00 of personal liability insurance.

I personally maintain a membership because I fly in a lot of places including local parks, an impromptu flying field on city property, local softball fields, out along the shoreline, our local gymnasium etc. I also take every opportunity I can to introduce new pilots which increases my odds of having an incident. I highly encourage everyone to support the AMA and also take advantage of the protection it offers. One injury from a plane gone awry and hitting someone in a park would certainly end most peoples flying.

Please take the time to visit this link and at least review the options and weigh the benefits for yourself. Note that there are many options. Full, Park Pilot, Youth, Student etc.

Thank you.
Ak Flyer
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#2
I guess I forgot the part about a show suggestion. I think it would be a good idea to mention this occasionally. You guys are really good about talking about having enough room to fly and picking appropriate areas etc, I feel it would be good to talk about the AMA once or twice and mention that they have insurance options to help protect ourselves. Thanks. As always, I'm enjoying the shows keep up the good work.
 
#3
I couldn't agree more with this suggestion. I fly at an AMA sanctioned field, and you wouldn't believe how many people get mad at the club for requiring AMA membership to fly. There have almost been fist fights over this and the police had to be called (someone wanted to fly, president said show me the AMA card, they didn't have it then tempers flared ...). I always ask people, have you been in a car wreck or had a major illness? What happens if you don't have insurance? You don't want financial ruin as a result of a fun activity. Keep it save and protect yourself physically and financially.

-Heath
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#4
I ask these question out of ignorance, not to be inflammatory. Do you know anyone that has found themselves in a position to use the AMA insurance? Was there difficulty in getting a settlement? Was there any issue with membership renewal afterward?

I do not belong to AMA, mainly because I'm fairly new to all of this. I'm not opposed to it, if it truly is a benefit. But, my worry is that AMA is an organization that has set themselves up as an authority on a hobby that is freely accessible to anyone. Beyond the magazine and being able to fly at a club field, is there truly a reason I should belong?
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#5
Not necessary where I fly. 800 acres privately owned (by me) and fenced against intruders as well as being 7 miles from the nearest community and a mile and a half from the nearest other persons. But a very good idea in the city for sure.

Thurmond
 

bicyclemonkey

Flying Derp
Mentor
#6
I may be wrong but I think the AMA full/open membership only covers you at AMA flying clubs and not parks? I've got the full membership and am a member of my local club but I fly at parks sometimes.

The AMA are lobbyists also. Most recently I'm reminded of when it was proposed by politicians that model aircraft be subjected to a set of rules determined by the FAA. Without the AMA our hobby would be more regulated by the gov't.

If I lived out in the boonies or on top of a hill with a huge field and no neighbors close by like Chad, I may not be a member. But, all it takes, especially if you are flying at a park is to crash into someones car or into a stranger and do bodily harm, you'll wish you spent what comes out to $2.50 a month on that park pilot membership.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#7
So, you have to pay for the full membership + a park membership? Again, I would like to hear from someone who has benefited from this insurance. I really want AMA to sell themselves to me.

And don't get me started on lobbyists. Is AMA really responsible for us still being able to enjoy this hobby? Again, I'm looking for the benefit of my joining. How have they done this? What congressional nefariousness have they prevented?

I'm not trying to be a d**k, but I really want to know that what they do is worth my money and my support!
 
#8
Everyone may want to check with your home owners insurance company. I did and yes I'm covered if my actions are liable with RC plane and cars. That means, I have to be at fault for someone else's injury or property damage. Suspect the local agent/company will be easier to deal with then the AMA. Not putting down the AMA but..... If one is already covered.....
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#10
Everyone may want to check with your home owners insurance company. I did and yes I'm covered if my actions are liable with RC plane and cars. That means, I have to be at fault for someone else's injury or property damage. Suspect the local agent/company will be easier to deal with then the AMA. Not putting down the AMA but..... If one is already covered.....
That's good information. People should definitely find out if they have any coverage and explore the AMA options as well. This is one of those things that I hope no one ever needs to use but I think everyone should be informed about. Lets keep this topic alive and share the information.
 

ananas1301

Crazy flyer/crasher :D
#11
We have someting pretty similar in Germany. It is an insurance for all RC accidents that could happen.

You have different ways getting insured. One is to become a member in a RC club so that the insurance is over the RC club.

Or there is one big national RC club which if you pay 1€ for per annum you´ll get insured up to half a million or a million.
 
#12
Or there is one big national RC club which if you pay 1€ for per annum you´ll get insured up to half a million or a million.
haven't heard of that one. i am insured through the DMFV (german rc flying association) and the fee for that is already included in my rc club membership fee.

in germany we have a legal obligation to insure if you want to fly ANY rc plane, no matter what size and no matter if you fly it in your backyard or on your rc clubs flying field (park flying in a way it exists in the usa is to my knowledge not existant in germany)

the positive aspect of this is that there is no room for lamentation whether an insurance is necessary or not. and the few bucks you have to pay per year for the insurance are really nothing one should argue about if you compare it to what it might cost you if you cause material damage not to speak of injury to persons. so better be on the safe side, have an insurance and not think about the consequences of a crash while flying.
 

Brian fred carr

Site Moderator
Mentor
#13
Well well....This is a tough one for us brits we dont really live in the sue me sue you culture that they have in the U.S.A and the fact that my 6 year old can go in a department store and by a helicopter that could potentially do a lot of damage is a doozy....I had a dog owner once ask me if I was insured to fly in the park and I just pointed at her dog and asked if she had insurance for the dog she said "I dont need any for a dog" so I pointed out a RC plane has never mauled a childs face off...
 

themajik1

Monkey/Bear Poker
Mentor
#14
I agree that we do live in a sue me sue you place here in the U.S. It is sad that the whole world has come to that, but it s so hard to get things changed now.

I am new to the hobby and have been thinking of joining the AMA but the local club where I live are not the friendliest lot I have been around. I think this gives the newbie a harder time getting into the hobby. I would love to get around a bunch that was passionate about the hobby, share what little I have learned and have it shared back.
Until I can find a local club that is into at least being a little courteous to the newbie I may just stay a park flyer and fly solo.
 
#15
so I pointed out a RC plane has never mauled a childs face off...
That's a good point, but the question is not, if there should be an insurance for the dog but for the plane. I agree, if an RC plane should be insured, then a dog should be insured, too. Because he can cause lots of trouble, too.

I thought heavily about this and i think, if you are a freeflyer and the place where you fly is empty - no cars, buildings, people - than for me its ok to have no insurance (though i live in germany and should have one ;) ).
If you fly in parks etc. with something heavier or faster than a microplane (a little Sukhoi SU 26 or something like that) an insurance is a must.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#18
I am new to the hobby and have been thinking of joining the AMA but the local club where I live are not the friendliest lot I have been around. I think this gives the newbie a harder time getting into the hobby. I would love to get around a bunch that was passionate about the hobby, share what little I have learned and have it shared back.
Until I can find a local club that is into at least being a little courteous to the newbie I may just stay a park flyer and fly solo.
This is so often the case. There's a few people out there who think that unless you scratch built a 10 foot plane that took you years to build using only the tools that noah had to build the ark, then you are unworthy of being in their presence. I can't stand to be around people like that. My friends and I had just as much fun flying our foam supercubs in a dirt lot as they do with their huge planes. Now, I also am getting into bigger models and wood planes that are much more complicated and fragile, but that doesn't put me in the snob club where I'm entitled to look down my nose at some kid with his 50 dollar plane. We all need to remember this. WE WERE ALL BEGINNERS ONCE.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#19
Large clubs are a great place to learn and also a great place to find deals on bigger equipment. A lot of people come to the field with their latest greatest plane, and have a couple other planes by the car that they will sell to a noob for a great price. I got my first balsa plane this way. It's had about five owners but it's reliable and tough and I have a great time with it. Plus being my first wood plane, I would be scared to fly one that I built. I'm not as personally invested in this one so I'm not afraid to fly and push my limits.

My point is, had the guys where I fly occasionally been @#$#@'s like the ones he's describing, I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities both to fly, buy, and most importantly to learn. The heli guys especially have been soooooo helpful that I would be years behind where I am now if not for them. It really #$#@"s me off when I hear stories like that.

Please remember that it takes courage to approach a stranger and ask him what may feel like dumb questions. If someone comes up to you in a courteous and respectful manner and wants to learn about your hobby, then I think I think we owe it to ourselves to offer answers and advice in that same courteous and respectful manner.

Lets not be that bunch of jerks that makes a potential flying friend feel unwelcome.
 

bicyclemonkey

Flying Derp
Mentor
#20
This is so often the case. There's a few people out there who think that unless you scratch built a 10 foot plane that took you years to build using only the tools that noah had to build the ark, then you are unworthy of being in their presence. I can't stand to be around people like that. My friends and I had just as much fun flying our foam supercubs in a dirt lot as they do with their huge planes. Now, I also am getting into bigger models and wood planes that are much more complicated and fragile, but that doesn't put me in the snob club where I'm entitled to look down my nose at some kid with his 50 dollar plane. We all need to remember this. WE WERE ALL BEGINNERS ONCE.
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