The AMA goes to 12 Expiration Dates Each Year? Seriously?

Submitted to Dave Mathewson, AMA Executive Director. Concerning new membership rules which will have memberships expiring every month and not just once each year. 06/23/2015

Dave,

Our club like many has an agreement with the field owners to make certain every user is an insured AMA member in good standing. There are something like 200 to 300 people issued a key to our facility in each year when and only when they show a valid AMA membership card. We change this lock once each year necessitating a presentation of a new AMA card to get the new key. Thereby we assure each members current valid AMA status is eyeball verified once per year.

With memberships expiring every month, how are we to keep track of those wandering in and out now? Are we to post an officer at the field during open hours to check expiration dates on cards and revoke keys? If the club secretary or VP or Pres is made responsible to make these collector calls for the AMA, how are we ever to get volunteers for those positions? What a distasteful horror of a responsibility. The discomfort and embarrassment at confronting people and being confronted over your bill paying capacity is quite an undesirable position to be in. I’m quite certain nobody ever thought they’d be asked to such things when they joined the AMA or their local club. What they were thinking about was having fun!

What if ones membership or grace period expires a day or two after registering for an event?

The officers of our club are probably not aware of this complication as of yet. I think they are going to be slowly discovering the ugly responsibility being thrust upon them all across the country.

I can certainly understand the AMA’s need for a smoother work flow and a more regular cash flow. I do not see how our club can offer assurance to our field owner that we are able to juggle this hot potato. Whats worse, many clubs will decide to go along and get along and not complain. They’ll just continue their regular programs and begin to rely on “the honor system”. Many pilots will slip into an uninsured status which will be left un-managed. Are we seriously expecting our officers to drive to the deadbeats home and demand return of their key? Are we to change the lock and reissue keys on a monthly basis? What color is a valid card this month? Next month? When accidents occur with members who have unpaid expired memberships, they won’t be covered (rightfully so) and those people experiencing loses will be heading to the property owners to be made whole again ‘because of the AMA’. Will fields be slipping way because of this well intentioned program?

Membership periods need to have a predicable and simple pattern if the executive committee wishes to maintain our member clubs capacity to accurately assure financial responsibility compliance.

Why can’t the AMA simply prorate memberships so new member entering in the middle of summer are not paying a full year fee for a 1/2 year membership? Thereby assure they end up with a renewal date that is commiserate with the AMA’s interest in clubs successfully maintaining insured access to flying sites?

If cash flow is an issue, why not offer a goodie, micro discount, pat on the back or….. for the privilege of charging one’s on file card 6 months in advance in 1/2 year increments? There has to be some other answer which does not require the complete revamping of security procedures and additional management complexity at every flying site in America.

What we can’t lose track of is the typical AMA club officer works on meeting day and the events he volunteers at during the summer. These are hard working people who have essentially volunteered for some extra responsibilities when they are “going to be there” anyway. Running collections for the AMA is not going to be considered a pleasant or manageable responsibility.

I am certain as always the AMA’s intentions and your intentions are in the right place. The unseen consequences of this decision and the impact on stature of the executive committee concern me greatly.

Respectfully submitted,
Dave Thacker
AMA Member

Share

Spirit of Sam Power System Decoded

I’ve had a number of inquiries for an alternate Spirit of Sam power system. I worked out a system for Phil Pearce. He’s had a chance to do some run time and amp draw tests. Here are his comments thus far.

Phil Pearce Spirit of Sam Afterburner Setup
Phil Pearce Spirit of Sam Afterburner Setup

Good morning Dave. Here are a few picture of the little 5 oz Wren, built for the Spirit Of Sam event at the Society of Antique Modelers events. The rules call for the power battery be a single 160 mah lipo. The task is endurance, using the second best flight time of two flights. The motor you provided is an “Afterburner High Performance Brushless Motor. The number on the info. sheet says: MR-012-030-4000-1.5 I ended up using a GWS 9/7 prop. As the picture shows, the rear lipo is for radio power. The BEC is disabled. My procedure for maximum flight time is to hand launch with full power of about 1.5 amp draw, than establish a slight climb at minimal power of probably about 1 amp. I level out at about 200 feet and only use enough power to maintain altitude while looking for signs of lift. The motor will start slowing down at somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes with no thermal help. I must immediately start a landing approach while the prop is still spinning and plan on landing in about 15 seconds. Unfortunately a folding prop is not allowed. The drag on a stopped motor is dramatic on this small light model. I hope this is what you wanted. Thanks again for you help. Regards, Phil

P.S. If you have any advice on another prop, please advise. PP

Phil Pearce and his 5 ounce Wren Spirit of Sam competition model.
Phil Pearce and his 5 ounce Wren Spirit of Sam competition model.

Equipment is a 4000kv 12mm Afterburner with 1.5mm shaft. Running in a GWS LPS gearbox 4.8:1 ratio.

close up of gws lps gearbox with afterburner motor installed.
Close up of GWS LPS gearbox with Afterburner motor installed.

Links to parts supplied by Radical RC:
GWS LPS 5:1 “B” Pinion: GWGER002
GWS LPS 5:1 “B” Blue Spur Gear: GWLPS4B
GWS LPS 5:1 Blue Spur Gear: GWLPS4B
GWS LPS Ball Bearing Set: GWLPS2A
GWS LPS Gearbox Shaft: GWLPS6A
GWS LPS Gearbox Frame: GWLPS5A
Afterburner Motor (Take 1.5mm shaft option): MR-012-030-4000
Screws for AFterburner Motor: MR-SCREW-080-125-2
All parts needed are contained in the system linked below. Replace motor with 12mm Brushless Afterburner. Note, If you buy the brushed motor system to get all the parts, consider buying a pinion. A puller is needed to remove one from the included brushed motor and it can be ticklish. Some skill, minor tools and a drill press (or press of some sort) are required to install a pinion on LPS RXC OR RLC Drive take “B” gear ratio option: GWLPS-RXC or GWLPS-RLC
GWS LPS Gearbox Frame: GWLPS5A

side view motor and rx battery spirit of sam geared brushless power system
Side view motor and RX battery.

Note, the point of this blog post is to record what we did in a way that will last longer than my memory. If you want to do the same thing, all the links are provided. ūüėČ

Some thoughts that I have based on what I know thus far: An “A” ratio (less reduction) could be considered in order to reduce the pitch or perhaps the disk diameter. That might lead to a 9-4.7 or 9-5 or 8-6 being optimal. I’m tickled by the idea of a 4 or 5″ high rpm setup in order to try and get the model to glide with a stopped prop longer than Phil reports with 9″ props. Not being experienced in the competition, my thoughts might be completely off base here. The higher KV Afterburner motor should be avoided because the higher no-load current. Although it might be more efficient at wide open throttle, the minimum no-load current would kill you in cruise (partial throttle flight). So, the lesson is stick to the 4000kv motor. Anything you can do in this contest to utilize a low non-load current motor would probably be an advantage over most motors with higher no-load currents. The no-load current rating is one of the fixed parameters (motor constants) of every motor. Explaining it fully is beyond the scope of this article.

Share

Micro Stick Fleet Tryout

Gil Weiss from southeast PA sends a beautiful photo of his Micro Stick. Just test flown. Looks Great Gil!

Gil Weiss Micro Stick from South East PA.

Hi Dave,

Several years ago I built a Micro Stick. The kit went together very nicely. The little plane sat on a shelf until today. I enjoyed the last nice day of calm warm weather here in SE PA and test flew the plane. It was a real Hoot! Flew great and had an unbelievable roll rate. Landed fine. Other than add some more ‚Äúexpo‚ÄĚ, no changes were required. I will keep this plane in my active fleet from here on out.

Regards, Gil Weiss

Share

Tragic Death of Roman Pirozek JR From RC Helicopter

Apparently a You Tube video producer Roman Pirozek has been involved in an accident where he partially decapitated himself with a T-Rex 700. I have no details and do not mean to infer how the accident happened. I have never viewed any of his video’s and have no idea of his flying skills or safety procedures. However, I will take this opportunity to mention there seems to be in the helicopter culture a notion that close in maneuvers are somehow more cool and exciting. For may pilots, it is as if they are attempting to punctuate their high skill level by showing you they are confident enough to fly within a few feet of death. I think it’s high time we recognize disciplined safe operations skillfully demonstrated without any risk to human life as the real “cool”.

Story with more details publish here from Daily Mail Online

Fox 5 Story

This kind of flying where there are high energy componets to the fight aimed at the pilot in command is the issue. Notice the video is put up as a memorial (my condolences to the family).

I’m not trying to force anybody to do anything. I am pointing out risky habits. What happens if whomever re-insures the AMA decides they cannot any longer insure the AMA for heli pilots members who flying without helmets? I’ll tell you what happens, idiots will blame the AMA when in fact it’s the culture that causes the restriction. It’s time to decide what the cool is before somebody else sticks their nose into our hobby and forces restrictions on us we wouldn’t like.

I’m sure Roman was a fine modeler and an upstanding citizen in the RC community. I mean to cast no aspersions. Accidents are possible, even if you fly at a safe distance. Here is Roman Pirozek JR. Channel on YouTube.

Share

FPV and Flight Stabilization AMA Revised Policy

It’s important not to fall into the swirling well of panic and paranoia. We so often hear those kinds of reactions from the those less informed whenever the AMA speaks out on a subject. I certainly favor the future development of our hobby to included FPV (First Person View) technologies and flight stabilization capabilities. The AMA is working very hard to avoid having issues with government officials deciding each and every model flying activity needs to be regulated and centrally controlled. PLEASE observe common sense and do your part to help everyone avoid this kind of onerous over reaching oversight that seems to be the trend in America these days. It’s your and my job to do something about it. Check out the revised policy below on the AMA blog site.

AMA Revised FPV Policy

Share

Not Surprising ‚Äď The sUAS NPRM Release Date has been Pushed Back Again

According to the May update on DOT’s Rulemaking Webpage the projected publication date for the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) has been pushed back to October 2012. Sources close to the project speculate that we may not see the somewhat contentious proposed rule until after the 2012 Presidential campaign. My money is on the later…

See more at AMA Government Relations Blog.

Share

RAMS Club

RAMS Logo
RAMS Club Logo

Location: RAMS is located behind the US Airforce Museum on the Grounds of Wright Patterson Airforce Base in Area B.  

 Website: http://www.fly-rams.com/

Contact Email: Check Website

Access to the field: Combination lock

GPS Geeks:¬† +39¬į 46′ 22.34″, -84¬į 5′ 49.64″¬† (¬†9.772873, -84.097123Station is accessible‚Äé)

Address: See club provided map below and on website.

AMA Club Charter: #2434  Formed: 1969   History: RAMS History

Club Dues: $5    Average Membership:  60     Memebership Limit?:  No

Flying Hours: Because this flying field is inside controlled airspace (Wright Field) , flying is generally limited to after 5:PM to sunset weekdays and generally 12:nooon to sunset on weekends.  There are some other restrictions and special dates the field is closed, be sure to check the Park Rules on the RAMS website for the official information.

Membership Information:  The club is open to all AMA Members who are Military, Retired Military or base contractors.  Civil servents and retired civil servents also qualify.  Essentially anybody who has or can qualify for a base pass.

Guest Flying:¬† Club Secretary (2012) Keith Numbers¬†informed me pilots in with a base pass¬†who are here for a short stay (AFIT students for example) are welcome at the¬† facility as a guest.¬† He said to please contact the club for information and proper procedures & etc…¬† Notes from Dave (writer of Radical RC Workbench Blog): Of course, all clubs appreciate being appreciated with funding, so if your going to be around a while, join up and do your part.

RAMS Flying Area Map
RAMS Flying Area Map

What you’ll find:¬† The RAMS have a paved runway.¬†¬† There are no shelters, power¬†or picnic tables, so be sure to bring any needed chairs, power or shade with you.¬† The flying area is nice and open without obsticals.¬† It is the choice place to test out extra large or fast models such as turbins.¬† If you’ve ever been to the DOGS airshow, the RAMS field is at the far right end of the DOGS flying area on the crossing taxiway.¬†¬†

Special Notes¬†From Dave:¬† It’s always “Gentlemanly”¬†to observe the AMA Safety¬†Code as a baseline at any new field¬†until all local rules, etiquette and customs are learned.¬† Be aware some fields have routine full scale air traffic nearby, others very little or none.¬† It takes¬†time to become aware of all the special concerns and routines at any new flying field.

Share

Why Hold A Club Swap Meet?

There are many reasons. Most clubs having expenses to maintain and improve their model airport have need of revenue. A model swap meet can make a terrific fund raiser for this or any other purpose. It can also serve as an off-season gathering for your regions pilots. A time to renew friendships and refresh interest in our sport.

Having managed one of the country’s largest swap meets for well over a decade, I speak from experience. The ModelRama has celebrated it’s 13th year in 2012 with a record setting 174 table reservations. Our first two events were 80 tables (filled the hall we were using) and the event has grown steadily ever since. It’s my major volunteer effort each year to support the Dayton Wingmasters and our Model Airpark “Wingmaster Field”. No one puts on an event of this nature single handedly. Our event has enjoyed excellent support from our club members every year. We’ll talk more about Volunteers in a later post along with many other considerations like date planning, setup times/hours, important positions you’ll need volunteers for, getting the vendors, getting the swappers, getting the modelers there, selling raffle and 50/50 tickets, holding an auction, walking sales, indoor flying and more.

If your already holding a similar event, perhaps you’ll find something here to improve your results. The suggestions and ideas that follow where not arrived at out of thin air. For about a decade, Radical RC (my family business) attended 25 or more club swap meets per year. I’ve witnessed much good and some bad and have tried to combine all the best idea’s in one “Super Swap Meet”. We make adjustments every year and are always looking for a better way to do everything.

We may alter these posts at any time as knowledge and opinions evolve. Consider these a series of articles suggesting current best practices. You can rest assured however, that if you follow these guidelines, you’ll have a successful and profitable event. It will be the most popular event of the year and probably the least amount of work per $100 earned of anything your group has ever done. Give it a go!

Look for these posts to accumulate within “How To?” sub category “How: A Successful Swap Meet”.

Share

ModelRama 2012 In The Books

Dave,

We had a great time at the Modelrama. It was our highest grossing Swap Meet so far. I’m glad you let us sell shirts during the auction because we had another $200.00 in sales after the auction started. The best selling design was the Jumbo Corsair………


Darryl Iott
IM Screen Printing Co.

Dave:

I just wanted to take a minute and thank you and all the Dayton Wingmasters for the fine hospitality my wife and I enjoyed at the swap meet last Saturday. All the folks we met were so kind and gracious to us, we had a wonderful time. If we didn’t know better, we’d have thought you were all “Sutherners”. Please extend our thanks to everyone who worked to make the event go so smoothly, and to all the R/Cers who did business with us, we really appreciate it, and we’re looking forward to coming back again next year.

Thanks again Dave. Dianne and I look forward to seeing you again next year, or maybe next month at Perry, Georgia.

David McCormick
Dave’s R/C Electronics

Setting a new record again with 174 table reservations and thousands of dollars in auctioned models. Approximately 500 modelers attended from 5 states. The weather was a bit cool at 15 degrees Saturday morning. A perfect day to spend inside hunting new and used RC goodies! We thank you for attending and thank all the volunteers that worked hard to make this event a winner year after year. Mark your calendar for Feb 9, 2013.

Share