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AMA Membership?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Air5, May 5, 2015.

  1. Air5

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    I'm looking into an AMA membership since others have mentioned that it helps when confronted by authorities among other things. I also see their insurance benefits. But I read somewhere that those benefits don't cover flying FPV.

    Does anyone have any knowledge of this? Do you think it's worth the membership?


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  2. joeflyer

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    I've been an AMA member for 20 years. They have no problem with FPV, but require a spotter. You can read up on it at their website. The insurance is secondary to your homeownwers insurance. If the only thing you're flying is a Phantom I don't see much advantage in joining the AMA.
     
  3. SteveMann

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    First, I did join the AMA so that I wouldn't be criticised for criticising the organization.
    The insurance is, as Air5 said, secondary to your homeowner's insurance, but it's worth having if someone requires you to provide proof of insurance to operate from their property. The insurance is a standard aircraft liability policy with all AMA members as named insured. There is no section in the policy where I can find any discrimination of model aircraft type.

    Historically, the AMA is intolerant of new technology, openly hostile to personal drones and absolutely horrified at FPV. Autonomous flight is not in their vocabulary. Many AMA fields still won't permit drones or FPV flight. If you fly a balsa wood model at the end of a pair of 50 ft fishing lines at an AMA field, you are their kind of member. Otherwise their "rules" are virtually impossible to comply with completely. The AMA comment to the Part 107 NPRM was horribly mismanaged and may have done more harm to the hobby than good, but that's another topic.

    In my opinion, yes, you should join the AMA. even if you only fly your Phantom from your back yard. The insurance has untested benefit (and you are unlikely to ever need it), but the membership card add some level, though microscopic, of proof to the local gendarme that you are a responsible flyer.
     
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  4. Air5

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    Great Response Steve. You would think they would be more accepting of new technology and members to keep their organization thriving.
     
  5. GoodnNuff

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    In defense of the AMA, I've asked Steve to provide a link (or some proof/evidence) to the "open hostility" he claims the AMA has historically exhibited against drones. Have yet to see anything beyond his opinion.
    I've also asked the same regarding the AMA being "horrified" at FPV flight, still waiting as well.

    As a long time member of the AMA I've never experienced the rejection Steve seems to have experienced at their hands. I belong to 3 AMA sanctioned clubs, who all allow quadcopters and FPV flight on their fields.
    Steve claimes that "Many AMA fields still won't permit drones or FPV flight." Not sure where Steve has tried to fly, but the AMA doesn't own, operate, manage, or set the rules regarding who can or who can't fly at any of the RC flying fields that their members maintain and operate. I suppose there are some fields who ban both FPV and copters (I've yet to hear of one), but that has nothing to do with the AMA.
    The AMA's monthly publicaton "Model Aviation" has a monthly column on quadcopters, and there are articles on FPV flight published several times a year.
    Again, I'm baffled by the "hostility" that Steve claims he has experienced, as well as the "horrified" attitude regarding FPV that Steve claims to be the norm.

    I will admit it is quite boring to fly a drone at an RC club's field, and FPV over a large grassy field is pretty boring as well. But I sincerly question the claims that I see Steve repeatedly make on this forum regarding the AMA and strike them up to misinformation, much like his claim that all coastal beaches and wetland in the US are public lands...
     
    #5 GoodnNuff, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  6. SteveMann

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    Challenge accepted.
    I will research my cites before I ever again say anything negative about the AMA (except for their horribly mismanaged comment to the Part 107 NPRM).
    I never mentioned the wetlands. Most of my information about beach access comes from http://beachapedia.org/Beach_Access.
    Some east-coast states make it difficult by defining the demarcation as the low tide mark, but generally, all wet beaches are public lands.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. SilentAV8R

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    FWIW I've been an AMA member for 49 years now and am a Leader Member. I have never flown control line in all those years and have yet to find a field where not doing so made me unwelcome.

    AMA clubs are free to limit what is flown at their club fields. For instance, two of my local clubs (including the one I belong to) do not allow turbine models of any kind. Others allow only electric planes, others yet are restricted by size of the model. Still others only allow helis only. So that type of thing has been around long before anyone ever saw or heard of a multi rotor a model.

    None of the several clubs I fly at have any problems with multirotors. If you want to do FPV, fine, follow the AMA guidelines for that. And stay within the Safety Code, which I have never found an issue with. But then I do not fly over people, roads, vehicles, buildings, etc.

    AMA insurance is secondary to any other insurance you might have, and it is primary if there is no other insurance. It also includes $25,000 medical and $1,000 fire/theft/vandalism coverage on top of the liability coverage. Worth every penny of the $58 annual dues.

    Keep in mind as well, that the insurance coverage is separate from any legal fees that may arise from being sued. I know of one situation (first person info, not told to me) of a group of glider pilots who flew on a slope who got tangled with an unfriendly homeowner. He sued them, AMA covered them and paid a nearly $75K legal tab.

    Here's my main field. PLENTY of room to range out over some interesting terrain!!

    https://www.google.com/maps/@33.7717295,-117.695012,576m/data=!3m1!1e3
     
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