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Posts: 48
Joined: 24 Sep 2016, 11:50

Why I joined a club

07 Dec 2016, 13:08

I would suggest folks joining a club.

The club gets real-time clearance from CAAS before flying RC aircraft to keep our Singapore sky and ground safe from accident. I do not see street flyers doing just that.

Club has disciplined pilots/members who observe RC flying safety, good flying etiquette, proper ground checks on aircraft on both before and after flights and proper sharing of flying experiences and setups. Proper runway, taxi way and shelter from the sun and rain.

6 years ago I was very skeptical about joining one because "why would I join a club when I can fly on the street field?". After crashing my planes one too many, I saw those club guys took good care of their airplanes, treated them with respect, clean them up, and flew them for many years. Some even have more than 10 years of service mark on each aircraft. As crash rates reduce significantly, surely you will save more money and get to own better aircraft (or more) as compared to most non-clubbers.

Once I flew at Tamp$%#@ AVE 10 out of the blue with a couple of friends. I quickly assembled my 4-year-old (thousands of flight time) Great Planes Revolver 50cc as I decided to take the beautiful blue sky. One of the regular flyers there came to look at my plane and passed a comment "New plane ah? Looks beautiful. Never crash before?". I was like "huh, what??". He was a nice gentleman, however, this incident clearly showed me that crashing is part and parcel of RC flying at their field.

At one point it was extremely difficult to land my plane because people are at the middle of the field. I was worried I would run out of petrol as I kept circling above their heads. Who is going to be liable should my aircraft fall onto them? Me? Them? The hobby?

Then there was this flyer that came later. He did not just fly his plane in the field beyond the runway, he flew everywhere! I was packing up behind him when he went out of control with his plane. The plastic/foamy plane crashed just 1 foot on my right with a loud THUD - TWICE! - creating 2 potholes! Imagine if I was not twice that lucky and got hit on my shoulder, the damage would be unimaginable. If that thing hit my head, I think I would have appeared in the news as a deceased. Guys, come on. Do not tell me it will not happen to kill/injure someone with an RC aircraft. It is indeed a matter of time. Discipline from a club would greatly reduce such risk factor by many folds. We would never fly above and behind our heads, for sure.

One may ask, "Can you really enjoy a plane that you keep flying and those boring maneuvers as you only fly within the flying canvas?". I will tell you, "Yes!". Flying is all about passion. And learning new moves come from practice from a simulator and real flying discipline.

Remember setting up a new ARF and meanwhile anticipating how it would fly and behave in the air? You told yourself to make every bit of installation as neat as can be, not forgetting the aspect of safety by checking the linkages etc, making sure you do not miss anything... Then you maiden her at the field with excitement. First you flew figure 8. Trimmed her out. Then you did harsh snaps and other maneuvers to "prove" the plane's worthiness. Bang, she was good. Then you started "anyhow" flying as you have already taken her for granted - knowing too well she was a tamed kitten, nothing would go wrong anyway. Here came the hiccups. Overly confident. You crashed her. The entire event will start all over again with a new ARF. It is not just the money, your efforts were gone! You have to re-build/re-learn a new ARF again! Can the next one fly better than the previous one?

So I think to enjoy flying, you need to keep flying one. One means the same plane, you can have many and fly them all regularly. To understand each of them. To understand yourself. To enjoy the sky, the sun and the breeze with them.

Besides those, I asked myself "I can afford a $1k airplane, what about a $1mil lost of properties (and life of a person) should I crash into one of these?". The club can settle that with less implications. Why not fork out the membership fee which costs no more than your beloved aircraft's servo/motor/receiver, and fly at a peace of mind?

I would urge all RC pilots to observe safety and treat the hobby with respect and stop thinking about crashing a plane. Anyhow fly does not improve/prove one's skill and refrains one from the gist of enjoyment (unless crashing is part of his enjoyment). It takes steps, proper guidance and discipline to reach there!

Please join a club today.

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Y.C. Chan
Posts: 2
Joined: 11 Jan 2017, 13:50

Re: Why I joined a club

11 Jan 2017, 13:52

Well said! I join the forum after reading your post. Good points.

Posts: 8
Joined: 28 Oct 2016, 19:30

Re: Why I joined a club

29 Jan 2017, 21:59

Totally agree , joining a club has huge benefits.
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 Dec 2016, 21:32

Re: Why I joined a club

03 Feb 2017, 17:51

I used to fly in a club, BBFC that is until it's disbanded and left with no new venue to continue.
How many other clubs with approved flying field are there now still exist and what fees applicable?

As the hobby evolves since the drones comes into the picture. What types of RC aircraft are permissible in the clubs and how many aircrafts are permissible to fly at a time per wave?

The range and types of RC aircraft varies too widely. Say for example a sail plane soaring at 100m or more will not have any impact with another scale plane flying less than 50m in altitude and a 3D 50cc aerobatic gas plane is best to be flown solo likewise a 500 sized heli and above.

Who determines and police the club rules? A lot I believe are by pure understanding and respect as the members are usually acquainted and even new members get acquainted fairly easily in no time.

The most important factor I bet will be field access, time and days of the week for example. Say if I work shift duties and may not be possible to make avail at all weekends and reserve 1 weekend for family. Will I have access during weekdays and or late evenings or even night flying? If these aren't met and I really need some stick time itch, I'd probably hunt down some open field.
So there I would have defeated the purpose of joining a club wouldn't I? Would that make me an irresponsible and risk taking RC aircraft enthusiast?

Club insurance is another factor for consideration. What, when and who it covers and up to what sum? Also, who will actually determines that the flyer who pilots the RC aircraft is competent and who or what body certifies the person who accesses the RC pilot competency? Insurance covers only competent person, however if training insurance is required will then be an add on component which will render the insurance expansive and cost passed on.

Golden question, how much is the membership cost and how is it factored?

I will join a club if the money is reasonable, at least it covers the period where I'm at the club field which stands maybe like 30% of my on air time and risk 70% of my own accord find a field to satiate my urge than 100% risk.

Please help to let some air on this, these information if provided will better educate the RC aircraft community and to make better choice. Simply just join a club without knowing The Who, When, Why, What and How isn't beneficial.

I don't meant to be offensive in any way, I'm merely seeking for answers.

Happy days and peace out!
Posts: 1
Joined: 07 Feb 2017, 17:43

Re: Why I joined a club

07 Feb 2017, 17:52

Doing a simple internet search revealed some Clubs in SG. I would highly recommend doing some research and contacting these clubs to gain insights in to the questions you have posted. As individuals, we may not be the authority to answer them well. However, I do hear some of my friends talking about Radio Modellers Singapore. Personally, I do not have any experience with them as I am not a member, may be worth contacting them to find more details.  
Posts: 3
Joined: 13 Feb 2017, 13:33

Re: Why I joined a club

13 Feb 2017, 13:37

RMS is worth the thought/considering. They have a new field in the city heart.

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