The Hobby Has Changed.
It’s true. This hobby has changed. Any jackass can buy themselves a cheap plane, or a “drone”, and go out flying at their park or whatever and cause trouble. It isn’t like it used to be, where you joined your local AMA club to learn how to build. You took your time, started on a trainer and a buddy box, and waited for the club trainer to decide when you were ready to solo.
Not like these people now.
AMA signups are lower than they used to be. People are buying these planes and these drones and they aren’t joining anything. They don’t get with their local clubs, they don’t support their local hobby shops, they don’t build their aircraft out of balsa and monokote, and don’t even get me STARTED on these damn FPV drones… Even the planes have computers in them. That’s not flying, not really.
Know what? Bite me.
I’ve heard these rants from what I call the “Old Guard”. At my local field, on RC Groups, even from a regional AMA rep. It is OUR fault the AMA isn’t what it used to be. It’s OUR fault the hobby changed.
And they’re right.
The “New Guard” doesn’t need you anymore. We are forming our own groups, choosing our own paths, and we’re damn good at it. We are faster and more adventurous because the technology is cheap and replaceable. We can take risks you wouldn’t dare to. We can push this hobby further than you ever did. To quote Will Smith (because why not?) You’re old and busted. We’re the new hotness. We are in the skies, we are buzzing through the trees, we are diving down mountainsides, and WE DON’T NEED YOU.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
You can be a part of this. You can break away from your habits and join us. Do you remember what it was like when you first experienced flight? Do you remember the excitement, that rush of adrenaline? When did that go sour? When did you lose the love and become… this? Don’t you want to feel this way again? Every time I put on my FPV goggles, every cheap DTFB build I maiden, every new quad build feels like the first time and it’s awesome and you’re just sitting there being angry. We didn’t leave you behind, you just refused to walk with us.
Adapt and survive. If the AMA wants the support of the New Guard, then they need to support us. No more baby steps, you need to step up and protect our rights from overbearing legislation. You raised our membership fees, now raise your game and show us you’re worth it. To the New Guard it’s hard to justify $75 a year when I could just pay the FAA $5. To the Old Guard, embrace us or lose us. You’re right to think we don’t need you, but you’re wrong if you think you don’t need us. We can fly almost anywhere, but your 20 year old giant scale Yak needs that AMA chartered runway. Without newer, younger members to pay your fees and maintain those fields you will lose them. In the New Guard I’ve found a community that supports its own and promotes innovation. There are elitists, there always are, but over the last few months I’ve seen more and more people shutting them down and bringing the noobs up to meet them. We are self-policing and it works. We genuinely want to see each other succeed. You know, like you used to be.
The hobby has changed. Maybe you should too.