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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Frank wrote:
Again I am e-mailing the three of you to reiterate my disapproval of the wording of rule #9 regarding the "tail touch" maneuver. I think the rule singles out 3D pilots and is not fair.

Again, I believe that this rule, posted as a safety rule, is 100% about liability. I believe that there should be a set of true safety rules to help minimize the most common safety oversights, and also a set of "liability eliminators." A pilot not following the "liability eliminators" part of the rules will render their liability policy null for any damages as caused by the non-covered behaviors. Perhaps a pilot preparing for, or participating in, a contest or demonstration could waive their liability policy at that time as well, or pay a reasonable fee for a "non-covered maneuver" policy for a short time. Perhaps $10 for 90 days or so. This way, the excitement of 3D flight can be demonstrated to the public to draw the public to learn about our hobby.

I do not believe that the AMA is right in the way it is now micro managing it's members. I believe that if a club, with a majority vote, says that certain flight behaviors, type of aircraft, sound levels, or speeds are not allowable, then fine. Majority rules, and so be it. I do not believe that it is the place of the AMA to set up any rules like this.

Please do bring this issue to a vote, and remove the wording that eliminates the tail touch, and singles out a small group of pilots for no apparent reason.

Response from DB
Gentlemen:

I understand your displeasure with rule #9, but you have not considered why it is necessary.

Tail touching is a neat trick, and displays a great deal of control over the model, BUT, it will put you into an INDEFENSIBLE position in a court of law, if an accident happens, WHETHER SUCH TAIL TOUCHING IS PART OF THE ACCIDENT, OR NOT....

INTENTIONALLY "banging" a "vital" control surface onto the ground will give the prosecution a way to pursue punative damages, or, perhaps, even CRIMINAL charges, of you have an "accident". Just how hard would you think it would be to convince a. typical. jury that the rudder is the "most vital" control surface. (They would be sold in the basis of a ship without a rudder is, out of control). Ironically, there is a case on record, where an aerobatic pilot, flying a "One Design" aircraft, had a rudder cable break, and was unable to land the aircraft, and was forced to bail oun, so don't even TRY to make the point that the rudder isn't necessary!

Think about this.....could you convince the widow of the person you killed that your actions in banging a vital control surface on the ground was reasonable? Please don't think you could say the rudder was not a "vital" control surface.....the prosecution will put as many 3-D fliers as necessary on the stand to ask them if they can hover without the rudder....."answer yes, or no, only"......how many do you think would answer "yes"??? Have you tried this??

Regardless of whether the crash was caused by the rudder, or even happened during a flight in which you "touched", the fact that you had INTENTIONALLY banged the rudder "a vital control surface" into the ground would cause a jury to consider if your actions were reasonable. Think about this....if an airline was to make it a habit of moving it's airliners around the ramp with a forklift pushing on the rudder, wouldn't you think that would become a factor in any lawsuit which came about as a result of an accident....even if there was no evidence that the rudder caused the crash???

I don't think any of us want to be put into that position, particularly when the solution is so simple......All you need to do is to extend the tailwheel back, behind the rudder, and you can touch the tailwheel to your hearts delight. You can bang that on the ground as much as you like, and no jury is going to be able to say this is negligence, or, unreasonable.

This rule is intended to reduce the likelyhood of a claim getting out of hand, perhaps including punative damages, of, even criminal charges (negligent homicide)...do you really think it's that rediculous a rule??

Dave Brown

Frank wrote:
Dave, I'm sorry this is such an issue for us all. I've heard dozens of "what ifs", and still feel like we are cutting off our nose despite our face.

Personally, especially after reading your response, feel like a Safety Code should be about safety, and not about liability. I'm sure that I'm not alone. I recently read that the most common accident was still prop injuries during, or immediately following, engine start up. Where are the rules regulating start up procedure? There are none, of course. The most common safety issue, and there are no rules regarding hand starts, aircraft restraints, or kill switches. We try to govern this by informing and educating pilots. Perhaps a column in Model Aviation could be devoted, monthly, to keeping safe and non-liable. That would be a more acceptable, in my opinion, approach to stopping these liability infractions than just making safety rule changes.

Could I convince any number folks that a rudder isn't necessary? Maybe, but who cares. Is there a rule saying that all aircraft must be complete with the ability to be controlled independently in all three axis of rotation? Nope. Some aircraft are built and flown with no accommodations for various controls, even throttle. Could I convince a jury that building and flying a model aircraft with no ability to control it's flight path or speed was a reasonable and safe practice? Maybe not, so good bye free flight. The "what ifs" won't sell. You can't single out 3D pilots about the possibility of loss of control (causing suit), when a great number of modelers create models with the sole intent on not having any control to begin with.

So, I guess I'm not disputing that the issue needs a resolution, but just popping a rule into the safety code every time someone "discovers" a liability issue is not the answer. I look forward to a better solution from my EC.

Thanks for your time,

More later...
 

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Please note that DB is using a FORM letter to answer us. Ask him for a personal response, at least a goodwill not to show he actually reads it. He has no intention of letting us get this through, but he can't vote and he can't tell anyone else how to vote. Concentrate on the VPs, especially if you know your's is against us!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sending to DB, the Exec VP, and my Dist VP.

From DB:

INTENT is the difference between an accident, and a criminal act! (also manslaughter, and murder)

What part of the word "intent" is it that you don't see the implications of???

Any of the other mentioned incidents you mention are ACCIDENTS, as opposed to being the result of intentional acts, regardless of the experience level of the pilot involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Frank sent:

I'm quite clear on intent. I intend this to be a hobby and be fun. I, nor do any pilots, choose, or intend, to do harm or cause damage.

There is intent in the release of a free flight model into flight. There is intent to do so with no possible recall or control. Would there ever be intent for it to do harm, no. Is there a possibility that it could, sure. The intent of both pilots (free flight and 3D) is the same. You can't argue intent from only one side of a courtroom.

Again, I'm not saying that there is not an issue here, just that it is being handled poorly. There is a better solution than adding a SAFETY RULE everytime a question of LIABILITY arises, I'm asking the EC and AMA Safety (Liability) Committee to find it.
 

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I hate I'm actually jumping in on this argument, but this is really starting to piss me off... :evil:

I don't think any of us want to be put into that position, particularly when the solution is so simple......All you need to do is to extend the tailwheel back, behind the rudder, and you can touch the tailwheel to your hearts delight. You can bang that on the ground as much as you like, and no jury is going to be able to say this is negligence, or, unreasonable.
What the f***?!? If he's arguing touching the rudder is "unsafe", what difference does it make that it's a wheel back there and not the rudder tip?!? If that's the case the just tape a carrot or something back there and touch that! "Uh, no you honor, only the carrot touched the ground..." yea that would sound great.

Sorry about the rant, just couldn't help it...
 

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Don't hold back man, these guys need to hear from you. Some of you that are in districts where the VP is against us should point out the stupidity of DB's arguments. It's so stupid to single out 3D and use terms like "criminal", he's on fear pills and can't think straight.
 

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I cannot believe this bull about a damaged rudder causing a plane to be uncontrollable. Dave Brown needs to step back and look at all the designs that have no movable rudder only a vertical fin. I personally have a Magnum that is capable of speeds in excess of 175 mph that has no rudder. If what Dave Brown says is true then I would not be able to control this airplane. 8) SO I must jump on the bandwagon here and also encourage everyone to email their District VP's and DB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
From DB

Finally....something upon which we agree.....safety rules are a poor way to control liability....BUT....the Safety code is the ONLY document which imparts any form of rules to the general membership. Competition rules can impose restrictions, but ONLY for competitions governed by them, and MOST activity of the membership isn't done under "official" competition rules.

The alternative, (perhaps a better way, and being considered) would be to have the Safety code, and a separate "general" rulebook, which could cover the uniqueness of each activity.

Liability control is composed of three parts. First, and foremost, you try to prevent the accident, Second, you try to reduce the extent of damage done, if an accident occurs, and Third, you position yourself in the most defensible positionj possible, if it comes to a lawsuit.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the membership only see's the first step.

Dave Brown
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Frank Writes:

Well, perhaps we are in agreement in some ways, but I'm not at all happy with the table the motion from the last EC meeting. Many pilots felt like this was a step forward, but it now looks like a stall tactic. That is the meaning of my subject line. I knoe\w that there is support, in Muncie, for the removal of the tail touch portion of Rule #9. I ask that you be 100% sure that these voices are heard, and that the vote is brought to completion.

I also know that the numbers of pilots that are very unhappy with the rule are fairly large (not compared to the whole of AMA, but still large) and that many people are getting organized into the online groups to have our voice heard. The Profile Brotherhood numbers in excess of 600. The International 3D group numbers approximately 400. Save 3D lists around 200 members. For the sake of a good number, let's say that we now have 1000 AMA members active in the debate to eliminate this wording. Now, is that a large percentage of AMA members? Does that give us any special status? No on both counts, but that number of people represent many more whom have chosen not to lend the support of their names and money to the effort. How many more are silently opposing the rule? How many consider this a last straw and may not renew their AMA membership or local club membership? How many are considering simply flying where they can find space, and nobody to criticize them? How many of those may be within the line of sight interference range of an FM transmitter? Can I say that this will cause mysterious crashes in the future, no. Can I say that it might? Sure. I'd rather have 1000 pilots tail touching at an AMA field, with proper frequency control and a safety committee monitoring flying behavior, then risk having the go anywhere and fly anything at any time.

Lead the AMA EC to a better solution, or be prepared to lose members, lose the faith of remaining members, and perhaps lose control of the AMA all together. I do not recall any recent AMA officer ballots with only one name in the box marked "President". As a matter of fact, one of the names listed is a 3D supporter. Perhaps it's time for all of us to forget about changing Rule #9, and focus on changing the EC that voted it into effect to begin with. There are many thousands of folks that never vote at election time. WE plan to change that. WE need only do it once, and be sure that the right man's name appear on the ballot just below yours. This is not a threat, but a plea. It is time for you to stand up and fight for the pilots you represent and work for. This is a time for you to do a great thing, and perhaps save tons of people lots of heartache. Don't sit by and allow the AMA to maintain the "liability rules us" mentality.

Let all be heard, and bring it to a vote.
 

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Good Grief, that's it for me. If the AMA comes out with a "rule book" to regulate "uniqueness of each activity" I am OUT of the AMA. Time to have the Non-AMA ProBro events.

We have got to get the tide moving the other way man. These guys were fighting the rules 20 years ago, now they are in power and want to control all the other guys not in their special group. We need fewer rules, clearer guidlines, enforcement of the serious stuff.
 

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FRANK FOR AMA President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn right, DOWN WITH DAVE BROWN...................UP WITH......................Anyone!!!!!
 

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We must change our sigs. When all our posts on RCU and Ezone have a negative Dave Brown message people will take notice. I know it sounds like nothing but it's like thousands of little bill boards. Lets nudge brothers to get the "Down with Dave Brown" message out.
 

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how and when can we vote DB out. it would be helfull to know when i post a down with DB no RCU. "remeber to vote down with brown on mm/dd/yyyy and this is how......" i dont feel confident enough to post this type of message without a little more knowledge.

also, if DB is so intent on stopping accidents before they happen, then why the hell isnt there a 10 page section in model aviation about such ways to do so. im kinda new but i dont recall any kind of extensive safety articles. it seems hypocritical to me. does one more plane review hlep safety? sorry just venting
 

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Sorry if I sound ignorant, but I'm fairly new to R/C flight, but it is my general impression that DB and the EC is so paranoid about liability that they are trying to suck the "fun" out of the hobby.

I guess I'm lucky that my local club president is one of the best 3D pilots at the field, and several of the other area clubs promote 3D pretty well.

If you run around saying "what if" all the time, Jesus, what are you going to do when someone sues for the lack of safety guidelines on hand starting (I guarantee that more people are hurt by spinning props, than they are by out of control rudderless airplanes.)

Sounds from the terminology DB is saying on how a jury will be swayed by a "rudderless ship" et al. means he just sits around thinking up hypothetical situations about things that may never happen.

I went to fire up my SSC plane the other day and noticed that the engine mount screws had loosened to where the engine could rock a little. Keep in mind this is a home-brew coroplast and foam machine with a wooden block as an engine mount. I tightened the screws and then went to fly. But what if I hadn't tightened them? A catastrophe could have happened, not because someone could have gotten hurt, or I could have had that .15 rip itself free fromt he mount causing my $15 plane to hit the ground just like it is supposed to, but that it could have hurt someone or someone's property that could possibly take the AMA to court, which appears to be the only situation that DB is wanting to avoid.

Let's just ban R/C flight all together, too many risks, I think I'm going to take up something safer, like pissing on electric fences - at least there I know what I'm getting myself into :)
 

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I still think a spinning prop causes more injuries than anything else, but don't see DB wanting to ban props.

All kidding aside...props are friggin DANGEROUS!
 
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