FAQs

Can I use the club field without joining the club?
The field is on private land.  The land is leased to the club.  You can only use the field as a member who is current on their dues unless you have special permission with the club, and club members are present.  Special permission includes events such as fun flys and contests.

What do I need to do to join the club?
The first step would be to come to a meeting.  If meeting strangers out in a field isn’t your thing, contact us and we will arrange to meet with you individually.   If you like what you see and hear, and want to join the club, there are 3 things that must be done: 

  1. Because we are an Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) chartered club, you MUST also have AMA membership.  Joining AMA is pretty painless, it can be done at https://www.modelaircraft.org/joinrenew.aspx
  2. You are required to register with the FAA if you fly radio controlled aircraft greater than 0.55 pounds in weight. You only need to register with the FAA once, and then affix the FAA number and your AMA number to every aircraft that you fly. If you have previously registered with the FAA, you don’t need to do it again. You can register at https://registermyuas.faa.gov
  3. Pay your $50 club dues.  Dues can be paid online here

If a person wishes to only operate R/C surface vehicles, AMA is still required as it provides liability insurance for operating surface vehicles.

Where and when are the club meetings?
Club meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM, at the flying field during the summer months.  Winter meeting locations and times are at the Chicken Coop in Kearney in the basement.  Check our Events Page for changes to time, date, or location. 

Are drones allowed in the club?
Yes, but you are still required to be an AMA member and register your drone with the FAA.  Drone pilots must follow the same club and AMA rules and procedures that the other aircraft follow.   If flying FPV, you are required to have a spotter with you at all times watching for full size aircraft in the area.  Drone pilots are also expected to respect the privacy of the residents in the area.  Do not fly close to the houses and buildings on the property.  Do not take pictures or film residents in the area without their consent.

Can I fly at the field without joining AMA?
No.  You can join the club without AMA, but you will not be permitted to fly aircraft at the field without current AMA membership.

If a person wishes to only operate R/C surface vehicles, AMA is still required as it provides liability insurance for operating surface vehicles.

What are the dues used for?
Dues are used to cover all costs incurred by the club.  These expenses include site lease, acquisition and maintenance of equipment to mow and maintain the flying site, flying site structures and repairs, and any other club related expenses. 

How (high/far) can model aircraft fly?
The radio will still control the aircraft long after you can see what the aircraft is doing.   Pilots generally should remain below 400 ft high and within 1000 ft of where the pilot is standing.

What radio should I buy (brand…number of channels..)?
Radio brand is a matter of personal taste.  But you should look for something operates on the 2.4 Ghz band, which nearly all modern radios do.  It helps when beginning if the transmitter is ‘Buddy Box’ or ‘Trainer’ capable, so it can be connected to an experience pilots radio who can take control of the aircraft when necessary.  Six channels is enough to handle the needs of MOST pilots.

How hard are R/C airplanes to fly?
Technology has advanced a long way in R/C aircraft over the past 5-10 years.  You can get planes that basically fly themselves nowadays.   However, this isn’t always the best route to go for a novice.  A plane that will fly itself doesn’t let you learn the skills you need to become a good pilot.  Computer simulators are a good place to start as they take the financial pain of crashing out of the equation.  Once you get reasonably good on the simulator,  flying a plane on a ‘buddy box’ with one of our seasoned pilots is the next step.  Of course it varies how long this process takes.  Some people naturally pick it up very quickly, while some take longer to be comfortable flying on their own.

How do I get flight instruction?
Contact Us!  We have pilots that will ‘show you the ropes’ and have you hooked on this hobby in no time.

What is a good first airplane?
There are a lot of ‘trainer’ planes on the market.  Usually you want to start with a ‘foamie’ plane.  But just because its a foam plane doesn’t mean it necessarily has to be small or ugly.  Talk to our club members and they can help guide you in selecting a first plane depending on your budget and aircraft tastes.

How much does it cost to get started?
Small electric ‘ready to fly’ aircraft can cost as little as $100 to $150, but generally those are ‘indoor’ aircraft that can’t handle much wind.  If you get into the $200-$300 range, you can usually find a good outdoor trainer plane.  If you are unsure what to look for, don’t be afraid to ask someone.

Can I buy used equipment to save money?
Used equipment CAN be a good way to get started. However, as with any other second-hand purchase you need to be sure that what you are getting is actually worth what you are paying.  Have an experienced person look it over for you if you are uncertain. 

Should I go with gas, glow, or electric power?
Most people these days start with electric.  Its cleaner, simpler, and generally more reliable.   But as your become more proficient at flying model aircraft, odds are you are going to move into glow or gas powered aircraft pretty quickly.

Helicopters look interesting. Are they hard to fly, and can I start out with one?
Helicopters can definitely be a lot of fun. However, compared to an airplane they are quite a bit more difficult to learn to fly. One thing to remember is that helicopters may be somewhat uncommon in a typical R/C club, so getting help with one (and you WILL need assistance) can be difficult. However, some of our club members do fly helicopters with varying degrees of success.

What sort of identification do I need on my aircraft?
The FAA now requires operators of model aircraft to register on their website and receive a number that is to be attached to all their aircraft.  This includes airplanes, helicopters, and drones.  There is a $5 fee to do this. The $5 fee covers all your aircraft, you do NOT have to pay $5 per aircraft.  More info can be found at https://faadronezone.faa.gov/

When does my club membership become effective?
Immediately when you pay your dues and lasts through the end of the calendar year.   If you are joining late in the year, we may offer a reduced fee at the discretion of the club.

What should I know about safety?
Model aviation is an enjoyable hobby for friends and families. However, similar to other activities, significant dangers do exist.  The AMA has safety and procedural rules that help reduce risks and encourage a safer environment for model flying. It is every club members’ responsibility to follow these rules.  Always be aware of flight and aircraft operations at the flying field.