October

 Join the Club
yak

So, you have decided to get serious about RC flying and join a club. Congratulations!  Your next step should be joining the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).  The AMA is a national organization of flying clubs; ours is an AMA chartered club (#422).  Joining the AMA gets you a monthly magazine, the ability to join an AMA chartered club and fly at its field and a $2.5 million liability insurance policy in the unlikely event of a model related accident.  You will need to get an Open Membership ($58 for adults) or a Junior Membership ($1 for those less than 18 years old).  The Park Flyer Membership is not adequate to fly at our field.


After you have joined the AMA, you may apply for membership to the club. Just come to any meeting with your AMA card or online registration receipt and an MCRCS membership application. Application forms are also available at the meetings.  We meet once per month on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 pm, most often at the West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library located at 333 North Post Road in Princeton Junction (West Windsor Township). From time to time meetings are held at the Teamsters Local 35 Union Hall located at 620 Route 130 in Hamilton Township. During the summer months we meet at the flying field at 7pm.  Check the calendar  on this website for dates, locations and directions.

The one-time initiation fee is $100 for adults and $10 for junior members between 12 and 17 years old (you have to be at least 12 to join). Once you have made application, you will be an applicant, which allows you to fly at our field as long as at least one member is there. If you are an accomplished pilot, you need to be checked out by a club instructor and approved to solo. If you are a student pilot, you will have access to all of our club instructors so that you can learn to fly.

Of course, joining the club comes with some duties and expectations. First, you have to come to at least four club meetings and/or events. This is, in part, so that we can all meet you and welcome you to the club. But we also need help running our events. Some events, like the air shows, we run for the public partly for fun and partly to raise funds to support the club and for charity donations. We need help setting up and we always need help in the kitchen. The kitchen: That's where most applicants start. But in addition to being hard work, it’s a lot of fun and you get to know some of the other club members really well.

But then you probably didn’t join just to work in the kitchen. Although we have some club trainers, once you've decided you're serious, we expect you to get one of your own. A trainer appropriate for our field should probably have a wingspan of about 60 inches and be powered by a .40-.60 sized glow engine or the electric equivalent. Buy an Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) model. You don't want to spend a lot of time building your first model. Better to fly it (and rebuild it, if you have to).

If you learn to fly on your own, you will crash. If you fly with one of our instructors the chance of crashing will be far lower. (You probably won't crash at all).  Our instructors are all experienced pilots who have been certified by other club instructors as competent to offer instruction. Flying on a buddy box (a system of dual controls that allows the instructor to take control with the flip of a switch), your instructor will guide you through straight-and-level flight, turns, basic flight maneuvers, and landings and takeoffs.  Safety procedures, rules and regulations and flying field etiquette will also be covered during your training.  When you are ready to solo, two instructors will give you a test flight during which you will demonstrate your ability to safely control the airplane. Then you’ll be ready to fly on your own.

After you've gotten your four meetings in, the membership committee will review your application and, barring grievously dangerous or unsocial activity on your part, will approve you for membership. At that point, you'll pay your first annual dues of $100 ($50.00 after July 1st and half price for junior members). Then you'll get a button, a hearty handshake from the president, and you'll be well on your way to enjoying this great sport.  Welcome to the Club!