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LMA v BMFA insurance

Has anyone jumped ship to the LMA?

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Graham Chadwick17/01/2017 19:18:48
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45 forum posts
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It seems many issues are getting clumped together.

There is insurance costing £11 being charged to BMFA members at £33

It has been said that the BMFA need to do this to pay for staff etc, that what we pay membership fees for?

Fees have been compaired to a golf club, do the BMFA own and maintain YOUR flying sight NO so nothing like a golf club. Red hearings come to mind.

I would just like the BMFA to work for its members instead of milking then. Work to negotiate members discounts not national flying sights which the vast majority will never visit or use.

Let's have the magazine become a "e magazine" that could reduce the need for the BMFA over charge the membership.

My opinion only, am I the only one?

Perhaps talking points for the next black tie dinner?

CARPERFECT17/01/2017 21:36:22
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458 forum posts
6 photos

Has anyone tried buying their insurance from anywhere else ? Anyone contacted our insurance brokers and asked if they could buy it direct ?

Cuban817/01/2017 23:21:14
2502 forum posts
10 photos
I can't agree that the BMFA overcharges its members, and simply stripping out the cost of insurance and cherry picking what is and what isn't relevant to individuals will never work. However, I agree that the magazine urgently needs to come away from a posted hard copy and the money saved used much more constructively. The latest issue is on the website, so why post it out, only for so many to be ignored or binned unread? Doesn't make sense.
PatMc17/01/2017 23:49:10
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4145 forum posts
518 photos
Posted by Cuban8 on 17/01/2017 23:21:14:
I can't agree that the BMFA overcharges its members, and simply stripping out the cost of insurance and cherry picking what is and what isn't relevant to individuals will never work. However, I agree that the magazine urgently needs to come away from a posted hard copy and the money saved used much more constructively. The latest issue is on the website, so why post it out, only for so many to be ignored or binned unread? Doesn't make sense.

The magazine is the only regular direct means of communication to all BMFA members & as such is very important. Not all members access to the website.

Roger Price 117/01/2017 23:54:04
14 forum posts

There are many pertinent points raised in this topic which have value but there seems to be a theme that the BMFA does nothing for us but provide insurance and attend black tie dinners. As a Club we have received numerous assistance from the BMFA in regard to flying sites, legal advice and provision of club speakers over the years. Where would we be with the CAA, the European model representatives and the current proposals for restricting the use of models without having a national body to represent us? It all costs money and all members reap the benefits. Not many posts refer to the hundreds of occasions where clubs have benefited from BMFA advice. I dread to think what the price of insurance would be if we had to negotiate it individually without a national body setting out the parameters for safe flying. All this for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a month. A bargain.

john stones 117/01/2017 23:57:17
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10383 forum posts
1475 photos

Yep if you've no internet, why should you be kept up to date crook

John

cymaz18/01/2017 06:34:49
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8489 forum posts
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I have to agree with Roger. Manny Williams helped no end with a banner and free goodies for a static display that we were putting on. No charge.

This year's show we have the simulator trailer set-up.....no charge!

Don't be afraid to ask.

Cuban818/01/2017 08:32:22
2502 forum posts
10 photos
Posted by john stones 1 on 17/01/2017 23:57:17:

Yep if you've no internet, why should you be kept up to date crook

John

I should think that only a small number of members don't have any access to the Internet. True, it's more than likely going to be a few older members who have no interest or use for anything web based, but even then, the Internet is available in local libraries, and family members will almost certainly be on-line. Someone's bound to have a laptop to view the magazine at club meetings - so hardly anyone would miss out.

Sadly, I do think that we overestimate the value of the BMFA News as a messenger of the association's doings, given the blank looks from many members when asked about their opinion on the current 'hot topics' within the BMFA and the survey fiasco surrounding the NFC. Clubs also receive BMFA bulletins regarding important matters, so why double the effort of disseminating the information?

I recall the cost of the BMFA News was quoted at around £150000 per annum to produce and post out, and considering the bouquets and brickbats for its content, I feel that sort of expenditure is unjustified. The overwhelming majority of members do have web access - one way or another - and I wonder how loud the cry would actually be if the posted copy was ditched.

The Caravan and Camping Club gave the option of receiving an e-copy of their magazine for a reduction in subscription a while ago, and I think they might have actually stopped the monthly hard copy altogether now. (I opted for the e-copy). That organisation's age demographic probably mirrors the BMFA's quite well, and it hasn't been a problem for them.

The BMFA could do a lot of good with a slice of £150000 - perhaps forestalling any rise in the cost of its insurance to us, reducing the attraction of 'jumping ship' to another source.

Edited By Cuban8 on 18/01/2017 08:39:09

Peter Christy18/01/2017 09:15:09
1433 forum posts

I edited and published a newsletter for a small special interest group for many years. It was nothing like on the scale of the BMFA newlsetter, and it was hard work. Trying to get others to contribute was like trying to get blood out of a stone!

However, it did seem to bind the group together. After I retired from doing it, a decision was made to make it into an electronic only publication. Now it may have been coincidence, but around the same time, interest (and membership numbers!) slumped! A year or so later, the newsletter was abandoned, and membership slumped even further.

Now this may all have been coincidence. The slump in numbers may have been purely down to the ebb and flow of interest as "just happens". But at the same time, there was an increase in members asking what they got for their £10 annual membership.

Don't underestimate the value of positive communication, even if most members do only give it a casual glance before consigning it to the kitty litter tray!

And to answer Graham, who seems unhappy about the BMFA membership fees: A lot of the benefits of BMFA membership are hidden - until you need them! And past benefits tend to get lost in the mists of time. Were it not for the tireless efforts of the BMFA staff and volunteers, it is highly unlikely we would have got the 35 MHz allocation at a time when we desperately needed it, and certainly not the generous allocation we ended up with. Similarly, it is unlikely we would have been granted the use of 2.4 GHz, along with all the benefits that has brought, were it not for the quiet, and behind the scenes, efforts of the BMFA.

Currently the BMFA is expending a lot of effort in trying to protect us from the more extreme attempts to regulate drones - something else that could see the death of model flying in the UK if not challenged.

From my perspective, the fees of less than £1 a week - including comprehensive insurance cover - are worth every penny!

--

Pete

Andy Meade18/01/2017 09:27:50
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2558 forum posts
669 photos
Posted by Graham Chadwick on 17/01/2017 19:18:48:

It seems many issues are getting clumped together.

There is insurance costing £11 being charged to BMFA members at £33

It has been said that the BMFA need to do this to pay for staff etc, that what we pay membership fees for?

Fees have been compaired to a golf club, do the BMFA own and maintain YOUR flying sight NO so nothing like a golf club. Red hearings come to mind.

I would just like the BMFA to work for its members instead of milking then. Work to negotiate members discounts not national flying sights which the vast majority will never visit or use.

Let's have the magazine become a "e magazine" that could reduce the need for the BMFA over charge the membership.

My opinion only, am I the only one?

Perhaps talking points for the next black tie dinner?

Yes you are the only one. I think you're doing the BMFA a great disservice. THEY are the ones doing all the hard work that allows YOU to keep flying toy planes.

john stones 118/01/2017 11:12:12
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10383 forum posts
1475 photos

We could single a few things out and stop doing them and save money, we could knock the NFC on the head and save money there. The £33 is not what gets us worked up at times is it ? not seen the price tag as a bone of contention myself.

We've never needed the magazine more than we do at present, given the moaning we've done about lack of communication in recent years.

Black tie dinner ? i don't care what colour tie folks wear, enjoy your meal for me, don't forget to leave the staff a tip wink

John

Martin Dance 118/01/2017 11:54:58
193 forum posts
33 photos

It puzzles me why quite so many forum members, both on this and other forums, get quite so agitated about the cost of BMFA membership, the cost of insurance and the printed BMFA News. The annual cost for an adult member is £33. That's about 1/3rd of the price of a Seagull Boomerang trainer kit about the same as a mid priced 40A esc and a lot of mid specification servos come in at around that price. So the sub is a small fraction of most peoples average modelling spend. Yet feel it quite in order to whinge endlessly.

The BMFA News is a journal of record. In it are reports of the activities of its members whether they have just got their ;A cert or have become a world champion. It records and reports how our hobby is faring in the larger world, note the amount of effort being expended trying to moderate, with some success, the EASA proposals caused in the main by commercial business selling products to those who aren't aware of the possible consequences of their activities and certainly couldn't care less about it as long as the profits keep rolling in. The insurance is excellent value for its scope, just try equalling it as an individual buying in the market.

The NFC when completed will present a first class image of a sport/hobby often seen as stupid old men playing with toys in a wet and or windy field. Sad, but hey they're harmless.

Stop whinging about our national body and perhaps support its aims!

Cuban818/01/2017 13:34:47
2502 forum posts
10 photos
I don't believe many of us deliberately set out to undermine the BMFA and/or its aims just for the sake of it. There are legitimate arguments that deserve an airing.
John F18/01/2017 14:33:49
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1318 forum posts
51 photos

Many have concentrated on the print cost of the BMFA News, which is a red herring really as the cost of creating the content is the most expensive part. The costs of printing and distribution is tiny in comparison. Don't forget too that you need to factor in the cost of setting up the e-distribution too.

This has been brought up on ebook forums for years where people don't like paying the same price as physical books with no desire to understand what constitutes as a cost. There are plenty of evidence to show that the cost of printing only adds 8% or so to the final cost of a publication.

Some have stated that they're funding black tie dinners yet they conveniently do not wish to research, or do not wish to believe, that if you want to go to a BMFA black tie dinner you fill out the form and pay for the dinner.

Some folk are angry at having to pay £33 for an £11 insurance, but you're not just getting insurance; you're buying membership that works hard to support you and your chosen hobby.

Roll on the spring so people are not as bored as they get to building and flying instead.

Cuban818/01/2017 14:53:56
2502 forum posts
10 photos
I'm certain that having a few extra pages of news and photos on the existing BMFA website isn't going to cost anywhere near 150K

Edited By Cuban8 on 18/01/2017 14:56:10

John F18/01/2017 15:10:20
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1318 forum posts
51 photos

Just having a "few extra pages of news and photos" would hardly cut it as a suitable alternative. We do that here in build blogs!

Members would moan that they have to go and download what used to be sent to them so to provide members with a copy of what they used to get in print form you would have to email it out.

You could probably save some cash but it would hardly slash the £150K you're saying it costs to produce annually as printing is not the main cost.

Geoff Jackson18/01/2017 16:00:18
160 forum posts
3 photos

I pay £33 a month for my car insurance, I dont moan because its essential and the law. Id cheerfully pay £33 a year to the Bmfa just for insurance, for the peace of mind when my 72 inch petrol powered missile is hurtling round the sky. Lets get real guys, insurance is a must in these days of litigation. Everything else is a bonus and like breakdown cover we pay and hope never to have to use it. The NFC will be there, a bit like Goosedale was, if I fancy a visit although age may be against me.

Bit like EU referendum, its happened, stop moaning and lets get on with it, enjoy the flying!

Percy Verance18/01/2017 16:13:56
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8095 forum posts
155 photos

Martin

I've seen very few posts protesting/moaning about the cost of BMFA membership. No, most I've seen are about the way the BMFA is run, or their seeming reluctance to accept even basic democracy.

I'll cite an example if I may. Several years ago the BMFA themselves published figures estimating there were around 10,000 plus non club/non BMFA model flyers in the UK. All well and fine. But having done that, I personally then saw no further attempts or effort to engage with these people! We can probably assume these people have absolutely no idea of the BMFA's existance. I therefore fail to see how a National Centre will do anything to increase awareness of our hobby to such people, but it's gone ahead anyway. Might they not have better spent their time and effort implementing some sort of imformation network - possibly involving the major UK modelling distributors - to get their message across? These *hidden* flyers have to buy their modelling items somewhere.........

Now that would have benefits for both the hobby in general plus the BMFA.

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 18/01/2017 16:18:05

Peter Christy18/01/2017 16:34:54
1433 forum posts

Good point, Percy! I seem to recall that at one time, most kits and models sold used to include an application form for the BMFA, along with some bumf explaining its purpose. Perhaps this is something that could be usefully re-instated!

Regarding the NFC, over the years we seem to have lost a number of major events that used to promote our chosen hobby. The Sandown Symposium was one, and I fear the Nationals may now have gone the same way. Both of these were major events that people travelled from all over the country to attend, and we lost them because the venues were outside our control. Maybe the NFC will provide something similar to Sandown, where manufacturers can show off their latest wares. The downturn that the hobby has suffered in recent years needs addressing, and the NFC might just do it. Certainly Goosedale never seemed to have problems finding enough events, and that was done for profit! I don't see why the BMFA shouldn't succeed like Goosedale did.

I would certainly agree that there are things within the BMFA that need addressing. Nothing made by man is ever perfect! And if you think there is a problem with country members being disenfranchised, you might want to look at the situation in the South West! Since I've retired down here, I've discovered - to my horror - that the whole of Devon has been without any proper representation for years! And I'm not talking about individual members here, but whole clubs!

So yes, there are things that need fixing. But the means of fixing them exist. And the benefits - to me - far outweigh the things that are wrong.

--

Pete

ChrisB18/01/2017 19:21:33
1217 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by Roger Price 1 on 17/01/2017 23:54:04:

There are many pertinent points raised in this topic which have value but there seems to be a theme that the BMFA does nothing for us but provide insurance and attend black tie dinners. As a Club we have received numerous assistance from the BMFA in regard to flying sites, legal advice and provision of club speakers over the years. Where would we be with the CAA, the European model representatives and the current proposals for restricting the use of models without having a national body to represent us? It all costs money and all members reap the benefits. Not many posts refer to the hundreds of occasions where clubs have benefited from BMFA advice. I dread to think what the price of insurance would be if we had to negotiate it individually without a national body setting out the parameters for safe flying. All this for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a month. A bargain.

I'd echo Rogers comments that the BMFA, when needed is there to support and directly assist clubs and their members with a range of issues! Personal experience also confirms this!

CB

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