How are we different?

With so many RC airplane clubs on Long Island, you may wonder what sets LIFF apart from the others. To be perfectly honest, we feel many of the other RC clubs expect too much from its members. Its not uncommon to see membership clauses that state how you can be kicked out of the club if your participation is "unsatisfactory". Membership fees often border on being ridiculous, and merely serve to fund the activities of very few members. We understand that a lot of people want to just go out and fly, when they want to fly. They don't want to have to fly on someone else's schedule, and they don't want to be forced to sit down and discuss their planes when they have other things to do. They just want to fly, without having to juggle more obligations in their life.

That is where we come in. We don't have mandatory meetings, and it doesn't cost you a penny to be a part of our organization. You can still meet with us, discuss RC planes and fly with us - but it will be 100% on your schedule and your terms. Regardless of your participation, we will still be there to answer questions you may have about the hobby, model airplanes, safety, where to fly, etc. We also do our best to help get people started and educate them about electric RC airplanes. In other words, we are geared towards the independent flyer. You are free to have as much or as little interaction with us as you desire. You are welcome to come fly with the club officers when we schedule an outing, or go flying at another time - with friends or even by yourself. We don't really mind either way. We are here to include you in our activities, not force you into them. There are no other clubs (that we know of) in Suffolk county, Nassau county or even on Long Island that operate this way.

Why bother to form a club with such a flexible structure?

When we first started in RC flight, there were some obvious barriers to entering the hobby. Firstly, it was expensive. Secondly, it was difficult to learn how to fly. Thirdly, it was hard to get the information we needed on how to fly, where to fly, and how all the electronic components work. A lot of the other clubs did not seem to suit our needs, or they did not share the same mentality as those of us who typically fly small foam aircraft. Additionally, they required an even larger investment of our time and money. Without a person or group to guide us, we were forced to scour the internet looking for answers to our questions. Unfortunately, much of the information out there was hard to understand or overly technical. It was a long uphill battle. Our goal is to help lighten or eliminate these barriers for you. We will try and provide you with the information and help that you may need, without all the inconveniences of a normal club. Instead of attending our pre-flight meetings, feel free to use our message board and online presence to communicate with us at your convenience. If you'd like to join us and discuss anything related to RC flying in general, we allocate time before our flight outings to work out problems and throw around any ideas we might have.

We feel that there is a large neglected community of "park flyers" out there who don't normally participate in the traditional club structure. We realize that many people are put off by the rigid nature of some traditional clubs, and we feel that we are a more progressive alternative. Being that we do not require any commitment, in terms of time or money, we can provide many of the positive benefits of a traditional club without many of the negatives. Our no nonsense approach lets us focus on providing a relaxed enjoyable flying experience, with as much companionship and assistance as you desire.

It is my personal belief that those of us in the RC community, who truly have a desire to improve the hobby, need to focus on making it easily accessible to the average person. This means that we need to reduce the red tape and the bureaucratic nature commonly associated with joining an RC club. We strongly encourage other clubs to adopt the same open and less demanding policies that so many casual flyers desire.

What do other clubs offer that you do not?

Many of the other clubs are very enthusiastic about the hobby. The members typically spend a lot more time discussing, flying, and building RC aircraft. They will most likely have more member functions, access to private or exclusive flying fields, highly qualified 1 on 1 training opportunities, and probably a lot more to say about the hobby. Many other clubs offer a gateway into larger and more powerful aircraft that tend to be for more serious hobbyists. If your end goal is to start flying gas planes, turbine planes or build your own 1:4 scale plane from scratch... then we are not your club. We are a somewhat recreational group with the goal of maximizing safety and fun, and we will only fly small foam aircraft. For us, its a completely casual experience, and most of the time you will find us talking about things other than RC model aircraft.

Why Fly Foam RC Airplanes Instead of Other Types?

Foam RC planes are typically quite small, and relatively cheap. Many of these other clubs focus on larger gas powered RC airplanes made out of harder materials. Gas/Glow planes have a tendency to be very dangerous and are capable of inducing serious injury or death. While all model aircraft can be very dangerous (including foam), foam/electric RC airplanes are typically the safest to handle and fly. In fact, a proper trainer/beginner plane is very safe and will typically carry the same inertia as a football. Generally speaking, if you are starting in the hobby today, foam planes are the easiest methods of entry and the most popular selling models that exist today. Due to their small size, they are incredibly portable and allow you to pack up and go fly at a moments notice. Foam planes are alway electric, and require next to no maintenance or messy setups found with gas/glow planes. Flying slow foam aircraft also qualifies you for less expensive insurance with the AMA park flyer membership (note: in some parks, park flyer insurance is not accepted to obtain a permit).

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