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Old 10-18-2016, 08:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default IRCHA 2016 vs 2013

I have talked with a few fly-in buddies and we are noticing that the fly-ins are getting smaller in our area. We are now seeing more multi-rotors which is cool but it seems the heli pilots are becoming fewer.

I was going through some of my youtube videos and ran across HeliDirect's video of the team at IRCHA in 2013. The group seen in the middle of the video seems huge.

Do those that went to IRCHA this year feel like attendance was down?
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry about that. I blew it with the youtube link in the previous post.
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This year was my first IrCHA, but everyone there seemed to feel it was a lot smaller turnout than last year.

Same with Northeast Jamboree. Which was fine with me, since I got to fly a lot more.

Obviously the hobby is changing with the popularity of multi rotors.

Hopefully the number of active heli pilots will stabilize soon and not keep shrinking to the point that we can not adequately support the present manufacturers and make it worth while for them to continue bringing out cool new stuff. But I don't see that yet.
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It was smaller. We have been to the last 4 or 5 of them and the last two were definetly smaller
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I believe the pilot count was something like 729 this year at ircha. This was my first year but from what I'm told by many different people who have been going for a while, it was down quite a bit. I didn't mind since there usually wasn't a line at the flight stations on the main flight line.

From what I'm told, it has been over 1000 at one point.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, the pilot count was way down this year, I think it has been over a thousand for the last 6 or 7 years or so. I think this was my 8th or 9th year. Even the vendors were down, JR wasn't there, Experience had half the setup they usually do, and so on. Even with all that, I doubt the event will crash anytime soon. Less pilots means more flight time for those that attend, this was the first year I ever remember there being open flight stations on the main line on Friday. Had a heck of a good time anyway.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was there for 2012, 14, ,15, and 16. I missed 13. The attendance was indeed down. However I spoke to many people about it who had been coming for a very long time and they referenced it being more like normal attendance used to be. Everyone I spoke to was definately planned to return for 2017. I think the event is returning to normal more than anything. Which I don't think is necessarily bad.

The only reason I might not go next year is because I may go to Joe Nall instead. Only one big trip for the hobby per year for me. I'm a planker also and have always wanted to go to Joe Nall.

For what's it's worth I would not hesitate to attend ircha 2017 if your interested.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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a lot of people I've talked inside and outside the hobby have been saying money is tight, investments just aren't returning what they use to. Atleast I know mine aren't. I'm just a low pay teacher in a really smaller rural school district in a state that doesn't seem to want to reward teachers, Yah I'm teaching in Kansas, Mr Brownback and the Koch's, .
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sales have been way down. Multi-rotors scooping up potential heli buyers.

Rick
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Those events all seem to be having attendance drop yet the RCHN fun fly gets record numbers? Yup. Hobby definitely in a downturn.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Looks like heli part of the hobby is getting normalized. The peak pushed numbers at IRCHA for about 2 or 3 years over the 1000 count. I have been at IRCHA from 2011 - 2015. 2015 was already getting a bit slower but the drop to 2016 is a lot. Thats less than even 2011 when I started to go. I am sure there are several reasons. I simply could not go due to work requirements so I could not take any time off. Next year is on the list again - even if numbers are about 700. Its a nice field to fly and great getting together with lots of people.

To some degree people possibly expected simply to much related to always new products - lots of great deals ... Sometimes we need to remember - its a fun fly event. So its about us getting together having fun enjoying our hobby and not commercialize it to much. That way we may keep a good number of people to join every year. Will be interesting to see how well it turns out next year. And ... lets not always keep blaming economy. Lets be a bit more realistic and realize that the large peak of the heli boom is over.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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all I posted what was what many people I know have told me personally and what the effect is on me. I was at IRCHA, but there were 3-4 Fun Flies that I didn't attend this year that I have attended in the past due to my economics, no pay increase for 3 years.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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People quit the hobby, or die, and the people that would replace them are much more likely to go with quads than helicopters. Either AP (Phantoms etc), or FPV racing/freestyle.

I must admit, if I weren't already into helis, I'd find quads a much more tempting proposition. They're cheaper. Way cheaper if talking FPV racing. You can build an entire FPV quad that's as fast as the world champion's for about the cost of a Vbar Neo. A whole setup of quad, goggles, TX, charger and batteries would be way less than say an Trex 700 super combo. Not a budget setup either, the good stuff.

Both styles are way easier than flying helicopters. Granted, most of the best FPV racers in this country (UK) have an RC background outside quads. BanniUK was a fixed wing pilot, Tom Stanton, Bret Collis, Russel Cleaver, Chi Lau are all really competent 3D helicopter pilots. But there's no denying that the learning curve is much shallower with 4x (or more) rotors.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There were less people this year. But it was the most fun I've had there.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Brain Drain (Brian Morris was a 3-D heli pilot from Wichita) also. to the list of individuals who have gone over to FPV.
Many other friends/acquaintances of mine also.
I need to setup one I have to just try and get the local kids in this rural town to try something other than video games on their phones.

I like the helis because I have on focus on them to fly them which gets my mind away from the school kids and their antics.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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There will always be enough interest in helicopters for manufacturers to have product offerings out there, and there will always be people who are drawn to the most difficult and most rewarding discipline. Therefore, the future of the RC heli hobby is safe as houses, even if it's small in absolute terms.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgymr View Post
There were less people this year. But it was the most fun I've had there.
I feel the same way. 2016 was my 3rd IRCHA and I found it was more relaxed and enjoyable. I got to know a group of fun people and we flew together. I'm definitely coming back
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanR View Post
I was there for 2012, 14, ,15, and 16. I missed 13. The attendance was indeed down. However I spoke to many people about it who had been coming for a very long time and they referenced it being more like normal attendance used to be. Everyone I spoke to was definately planned to return for 2017. I think the event is returning to normal more than anything. Which I don't think is necessarily bad.

The only reason I might not go next year is because I may go to Joe Nall instead. Only one big trip for the hobby per year for me. I'm a planker also and have always wanted to go to Joe Nall.

For what's it's worth I would not hesitate to attend ircha 2017 if your interested.
Go to Joe Nall.

I went this year (my first) and had a blast! Such an amazing event.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Do you think people would pick r/c helis over quads if they come out with the same technology they have in quads.

Like when you flip it over it changes controls or you go head in and now if you push up it will go away instead of forward.

or maybe even gps / self level and optical sensor to keep from crashing into things.

these cheater things are what people like . makes it easy. but then again we didn't come to r/c helis for easy
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I too will agree that pilot count was down, and this is whats bugging me.

#1, Why does IRCHA support a quad/drone race competition? This should be a separate event, not during IRCHA! This is for helicopters.

#2, Why are people allowed to bring in dogs? Sure they're on a leash, but watch where you step, I saw numerous piles of poo (yep, not even picked up). Brought these two topics up to the IRCHA secretary with no answer.

#3, ATV's? Seriously? Including kids driving them along with the full size UTV's,......... golf carts are one thing.

In my opinion its getting out of control, and makes me think about not going any longer, would sure miss the show, but its getting to the point of mismanagement.
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