A William

Riccio II

, New York

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 18:41:23
“I was fortunate enough to grow up in the aviation industry because of my father, Tony Riccio, and his airport Buffalo Air-Park in West Seneca, NY. He pioneered aviation in the Niagara Frontier, was a test pilot for Republic during World War II flying their P-47, and operated the second largest airport in the area during the 1950s. I wasn’t born until 1967, but I have endless memories of flying in all types of aircraft, working at the airport, and sharing my experiences with other aviation enthusiasts. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time, but now as I get older, I am grateful for that opportunity and my life in aviation. Although my involvement deals more with personal aircraft and the private pilot, I do participate in the hobby as a recreational pilot flying radio-controlled airplanes that I enjoy building. I am also studying for my Part 107 sUAS license and plan on becoming a commercial drone pilot soon. We need to have aviation accessible to everyone, both young and old, and give them choices that are attainable to their unique situation. From building their first free flight glider to learning aerodynamics, we need to make sure that aviation is available to anyone with interest, and I feel the most accessible and most affordable way is through recreational flying as a hobbyist pilot. The lessons learned through this enjoyable hobby can quickly transfer into the experiences of becoming a private pilot if one so desires. Not everyone has access to a small airport like I did nor the further financial expenses in learning to become a private pilot, but being involved in aviation as a hobbyist pilot gives everyone a chance to fly that usually would be unattainable. We do need rules and guidelines in keeping this hobby safe and enjoyable for everyone, and I feel that a simplified knowledge test would be beneficial for the recreational hobbyist pilot. Teach them about restricted airspace and how weather can affect flying, and not only will they become safer pilots, they will enjoy the hobby that much more. Times are changing from when I was younger, and for the better, but we can not create regulations that will restrict or become too burdensome for the person interested in learning about aviation through this hobby. I strongly feel that any interest in aviation needs nurturing with an abundance of simple options. Maybe you’ve seen someone flying in a park or watched a video and thought that looks very interesting and said to yourself I need to try that. With a little research, or visiting a hobby store, or just talking to someone that flyes, your goal is obtainable with little effort from the support of a great community. In my opinion, nothing accomplishes that better than building and flying your radio-controlled aircraft. I’ve recently been helping my father in law learn to fly his first micro quadcopter, and I was surprised at how interested he was about flying. He’s gone through two so far, way beyond repair, but he is learning aviation through the laws of gravity, surface friction, and the kinetic energy displaced through inanimate objects. Recently he’s been asking me about fixed-wing aircraft, and I’m looking forward to getting him started with radio-controlled planes. My brother and I fly at a local field in our area any chance we get, and I can’t tell you how rewarding and enjoyable it is. Sure, we’re not the best pilots, but all the mistakes only make us better, and we have a great time learning with a lot of laughter. His grandchildren recently became interested, and they too enjoy throwing their free flight balsa wood gliders and seeing whos flies the furthest. They have already shown an interest in learning to fly radio-controlled planes. It’s a great social gathering, and we usually meet other people flying and share our stories about our newly built aircraft or the maneuver we tried, but it didn’t quite come out the way we intended. It saddens me deeply to think that this hobby could come to an end or become so restrictive that it’s a burden to people already involved or are interested in becoming involved as a hobbyist pilot. Let’s keep it simple, but not irresponsible, and continue to enjoy this great hobby of flying! Anthony William Riccio II (Billy)”