Aaron

Grice

, Grayslake

, Illinois

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-26 14:27:43
“I’ve been an aviation enthusiast since childhood, working as a lineboy for my local FBO in high school while working my way toward a Private Pilot license. I had plans of becoming a Naval Aviator long before “Top Gun”, and potentially a commercial or transport pilot further in the future. “Radio-controlled” planes didn’t hold much interest compared with the “real” thing at the time. Sadly, a number of health issues stopped that plan cold, and I’ve made do with simulated flight in the succeeding decades – until the advancement of electronics allowed the autonomous aviation revolution. After watching the industry leave its infancy and begin to mature into a viable alternative to Part 91 activity, a few years ago I started investing in the simplest and safest equipment I could – micro and sub-micro “toy” quads, and a pair of Parrot Mambo’s. I’ve only recently begun dedicating time to training myself on operating these units, so different from the stick and rudder training of my youth and my long-simulated world. I also intend to take the Part 107 exam in the near future, as I’m looking into drone operation as a potential sideline and/or second (really, fourth) career. I can totally see requiring remote ID for commercially operated equipment – especially in public spaces, and I can see the value in adding it to privately operated equipment as well, though the cost/benefit proposition is much narrower, and possibly upside-down when the operation is over private property with a $20 micro or even a $100 “light” quad. I’m also learning along side my autistic teenage son, whose sensory issues make any “real” travel by air almost torture. Operating a quad, using controllers similar to his favorite video game consoles, is helping him (and his parents) start to overcome those issues. By operating in our backyard, we can take advantage of opportunities for learning and enjoyment that defy much advance planning, let alone competing for air space at a club site or praying for decent weather on a weekend. That leaves aside dealing with his anxieties around dealing with strangers, as would be the case at a club field on a busy day. When he feels comfortable, the quad becomes an extension of him, and allows him freedom he could not imagine before. Yes, he’s one kid, but to me, it’s pretty important that that freedom not be taken away unnecessarily, and I’m pretty sure he’s not alone.”
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