, West Decatur

, Pennsylvania

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-25 13:29:49
“My name is Arron Bates, I’ve been in the hobby of flying models since my eyes were open, some 40 years now. My father used RC to introduce me to all things technical; building, structures, problem solving, electronics. My favorite toy when I was even just 8 years old, was all the spare wood harvested from my dad’s crashed models and I used to design and build my own chuck gliders… leading into a lifetime of memories both inside and outside the hobby based on these ideas. Most proudly, the hobby turned me into a maker, and there’s simply not enough makers in the world, not enough doers. There’s no physics engine in a video game that can match getting a model to fly well… it just doesn’t, and never will, exist. And in a lifetime in the hobby, I’ve simply never heard of a single instance where the hobby caused a serious threat to the safety and well-being of those not participating… at worst we’re a danger to ourselves, but that is part of the freedom of accepting our own risks. It’s the reason why part 103 ultralights don’t have to be registered with the FAA, accepting your own risk. I do think that technologically, remote ID isn’t that huge a technical burden, and I don’t think it’s that terrible to ask those models capable of flying outside the line of sight and/or autonomously to squawk id’s… but subscription per model and live internet connections is too much. Get the id of the pilot, and where they’re at so that someone at the scene can see who and where, and that’s the limit of acceptable to me. Models that are only flown line of sight should have no requirements imposed on them, period. The proposed limitations on designated flying sites is outrageous to me, limiting flying sites and people in the hobby who have never caused a problem… terrible. 400 foot ceilings is not enough; we can hand launch a gliders to 200 feet, it’s just too restrictive for a proven safe flying site. Some of the sites on the FAA’s approved list of flying sites are restricted to 100 or 200 feet!!! (they have a spreadsheet of the sites and their ceiling restrictions). The absolute worst of the proposal, is the LITERAL INTENT TO KILL OFF FLYING SITES!!!… the part where after a period of time they will stop accepting applications for new sites. It is REALLY hard to keep flying sites for all kinds of reasons (usually unfounded noise complaints), so losing the ability for a club to find new facilities is a truly outrageous plot to kill the hobby. I’m sure their idea is that over time people will get products squawking id’s, but it’s just not so; we need to build our models, and have somewhere to fly them… particularly if you have access to the sites where you can do so safely with harm to nobody (both designated sites, private land, there are even designated sites provided by local councils). In short, for some of the latest advancements in technology and FPV, I really don’t think that squawking codes is too much to ask. It’s not nice, but not over the line to me. However, for the aeromodelling hobby in general, there are parts of the NPRM literally designed to suffocate a safe sport. It is just not reasonable that safely partaking in this hobby require more rules and requirements than part 103 ultralights that the FAA have no intent to change. Cheers, Arron”