, Pensacola

, Florida

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-20 0:39:05
“Note: The following are my personal views and do not reflect the views of the United States Navy. Model aviation was my only foothold in the world of aviation until I began my flight training with the Navy. I am concerned that the proposed regulations impose unnecessary barriers to entry into the hobby, which may prevent many people from not only discovering RC, but also deprive them of exposure to the wider aviation community. Model aviation, from drones to scale war birds, continues to feature prominently in my flying life as I progress through my flight training, using an E-Flight T-28 Trojan as a study aid. I flew it in a manner that mimicked actual flight operations, simulating my procedures in small scale. As recently as this week, I purchased a Blade Fusion 180 to better understand helicopter mechanics as I begin my Advanced Helicopter training in the TH-57 Sea Ranger. I have had the opportunity to fly in just about every facet of the hobby, from conventional RC, to DIY scratch builds, FPV, consumer drones, and full scale aviation, flying the PA-28 Piper Warrior and T-6B Texan II. My side projects have included being a subject matter expert for a drone technology class and for multiple drone related projects, at the US Naval Academy. This in mind, I am concerned that the proposed regulations would prohibitively hinder my ability to innovate, as well as that of countless educational institutions. Furthermore, the very visible events that, I believe, have catalyzed the push for the proposed regulations have almost never involved a true hobbyist. Rather, the operator is often an owner of a consumer drone, an aircraft that requires little skill to operate. This simplicity allows for aviation illiterate consumers to hang machines over areas no competent model aviator would dare fly. In my opinion, any additional regulations imposed on unmanned aerial systems (UASs) should first be directed at commercial off the shelf, Phantom type, machines. However, I do concede that some form of pilot registration and knowledge assessment, in particular, should be implemented for certain advanced operations. My suggestion is to open a dialog between UAS stakeholders, from commercial to hobbyists, and the FAA through the use of experienced operators in both the unmanned and manned domains, making particular use of the group of us with experience in both, to more effectively manage personal unmanned aircraft within and around the United States airspace system. I would be happy to help in whatever way I can.”