, Clayton

, New York

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-23 17:12:42
“I am an ardent supporter of emergent technologies as well as the necessary laws and regulations required to both preserve individual and public safety and ensure the legacy of private and commercial development. While I recognize some of the positive intentions of newly proposed legislation, which include goals to map American airspace for the deployment and safety of commercial drone flight, I feel the objectives adversely effect a substantial section of the public—namely, the private and largely home-built remote control hobbyist community. I first began flying scratch-built RC planes with my father in the early 1980s. Those times of designing, building, testing, and flying represent some of the most wonderful memories I have with him. Today, I have the blessing to pass on the love of model RC aviation to the next generation, building memories with my four children (who also fly with their grandfather). New technologies have made experimenting with and enjoying model RC aviation even more approachable than ever. My children and I, as well as their friends, are able to construct amazing flying platforms out of cheap and readily available supplies, and fly them on our ten-acres of property in northern New York State. I cite the amazing people behind Flite Test as one example of the ingenuity and creativity the drives the hobby we enjoy today. It truly has never been a better time to be an RC aviation enthusiast. My family and I live on ten-acres surrounded by the Chaumont Barrens Nature Conservancy in the famed 1000 Islands Region of northern New York State. The properties around us are mostly farms that make up the heartbeat of our state’s agricultural backbone. We enjoy wide open spaces—literally right in our backyard—and find great joy in flying the many RC model aircraft in our collection. Between my father, myself, and my children, we have well over 100 RC planes, quadcopters, and helicopters, ranging from pre-made ready-to-fly units to scratch-built models of our own design. These vary in weight and size. Moreover, we have always maintained the utmost respect for the safety and welfare of persons and property in our backyards, the farms around us, and the waters along the St. Lawrence River where we fly our seaplanes from docks and off our boats. In reading the more restrictive aspects of proposed legislation, the hobbyist in me fears that the regulations are too burdensome, the exceptions too limited, and the categories too stifling for people like us. Not only would our present flying locations be eliminated, but most of the aircraft in our basement hangars would be rendered incompatible and, therefore, illegal. We would be stripped of the experimental aspects of the hobby that have motivated at least two of my children to pursue careers with NASA. Additionally, we do not have internet access at our home—a service provider issue, not from lack of desire—and many areas around us still have intermittent cellular reception. I believe that freedom, ingenuity, and community are key factors that make the RC movement so incredible. Some of my greatest memories with loved ones and close friends are made on makeshift airfields on warm summer evenings as we attempt to master physics and cheer our temporary defiance of gravity. May we be the people that ensure the legacy and spirit of the wider RC hobby community for generations to come. Sincerely, Christopher Hopper Clayton, NY USA”