, Fortworth

, Texas

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-13 18:46:59
“I have always had an interest in aviation ever since I was in elementary school. I grew up knowing that one day I would be a pilot. (I wanted to be an airline pilot at the time.) It was my dream and something that gave my life meaning. Then one day in high school, I was talking with an Airforce recruiter about joining and becoming a pilot. Unfortunately for me this recruiter was misinformed about some policies with in the Airforce/FAA. He told me that the FAA would never grant me a pilot’s license because I had glasses. This left me heartbroken. I no longer knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and all this at a very critical time in my life when I needed to have a direction. My family felt bad for me and tried to get me into the model plane hobby at that time as a way to make up for the horrible news I received. However the hobby at that time was too complex to just start if you had no one mentor you from the beginning. If I were to crash this very expensive balsa wood model that would be the end of the hobby for me and would cost my family too much money. So I gave up. I didn’t try the hobby at the time and I started to do poorly in school. Each new school year my grades got worse because I was under an enormous pressure to try to find a career, to find purpose, but I couldn’t. I eventually graduated high school with a diminished degree and went to work in retail. (Fast forward 6 years.) Here I am working in the audio visual industry making more money than would ever be possible in retail but my life still feels very unfulfilled but this is about to change. I had recently started watching Flitetest on YouTube and really was thinking about jumping in the hobby now because the barrier to entry was so much lower that it had ever been. I could get into the hobby now for only a couple hundred dollars and have everything I need. I was so excited to get started but then I also found FPV. FPV looked amazing and the thought of flying in and under and around and over things as free as a bird all while getting to experience it from an almost cockpit like view. This is when I 100 percent committed to the hobby. I bought my first RTF drone, a Vision House Racer. It had everything I needed to start. I flew that thing till the motors died. Then I bought more motors and did it again. I was getting better and better each battery. So, I went and bought a BNF Vusion 250. I learned on that for a bit and needed more and more FPV in my life so I bit the bullet and bought my first ever custom built, an FT270 with all the parts from a build video by Flitetest so I could follow along and learn. This was quite the challenge but I managed to build it. It flew amazing to me at the time. I was so proud of myself it. It had been years since I was this proud of something I made. Over the next year or so I slowly kept diving deeper and deeper into the FPV hobby. I built several more kwads (drones) and even joined my local FPV racing group where I met like-minded people and made friends. One day I found myself talking to a friend of mine who was a commercial cargo pilot. I was telling him about this hobby and he could tell I was very passionate about it. He asked me if I had ever thought about becoming a pilot and doing what he does for a living. He knew I wasn’t exactly happy doing what do for a living but was curious on my thoughts of being an actual pilot, ya know, the ones who fly real planes. I told him that I would love to but I can’t. I then told him the exact same misinformation that was told to me in high school. “I can’t become a pilot because the FAA would never give me an pilot’s license. I wear glasses.” I pointed at my glasses and then realized how wrong I was. My friend who flies for a living wears glasses and even wears a stronger prescription than I do. We had a talk that lasted several hours about how to get from where I was at that time to where I wanted to be. That night, I got my dream back. I’m not there yet. I still have a long way to go. I still need to start flight school but there is a plan when my wife graduates from med school to put me through flight school. However very recently was approached by a company looking to hire me as a UAS pilot. They know I don’t have GA license but would like to help me get one. I am currently in the interview process with 1 interview completed an another on the way in a month. I am so excited about my future as a pilot. I have people like Flitetest, Rotor Riot, the AMA and my local FPV pilots to thank. This hobby helped turn my life around and realize a forgotten and discarded dream of mine. To the FAA: Please don’t take this hobby away from us. It means so much to me. It means even more to others. Please don’t let misinformation get in the way of someones dreams. Thank you for your time. Cody Nelson, an FPV pilot. (TripDiam FPV)”