, Durham

, North Carolina

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-22 11:10:05
“My family has flown model aircraft since the 1940s, my father flying free-flight, then RC as the technology developed. I few as a child in the 1960s and then returned to the hobby in the early 2000s with all homebuilt aircraft. I have continues in the hobby with a mix of handbuilt, purchased, and now 3D-printed aircraft including quadcopters and tricopters, and of these some were personally designed. I have introduced RC flying to my grandson at the age of five through the Flite Test series of planes, of which he and I have built and flown a number. I am a counselor for the Boy Scout Aviation Merit badge, and have seen dozens of scouts earn this badge through, among other things, building and flying a radio-controlled aircraft. Why do I do this? I design, build and fly model airplanes because it is an activity that allows me to explore aviation engineering, be a pilot, observe and continue this link with my father, and participate in aviation in a way that I am unable to do for full-scale aviation. I own dozens of aircraft of different shapes and sizes, many of which I fly infrequently. These proposed rules will have a chilling effect; in some ways it would signal the eventual end of the hobby on several fronts: Disappearance of flying sites due to encroaching populations and no ability to register new ones Great difficulty in attracting and keeping new pilots due to increasing costs and complexity, raising the bar for entry into the hobby Quashing innovation by hobbyists. This cannot be underestimated – current advancements in drone technology owe much to the hobbyists who first designed and build stable flying multirotor platforms from Wii controllers, and also developed the software and hardware that are the forebears of the commercial drone platforms we have and will see in the future. RC flying isn’t just a bunch of old guys in a field spending a pleasant time on a Sunday summer afternoon. It’s a group of college students building a heavy-lift drone for a competition that they’ll test-fly on a campus field, it’s a group of NASA scientists flying RC planes because it’s their passion, It’s a Scout working on a merit badge because he or she is interested in aviation and wants to know more about the field in all its aspects, it’s a teen boy or girl that sees a video and sees the Drone Racing League races and wants to do that, it’s a future aerospace engineer tossing homemade RC gliders in his cul-de-sac, it’s a biology PhD. with his grandson sharing the thrill of flight at an AMA field, it’s a farmhand throwing a gas-powered plane into the air above the neighbor’s pasture. It’s Americans, enjoying a fascination with flight and the freedom it represents, and it would be a shame and a great loss if it’s regulated into nonexistence.”