, Bettendorf

, Iowa

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 17:14:38
“I have been interested in aviation at arms length for most of my life (over 55 years). Years ago, I did accumulate 37 hours of private pilot training and was within a long cross country of getting my license. Change of jobs did not allow me to finish. About 10 years ago, I started going to the local RC flying field with my neighbors. Well, I was hooked. I started with an electric trainer and then acquired 4 glow planes the next year. As they say, the rest is history. I have about 28 fixed wing planes currently flyable. I have managed to take several to their expiration date (crash), maybe 1 or 2 per year. I also have 18 kits either in build, or sitting in cue for build. As a retired engineer, I find that building and solving issues as I build as very rewarding. Two years ago, our club lost a very nice flying field on the edge of a sod farm due to the landowners wanting to put the land back into production. We did acquire a smaller field that only has room for up to 60 size airplanes. So that meant I had no place to fly for 3/4 of my aircraft. I did join another club 60 miles away in order to keep flying those planes. However, that takes away the spontaneity of going flying if the conditions are favorable. And, it costs a tank of gas to pull my trailer round-trip. On a side note, my oldest grandson started flying when he was about 10. He is now 18 and enjoys flying whenever he visits. I have a couple planes reserved for him to fly. However, the visits are few and far between. My youngest grandson is 8, and he has a Mini-Apprentice waiting for him to maiden. He does fly on the simulator though. Model aviation keeps me busy more than just flying and building. I am very active in our local club, and have become the “head” groundskeeper as well as the treasurer. It helps me stay out of my wife’s hair, as they say. Without model aviation, I would have to find other interests to occupy my time. Basically, my ideas are shared by many. Model hobbyists, especially those who only fly line of sight, needs to be segregated from the commercial, autonomous, and, possibly, the FPV pilots. Those are the ones that I feel may benefit from some form of remote ID. And, those platforms could include geofencing to keep them out of designated hobbyists flying fields. The FAA should recognize the AMA, and possibly others, as Community Based Organizations and let them police and “certify” airfields. Hobbyists should not be prevented from flying on private land, be it their own or with the landowner’s permission. There should be a provision to certify airfields (FRIA’s) temporarily for events and the like. Next week, our club will display at a local STEM conference. At this same event the last couple of years, we have had constant traffic at our display as their are young people interested in aviation, both model and full scale. I have become very wordy. I am passionate about the hobby as I enjoy the challenge of building and flying the models as well as the camaraderie of fellow pilots. I am only a racetrack flier but I am comfortable with that. I trust that Flite Test and the AMA as well as the EAA and others will get the FAA’s eyes open enough to allow this hobby to continue basically as is. I did not touch on my concerns about the economic impact to companies and their employees. I think you have that on your agenda also. Good luck going forward.”