, Tennessee

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-24 14:17:11
“I have been very interested in RC aircraft since I got my ham (amateur radio) license 25 years ago. I was fascinated by the great planes and stunts that I saw demonstrated at various events. However, the cost of entry was completely unattainable for me. I still enjoyed watching the pilots and dreaming about a time when I could get involved. The cost was always a limiting factor. When I found Flite Test a few years ago I started getting very excited about being able to enter the hobby by way of a $2 foam board glider. I understood that wasn’t the final cost for building a powered plane, but most, if not all, of the electronics could move from plane to plane. Then I learned that with the new RX/TX technology a ham license was no longer required (which I had for purposes other than flight, so that was not a big factor for me). Electric motors made things much less messy. Electric was a tremendous step forward in noise level and durability (at least, you didn’t have to be a mechanic to make one work). It has been a year a half since I built my first foam board glider. Then, 9 months ago I built my first motored plane and flew for the first time (and crashed, and rebuilt my plane) while visiting my parents in Florida. I was hooked. Since then I have built 4 other motored planes and a couple of gliders. Though I live in Tennessee I have visited Flite Test twice in the last year while traveling on business. I have also gotten into quadcopters and just now dipping my toe into FPV flight. I am “all in” even though I am still a very new pilot. I realize there are concerns about the massive growth in the hobby, but I don’t think restricting all flights to dedicated sites and requiring remote ID is the right answer. In my opinion, it will drive people to be even more aggressive in operating outside the law. I believe we need more education. I don’t know how that would actually be done. What I often see are 14 year old kids buying or being given equipment that they have no knowledge about how to use within the current regulations. Or older folks getting into the hobby with no understanding that there are actually rules that govern flight. The culture that is prevalent on TV and YouTube is that there are no rules and anyone can fly anywhere they want at any time. This includes Flite Test. There is little education about the fact that there are rules for flight. Almost never does anyone (that I watch anyway) even touch on the fact that FPV might require a ham license. I understand that you shouldn’t have to spend a bunch of time explaining all the rules in every video, but if YouTubers and TV programs would at least give a nod to the fact that there are actually rules to be followed, it would help the viewers know that maybe they should look into what those rules actually are. Until we get the majority of pilots operating within the current regulations, there is no point in adding more rules that will just be ignored if people don’t even know they exist.”