, North Carolina

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-19 12:59:20
“I grew up with a fascination with Aviation and Model Airplanes. My father was into it and I remember spending time with him teaching me how to cover an old Piper Cub he had built in the early 70’s. As I grew up, I was building static models. I became an artist and a sculptor, but found myself painting pictures of airplanes and building scifi ships and models of airplanes and helicopters. I got into electronics, aviation design and immersed myself in Discovery Channels’ “Wings” among all kinds of other shows about flying. I wanted to join the Air Force because of it, but was not able to due to health issues at the time. in my teens, I learned about aerodynamics, physics and all kinds of sciences as a result of my fascination with the History of Aviation especially where it applies to the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. As I got older, i got a degree in Electronics Engineering and went on to become a Computer performance engineer as my current occupation. One day, while at work, I discovered a small helicopter toy that could only fly in 4 directions. Left, Right, up and down, but could not do anything else, I got bored with it quickly. I then found myself graduating to coaxial and then fixed pitched helicopters and then jumped into flying 3D helicopters. It was an engaging challenge, learning how to fly those. I crashed and I mean a lot. But during all those crashes, I was able to employ my electronics and computer skills, learning how to be proficient with setting up a collective pitch helicopter. As a consequence, I learned how Helicopters fly. I am told, if you can fly a Helicopter, you can fly anything. During that time, I was extremely introverted and terrible with people, like most Artists and engineers. I tried flying at a big giant empty field and it was ok. But, one day, I saw a guy at the same field flying a heli. So, I stopped and talked to him. He told me about a club I could join that was great for people wanting to learn to fly helicopters. So, I went out there and found myself joining that club. I was out there every weekend from sun up to sun down. I flew there for about 5 years. During that time, I developed actual social skills and made many friends. Eventually, that hobby grew into a fixed wing and rotary wing. Suddenly, I found myself flying Scale Helicopters.. But I realized I had gone full circle.. I was now scaling out Helicopters in great details, weathering, detailing out the cockpit and doing all those things I used to do..except, these ACTUALLY FLY!!. Soon I found myself building WWII aircraft and early era jets. As I started building these from scratch, I soon learned about airfoil designs, Reynolds numbers, wing loading, thrust to weight ratios and engineering. A man at our club had how developed some of the NACA airfoils back in the 70’s. I was learning about CNC and 3D printing to make my own CF and scale parts etc..I learned all about mold making and working with composites, because of this hobby. I found myself using math that I never ever thought I would use. I was able to combine just about all the hobbies I ever found myself interested in, in one hobby of Model Aviation. I’ve been in this hobby almost 20 years now. As a result of my connections with the people in the Hobby, I met full scale pilots and got opportunities in full scale I would have never had. It even has me thinking about working with volunteer groups to restore old aircraft. The Model Aviation hobby is with in my reach financially as I support a family of 4. So, I would never be able to afford a full scale airplane and all the fee’s associated with it. Besides, Model Aviation has afforded me the opportunity to fly aircraft that I will never fly in real life and historical aircraft that will never be seen flying again. Now, as with my own father, I have two little girls who are learning about aviation and modelling. They are still a bit too young to go flying with me, but I have taken them to the field for them to watch. They look up in the sky now and yell “Airplane!!”. They hang out with me in the garage and help me “build” the airplanes. My eldest has learned how to use a Drill Press, with me guiding her of course. My 4 year old can name all the control surfaces of an airplane now.. It provides plenty of opportunities to engage them on the subject of Aviation and the History of Aviation as well as the sciences etc. My daughter asked me how airplanes fly..So, I showed her the old paper trick demonstrating bernoulli’s principles, she still calls it magic. Up until now, I had this idea in my head that I would give them a gentle push towards aviation and try to foster that interest.. The absolute best way to do that is through the Model Aviation Hobby.. But now, with these regulations, I think at this point the most fitting thing I can do, is NOT encourage their interest because this FAA won’t allow them any opportunities to learn like that and Model Aviation is already expensive enough as it is, but as you’ve just read, the rewards outweigh the cost as of now. Honestly, if I were new to this, I would just walk away. The FAA instead should be fostering and encouraging this hobby..that is if they truly want more kids involved and encouraged to go into careers in aviation. They should be working with towns who have ordinances against flying anything and asking what they can do to help. There is already a severe shortage of pilots and those going into the aerospace careers.. The FAA is taking the exact opposite steps with these regulations and will virtually guarantee that trend gets worse and this Nation loses its status as a leader in aviation. I also believe this kind of Government overreach sets a dangerous precedent.”