, Graham

, Washington

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 20:03:57
“I started flying at age 11 in 1978. I’ve always had a keen interest in aviation and my dream was to fly for the United States Air Force. That dream was crushed when it was discovered that I do not have binocular vision. (With folks that have normal binocular vision, both of your eyes see the same thing at the same time and a sort of 3D image is constructed by your brain. This is how depth perception works.) Because of my eyesight issues, not only was my dream of being a USAF pilot crushed, but my dream of being a “full scale” pilot of any stripe was crushed as well. The only avenue I have left for flying is through model aviation. I discovered FPV in 2009 and it opened up a whole new world to me – I could finally fly the way I’ve always dreamed of – from the cockpit of the airplane! When I heard of the FAA NPRM, I read it and promptly blew a fuse. There’s absolutely nothing in the NPRM that has any basis in fact. A foul ball at a baseball game is far more dangerous to the general public than the average remote control airplane. Model aviation has an amazing safety record over the last 80 years. The FAA has provided no public risk assessment to back up their absurd claims of “safety”. I strongly suspect it’s because no such study exists, and if it does it probably contradicts their claims. (As far as I can tell, the 250g rule was also pulled out of thin air, and has no scientific basis.) The Mercatus Center at George Mason University did a study in 2016 that found model aviation accidents could result in fatalities every 1.87 MILLION YEARS. Full size civilian aircraft operating in Class G airspace don’t even need a two way radio let alone some kind of ADS-B or other transponder. If their 1500+lb, passenger carrying aircraft doesn’t need a tracking device, my four pound balsa and foam airplane sure as hell doesn’t either. The NPRM as-written is designed to do nothing but act as a lever to pry the airspace out of the hands of recreational model flyers so that commercial interests can attempt to exploit it. I use the word “attempt” on purpose – I’ve seen no evidence that any kind of “drone” delivery service will be practical outside some narrow use cases in remote areas. I view the FAA NPRM as an existential threat to recreational model flying and I’ll not stand idly by while the same organization that permitted over 400 deaths in the 737 MAX fiasco tries to regulate my hobby into an early grave.”