Jacob

West

, Missouri

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-19 12:35:50
“Hello, my name is Jacob West(13west.fpv). I am a firefighter, a dog dad and even the occasional rock star. I have been flying quadcopters(drones) for 3 years now. In these 3 years, I have found a love for aviation, a passion for flying, a hobby, countless new friends and even new skills in science and electronics that I never before understood or cared to learn about. Now the stress of being a firefighter can be quite a lot to manage sometimes but when I am flying, I am able to forget about everything, let go, and just be free. This hobby gives you the freedom to go where you never thought possible, experience the world from a brand new perspective and become an explorer in your own right. I mostly build my own quadcopters from the ground up. My work bench is where I can be an engineer and express my creative side. I get to experiment with different build techniques, try different products, and even innovate to achieve a desired outcome. Just like my work bench is where I can be an engineer, the sky is where I can be an artist. I enjoy racing from time to time but I typically fly “freestyle”. For me, this means doing tricks, flying through and around trees, flying through abandoned buildings or cruising along the ridge line of the Continental Divide. I love to record my flights and post them on Facebook and Instagram. My hope is that my videos will inspire others to get into this incredible hobby, encourage other pilots, and push the boundaries of what we think is possible. As for the new Remote ID proposals set forth by the FAA, these rules would completely destroy the hobby as we know it, and eventually eleminate it all together. Under this proposition, all drones would be required to be outfitted with Remote ID and any manufacturer or distributor of parts would have to be certified through the FAA. These regulations would make homemade drones like mine and countless other Americans illegal unless we purchase components that not hobbyists, engineers, or innovators say are safe, but what lawmakers say are compliant. This alone would halt the innovation and progression of unmanned aerial capabilities. Another issue I see with the new proposed laws is restricting the flight of non-compliant drones to FAA Certified flying fields. The application period for these flying fields to become certified is only open temporarily and then no other flight fields will ever be allowed to apply again. This means that as land is purchased, flying fields shut down and go out of business, eventually, every last “approved” flying field will disappear. There are many negative consequences the new proposed rules would have but I can’t think of a single one that would be worse then the immediate effect this would bring to programs avalible to children, such as S.T.E.M.(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). One of the most beautiful parts of this hobby is education. Just like I learned a brand new set of skills, from electronic circut boards, to soldering, to aerodynamics, children across America are joining S.T.E.M. programs and gaining skills that will give them tools to have great, successful careers. Children are joining these programs in record numbers because many of these S.T.E.M. programs are now centered around drones. These programs show kids how much fun science can be and again, are equipping these kids with tools they will use for the rest of their lives. Passing these restriction will only hurt the innovation and progression of unmanned aerial capabilities. So I ask of you, please do not pass these regulations, do not take our wings, do not take our freedom. Thank you, Jacob West”
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