, Boaz

, Alabama

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-13 19:44:58
“I’m a lifelong airplane nut. As a kid in the late 1970s, I couldn’t get into radio controlled planes due to cost. As an adult, I have taken some (approximately half of the required hours) training toward a Private Pilot’s License, but stopped, again due to cost. My son also developed a passion for flight, and I was overjoyed to find that the cost of R/C flying has dramatically fallen over the last ten years. I was able to build a trainer model aircraft, and teach him how to fly it. From there, we have both worked and learned as we built more advanced models, and later on, as we modified them to suit our needs, and designed our own unique model aircraft. I’m very proud of my son. He has developed his R/C piloting skill to the point of doing intermediate aerobatics. His passion for flight has grown over this time, and he is now taking classes through his High School and the local college toward becoming an Aviation Maintenance Technician, and will undoubtedly realize his dream of becoming a licensed pilot of full-sized aircraft. I cannot overstate the degree to which model aviation has helped my son toward his goals, both through the technical education inherent in the hobby, and through gaining confidence in the process of building and flying model aircraft. It has been a journey that we have shared, and has created bonds and memories that will live on in him long after I have passed. I understand that with the proliferation of highly sophisticated and capable UAS, both in private and commercial hands, that there is public concern, and that this does need to be addressed. It is my hope though, that the simple R/C modelers can be accommodated within this regulatory framework in a manner that does not add undue burden to this wonderful hobby. People who build their tiny aircraft, often out of foam and paper, using the most basic and inexpensive hardware to fly them in parks, fields, beaches, and backyards, do not threaten anyone. When the public interacts with them, it is practically always a variation on, “Look Honey! Hey, Billy, look at the model airplane! Ooh, it did a loop! See that guy over there? He’s controlling it with that radio. Oh, wow, another loop, and now he’s flying it upside down! That is so cool!” I have experienced this reaction time and time again, as have so many others. The onlookers are treated to a free airshow, and when the plane lands, they often come up to ask questions, and learn about the hobby. It is in every possible way a beneficial interaction.”