, Camas

, Washington

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-22 14:30:36
“I started flying radio control when I was 10 years old in rural NY. I didn’t have anyone to mentor me so I had to learn on my own. This was before pre-fabricated airplanes and electric flight, so I had to build my airplane out of balsa wood, and then after each “flight” fix them, until I became proficient. I learned a lot about aircraft structures, aerodynamics, electronics, engines, flight, spatial awareness, weather, and craftsmanship. Fast forward to today, I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Private Pilot license. I am also an aircraft owner spending an average of $8000 per year on General Aviation. I probably spend in the area of $500 – $1000 per year on model aircraft. My concern is that in the name of “safety”, the FAA will do to model aviation, what it did to General Aviation. The FAA stifled General Aviation with regulations that drove up costs, making it too expensive for most people to fly. The most common answer I get when I ask people why they don’t get their pilot license is that it is too expensive. I got my license back in 2000, when I could rent a Cessna 152 for $45/hour wet, and it still cost me $7000 to get my license. Now it costs over $100/hour to rent a Cessna 152. Just look at the price difference between Certified avionics and Experimental avionics. Certified avionics cost about twice that of experimental avionics for the same thing. Sometimes the Certified units have less functionality than their Experimental counterparts due to regulations. Also, the Certification process takes so long that innovation is hindered, and thus, Certified electronics always lag behind experimental avionics in innovation. I can see the same thing happening with Model Aviation. The proposed rule stipulates that the remote ID electronics are Certified by the FAA. At the end of the day, the proposed rule will mostly improve safety because there will be so few people flying anymore. I am disappointed that the FAA did not do more research in the Model Aviation market before making this rule.”