, Oregon

, Illinois

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-22 10:57:50
“I started flying full scale aircraft when I was 15 years old. My High school offered ground school and aviation weather as science credits so I took advantage of that, and worked summers to get my hours in behind the wheel of a Cessna 152. I was always building model planes and was fascinated by RC, but in my endeavor to complete my pilot’s certification, the extreme cost of RC was prohibitive. All my money went towards that certificate. As it turns out, I ran low on cash, and I was preparing to go to college, so my dream of flying took a back seat. It was 1990, I had logged 54.4 hours, and my journey had come to an end. Fast forward to 2019. My youngest children, 9 years old, wanted drones for Christmas. I was thrilled and bought them some inexpensive toys. We had a blast flying Them around The house, yard and park. But the weather was not very cooperative. A friend of the family, who also liked flying rc, suggested we rent out a local gym. At 5$ an hour, we were in, and started flying our drones there on Monday nights. Our friend and his son also brought some small bind and fly planes and we flew those too. The passion of flight had ignited in me again, and I saw a spark in my children, but the expense still gnawed at me. We were having fun with our toy drones in the gym , when our friend showed me the Flite Test store. He was planning to buy his son a Simple Cub kit for his birthday. I scoured the site and couldn’t believe that they offered free plans, the materials were amazingly inexpensive, and the electronics had come so far down in price since I had explored the RC hobby 30 years earlier. THIS WAS OUR NEXT PROJECT! I downloaded the plans, bought the electronics from Flite Test along with an inexpensive DXE transmitter on ebay. Over my spring break (I am a teacher) I built my first RC plane, The FT Storch! After finally getting it in the air later that spring at the local soccer field, (The weather continued to haunt us) we were hooked, but it was difficult flying with the kids on one transmitter. So I picked up a used Dx7i with a broken gimbal, fixed it and we were ready to buddy box. Last summer we built seven more planes. My son’s favorite is the 4 channel Tiny Trainer, my daughter likes to fly the 3 channel FT flyer. I love the fact that I can get the kids off thier video games and take them to the park to fly planes. They have learned so much, and have even joined the Young Eagles, taking thier first real flights this last summer. My children have renewed my love of flight, and it’s contagious. They are learning the principles of flight, physics, electronics, as well as common courtesy, respect for others using the public park and Safety. This would never have happened without Flite Test, or the fact that we can fly at the nearby park for very little cost. We crash and rebuild our planes with no damage that another sheet of foamboard can’t fix , and we all enjoy learning together. I’m concerned that we will lose our park as a flying field. The nearest flying club is 45 min from here. No longer can I just look at the kids playing video games and say, “hey, let’s go fly.” Instead having to plan out a day to travel to a field. The ride would be enough to discourage them. Then there are the days when we take a new plane out and crash it in the first 10 min. It happens often, and I can’t imagine the disappointment of driving an hour and a half to crash a plane on takeoff. It would turn them off forever. I’m concerned that we would have to register every one of our 9 planes that fly, and the numerous planes we have destroyed. I’m concerned that the registration fees, subscription services, flying field dues, required organization dues, gas money, additional electronics, if they can even be put in our scratch built planes, would be prohibitive. I am concerned about the availability of the transmitted data to commercial entities, from the undisclosed providers along with the ambiguity of how to implement regulations that are so specific in the restrictions. I am concerned that the restrictive nature of these regulations will make the desire to fly fade in my children, as the financial burden did to me 30 years ago.”