, Frederick

, Maryland

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-13 18:40:05
“Flying has become the one go-to activity for me to accomplish the most good. Whether I am dealing with frustrations from my job or family life, modeling has been the escape to refresh and recharge. The activity exercises my brain on both sides. As I build, I am measuring, calculating, problem-solving, and learning. At the same time, I’m learning painting, finishing, detailing, and history of the aircraft I build. It does so much good for me personally so that I can be there to provide for my family and be there for my family. Perhaps the most impactful part of this hobby is the relationships with people. I scratch-build highly detailed models of historical aircraft that have impacted our country. I recently completed a build in honor of a former Marine who lost his legs in from a land mine explosion. While we spoke of his service and the men he served with, we were able to share a moment of mutual love. As I revealed the model to him with his unit numbers, he was so touched that I would take the time to build the creation and detail it with such high fidelity in his honor. The teaching opportunities I have had are also rewarding. I have been able to provide hundreds of people with instruction on how to perform different building techniques. I’ve been able to bond with these people, even over just discussing a repair. Not just a repair, but a repair to a model built by a deceased relative. To be able to see the lights go on in someone’s eyes as they realize how they too can build something that looks as good as it flys is such a rewarding experience for me and the learner. I have also been able to participate in competition that has resulted in good sportsmanship. Rivals becoming friends through a competitive spirit strengthens a human bond while cultivating mutual respect. This is a value our country has been founded on. I express these points to share them as my own, but also of the many other people I have become friends with through this hobby. Anytime a co-worker, a fellow church-goer, or even just a fellow glancing through my back window at a stoplight; sees or gets wind that I have this hobby, I get a barrage of questions and comments that it is such a neat hobby. While their interests may lie elsewhere, every single person I’ve interacted with has never expressed concern about safety, privacy, or otherwise negative in nature. This too rings true of every person in my local club. I recognize that there are those voices out there. My main concern is that because those minority of voices are the loudest, or another party has the deepest pockets, those people who genuinely represent the hobby or perceive the hobby do not see the broad sweeping regulations that are being proposed. I admit that I am more of a builder than I am a pilot. However, flying a build for the first time after its completion is the pinnacle of any builder. You know you built it right. You got the math right. You got the physics right. You got the paint right. You got the right friends right behind you cheering you on. Our club is small. Usually around 30 active members each year. Our city is growing. While we have been at our current field for over 10 years, we are graciously allowed to rent the property by an elderly gentleman who will not be around forever. Should we lose our field due to whatever reason, not being allowed to relocate is unthinkable. I’d have to drive at least 45 minutes to over an hour to participate in all of the above mentioned parts of this hobby. My current field is a 16-minute drive away with good people ready to meet me for my next maiden flight. I travel to many different events. The past two years I have participated in 5 events each year. At each event I was participating in active safety practices despite some locations being quite remote. Some without cellular service available. If a flying site is so remote that it does not even have cellular service, why would we be required to have a tracking device on a model? It is clearly in a location that is little to no risk of damage to person or property, let alone pose a threat to the national airspace. My last concern is that there is been a complete dismissal of the fact that flying model aircraft, not drones (FPV or otherwise) have been around for nearly a century operating safely without incident. My club currently celebrates is 85th year in operation. Not once has a line-of site modeler been under such scrutiny for concerns that simply do not exist. Our club is located just over 5 miles from our local, commercial, airport. We have operated safely without incident for over a decade. The fact is that a pilot on the ground will have much more control over a situation than a pilot in the sky. As a stationary line-of-sight pilot I can hear aircraft come and go. My hearing allows me to triangulate that location, see the incoming aircraft, and immediately respond to give right of way. Many times, I have deliberately crashed or damaged aircrafton purposeto avoid unsafe situations. I’d much rather lose a model than lose a life. I know this applies to every single pilot I interact with. There is no question within our community who would have the right of way. At five miles away, the pattern established by the airport does not even allow aircraft below 1200 feet yet I’ll be restricted to 400 feet. There are models that that kind of altitude is not safe. Fast or large, higher is more safe. Our safety record continues to go untarnished yet the louder voices seem to be heard more because of irresponsible people who are uneducated or otherwise. I reiterate: It is a fact that flying model aircraft, not drones (FPV or otherwise) have been operating safely without incident for nearlyone hundred years. I love my hobby, but I love my friends more. The hobby is the means to my friendships. Please do not destroy something so wonderful for hundreds of thousands of people when only the few and the loud get the attention.”