, San Francisco

, California

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-23 2:11:45
“I have always wanted to fly full size planes but the Finacial Commitment is too great. Building and flying small FPV drones has allowed me to enjoy what I could not afford before, the sensations of flight. After work on relatively calm days I enjoy going to a field near my house and flying my 110mm and 5inch FPV quad copters. When I fly I am approached occasionally by people who see me with my FPV equipment and have different reactions. Some think it looks fun, some have no clue what to make of it, and a very few are worried that I am coming to spy on them. No matter their reaction I love to take the opportunity to explain what I am doing and let them see for them self using a secondary screen I always bring hooked to my FPV feed. My favorite interaction so far was from an older Woman in her 70s who said I was one of “those people” and most likely peeping on the neighborhood. After a few minutes of very polite discourse I got her to hold the “copilot screen” and see what I saw. Within seconds she reacted, “oh the picture is not that clear” (she thought I was using some “spy” equipment). Then as I flew between a few trees and then over the field next to me she said the most gratifying this you can hear as a pilot giving someone a ride along, “weeeeeee.” She told me that she could see why I liked flying and it made her feel like “a bird.” She stood there for almost 10 minutes as I landed, switched battery pack, and took off again. She asked me about the little batteries and how long they lasted and why my little drone was so small, “the news said they are really big.” She left wishing me a nice day and telling me that she hopes to see me again soon. I also use this hobby as a way to teach my children about electronics, how things are made, and basic physics. Both my 10 year old girl and eight-year-old boy, enjoy working with me on the builds, and going to the field to fly. They are both now flying their own quad copters and really enjoying the experience. There are very few things that allow you to feel as free as FPV flight, and watching my kids “soar“ makes me very happy. I completely understand the FAA’s interest in regulating some forms of personal flying objects. I understand that some bad actors with much larger camera drones were interfering with firefighters here in Northern California during the last round of large fires, and that some choose to fly near Airports disrupting air traffic. None of that is acceptable and I fully support the FAA making gps or cellular tracking of large autonomous professional camera carrying drones a law. My issue is that the proposed rules are so widespread that when My kids and I fly our 50g to 150g FPV quads at the empty field near our house we could be braking the law. This punishes everyone for the acts of a few. When a drunk driver crashes into a tree, we don’t make cars illegal, but this is essentially what the proposed regulations will do to our hobby. There are no flying fields close to our house and with the regulations as I read them no new ones will be opened from this point on. This means that I will have to pack up my kids and drive to the nearest flying field (assuming that they are open and can accommodate us) pay the fee, and then drive home when we are done. All because the law vaguely targeted all types of FPV aircraft and not the specific platforms that are the root of the issue. Please reconsider the proposed rule as it is written and work with the community towards a fair and equitable set of regulations that would be a benefit to the community at large and the citizens of the community who build and fly small to medium sized recreational FPV aircraft”