Justin

, Suffolk

, Virginia

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 3:20:17
“I’ve been involved in radio control models in some way since I could hold a remote. My experience was entirely self taught in the beginning as my family had no knowledge of aviation, UAS, or radio control. My hobby started to accelerate quickly during my first years of high school when I joined a local R/C field (and the AMA). The community there (mostly people much older, with many more years of experience) gave me the knowledge and experience succeed. Of all the backgrounds within my club many were restricted by income and available flying space. I fear I would have never met them if the accessibility to amateur modeling was difficult, restrictive, or too costly to be involved in. The friends and professional skills from my model aviation club provided years of training and passion for aviation at a young age. By the end of high school, I was committed to unmanned aviation and entered college to be an Aerospace Engineer. After maintaining my passion through several extracurricular clubs, research projects, and competitions, I graduated ahead of my peers. I entered directly into the aviation field, supporting commercial and military aviation reliability and prognostics. Several years later, I was hired at a leading UAS company. At my current job, I support both military and commercial unmanned aviation services. Today, I can say that my direct work has contributed to keeping our deployed soldiers alive, protected the most important VIPs in the nation, and keep billions of dollars of drugs out of the country per year. I’m proud of my work, but no matter how busy it keeps me, I still fly my own home-built planes, quadcopters, and scale models safely, every weekend. While I’m sure my company will endure the changes imposed by the NPRM, the continued knowledge, skill, and passion funneled from amateur aviation may not. Model aviation is what drove (and continues to drive) me into aviation and progressing innovation within the field. The rules within the NPRM would, as written, have prevented me from ultimately serving this country’s industry and security. More importantly, my passion for aviation and flight would have been snuffed by restrictions on building models, restrictive fees, and inaccessibility of local flying sites. I understand the concerns for safety that new technologies, markets, and agents within the field have brought. I know because I develop these technologies and customers every day. However, I do not believe that the rules proposed within the NPRM are the solution to this. I believe that the FAA wants to help drive innovation for UAS, however, this proposal can only shutter it for millions of Americans just like me.”
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