Kenneth

Slepecky

, Hinckley

, Ohio

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-13 23:17:47
“I am a 71 year old kid. At least I feel that way when I can get out my airplanes and fly them. I have been building and flying my own model airplanes since the mid 1950’s when I was in elementary school. Our family started us out (3 brothers) on 1/2A control line planes that we flew in our back yard. I progressed to .35 sized sport planes that were flown whenever the wind was calm enough. Many a Saturday or Sunday afternoon were spent in the local school yard flying our sport profile control line planes until our quart of fuel was gone. Great memories AND I still have some of those same planes hanging in my basement. My father and uncle got me interested in radio control flying in the mid 1960’s when the Mambo they were flying had only rudder control with an rubber powered escapement. Then came a break from flying to attend college, get married and start a family. I couldn’t wait until my young boys were old enough to learn how to fly. Guess what we flew…….1/2A control line planes….. in my back yard….. haha we had a blast. I still had the urge to try my hand at radio control. In the early 1980’s the radio equipment had progressed immensely from the single channel days. My two boys and I proceeded to build our first radio control planes along with very reliable and relatively inexpensive radio equipment. My children were learning good crafting and coordination skills, self confidence and immense pride as they built, rigged and flew their own radio controlled airplanes. Ready made or almost ready made planes were extremely rare at that time and we took great pride in building our own aircraft. Sports, college and marriage have once again caused a slight blip in the model aircraft cycle of my children. Only they know if they will come back to the hobby or if they will be somehow prevented from enjoying one of their childhood activities. I do know that I (aka grandpa) can’t wait until I can have my granddaughter come with me to learn how to fly 1/2A control line planes, in my back yard. I am confident she will master that in one afternoon and the next visit will be spent learning to fly electric radio controlled planes, in my backyard. All of the planes are scratch built…..of course……I’m too old to change good habits now. As the technology of today has given us tools and abilities that were unthinkable 10 or 20 years ago, we also understand that some areas of the technology need to be used properly to avoid issues. I think that aircraft that are ‘line of sight only’ aircraft should not require individual registration since the pilot/owner is only capable of operating one at a time and only within his line of sight. The present method of FAA registration of the pilot and not each individual aircraft is sufficient for this. The aircraft we fly are mostly home built and range from featherweight models to larger models capable of specific tasks like flying a stunt pattern. Regarding the ‘quadcopters’ that may have been commercially produced and are capable of autonomous flight…..yes, these machines should probably be capable of broadcasting their position. It is my understanding that manufacturer DJI has proposed an identification method that would serve the identity purpose and would not cost the purchaser to use the service. This should be investigated further. In summary, flying model airplanes has been a passion of mine for over 60 years. Control line to free flight to fuel powered radio control and now to electric powered radio control. I have projects on the bench as of this moment just waiting for the snow to melt so they can stretch their wings and take to the air. I feel the best way forward is for everyone to come together to find the best, least invasive solution to the issues at hand. The modeling community is made up of people from all walks of life and they are a very imaginative group that is willing to help if they are asked. The club that I have belonged to for the past 40 years is made up of steel workers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, peace officers and just about every profession you can think of, including the retired. Most importantly, our club is also made up of the families of these members. The wives and children take part in the club activities and some of the greatest feelings one can have is to see another ‘youngster’ solo his radio controlled airplane with his dad (or mom) by his side. Please help us to continue this American tradition and help us to preserve a really great family activity. Respectively yours, Kenneth Slepecky AMA 21389 EAA 280772 N8ZX”
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