, Norwood

, New York

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-17 15:53:41
“It’s been a hobby and passion since I was a young child. My father was an Air Force Pharmacist and I joined with the hope of flying, but could not meet the eyesight requirements (mid 90’s), so RC has been my way to enjoy flying. As a Comm & Info officer in the Air Force, my aviation background via model aircraft allow me to connect with the warfighters I supported. I would not have been accepted into OTS if I hadn’t scored so well on my AFOQT – which was a direct reflection of the knowledge this hobby taught me. I now am the COO of a regional fiber-to-the-home ISP, again, due to skills I gained from model aviation (familiarity with electronics, design, engineering, problem solving, communication). In addition to RC, I teach Lego Robotics and I enjoy the skills that RC has given me that I can pass on to my students. Aviation is such a key element of STEM and inspiring our youth. As VP of IT at Colgate University, we used drones to innovate in areas of study as diverse as Geology, biology, Peace & Conflict Studies among others. The ability to quickly experiment was critical and overly-burdensome regulation will squash rapid development an innovation. As a hobbyist I’m finally able to build all the designs I dreamed about as a child. With simple materials and low barrier to entry, I’m willing to try and risk failure. If I have to spend huge amounts of money and travel 45 minutes to a field that may not exist in a year – it will definitely curtail this hobby for me. I am extremely busy and relish the idea of a quick 10 minute flight at lunch or a 20 minute evening flight in my back yard. I don’t have the time to travel to a “designated” flying site. This hobby is incredibly safe and it is unreasonable to put this regulations in place because of “what if’s.” There needs to be a much more pragmatic and cooperative approach to maintaining the hobby’s incredible safety record. While it may be necessary to regulate BVLOS and autonomous flight, traditional LOS and proximity FPV present little risk and should be exempted as they have been for the past 70 years. This hobby breathes innovation into our youth and it would be a shame to see it become the domain of the wealthy and corporate interests.”