Lauren

Robison

, Glen Burnie

, Maryland

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-13 23:21:55
“I’m 69 years old, mother of 3 boys now men. I first started building and flying model airplanes when I was around 10 in the early sixties. That lasted through high school when I began flying full size aircraft which I did until I got married to someone who was scared to fly. LOL! I made a deal that if I quit flying full size I could take up R/C instead. Love blinds I guess! Anyways I did that for several years becoming an instructor at our field. Kids came and life got in the way. When the kids got older we all bought RC cars which we did together and I also went racing RC boats. I was pretty good at it winning many races so much so that I stupidly believed I could probably be pretty good at racing real automobiles. I wasn’t. LOL! But I did compete for around 10 years in sports car racing at various race tracks from Ohio to Virginia, to New York. I was also working as a race official and was named the national winner of race official of the year by the SCCA and Yokohama tires. in 2012 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which has gotten pretty bad. I had to quit racing after an injury and my middle son bought me a small RC helicopter because losing my hobby was pretty depressing. He created a monster. The technological advancements were astounding from when I had last left RC and having all this “cool new stuff” to try got me out of my depression. I tried helicopters first (I stink at them LOL), then I built several multirotor aircraft using DJI parts. I did pretty good with those as they are pretty easy to fly. Wanting more of a challenge I bought several fixed wing RC planes. I met several people online who were doing the same things and we all became great friends forming our own little group of flight enthusiasts and somewhat inspired by the Flite Test guys we name ourselves Three Sheets (of foamboard) To The Wind, AKA 3S2W. We fly at a local fairground with permission of the fire dept that owns the land as well as at one school yard, one athletic field complex and one public park. We have never had any issues with neighbors and our “Uh oh!” moments mostly have involved trees getting in the way. My current inventory of aircraft includes 1 DJI Phantom, 1 race miniquad, and around 30 foam RC fixed wing airplanes from racing wings, to scale models, to camera carrying FPV models. I really enjoy putting on my goggles and flying FPV so that once again I can see and feel the pleasure of looking down from above like I used to when flying full size aircraft. In that time I taught 2 of my sons to fly also with one going on to become a professional multirotor pilot with his own company taking aerial pictures for real estate companies. This hobby has meant a lot to me and my family. It fills the voids that life sometimes creates and fills your life with many people from all over the world who share the same thrill of flight. My concern is that these regulations will take the things we are passionate about and the people we love away from us. It’s kind of scary. One of the things that I feel the FAA is missing regarding technology in aircraft is how GPS equipped aircraft are perceived. I feel that the FAA doesn’t understand that the reason most fliers install GPS, at least in fixed wing aircraft, is not so much for autonomous flight (most of us would rather fly the aircraft not just ride along) but for safety reasons. If a camera or video transmitter or receiver fails then flipping a switch to have the plane fly home by itself gives you the time to regain visual location of the plane after taking off the goggles and not crashing it. That is far easier on my wallet and much safer for those on the ground. I am also concerned about the 400 foot proposed dome when flying line of sight. The 400 feet of altitude is good (except for gliders) but 400 feet laterally is just way too small of an area. My race wing would eat that distance up in 5 seconds as would my two electric ducted fan jets. As for remote ID, I have to admit I am curious about that. I would be in favor of that for aircraft with GPS, a flight controller, and a control transmitter and receiver capable of flying beyond visual line of sight. I do have 3 airplanes that are equipped to do that and I would love to be able to fly them long range legally. I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat. Another concern is the registration of each aircraft. As proposed it would be a financial burden to register my 30 aircraft especially on a fixed budget of Social Security and pensions. I’m not getting a raise anytime soon. Also, one of the areas I fly in is at my lake cottage in NE Pennsylvania. It’s all dirt roads and very few people. Our internet access, both mobile and broadband, is at best spotty. The proposed rule as it stands would, I believe, make that area unflyable to me and it is some of the prettiest scenery around from the air. In short, please don’t take away the one thing I can still do to have fun with friends. I sort of get the idea that the FAA doesn’t understand us recreational fliers. To help understand here is a video I made of a typical FPV flight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpeXV7t-iGY&t=288s . Thank you for your consideration”
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