Luke

Unger

, Minnesota

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-20 17:14:24
“I grew up watching my Dad fly nitro planes. I remember the smell and the sound vividly. We used to go to this local park where others would fly there as well. I loved watching my dad fly planes. He attempted to show me how to fly a few times when he had his powered glider. I was only 5 or 6 at the time and couldn’t grasp the concept of a transmitter and how to understand orientation of the plane. Since then, I have always been fascinated by R/C aircraft. I would buy toy grade planes, helicopters, drones, etc when i saved up enough money. Most of the time they would break within a few days and I would throw them away. Once I got my license at 16, I pretty much forgot about R/C altogether until about 4 years ago (28 years old now) when my Dad bought an E-Flite Sukhoi from the hobby store. He was telling me about it so I went the park to watch him fly. It looked so much fun! I absolutely had to get an airplane myself. The initial cost of this hobby is pretty steep for newcomers. I probably should have bought an RTF with transmitter, charger, battery. Would have been the smart thing to do, but instead of spending money, I decided to trade some R/C cars for a couple planes with a transmitter from a local guy. One was a Cessna 48″ and the other was a new in box Beaver 59″ plane. The Cessna was used so I decided to give that a whirl first. I had no clue how to setup an airplane or even which way the control surfaces were supposed to go. I gave my dad a call and he came over to help me out. We got it all setup and went out to go fly it. Got to the local park which consists of 2 baseball fields and it is rarely used. Got the plane setup on the baseball diamond and did the pre-flight checklist. Everything checked out. I was so nervous but excited at the same time so I gave it full throttle and up it went! It looked so cool in the sunset. Unfortunately my skills were lacking and I didn’t gain enough altitude and crashed. I was a little bummed out I crashed my plane within about 10 seconds. My dad and I went over and checked the damage and he assured me it could be fixed. So I brought it home and with a little epoxy and tape, I was able to get it flight worthy again! This experience taught me 2 things: One, always fly 3 mistakes high. Two, foam aircraft can be fixed very easily! The next day, my dad and I went back out and we tried it again. This time was much better. I gained plenty of altitude to recover from my mistakes and my dad was right there to bail me out if I needed. I was hooked to this hobby. Flying r/c airplanes has been the most fun I have ever had. Even better, I get to make memories with my Dad. We always go flying together now and we have made some friends along the way. We all are in several R/C Plane groups on Facebook and we help each other out when needed. With these proposed regulations the FAA is ruling: it will stop hobby enthusiasts to be creative and be able to fly in our local parks. Most people at the local parks are so fascinated by what we do. They will watch us fly planes til our batteries are dead and they come ask us where we got them and how they want to get their kids into it. I don’t see any issues with that. Why would the FAA want to make park flying illegal?? It has been just fine for decades and it seems all of a sudden they want to strip our hobby from our hands. I want to be able to share this hobby with my kids just how my Dad shared this hobby with me but with these regulations, I don’t see how that would be possible. The under 250g rule is also very limiting. Most of the planes within that category can’t withstand any winds over 10mph. Also they aren’t as well built and break more often. It almost seems like they want us to fly toys again like I did when I was younger. If that’s the case, there won’t be many people that will enjoy this hobby to the fullest and it will be forgotten about; just like I forgot about them when I was 16. Please reconsider these rules and limit them to aircraft that are capable of long range/autonomous GPS flight (beyond line of sight). The regulations should not eliminate the park flyers that want to fly at their local parks. It’s not right.”
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