, Stafford

, Virginia

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 16:05:27
“When I was 8 years old, I visited a city park with my family for a weekend picnic. While eating lunch we could hear the sound of small gas engines off in the distance. After lunch I followed the engine noise and found myself on along the perimeter of a local AMA field. I was in awe of what I saw – small RC controlled aircraft cutting effortlessly through the sky and performing all sorts of aerobatic maneuvers. I was instantly hooked, but financially broke. With the high costs associated with getting into RC model aircraft in the early 80s, I was forced to remain a mere spectator. Fast forward 30 years – November 2014, I watched a YouTube video which, for lack of a better term, changed my life. The video, which consisted of several quadcopters laden with LEDs racing through the forest in Europe – the video was shot from the perspective of the quadcopter itself – first person view (FPV). Now in my late 30s, I was immediately taken back to that AMA field from the 80s and was again hooked. Fortunately the entry cost associated with RC modeling had decreased substantially and I was determined to learn how to build, fly and race a drone (UAS). Having minimal RC experience and no RC flying experience, I immediately began researching a myriad of topics related to ‘all things drone.’ By January 2015, I had built and began flying my first UAS. Additionally, I discovered a local flying group who not only assisted me with technical side of building a drone, but also taught me the “when, where and how to fly a drone.” As much as I enjoy building and flying drones, it was this ‘community of flight’ that never ceases to amaze me. A community which strives to teach others the right way to do things. A community with a strong competitive streak balanced with an overwhelming willingness to help others succeed, including one’s competitors. Additionally, as a family that home schools, we have incorporated RC modeling to teach a wide variety of topics – math, science, technology, history, language arts, etc. Tapping into my childrens’ passion for flight has fostered learning difficult topics. After five years of building, flying, and racing drones, heavily engaged with this extremely diverse group of individuals, sometimes referred to the ‘hobbyist community’, I have learned that I know very little about the true depth and extent of the RCMA hobby. I am hoping that the FAA, and other interested government parties, realize the same and strive to better understand the ramifications of extensive proposed rule making and legislation prior to moving forward. In it’s current state, Remote ID is overly prohibitive, substantially raising the entry cost of this wonderful hobby and would like be a detriment to STEM learning, as well as, innovation by the hobbyist community.”