, Australia

Posted on
2020-02-21 6:47:01
“I’ve been building and flying my own FPV quadcopters (quads) for a couple of years now as an excuse to engage my brain with electronics and meet new people. My dad taught me how to solder when I was about 10 years old, and since then I’ve been tinkering with faulty electronic devices and working on a variety of meaningless projects to satisfy my craving for tinkering. After stumbling across some videos on YouTube where pilots were racing around tracks at crazy speeds, chasing cars as they drifted around a track and diving down snowy mountains, I knew I had to get involved. After contacting some like-minded hobbyists on Facebook, I was directed to educational YouTube content by the likes of Joshua Bardwell and Flite Test. Since then, almost two years ago, I’ve been able to assemble over a dozen quads specifically designed for different purposes and enjoy flying them around my local parks and racing clubs with what I would describe as some of my closest friends. In recent months, drones have been the victim of some negative media coverage and a lot of misinformation which has caused a lot of friends and family to reach out to me regarding the safety of drones in our airspace. This prompted me to do some research into past aviation incidents where drones are related, and confirmed my position that drones have had a perfect safety record in terms of interference with manned aviation to this date. The same cannot be said for light aircraft, a timely reminder of which being the recent collision between two manned light aircraft here in Melbourne, Australia in which 4 people died. In terms of the application of tracking systems for drones and other UAV’s, I struggle to see how the government might find a suitably sized and implementable unit that could attach to everything from DJI camera drones to custom built carbon fiber racing drones and remote control planes. Should it be possible to package the necessary technology into a small, easily mounted unit, surely the cost of such a product would be enormous and largely unaffordable, especially for those with a multitude of model aircraft they wish to fly. At the end of the day, the proposal for additional hardware to be fitted to custom built drones and model aircraft does not sit well with me or any of the other pilots I have conversed with. We do not feel as though we are posing any threat to the community by flying our drones around parks, unpopulated areas and private property and are totally opposed to any form of tracking devices being fitted to our custom built quadcopters. If DJI and other similar manufacturers want to implement Remote ID and geo-fencing to ensure its comparatively more casual/less knowledgeable customers are abiding by local laws, by all means let them do so. But as someone who takes great pride in flying safely and respectfully, and as a manufacturer of my own specialty aircraft, I do not believe it to be necessary for people such as myself to retrofit tracking equipment to our systems. If an incident were to occur, that would hurt everyone in our hobby all across the globe, so the vast majority of us fly well within our means and with adequate safety measures in place to avoid bringing the hobby into disrepute and risking the well-being of members of our community.”