Sam

Knight

, Richmond

, Maine

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-19 10:41:25
“I fly in Maine, where cell based internet is spotty all over, and a good GPS lock sometimes can’t be had until you are above the trees (already flying). I enjoy building and flying craft as a way of learning about autonomous vehicle controls and mapping applications for photogrammetry research. The crossover with robotics education is huge, I am a volunteer with robotics programs for kids and I enjoy teaching kids about electronics through systems such as UAS that they can build and see operating in a very real way. The RID proposed rules would entirely block me from operating my craft in a useful way for the work I do for research, shackle me too close to my GCS to be of much use for flying my full size drones, and limit what I can do with building and flying craft with my student groups. Having to register each craft individually will be a huge cost, as my craft are regularly taken apart and reconfigured. I fly in some open school fields in a rural town with agricultural fields neighboring, I often have huge line of sight clearance and can easily see in all directions around my area, where there is easy viewing of any craft entering the space. RID for those situations is just unnecessary, I would have to drive 30 minutes to get to the nearest AMA fields which would presumably become the FRIAs. Additionally, for my work research, I specifically need to be able to fly at different locations for data collection. My drones are all also geofenced by the control software that does not require an internet connection which I extensively test before taking out live in the air. I have big concerns about privacy and my own safety with my location being reported out to the public. When flying for work, I am typically in the field with about $10,000 of equipment. I don’t like the idea of anyone being able to look up on a website to see if there are any drones in the area, and be able to come looking for an easy target to rob or threaten. There is a distinct difference between looking up the tail number of a plane flying over and that of a drone pilot on the ground, that is that the UAS pilot is in a fixed location on the ground. Chasing down an airplane at high altitude is not practical, getting to a ground based remote pilot would be much simpler. This portion of the RID proposal creates an undue threat to the safety of remote pilots by forcing them to be sitting ducks. There are certainly valid cases for RID such as long range FPV, BVLOS flights, or those up in airspace where there is high traffic such as near airports or military operations would be obvious candidates. The RID as proposed, does nothing to change rogue operators behavior, creates massive barriers to legal operators, stifles the ability of the community and industry to innovate, and gives nothing in return, other than the promise of BVLOS flight, which many current pilots are simply not interested in. We should be looking at the model of Shielded Operations like they have in New Zealand; Layered airspace, say below 200ft remaining unregulated; increased weight over the proposed 250g limits for registration, and opening up the opportunity for local airfields to be continually created rather than limited to 12 months.”
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