, New Mexico

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-18 18:30:35
“I am a 54 year old male with a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin (also BSME and MSME from U of Ark and U of Texas respectively). I am currently employed and a computational physicist at a Department of Energy (DOE) lab in Albuquerque NM involved in code development for High Energy Density Physics (HEDP; think fusion energy) research. I became interested in STEM at an early age. I can’t place the exact time but recall being enthralled by the moon landing. My first real recollection of this sort was winning a raffle to fly a Cox 049 P-51 plastic model at a local mall. Actually, I didn’t win, my little brother did. However, he was too scared so I got the opportunity. To the best of my recollection I absolutely loved it and the rest of my professional life followed. I was unable to afford to fly RC growing up but after completing my PhD I quickly joined a club and learned to fly with the help of a friend I’d known in college. I flew for a few years but then got married, had kids, had health issues, and the hobby dropped. Recently I’ve gotten back into flying RC rotary wing (helicopters). Kids are older and I have been trying to get them involved in STEM activities. While my daughter has shown interest in becoming an engineer neither of them seem much interested in dad’s hobby (frowny face). Never-the-less I continue to fly. RC has been a great outlet for me. In the years between leaving the hobby and coming back I had a tumor develop in my spinal cord due to a genetic condition. While the tumor was removed successfully, I developed paralysis in my left leg and some proprioception issues that make standing a challenge. Getting exercise became a challenge as it got more complicated (I can walk with a limp but, for example, riding a standard two-wheel bike is not possible) and it became too easy to sit around doing nothing. Getting back into RC has been a blessing for me as it gives me a goal (flying RC helis is HARD!) that pushes me to get outside. Besides being a challenge I’ve met a wide range of guys that I now consider friends. To be frank I’m really worried about what I’ll do for a hobby if RemoteID goes through as proposed by the FAA. I have no interest in flying big-box store drones that I see as the only potential way to meet the requirements of the NPRM as written. I have absolutely no problems with the FAA requiring licensing requirements (hell, they are required to drive a car, though that’s a MUCH more dangerous activity based on available data). I also have no qualms with the FAA requiring some method of flight tracking as through LAANC system. I honestly don’t think any of these systems solve a real problem but I understand that FAA needs something to CYA. As you guys know, what is proposed in the FAA’s NPRM is unworkable unless the objective is to kill the hobby. My helis have a multitude of components including i) airframe, ii) RX/TX, iii) servos, iv) control surfaces and v) flybarless controller (electronic stabilization that mimics flybars in traditional rotary aircraft). Where does the ID broadcast system plug in? How does it prevent flight? How does it prevent me from hacking it so that I can fly anyway? How do I pay for a registration for each of my 10 airframes? How does it prevent a bad-actor from building their own, from scratch vehicle (you guys know how easily this could be done). So many questions and so few answers from the FAA. Why didn’t they consult experts when the drafted these rules? Where is the risk assessment showing that my 2 pound Goblin 380 helicopter is as dangerous as Amazon’s 50 pound autonomous beast that will fly directly over my house? General aviation has different rules for different aircraft. Single engine, multi-engine, jet engine licenses are there for a reason. EAA is there for a reason. Gliders are regulated differently for a reason. Is the FAA just being lazy? Anyway, I digress. I appreciate what you guys are doing here and am rooting for you. Tom”
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