Wally

Schmidt

, Hillsboro

, Oregon

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 14:50:23
“I’ve always been fascinated by flight. I’ve loved airplanes since before I could talk. In elementary school, I started building models, both static and flying, mostly control line, as RC was still using escapements and was outrageously expensive. After college, I got started in RC Soaring and found it tremendously enjoyable. We had a club that flew out of a couple of different schoolyards. We used winch launches. The winches were built from automobile starter motors and would tow our sailplanes to 300-400′. From there, if you could find a good thermal, it would take your 8′ wingspan glider nearly out of sight. I can’t express adequately the thrill of seeing an aircraft I’d built from a box of sticks, controlled by a radio I’d built from a kit, soar into the sky and float around for 15 or 20 minutes. Magic! It was like fishing upside down. I gave up RC flying when my second child was born and my career was pressing in on my life. But in the late 1970s, I had an opportunity to get get started on my private pilot’s license. I’ve always felt that my experience with RC made learning to fly a full-scale airplane easier. In the mid-1980s, a friend and I bought an old Mooney M20F, which we enjoyed for several years. Unfortunately, he crashed it, fatally, which took a lot of the joy out of flying, and I let the whole thing go by the board for a long time, but I was still packing my old RC equipment, and an unfinished sailplane kit from place to place as we moved. In 2018 we were living in Paradise, California, and lost pretty much everything to the Camp wildfire. We took advantage of the opportunity to relocate to Oregon, where our children and 6 grandchildren are within an hour’s drive. A big part of our reason for doing that was to try to broaden our grandchildren’s experience and one way to do that is to share a hobby. I picked my most enduring passion, model aviation. I’m hoping to get my proficiency back in order to share this exciting hobby with my grandchildren. I could have chosen another interest. Had I known of the NPRM when I was making the decision, I might have done so, but I’ve set a course, and I intend to pursue it. My greatest concern about the Remote ID issue, long term, is the potential for unnecessarily hamstringing the model aviation hobby. I think it’s pretty obvious that model aviation is an opportunity for young people to investigate their interest in aviation as a career. So many aviators whom I admire point to modeling as their initial engagement with aviation. When I read the NPRM (and I’ve tried, despite the dry, technical language) I don’t see anything that I recognize as the traditional model aviation I enjoyed as a kid. In my opinion, the country doesn’t need faster Amazon deliveries nearly as much as it needs sharp, engaged, enthusiastic kids who are learning to do things for themselves.”
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