Wayne

Haugen

, Vacaville

, California

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-15 12:18:37
“I grew up with a love for aviation because my dad took me to air shows. A right of passage was when I was old enough to go to the Reno National Air Races where I was old warbird and custom build aircraft race. I never knew that model aircraft were a possibility until I was in middle school back in 1998. There were model airplane magazines in the school library. I was eager to see each new edition. But it was only a dream because my family couldn’t afford the cost of the hobby in those days. It soon became a forgotten memory as I went on to live my life. I’ve always been a curious person. Wanting to know how things work and make them better if I could. Fast forward to 2017, nearly 20 years later. I’m 30 years old, I’m a journeyman technician in the auto body industry now after 12 years. I’ve got a wife and 3 young daughters. Because of the time in my life I hadn’t spent time to invest in myself. My own interests. But I still followed science and technology through podcasts, articles online, and youtube. One day I decided to pick up a micro drone. A little toy that could fit into the palm of my hand. I took it home and flew the hell out of that thing. It lead me to looking more into things online. In that I discovered the Flite Test Youtube channel. I learned that model aviation wasn’t such a high barrier to entry as it use to be. My family didn’t have much money to spend but I was able to buy a transmitter (controller) for $50 and an Almost-Ready-to-Fly glider for $90 for christmas. Luckily I had an AMA field a few miles from my house. I started taking my girls out there in my spare time to fly. I crashed a few times, but after repairs and help from club members I got the hang of things. I started scratch building soon after with Flite Test techniques. The tinkerer and lover of making things in me was finally having his moment after so many years. That dream I had back in 1998 was being fulfilled. I took my dad out to watch me fly. I started building my own designs. I got a 3d printer the next year to start fleshing out my own ideas. I started to learn CAD to do a better job at design. Then then I was able to go to my first Flite Fest here in California, an event where hundred of pilots come together to fellowship, build, and fly together. What I saw there for myself and with my family was heart warming. All of this kindled a dream that my wife and have had since we first met 10 years prior. A dream to start a coffee shop built around community. But now it wasn’t just a coffee shop. It was a maker space. A place for people of all walks; youth, families, parents like myself that have had interests but didn’t have the time or the facility to investigate their interest. A place where tools and equipment for building and exploring ideas are available. Where classes and community are there to spur you on. I am quitting my career of 15 years, selling our home, and leaving California with my wife and kids, leaving behind family and friends, to start this new adventure. All of this stemming from that drone I bought three years prior. There is a chance I could have gotten to this place a different way, but the love of aviation and the ease of getting into the hobby is what rekindled my true self. If these new rules are enacted then I don’t know if a story like mine would take place. The progress the hobby has make in the last decades has been amazing. Communities of hobbyists are stronger than even. I implore the FAA to not enact these new rules and requirements. My life has been forever changed by this hobby and I wish to see it continue.”
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