, Elmendorf

, Texas

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-22 19:13:03
“I wonder how many certified pilots today built and flew model aircraft in their adolescent years. I am inclined to believe that most did. I certainly did. I built and flew model aircraft starting when I was very young. My father put me in the back seat of a J 3 Cub when I was 14 years old. I soloed in an Aeronca Champ. I hold a private pilot ASEL certificate 15595723. I also hold both A & P mechanic certificates 2055972. My entire career has been aviation related. I worked as an A & P mechanic for many years. I am now 82 years old. I sold my last airplane several years ago. I still enjoy flying model aircraft. I own and fly at least 6 fixed wing model aircraft and at least 7 quadcopters. They are all radio controlled. I do not feel any of these toys represent a threat to aircraft as long as they are flown reasonably. The AMA has excellent guidelines to follow. I put transponders in the aircraft that I last owned. I wanted to see and be seen by ATC. I do not feel it is necessary to put a transponder in a model airplane, fixed wing or other unless they are to be flown beyond line of sight. Beyond line of sight model flight is unnecessary. I think altitude and range limits in model software are a good thing. I think that would not be cost prohibitive to model aircraft implementation. I remember flying an American Yankee AA1 performing touch and go landings at SSF in San Antonio, Texas in the ’60s. It was a warm beautiful VFR day and I had the canopy open to keep cool. I was on downwind just about to turn base when I saw something flash by out of the corner of my eye. The pattern altitude at SSF at that time i believe was 600 feet. the next time I was on downwind I was keeping a sharp eye out. There it was, a kite, right at pattern altitude. Some child had a really big ball of string to go that high. That is why I’m in favor of fencing (right word?) and altitude limits for models. Fencing to avoid airports and altitude limits to avoid low flying aircraft. Please do not ruin model aviation. I think it is still good for youngsters to build and fly models.”