Wall Street Journal spotlights high end (and high price) Recreational Aircraft and FAA regulations.
I wonder if this will hurt or help us.
Quote from article: "We're being thrown in with the professional drone crowd and being regulated for what appears to me to be no good reason," said Dennis Crooks
Spoken like a true hobbyist.
They don't realize that the AMA has the worst documented safety record compared non-AMA hobbyist and esp. commercial sUAS. They are the ones ruining it for us.
How often do we hear the guilty scream "it isn't me"?
Isn´t this reaction natural? Your hobby is at stake, you run PR... (That´s what some also do for recreational UAS (or better autonomous RC planes, sounds more like hobby to me :-)
Anyway, I don´t get why the AMA should not be able to include "electronic fun in the plane". As I know it, they have a history of promoting and actively doing autonomous flying, culminating in the TAM project in 2003 (If you should not know that one: Go look it up! It´s THE reference for DIY UAV). The head of that project as well as the landing pilot were "high ranking" AMA members, one was even their president at that time. Probably people like them should be contacted? Would at least be better to work together then blaming each other of bad safety...
The AMA recently banned everything closely resembling even semi-autonomous systems and many members want FPV eliminated.
They are putting on a front (and allienating many of their own members) to distance themselves from any non-traditional RC.
The sad thing is the AMA is run by less than a dozen self-electing board members who are fairly old and seem to care only that their big expensive airplanes are protected and screw eveeryone else, even AMA members.
Ok, that recent change would be sad... Then they actually will get at least two problems:
From the outside: More and more toys like the AR:Drone will come to the market, mixing up with th "traditional RC". Will be hard to explain to a person coming to a field to fly that he is not welcome.
From the inside: As you state, and I also would think that many flyers like to experiment, what is one of the fun things of RC flying compared to manned flying... So they will get in trouble with their own members.What´s next, only allowing kit built planes because your own constructions could be unsafe?
Big expensive planes are cool and have a great show effect to the public, would be a shame to ban these. But an organisation should be able to see the whole picture. Don´t give up trying to convince! Especially young people are attracted by new technology. And thats another important argument: Jobs! Many people (like me :-) get into the business via RC flying/experimenting...
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