Don't you just LOVE good news?
I think it happened for a couple of reasons.
First, it's obvious that FPV is here to stay.
Second, other countries are already ahead of the curve. The typical American line of thinking simply doesn't allow this...
And lastly, once someone actually SEES it, they get hooked because it's so stinking cool.
Based on all of the negative feedback we endured (and there was a lot, please send condolences to Patrick...
), it is not surprising that they initially took the stance of banning it. But EDUCATION is the thing that had the most effect, along with a concerted effort to dispel some of the common safety concerns.
Nobody should be dismayed about the buddy box rule. The previous rule (#10) was a much harder pill to swallow, right? This is a HUGE advancement! And it will give our hobby the exposure it needs to grow.
I'm sure all of the FPV vendors are jumping for joy right now, just like the rest of us are! This one small change will most likely increase FPV activity exponentially over the next year, and we will have trailer loads of usable data to present later when we petition to have the buddy box rule abolished.
The important thing to remember (and a quote from Patrick) is that if we had done nothing, the Feds would probably have shut us down eventually. The scope of the FAA's authority concerning private citizens and their property is second only to the IRS (in my opinion), and this milestone is like an anchor keeping us all from being dragged away by a large beurocracy.
Everybody should feel really good about this. Personally, I am proud to have been invited to join the effort. The others involved are really good guys and all of them deserve a nice pat on the back (that's a "pat", not a "Pat"...