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Old Mar 03, 2009, 07:23 PM
trickybit is offline
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episode #84 and the big scary regulations

I think aerial photog and other commercial UAV applications are really cool, and advocating on their behalf is a noble endeavor on Patric's part.


But to open the conversation and go on talking about how the 1110.150 would affect the "non-AMA member modeler" was not just uninformative, but disingenuous. Up until Diggs asked for Patric's background, well in, he sure sounded like he was advocating the position of the modeler, specifically the non-AMA modeler, but he's in fact an advocate (paid?) of the commercial applications. He never offered that info, and after disclosing it, he got back into his "protect the hobby" spiel, the wholesome hobby, sons, granddads, granddaughters, ...

The linked order, which if very brief, has the clearly stated goal to address the issues of commercial, paid, un-manned flight, and goes so far as to refer to the modeler-specific guidelines (AC 91-57) to distance itself from modeling. Trying to rally the "non-AMA member modeler" to the cause of resisting regulation of the commercial industries, without clear disclosure, is misleading. Go back and listen to how the AMA representative is described, as advocating narrowly "for the AMA membership." The group of concern which is left out is not the "non-AMA hobbyist," but the commercial UAV operators. (It's a different podcast if you've read the docs before you hear the talk.)

"Ask yourself, 'Would I be happy getting rid of my gliders...'" "Am I going to get a ticket...?" "Are they gonna take my stuff...?" "Why are you taking away my safe pass-time?" "What can I do about this...?"

Indeed, new regulations can leak out, and advance a bad trend, and modelers could be affected by the new commercial regulations now or later. Modelers should be informed and aware, and it's a good topic for a podcast.

But that's not what Patric brought to the show, and in my opinion, it was quite unfortunate. I would be more inclined to sympathize with the cause if it weren't wrapped up in such manipulation.

For all the talk about how safe the hobby is, the real (and interesting) question pertains to how safe commercial applications are, and what regulation is appropriate for them beyond the hobbyist guidelines. There was zero conversation about that, and it is the central thrust of the order.

From the "built in sense and avoid system" conversation, it sounded like he felt no restrictions were required. And kind of ironic that Patric seemed to even begrudge needing an AMA membership to fly commercial gear at a sanctioned field. The story about "diving" out of the way of a full-sized aircraft... as an argument for the build in safety mechanisms requiring no further regulation? DIVING?

And all the talk about Slo-Sticks, known to be a fan favorite, seemed pandering. We're talking camera aircraft here, not behind in front of flight lines, not flying a pattern, and definitely not a hobby.

This was not the "low down." There may be an issue about how this commercial regulation could impact modeling, but this wasn't the show where that was honestly and clearly explored.

So anyway, maybe others heard this all a different way, but it sounded like lobbyist BS to me. Maybe get somebody from the AMA to comment, and at least we'd get the modelers' lobbyist BS, which at least would be less backhanded, when presented to the ATTF audience.


Looking forward to listening to the PSC now... :-)

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