I looked at the thread you provided the link to. I answered the original question in post #2. There was a follow-up question (post # 5) that I answered with post #11. Then there was a post by typicalmaster (post #13) that I answered with post #14. BTW, since post #13 and #14 were made I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Scott (typicalmaster) and he generously spent a considerable amount of his time answering my questions.
Sometime between when I left for vacation on the 3rd and retuned on the 10th the format for the candidate’s forum was changed and the thread you referenced was moved out of my section and placed into the open discussion section. With all of the posts that were made in the various threads during the week I was away I missed your post #19 when I was catching up.
So, to answer your questions, yes, Jay is still working with the FAA and it is a proactive relationship. The last document I have seen relative to this issue was Docket No. FAA-2006-25714; Notice No. 07-01, read into the Federal Register on 2/13/07.
Here’s the story on the CBS-2 report. I was contacted by a club in this district after they were approached by a reporter/producer named Alison Kosic (sp??) about coming to their field to do a story on model aviation. I passed the info along to Jay Mealy. Jay recalled the name and our staff research found another news report that Ms. Kosic did a while back that portrayed model aviation as a threat to national security. After that report aired, Jay wrote Ms. Kosic, outlining the factual errors in that report and offering to meet with her in person to help her better understand what we do as model aviation enthusiasts. Jay received an email in return that simply said, “Sorry you didn’t like my story.” Because of this past history Jay cautioned the club about being careful as to what they say to Ms. Kosic. At the same time the club asked Ms. Kosic to contact either me or Jay before they came out to the club field. She did neither and, after repeated attempts, Jay finally reached her by phone. During that conversation Jay offered to meet with her and be interviewed as part of the report. Ms. Kosic indicated that she thought this would be a good idea and that she’d “run it by her boss.” She told Jay she’d call him back no later than EOB the next day. Instead of doing that she went to a local hobby shop, found another club in the area, and went out and shot the video you saw in the piece. She told the club she was doing a piece on model aviation. While, at the field, the questions turned to the potential of using models for terrorist activities and the club became concerned. I heard from the club that afternoon but by then the film crew had what they needed and were gone. The result was the piece we’re now all familiar with. Actually, I’ve related this story this month in my district column in Model Aviation.
So, what do we know? We know that the reporter (Young) and the producer (Kosic) had no intention of doing a positive report on model aviation. Their intent was to sensationalize what we do as a risk to national security. In fact, I’m positive that some of the footage that was used in this piece was also used in the original report done a while back. We also know that the remarks made by some of the people that were interviewed in the original piece were taken completely out of context. We don’t know that Sen. Schumer’s remarks weren’t also taken out of context. We do know he doesn’t mention the term model airplane (if I recall correctly).
Shortly after that piece ran I wrote a letter to Sen. Schumer, as a NY resident and an AMA officer, asking for the opportunity to meet with him (more likely a member of his staff) to discuss the article and the senator’s position. I haven’t received a reply as of yet but intend to follow-up on this if something doesn’t happen soon. At this point, because we aren’t exactly sure of the senator’s position I’m a little reluctant to approach this in an adversarial or confrontational manner. His reply will really dictate the next step.
Sorry this got a little long but I think the entire story, including information on the earlier article, will help put things somewhat into perspective.
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