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Potential end of hobby depression syndrome!

#1
Fellow flitetesters,
I began flying RC after a long hiatus ( mostly due to cost and time) because of flitetest and am a total fanatic - I even run a program at the high school I work at where we pair honors students with students with special needs and as a group we build and fly tiny trainers. unfortunately the pending rulings coming soon from the FAA that could very likely end my ability to continue this program due to restrictions and costly equipment requirements I find my self in “the RC doldrums” and cant even pick up my own planes to prepare them for spring. In theory I would like to attend flitefest Ohio but the Impending rules coming have crushed my Flying spirits. Anyone else in the same boat?
 

jsknockoff

Active member
Mentor
#2
Yeah I had a batch of it myself for a little while. Honestly considered selling the stuff off and starting a new hobby. I’m starting to turn the corner a bit though, I went out flying two days ago and caught my first thermal of the year. I was flying a UMX Radian with my son for a science project. Made me realize that it’s silly to give up that easy on something I’ve been doing religiously for over 30 years. I’ll wait out the new rules and see how intrusive they are after being implemented. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it seems. If it does turn out to be as strict as what is proposed then we all just have to get creative on what we can do to abide by the rules.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#3
You can take our airspace, you can take our flying fields but you cannot take our

FREEDOM

Theres a million fun things you can do that are more illegal than flying without a licence/transponder. The authorities don’t manage to catch people for most of them. Keep flying safely and responsibly just like model aviators have always done. Never mind the regulations, they only exist on paper for the reassurance of fools.
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#4
I tend to be a bit more optimistic about the situation. The FAA received 51K comments during the comment period, overwhelmingly in opposition of the new rules as they are written. This seems to be going down similar path to the Ultralight and powered parachutes regulation the FAA proposed in 2002 which would have required ultralight and powered parachute operators to obtain at least a sport pilot license. That received a lot of public comments and the FAA backed down.

As I have said before, unless the rules are significantly changed from their proposed format, nearly all manufactures of drone and hobby related equipment (DJI, Horizon Hobby, FliteTest's parent company, etc.) will file lawsuits against the FAA and request an injunction on the regs until the court rules; they have to file suit, these regs are a direct threat to their business.

This is going to take years to sort out and there's going to be some give on both sides. Keep encouraging others to get into the hobby; stay up to date on this issue, and call or write your congressman.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#5
Ask yourself how many times you broke the speed limit this year vs how many times you got caught. There’s a lot more money put into traffic enforcement than policing minority hobbies. Speeding has been illegal since the first cars arrived, your chances of getting caught provided you aren’t driving at 100mph right through a pedestrian street are pretty minimal, I contend the chance of getting caught flying safely and responsibly are pretty tiny.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#6
I tend to be a bit more optimistic about the situation. The FAA received 51K comments during the comment period, overwhelmingly in opposition of the new rules as they are written.
The adjusted numbers were actually about 44k - they had a few thousand duplicates (people who just copy/pasted their previous comments, accidental reposts from a browser cache, etc.), and a few thousand that were just people trashing the FAA with foul language and threats. They ignored most of those, and pulled them out, narrowing it down.

That said, there's a lot of opposition to this ruling. People who aren't hobbyists have seen it as "monetizing the skies", and are up in arms about it - DHL, Amazon, UPS, FedEx, etc., are all going to have to pay for use of the airspace if these rules go through, and to them that just means that the cost for delivery is going to get passed down to us poor suckers wanting our items. They don't want to pay more for it, which I can't necessarily blame them for; it's one of the arguments we hobbyists have with having to buy in to the Remote ID transponders - a proposed cost is $5/mo per transponder, but that's a non-transferable transponder - you can't take it out of your Baby Blender and put it into your P-38, or take it from your 2m glider and put it into your quadcopter. So if you have multiple aircraft (as many of us do), it's $5/mo, per aircraft - which could be $40-$50/mo JUST for transponder costs. But I'm probably not telling you anything you haven't heard already, so I'll get out of my "Area of Anger" and cool down. :)

Here's the thing that I've seen - the FAA isn't policing this. They don't have the manpower now to handle full scale aircraft; they'd need to have a couple thousand more bodies just to cover all of the cases of policing the hobbyists who might violate the rule should it go into effect. There will be people who will fly off of their own property ("it's my land, I can do what I want out here!"), even if it's technically illegal. There will be people who will head out into the desert and launch off of a dry lake bed. Nobody's around to tell them they can't do it, so they're going to keep doing it. And there will be the people who will go find a slope somewhere that they can throw a plane off of and glide for hours at a time.

And for those of us who are already geared up with equipment, is the government going to track them down and take the stuff away from them? I honestly don't see it happening, should the rule go into effect...

Overall, I think there's a lot of "what if" going on, and people are looking at the potential end. We all want to fly legally, but honestly, I don't think it's going to change anything for many of us, other than to make more of us outlaws.
 

FoamyDM

Building Fool-Flying Noob
#7
I've been a bit depressed about the whole thing... for similar reasons to the first post here. I help with scouts. and as a FF glider it's all good, I wanted to continue that on for older scouts who where interested in RC flying. As we know here, bigger flies better.

@KSP_CPA do you remember the number of comments for the 2002 pilot rule? and what was that in comparison to the perceived affected body?

Flite Test has 1.6M youtube subscribers... - the AMA has anywhere from 150-300k registered paid active members - and then there is the drone alliance. I know the
51/1,600=3.2% and 17% of the user-ship.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#8
Where there is life there is hope!
The impending changes could be seen as a blessing in disguise! Sure there will some disruption and addition restrictions but these are just to allow the prosecution of the dangerous and somewhat mindless element that are forever posting their antics on social media. It is those posts and the antics that have caused this knee jerk reaction from the ill-informed.

Sadly the submissions received were most likely just against the rule/law changes and how they impact personal freedoms and they contained little in the way of positive suggestions on how to achieve the required control over the radical element and to eliminate the potential misuse and danger to the public, (including terrorist usage implications).

Dedicated flying zones combined with compulsory and insured club membership is where we are trying to get the hobby here in Aus. If you cannot give them viable alternatives the laws will go through unchanged regardless of the number of submissions and other correspondence.

To ignore the aim of the legislation is to appear to be part of the problem.

Regardless of the imposts I will continue to fly legally!

Have fun!
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#9
@KSP_CPA do you remember the number of comments for the 2002 pilot rule? and what was that in comparison to the perceived affected body?
It took quite a bit of digging but the final rule stated the FAA received "over 4,700 comments to the NPRM". That was also proposed in 2002 and the final rule also said "approximately 1,800 additional comments came through the on-line forum". The final reg did state that 15,000 ultralight pilots would have been required to obtain certification, a much smaller community than ours by size. Additionally, security concerns were a huge part of those proposed regs much like the regs we are concerned about now.

In the final rules for ultralights it specifically references the United States Ultralight Association ("USUA") and how commenters specifically referenced that community group as a better guiding light than the FAA. The FAA actually agreed with USUA's proposed rules and used them to refine this final rule which was less restrictive than the initial proposal. While it seemed that the ultralight community was more "focused" in it's response than our community, but you did see a material change in the proposed to final rules because of comments.

Another thought on the parallel to the ultralight rules to these rules. Those rules were in response to people actually dying in ultralight crashes, whether mechanical failure or pilot error and compromise was found. Say what you will about "those pilots who make us look bad" in this hobby whether buzzing over private land, crashing drones onto cars, or strapping fireworks onto a drone to breakup a loud party at the neighbors; even the worst of the worst nearly never results in death.
 

FoamyDM

Building Fool-Flying Noob
#10
It took quite a bit of digging but the final rule stated the FAA received "over 4,700 comments to the NPRM". That was also proposed in 2002 and the final rule also said "approximately 1,800 additional comments came through the on-line forum". The final reg did state that 15,000 ultralight pilots would have been required to obtain certification, a much smaller community than ours by size. Additionally, security concerns were a huge part of those proposed regs much like the regs we are concerned about now.

In the final rules for ultralights it specifically references the United States Ultralight Association ("USUA") and how commenters specifically referenced that community group as a better guiding light than the FAA. The FAA actually agreed with USUA's proposed rules and used them to refine this final rule which was less restrictive than the initial proposal. While it seemed that the ultralight community was more "focused" in it's response than our community, but you did see a material change in the proposed to final rules because of comments.

Another thought on the parallel to the ultralight rules to these rules. Those rules were in response to people actually dying in ultralight crashes, whether mechanical failure or pilot error and compromise was found. Say what you will about "those pilots who make us look bad" in this hobby whether buzzing over private land, crashing drones onto cars, or strapping fireworks onto a drone to breakup a loud party at the neighbors; even the worst of the worst nearly never results in death.
Thank you! That is some bolstering news. and good-to-have numbers comparisons. Do you know if the FAA performed a risk analysis before Proposing the rule for the Ultralights?

So far, no deaths. or if so, next to no deaths. I suspect it's what makes the rule reasoning feel artificial and shoe-horned. A claim of safety concerns about the safest group in the air felt like getting slapped in the face. (to me)

Well, like it's been said. It is not over or finished yet. it will take some time to review, and to suss out the law suits on lost business from the hobby sector.
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#11
Thank you! That is some bolstering news. and good-to-have numbers comparisons. Do you know if the FAA performed a risk analysis before Proposing the rule for the Ultralights?
Yes, the FAA did actually 2 risk analyses on a "cost method" by estimating what it would cost to the economy if those rules were not adopted and applied a dollar amount to accidents, serious injuries, and deaths which would occur if the rules were kept "status quo" and if the rules had "strict adoption". They then looked at all ultralight accidents reports from the NTSB from 1995 to 2002, applied the estimated number of new and existing pilots who would be subject to the rules and how it would influence a projected number of accidents over the following 10 years. Fun fact, the FAA considered a life to be worth $3 million in 2002 dollars!

The analysis for the Remote ID was very different as savings due to enhanced safety (even though safety was on the front page) was not quantified in their economic impact analysis. This is a departure from the Ultralight analysis where every potential life saved was counted. One of my comments submitted in the public comment was the scenarios/incidents described in the proposed rules were vague, speculative, and some did not occur inside the United States. The FAA did not prove these rules would enhance public safety in their analysis and did not quantify the economic benefit of avoided incidents as is their custom with proposed rules (if anyone on FT, DJI, or Horizon's legal team reads that, feel free to use if you have to file suit against the FAA).

Some really fascinating stuff if you want to dig through several hundred pages of government regulation!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#12
The real issue for RC aircraft is the regulation free nature of their existence. You can freely buy all the materials needed to build one. Plans are mostly freely available. You can teach yourself to fly one all without any restrictions or regulatory obstacle. You can then take your creation and weaponize it and fly it with the aim of harming others.

YouTube and other social media outlets provide sufficient "How To's" to allow the would be terrorist to develop a strike platform cheaply and without coming under the radar of the authorities.

During one of the recent Middle East conflicts I remember a televised report, with live footage, where what looked like a FB plane was shot down as it was attempting to fly from the enemy side to attack the government forces under radio control.

Whilst the current regulations will not prevent such usage it will allow authorities to identify either a rogue aircraft or a registered user who can be held responsible for the aircraft.

The path of building an Ultralight and piloting it to attack a target is far more complex and somewhat complicated compared to a RC plane that can be pulled out of the rear of a vehicle and launched from a roadside in a matter of seconds.

Just my thoughts on the regulations!

Have fun!
 
#13
The real issue for RC aircraft is the regulation free nature of their existence. You can freely buy all the materials needed to build one. Plans are mostly freely available. You can teach yourself to fly one all without any restrictions or regulatory obstacle. You can then take your creation and weaponize it and fly it with the aim of harming others.

YouTube and other social media outlets provide sufficient "How To's" to allow the would be terrorist to develop a strike platform cheaply and without coming under the radar of the authorities.

During one of the recent Middle East conflicts I remember a televised report, with live footage, where what looked like a FB plane was shot down as it was attempting to fly from the enemy side to attack the government forces under radio control.

Whilst the current regulations will not prevent such usage it will allow authorities to identify either a rogue aircraft or a registered user who can be held responsible for the aircraft.

The path of building an Ultralight and piloting it to attack a target is far more complex and somewhat complicated compared to a RC plane that can be pulled out of the rear of a vehicle and launched from a roadside in a matter of seconds.

Just my thoughts on the regulations!

Have fun!
Nothing blatantly untrue there just leaves out the fact that you can weaponize almost anything. The fundamental question is do we want to live in as safe as a possible society with no freedom or privacy or accept some risk and live free?
 
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"Corpse"

Well-known member
#14
Fellow flitetesters,
I began flying RC after a long hiatus ( mostly due to cost and time) because of flitetest and am a total fanatic - I even run a program at the high school I work at where we pair honors students with students with special needs and as a group we build and fly tiny trainers. unfortunately the pending rulings coming soon from the FAA that could very likely end my ability to continue this program due to restrictions and costly equipment requirements I find my self in “the RC doldrums” and cant even pick up my own planes to prepare them for spring. In theory I would like to attend flitefest Ohio but the Impending rules coming have crushed my Flying spirits. Anyone else in the same boat?
I've been feeling the same thing with airplanes. What I typically do is try some different parallel to the hobby. (instead of FT airplanes, Do some Fpv quad stuff,) After a while my quad breaks or I get bored of that for a while. Then I have my old trusty airplane to relax and fly around with.:love: