Avionics News May 2020 - 35

"IT IS SO BAD THAT IT
WILL ELIMINATE THIS
PIPELINE PRODUCING
PILOTS, ASTRONAUTS,
AERONAUTICAL
ENGINEERS, A&P
MECHANICS, AND
SO FORTH.

GENERAL AVIATION
BENEFITS FROM
THIS HOBBY."

MARK A. RADCLIFF,
the district III vice president
of the Academy of Model
Aeronautics, about the
remote ID rule.
not everyone will be able to see the details on who is
flying the drone and where the remote operator is on the
ground. The FAA, law enforcement agencies and federal
security agencies will be able to retrieve this level of
data.
"Our concerns are fundamentally the impact of a
one-size-fits-all approach as it pertains to legacy model
aircraft operations," said Sean Eliot, vice president of
advocacy and safety for the EAA.
The EAA sees radio control, control line and free flight
flying as a pathway for young people into manned flight
or careers in aviation. "This could catastrophically affect
model aircraft fixed sites and pop up events and flying
contests," he said. "We certainly advocate for a better
differentiation that helps preserve and protect the legacy
side of model aircraft flying."
The Academy of Model Aeronautics has nearly
200,000 members in 2,500 clubs in the United States
and stages about 2,000 competitive events every year.
Mark A. Radcliff is district III vice president, overseeing
about 15,000 members in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West
Virginia. He has been flying model aircraft since he was
5 years old, and recently he became a private pilot to
make it easier for him to get to club events in his district
from his base in Saint Marys, West Virginia. It has been
a dream of his for quite a while to become a private pilot,
and now that he is 65, he is glad he made it. "Full-scale
aviation is so expensive, and model aviation helps keep
the flame alive," he said.
Radcliff has earned his stripes in model aviation with

his enthusiasm for radio control aerobatics leading him
to compete on four U.S. aerobatic teams in the 1970s
and 1980s flying in world championships in Switzerland,
America, South Africa and Mexico. He said clubs need
to operate their fixed sites at altitudes up to 2,000 feet
to handle aerobatic competitions, model jet aircraft and
gliders, but the government increasingly wants the clubs
to operate only at 400 feet and below.
He said the remote ID rule will curtail the hobby,
making it harder for clubs to get flying areas approved
and renewed. "It is so bad that it will eliminate this
pipeline producing pilots, astronauts, aeronautical
engineers, A&P mechanics, and so forth," he said.
"General aviation benefits from this hobby."
Another aspect of the remote ID rule he finds annoying
is that he will have to register each of his 40 model
aircraft he owns individually with the FAA at a cost of
$5 each. He thinks this is a "financially crazy" way for
the government to make money. And that doesn't count
the remote ID electronics he might have to purchase and
retrofit on his fleet of model aircraft assuming they are
capable of using the equipment. "Our hobby has been
safe for 80 years, but the government is punishing us
along with the clueless people (drone operators who
don't know or follow the rules)," he noted. Radcliff said
that he has nothing against drones if they are operated
safely, and he flies a highly automated DJI Phantom 3 to
shoot video from the air.
Continued on following page

avionics news

*

may

2020

35



Avionics News May 2020

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