Model Aviation has been around for many years, but as of late the hobby has had a ‘drone problem.’ What I mean by this is the growth of the multirotor industry and multirotor pilots being portrayed as bad people. This is hurting model aviation, and it is not aviators’ faults, but the news media. Almost everyday you see something in the news about the horrible ‘drones’ and their nefarious users, but in reality, this is not nationwide security issue.
Secondly, let me say that this is not only affecting said ‘drone’ pilots, but all model aviators. Drones have been painted so dangerous that now one cannot even fly a fixed-wing model airplane without someone complaining about it. If relatively small multirotors are such a problem, you would think fixed-wing aircraft would be even more dangerous, being relatively larger and in a few cases faster. Up until this year no one had heard of ‘America’s Drone Problem’ as one media group called it. The way it is showed to the populous is that the only people using model aircraft are people spying on you or trying to make airports unsafe, and I am here to say that as a community we the model aviators have had enough. We have mostly kept quiet about it hoping that false allegations would fall by the wayside, but the media has found a group that they can pick on and aren’t letting it go. Every day when I sit down to watch the news I am told that my hobby is such a threat that no one should be able to do it, I am restricted on where I can fly (we already were and it is getting worse), I have to pay for an I.D. so that I can fly, and am criticized wherever I dare unpack the Cub or whichever airplane I want to fly. I use the Cub as an example, it does not even weigh one quarter of a pound and yet everyone has been told by the media to watch out for model aviators, they might use it to cause destruction to everything that lies before them.
The first thing on every model aviator’s mind is safety, we do not want anyone to get hurt either, but due to misinformation the recreational pilot is being publicly humiliated over no fault of his own. Most people would say this decision of the FAA is necessary, and the media should cover stories harshly from every angle, and I agree, but they should be honest. If no one calls them out on false accusations, what hobby or group will it be next?
AN OPEN LETTER
To the media:
As a member of the aviation community I am shocked that this has gone on as long as it has. Just because we have a hobby that involves flying does not mean that we are a great threat to society. Model aviators give many people their first look at aviation, and our hobby is a large part of what keeps aviation strong and growing, through kickstarting people’s interest in flight. It is amazing to see the look in someone’s eye when they fly a model for the first time, but thanks to you that could soon be a thing of the past. People do not want to get involved in a hobby that is painted so dark by your ‘clear and honest coverage’ that “all model pilots wish ill-will toward their fellow man, and they’re using their drones to do it.” With the bad coverage of a small amount of isolated and sometimes even non-existent incidences, an entire group of everyday people are looked down upon and hated by the populous. We do not want to be pushed around anymore, nor will we stand for being portrayed as reckless nor careless any longer. The entire Aviation Community should be calling out this overstep in authority, and make sure that the truth is being told. We are a group of people who love aviation, and want to share it with the world, we are not dangerous nor a threat to aviation nor the safety of citizens. All model aviators are being punished for something that has not even happened; not one multirotor has ever caused a general aviation crash, and yet we are still being portrayed as careless people. We care for the safety of others, and we care about our hobby; we as a group can no longer be careless about how we are shown in the media. Anyone that has ever flown a model airplane knows that a careless pilot could not even be considered a pilot, because he would never even make it off the ground. Model aviators are some of the most cautious and precise people I know, especially as far as hobbies go; they cannot afford to be careless, because if they were, all their time would be spent on the ground repairing their now useless pile of balsa wood or foam and plastic airframe. We only hope to stop being portrayed in this fashion, and hope to clear up any misinformation about us or our wonderful pastime.
– The Model Aviation Community