Sport Expo: The Year Of The Drone

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Sometime between mid-January and mid-February, the tourist hordes descend on Florida to escape the winter miseries of the northern tier. They’re often disappointed to learn how sporting a winter cold front can be in Florida, sometimes all the way to Key West.

Great news this year, though: The 13th annual Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring had only a mild front, as opposed to one that has blown over tents and skidded tied-down airplanes in recent years. While Expo lacked the front, it also lacked the hordes, but that’s always been true of this show. It’s what I like to call… relaxed. The crowds are just thin, matching the light sport market the event is supposed to support. It’s never going to be anything other than that, so I’ve stopped pretending otherwise. Attendees should come in knowing that and take it or leave it.

This year, of course, the show has competition in the form of a new light sport event at Deland, the Sport Aviation Showcase. Perhaps in response to that or just the natural evolution of these things, organizers made some improvements at Sebring. The forum venues were better and centrally located and the show itself was moved onto the ramp area centered on the airport’s modern terminal building. This provided three immediate benefits. First, the car parking access was a little easier—at least for press and exhibitors. Second, the flightline, using a parallel taxiway for Runway 1/19 as a runway, was more easily accessible for display aircraft to fly flight demos. 

Last, shattering the almost universal truth that airshows have crappy food served by indifferent vendors out of trucks and booths, the airport restaurant provided breakfast and lunch. Sebring’s airport eatery is reliably good and for the two days I was at the show, it did an admirable job of serving customers without unreasonable waits. (It helps that there just aren’t that many people about.) One last thing: The indoor vendor booth was a step-up and even had carpet on the floor, thus pegging my fun meter.

For me, the highlight of the show was the drone presence. Last year, what drones were there were pathetically caged up in a hangar, all but assuring that their capabilities would be hidden from the view of the curious. As I pointed out in this video, this year the drone community had several acres of display tents and open-air, uncaged racing that was fun to watch. (This year, the solution was inverted; the spectators were protected by netting.) Anyone mildly interested in what this new sport is all about could get a good feel for it by watching the pilots race and seeing the FPV footage live. It’s a highly videocentric activity well in keeping with the Facebook and YouTube universe. 

There is still some risk, of course. Without containment, one of these palm-sized drones could get away and hit something or someone. Organizer Todd Wahl told me they have two levels of failsafe: a manual kill switch that drops them to the ground and an automatic kill that activates with loss of signal. Still, nothing is foolproof, least of all getting through those race gates at 60 MPH. I looked at a race through the FPV goggles and it’s scary as hell—but also alluring. Every race had a satisfying number of crashes and spinouts and these seem to make a loud thunk against the gates. Sometimes the drone is wrecked, sometimes not. In a bit of irony perhaps misplaced, the pilots had to fly a tight hairpin around a parked Cessna under the horizontal stab and main wing. It was an old, unairworthy beater and it got nailed plenty by the drones.

I give the FAA, the airport authority, the show organizers and the drone racing league kudos for getting this to happen and not just shutting it down out of irrational fear. As you’ve seen from the comments on this blog, there’s a persistent resentment and fear of drones in the GA community, much of it centered on the fact that the pilot—or operators, if you prefer—don’t undergo the same training requirement as pilots of certified aircraft. Face it; they’re a bunch of self-centered 20-somethings with face metal and baggy pants.

Although I don’t share the fear factor, I get why people worry about this. Reasonable regulation and oversight is not a bad thing. On the other hand, it’s a little like buggy owners complaining that horseless carriage drivers didn’t have a clue about feeding horses. In the end, I’m OK sharing the airspace with these kids. They’re the new, vibrant face of aviation—and yes, it is aviation—and I say welcome aboard.

Seguing here to airspace, the temporary tower this year at Sebring was an FAA operation, not the contract deal it has been in previous years. Previously, a private operator called AirBoss did the ATC duty. This show is so sparse that it’s barely needed, but it’s there for pilots who feel more comfortable being directed around the airspace and airport by radio. I’m not one of them, but the tower adds a layer of risk reduction.

To be kind, the FAA operation lacked a certain flexibility. I was out demoing a CTLS for this video early Friday morning returning from the south. There was one other aircraft in the area actually heading away from the airport. Sport Expo has a published procedure that requires flying in from Lake Jackson, about six miles away, then entering the pattern. It is an amusing shadow of the Ripon arrival. With the airport deserted, we asked for a straight-in for Runway 1. Nope, said the controller, you have fly all the way north to the lake, then south again to the airport. From where we were, it added about 12 totally unnecessary flying miles. We told him we could do the demo pattern instead.

Obviously, at AirVenture, you’d expect to see more accommodation in a situation like this and if people like me point that out, maybe we’ll get it in the future.

Comments (32)

"Hey, kid - wanna see some REAL FPV? ... I've got this plane here ..."

Posted by: Rollin Olson | January 29, 2017 8:16 PM    Report this comment

Hey, kid - wanna see some REAL hand-to-hand combat? I've got this grenade here..."

;-)

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | January 30, 2017 4:36 AM    Report this comment

I've attended all but the first Expo. Year after year I came away vowing that, "I ain't going back next year" but always did. This year -- despite the decent WX -- I did just that; I skipped it. I don't need to spend time and money to listen to race car noise, either.

To be totally honest, the best part of the Expo -- for me -- IS staying at the premier hotel in town and hobnobbing in the bar after being bored to tears at the show itself. I can do that at home without driving nearly 200 miles each way and spending $$ to do it.

I've taken four demo rides there over the years because I thought I was interested but ... sorry ... the cost vs performance vs usability factors just don't add up for me. There's a couple of machines that ARE nicely done but not for the prices they demand. One machine did seriously tempt me until I investigated what the "S" in S-LSA means maintenance wise. And we haven't even talked about the resale value or insurance costs of same. Until someone comes to their senses and raises the max weight of an LSA ... this segment of aviation will just not measure up and won't ever seriously catch on. That's likely why they took the word "Light" out of Light Sport Expo? Maybe that's why Jana left for Deland, too?

When I looked at the Expo's website this year, I clearly noticed that they were highlighting all this drone stuff. So which is it ... is this a Light Sport Expo or a Drone Expo? If it's the later, they could hold it someplace else where the "operators" could REALLY have some fun vs. being limited by a nearby airfield. To me, flying a drone is NOT aviating. It may well involve aerodynamics but unless I am IN the thing, it ain't aviating. Sorry. RC airplanes would at least involve some skill and require that you build the thing. And few of the "kids" flying drones will ever become 'real' pilots ... kinda like the few pilots that flying two million Young Eagles has produced.

Quarter million dollar flying jet skis, propeller driven cars hanging under parachutes, tiny airplanes that only acrobats can climb into, rogollo wings where you push left to go right and NOW ... drones, too. What will they think of next. Test drives of new cars? Maybe that jet man guy will show up?

It just hit me ... they should hold the Sport Expo in the Nevada desert in conjunction with Burning Man. Picture all those LSA's and drones flying around him during immolation. Hoards of "drone dudes" could be enjoying the final scene with their VR goggles. Maybe they could have drone demolition crashes to start the fire? I think they should rename drones ... UFO's ... unmanned flying objects.

I'm sorry ... it's tough to be serious when thinking about this Expo as it has evolved. I think you already opined as to which one will survive in your Deland blog? This is a show looking for a purpose.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | January 30, 2017 4:55 AM    Report this comment

By the way, no race cars this year. It was great.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | January 30, 2017 7:10 AM    Report this comment

"Until someone comes to their senses and raises the max weight of an LSA ... this segment of aviation will just not measure up and won't ever seriously catch on."

I don't see that happening, at least not any time soon.


"RC airplanes would at least involve some skill and require that you build the thing. And few of the "kids" flying drones will ever become 'real' pilots "

Have you actually ever tried flying a drone, or for that matter, an RC airplane? Drones may be easier to start using, but the skill is in precisely controlling it to go where you want it to and it's not as easy as it might seem. And who cares if any of the drone pilots (which aren't just kids) never become "real" pilots. You can't stop the segment from growing, so the only real option is to educate both drone pilots and "real" pilots about each other so we both stay out of each other's way.

I wouldn't be surprised if "Sport Expo" in a few years (if it's still around) has as many or more drone booths and demos as it does LSA booths. And maybe that's the real reason they dropped the "Light" part?

Posted by: Gary Baluha | January 30, 2017 9:36 AM    Report this comment

If you think flying those racing drones doesn't require skill, you're mistaken. Look at the FPV footage and understand they're flying through those gates on manual control. It's a different skill than flying--more akin to video gaming--but a skill nonetheless.

Most of them know how to repair and tweak those aircraft, not to mention building them. They're getting technical skills out of the activity, so I see it as a net plus.

Some of those kids will drift to full-size aircraft--notice I don't say "real" because those aircraft are as real as the chair you're sitting in. And by the way, think how welcoming we appear as just a bunch of sour old curmudgeons complaining about how things to used to be and how everything is always being taken away from us.

I wouldn't blame them a bit for running away from that. Makes me want to run into the drone world sometimes. But I can't. My reaction times are too slow to race those things. And if anymore Amazon boxes arrive in this house, my wife will shoot me.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | January 30, 2017 10:14 AM    Report this comment

"...if any more Amazon boxes arrive in this house, my wife will shoot me."
Ironically, her ammo may arrive via an Amazon drone. ;-)> God save the queen!

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | January 30, 2017 10:48 AM    Report this comment

Nice to hear -- after 12 years -- that the race cars weren't making noise, Paul. I wrote that up more than once on the feedback. They should have announced that on their website. I wasn't the only person who found the incessant noise obnoxious.

It's a shame ... LSA's could be a PERFECT two place new airplane alternative IF the MGTOW was 2000#. $180K + tax for the (nice) CTLSi you demo'ed at the show is not justifiable for very many people. With just a few changes, the segment could become viable but -- as you say -- not likely gonna happen, Gary. In much the same way as BasicMed will likely turn out ... "close" but no potato. Prices for LSA's won't come down until sales volume goes up but now we have the chicken and egg problem. To support that premise, I note that ADS-B transponder prices are now dropping as 2020 looms and the 800# gorilla entered the foray. That needs to happen to LSA, as well.

I have flown a drone and RC airplanes. I admit the drone was fun ... for about 5 minutes. But we're talking apples and oranges here ... or is it LSA's and UFO's? As I said, it ain't aviating in MY book. Flying vicariously via FPV goggles isn't gonna get it for me. If Sebring becomes a predominantly drone show, I won't ever go back. Maybe Deland will be LSA's and Sebring will be drones?

Posted by: Larry Stencel | January 30, 2017 11:37 AM    Report this comment

I flew model airplanes before learning to fly full size. So did a lot of my acquaintances. Now the clubs seem to be the domain of old codgers.

Good for the drone guys, they may find good jobs flying and firing Hellfire missiles, monitoring unmanned UPS and FedX aerial transports, some of them writing software for the next NexGen ATC system.

Carry on.

Posted by: Edd Weninger | January 30, 2017 11:38 AM    Report this comment

Paul -

Amen to that.

Drones and RC fixed-wing model airplanes & helicopters require the same or greater stick-and-rudder skills as full-size aircraft. They're subject to the same laws of physics and flight dynamics as full-size aircraft, except that they typically have much higher power-to-weight ratio and thus have much wider flight envelopes on the high end, allowing the average RC pilot to do aerobatics that few fill-scale pilots are qualified to perform. And except for FPV, there's the small matter of point-of-view; when the model is flying toward you, right is left and left is right, which takes some hand-eye training.

Events like the Sport Expo could be an opportunity to help (nudge) those kids to drift to full-size aircraft. Suggesting "Hey try this" would be more effective than yelling "get off my lawn and take your toys with you". Or telling them that full-scale flying is too difficult and serious for them. The biggest obstacle may be the yank-and-bank mindset that comes with drones and other models. But a real-life FPV and/or *safe* yanking-and-banking can be fun.

Edd -
I do both. My RC club has lots of old codgers but also a smattering of kids & middle-aged who can fly the pants off most of the old guys.

Posted by: Rollin Olson | January 30, 2017 12:04 PM    Report this comment

Larry, not seeing LSA's utility for your own purposes is one thing, saying they have no utility is another. LSA's provide utility for lots of flyers, whether it's the $100 hamburger, cross state trip or flight training.

Utility:
Aspen Flying Club in Colorado solo student pilots on 15 hrs on LSA's vs 24 hrs using C172's. They reduce the cost of flight training. In high use environments, maintenance is approx 25% less than a C172. Useful load ranges from 600 lbs for something like a Bristell to 410 lbs on a Carbon Cub.

Maintenace:
Maintenance manuals are for the most part are thorough. Yes modifications have to be approved by the manufacturer. Much easier than getting an STC approval or one time field approval using a Form 337 for a certified aircraft. Yes, parts availability is an issue. There are parts for C172's everywhere. For LSA's an unusual part will have to come from the factory, often located outside the USA, adding days to downtime.

Resale & Insurance:
Resale values are solid. Just compared a 2010 C172S and 2010 Cubcrafters Carbon Cub on Vref; the Cessna depreciated 20% and the Carbon Cub 11% from new. Insurance is comparable to FAR 23 aircraft of the same vintage. Higher hull values of newer aircraft account for higher premiums.

Performance:
Getting into a Flight Design CTLS or Bristell is much easier than getting into C152 or PA28-140. Both the LSA's cruise faster, stall slower, climb faster and use less fuel than their FAR 23 brethren. Both have a far greater useful load than the C152. Low wing loading in particular can make LSA's a handful in strong winds. These smaller and lighter aircraft require more finesse and can be more challenging to fly. LSA accident records indicate high time pilots used to heavier aircraft are over-represented. Those that learn on LSA's are demonstrably less risky insurance bets.

Cost vs. Performance:
Cessna no-longer manufactures the C152. A 2017 PA28 is approx twice the cost of either the Bristell or Flight Design CTLS. Cessna's current entry level aircraft, the C172, is 2.25 times the cost of either. There's something for everyone in the LSA space. From an $85k Aerotrek to a $250k Carbon Cub on floats or $287k a fully optioned Icon, you can have whatever your heart desires. If you want to go IFR, change your S-LSA to an E-LSA and have the DAR add the words "Instrument flight operations are authorized if the instruments specified in 91.205(d) are installed, operational and maintained in accordance with the applicable requirements of part 91" to the operating limitations when doing the conversion. That's the legal work-around.

Attitude:
I agree with Paul, any kind of aviation is AVIATION. Drones, powered parachutes, gliding, LSA, experimental, flexwing, ultralight or certified, who cares. For 75% of private pilot holders their mission is FUN. Just because one has more advanced ratings or flies bigger iron doesn't entitle one to look down on on anyone who wants to share the same sky.


This "Real Pilots Fly Real Aircraft" mantra is complete Bravo Sierra. We're all aviators. Let's encourage each other and celebrate the diversity. It will serve us all much better.

Posted by: Serena Ryan | January 30, 2017 1:38 PM    Report this comment

"Aspen Flying Club in Colorado solo student pilots on 15 hrs on LSA's vs 24 hrs using C172's. They reduce the cost of flight training. In high use environments, maintenance is approx 25% less than a C172."

Interesting that students solo quicker in the LSAs. I wonder if it's because they have a shorter CG range without the rear seats of the 172s?

Maintenance is also interesting. I thought I read about a flying club that had a 152 or 172 and a 162, and the 162 was basically being subsidized by the others. Maybe the CTLS is a more robust LSA.

Posted by: Gary Baluha | January 30, 2017 2:56 PM    Report this comment

Serena:
Have you ever considered running for president of AOPA? You'd get MY vote!
-YARS

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | January 30, 2017 3:11 PM    Report this comment

I own and fly a Kolb and a Kitfox--both are LSAs. I agree with Serena--all points are valid. I also agree with Larry--if LSAs work out as a safe alternative, why NOT try upping the artificial weight restriction? As Larry says, "LSA's could be a PERFECT two place new airplane alternative IF the MGTOW was 2000#. I'd like the FAA to explain WHY they cling to the 1320# weight restriction--other than it is the same 600 Kilogram restriction used in Europe.

As it is--the FAA makes NOBODY happy with their hodgepodge of restrictions. It reminds me of the old saying, "A CAMEL is a HORSE--designed by committee! By the time each committee member has their input, the result is totally unrecognizable.

I also agree with Larry's last statement--drones and airplanes have little in common, other than using some of the same airspace. Watching someone or something else fly holds no interest for me. That's not saying that drones don't have their advocates--just don't conflate them with actually AVIATING. Watching a football game doesn't make you a football player--watching a horse race doesn't make you a jockey--watching a car race doesn't make you a race car driver--watching skydivers doesn't make you one.

Posted by: jim hanson | January 30, 2017 3:12 PM    Report this comment

Yars--"ever considered running for president of AOPA?"

What's wrong with the one we've GOT? Baker has revitalized AOPA--moving events out of Washington out into the real world around the USA--getting involved with a number of projects--partnering with EAA, RAF, and other aviation affinity groups--revitalized the magazine to give FLYING mag real competition--eliminated so many of the old AOPA "special offers" (AOPA wine????)

Posted by: jim hanson | January 30, 2017 3:17 PM    Report this comment

"What's wrong with the one we've GOT?"
His feckless sellout on BasicMed.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | January 30, 2017 5:40 PM    Report this comment

RAF??? Hey, I'm with YARS.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | January 30, 2017 6:38 PM    Report this comment

Oh yeah, ... drones? Well, they are a nuisance!

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | January 30, 2017 8:13 PM    Report this comment

" there's a persistent resentment and fear of drones in the GA community, much of it centered on the fact that the pilot--or operators, if you prefer--don't undergo the same training requirement as pilots of certified aircraft. Face it; they're a bunch of self-centered 20-somethings with face metal and baggy pants."

...No Paul..Thats not even a story.

The real story, is the ethical/moral questions drones create. And it all starts with the Google Car.

A self driving Google car is stopped by police for violating a traffic law. The officer gets out of his car and starts to right a ticket. All stop. The officer only starts to write the ticket. No driver. No ticket. Humm. If that automobile had a driver (you/me) a ticket would have been written and fines would have been paid.

Fast forward to the drone that entered the DC SFRA uncommanded an uncontrolled (Aug 2nd 2010). If that had been a lost student pilot in a 150, we can be sure of a least a military escort and probably his/her name splashed across the news while said pilot is being led away in cuffs.

Further, check out the AOPA article "Graphical drone briefing developed" (Aug 27 2015). In it, the article explains "Lockheed Martin has developed new tools to keep manned and unmanned aircraft safely separated." Untrue. The idea is to keep the manned A/C away from unmanned aircraft. The unmanned aircraft plays no role in see and avoid (only lip service) and if involved in a violation, probably faces the same consequences as the driver in Googles driverless car.

Posted by: Robert Ore | February 1, 2017 7:52 PM    Report this comment

Robert:
How will a Google driverless car violate a traffic law? Really.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | February 1, 2017 8:24 PM    Report this comment

Just yesterday, I read an article somewhere about an ADS-B circuit the size of a dime with enough power out to operate close to a mile. I predict that once ADS-B becomes mandated (as it stands now) in 2020, the NEXT step will be ADS-B everywhere for everything flying. I don't see any way around it.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | February 1, 2017 10:17 PM    Report this comment

Robert, the driverless police car will wirelessly contact the driverless speeding car resetting the software to slow the offending car down. This will be done as soon as the Google car exceeds an allowable overspeed (1 MPH) and before the car can accelerate to a truly unsafe speed. Meanwhile the police car will inform the state DMV computer of the offense causing a notice of violation to be sent to Google central operations where a correction patch will be sent to the offending car's computer and the fine, in bitcoin, will be transferred to the DMV account. Once the technological interface is completed the autonomous highway itself will do the reporting and correction.

Posted by: Richard Montague | February 2, 2017 7:49 AM    Report this comment

"Robert:
How will a Google driverless car violate a traffic law? Really."

Its not "will it violate a traffic law"...It did. The example I mentioned has already happened.

Posted by: Robert Ore | February 2, 2017 9:20 AM    Report this comment

Check out altitudes of these UAS operating areas:

NOTAM UAS Operating Area DCA_12/237 DEFINED AS 2.5NM RADIUS OF BKT SFC-2500FT AGL MON-SAT 1300-2130 1612191300-1703112130

NOTAM UAS Operating Area DCA_02/020 DEFINED AS 1.5NM RADIUS OF HPW142024 (11.9NM NE AKQ ) SFC-1200FT AGL 1702021400-1702022000.

NOTAM UAS Operating Area DCA_01/598 DEFINED AS 1.5NM RADIUS OF W41 SFC-3000FT AGL 1702021300-1702022200.

NOTAM UAS Operating Area DCA_02/018 DEFINED AS 3NM RADIUS OF W41 SFC-3000FT AGL 1702021300-1702022200.

UAS Operating Area DEFINED AS 0.5NM RADIUS OF 414946.90N0933710.70W (8.6NM NNW IKV) SFC-2200FT AGL 1702021500-1702022230.

NOTAM UAS Operating Area ABQ_01/256 DEFINED AS 60NM RADIUS OF LRU SFC-12500FT DLY 1300-2200 1701301300-1702022200.

Posted by: Robert Ore | February 2, 2017 9:38 AM    Report this comment

Yep, they everywhere!

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 2, 2017 10:25 AM    Report this comment

Robert:
Forgive me, but I think you are mistaken. Can you cite the location and date of this alleged violation by a driverless car? Thanks.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | February 2, 2017 11:29 AM    Report this comment

www.cnn.com/2015/11/13/us/google-self-driving-car-pulled-over/

But there was no ticket issued. Google says there never has been.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | February 2, 2017 2:08 PM    Report this comment

"In the end, the officer determined the car had broken no law. No harm, no foul.

And no ticket was issued -- not because there was no driver to whom to issue it, but because the car had committed no violation."

Apparently, Robert's assertion that Google's driverless vehicle had broken a law is without basis.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | February 2, 2017 3:31 PM    Report this comment

"Apparently, Robert's assertion that Google's driverless vehicle had broken a law is without basis"

Why then, was the car pulled over?

The officer observed a traffic violation in which a stop was warranted, and only after the officer discovered that the car was driverless was it decided that " the car had broken no law".

How convenient.

Posted by: Robert Ore | February 3, 2017 7:37 AM    Report this comment

Robert:

You don't have to break a law to get pulled over. The officer determined that no law had been broken. By anyone or anything.

Now arguably, one could assert that doing 25 mph in a 30 mph zone comprises "impeding the flow of traffic." Would one make the same argument with regard to doing 55 mph in a 60 mph zone, if the rest of traffic was doing 80 mph?

Robots do only what they're programmed to do. Define the desired outcome, and the robot will deliver it if circumstances allow. But as long as its programmer is aware of all applicable rules, one can be confident that one's robot will not BREAK any rules.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | February 3, 2017 8:55 AM    Report this comment

Tom,
You're missing the overarching questions.

Police do not normally go around an arbitrarily pull people over. Yet, that is what you must assert here; the officer observed nothing out of the ordinary and arbitrarily pulled the google car over.

That's not what happened. The officer observed a traffic violation (impeding the flow of traffic). Now first, imagine the scenario/conversation with a driver involved: "hello officer, what seems to be the problem" "License, Registration, proof on insurance please, I observed you impeding the flow of traffic, here's A) verbal warning B) written warning C) ticket"

Now, with a driverless car: Police pulls the car over....Police drives away.

Extrapolate that scenario with areal drones.

"But as long as its programmer is aware of all applicable rules, one can be confident that one's robot will not BREAK any rules"

And those are perfect world scenarios/rules. The following question was posited many years ago regarding driverless cars/drones:

Suppose a driverless car is driving along a residential road and suddenly, a kid runs out in front of the car. The car quickly calculates (correctly I might add), that given all factors (speed/condition of the brakes and road etc) that the car cannot stop and MUST swerve to avoid hitting the kid. However, if the car swerves right, it will hit a young mother pushing a newborn. If the car swerves left, it will hit a homeless person on a park bench. Which action should the car perform? How was that action programmed? Who decided that that was the correct action?

In an airborne scenario, the engine quits and the only choices are an elementary school, hospital or an abortion clinic. Which is the drone to choose? Why?

While many are worried (and rightly so) about the technical aspects of drones sharing the airspace, I worry about the moral/ethical questions that arise and few are talking about.

Simply put, a pilot will face greater ramifications and is subjected to more rules and regulations than a drone operator. Why does the drone enjoy better legal standing than a person?

Posted by: Robert Ore | February 3, 2017 9:37 AM    Report this comment

Three points:

One is not an "aviator" if one never leaves the ground. Getting though "Operation" without lighting up the "patient"s nose does not make one a surgeon. Gene Kranz was not an astronaut.

Bert said "it's a little like buggy owners complaining that horseless carriage drivers didn't have a clue about feeding horses." No, not even a little. It's like buggy owners complaining that horseless carriage drivers didn't have a clue about scaring horses and thus endangering buggy drivers and passengers.

No matter how compelling the experience of FPV "aviation" is, it is still a _virtual_ reality. Cinerama was not a roller-coaster, "Avatar" in 3-D did not transport you to another planet, and you can't get killed in "Halo". We're training the first generation of humans for their interstellar cruise in "WALL-E".

Posted by: Chip Davis | February 4, 2017 5:25 PM    Report this comment

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