The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
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2016-02-25

Flying high

Doug White

Well, guess what? We have new requirements for those of us that have certain model airplanes, drones, or unmanned aircraft systems – meaning drones, remote controlled and tethered aircraft used by hobbyists outdoors.
Any aircraft weighing between .55 lbs and 55 lbs. must be registered online. Anything over 55 lbs has a different registration method. Go to the FAA website to register; there will be a small fee.
Boy, has this hobby changed because of drones.
I have heard that at present there are more drones than actual manned aircraft. I am very surprised that even control line aircraft are included with this new requirement.
Note that .55 lbs is equal to approximately two sticks of butter. Also, only one registration is required for all your unmanned aircraft systems.
Oh, by the way, this does include helicopters with the same weight requirements.
We have come a long way from when I used to fly my Cox .049 PT 19 trainer control line plane. My folks purchased my first one from Western Auto in Bandera way back in the early 60s.
I came up with a release system so that only one person could fly the model without another assisting with the take off. It worked 99 percent of the time and all I had to do was dodge some of the low lying tree limbs while flying the model.
One time I got dizzy and moved too close to a tree and the plane got lodged in the foliage. However, the .049 Cox engine just kept on going. It made a wierd bumble bee noise before it hit the ground.
Don't let these new regulations discourage your model flying days, just adapt and keep 'em flying!