Saturday, February 28, 2015

Estes Proto X & Proto X SLT


I did not buy the Proto X. It doesn't quite make my cutoff for toy grade. I bought the Proto X SLT. That is just enough different to make the cutoff. Unfortunately, it also would not go into link mode to try binding with my deviationTx controller. When I called Hobbico about this, they just verified that I was doing the right thing, declared it broken, and are going to send me a new one. As soon as they are in stock. In late April. So they sent me a free Proto X to make up for the delay.
So I have to give their support a huge thumbs up. As good as any I've run into, and a much better than anything I've run into when shopping across the pacific.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The law about model aircraft

Drones, the FAA, and the law

There's been a lot of news about "drones" lately. Actually they're just multirotor model aircraft, but the press can spell "drone". Mostly about people flying them in unsafe or undesirable ways. The FAA has responded by issuing fines and proposing regulations, and there's been a lot of blog posts and comments and in general hot air about what the FAA can and can't do, and should or shouldn't do, and so forth. There's even been some judges ruling on things - and then being told they were also spouting hot air. And yes, I've been responsible for my share of most of the above.

Here, I want to try and provide light, not heat. The most recent act of congress dealing with model aircraft flight is the FAA Modernization and Reform act of 2012. I'm just going to quote the actual text of the act. I have cleaned up the formatting some but have not altered the text. I'm not going to comment on it or offer my interpretation - I'm sure we'll get a lot of people doing that. I'm just going to quote it so people who want to comment on it or offer interpretations have a chance to read it before doing so.