Steve Petrotto of Horizon Hobby00:00

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If you’d like to join in on the FAA protest in DC:
http://www.helpsaveourhobby.com/

If you’d like to comment on the FAA NPRM on Remote ID:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/12/31/2019-28100/remote-identification-of-unmanned-aircraft-systems

Steve Petrotto and I sat down for about an hour to talk about the statement that Horizon Hobby put out regarding the Remote ID NPRM from the FAA. You can see Steve’s response in Rotor Riot here:

Good morning everyone,

There is quite a lot to discuss here but first, on behalf of Horizon, let me clarify our statement. When we mentioned GPS and camera-equipped platforms, our intent was to separate hobby-grade radio control enthusiasts from autonomous capable systems that can cause safety issues. Unlike RC, these systems are capable of BVLOS and have been at the center of high-profile media coverage lately. Those cases are causing unneeded pressure on our hobby. Unfortunately, the government has decided to include all UAS under the same category and we are doing our part to speak to the delineation. Horizon supports the FPV community and has done so for years. Team Spektrum FPV, MultiGP Sponsorships, Drone Worlds Team Sponsorship, several FPV product releases, etc.
Keep in mind the FAA proposal that is over 370 pages is quite vague. Some of you commented that Horizon’s response was vague and didn’t support the FPV community. Our intent was not to be vague, we were trying to break down the very large FAA document into a few key actions that we need to focus on to provide feedback to the FAA.

Now to discuss the personal side of this. Many of you know me as the guy on the recent Horizon Hobby video and probably don’t have a great opinion of me right now.

Those of you that know me well, remember I have been a strong member of the FPV community since 2015. In 2016 I took home second place at Drone worlds in the wing category, have helped launch nearly every FPV based product here at Horizon and created our sponsorship group Team Spektrum FPV. Now that I’ve changed roles a bit at Horizon, my job is to lead up the marketing team but recently I’ve been tasked with informing the community at large the potential impact of FAA remote ID proposal and get some action out of the community to help drive the conversation to the FAA during the comment period.

As a long-time RC hobbyist, I completely feel we all have integrated into the national airspace while the bigger problem is anyone who operates their autonomous flight capable platform in ways that is harmful to the remainder of the RC hobby. Unfortunately, those platforms and users are not using judgment and safety standards that are consistent with the RC community.

While there are many reasons the FAA has proposed Remote ID, much of it has nothing to do with the RC community at the end of the day. But we do know the proposed regulations currently stand to greatly impact our hobby.
FPV flying, when done with a spotter in a safe environment is no different than traditional RC in my mind. FPV is an awesome way to experience flight like no other. Those of you in the MGP racing community know this best. However, we all need to speak up to the FAA and let them know that the RC hobby is different.

Unfortunately, my video didn’t seem to fire on all cylinders. Yep, I said it, we made a communication mistake. The intent was the show the difference between the passionate consumers living in the RC world and those who are sending their “drone” into protected airspace or unsafe scenarios. Ultimately, the FAA is tasked with doing something more to protect the NAS. Our goal is to minimize that impact on the RC community. At no time was our intent to dismantle the FPV community or upset you guys in any way. Our goal is to support the RC hobby as a whole and do our best to mitigate the impact of these recommendations.

I do urge you to take this energy and aim it at the FAA comment to really help protect the hobby we all love. Not because I’m being personally attacked now, but because the FAA has only received 10,000+ comments. I know there are more FPV pilots than that for a fact. I know there are hundreds of thousands more RC hobbyists than that out there as well. We all need to provide our point of view in a productive way on the FAA NPRM.

Comment to the FAA here:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/12/31/2019-28100/remote-identification-of-unmanned-aircraft-systems

Have a great weekend.

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