Info from Norm Poynter
Here is the email received from Eric Williams, on of candidates for AMA President 2016 in response to my request about his policy regarding f.p.v. and laptop control flight systems ( drones/quard copters)
From: "eric williams"
To: "norman poynter"
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2016 7:05:14 AM
Subject: Re: New message via your website
Thank you for reaching out to me. The matter of FPV and laptop control is complex. Some reckless operators have given what would otherwise be exciting technologies a bad reputation.
As you know today's younger generation of boys and girls are highly skilled in computers and other advanced technologies. In the 1960's 70% of commercial and military aviators reported starting as modelers in their youth. It is vital AMA work diligently to capture today's youth as they are the future of aerospace, engineering and aviation professions, not to mention our hobby. As today's youth are deeply into technology, we must engage them at their interest level. Various clubs have told me when they do this, youth are prone to then investigate more conventional model aircraft. That's a plus for scale builders and flyers like me and all other aeromodeling categories as well.
From technical and safety standpoints I'm not too certain about "laptop control." However, if an aircraft can be safely operated and meet the AMA Safety Code, it would appear to be a viable alternative. AMA's FPV rules have been in place since 2008 and modified along the way. Those rules forbid flying beyond VLOS and require a safety spotter/pilot who can assume control if need be. The concept is not much different from flying a student on a buddy-box.
I have personally met with dozens of federal, state, and local public and elected officials advocating for recreational aeromodeling. In my conversations virtually all of these people understand it's not about what is flown but how it's flown. They universally say our AMA clubs are the right places to send the public to learn to fly properly.
We have so many categories of flight; FF, CL, RC, Scale, Aerobatic, helicopter, etc. to learn from each other! I support all recreational unmanned aircraft pilots, as long as they fly safely and responsibly within the AMA Safety Code.