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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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A new day, a new future

2 September 2015

Yesterday I posted a video announcing that I would be withdrawing from the hobby and, as of the end of the month, stopping the production of videos for my RCModelReviews Youtube channel.

There has been some very interesting (some of it predictable, some not) response to this announcement.

My inbox has filled with hundreds of emails from around the world. Most of these emails contain messages of thanks and appreciation for the work I've done on this channel over the past six years and that is very humbling.

Surprisingly, there have been job offers, offers to provide locations and facilities at which I could continue my activities in countries such as Canada and the UK, where regulations are not so OTT and where the national model flying bodies are apparently quite a bit less political.

Unfortunately, none of those offers are really a practical option but I do indeed feel flattered.

Of course back here in NZ, the MFNZ fanbois are rolling out the same old crap and lies, even though I've posted for all to see, the evidence which disproves their claims. They belong to the school of "if we say it often enough, surely people will believe us".

The best thing about this whole situation is now that I don't have to give a stuff about MFNZ and its rules or CAA and its OTT regulations. They can't touch me or place a cloud over my thinking any longer.

As of the end of the month, I'm free to move on and explore new opportunities and activities. All my RC model gear will be packed up in boxes or given away to worthy recipients and I won't even bother checking Youtube to see what others are doing. If things go to plan, I'll be far too busy engaging in other worthy activities.

Sometimes you just have to know when to cut the cord I guess -- although it's very hard when you've spent over half a century enjoying and sharing such an exciting and interesting hobby.

I shall now look on at the UAV/drone industry as a spectator and simply smile when I see idiots doing bad things or CAA (as predicted) setting out to make an example of the idiots who break their regulations -- even if no real threat to person or property is involved.

I find it intensely interesting that a harmless, outdoor, educational hobby that was often the entry to a life-long career in aviation has been so thoroughly vilified, restricted and almost destroyed at some levels, by paranoia and an inability for the regulatory authority to comprehend or cope with rapid changes in technology that have taken place.

Sadly for CAA (and public safety) I expect that this regulator is about to discover just how difficult it is to nail jelly to a tree. Come Christmas there will be thousands of people with "shiny new drones" under the tree and to many of them, the rules and regulations will either be something they're unaware of or something they feel are just a minor inconvenience -- not something to actually comply with.

What I once saw as a personal responsibility (to educate and inform these people) is now no longer any concern of mine. Let CAA do the job it is so handsomely paid to perform and let them cope with the fallout when a tiny team of enforcement officers re faced with trying to deal with the hundreds of complaints that start flowing in as these new store-bought drones start appearing at inappropriate places or begin crashing into houses, cars and people.

Ah well, at $3,000 a pop, at least CAA will be generating some serious revenues from these infringements when they start happening in volume after Christmas.

Safety or revenue generation? Who knows?

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