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No Drone Zone: Part I

Posted: Updated: May 7, 2013 12:18 AM

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Model aircrafts are put to the test every weekend in West Monroe, near the Ouachita Sheriff's Office Rifle Range.


"There are so many types of radio control aircrafts you can fly," Roger Wilson, president of the Northeast radio Control Club. 

Wilson oversees the pilots on the ground as they control helicopters, low speed planes and some with high powered jet engines.

"I don't fly as much as my other guys," Wilson said. "Some of my other guys are out here four or five days a week."

And every week, they're joined by several families taking their sights to the sky and watching the show. This is a hobby Wilson has enjoyed for two decades.

"I've been flying for about 20 years now. I got into back in college," Wilson said. "It's just been something I enjoy doing. I enjoy the fellowship. I enjoy controlling aircrafts."

Some of those aircrafts are equipped with high powered cameras. That gives the pilots on the ground eyes in the sky.

"I have my monitor set up that I can look through and the camera on the airplane is set in the same spot the pilot of a full airplane would be," Wilson said.

Before Wilson's plane takes off, he gets in the habit of checking his camera to make sure it doesn't fall off during the short flight.

"I can look up down right left," Wilson said. "See everything a full scale pilot would see in his aircraft."

The model plane enthusiast prefers this method more than the real deal.
     
"It's a lot of fun and it's a lot cheaper," he said. 

There are eyes in other places and they are keeping tabs on how often, what's now considered a drone, is taking off to the sky.

"There are already laws in effect to protect people, Wilson believes. "I don't see any need for further laws governing what's already in place in regards to flying radio controlled aircrafts."

Wilson says he's not flying for protection, or to break the law, he says it's all for good fun in a controlled airspace.

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