The advent of unmanned aircraft in the US civil environment brings with it a whole host of societal and cultural issues that go far beyond the concern and perceived need to regulate model airplanes. A recent article on the use of sUAS to do aerial “hacking” and other nefarious activities should make us all pause to consider what’s happening in our National Air Space: https://www.darkreading.com/security/vulnerabilities/231300240/index.html
Like any other new technology, in the wrong hands and for the wrong reasons, its use to cause harm can potentially overshadow any intended use for good. This is a quandary that beleaguered Albert Einstein until his death in 1955, and for centuries societies have had to balance the potential for good against the potential for harm with everything from motorcars, to aerial flight, to the Internet.
However, turning our back on UAS technology is not the answer. In doing so we may well find that we’ve boxed ourselves in, missed out on significant opportunities and been left behind by what is sure to be a huge emerging industry. AMA must proceed carefully to ensure the legitimate aeromodeling community is distanced from the potential negative aspects of UAS while maintaining its posture as a leader in scientific development and aeronautical technology.