Update 29 Jan 09
Last weekend I was back in the forum for a couple of days
and got a few posts out before the RCAPA mafia banned me
again. I had this post typed up and ready to post in the
Double Standards thread but when I went to post it on 26 Jan
09 I discovered I had been banned again. I guess that makes
them the only ones working this problem again.
I have consistently asked RCAPA for their position on some
of the major issues relative to commercial and recreational
SUAS. They have never done this and I really think this is
because they have no position. They are just waiting to see
what comes out of it and will claim credit for the good
I will now tell you my position on the issue of double
standards and explain it as best I can. There is no
guarantee that the FAA will implement the regulation just
this way. This is my position and I consistently present it
this way to the FAA and feel certain that some form of this
will be in the final regulation.
I am sent this document to my focal point in the SUAS
Program Office to make sure that I am not saying something
completely out of line. The response I got was that they
don't have any problem with it.
RCAPA has constantly admonished me for not working through
them. I have chosen to work directly with the FAA rather
than have my input reviewed by RCAPA and the committees they
If they (RCAPA) have been working this issue so hard for so
long why didn't they know this. If they knew it why didn't
they say so and save a lot of useless discussion about
Why not get back to what the thread is supposed to address -
Commercial vs Recreational Aerial Photography:
The FAA is concerned about safety, both people and property.
They are not concerned about whether you make a buck. It is
easy to confuse the two. Let me cite a couple of examples to
show what I mean.
The FAA does not care whether an airline makes a profit, or
even charges for travel. They are concerned because an
airline will serve the flying public and will fly over
populated areas with heavy metal aircraft. There is also the
requirement for pilot certification because the pilot is the
ultimate safety factor. The recent landing on the Hudson
River is a good example.
The FAA also does not care if you, the recreational flyer,
makes a buck taking aerial photos with your Slow Stick
providing you are flying from and AMA sanctioned field and
following the safety rules of that field. The FAA is
responsible for that type of flying but they have delegated
the management responsibility to the AMA. The FAA does care
if you are flying your Slow Stick away from an AMA
sanctioned field whether you are doing it for hire or not,
and whether you are taking photos or not.
The difference is risk, not money. There has been a recent
surge in RC flying which is not on AMA sanctioned fields.
Park flyers have brought about most of this activity but the
development of FPV flying has also opened the way for high
altitude and long distance flying. The FAA is rightfully
concerned about these types of flying because they are not
conducted in accordance with any published safety rules at
all. I want to make it clear that there are many, many
pilots who do this in a perfectly safe manner but it is
because of their own concerns for safety and their own
integrity. There are also many who fly with no concern for
the safety of others. The FAA is responsible for all of
When the FAA does publish policy governing SUAS it will be
concerned with location, population, weight, and speed. Keep
in mind, if you are flying at an AMA sanctioned field, the
field safety rules take all this into consideration. When
you are not flying at an AMA sanctioned field there must be
some guidelines (rules) which will mitigate the risk to
people or property. This is what the SUAS regulation is all
about and it doesn't matter one bit whether you are making
money or not.
This is the position I have taken with the FAA SUAS Program
Office and I am confident that the eventual regulations will
be along these lines.
It has been a while since I have posted
an update to this page. Some interesting things are going on
that warrant further discussion.
On (10/17/2008) I received an email from
Rick Connelly (founder of RCAPA):
Info: 'Joe Bennett'; texhills; duval; 'Ira
Buckley'; 'Patrick Egan'
Just wanted to tell you the RCAPA info
you have on your site is a bunch of misinformed crap -
you really knew as much as you claimed. You would know we
have spent thousands of dollars and numerous man hours
working to keep our industry from becoming regulated out of
business. What you have written on your site is a disservice
to all of us. You might take the time to research it a
little and you'll find out the truth.
Last time I ever talked to you was on
a teleconference when you wanted to work with RCAPA. The
last words you said were that you'd get back with us....that
never happened. Instead you never said anything and wrote
that chicken crap piece on your site. Your overall ignorance
Have a nice day, Rick
I responded in kind:
To: Rick Connolly
Info: 'joe bennett; 'texhills’; 'duval;
'RealIra; 'patrickeagan; 'generobinson’
How nice of you to notice my website. I
will have to update that page with more recent information,
including copies of these messages. Don’t be surprised if
they also end up on the forums for all to see.
As for your allegations, I am well
aware of how much money you guys have spent and how many man
hours you put in. However, that doesn’t mean beans if you
don’t produce results. Besides, you are not the only ones
who have spent a bunch of money and put in lots of man
hours. You are just the only ones that I know of who solicit
donations to help subsidize their self-serving efforts.
I have claimed from the outset, and
still do that not one of you has ever had an original
idea about how to keep our industry from being “over”
regulated. You just keep that chair warm Patrick.
The great disservice has been done by
you my friends in keeping the muzzle on others who are
working hard to help resolve this regulatory mess. You
browbeat and spread lies to drum people out of business or
get them constantly banned so you can appear to be the
“only” group working to help this industry. THAT is the load
of crap. Your whole association (how many real members are
there now?) could disappear today and the regulatory effort
would not suffer at all for your absence.
Maybe you should get your faithful
RCAPA members who are also the moderators to stop banning
people from RCGroups for no reason other than your
recommendation. A little competition is usually a healthy
thing; unless you are not sure of yourself.
As for the teleconference; it is true I
made the overture to attempt working with RCAPA to share
information (emphasis on share). During the teleconference
you guys just tried to glean information about what I was
doing without disclosing anything. I soon realized that this
was because you didn’t know anything.
It wouldn’t work out now anyway because
my association with the FAA and my contractual efforts all
require non-disclosure. You will have to wait until the
evaluations are over and the results are made public by the
FAA to find out more.
You all have a nice day too.
also noticed that there are threads on at least two
different forums where RCAPA, their motives,
accomplishments, and methods are being discussed. I read
posts in both these threads with interest until my name was
mentioned a couple of times in a very unfavorable way. That
action was what prompted this update.
are now several people who have recognized that the RCAPA
minions do not have the credentials or experience to
successfully accomplish the task they have set out for
themselves. It is interesting to note that I brought up
these very questions four years ago and nobody seemed to
care. RCAPA started the character assassination posts
against me and lots of folks joined in the fun. Not one
bothered to check my credentials and experience against
theirs, either individually or collectively. I wound up
getting banned for life which played right into their hands.
interesting part is that I did not need the forums or RCAPA
to accomplish what I had set out to do and I have been doing
it steadily. I have been working directly with the FAA SUAS
Program Office for the past four years and have had
considerable success in getting my ideas and techniques and
proposals seriously considered. I now know what the FAA
objective is and basically how they intend to achieve it.
Granted, they are using the ARC to provide user input but,
trust me, the FAA SUAS has a good idea which way they would
like to proceed.
the primary daggers RCAPA used to assassinate me was the
charge that I was trying to get the FAA to approve my
training school so everyone would have to come to me for
training and I would get rich. First of all, this really
shows how ignorant they are to think that anyone could get
rich teaching R/C piloting. I did work with the training
people but they were not part of my organization and I could
never have made any money from their training. I became
associated with them to support a contractual agreement to
provide training that I did not want my organization bogged
took up the chant that I was trying to line my pockets with
this training deal and a number of idiots worldwide joined
in the chorus with them. Even today, Patrick Eagan posted
that my motives were to line my pockets when, in actuality,
I have spent thousands of dollars of my own money on this
work over the past four years. I have conducted research and
provided the results to the FAA free of charge. I now have
several thousand dollars invested in equipment which I will
never use again and cannot be sold for anywhere near what I
have invested. I have donated much of it to charitable
organizations that work with disadvantaged or chronically
ill children. I do not get a tax break from these donations.
anyone is interested, check the RCAPA gurus credentials
(experience and qualifications) for successfully
accomplishing what they claim as their mission. I have not
seen an original thought put forth by any of them in the
past four years. They are constantly putting out feelers
trying to get others to put together concepts, plans, and
strategies that they can then present to these groups they
belong to and look halfway intelligent. They are actually
stupid enough to think this could work. If they can’t
convince a bunch of amateurs like those who populate these
forums how in the world will they ever fool real experts?
The obvious answer – they won’t.
anyone cares, check my credentials. Then see who you
am not soliciting new members for my association, MACO.
Membership is by invitation only and has intentionally been
kept to a minimum. The reasons for all this will become
known when the FAA sets out the new policies and
regulations. The only individuals who have been invited to
join have proven themselves to be competent and capable in
the SUAS industry. I do not want to be involved in training
so only those who do not need it will be invited. So far,
none of the RCAPA hierarchy have been invited.
personal note: I am now 70 years young and have been fully
retired from my Systems Engineering profession for eighteen
years. I am reasonably well off and do not ever need
additional income. I have no profit motives in what I do. I
am, and have always been passionate about aviation and will
work till I die around some form of flying machines. I also
have many skills that complement what I am doing. I have
plenty of flying experience in both fixed and rotary wing,
models and full size. I am a licensed pilot. I have been an
FAA licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic for 35 years.
I have years of program management experience dealing with
multi-million dollar research and development programs. I
also have years of public speaking experience including an
award for an IT presentation I made at the National Academy
of Science in Wash, DC.
have had my first science fiction novel published and am
halfway through the second book of the trilogy. Check out
www.jazaner.com or look up “The Circle of Hope”
at Amazon.com, Borders.com, or Barnes & Noble.com. So, as
you can see, I manage to stay active of several fronts and I
certainly don’t need to stay involved in the p**sing contest
with the idiots at RCRAPA. Now that the forums are wising up
they will take care the problem quite nicely.
Regards, John Zaner
– What is it and what has it
done in the past 4 years?
That’s the short answer - The long answer
RCAPA and it’s minions keep spewing out
the same mantra:
“RCAPA is and has been the only thing that
is fighting the mighty FAA in the quest for approval to fly
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS)”.
That statement is about as pure as bullsh-t
Way back 4 years ago, when RCAPA was
just setting up, there were at least two other organizations
working the same problem. One of them was me (Zaner
Aviation, LLC) and the other was called helicam which became
and then RCAPA.org. I joined both immediately because the
more people we have working this problem the better off we
will be. I joined RCAPA.com so soon that I was member #3
right behind the two founders.
In the first few weeks of implementation I
received much more support from the helicam organization
than I did RCAPA. The other site gave me leads which got my
first paying jobs and also references that got my first
insurance policy. During that early development period I
couldn’t even log into RCAPA and they couldn’t spell my name
When I pointed out these problems Gene
Robinson explained how it was all my own fault that I
couldn’t log in. This tactic has continued to this day. If
you go through any threads which deal with the RCAPA mafia
you will find that they go to great lengths to defend
themselves and belittle anyone who questions them.
This approach has worked well for RCAPA
and they succeeded in getting the other site discredited and
getting me banned from RCGroups under several different
names. Yet they still claim to be the only ones who have
ever tried to present a unified voice. Their tactics are
aimed at ensuring that situation continues.
Look closely at what these guys have
contributed over the years. They attend committee meetings
and they got other peoples Concept of Operations presented
to some of these committees. None of this required any
creativity or original thought from any of them. Even now
they just sit back and tell everyone what they already know.
The last time they got me banned was
when I asked them what their position would be when they
attended the upcoming ARC meetings in Washington. They have no position. In fact,
they don’t even know they should have one. They will attend
the ARC and parrot what someone else says. Then they can
claim to have contributed to the solution. Baloney, it is
time their constituency had more than a bunch of chair
While this last banning was going on, the
last post I made was a notice that if I suddenly disappeared
it was not by choice. Shortly after that I did disappear and
not one person questioned it. I didn’t even get a warning,
just booted out. The fact that all the moderators are
members of RCAPA may have something to do with that.
I have been working directly with Hq FAA
for the past four years and am making progress. When things
do break free you will see what I mean. The RCAPA mafia
cannot tell you what any of this is because they are not
involved in any of it, or even aware of it.
The position they (RCAPA) have taken is
that individuals should not do anything and we should trust
in an association (RCAPA) because individuals cannot do
anything. I say tell that to Burt Rutan with his Spaceship
One or Maynard Hill with his Trans-Atlantic Model. If you
look at any of the great accomplishments throughout history
you will find that they were accomplished through individual
effort. One person can make a difference – if it is the
right person. That leaves RCAPA out of it.
The ONLY reason RCAPA is billed as the
only group doing anything is because they have worked very
hard at silencing anyone else. Just ask them how many
members they really represent.