Chris Lake is a long-time member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.
This is the non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of model aviation as a recognized sport and recreational activity.
Lake, who enjoys flying his unmanned model aircraft at the Mistlin Sports Park – he’s among the handful model plane-flying enthusiasts in the area – noticed more drones hovering along the city streets and homes in the past two years.
“I had a drone flying over my house,” he said at Tuesday’s Ripon City Council.
Chief of Police Ed Ormonde is also aware of the problem. He not only received complaints of drones hovering above homes but at the recent Almond Blossom parade route and carnival, and some of the organized sporting events around town.
Council members gave their OK for Ormonde to look at putting together an ordinance for unmanned aircraft systems.
By definition, this includes model planes, model rockets and drones used for recreation or hobby while being flown by a pilot using a ground control system.
“These aren’t toys,” said Lake, who pointed out that some of the model planes are capable of traveling 200 mph. “(Drones) could hit a person or a house.”
He’s also more than willing to help Ormonde with the draft of the ordinance.
As an AMA member since 1979, Lake is aware of any of the Federal Aviation Administration regulations for unmanned aircraft systems.
He and others are hoping that a new law on this matter will help in managing the current situation.
Ormonde noted that without regulations regarding the operations of unmanned aircraft systems “makes addressing of our citizens concerns impossible,” he said.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org