The Little-Known Feud That’s Shaping the Future of Delivery Drones

Doug Bennett, a member of the DC Drone User Group in Washington, DC, flies FPV at a park. Image: author

What happens when you take your drone to public land in Pleasanton, California and start flying it around in first-person view, using the drone’s onboard camera to see where you’re going? If you’re Sean Wendland, you get a stern talking to from an old man who says you can’t use your newfangled technology here.

The old guard vs. the new. Welcome to the nerdiest beef in the drone world.

For decades, the model aircraft hobby has been dominated by former soldiers, pilots, and other airplane enthusiasts. They’ve been flying gas-powered model aircraft and balsa-wood clunkers at flying clubs around the country for decades with very little interruption from the government or anyone else, for that matter.

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