Letter: Something in the air

The Oct. 12 Aspen newspapers have several articles on obnoxious flying objects. First off, we read about Alex Sewell and his helicopter flying over the Maroon Bells at dawn to photograph the new snow (“Alpine Aviation returns helicopter tours to the valley,” Aspen Daily News). Just because his family was able to scam the government out of thousands of acres in the 1800s doesn’t give him the right to fly his helicopter in the wilderness or any other place near the ground for the purpose of commercial use. Just imagine a peaceful early dawn morning camped at the Bells and along comes the “wop, wop, wop, wop” of the stupid helicopter so some greedhead can get his picture. And talk of scaring wildlife; you ever been around a helicopter near a herd of elk? It is time for the Forest Service to regulate helicopters in the wilderness.

Next, we read about the use of drones in ski areas “Aspen among many ski areas that ban drones,” The Aspen Times). Dave Byrd, the director of risk and regulatory affairs for the National Ski Areas Association, tells us of the beneficial uses he imagines of the flying camera technology. Of course, he recognizes that it is a dangerous technology but thinks that it can be used to promote ski areas. Of all the obnoxious items that have been invented recently, the drone is the worst. It is dangerous and noisy, not to mention the safety factor. It is time to pass a law that makes it a crime to operate a drone without first passing a course in operation and to register and require a background check of all drone purchasers, just like firearms. You could easily put enough C-4 plastic explosive on a drone to blow the stage right through the crowd. To quote KNCB Moore, “Be brave, comrades.”

James A. Wingers