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do you really maintain line of sight?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RVD98072, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. RVD98072

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    i guess people aren't always going to openly admit breaking rules / laws but i always make sure that my aircraft is in sight.

    as a result, i have never taken my aircraft more than about 1300 feet away from me at 400 feet high...at that point it's barely a speck in the sky. any further and i would lose line of sight.

    i have seen those crazy distance test videos but how far do most of you fly on a regular everyday flight? when i go around 1000-1300 feet or so away and then go out to the right/left for a bit and then come back, i still have 80%+ battery left...
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Keeping your bird in sight is a different thing from maintaining line of sight.
    Line of sight (LOS) is a radio term for an unobstructed path between your controller antenna and your Phantom (it's about the line and not about seeing).
    If you fly behind a building or a mountain, you no longer have LOS.
    But you can fly 5 miles out and still have a clear LOS even though you lost sight of your P3 before 1000 feet.
     
  3. RedHotPoker

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    Visual line of sight is what should be mentioned as that is what the American FAA regulations refer to. Not the angle of drone to radio.
    http://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf
    But I live here, in a Canadian province, so those strict rules are yours and not mine. ;-)

    RedHotPoker
     
    RadRich likes this.
  4. RVD98072

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    Yeah, i was referring to visual line of sight as mentioned by the FAA:

    "FAA guidance also says that model aircraft should be flown a sufficient distance from populated areas and full scale aircraft, should be kept within visual line of sight of the operator, should weigh under 55 lbs."

    I barely have visual line of sight when I'm in an open area once the bird gets around 1000+ feet away from me...
     
  5. RedHotPoker

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    There has been a lot of discussion about vlos and los. Although similar, they certainly don't mean exactly the same thing.
    Definately not in the "eyes" of the fed's whose regulations these are.
    This was an article published early last year.
    Line Of Sight
    Feb 22, 2015 by Frederic Lardinois (@fredericl)
    [​IMG]

    You’ve probably heard that the FAA proposed its rules for commercial drones last weekend. There’s some good and some bad in those rules. The good thing is that drone startups finally know what kind of rules they will operate under once they are codified in the next year or so. The bad: many of the most interesting use cases for drones, including drone delivery, will be unfeasible under these rules.

    The FAA rules are pretty lenient in that you only need to pass a knowledge test, register your drone and stay under 500 feet. The proposed fees are pretty reasonable, too. But — and this is the deal breaker for many — your drone can only fly within your line of sight (or that of an observer). Now you may think: what if I set up cameras and keep an eye on the drone that way? Well, that isn’t going to work either, because the FAA clearly states you (or your observer) have to be able to see the drone with your own eyes — not even binoculars are allowed. This means you can inspect an antenna tower with your drone, but there’s no way Amazon or Google can fly a delivery drone this way.

    Now the good thing is, as the FAA clarified later in the week, drones can to fly autonomously and that alone opens up lots of use cases in crop monitoring, surveying and other areas.

    The reaction from the drone industry to these new rules has been pretty positive overall. But not everybody agrees, of course. Amazon’s vice president of Global Public Policy Paul Misener told us last week that he believes that “the FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers.” Otherwise, he noted, Amazon is “prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need.”


    One thing to remember is that the FAA is clearly aware that the line-of-sight rule isn’t ideal for many potential drone use cases. The agency argues that the safety concerns it has currently outweigh the benefits. Still, the FAA noted that these rules could change over time, especially as obstacle avoidance technology becomes more dependable.

    So for now, the FAA’s rules finally provide the industry with the certainty it needs to move forward. It’s not ideal, but it’s significantly better than many expected — just don’t expect a TacoCopter to deliver your favorite burrito to you anytime within the next few years.


    RedHotPoker
     
  6. Phantomfreak

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    Where I live in the hills I can have it out to about 4000 feet away and a couple hundred feet up and still see it as a tiny white dot in the sky, so I maintain both LOS for the radio and visually keep an eye on it. Happy to say I never had any control or video signal problems
     
  7. Michael A

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    This is from the FAA's FAQ.

    Do I need approval from the FAA to fly a model aircraft for recreation or hobby?

    No, but your aircraft must be registered if it weighs more than 0.55 lbs. FAA guidance also says that model aircraft should be flown a sufficient distance from populated areas and full scale aircraft, should be kept within visual line of sight of the operator, should weigh under 55 lbs. unless certified by an aeromodeling community-based organization, and cannot be used for business purposes.1, 2

    I note that in the one paragraph, they use the modifiers must, cannot, and should. I would think, then, that the only reasonable interpretation would be the plain meaning of these words, that is

    Must - you have to do that, and if you don't you could suffer penalties
    Cannot - you are not allowed to do that, and if you do you could suffer penalties
    Should - it is recommended that you do that, but if you don't there are no penalties.

    Why else would they use this language? Why don't they say that you must fly within visual line of site, etc.? I can only conclude that you don't have to, it's not against the law, but it is a good idea and is recommended.