I have tried here, in plain language an summarily in nature, to get to the bottom of what we Phantomers need to do to stay on the right side of the UK CAA and therefore the law. This is NOT definitive and its middling general to get the info better understood, be careful in applying anything here as gospel - it is not intended to be! The Air Navigation Order (ANO) is the law. Hopefully it will help us to make the appropriate choices for our flying, based on knowledge of what the CAA expect of responsible flyers. Please post with suggestions/amendments GENERAL INFO * I'm using the aircraft terms used by the CAA. * SUA = any unmanned aircraft. * SUSA = means a SUA which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition. * All phantoms come in the less than 7kg range mentioned in the docs. However there is also many regulations that apply to all SUA/SUSA. * I have stayed away from regulations that allow for commercial operations. That’s a separate subject. This post is generally geared for recreational Phantomers * Congested areas = any area in relation to a city, town or settlement which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes. * FPV = First Person View flying is the ability to control a radio controlled aircraft from a “pilot’s eye” perspective through the use of an on-board camera and ground-based receiving and viewing equipment. The viewing equipment is normally a set of video goggles. Probably monitors would also be included here also. APPLYS TO ALL * No flying at night * No commercial work (you need specific permission for that, and other things to comply with) * No dropping animals or articles from the aircraft * Fly safely at all times (KEY CATCHALL!, applies to everything below) * Must be able to see the craft at all times (LOS), unaided - wearing glasses is OK. The CAA regards this as 400ft up and 500m away. * No reckless or negligent flying where the aircraft can endanger any person or property. FOR THOSE WITHOUT A CAMERA ATTACHED (SUA's) * You CAN fly in CAA airspace classes A, C, D and E – the ‘safely’ bit mentioned above still applies though, and your Phantoms firmware may restrict you. For definitions see https://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?cati ... agetype=90 * You do not need to let authorities know if you are flying in an Aerodrome Traffic Zone – the ‘safely’ bit still applies * You CAN fly over and within 'congested' areas * You CAN fly over organized open-air assemblies of people * You CAN fly as close as you like to anything including people * You CAN fly at any height. However see next point! * Fly Line of sight only (LOS).The CAA regards this as 400ft up and 500m away. FOR THOSE FLYING FPV * You will be flying under a CAA Exemption - ORS4 No.1011 it does not mention any lower weight exclusion. * You CANNOT fly in airspace classes A, C, D and E. Your Phantoms firmware may restrict you differently * You DO need to let authorities know if you are flying in an Aerodrome Traffic Zone * You CANNOT fly over and within 150m of 'congested' areas * You CANNOT fly over organized open-air assemblies of people of more than 1000 * You CANNOT fly closer than 50m to any vehicle, vessel or structure that you have no control over (this apparently means if you have permission then you can) * You are limited to less than 1000ft but must still having unaided visual line of sight * You CANNOT fly closer than 50m of any person except when taking off or landing, then the limit is 30m. None of this applies to the pilot or an observer. * You must have a competent observer standing beside you – basically a lookout for you re: other aircraft, trees, obstacles, approaching people or vehicles etc. * You or your observer must still have visual unaided line of sight at all times FOR THOSE WHO HAVE AN SUA EQUPPED WTH GEAR THAT IS CAPABLE OF SURVEILLENCE OR DATA AQUISTION – CAA call it a SUSA For most Phantomers this would be a GoPro, Vision or Vision + and probably recording streamed images to a ground based DVR/PVR as well, as they all have this capability, whether or not you use them for the purpose of surveillance or data acquisition (MicroSD Card) * In addition if you are flying FPV you are still subject to the FPV Exemption ORS4 1011 So… * If NOT flying with FPV you CAN fly in airspace classes A, C, D and E, otherwise you CANNOT fly in these areas – the ‘safely’ bit mentioned above still applies though and your Phantoms firmware may restrict you. * If NOT flying with FPV you do NOT need to let authorities know if you are flying in an Aerodrome Traffic Zone, otherwise you DO – the ‘safely’ bit still applies * You CANNOT fly over and within 150m of 'congested' areas * You CANNOT fly over organized open-air assemblies of people of more than 1000 * You CANNOT fly closer than 50m to any vehicle, vessel or structure that you have no control over (this apparently means if you have permission then you can) * You are limited to less than 1000ft but still having line of sight unaided * You CANNOT fly closer than 50m of any person unless they are under your control, except when taking off or landing, then the limit is 30m. None of this applies to the pilot (or an observer if you are FPVing). ADDITIONAL SPECIFICS FOR FPVers (Goggles or monitor) * Flying using FPV purely for navigation of the Phantom and not data acquisition ( no videoing or stills being recorded) is NOT considered by the CAA as FPV for surveillance and data acquisition purposes... CAA document called CAP 722 at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722.pdf Article 3.4 in Section 3 Chapter 1 page 2 refers to this... “The provision of image or other data solely for the use of controlling or monitoring the aircraft is not considered to be applicable to the meaning of ‘Surveillance or Data Acquisition’ covered at Article 167 (ANO) for SUSA.” GROUND STATION FLYER NOTES * The above sections still apply * You CANNOT fly beyond visible un-aided line of sight * You must remain in control of the Phantom - so if you fly beyond the range of your controller and the Phantom was flying on its own along the uploaded mission beyond your controller signal range, you would be in breach of CAA regulations. OTHER RELATED THINGS OF NOTE * Don't annoy people even if you are within the regulations! Live to Fly Another Day - there is a movie in the making there somewhere. * If your Phantom falls out of the sky and smashes someone’s greenhouse or worse still hits and injures someone for example, you are liable. For very small cost you can have Public Liability Insurance. Several places offer it as part of their club membership including... http://www.fpvuk.org/become-a-member/ and http://bmfa.org/Membership/Insurance/tabid/134/Default.aspx * Even if you lose control of your phantom and it inadvertently breaches the CAA rules, crashes or does damage, then you are still responsible. A recent fine by the courts of a case brought by the CAA has been just short of £4000 GBP. * Privacy - The Data Protection Act may apply to recording images from the air, but depends on the purpose for which the images were taken and storage. Incidental inclusion of identifiable people is not covered, nevertheless it’s still good to avoided for the sake of preserving good public opinion. Its generally a good idea not to take images where people’s faces are recognized or vehicle number plates, or other things unless you have permission to do so. * The CAA only addresses flight safety. It does not constitute permission to disregard the legitimate interests of other statutory bodies such as the Police, the Highway Agency, Transport for London or local authorities including local by-laws. * There are areas where you cannot fly for security or other reasons - be aware. There are smartphone Apps available for free with maps, restricted areas and notices for both iOS and Android. See http://www.pocketfms.com/AirspaceAVOID/indexUKAA.asp * Permission for takeoff and landing is important. Generally landowners do not own the air space above their property, but respect for landowners privacy should be highly respected. RELAVENT CAA DOCUMENTS AS PDF DOWNLOADS The main law document is the Air Navigation Order (ANO) - https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%20393%20June%202014.pdf The FPV Exemption ORS4 No.1011 - http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/ORS4%20No.%201011%20Small%20Unmanned%20Aircraft.pdf Unmanned Aircraft Operations Guidance - http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/%CAP722.pdf Basic graphical guide for beginners - http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/1995/CAP%201202UAVsafetyrules.pdf Suggested by Hughie: Information Notice http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Informatio ... 014190.pdf USING YOUR PHANTOM FOR COMMERCIAL USE As a recreational flyer you cannot do this for money or do it for free for someone who will get paid or video for free and charge for editing. The CAA will object strongly and possibly prosecute. To do it commercially you need a specific permission from the CAA called Permission to Fly for Aerial Work (PFAW). They accept certification supplied by 2 organisations: * EuroUSC - http://eurousc.com/courses/ * The Resource Group - http://uas.resourcegroup.co.uk/ This involves courses, exams, detailed operations manual, flight tests, commercial insurance and annual renewals and a bucket load of time. This will set you back around £3000. Please post if anything here is out of date. Have fun, but be safe and legal.