FAA and UAV vs FPV

First off i want to say i am not looking for a loop hole i am just trying to figure out what the rules are.

from what i read the FAA as set some guide lines for UAV to fly without a COA

they are

1) Stay below 400ft.
2) Maintain a "pilot in control", which is to saythat you must always be able to take manual control and fly the
aircraft out of danger
3) Stay away from built-up areas

now here are the questions. i know a lot of the people here like to run autopilot so it is possiable to fly to the point where you cant see or correct the plane if something goes wrong but what about FPV (first person view). flying the plane from a camera i would be able to see what is going on and correct any problems before the plane has issues. so if i have a FPV setup can i fly over the next hill and still be within the regs of the FAA seeing that i am still a "pilot in control" ?


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  • As long as you are using it for recreational/hobby purposes there are no regulations, just "guidance" from the FAA.

    That guidance is in AC 91-57

  • One other Federal Government agency comes to mind, the FCC.  Under 47 CFR 15, Low Power Broadcast Radio Stations, limits the effective range to a maximum of 200ft.  The penalty for a single day is $10,000 to a maximum of $75,000.  This means to me that you have to hold a HAM license for ranges longer than 200ft.  Depending on the size, coloring, I like bright, you can fly a drone farther than 200ft from you….  An issue….



  • A one time thing isn't going to raise many eyebrows, like using the company car for non-company business is supposed to documented for taxes but nobody reports "once I picked up my groceries". Same with "taking work home" is technically illegal in a rsidential area but nobody cares. We all do technically illegal things all the time, usually because bobody even knows they are "illegal". Go into the RC hobby shop and buy what you want, nobody asks "is this for commercial use?" I am willing to bet most of them don't know about the FAA rules other than the AMA misinformation.
  • Go to the location on your own time fly and photograph for fun and then give away the pictures to the company.
  • Any unmanned aircraft used for commercial or Govt purposes requires FAA certification.

    Only non-commercial hobby and educational use is unregulated.

    Current regulations here: http://suas.forumotion.com/t5-current-faa-regulations

  • This has been a fascinating thread to read. Lots of great information.


    I am new to this forum, so please excuse me if this is in the wrong area. I work for an engineering firm and we have been considering purchasing a Draganflyer X6 to use as a platform to do low level photography and videography. We envision the maximum elevation to be about 100'. 


    I have read through the links but came away unsure if the X6 qualified as a "model" and if we would need any sort of FAA certification. I have even placed a call to the Houston Flight Standards office of the FAA and they were not able to answer me. They are currently "looking into the matter" to see if commercially flying the X6 requires some permitting. 


    Does anyone know this or have you heard of this sort of situation? I have done some research and there are a handful of services in Texas flying RC camera platforms and a good number on the east and west coasts. I am just not sure whether we should invest in the platform (hefty price) or not.


    I look forward to hearing from you.


    - Curt -

  • If you don't want to fly under AC 91-57, here's the FAA's current policy for UAVs...


    To summarize -- you want to be under 91-57.
  • Jut curious for the obvious oblivious: Does a person with glasses/lenses/lasered eyes have aided eyes?
    nearly deaf people have hear-aids to enhance hearing. Far-sighted people have aids (glasses) to enhance sight, hence they have aided their eyes and there for cannot fly a RC aircraft?
    Or am i missing something other than hear and sight aids?
  • Here you go... this is as far as I'll dig...

    "Model Aircraft: A sUAS used by hobbyists and flown within visual line-of-sight under direct control from the pilot, which can navigate the airspace, and which is manufactured or assembled, and operated for the purpose of sport, recreation and/or competition.

    Visual Line-of-Sight: Unaided (corrective lenses and/or sunglasses exempted) visual contact with aircraft sufficient to be able to maintain operational control of the aircraft, know its location, and be able to scan the airspace in which it is operating to decisively see and avoid other air traffic or objects."

    I tried giving you a link to current (rather than proposed) regulatory articles, but the damn FAA link to the pdf was broken!
  • Thanks guys couple more comments and questions...

    I understand the AMA has rules that apply to their insurance that they provide for RC accidents but i am not a member and wouldn't claim against it anyway.. the biggest one is the FAA I like not to be in jail for some weird reason =)

    about the "unaided eye" the FAA regs that i have read doesn't include this..

    here is the link


    is there another set of FAA that are more in depth.

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