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The following safety guidelines are a living document, and will be updated as the regulation space shifts. Check back often!

Last Revised: August 9th, 2019


Safety Guidelines for Operation of an FPV Aircraft

Registration Requirements:

Any operator of an FPV aircraft between .55 pounds (250 grams) and 55 pounds (25 kilograms) must be registered with the FAA per the FAA sUAS Registration, and the registration number must be present on the outside of your aircraft. Register at https://faadronezone.faa.gov/


Flight Preparation:

  • Before flight the operator must review and adhere to any Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) and Notices to Airmen (NOTAM), and adjust planned area of operation accordingly.

  • When a flight is planned to take place outside of Class G airspace, the operator must submit a request for authorization prior to the operation. As of July 23, 2019, recreational flights can gain authorization to fly in controlled airspace by using apps that work with the LAANC system.

  • Before flight, a complete inspection of the First Person View (FPV) aircraft should be conducted to ensure that each and every part is operating properly.

    • a. When flying in a group, ensure that your group coordinates VTX channels and power settings

    • b. Always announce your intention to power up your FPV aircraft.

  • Appropriate failsafe programming of the FPV aircraft must be in place before any flight.

During Flight:

  1. Obey all USA Federal, State and local laws and regulations regarding Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) flight.

  2. No FPV flight operation should take place in an area or manner that disrupts or poses a danger to any of the following:

    • a. Emergency response efforts, to include law enforcement actions, fire response actions, or military actions, unless the operator is actively engaged in the operation with proper clearance from the authorities.

    • b. Areas where crowds of people gather, to include sporting, musical, or political events.

    • c. Civil infrastructure, to include power, water, and transportation facilities.

  3. If the operator experiences any technical or safety issue, the aircraft must be landed and inspected.  The aircraft cannot return to flight until safe for operation.

  4. All FPV flights require a visual observer (spotter) to be present for the duration of any flight.  The purpose of the visual observer is as follows:

    • a. To inform the operator of any unexpected person or obstacle (vehicles, animals, civil infrastructure) that has entered or is present in the operation area so that the operator may make the necessary avoidance adjustments.

    • b. To inform the operator of any other aircraft in the area, both model and full scale.

  5. The FPV aircraft must be flown within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) of the visual observer at all times.

  6. All FPV aircraft must yield to any full-scale aircraft within VLOS of either the operator or the visual observer.

  7. The FPV aircraft must maintain safe operating distance from people at all times.

    • a. Avoid flying within 25 feet (8 meters) of any persons who are not specifically present for the flight operation.

    • b. Avoid flying within 25 feet (8 meters) of any ground vehicle that is occupied or under operation.


Glossary of Terms

Class G Airspace:
Defined as the area not classified as any other class of airspace. Generally starts at ground level and extends to 700 feet above ground level. In some areas, this can extend to 1200 feet.
FAA - Federal Aviation Administration:
Government agency primarily responsible for the advancement, safety and regulation of civil aviation.
Failsafe:
A system or plan to minimize or prevent damage and safely terminate a flight in the event of signal loss.
FPV - First Person View:
Use of an onboard live video camera system to assist in remotely controlling an aircraft.  Includes the onboard camera, the video transmitter, video receiver, and associated antennas.
NOTAM - Notice To Airmen:
A notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.
sUAS - Small Unmanned Aerial System:
An unmanned aerial vehicle weighing less the 55 lbs including the weight of anything attached to or carried by the aircraft and its control systems.
TFR - Temporary Flight Restriction:
A type of Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). A TFR defines an area restricted to airspace use due to a hazardous condition, a special event, or a general warning for the entire FAA airspace.
VO - Visual Observer (Spotter):
Person who assists the sUAS operator avoid conflicts with manned aircraft and other changes adversely affecting the aircraft’s operating area such as non-participating personnel entering the area, changing flight conditions, etc.
VLOS - Visual Line Of Sight:
The ability of the operator, or a visual observer co-located and in direct contact with the pilot/operator, to see and maintain visual line of sight of the sUAS unaided by any technology other than glasses or contact lenses.

Last Revised: April 3rd, 2019