How good is your eyesight?

No flying beyond visual line of sight. That’s the law.

How far is that?

At what distance do you lose sight of your Spark/Air/ MP2/ Inspire/BFO heavylift camera drone?

The new Mavic Mini has a video transmission range of 4km (FCC) or 2km (CE). At those distances will you be able to see the aircraft? Is the VLOS stipulation outmoded with FPV so common?

I understand the VLOS thinking - see your aircraft and if an aerial hazard presents itself you can avoid it. But say I’m flying over the sea and my tablet is showing the position of my aircraft although I have lost sight of the tiny speck. I see an air ambulance approaching - an object many orders of magnitude larger than my UAV. Surely I can drop my craft down to 10 metres above the sea and bring it home using the telemetry and visuals it provides.

Should we lobby for a proper consideration of flying via FPV and telemetry?

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Behind the third wood
X-ray vision, :rofl::rofl::rofl:

@macspite from the first day I ever flew my drone I came to the conclusion that it’s not necessary to be able to physically see my drone to know where it is or where it’s going, physically I lose sight of my drone at app 350’ but can see a bird 1/2 a mile away, as you say it is simple to spot anything in the sky that could present a problem well before it’s anyway near the drone, and as to any obstacles in your way that’s part of what the camera is there for otherwise fpv would not exist.

Well I’ve definitely had several occasions where I’ve glanced down at my phone to check something and look back up and can’t immediately locate the drone.

These times were all at less than 150m. I can however still hear the damn thing and depending on lighting conditions it has taken me up to a minute to re-locate, so yes, I agree perhaps we can lobby for a better definition and / or use of FPV / aided view / etc…?

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The CAA guideline is 300m, but on Sunday I could still see the Mavic at 563m, last week I could still see the Typhoon H at 840m my Tarot 680 I could see at 923m granted these were tiny specks against a bright background. On my flight test I could still see the Typhoon H at 180m hiding infront of a tree so it wasn’t silhouetted against a bright background and my tester couldn’t see it. so I suppose it’s relative. if I didn’t have my contact lenses in I couldn’t see any of them on the floor next to me. :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses:


The problem with flying beyond VLOS is that yes, you can still see a helicopter in the distance but you can’t then see your drone to know where it is in relation to said helicopter.

Furthermore, once you’ve flown beyond VLOS you’ll not be looking at the sky anymore, you’ll be 100% looking down at your screen.

So you wouldn’t see the helicopter approaching your drone in the distance anyway :man_facepalming:


I would prefer it stayed woolly with regards to actual VLOS distance, let’s face it if they do try to specify a distance knowing the excellent thought out decision making in this country the next thing you know we’ll also be limited to a distance of 100m max away from the drone.

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Point taken, though that isn’t my own experience On those occasions I have, ahem, simulated a BVLOS flight I have still scanned the sky as much as looking at the screen. Not logical I know but I do try to see the little birdie when it’s 700m away. I also have the voice option set on, giving height, speed and distance.

Always thought it was 500m.

About 5k with glasses. :smiley:

I tend to hear them before seeing them, also you have the map showing it’s location it’s simple from there, you would know if you’d gone north or south so I find if I’m looking at the screen I can easily work out where I am and height,.plus any potential obstacles.

This is obviously just a personal view of someone who suffers occasionally with antiestblishmentism.:blush:

Sorry you are right. Doh!

3.6.1. Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)
Operating within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) means that the remote pilot must be able to clearly see the unmanned aircraft and the surrounding airspace at all times while it is airborne. The key requirement of any flight is to avoid collisions and a VLOS operation ensures that the remote pilot is able to monitor the aircraft’s flight path and so manoeuvre it clear if anything that it might collide with. While corrective lenses may be used, the use of binoculars, telescopes, or any other forms of image enhancing devices are not permitted. Putting things in very simple terms, when operating VLOS, the aircraft must not be flown out of sight of the remote pilot’s eyes. Within the UK,

VLOS operations are normally accepted out to a maximum distance of 500 metres horizontally from the remote pilot, but only if the aircraft can still be seen at this distance. The ANO also limits the maximum distance from the earth’s surface to a height of 400 feet (see para 3.20 below). Operations at a greater distance from the remote pilot may be permitted if an acceptable safety case is submitted. For example, if the aircraft is large it may be justifiable that its flight path can be monitored visually at a greater distance than 500 metres. Conversely, for some small aircraft, operations out to a distance of 500 metres may mean it is not possible to assure or maintain adequate visual contact, and so the aircraft must obviously be kept closer to the remote pilot.

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Even that figure is daft, I can see the Inspire a bloody mile away!


Yeah unless its changed the guidance is 500m to best of my knowledge.

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I would imagine fitting good quality cree white strobe(s) to the underside of your drone would greatly increase VLOS (unless they come under the “image enhancing device” clause in the regs).


Us Inspire 1 users are fine out to 1000m @PingSpike :slight_smile:


Same for my Typhoon, never had a problem keeping an “eye” on it well past 500m.


We’ve all been there mate.

And this raises some interesting questions for the Mavic Mini.

It’s tiny…

Which means LOS is going to be significantly reduced.

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Will out be powerful enough to carry 20 Flytrons? :wink:

Me too.

If I can definitely clearly see the entire flight path and I’m fully convinced I’m on that path, it’s very tempting to conclude that it’s safe to continue. My main concern then would be aerial wires, but I suppose not knowing precisely where it is in relation to other airborne objects would be a problem perhaps.

Me too. Probably on top of the drone otherwise.