VLOS or 500m flight limit?

After reading a lot… i’m still confused by advice.

is the flight distance limit for a Mini 2 500m or VLOS (with or without a strobe for example) I’m still seeing videos (UK based) that appear to show very long flying distances.



The rules state must be within VLOS at all times. The 500 m “limit” is a suggestion that seems to be taken by some as a definite distance applicable to all UAVs irrespective of size.

For me, with failing eyesight a Mavic Air gets lost after about 100 m or 200 at a pinch against a clear blue sky. VLOS for an Inspire is greater, my 1000 mm Octocopter with a number of LEDs is visible at more than 500metres.

People that fly beyond 2 kmm with Mini 2x have very, very good eyesight - or they are flouting the law!


I was flying in clear blue sky yesterday morning with a cree strobe attached and I lost sight at 365m keeping my eye on it at all times.

Same flight. 190m distant. Took my eyes off it to look at the screen and lost it completely when looked back up. Anyone that can see a Mini 2 at 500m has either some seriously good vision or a vivid imagination.


There’s a few worth following on YouTube - Windswept Robert and Ian In London are my 2 favourites. I’m not going to name the ones to avoid, we don’t need any more following what they do.


Ian and Robert are both GADC members :slight_smile:


Happy to send a few more followers their way :+1:


Thanks all for your input…

So you all put that limit into your Fly App… Including height 120m?

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You put in the boundary that fits the prevailing conditions meeting VLOS or you push the limits out and fly to VLOS it’s up to you how you manage it, just be safe…

Maximum height is 120m by law.

The only hard and fast rule is not beyond VLOS. As per others posts, the 500m is only a suggestion, some people may have fabulous eyesight and can see a gnats knackers at that distance. A Cree strobe is a fabulous and inexpensive accessory to have, which massively helps locate your drone against the sky. It’s about common sense, if you lose sight, bring it back to the point where it’s regained. Those that like to post vids of ‘iffy’ long range flights. All I can say is that if WE can view it, so can the authorities.
As our government like to say about wearing masks when lockdown is lifted “we will leave it to the common sense of the British public’. Which is rather ironic when I’ve just watched mass football fans at Wembley without masks, and one enterprising man shove a lit flare up his arse.


Ian in London has got to be ‘prescribed viewing’. Such a wealth of talent and information.I’d trust Ian to give me the right advice and info before anyone in authority.


My eyes are watering with that last statement!

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120m height is a must. Distance depends on your sight, using strobes, or if you’re using spotters to keep track of it.

Then there’s those that just go for it. Have to admit that depending on the light conditions, cloud, etc, it’s easy to glance down at the screen, look back up and haven’t a clue where it is, even just 200mtr away.


As others have said the only distance that is a legal requirement is the height (but still regularly see people brag about exceeding this).

VLOS is key but I think we all have lost this at some point and have had to bring it back towards us to regain it.

500 meters is suggested, it might be less than 200 on a particularly sunny day but could be more on a clear night with no light pollution.

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Was thinking the exactly last night, but after a few :wine_glass: thought I’d better wait to say :joy: this makes a farce of VLOS as we all look down at screen to either see what camera is pointing at or drone stats :man_shrugging:t2: so unless your able to split your vision :flushed:


I’ve never flown VLOS.
I’ve been flying since 2014 and always fly FPV either through goggles or screen.
If you’re 500m or 5 miles away and you develop a fault being able to see it isn’t going to help.

Am I missing something here?

Surely the point of VLOS is being able to see that potential disaster unfolding close to our drone that is NOT in the camera or FPV view?

an air ambulance for example that according to CAA we should give priority to… i.e. get out of their way. If we can see the drone directly we can see around the drone area and then we are in a position to do something about situations that crop up.



The most common argument for VLOS is that the pilot needs to be specially aware of the drone’s immediate surroundings. However, how many of us that stick to the VLOS rule have encountered a situation that where the drone was threatened, or was threatening, something that was in close proximity. Where as in contrast it would appear that having the same situational awareness in driverless/autopilot equipped cars isn’t a requirement, even though the environment they are operated in is far more hazardous.

Model aircraft have been flying in our skies in one form or another for over 100yrs. BVLOS/FPV has been practised for around the last 15yrs to 20yrs. All without incident.

One could argue that I n the past those that flew SUAS’s were technically adept and followed a strict risk assessment practice. Where as today the technology is available to a much larger, and therefore less technically adept, audience. Even so where is the evidence that stricter enforcement and additional legislation is required in the name of safety? The primary driver was the supposed Gatwick incident which is looking more and more like the Roswell incident. There also seems to be a constant stream of AIRPROX reports and over sensationalised newspaper articles, both of which have yet to convey anything of substance.

Drones, model aircraft, hobbyist SUAS’s, to me, are the new Hoolahoops, Clackaballs, and skateboards. To the regulators they’re provocative, dangerous, and subversive, everything that can spawn outrage when intentionally taken out of context.


The point was when you look away from the drone then you need to find it in the air again. By the time you’ve found it, any potential "disaster " could still happen. With that said, bird strikes are still a risk and happen at any time. We’d be as well all buying kites at this rate and running around attached by string :roll_eyes: