VLOS the new regulations... No more 500m

ORS9CAADecisionNo16.pdf (1.5 MB)


Lol, got anything that isn’t a 74 page PDF? :rofl:

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Essentially this:

Just because the UA is still visible (for example, a dot in the sky), this does not mean that it meets the definition of VLOS. A RP must be able to visually determine the aircraft’s orientation at all times. While this may potentially be aided by navigation lights, the sole use of telemetry to indicate UA orientation to the RP is not considered as acceptable.


Thanks @fozzedout :smiley:

I can see us stringing drones up like Christmas trees, a different colour on each side that has an icicle effect so we know what the orientation is from the lights at a great distance.

:notes: Deck the drone with lights and markers, tra-la-la-la-laaaa-la-la-la-laaaaa :musical_note:


Little point attaching coloured strobes to a 250g drone now, the arms are so close together that once it gets to a certain distance it’ll just be a blurred coloured blob in the sky :confused:

It’s daft though, show me one drone operator that flys by looking at the drone in the sky rather than looking down at their video feed for the entire flight :person_shrugging:t2:


ooooh… a replacement of the operator id licence, if I’m reading this right:


In order to qualify for the issue of a GVC, a RP must:

  • Have completed the Open category online training material (AMC1UAS.OPEN.20(4)(b) & UASOPEN.040(3) & UASOPEN.0302(a); and
  • Complete the Open category online assessment, and have obtained a Flyer ID; and
  • Complete the necessary theoretical knowledge training; and
  • Complete the necessary practical training in order to pass the practical flight test; and
  • Have an OM, that can be provided for the practical flight test; and
  • Complete the theoretical knowledge examination; and
  • Complete the practical flying test

There is a lot more in that document, article 16 is interesting

On application for an Article 16 Authorisation, the association will need to provide:
o A copy of all questions used in their pilot competence assessment;
o The procedures relating to the administration of the competence assessment;
o Exam conditions
o Pass mark
o Time limit
o Number of re-sits available
o The details of any practical assessment, if required;
0 A copy of the training material used to support the competence scheme

@FPVUK Simon, what’s the score now with Article 16?

In certain circumstances, where provision is included within a model aircraft association Article 16
Authorisation, RPs may complete a model aircraft association training course and test instead of the CAA
DMARES test. Following completion of this test, the CAA will issue the RP with a ‘Flyer ID’ number, which
is equivalent to the completion of the CAA DMARES Flyer ID test. In this instance the RP does not need
to undertake the CAA DMARES Flyer ID test, a RP may only hold one Flyer ID

Purchase a printed copy?

I’ll pass, thanks :grimacing:

the more I read, the more my eyebrows are going up…

AMC1 UAS.SPEC.050(1)(d)(i), (ii) and (iii) Responsibilities of the UAS Operator

The UAS Operator should identify the appropriate amount of recent flying experience in order to be considered ‘current’.


As a minimum, RPs are expected to have logged at least 2 hours of total flight time in the last 3 calendar months on the type of UA applicable to the OA. For VLOS operations, this should be ‘live’ flight time, and not carried out on a simulator.


RPs are expected to maintain a log book of flying activity, which may be used to demonstrate currency. This should contain:

  • Date
  • Aircraft type
  • Aircraft identification (registration, if applicable, or serial number)
  • Take off and landing location
  • Duration (including whether in daylight, or at night)
  • Remote pilot name
  • Description of the flight/remarks

This should be stored electronically, in order that it can be easily submitted to the CAA for oversight purposes.
This is separate to the UA technical logbook requirement set out in AMC1 UAS.SPEC.050(1)(g).

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So there is flight log book for the operator… and then there is the flight log book for each aircraft, as detailed (too long, just read it: AMC1 UAS.SPEC.050(1)(g) Responsibilities of the UAS Operator)

if you build your own quad and tinker with it… at what point does it become needed for a new flight log book? When you change the frame? the motors? the batteries? the vtx?



The GVC has been around for a while. Its quite different to an Operator ID. (Operator ID requires no test, you just pay £10 to register yourself with the CAA).


We have been invited to renew it, and pay the renewal fee. And we have been asked to provide an ‘exposition’ of our organisation, procedures, processes, etc.


Whilst the new definition of compliance is good, the majority of recreational drone operators won’t be prepared to read 74 pages in order to understand these changes, i.e. what constitutes VLOS.

I’ve written hundreds of policies, procedures, work instructions, etc over the years, for 5,000+ user bases. The key is always brevity and simplicity. Neither of which has been used to write this document. I only hope that a succinct ‘crib sheet’ will be released, and all CAA articles/training updated in coming weeks.

From what I can tell (before my eyes started glazing over), is that VLOS compliance has changed:

From this:


To this:

Being able to control the visual flight path of the UA means keeping it within a suitable distance of the RP, such that the RP can maintain control of the flight path of the UA, to avoid a collision with other aircraft, people, obstacles or the ground. This distance depends on a number of factors, including:

  1. The eyesight of the RP
  2. The size of the UA
  3. The colour and contrast of the UA against the sky
  4. Any navigation lighting on board the UA
  5. The weather conditions (fog, sun-glare etc)
  6. Terrain and any other obstacles that may obscure the view of the UA from the RP
  7. Whether the operation is during the hours of daylight, or night

… which is pretty much ‘common sense’ at the end of the day.


In other words the telemetry of your drone will be used in law as evidence in prosecution of BVLOS.

I’ll add that this change doesn’t only apply to multi-rotor UAV but to all Remotely Operated Aircraft at your local flying fields too.

To deny us the use of “telemetry” has in effect turned expensive SUAV into toys.

We are supposed to treat our Toys as though they are full sized aircraft “Shoot one down” and the law will feel your collar, yet no one is expected to fly their Piper without references to the flight instruments?

It’s impossible to frame a picture or video without looking at “telemetry” we’ll all have to go back 20 years when we had to guess the shot.

As part of my safe flying procedure, telemetry has been invaluable at all times whether or not I’m 1 meter away or 500 meters. On something as large and heavy as the Inspire, I’m always glancing at batteries balance as I fly, Sat’s locked and other sensors as need be. I practice this all the time at my local flying site, it becomes second nature when out and about irrespective of the drone or other models.

I’ll need to retrain to fly without telemetry….:man_facepalming:

It’s also going to be impossible not to hit the ground in the event the drone battery dies because I didn’t look at battery telemetry.

I’ll have to ground my 7 year old grandson’s rubber band powered glider as it does fly quite a way on a good day….he’s going to be gutted….:cry:

I don’t even know what I’m talking about….really, I’m just chewing words….:joystick:

“Better get on and finish those navigation lights I’m printing”….:thinking:


Give it time…they will ban DIY jobs… just give it time…:blush::blush:

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I think one of the points for maintaining VLOS and sight of your UAVs orientation is that you can quickly avoid other potential aircraft and/or obstacles etc.

Using strobes may assist in observing your own UAV from a distance but it’s more than likely that you wouldn’t be able to detect any obstacles such as other UAVs flying legitimately close to their RPs, but not having to use strobes.

I think maintaining 100% VLOS is totally unrealistic, (much in the same way as a car is restricted to 70mph on the Motorway), and the periodic checking of your flight telemetry, battery and signal is vital to the safe operation of your UAV.

Keeping VLOS in my opinion is where you can quickly ascertain the position and orientation of your UAV, after looking at your RC for flight info
camera setup etc.

Like this👆

I’m not a betting man but I’d wager that there would not be one RP out there that will operate to these amended rules completely.

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I’d wager that the majority of RPs out there don’t operate completely to the current rules. :wink:

I was under the impression that the VLOS rules have always stated that you must be able to determine the orientation of your UAV and see what’s in the airspace around it. I also thought it had been noted that “500m” was never a hard and fast rule, more of a guideline, but a flashing light in the night sky or a dot on the horizon were never really proper compliance with VLOS.

Seems to me this is not so much a change as spelling it out for those who were taking the piss.

Still, a new piece of paper in the CAA filing cabinet probably isn’t going to make much difference until there’s an incident.


Thats my understanding too. 500m was a guideline, and a generous one in my case, as cant see my mini 2 or 3 pro past 350-400m nowadays and even then it’s a dot in the sky.:nerd_face::grin:

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Old habit of looking at fixed wing and helicopters, then the camera view once close to POI…