Where does it say that VLOS has max limit of 500m on the CAA website?


Not @ 500m going left to right / right to left during the day :+1:
Nighttime it’s easy to see it though :slight_smile:


Agreed, there’s loads of variables.

I’ve noticed that when flying familiar places with the Inspire that it can go a helluva lot further than the Mavic before I lose sight of it, even without the strobes.

On the app and firmware modification guides that I’ve shared on here, there’s a foot note on some of them…

Don’t be a dick :+1:t2:

But getting back to @DTH’s original question:

No, I don’t think it actually exists on the CAA site, anywhere - for all of the reasons in this entire thread :blush:


Fair enough :+1:


OT alert. I spent many a morning of my youth in Sherdley Park. My mum was a nurse in St Helens and my dad would often take me to the park.


(Full disclosure)…

I know it doesn’t - which is why it boils my nuts when it gets trotted out like it’s gospel.

No amount of publicly castigating fellow pilots will change the future of Hobby flying, no journalist is going to read this forum and report that people who ask how to fly further or contrary to the Drone Code Law are resoundingly told off.

There is a very concerted, unstoppable effort to remove barriers to commercial drone operations, (of which, a major one is us - hobbyists).

In the USA, it’s Amazon, Google and The Commercial Drone Alliance working to restrict drone hobbyists

In the UK, the commercial voice of UAV’s appear to be heavily represented by www.commercialdroneprofessional.com, and of course there’s Google and Amazon

This makes very interesting reading indeed…

Following the announcement of the new air traffic rules, Nats head of drones, Andy Sage, said routine out-of-sight drone operations could possibly start next year or in 2020

And this

Drone Deliveries on the Horizon for 2019 in UK

It is obviously unacceptably dangerous to operate a drone above 400ft, (you wouldn’t believe how low helicopters fly at times), so the invading delivery drones will have to occupy the same airspace as hobbyists - we cant both be there - unless we can have access to the same tech that they will use which, for BVLOS, has to be
“…an approved method of aerial separation and collision avoidance that ensures
compliance with Rule 8 of the Rules of the Air Regulations 2007 (Rules for
avoiding aerial collisions)…”

Which is this… ADS-B

If this tech gets onto consumer drones, you never know - the 500m ‘Rule’ may become a thing of the past :+1:

However, it looks like the writing is on the wall - we paved the way by helping a technology to mature and develop - now business would like to take over please - there’s money to be made :wink:


CAP 722 Pg 35 states
Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)
3.11 Operating within Visual Line of Sight means that the Remote Pilot is able to maintain direct, unaided (other than corrective lenses) visual contact with the UA which is sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vessels, vehicles and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions. Within the UK, VLOS operations are normally accepted out to a maximum distance of 500 m horizontally and 400 ft vertically from the Remote Pilot. 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 m. Conversely, for some small aircraft, operations out to a distance of 500m may mean it is not possible to assure or maintain adequate visual contact.
Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS)

So if you wish to fly beyound 500 meters, you have to submit to the CAA, the controls and reasons why you want to exceed 500 meters distance. For which you would receive written permission (If approved) For which they charge a hell of a lot


Yup - I’m extremely aware - this is something I’ve spoken to the CAA about… see below

But, again, 500m is still defined as ‘Normally Accepted’ Not an absolute number, I’m fully aware of the regs - no need to keep posting the same sentence. :wink:


I think there’s a slight comparison with the Highway Code. None of the “advise” has any legal bearing, UNTIL, if you have an accident, if you did not comply with the “advise”, this can be held against you.
Hyperthetical case 1, you drive on the right hand side of a two way road and have an accident. Prosecution CPS, “the highway code states, keep to the left, unless overtaking” So driving on the right hand side is not in itself and offence, but if you have an accident the fact that you have failed to comply with the advise in the Highway Code, can be used against you.
Hyperthetical case 2. You fly over 500mtrs, have an “incident”. Why were you flying over 500mtrs, when the CAA advises you not to. Er, um!


CAP 722 is intended to assist those who are involved in the development of UAS to identify the route to certification, outline the methods by which permission for aerial work may be obtained and ensure that the required standards and practices are met by all UAS operators.

The content of CAP 722 is wholly dependent on contributions from lead agencies; it does not replace civil regulations, but provides guidance for civil UAS operations.

It is acknowledged that not all areas of UAS operations have been addressed fully. It is therefore important that operators, industry and government sectors remain engaged with the CAA and continue to provide comment on this document.

That PDF is 165 pages long :open_mouth:

What about hobbyist fights though Martin?


I should probably declare my own opinion on VLOS…

500m is probably too far when flying visually with a drone that’s electronically invisible to other aircraft and with no means to monitor the airspace around you -

The CAA acknowledge this in Cap 722, (at least the visual control aspects of it)

“…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 m. Conversely, for
some small aircraft, operations out to a distance of 500m may mean it is not
possible to assure or maintain adequate visual contact…”

The aim of VLOS is to be able to fly safely by avoiding collisions with buildings and staying well away from low flying aircraft which is helicopters 99.9% of the time.

This is not possible from the ground with a drone at 500m.

Emergency service helicopters, (ESH) regularly criss-cross the areas where I fly locally.

They have a closing speed of 250KPH - 280KPH, (70-80m/s) and are usually @ 400ft - 1100ft, (unless its the NWAA and they have to land to attend an incident - which is almost always in a park)

At this speed, with your drone @500m away @400ft and with an ESH barrelling towards you, travelling 1km in 13seconds - an ESH 3-4km away could be on top of your drone in 30 seconds

From my own experience - on a quiet day, (with no walk-ups :wink: ) I can hear an ESH @1-3km out giving you an absolute maximum of 30-40 sec to bring the drone back down pronto.
Things get much safer if you start monitoring the skies around you - which I have done for some time now.

So no - I don’t think 500m is safe - it’s just a number picked out of the air…

I certainly wouldn’t fly that far if I couldn’t remotely monitor it’s Alt, Heading, Battery status and how it’s handling the wind conditions.


I agree - the distance would be uses as a fulcrum to prosecute.


All depends on the location though. There’s places I fly where there’s little chance of meeting another aircraft below few thousand ft, no practical need for helicopters to be there and in military avoidance zone.

When out at 500m with strobes fitted I always feel I could easily take it out to 1km+ safely.


Over the past few months I’ve kept an eye on the skies even when not out flying.

I’ve kept an iPad in the kitchen and watched the feed from my own ADS-B rx and crowd sourced MLAT data for low flying AC - in my experience they are super accurate - (I can see out as far as Chester from my house and have confirmed AC locations visually, Rear Window style, and the locations reported are true)

There are usually a handful of military Choppers that fly the length and breadth of the country as well as Air corps EC35’s flying around North Wales and the NW as far over as Manchester.

When you add in NPAS and NWAA - it’s very busy just above 400ft.

And the 500ft lower ceiling does not apply to the AC above…


That’s why I said it depends on location.

In a military avoidance area you don’t have low flying military aircraft to worry about.


Aye - always makes me smile though - we have potentially heavily-armed, (probably not :wink: ) Military AC patrolling the UK most days :helicopter:

I’ve no idea how these chaps who post multi-mile flights on youtube in the UK get away with it TBH - Dumb Luck?


Same applies to the Hobby Flyer must prove to the CAA a safe method


Same apples to the Hobby Flyer, must prove to the CAA a safe method


Spot on DTH


I think my point was that the CAP722 you referenced is clearly aimed at PfCO holders.

99% of hobbyists wouldn’t even know that document exists, never mind read it :confused:


I did :man_facepalming: