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Line of sight
5920 18 2016-12-7
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Micro Pilot
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Im a new drone pilot so excuse the simple question here.... I am planning a nnumber of shots for my first mini video and want to know whether the drone has to be in line of sight to control?

Obviously its best practive and being new to have the drone in view but want to know if i set up a point of interest shot and as the drone goes around say a building and i am not in sight at the point it goes round the back whether this would cause any issues with control?

Thanks,
2016-12-7
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fansa84fe8a4
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You could lose signal going behind a building.  Bridges and trees too.  Outcome could be bad.
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Ethanflux
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It doesn't HAVE to be line of sight, but I think the FAA wants it to be.  But I have done many a flights out of sight.  I would make sure that your RTH height is set much higher than those tall buildings if in case you do lose signal.
2016-12-7
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Micro Pilot
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Ethanflux Posted at 2016-12-7 19:09
It doesn't HAVE to be line of sight, but I think the FAA wants it to be.  But I have done many a flights out of sight.  I would make sure that your RTH height is set much higher than those tall buildings if in case you do lose signal.

Thanks. Yeah, CAA here in UK also have a rule for line of site at all times. Im just thinking of a shot circling a building and at the point it goes behind for that moment. Will check there RTH is set correctly.
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Ethanflux
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Micro Pilot Posted at 2016-12-7 13:16
Thanks. Yeah, CAA here in UK also have a rule for line of site at all times. Im just thinking of a shot circling a building and at the point it goes behind for that moment. Will check there RTH is set correctly.

Always double check your settings and plan ahead before each flight and you will be fine.  I crashed a few times because I rushed into the flight because of excitement.  
2016-12-7
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Micro Pilot
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Ethanflux Posted at 2016-12-7 19:18
Always double check your settings and plan ahead before each flight and you will be fine.  I crashed a few times because I rushed into the flight because of excitement.

Great bit of advice. I was thinking today that I need to prepare properly and check everything before hand to minimise troubles.
2016-12-7
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Aardvark
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Micro Pilot Posted at 2016-12-7 19:22
Great bit of advice. I was thinking today that I need to prepare properly and check everything before hand to minimise troubles.

If you lose control signal for more than 3 seconds it will switch to RTH mode. If this building or buildings are blocking the GPS signals (unlikely, but possible) then it will not return to home but hover until it is forced to land where it is.

As you say it should be kept in site, but if you're doing a POI there's nothing to stop you being a bit higher than the building whilst you circle to keep it in sight, in fact you can vary height and distance as it is circling, to good effect sometimes.

Also bear in mind the other bits of the CAA recommendations, where the bottom line is you are responsible for your flight.

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Labroides
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Lots of confusion in the responses you've been given.
The simple answer is Yes .. you must have line of sight to control your Phantom.
Obstacles will block the control signal (nothing to do with GPS) and the Phantom will stop, wait and RTH.
If the obstacle is higher then RTH settings or if there are trees above, it will crash.

Some of the confusion is because a lot on the forum think line of sight means within visual range.
It is possible to control the Phantom beyond visual range but not if you have a big obstacle blocking your line of sight.
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Aardvark
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Labroides Posted at 2016-12-7 22:28
Lots of confusion in the responses you've been given.
The simple answer is Yes .. you must have line of sight to control your Phantom.
Obstacles will block the control signal (nothing to do with GPS) and the Phantom will stop, wait and RTH.

"Some of the confusion is because a lot on the forum think line of sight means within visual range."

No confusion at all, the CAA insist that you see it at all times to avoid any collisions.

Potential criminal prosecution if flown dangerously.

For those that it may affect the new CAA code

http://dronesafe.uk/
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Labroides
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Aardvark Posted at 2016-12-8 09:35
"Some of the confusion is because a lot on the forum think line of sight means within visual range."

No confusion at all, the CAA insist that you see it at all times to avoid any collisions.

The CAA might insist that you see it at all times to avoid any collisions but that doesn't address the simple question that was asked, which was ... I want to know whether the drone has to be in line of sight to control?

The answer to the question is YES, you have to be in line of sight to be able to control the Phantom.
That's because of the laws of Physics regarding transmission of radio waves.

Whatever the CAA might think is is a different question (which was not asked).
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Aardvark
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Labroides Posted at 2016-12-7 22:54
The CAA might insist that you see it at all times to avoid any collisions but that doesn't address the simple question that was asked, which was ... I want to know whether the drone has to be in line of sight to control?

The answer to the question is YES, you have to be in line of sight to be able to control the Phantom.

I was answering his second question :-

If it went round the building then YES, it would cause issues with control.
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Kirk2579
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yep
after 3 seconds of no signal it will RTH

if building is taller than RTH altitude you set

it will fly into it (building) trying to get home.
it will take a straight line to home point


LOS= line of site---good for radio
VLOS= visual line of site---able to see the drone

2 far different animals....
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KM5RG-Robert
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Labroides Posted at 2016-12-7 16:54
The CAA might insist that you see it at all times to avoid any collisions but that doesn't address the simple question that was asked, which was ... I want to know whether the drone has to be in line of sight to control?

The answer to the question is YES, you have to be in line of sight to be able to control the Phantom.

Different radio frequencies behave differently, but at the microwaves in use here, they will penetrate trees but will be attenuated greatly (so you can still control without having direct visual LOS. Also the effects known as scatter and knife-edge propagation will also allow signals to reach the AC which may not be in VLOS. These signals will be weaker than direct LOS signals as well so work best when closer to the RC and therefore have stronger signals to begin with.
As stated however, VLOS is best (and frequently required by the governing bodies of the location), and if signal is lost you better have RTH height set properly to avoid collisions.
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Punchbuggy
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After you note all of the comments above about height and RTH, having read your other posts I recommend you look into investing in Litchi. This product is used instead of DJI GO (although I still use both), and it's Mission Hub for designing missions is brilliant for video work. I would have a hard time getting sideways panning as perfect as that manually otherwise.

Once having created a waypoint 'mission', you start it off by uploading to the drone and sending it on its way. Once it's away, it will complete the mission regardless of whether you have RC signal or not (and it you have Smart RTH enabled, it will stop and return if battery is getting too low - although I wouldn't rely on that, so plan carefully).
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Hawkeye54
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Thanks for starting this thread to clear this up. I have wondered about how to interpret that when DJI makes an aircraft capable of going 3 miles away or more. Also how can you see the drone when you spend more time looking at your tablet? It is much easier flying while looking at the Go app which are constantly showing all the flight data. If your signal begins to get weak it tells you so you can turn or go up. Flying while looking at it requires a whole new skill set. You have to learn to reverse the stick direction and so forth. I have found that you need to just take in as much info as you can visually and also trust your devices. its a learning experience.
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Hawkeye54
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If you are just goofing around and flying while looking at the drone, you can not do photagraphy. If you want to set up a shoot, you have to spend all your time looking at the app to get the shot just right.
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Micro Pilot
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Labroides Posted at 2016-12-7 22:54
The CAA might insist that you see it at all times to avoid any collisions but that doesn't address the simple question that was asked, which was ... I want to know whether the drone has to be in line of sight to control?

The answer to the question is YES, you have to be in line of sight to be able to control the Phantom.

Thank you Labroides.

To make it even clearer there is a large tall building i want to get a specific shot using the POI feature. The building is 515ft tall and I will obviously be on the ground so when the camera passes the rear I will effectively be out of sight and hoped this may be okay.

2016-12-9
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Labroides
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Micro Pilot Posted at 2016-12-10 09:12
Thank you Labroides.

To make it even clearer there is a large tall building i want to get a specific shot using the POI feature. The building is 515ft tall and I will obviously be on the ground so when the camera passes the rear I will effectively be out of sight and hoped this may be okay.

OK ... that's not a simple exercise.
To do POI in that situation, you would have to be higher than the building and high enough to mainyain line of sight from where you are.
Unless you just want to look down on the top of the building, the way to shoot would be to run a Litchi waypoint mission which will load the track to the Phantom and continue even when signal is blocked.
But to do that sort of flying you would want to be very sure of all details and be proficient in all aspects of the Phantom to have a good idea of all the things that could go wrong so you could ensure they don't.
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Nigel_
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You could press pause, walk round the other side of the building and then continue...

I think it would be better to do the two sides of the building separately at different heights, distances, and times of day so that there is an obvious reason for the cut.  A point of interest in a perfect circle is never that interesting and generally means that the lighting is wrong on half the circle, you at least want to vary the diameter as it circles and do an ellipse or spiral.  Even better to fly it manually, and having a cut or two between segments will not harm the result if done right.

Whatever you do, practice it on open ground with plenty of space first, including turning off the remote to simulate loss of signal, then you will know what can go wrong and how to deal with it.

And remember that you are not allowed to fly over "built up areas"!
2016-12-9
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