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Flying LOS Only
2188 24 2016-8-1
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stuka
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[size=14.6667px]Was flying P3 at our AMA airfield tonight. Our airfield is way out in country of cornfields and woods. I flew down a wooded river north of us out around 4000 feet under 200 ft., and got some grief from several members about flying out of LOS.
[size=14.6667px]Now LOS with a P3 isn't going to be much over several hundred yards so why bother buying a drone/Phantom?
[size=14.6667px]Thanks
2016-8-1
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DJI-H.C
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Well, it's like your car can drive at 140 miles per hour, yet you will probably never drive close to that speed.

2016-8-1
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stuka
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DJI-H.C Posted at 2016-8-2 12:38
Well, it's like your car can drive at 140 miles per hour, yet you will probably never drive close to ...

So we're confined to LOS only.
2016-8-1
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Geebax
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Australia
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It has only been with the advent of Quadcopters with cameras and video return feeds that mave made flying beyond VLOS possible. The guys who fly RC aircraft can't do it, and are used to not being out of VLOS. Legally, there is no country in the world that permits you to fly beyond VLOS, but almost everyone with a Phantom does it. Stay legal or not, it is your choice. But there are risks in flying that way, and if you choose to do so and come to grief, it will be your responsibility. And, more importantly, if you harm anyone while doing so, you may be prosecuted. Being in the US, you may also have your arse sued off too.
2016-8-1
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stuka
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Geebax Posted at 2016-8-2 13:23
It has only been with the advent of Quadcopters with cameras and video return feeds that mave made f ...

THanks for reply. Guess I was under wrong impression about usage.
2016-8-1
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labroides
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"LOS with a P3 isn't going to be much over several hundred yards"

Line of sight can be several miles and you can't fly without line of sight except for waypoint missions.
Without line of sight, you have no control signal.
You are talking about keeping your Phantom within visual range which is totally different.
2016-8-1
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stuka
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-8-2 14:08
"LOS with a P3 isn't going to be much over several hundred yards"

Line of sight can be several mile ...

So  are we limited to Visual line of sight or line of sight? If line of sight then in open terrain, 4000 feet wouold be line of sight assuming no intervening tree lines etc?
thanks for input
2016-8-1
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Cetaman
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stuka Posted at 2016-8-1 20:33
So  are we limited to Visual line of sight or line of sight? If line of sight then in open terrain ...

Aloha stuka,

     If you had someone in telephone or radio contact with you down by the wooded river at 2000-3000 feet reporting to you the direction and circumstances of your P3 and any possible conflicts (they have VLOS with your P3), you would be compliant with the new rules going in effect this month.  They would be called a VO (Visual Observer).  You can have one or more of them as long as they can see your P3 and can communicate with you.  The FAA considers it a flight crew.

Aloha and Drone On!
2016-8-1
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labroides
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stuka Posted at 2016-8-2 16:33
So  are we limited to Visual line of sight or line of sight? If line of sight then in open terrain ...

You're in the US.
Here's a summary of FAA rules for recreational flight:
https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/fly_for_fun/
2016-8-1
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stuka
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Cetaman Posted at 2016-8-2 15:19
Aloha stuka,

     If you had someone in telephone or radio contact with you down by the wooded ri ...

Wow, have I been under the wrong impression about range. Thanks to all for input.
2016-8-2
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Cessna172
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Everyone should take the time to READ the freaking manual (the FAA one)

Like DJI-HC said.....capability does not equal legality
2016-8-2
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iFlyMyDrone.com
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-8-2 03:21
You're in the US.
Here's a summary of FAA rules for recreational flight:
https://www.faa.gov/uas/g ...

I wish the FAA would stop using the term "guidelines." If it is a rule call it a rule. If it is a guideline don't call it a rule. If it is a rule don't call it a guideline. To me, there is a difference.
2016-8-2
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DJI-Ken
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-8-2 21:53
Everyone should take the time to READ the freaking manual (the FAA one)

Like DJI-HC said.....capabi ...

Here's the FAA manual on drones
It's a light read at 624 pages.
2016-8-2
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wmcvey
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stuka Posted at 2016-8-2 09:22
Wow, have I been under the wrong impression about range. Thanks to all for input.

Bottom line is do what you feel comfortable with. Most people fly past VLOS, don't have some on here that are on their high horse about these rules have you think if you go past 500m the FAA is going to catch you via satellite or something. Just make sure your in an open area, no people or housing preferably.
2016-8-2
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dubbin1
lvl.2

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Geebax Posted at 2016-8-2 01:23
It has only been with the advent of Quadcopters with cameras and video return feeds that mave made f ...

That's not true at all, people have been flying their plans miles out long before these quads hit the market.
2016-8-3
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EdM
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dubbin1 Posted at 2016-8-3 07:43
That's not true at all, people have been flying their plans miles out long before these quads hit  ...

Yes, but, before the mass marketing of quads there was not a complete package already put together that anyone could walk off the street, purchase, charge up and go flying.
2016-8-3
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Not A Speck Of
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-8-2 14:08
"LOS with a P3 isn't going to be much over several hundred yards"

Line of sight can be several mile ...

Labroids, you say here that LOS and visual range are two different things, and that LOS is what the rule is and that can mean that the craft can be out of visual range, but still in LOS between remote and craft when there are no obstacles between them.

That's they way I would like to think the rule is.

But then a couple of posts down, you post a link to the FAA rules, one bullet point clearly reading "Keep your UAS within sight". Further definitions that I've read in the past have included stipulations such as "without visual aids other than normal eyeglasses", meaning no powered scopes and the like.

Which is it that is your true interpretation? Because they cannot both be the case, they don't mean the same thing.

MY opinion: visual range and line of sight are going to become more fluid in short order given advancing device capabilities of GPS, geo mapping, range, and most especially FPV video feeds.

FPV especially is likely going to be viewed as a more valid means of keeping visual tracking of a crafts' location, especially combined with computer aided telemetry tracking / logging. All of this is much more detailed -- and possibly more reliable -- than simply having a few pairs of eyeballs further down the flight path.

Chris
2016-8-3
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stuka
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dubbin1 Posted at 2016-8-3 20:43
That's not true at all, people have been flying their plans miles out long before these quads hit  ...

Unless you have onboard telemetry its impossible to fly fixed wings and helis out of LOS. You cant control unless you see it.  Any thing beyond is flyaway or crash.
2016-8-3
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labroides
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Not A Speck Of  Posted at 2016-8-4 02:03
Labroids, you say here that LOS and visual range are two different things, and that LOS is what th ...

"you say here that LOS and visual range are two different things, and that LOS is what the rule is and that can mean that the craft can be out of visual range, but still in LOS between remote and craft when there are no obstacles between them"

I didn't give any interpretation at all.  I just quoted FAA rules.
I attempted to clear up the confusion about Line of Sight (LOS) and within visual range, sometimes referred to as VLOS
Line of Sight is about the line, not the sight.
If your equipment was capable, you could fly 20 miles and more away and maintain LOS but you would be well beyond visual range.
You have to have a clear unobstructed LOS to your Phantom in order to maintain control.
That's the laws of physics, not the FAA.
2016-8-3
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Not A Speck Of
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-8-4 05:28
"you say here that LOS and visual range are two different things, and that LOS is what the rule is ...

Okay, but when people come here asking for what they can and cannot do in respect to FAA rules, they pretty much want to know what the FAA is calling line of site, whether they call it LOS or VLOS.

I think it's possible to give people unrealistic expectations, when all they're looking to find out is what will get them in trouble or not (grief before or after an incident).

Line of sight in some contexts (such as radio transmissions) is not defined as visual, but rather is unobstructed by objects or the horizon. I do not believe that's the definition that the FAA is thinking of when they say "fly LOS".

If I'm wrong, I would love to be corrected.
2016-8-3
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AG0N-Gary
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What part of "able to see with the unaided eye" do people not understand?  (paraphrased of course)
2016-8-3
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labroides
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Not A Speck Of  Posted at 2016-8-4 12:05
Okay, but when people come here asking for what they can and cannot do in respect to FAA rules, th ...

"that's the definition that the FAA is thinking of when they say "fly LOS". "

But the FAA doesn't say fly LOS
... that's just what you see here in the forum.
2016-8-3
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OrlyP
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In my opinion, LOS = VLOS in the context of the FAA laws governing UAS flights. That much is clear to me.
2016-8-3
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dubbin1
lvl.2

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stuka Posted at 2016-8-3 12:53
Unless you have onboard telemetry its impossible to fly fixed wings and helis out of LOS. You cant ...

Yes I know that and again people have been doing it for years with fixed winged aircraft.
2016-8-14
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bob37
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I live in the forested hills north of Atlanta.  My visual LOS is perhaps 50 meters tops (in one direction).  Then, my P3A is behind trees immediately.  I fly high (250 to 300 feet) and FPV almost all the time because otherwise, this bird could only fly here.  This quadracopter is invisible at 50 yards with anything in the background and with a range of about a mile, isn’t the requirement of LOS and VLOS both absurd?
2016-8-14
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