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FAA Releases Memo with FPV Rule Clarifications

FAA issues memo restricting FPV flights, looks for comments from users.

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FAA Needs Your Feedback

The FAA Released a 17 page memo on June 17, 2014 titled Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. This is essentially a memo where the FAA states how they interpret the rules and regulations regarding model aircraft flights in US Airspace. They state that this is a "Notice of Interpretation with Request for Comment" meaning they are looking for feedback from the community at large. If you fly FPV at all, this affects you. Take a look at this snippet from the memo:

By definition, a model aircraft must be flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft. P.L. 112-95, section 336(c)(2).1 Based on the plain language of the statute, the FAA interprets this requirement to mean that: (1) the aircraft must be visible at all times to the operator; (2) that the operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the aircraft; and (3) people other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight. Under the criteria above, visual line of sight would mean that the operator has an unobstructed view of the model aircraft. To ensure that the operator has the best view of the aircraft, the statutory requirement would preclude the use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles designed to provide a “first-person view” from the model.

This essentially says we cannot fly FPV at all, in order to maintain a direct visual line of sight with our aircraft. If you don't like their interpretation, they are giving you a chance to comment.

You can read the full memo here

Here's how the FAA invites us to comment:

You may send comments identified by docket number FAA-2014-0396 using any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Mail: Send Comments to Docket Operations, M-30; US Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Fax: (202) 493-2251

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Old Jun 24, 2014, 10:45 AM
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branflakes's Avatar
Joined Jan 2011
2,311 Posts
I dont think it means the pilot cant have access, and use briefly, a monitor at their feet as they stand up to fly fpv.

goggles seem to be clearly stated here, but not an 8 inch rmrc monitor sitting haplessly on the ground as backup.

we are allowed to glance away from the rc craft we fly to simply look around, blink, clear dust from the eye, watch a hawk coming in too close as we glide, and any of that could be a quick glance at a nonfacial monitor just the same.

trying to diffuse hype

I think this pre ruling means you should fly fpb at night with highly visible orientation lights so you can LOS it the whole time, and the backup monitor is just there for backups only.

the FAA has to rule that blinking is illegal in order for this to be a total ban on fpv as the pilot actually flies using fpv signals. they have not, and did not, set the rule that you must look at your craft exclusively. if I did that, my landings would be bad I have to pre scan runway sometimes.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:08 AM
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United States, NC, Charlotte
Joined Jul 2013
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I don't think it kills FPV entirely, would certianly eliminate goggles. You could use a monitor and keep it within LOS. Notice that the language is very precise: "flown within visual line of sight". This phrase is used throughout "line of site". This doesn't say that you must maintain constant eye contact, it is that you must be able to look directly at the model without any obstruction. At least that's how I read it.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Joined Aug 2005
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Interestingly this would seem to me to also ground Amazon and other companies looking into using Drones to deliver packages.

If "we" win this one it will be because of the companies this decision affects choose to fight back as much as anything else.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:12 AM
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nice call

and when drones are so miniaturized that safety is no longer the fear angle and privacy hacks set in, google earth who zooms in on your dog bowl will hopefully fund that angle of fight for us as well
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Last edited by branflakes; Jun 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:21 AM
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How many threads on this do we need?? There are already more than a couple going.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:39 AM
Multirotors, Planes, LOS, FPV
United States, MO, Moscow Mills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent-AV8R View Post
How many threads on this do we need?? There are already more than a couple going.
Just that statement alone should tell you something. A LOT of folks are upset with the proposal. I, for one, will not stop using my goggles and I think that portion of the proposal is unreasonable. Apparently I'm not alone in my thinking.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent-AV8R View Post
How many threads on this do we need?? There are already more than a couple going.
This isn't just a thread, it's a news article that gets seen on different places on the site including the FPV Channel.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 11:57 AM
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Let's see who starts putting FPV gear on sale at blow-out prices first

Otherwise - We Must Fight For Our Right To Flight.................
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:19 PM
dry your eyes and go fly
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United States, CA
Joined Aug 2013
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Remember when they said " we will take your guns" yeah that has not happened and i can still go to the range so as long as the little people mind their P & Qs and let the big guys with money live jay leno fight the battle then all will be good and they will go back to finding missing planes

its a shame this even gets attention on here
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:21 PM
Back in the hobby- ALL in!
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Joined Feb 2012
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FAA Releases Memo with FPV Rule Clarifications

I attempted to go to regulations.gov for e-comment and the docket has not been posted yet. They say it is scheduled to be registered tomorrow. I have asked Mr. Griffith (listed contact on the .pdf memo) to send me the best method, link and time for comment.
If you are opposed to this as I am just on principle (I don't use FPV) the best way to combat it is to play by the rules of the game to fight it. You can post on Forums ALL day and it won't do anything but get everyone's blood boiling.
ACT! When I get any info I will post back here. In the mean time you can check on regulations.gov yourselves.

Good luck!

Here's the reply-
"Mr. Hudson,

The interpretation will publish in the Federal Register tomorrow, at that time it will be available in the docket for comment. The document that publishes tomorrow will be identical to the document that was put on public display yesterday. So tomorrow you will be able to go to regulations.gov, search for the docket number, find the document and comment. In the meantime you can access the interpretation here: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection

Sincerely,
Dean Griffith"
So, starting tomorrow don't just bitch, bitch to the proper people to possibly create some change.
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Last edited by dth7; Jun 24, 2014 at 12:44 PM. Reason: added text
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:21 PM
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2,311 Posts
I think its legal to fly with an fpv monocle strapped to one eye.

it fits the requirements 100%. you can los with one eye, fpv with the other. after all, is a pilot with sight in only one eye precluded legally from flying rc provided that one eye is 20/20 without correction?
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Last edited by branflakes; Jun 24, 2014 at 12:29 PM.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 12:52 PM
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United States, CA, Downey
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Well this certainly sucks
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Last edited by pFrancisco; Jun 30, 2014 at 12:48 PM.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 01:35 PM
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drudge will pick this headline up and misreport it

then every mean lady on a beach will think all fpv is illegal and only done by miscreants. massive calls to 911 to report simple flights will ensue.

but in the end, we're still flying. whats coming down is more whining from the public, thats about it imo.
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Old Jun 24, 2014, 01:46 PM
dry your eyes and go fly
joe559's Avatar
United States, CA
Joined Aug 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branflakes View Post
drudge will pick this headline up and misreport it

then every mean lady on a beach will think all fpv is illegal and only done by miscreants. massive calls to 911 to report simple flights will ensue.

but in the end, we're still flying. whats coming down is more whining from the public, thats about it imo.
exactly
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