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Old Sep 25, 2012, 07:22 PM
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San Marcos, CA
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If you want to read more. Check it out here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...58&postcount=2
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 07:24 PM
DX5e fatal flaw- PM me!!!!
United States, NY, Cortland
Joined Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
I don't really care about their interpretation. I thought I made that clear. I'm interested in yours.
People who believe that an FPV plane that doesn't have a pair of human eyes on it,
is inherently less safe than one that does, are the ones who will ultimately be responsible
for making our lives miserable. The FAA isn't going to be sending agents out
to track down people flying their multi-rotor between/behind the trees in the park.

ian
You can't say it is within visual line-of-sight if it's behind a row of trees, if the only choices are LOS or BLOS it'd have to be called BLOS.

If the FAA isn't going to be making your life miserable, who is?

If you stay away from other aircraft and don't fly over people and don't crash into a house or a car, no one will ever know you're buzzing around.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 07:31 PM
DX5e fatal flaw- PM me!!!!
United States, NY, Cortland
Joined Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
...
We have to ask ourselves, if we're forced to live with a VLOS rule, then what is
the actual *purpose* of that rule? Is it solely to ensure safe separation between the FPV piloted
aircraft, and other full scale and RC aircraft? Or is it simply because of an unsupported belief that
any aircraft with eyes on it, is inherently safer than one without, even if said aircraft is only flying
a few feet above the ground, but happens to be out of sight? ...

There exists airspace in which FPV piloted aircraft do not *require* eyes on them to be operated safely.

ian
This highlights why you can't talk about one type of operation and call that the 'standard'. The rules being generically discussed could be applied to a 3 oz hobbyzone champ (good for chasing the kids) set up for FPV or a 6 lbs gas-powered balsa plane set up for FPV.

My contention has only been that if in the last resort you can see the plane and pilot it, or you can not see the plane and have to pilot it via a video feed, the one scenario has a technical means that can fail that you are absolutely relying on, and the other scenario does not. An additional path to an incident means there is a higher probability of that incident.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 07:31 PM
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San Marcos, CA
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You are probably right if you go by the human eye, however if I would be in court today - i can easily win that case because a Radio Signal needs to "see" each other, too! If the radio signal goes through objects, than that's just a different perception.

BLOS is completely different - you don't have a "visual" connection line to the aircraft but rather through satellites or other means (air2air, etc). Any airborne vehicle that operates in an autonomous mode is basically BLOS - even you can see it right in front of your eyes. Why? Because you don't have an active connection with the vehicle which you can influence in any given moment.

But maybe we should call it just RLOS (oh man - I should not write that and give the FAA new ideas) - Radio Line Of Sight - to make it even more complicated.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 07:37 PM
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Btw, I hope you not chasing kids with your Champ because that is seriously an hazard - that prop still spins 3k+ RPM .. and can seriously injure a kid.

I am questioning how safe those "tractor" powered prop planes are!
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 08:20 PM
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
If you stay away from other aircraft and don't fly over people and don't crash into a house or a car, no one will ever know you're buzzing around.
Except for other RC pilots who don't like FPV, who fly in the same places we do.
This isn't hypothetical. They've been trying to run us out of parks that we have the
same right to fly in that they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
My contention has only been that if in the last resort you can see the plane and pilot it, or you can not see the plane and have to pilot it via a video feed, the one scenario has a technical means that can fail that you are absolutely relying on, and the other scenario does not. An additional path to an incident means there is a higher probability of that incident.
You're making a false assumption that adding some new technical component between
the pilot and plane makes it inherently more prone to failure or inherently less safe
as a complete system.
If that were the case then the computer radio in your hands is less safe control method than
a purely analog radio (having no dual rates, no mixing, etc). Digital spread spectrum
RC control would be less safe than analog 72Mhz. By your logic we should
get rid of ABS, power steering, power brakes, traction control, ESP, etc in a modern car. Each
item adds an additional level of electrical and/or mechanical complexity, but has net effect of
making the driving experience safer. The reason this works, is that adding some technical
complexity can greatly simplify other complex operating tasks prone to human error,
or totally outside the human's control, to produce a net gain in safety.

You also assume the infallibility of the link between pilot's unaided vision
and their accurate control of the aircraft. I see people get disoriented, and
lose control of their LoS piloted aircraft all the time. In fact,
don't know anyone it hasn't happened to at some point. I see
them get high, and get blown downwind unable to accurately guide their planes home.
I see them attempt to land in a small field and end up putting their planes into trees,
powerlines, on top of houses, because they could not accurately judge the relative
distance between plane and those obstacles from a LoS point of view. In
many of those situations, the FPV piloted plane has a distinct advantage, despite
its added level of complexity. Yes it has some different failure modes, but nobody
has proven that simply having eyes on the aircraft makes it any safer to pilot.

ian
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 08:43 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
6,476 Posts
Bottom line:
Aviation regulators don't care how you maintain control of your model. They care about trafic separation.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 08:53 PM
OSUFPV - KF7VFT
Corvallis, OR
Joined Apr 2010
1,778 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyandi View Post
in fact how the FAA defines it doesn't matter either, because the law only says LOS = Line of Sight .. which means that LOS can be established via human eyes OR radio link!
Yes, our ability to really fly unregulated really hinges on the legal wording of
HR658 sec 336. Sorry to sound like an extreme pessimist, but the FAA's laws
that they will release pertaining to FPV are likely going to be insane and
unattainable for hobbyists. Thinking that the regs that are mandated to
come out by 2015 will be a viable alternative is just not feasible.

The real fight is going to be in the nitty gritty of how section 336 is worded
and how far we can stretch the blanket immunity given to LOS fliers over to
FPV. In my opinion it's very possible that we could, at a best case scenario,
get unlimited range provided we could still reasonably see the plane. It's
going to be interesting, when push comes to shove, how the jenga tower
falls when legal teams get into it and start pulling out pieces and what we're
left holding on to in the end.

What's safe and what's not safe, comparing LOS and FPV, and other
squabbles of this nature are sadly not really important at this moment to
those who actually matter. And while you guys are free to argue (Hint:
Daemon is right), the cards are already all on the table and the dice cast.
What matters now is to gather as much legal maneuvering as we can muster
as we pull for sec336 to cover us. If we can't do that...well...we're really
well and truly f.

-Blues
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 09:00 PM
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Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
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The what and why of safety is much more relevant than you think, because
the only real enforcement arm of the FAA or local municipalities is
the LoS RC pilots who deem what we do as inherently less safe
than what they do. They're the only ones that regularly see
or care what we're doing because, especially in near urban environments,
we're all forced to share the same flying spaces. If we can't put a dent in
their attitudes then we're really well and truly f regardless of what
the FAA does or doesn't do.

ian
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 09:16 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
6,476 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
The what and why of safety is much more relevant than you think, because
the only real enforcement arm of the FAA or local municipalities is
the LoS RC pilots who deem what we do as inherently less safe
than what they do. They're the only ones that regularly see
or care what we're doing because, especially in near urban environments,
we're all forced to share the same flying spaces. If we can't put a dent in
their attitudes then we're really well and truly f regardless of what
the FAA does or doesn't do.

ian
Indeed.

My AMA club is located less than 2 miles from a Class B field. With a bit of education, delivered in an adult professional manner, their attitude has changed for the better.

One cannot underestimate the damaging effects of the "f you, stick it to the man" attitudes often displayed by too many of our prominent personalities. We'll get further dealing with "adults" like adults instead of like a bunch of butt hurt teenagers.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 09:23 PM
FPV junkie
m_beeson's Avatar
United States, UT
Joined Jan 2011
3,411 Posts
truer words were never spoken

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
The what and why of safety is much more relevant than you think, because
the only real enforcement arm of the FAA or local municipalities is
the LoS RC pilots who deem what we do as inherently less safe
than what they do. They're the only ones that regularly see
or care what we're doing because, especially in near urban environments,
we're all forced to share the same flying spaces. If we can't put a dent in
their attitudes then we're really well and truly f regardless of what
the FAA does or doesn't do.

ian
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:19 AM
OSUFPV - KF7VFT
Corvallis, OR
Joined Apr 2010
1,778 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
If we can't put a dent in their attitudes then
we're really well and truly f regardless of what the FAA does or
doesn't do.

ian
I have to disagree. If I have the law on my side I could really care less what
their attitude is. They can cry all they want about how I choose to fly my
small foam plane.

And honestly, regardless of what their attitude is, I know FPV will eventually
grow and become an extremely large and important part of RC. That's just
how the matriculation of technology is. Once that happens everyone will be
on the same page and FPV will be accepted as a mainstream activity within
RC. Once socially recognized, everyone's attitude will shift towards ours and
this problem will be a thing of the past. But none of this can happen if we
don't have a lawful pretext to do FPV.

-Blues
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:55 AM
Gaftopher
Gary Mortimer's Avatar
Nottingham Road South Africa/Bedford UK
Joined Feb 2007
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The elephant in the room that I have been on the receiving end of in Europe is that standard RC equipment is not approved for autonomous operations. I flew at a large air display and needed to have my JR equipment temporarily re licenced by the UKs version of the FCC. They called Japan to get the radio's specs and make sure it was to their liking.

The world radio council will shortly be finally ruling on command and control frequencies for UA worldwide and it's looking like lots of above 5Ghz stuff. They are also ruling on what will be permitted for video downlinks.

I think the standard model stuff will stay where it is on 2.4 but if FPV get's fully loaded in with everybody else undertaking UA flights then watch out for big big changes.

So getting friendly with the AMA and starting with probably rules you won't like is the way to go. Once experience is gained then perhaps further and higher will happen.

You have to remember there is no representation now from the AMA or RCAPA on the ARC 2.0 meetings. Its all happening behind closed doors and being driven by the military vendors. They will not be liking systems that cost 1/100th of theirs with similar if not better specs flying about.

This all sounds like fear mongering I know but there really needs to be some cohesion and representation at the FAA. If you guys want to send something to sUAS News you are more than welcome. We are not on the Christmas card list at the FAA, in fact quite the opposite but they certainly are reading and responding when we post stuff they don't like.

RCAPA had some guidelines that the FAA have seen and are considering again http://rcapa.net/guidelines.aspx
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 08:52 AM
FPV Browncoat
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United States, CO, Parker
Joined Mar 2011
1,613 Posts
I don't know if I'd worry about the FCC too much. I think all that concern applies much more to commercial UAS than us. We all use amateur radio frequencies which aren't supposed to be used for commercial purposes anyway, so of course they can't be used to control commercial UAS. But at least in the US, amateur radio has been pretty consistently left alone by the FCC as long as you don't do anything stupid with it that causes interference to something else. I think the FCC may have gone after a couple American FPV vendors who were selling unlocked transmitters that could go outside the ham bands, but other than that they couldn't care less. Plus the FCC has no way to really know about individual FPVers. The FAA goes after us because they see our videos and people report them. There's nothing near so obvious to tell the FCC about our radio usage.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 09:34 AM
DX5e fatal flaw- PM me!!!!
United States, NY, Cortland
Joined Sep 2010
2,839 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
Except for other RC pilots who don't like FPV, who fly in the same places we do.
This isn't hypothetical. They've been trying to run us out of parks that we have the
same right to fly in that they do.



You're making a false assumption that adding some new technical component between
the pilot and plane makes it inherently more prone to failure or inherently less safe
as a complete system.
If that were the case then the computer radio in your hands is less safe control method than
a purely analog radio (having no dual rates, no mixing, etc). Digital spread spectrum
RC control would be less safe than analog 72Mhz. By your logic we should
get rid of ABS, power steering, power brakes, traction control, ESP, etc in a modern car. Each
item adds an additional level of electrical and/or mechanical complexity, but has net effect of
making the driving experience safer. The reason this works, is that adding some technical
complexity can greatly simplify other complex operating tasks prone to human error,
or totally outside the human's control, to produce a net gain in safety.

You also assume the infallibility of the link between pilot's unaided vision
and their accurate control of the aircraft. I see people get disoriented, and
lose control of their LoS piloted aircraft all the time. In fact,
don't know anyone it hasn't happened to at some point. I see
them get high, and get blown downwind unable to accurately guide their planes home.
I see them attempt to land in a small field and end up putting their planes into trees,
powerlines, on top of houses, because they could not accurately judge the relative
distance between plane and those obstacles from a LoS point of view. In
many of those situations, the FPV piloted plane has a distinct advantage, despite
its added level of complexity. Yes it has some different failure modes, but nobody
has proven that simply having eyes on the aircraft makes it any safer to pilot.

ian
The analogy given is false, though- it's not like choosing to fly through an AM radio or a computer radio, it's having to fly through a radio that goes in one direction and then another radio that goes in another direction, along with a camera on one end and a tv screen on the other.

When you chain equipment in series the probability of failure goes up- that is an immutable law of probability. If you assume the video feed is as reliable as the control radio (figuring in all links etc to make it easy) the probability of being unable to control the model goes up by a factor of 2 if you are out of VLOS, and something less than 2 if inside VLOS.

It doesn't matter how small the probabilities are, the probabilities double.

You also can't start talking about what's safe or not safe, you have to start with the probability of each given event, and compare that to the consequence of each event, then use those two in conjunction to judge the 'safety'.
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