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CAA 500m rule

prawnabie

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I seem to have stirred something up here I apologise! I just though I may have read the rules wrong... I have messaged a popular uk youtuber politely asking him his take on the issue and basically got told that long range=more views which I assume actually boils down to more money.
 

PhiliusFoggg

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No need to apologise.
I guess in the long run it's going to come down to aviation authorities saying "enough is enough", making examples of people and then weathering any cries of tyranny.
Or manufacturers being oblidged to build range limits into the hardware.
Do the hosting websites also make money?
 
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maelstrom

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I can avoid hazards much better by looking at the image on my controller rather than by direct view except when taking off or landing. I feel as comfortable flying at 3 km distance as at 100 metres.
Your drone has a fairly narrow field of view from its camera and only in the direction the drone is pointing. How do you see and avoid the low flying helicopter approaching from behind if your drone is far beyond visual range?
 

cgmaxed

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Just to let all of you know. During the day, I put a small 2000 lumen torch on my drone, facing backwards toward me when flying long distance. It remains visible up to 7,000ft or 2.133.6 meters. I know exactly where the drone is in the airspace and I know its exact orientation because of the light. Yeah, the light disappears if I turn the drone, but Mavic 2s are able to turn the camera without having to turn the drone. I can see my drone well through the whole flight. When returning home, I don't need to use the return home feature. All I have to do is make sure I see the light and fly backwards, until it gets close enough to maneuver without hitting anything during landing. I lose 5 minutes of flight time due to the light's weight, but at least I do not lose sight of it. It looks like a bright star in the middle of a sunny day.
 

JohnChap

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I feel this forum is the place to canvass views of pilots and to try to make the pastime as enjoyable as possible without being reckless. Several parts of the regulations curb our enjoyment and as a community we can have some influence through petitions or merely contacting the regulators. There will be no changes in our favour if there is no input from us fliers.

I have yet to hear a compelling reason why VLOS is necessary for craft that members of this forum are flying. I think the regulators are just being lazy by writing the regulations for a worst case scenario – such as when a craft that has no onboard camera nor GPS positioning fix and is flying in some complex environment that is somehow always changing.

For example flying over water at 20m altitude to photograph a rocky outcrop or ship 3 km distance poses no risk to anything! Why should that be illegal and deserving of a hefty fine?? There are many scenarios that are similar to this (e.g. flying over countryside). Furthermore how is a pilot supposed to capture some video recording (a common activity for pilots) while controlling by VLOS? It is for these reasons I call the regulation crazy and in need of amendment. This would be my wording for a regulation … “Pilots must be fully aware of a drone’s surroundings and be flying so as not to endanger people or damage property.” But I’m not the regulator. ((
 

Sv1000spilot

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I can avoid hazards much better by looking at the image on my controller rather than by direct view except when taking off or landing. I feel as comfortable flying at 3 km distance as at 100 metres. With over 110 km of flights with my MPP I haven't had any incidents except once when it was 20 metres away and I was looking at the drone and missed a message on the controller that the battery voltage was too low and the craft simply dropped out of the sky!
I guess I am breaking the regulations, but I will continue to do so as it is a crazy regulation! I have written to our national regulators to protest at the regulation. More of us should be doing that - unless you disagree! ))
Yep, fully agree, distance isn't an issue. Obviously the the image on your screen gives full 360' view that lets you see the air ambulance / naps / lynx flying towards you in plenty of time to take avoiding actions BTW, can you let me know which screen you use for this as I would like one.
 

JohnChap

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Yep, fully agree, distance isn't an issue. Obviously the the image on your screen gives full 360' view that lets you see the air ambulance / naps / lynx flying towards you in plenty of time to take avoiding actions BTW, can you let me know which screen you use for this as I would like one.
Air ambulances don't fly at 50 m altitude (either over the ocean or in the country or anywhere else except near a hospital or when collecting the victim) and I would be aware of such aircraft without looking up. Not sure what a nap is and I thought lynx's were ground based. So what hazard does that leave?
Try to fly a drone between 2 trees that are in-line with your line of sight, you will most certainly look at your screen. No need for 360 vision.
 
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Malcx

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Air ambulances don't fly at 50 m altitude (either over the ocean or in the country or anywhere else except near a hospital or when collecting the victim) and I would be aware of such aircraft without looking up. Not sure what a nap is and I thought lynx's were ground based. So what hazard does that leave?
Try to fly a drone between 2 trees that are in-line with your line of sight, you will most certainly look at your screen. No need for 360 vision.
Do gliders operate in your part of the world? You know those big silent things that like to land in open fields.

What happens if your phone decides to reboot / crash / runs out of juice?

>No need for 360 vision.
FAA or CAA or whoever else disagree with you there no matter how right you think you are.

Re. Lynx - I assume he's referring to the British helicopter that was used by the army and navy until recently. Replace with whatever your county's forces use.
 

JohnChap

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No gliders in the city, especially below 150 metres. No lynxs either and I would hear them look up and descend if necessary. You are giving scenarios that are rarely encountered by 99.999% of drone fliers, and that's part of my point. The FAA thinks of some extreme situation and regulates based on that.
 

Malcx

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So your phone/tablet or dji app will never crash or run out of battery. Awesome, what model and release do you have?
 
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JohnChap

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If my phone crahses/runs out of battery RTH will automatically activate when the drone battery is low. If the dji app crashes, then I hover wherever it is and reboot (have done that before).
 

Malcx

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If my phone crahses/runs out of battery RTH will automatically activate when the drone battery is low. If the dji app crashes, then I hover wherever it is and reboot (have done that before).
... During which time you have no control over your aircraft. Maybe for several minutes.

I can only hope to become so wise, skillful and all knowing 😂
 

JohnChap

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Why do I need to control it during hover time? The trees and buildings are not going move and the DJIs are great at holding station in a wind.
 

maelstrom

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Air ambulances don't fly at 50 m altitude (either over the ocean or in the country or anywhere else except near a hospital or when collecting the victim) and I would be aware of such aircraft without looking up.
Air ambulances regularly fly at 50m or below if searching for a patient. Other helicopters which legitimately, and regularly, fly at that sort of altitude include military aircraft, pipeline inspections, search and rescue, police, aerial surveys - I could go on. If you can’t see your drone, how would you know if it was near a passing aircraft if it wasn’t actually pointing at it at the time? I speak from experience here as a retired professional helicopter pilot who had some close encounters with drones during my career.

You say:

This would be my wording for a regulation … “Pilots must be fully aware of a drone’s surroundings and be flying so as not to endanger people or damage property.”

Apart from the fact that you missed out aircraft (which are equally, if not more important), how can you possibly have that awareness if you can’t actually see your drone? The only area you’re aware of is the small sector into which your camera is pointing.

You’re looking at the regulations as something which you think just interferes with your enjoyment. You should be looking at them as something which makes the airspace safer for everyone, particularly the manned aircraft operating in it. Don’t be selfish!
 
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stevelev75

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Why do I need to control it during hover time? The trees and buildings are not going move and the DJIs are great at holding station in a wind.
Because you need to be able to avoid any other aircraft that may come into the area where you are flying.

Clearly no idea about maintaining visual awareness of surrounding and drone orientation. You say a torch, so when you cannot see the torch light as a 2k from your position if there is any slope whatsoever you won't see the torch anyway.

I just hope there are not many like you who flought the rules with no consideration of the impact for the thousands who adhere to them.
 

ElectroBald

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Since most drone laws in EU are pretty much the same as in Canada and USA, and although that there always will be some imbeciles who will challenge those laws, thus having law makers to reinforce and/or add new regulations, which makes it hard for all of us to enjoy our hobby or profession, it is possible to fly beyond the 500m, if you have a registered crew (which have to be annotated in your logbook) who are in constant communication with the pilot(radio). Most of professional photographers using drone, follow those rules to the letter, since they can’t afford to lose their flying license. Having said that, if you are tempted to fly beyond the limits and get caught, remember that in the long run, you penalize all of us.
 

TailBent

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Much like speed limits on the roads, it’s ignored by some and kept to by others. I always make sure I’m flying within the law and let others do as they will.
I don't know where you live, but where I travel in the western U.S., maybe one car in 50 drives the speed limit or less on the highways.
 

SkyeHigh

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It is for these reasons I call the regulation crazy and in need of amendment. This would be my wording for a regulation … “Pilots must be fully aware of a drone’s surroundings and be flying so as not to endanger people or damage property.” But I’m not the regulator. ((

And there you have it - contradicting yourself.

You can not be fully aware of drone’s surroundings looking at a screen from a camera that can only see in one direction at a time. Zero situational awareness and the very reason these laws are in place created by people professional enough to understand the requirements and implications.
 
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PhiliusFoggg

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To cut a long story short, a few weeks ago, with unaided eyes, I saw something very odd in the sky not too far away from my house. Knowing the area and looking at the resulting flight map I estimate it, a kite, was around 250m away.
I sent a drone, an M2P, up to have a look, I was curious as to what the something was. With the drone overhead the kite was invisible on the screen.
I estimate I had to get within 100m of the kite for it to become a speck on the screen, at around 75m it might have been recognisable but I had to go within 50m of the kite for it to be clearly visible and if the kite flyer made the kite twitch it disappeared from the drone's field of view and I had to retreat in order to recapture it on screen. This was even though I could see the kite with my eyes and I put the drone between me and the kite.
If I had been reliant on just the screen view the kite could have been up the M2P's exhaust pipe and I wouldn't have known about it until it was all over.
The kite's size? easily 3 times that of the M2P and that's excluding the kite's tail. Take from this adventure what you will.
 
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