These are guidelines created by a Community of FPV Pilots – Make sure to check your local laws in your area and Know Before You Fly

DEFINITIONS

  • FPV – First Person View (FPV) piloting is defined as remotely controlling a model aircraft by the pilot in command (PIC) by the use of an onboard video camera and wireless video transmitter which sends a live video image of the aircraft’s attitude in flight to a “ground station” which consists of a wireless video receiver and display devices such as a video monitor and/or video “goggles”.
  • AMATEUR – Non-commercial hobbyists and amateur model aircraft users operating for sport and recreation. Commercial operations (e.g.: pay-for-hire, aerial photography, etc) are not recreational activities, and as such are not covered under these guidelines.
  • AMA – The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a self-supporting, non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation activity, and is the official national body for model aviation in the United States.
Event Rules
We currently have informal meetups, but we still follow AMA rules regarding FPV flight. There will be multiple people available to spot for your aircraft if you don’t bring a spotter. Listen to spotters for information regarding people around the field and potential aircraft in the sky. It should go without saying but please do not fly over peoples heads and always take off/land a safe distance away from other people. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for props!

Video Frequency Management
We’ll be managing frequencies to get 5 people flying at a time. Be prepared to change your video transmitters frequency and/or wait to fly. Remember, always call out your transmitters video frequency before powering up! Our groups have averaged 3-7 people in the past- we’re starting to plan for more! We will be implementing MultiGP’s system for Race Day management and using a card system for all other events.

FPV pilots shall adhere to frequency control and licensing set forth by the FCC. This applies to both the RC control systems used, as well as the wireless video transmissions. FPV pilots will also take care to minimize frequency conflicts with other model aircraft pilots

Fire Safety
California is currently facing a serious drought. Fire safety needs to be taken seriously so we can all continue to enjoy the amazing locations in Santa Cruz. We encourage every pilot to carry a fire extinguisher with them as a safety precaution, it will probably never be needed but it’s good idea to have. Also please keep batteries in a Lipo safe bag for transport and storage. For group events their will be a designated fire safety coordinator who’ll respond to any potential incidents of fire with a bucket of sand and fire extinguisher- As a group we’ve never had an issue to the point of requiring the use of a fire extinguisher.

 

OPERATING REQUIREMENTS
1. Maximum flight altitude of 400ft AGL as per FAA guideline AC 91-57.
2. Flights are not permitted over densely populated areas of cities, towns or over any open-air assembly of persons.
3. Flights within 3 statute miles of an airport require prior approval of the airport manager.
4. Maximum operating range shall be limited to AMA safety rules and FAA guidelines.
5. Flights shall be conducted in such a way as to prevent harm to full-scale aircraft, people, animals or property.
6. Flights should be only conducted under VFR weather conditions.
a. Day = 1 statute mile of visibility
b. Night = 3 statute miles of visibility
7. Night flights require on-board aircraft lights that show the aircraft’s attitude visible from 1000 ft.
8. Fully autonomous aerial vehicles that lack the ability to be totally controlled by the pilot in command are not considered to be FPV aircraft and as such are not covered by these guidelines.
9. Aircraft will be flown by regular visual line-of-sight method during initial testing and/or testing of any flight system changes that could affect performance and/or handling.
10. Aircraft will contain contact information for the pilot, including but not limited to, the pilots full name, address, and phone number.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Aircraft maximum weight and speed limited to AMA safety rules and FAA guidelines.
2. The use of spotters is recommended during initial flight training or at congested flying fields.
3. GPS based programmable redundant failsafe systems are encouraged and if used for return to home purpose should be programmed to bring the aircraft back to a safe location away from people and property. If a return-to-home feature is not used, it is advisable to
4. Have on-board capability (fail safe) of landing the aircraft if pilot control is interrupted.
5. Any record attempts that exceed these guidelines require the prior approval of all official agencies involved that would include but are not limited to FAA and FAI.

 

FLIGHTS AT AMA SANCTIONED AIRFIELDS (See also Supplement Code 550)

Preface: Keep in mind some AMA fields are located within congested or populated areas. Furthermore these sites may have contractual agreements with land owners restricting activity within a limited flight zone. These areas do not have the space requirements for FPV flying and should not be used. The AMA model aircraft Safety Code will apply at all times!

1. An FPV-equipped model must be flown by two AMA members utilizing a buddy-box system. The pilot in command must be on the primary transmitter, maintain visual contact, and be prepared to assume control in the event of a problem
2. The operational range of the model is limited to the pilot in command’s visual line of sight as defined in the Official AMA Safety Code (see Radio Control, item 10).
3. The flight path of model operations shall be limited to the designated flying site and approved overfly area.
4. The model weight and speed shall be limited to a maximum of 10 pounds and 60 miles per hour.

Flying at a AMA field is a privilege and not a right! Please do not get into arguments regarding FPV at AMA fields. Arguing if you can fly FPV will only give FPV’ers a bad name!  We are actively pursuing the creation of a sanctioned AMA FPV Field in Santa Cruz.