If the PIC uses Goggles to fly, dos that violate the VLOS rule?

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I hope this isn’t a duplicate question:

If I’m flying my drone, just me, wearing goggles from take off to landing, I can’t see the drone itself. Therefore, I wouldn’t be maintaining VLOS and that sounds like a rule violation.

Yes/No?

How the heck do FPV racers do it when their drones are flown exclusively via goggles and often out of sight (you’ve seen the videos, you know what I mean)?
 
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BigAl07

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I hope this isn’t a duplicate question:

If I’m flying my drone, just me, wearing goggles from take off to landing, I can’t see the drone itself. Therefore, I wouldn’t be maintaining VLOS and that sounds like a rule violation.

Yes/No?

How the heck do FPV racers do it when their drones are flown exclusively via goggles and often out of sight (you’ve seen the videos, you know what I mean)?

Simple answer... YES you are violating the regs without a co-positioned VO by your side.

For the record, the FAA has added additional sUAS employees to many areas of the country. I was on the phone with one office a couple of weeks ago that has gone from 5 to 15. That's just one office.
 

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Yeh old dji did not think that one out yet I got sucked into buying some couple years ago now and nearly cost me a small fortune,also got sucked into update USB module for goggles which ain't even needed and then the hdmi adapter so was nearly 1000 bucks just to get them working,,resale value was totally absurd at couple hundred dollars and all to do what ,fly illegally, no metion of that when buying,yeh they little bit cool but should be left with fvp racers,for the record I paided $700 from noel lemmings for mine,,I should have just brought some beer....ps..these were original dji white goggles
 
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Yeh old dji did not think that one out yet I got sucked into buying some couple years ago now and nearly cost me a small fortune,also got sucked into update USB module for goggles which ain't even needed and then the hdmi adapter so was nearly 1000 bucks just to get them working,,resale value was totally absurd at couple hundred dollars and all to do what ,fly illegally, no metion of that when buying,yeh they little bit cool but should be left with fvp racers,for the record I paided $700 from noel lemmings for mine,,I should have just brought some beer....ps..these were original dji white goggles

I almost got sucked in but settle for a $35 pair of Homido V2 goggles that work just fine for me using my smart phone.

And to the OP, as others have mentioned you need to have someone with you that is maintaining VLOS.
 
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Looking for people using FPV goggles without a spotter? Source please

Sorry for confusion: not specifically looking for FPV goggle users - unrelated to this question is my starting that the FAA has been issuing fines in my area to several folks I know (and, I’m sure, many I don’t). None that I’m aware of were using goggles. Each were well over $10k fines for multiple flights with multiple violations each. All sourced from video and photos taken from social media. Enforcement in the FAA Eastern district has been the heavy and growing, according to an attorney handling one of the cases I spoke, briefly, with.
 
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Sorry for confusion: not specifically looking for FPV goggle users - unrelated to this question is my starting that the FAA has been issuing fines in my area to several folks I know (and, I’m sure, many I don’t). None that I’m aware of were using goggles. Each were well over $10k fines for multiple flights with multiple violations each. All sourced from video and photos taken from social media. Enforcement in the FAA Eastern district has been the heavy and growing, according to an attorney handling one of the cases I spoke, briefly, with.

When folks share video publicly that can only have been captured illegally, then they probably deserve the fine. How else are they (and others) going to be discouraged?
 
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When folks share video publicly that can only have been captured illegally, then they probably deserve the fine. How else are they (and others) going to be discouraged?

I won’t defend illegal activity, of course, but often folks don’t even have a clue that are breaking rules. Believe it or not, some people buy one at Best Buy, read the how to fly part of the manual and up they go. They don’t set out to break rules (that they often don’t know about) but end up flying over people (that’s the most common I read of). Things like at their own farm over a group of their friends, 100 feet in the air and just buzz over for maybe a minute or less and fly away. Bingo - law broken. Yea. They’ll be discouraged all right. Technically wrong but it is a severe punch for a casual momentary flight over a couple pals in broad daylight in your own yard. (And, again, not condoning, endorsing or excusing, just commenting)
 
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I won’t defend illegal activity, of course, but often folks don’t even have a clue that are breaking rules. Believe it or not, some people buy one at Best Buy, read the how to fly part of the manual and up they go. They don’t set out to break rules (that they often don’t know about) but end up flying over people (that’s the most common I read of). Things like at their own farm over a group of their friends, 100 feet in the air and just buzz over for maybe a minute or less and fly away. Bingo - law broken. Yea. They’ll be discouraged all right. Technically wrong but it is a severe punch for a casual momentary flight over a couple pals in broad daylight in your own yard. (And, again, not condoning, endorsing or excusing, just commenting)

I guess it's possible that the FAA would fine someone for unknowingly flying over the picnic in their back yard, or an incidental breaking of the rules. But I suspect they are more likely to go after the person flying over down-town or venues where the violation is far more than incidental. Do you have a specific case that you are referring to as to too harsh of penalty for the crime?

Drones are nothing new by now. Are there people living under rocks that have no idea that there are any rules associated with flying them? No doubt. Except for the small toys, I think most manufacturers make it pretty clear that there are rules associated with drone use. What do you suggest?
 
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I guess it's possible that the FAA would fine someone for unknowingly flying over the picnic in their back yard, or an incidental breaking of the rules. But I suspect they are more likely to go after the person flying over down-town or venues where the violation is far more than incidental. Do you have a specific case that you are referring to as to too harsh of penalty for the crime?

Drones are nothing new by now. Are there people living under rocks that have no idea that there are any rules associated with flying them? No doubt. Except for the small toys, I think most manufacturers make it pretty clear that there are rules associated with drone use. What do you suggest?

The FAA should create an inset with a brief on the rules required to be included with every drone sold in the US and the software should ask you to click a box to affirm you’ve read it. As a start.
 
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I won’t defend illegal activity, of course, but often folks don’t even have a clue that are breaking rules. Believe it or not, some people buy one at Best Buy, read the how to fly part of the manual and up they go. They don’t set out to break rules (that they often don’t know about) but end up flying over people (that’s the most common I read of). Things like at their own farm over a group of their friends, 100 feet in the air and just buzz over for maybe a minute or less and fly away. Bingo - law broken. Yea. They’ll be discouraged all right. Technically wrong but it is a severe punch for a casual momentary flight over a couple pals in broad daylight in your own yard. (And, again, not condoning, endorsing or excusing, just commenting)

Your friends in the backyard are likely consenting to the flight and agree to be part of the operation, therefore it is no longer a violation.
 
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Your friends in the backyard are likely consenting to the flight and agree to be part of the operation, therefore it is no longer a violation.

Woa Mike... that's not correct information.

Consent in no way circumvents Federal Regulations. Unless you have a waiver for such activity or you're operating under a COA that allows such activity flying over any persons not part of the FLIGHT CREW is prohibited.

It's a common Internet Myth that you can get permission, have each person sign waivers, include signage noting your intentions, and then be able to LEGALLY fly over any person who is not part of your Flight Crew.

The regulations are very specific and even define what the Flight Crew is.
 
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Your friends in the backyard are likely consenting to the flight and agree to be part of the operation, therefore it is no longer a violation.

From what I understand consenting to the flight does not make it legal. You have to be directly involved with the flight. I'm not sure a group of people standing around at a picnic would be considered VOs. They would need to have direct contact with the PIC at all times and have continuous LOS of the UAV to be a VO. Of course in the example I don't know where the PIC is in relation to the crowd. Basically what I am saying is you would have trouble arguing that with the FAA if you were approached for this. I feel it is better to not fly over anyone, at anytime. Most of the cameras are on 3 way gimbals so you can stay 10 feet of the side of a group of people and still get the photo/videos you are after. Personally I think photos straight down are only good in certain scenarios such as mapping and modeling. I have not been in a situation where I needed to be directly above anyone.
 
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Responding to the two posts above. No, the FAA is being, at least in the documentation I’ve read for these cases, very strict. Any flight over any humans anywhere that isn’t the PIC and very strict crew And they violate you. Even flying over your (PIC) Own boat in a lake with just you and your family on board is a violation. Yes you can take pix from the sides but say you are tied together with a bunch of other boats, they will be asking how did you take off and land and fly away and around without crossing over people. You just would be shocked at how **** they are being about it. And if you landed, changed batteries and took off again, it’s another flight and another fresh set of fines again. You’re only hope is an attorney who can convince them to lower the fines. One of these I saw had 65 pages to it with photos and screen shots of videos and they even interviewed a neighbor etc etc. I was blown away.

But we’re getting off topic. Basically, if flying with Goggles, you NEED to have a “spotter”’on your crew is what I’m hearing.
 
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Being legally or not the rules are here for some purpuse. Will you feel better if the drone falls on your friends head instead on the head of unknown person? Yes, the friend is less likely to sue you.
 
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One of these I saw had 65 pages to it with photos and screen shots of videos and they even interviewed a neighbor etc etc. I was blown away
I’d like to see that too. I’m sure you have the link or details where I can go and request a copy. Such actions are a matter of public record after all.
 
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Being legally or not the rules are here for some purpuse. Will you feel better if the drone falls on your friends head instead on the head of unknown person? Yes, the friend is less likely to sue you.

It’s be useless to argue it much because a) it is illegal and b) while unlikely it does have the potential for scary damage and nasty civil lawsuits and more.

I don’t know that it can be overly applied - if you briefly fly over a small group of friends as you maneuver around to get into position, while that’s technically a violation it’s a bit harsh, in my opinion. I think it’s been covered elsewhere.

I Appreciate everyone’s comments!
 
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I’d like to see that too. I’m sure you have the link or details where I can go and request a copy. Such actions are a matter of public record after all.

I’m sorry but I do not have permission from the gentlemen to share this case. Here is one page from the initial letter he received (before the longer discovery documentation):
IMG_1153.jpg


Some of that complaint was covered here:

B4UFLY "Good to go!" vs FAA rule 14 C.F.R. § 107.41

 
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