Standard Line of Sight - really?!

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I have read that we should always keep our drone in 'line of sight'. But today I flew out of beginner mode for the first time and at 50 metres I was already having trouble keeping the drone in view! What about 300 or 400 metres, are you kidding me, how will I be able to still see the bird?!

So, am I misunderstanding the meaning of 'line of sight' or are you guys just expecting to fly via view on your phone or tablet? Can you even spot your drone when she's half a kilometre or more away?
 
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Thats why I fly at night only. VLOS in daytime is difficult and flying via phone or tablet is not line of sight and against FAA regs.
 
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Ya in the daytime I lose it after 1000ft...Im assuming a lot of people are considering LOS a clear view of where there flying with no trees, buildings, or mountains in the way. Unless nobody is flying past 1000ft in the daytime or they have a bionic eye


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When flying at night I can see it at a much greater distance than the day time. Having said that, if I am flying in and around town I will always keep it in line of sight. However, down at the beach and coastal areas where I am the only homo sapien for miles, I routinely travel a couple of klms out to sea and a few more down the coast line. The only risk is that I will have is either having a seagull plow into it or not watching my battery levels and saying goodbye to my investment. I understand that there are many here on this forum that are extremely sensitive to not following the rules to the level of legislation prevalent to where they live, but I am a grown up and can risk assess the situation and behave accordingly.
 

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I have read that we should always keep our drone in 'line of sight'. But today I flew out of beginner mode for the first time and at 50 metres I was already having trouble keeping the drone in view! What about 300 or 400 metres, are you kidding me, how will I be able to still see the bird?!
In drone forums there's a lot of confusion about the term line of sight.
You can't control your Phantom unless you have a clear, unobstructed line of sight.
But you can easily fly it out of sight (and still have a clear line of sight).
Two different things.
Line of sight is about the line ... not the seeing.
 
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In drone forums there's a lot of confusion about the term line of sight.
You can't control your Phantom unless you have a clear, unobstructed line of sight.
But you can easily fly it out of sight (and still have a clear line of sight).
Two different things.
Line of sight is about the line ... not the seeing.
Well not sure if that is an endorsement or a kicking....I agree with you that many people get hung up on the definition. As long as I have an electronic view of the drone's position, usually have the wife with me as an extra pair of eyes, have a well maintained drone and fly responsibly I give myself permission to fly.
 
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OK, so I think I understand that your line that you are flying on, or perhaps better stated 'lines' you plan to fly on, should be clear of obstructions. The drone may be too far away to see with the naked eyes but the monitor will show it.

So it needs to be safe to fly with no obstacles and we need to see the drone at all times either via our eyes to the sky or eyes on the screen.

Correct?
 
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The FAA says VLOS, if you can't see it then you don't have visual line of sight. I have been contemplating getting a strobe so I can see it better. This the exact reason the Mavic pro is not that appealing to me, it will be very difficult to see.


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The FAA says VLOS, if you can't see it then you don't have visual line of sight. I have been contemplating getting a strobe so I can see it better. This the exact reason the Mavic pro is not that appealing to me, it will be very difficult to see.
I would think it MUCH easier to see the dark-colored Mavic in the sky than the white Phantoms at the same distance, despite the size.
 
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OK, so I think I understand that your line that you are flying on, or perhaps better stated 'lines' you plan to fly on, should be clear of obstructions. The drone may be too far away to see with the naked eyes but the monitor will show it.

So it needs to be safe to fly with no obstacles and we need to see the drone at all times either via our eyes to the sky or eyes on the screen.

Correct?
(PIC or Spotter) 'Eyes to the sky' [only] with no visual aids except prescription eye-wear.
 
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Every drive 56 in a 5mph zone? Come to a complete stop each and ever time? Yes, VLOS is a requirement when flying as a hobby.... just like the fact you should never drive over the speed limit.
the automotive industry, however, is not currently just a few bad publicity incidents away from harsh regulations.

i get what you're saying... but it's unnecessary to say. those who want to ignore the requirement already do, or will figure it out on their own.
 
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According to the regulations you need to be able to see the drone's heading and speed in order to be able to control the drone and if necessary, perform evasive maneuvers. It's not just about seeing a black speck or a red dot of light in the sky. In practical terms, no flying beyond ~300 feet.

/// Tom
 
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I can see the drone at 1000 feet, no problem, but I can't tell what direction it's heading once it gets out to about 250 feet. That's almost as big a problem as not seeing it at all. I rely on FPV, Home Lock, or RTH a lot.
 
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For me line of sight is for the signal from the remote to the drone. I flew out nearly 3 miles on my P3A and no way I can see it. But it was clear with nothing to get in the way of signal. If the drone is capable of going that far and you have first person view on the phone or tablet then to me... Line of sight isn't about if you can see the drone. That's why we have litchi mission way points. For them filmings you want to do when you can't see the drone

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I have read that we should always keep our drone in 'line of sight'. But today I flew out of beginner mode for the first time and at 50 metres I was already having trouble keeping the drone in view! What about 300 or 400 metres, are you kidding me, how will I be able to still see the bird?!

So, am I misunderstanding the meaning of 'line of sight' or are you guys just expecting to fly via view on your phone or tablet? Can you even spot your drone when she's half a kilometre or more away?
I can definitely see my P2V+ at 300m as I was doing it just last week. I admit it's getting difficult at that range after you've looked down at the FPV screen, but you have the map area to see the direction and you should be able to quickly pick it out from there if you're flying at a reasonable height of say, 50m.

Try doing some tests in an area that you know well that has a clear view. Build up the distance and you should find that you become more familiar with what it looks like at that range, and you should get used to using the navigation aids to help with direction in which to look.
 
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The FAA says VLOS, if you can't see it then you don't have visual line of sight. I have been contemplating getting a strobe so I can see it better. This the exact reason the Mavic pro is not that appealing to me, it will be very difficult to see.
I thought the same until I tried it the other day. i flew the Mavic further and further away, starting at 1000'. My old eyes are not as good as they were but I could clearly see it at 3000'. I backed it up to 3300' and it was hard to see but still visible - pretty much my limit. With the phantoms I was able to see at 2500' whereas my son could see at 3500'. This is of course against a clear sky background and knowing where to look.

I was really surprised as I thought the Mavic would be harder to see. But it's dark where a phantom is white.
 
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In the US, there really isn't a clear definition of what "Visual line-of-sight" means. As someone who's been flying R/C aircraft for 40+ years, VLOS has always meant, to me, being able to see the aircraft and understand its orientation so that I can visually fly it back to me because for the vast majority of my R/C career, there were no quad copters, no GPS, no autonomous features whatsoever. If you couldn't see the aircraft, it was gone. If you couldn't see its orientation, it was going to crash.

Now, that's all different, so personally, I have reinterpreted VLOS to mean an "unobstructed view", even if you can's see how it's pointed and maybe not even completely clear on exactly where it is. I do try to maintain VLOS at all times. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

In the UK, from what I read, the interpretation is a little different. The CAA says : "The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions." That seems to me to be a little less vague than "visual line of sight".
 
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When flying at night I can see it at a much greater distance than the day time. Having said that, if I am flying in and around town I will always keep it in line of sight. However, down at the beach and coastal areas where I am the only homo sapien for miles, I routinely travel a couple of klms out to sea and a few more down the coast line. The only risk is that I will have is either having a seagull plow into it or not watching my battery levels and saying goodbye to my investment. I understand that there are many here on this forum that are extremely sensitive to not following the rules to the level of legislation prevalent to where they live, but I am a grown up and can risk assess the situation and behave accordingly.
Right on "I am a grown up and can risk assess the situation and behave accordingly." +1 One of the two things that annoy be on this forum, too many UAV police that think if you push the envelope with these rules/laws big brother is going to take all our UAV rights away. They (the authorities) are going to do what they want no matter.
 
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In the US, there really isn't a clear definition of what "Visual line-of-sight" means. As someone who's been flying R/C aircraft for 40+ years, VLOS has always meant, to me, being able to see the aircraft and understand its orientation so that I can visually fly it back to me because for the vast majority of my R/C career, there were no quad copters, no GPS, no autonomous features whatsoever. If you couldn't see the aircraft, it was gone. If you couldn't see its orientation, it was going to crash.

Now, that's all different, so personally, I have reinterpreted VLOS to mean an "unobstructed view", even if you can's see how it's pointed and maybe not even completely clear on exactly where it is. I do try to maintain VLOS at all times. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

In the UK, from what I read, the interpretation is a little different. The CAA says : "The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions." That seems to me to be a little less vague than "visual line of sight".
For some of us who have flown RC for 40+ years, line of sight would mean, in view, unobstructed. As a pilot/trainer on conventional RC, this means you can simply "see" the aircraft, speck or better. I recall one occasion where I showed up to the field and the novice's aircraft was better than a mile away. He begged me to try to get it back as it was way downwind. I took the controls, and even though just a speck, by the inputs I was able to determine orientation, and retrieved his plane. He had written it off. This tells you that it's all about experience and auto reactions. Fly, fly, fly some more!
 
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