FIRST PERSON VIEW FLIGHT FOR BMFA MEMBERS
First Person View Flight (the ability to control an R/C aircraft from a “pilot’s eye” perspective through the use of on board camera and ground based receiving and viewing equipment) is becoming increasingly popular and the ready availability of cost effective lightweight equipment has accelerated this process.
Having monitored the developments and popularity of FPV flight over the last few years we approached the CAA with a view to moving forward and updating the original conditions document produced in 2008. The CAA agreed with this line and decided to hold a meeting of interested parties which took place on the 4th of September which proved to be very positive and productive.
Following the discussions and negotiation with the CAA we are pleased to announce that an exemption should be available at the beginning of October 2012 to all BMFA members permitting the operation of lightweight FPV models without the use of a buddy lead as was previously required in order to comply with Article 166 (3) of the Air Navigation Order.
The exemption will permit fixed wing aircraft weighing up to 1.8kg and rotorcraft up to 2.5kg to be operated with a “competent observer” (subject to agreed guidelines) without the use of a buddy lead.
Airframes above these weight limits can also be flown using FPV but will still require the use of the buddy lead in order to comply with the ANO.
Clearly the major benefit is that First Person View flight will now be more accessible to BMFA members and can take place with appropriate airframes under more relaxed requirements and also benefit from the insurance provided as part of the BMFA membership package (£25 million on any one claim plus personal accident protection up to £35,000).
It is important to remember that any flight that takes place outside of “line of sight” (as defined by the ANO) or above 400ft is illegal.
Further information will be released as soon as the exemption is available and details will also feature in the next edition of the BMFA News and also the Members Handbook.