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Daytona

FPV to become illegal in UK from November; Please write to your MP to

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Dear All,

I discovered yesterday that the CAA intend to make flying by FPV illegal in changes to the Air Navigation Order due to be introduced in November this year. This is despite previous written assurances that FPV flying would not be caught up in the new changes for UAV/ UAS operations.

Page 13 of the document here http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/1727/20090923lLightUAVLetterOfIntentImpactAssessment.pdf includes the clause:

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE AIR NAVIGATION ORDER ARTICLES

Regulation of Small Aircraft

98

(3) The person in charge of a small aircraft shall 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

I have this morning written to my local MP (my letter attached in PDF format) and I urge each of you to do the same very urgently. If 30 or so of us each write to our local MP we may stand a chance of blocking this new clause from becoming law.

You can find your local MP here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

I have attached a rough draft of a letter that each of you could use as a basis for your letter in Word format.

I have also approached a Barrister this morning who specialises in aviation law in the hope that he might help us on a pro bono basis and I also intend to seek help through these two pro bono websites: http://www.barprobono.org.uk/ and http://www.probonouk.net/

I hope we can stop this becoming law by working together. Please publicise this and get as many people as possible to write to their MPs.

Thanks

Simon

SampleLetter1.doc

CAAANOchangeLocalMP1.pdf

Edited by Daytona

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But on the last page under comments they say "Model aircraft operated for recreational purposes away from people or property will not be subject to regulation, even when equipped for surveillance or data acquisition."

Terry

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But on the last page under comments they say "Model aircraft operated for recreational purposes away from people or property will not be subject to regulation, even when equipped for surveillance or data acquisition."

Terry

That was a reply to a question on the comment and response document relating to the regulation of surveilance and data aquisition. No permission will need to be sought to have a camera on a model if you are doing it for recreation and away from people and property. However, separate to that, they have added 98(3) to the ANO which will make FPV flying illegal because we can not "maintain direct unaided visual contact with the aircraft".

Incidentally this also outlaws anyone who wears glasses/ contact lenses or sunglasses when they fly.

Edited by Daytona

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Do the BMFA know about this?

Seeing as they have only just accepted FPV flying I would like to know if they intend to look after their FPV members.

Terry

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Do the BMFA know about this?

Seeing as they have only just accepted FPV flying I would like to know if they intend to look after their FPV members.

Terry

Hi Terry,

I agree with you. Would you make an approach to the BMFA and find out if they know/ if they can do anything to stop it please? I guess it would be Manny Williamson.

In the past I've heard (2nd hand news) that he is a little anti-FPV but I'm very willing to be proved wrong on that.

Thanks

Simon

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Just realised that the BMFA agree with this if I remember correctly. They say the person in charge has to keep visual contact and is responsible for the aircraft while the FPV pilot dose the flying.

Terry

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Just realised that the BMFA agree with this if I remember correctly. They say the person in charge has to keep visual contact and is responsible for the aircraft while the FPV pilot dose the flying.

Terry

Hi Terry,

I see your point and I would not be surprised if the CAA's rules were initially based on the BMFA's but then they have been worded in such a way that they outlaw FPV entirely. I don't think the BMFA meant for FPV to be banned entirely so they may back us up and push the CAA to at least make the rule more clear (I also think that the way they've worded the clause actually outlaws flying models whilst wearing glasses...which will surely affect a huge number of model pilots).

The BMFA's guidelines are a little more explicit than the CAA's. They say:

Two pilots must take part

• A buddy Box system must be employed

• The pilot in charge must operate the master transmitter

• The pilot in charge must not wear the headset or view a screen

• The aircraft remains within the natural unaided visual range of the pilot in charge

• Reliable operation of the Buddy Box is established

• A clear handover protocol is established

• The pilot in charge is solely responsible for the safety of the flight

These operating conditions very clearly place the legal responsibility for the safety of the flight on the pilot in charge.

These are quite different to the changes that the CAA propose. The CAA change makes no mention of a second pilot or a buddy lead or any of that stuff. If I had to defend myself in a court of law I would find it very hard to argue that the "Person in charge of the aircraft" was anyone other than the person in control of the aircraft - ie the person moving the sticks.

The CAA's proposed changes affect UK law where as the above are a guideline to members so this is quite a different issue.

I think speaking to the BMFA is definitely worth a go, although I'm not sure I'm the best person to do it

All the best

Simon

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