033 FAA & FPV Talk w/Immersion RC

by FliteTest | July 7, 2014 | (19) Posted in Podcasts

We discuss some of the newest developments in the FAA's essential ban of flying FPV and we also get a chance to sit down with Tony Cake and Sander Sassen about our trip to Europe with Immersion RC. 

Audio Link

The FAA is making new mandates/interpretations on FPV flying that would effectively ban that segment of the hobby altogether, as many of you know. Essentially the FAA's new interpretation of a model aircraft is banning all flying activities that are not line of site, meaning looking through your FPV goggles or on a standing screen will now be a fineable offense in the US. 

Here are a few actions you can take:
You can read about the AMA's position on the matter here:http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/FAAInterpretiveRule.pdf

As a US citizen, submit your own comments to the FAA on this new interpretation of what a model aircraft is here:http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FAA-2014-0396-0001

You can make a polite, informed and respectful comment and give a rating of the FAA on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/FAA?sk=reviews

You can sign a petition to have the FAA rescind the ruling. 

If you have a moment, please take all of the actions above. The FAA needs to know your feelings on this matter. With a group effort we can at the very least not watch our hobby banned quietly. We are by no means experts on the matter, so please share your thoughts below. 

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travdudemt on July 7, 2014
I agree with Josh Bixler, I am afraid of heights on bridges, buildings, and cliffs. I also have 5 hours in my flight training and flying airplanes does not bother me. So, Yes, I understand what you mean man!
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Webbed on July 7, 2014
I was very surprised to see a video of someone flying a fpv through fireworks from July 4th - it was pretty cool visually but this is exactly the kind of behavior that will impact the hobby - and I don't fpv yet. I hope I will be able to. I did add my respectful comments to the faa comment site. I also promoted it through my facebook.
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andy_spoo on July 8, 2014
Well if the FAA wants Americans to go back in time with technology and hold a whole industry back, then that pretty much confirms what I thought about the FAA in the first place. 

At least us European's can look forward to plenty of used /cheap fpv equipment dumped on the market. Thanks guys :-)

 "Land of the free", that line so makes me laugh. You guys are great, but the more I read about your authorities, the more I dislike them. US = the people are nice, the government sucks. 

Let's hope they see sense.

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shermanhartman on July 30, 2014
In my opinion, as long as the FAA doesnt find a way to stop componies from selling the gear, its not going to stop anyone from flying. The FAA has limited resources to begin with, so they are not going to be using them to hunt down people flying FPV. The only people they are going to be able to go after, are people who screw up. Say, crash in a city, and the FAA finds out they werent flying line of sight, then they get fined. Say i fly FPV in my back yard, they aren't gonna show up and hand me a fine. They dont have the resources to do that.
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Sharky on July 8, 2014
Seems to me that nothing worth having in this world comes without a fight, it has been this way through out history, how do u think we got this far with the government, take a look at our constitution. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I guess we need to remind the current administration once again!
I have been on the planet for 60 years and am a Vietnam vet as well so you can understand just how much this country means to me so like the rest of you, I will do all in my power to let the government know that they DO NOT need to govern my happiness, we are doing fine without them thank you, to that end I have followed your lead and emailed everyone I know, put it up on my face book page, emailed the senator,congressman and the FAA. I must impress upon my fellow "Flite Testers" to do the same. One suggestion though, I think the AMA should get together with all interested parties such as yourselves, the hobby shops an any other parties to come up with our own rules then broadcast them to the world just like the guys did with ultralights! We need to do this fast before the FAA has a chance to wreck our sport! Good luck to all.
Now if we could just get some major band to write a song....................................
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Tit_Gantar on July 8, 2014
Background noises weren't disturbing it was kind a nice to hear the birds :)
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MikeF74 on July 9, 2014
Agreed. You guys fret too much over having everything so quiet.
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flykvegas on July 8, 2014
Listening to Show #33 and while I stand with those who wish to protect the right to fly FPV I think some of your comments are a little off base. For example the suggestion that only .01% (1 in 10,000) people every fly irresponsably. Having seen most of your videos you guys aren't exactly the best examples of safety. Also, the suggestion that flying FPV line-of-site (as even the AMA suggests, and WITH a spotter) would seriously impact your ability to product your videos seems a bit of a stretch. Most of your reviews do seem to be filmed line-of-site. I understand that flying line-of-site is a serious limitation, but I don't think it's a good idea to fly over people without their knowledge or permission and probably never a good idea to fly around over cities or other populated areas. I can see flying in populated areas in a limited area and I believe it should be legal to use FPV commercially, though I don't think AMA insurance should be required to cover any loss when flying at a non-AMA site or off of private property, as this requirement would probably require a subsidy by non-FPV flying AMA members by increased membership premiums. Love you guys, just stating a different opinion.

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Ano Pilot on July 10, 2014
I'm in the UK but I think that what the FAA is very specifically saying is that a pilot SHALL NOT fly other than by line of sight: which effectively bans goggle flying completely. I read the whole thing. This would make FT's flight footage impossible to frame. Another point, regarding insurance, PLEASE believe me when I say that for some of us joining a club is IMPOSSIBLE and the nearest club sites too far away. We have to rely on flying by permission of local landowners, and I think it would be a shame if we were denied insurance: I value it very much. Finally, I think that the WHOLE COMMUNITY should crack down on IDIOT FLYING and stop pandering to POSING SCOUNDRELS. We should do everything possible to SHAME them.
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dirething on July 8, 2014
For those who are getting errors from the facebook redirect links above, the text of the link is correct:



or if you are on mobile the links on the related episode here: http://flitetest.com/articles/faa-ban-on-fpv are correct.
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JayGeeBSE on July 8, 2014
Please learn to spell 'Line of sight' so that the phrase actually has a sensible meaning. Not 'line of site'. .
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JayGeeBSE on July 8, 2014
You guys seem to be campaigning on the wrong subject. Requiring a spotter with line of sight vision of the aircraft seems pretty reasonable - it's always been the law here in the UK. Your problem is the illegal involvement of the FAA in model flying.
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Cereal on July 8, 2014
I thought I was the only pilot who was afraid of heights! I've jumped out of planes, flown them, etc. Put me at the edge of a ledge or on a cat walk, I'm frozen.
Josh - thanks for sharing! Catch you at FF!
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Dodge on July 9, 2014
Was nice to hear from the ImmersionRC guys, to put a face/voice behind a product. I've had IRC products when I first started but didn't gel too well with them. So have since used Boscam gear, but after hearing more about the heart and background of the products, i'd be willing to give them another try!
Cheers for the epic podcast and vid!
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Ano Pilot on July 9, 2014
Depron, listened to Podcast 008, poor Paulo from Brazil, what a blow-off. Will you EVER address this issue... perhaps start here (http://www.depron.co.uk) so you are NOT talking out of your butts. Or is EVERY mention of it going to end up being another opportunity to drone on and on about how wonderful DDFB is, and talking a lot of NONSENSE about what Depron isn't. Sorry, but it's getting on my nerves. Love and kisses R
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Balu on July 9, 2014
It was so much fun, not only meeting you guys and the other pilots, but travelling around with you those two days and experiencing the FT way of shooting video :).

Thanks for allowing me to follow you around. We had really nice convoy with all those RVs :) and I would not have found those gorgeous locations on my own...
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ByrneOs on July 10, 2014
As I prepare for my ham radio license, I encounter the term "line of sight" occasionally and I believe it generally means that the signals transmitted and received are not going through a repeater or satellite, but straight or "line of sight". As hobby flyers, we have our own understanding that it simply means "not fpv", even when flying fpv within true optical line of sight. This distinction by us makes the matter very alarming, but it is also self imposed and up to us to maintain or modify our definitions as technology or politics may encourage... From a practical standpoint, the interpretation is ambiguous and I will continue to maintain my line of sight radio control links as allowed by the FCC until I am told I am committing a crime. I assume it is still ok for blind pilots to fly with a spotter, so the precedence for not having to personally watch the aircraft already exists. Just some food for thought if anyone finds themselves being tooled by a local FAA interpreter... Do we use the old FCC definition or the new FAA one? Very confusing... ;-)
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Slamazon on July 11, 2014
This is a great lesson in having the government fix everything for us. Sometimes they focus on something we care about then we start paying attention.
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033 FAA & FPV Talk w/Immersion RC