On the FAA website the FAA says that you should not fly your model aircraft out of line of sight. Does this mean you cannot use FPV goggles?


1 Answer 1


The FAA has interpreted the rules to mean that the operator must have a line-of-sight view of the model aircraft at all times, and that FPV does not qualify.

Based on the plain language of the statute, the FAA interprets this requirement to mean that: (1) the aircraft must be visible at all times to the operator; (2) that the operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the aircraft; and (3) people other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight.

But also note that this does not apply if:

...the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

The above is from the linked NPRM released in June 2014. The latest NPRM from February 2015 has the same requirements.

So members of an organization like AMA are exempt from that rule. The AMA requires a spotter to be used when flying FPV.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The current AMA FPV rules are also functionally similar to the FAA rules (since your spotter needs to be next to you and ready to assume Visual Line-Of-Sight control of the aircraft). So basically no cross-country FPV flights unless you and your spotter are being driven around in a truck following the model aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 3:57
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ unless you and your spotter are being driven around in a truck following the model aircraft - There is actually an FAI competition class that is endorsed by the AMA for RC gliders called F3H (Cross Country Soaring) where pilots follow their gliders being driven around in a truck. So it's not completely unheard of. $\endgroup$
    – slebetman
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .