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I've heard claims that flying a UAV using a Virtual Reality headset (for example, the oculus rift) is illegal per FAA regulations.

Is this true? I cannot find any definitive answer either way.

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According to Model Aircraft Operations one of the requirements for flying a model aircraft is:

  • Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times

If you are wearing a VR headset, then your visual line of sight stops at the headset screen.

Note that the above linked page lists the "visual line of sight" as a safety guideline. However, according to Section 336, an aircraft is not considered a "model aircraft" unless it is:

(2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft

None of the above restricts you from flying with a friend where one of you is wearing the VR headset and the other is piloting the aircraft.

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