View (FPV) flying is a branch of the model aircraft hobby whereby
the pilot controls the model using a video image transmitted from
an onboard camera to a screen or goggles at ground level rather
than directly observing the aircraft. FPV equipment can be
fitted to any flying model including power, glider, helicopter and
multi rotor. New Zealand CAA restricts FPV operations to
flying for sporting or recreational purposes and within direct
line of sight of the pilot/observer. All other operations
using video transmission for control fall within UAV/ UAS
CAA regulations require
that FPV flying takes place within the following constraints:
The model must remain within the height restrictions for the
The model must remain within the direct line of sight
(LOS) of the pilot/observer
The pilot using the FPV equipment must be accompanied by
an observer who can maintain a lookout for other aircraft and
assist the pilot with identification and orientation of the model
in the event of any system failure.
MFNZ Recommendations for
successful FPV flying
Where appropriate, pilots
should use lightweight, low-speed models which will minimise
impact forces if things go wrong. Faster, heavier aircraft should
only be used when the FPV pilot is expert and is flying in a
suitable and safe location (i.e. far away from people and
property).FPV aircraft should only use electric motors
for propulsion. Liquid fuelled motors and Jet engines should not
be used. Aircraft should not weigh more than 5 kg and not be
capable of more than 100kph in level flight.
Pilots should make a
considered judgment when choosing their FPV flying field and only
fly from a safe location away from populated areas and busy roads.
It is important to consider whether, in the event of something
going wrong during a flight, the location is safe.
Pilots should only fly
when weather conditions are suitable for their aircraft and their
level of ability. Nil wind is usually ideal
(with the exception of slope soaring) and anything below
approximately 10kph is suitable for beginners with most aircraft.
Pilots should leave more challenging conditions until they have
considerable FPV flight experience. Beginners should choose a
bright day with a clear horizon so that they have a good attitude
As with all R/C flying it
is important to use good quality components. In addition to a good
quality radio transmitter, receiver, servos, etc. a good quality
camera should be used that has adequate resolution to easily see
the plane's attitude, location, and proximity to other objects.
Pilots should also ensure that a high quality video downlink and
viewing system (eg video goggles) are used. Pilots should select
high quality tried and tested components available from the
dedicated FPV sources. The video link and the control link must
use different frequencies. If using 2.4Ghz for the video
link, interference may occur with other users of 2.4Ghz equipment
at the flying site. This may result in loss of the video
link for the FPV aircraft and loss of control for other pilots.
When designing an FPV system it is best to choose R/C and video
frequencies that are significantly separated. For example 35MHz
R/C control and 2.4GHz video, or 2.4GHz R/C control and 5.8GHz
video. Return to home/ Return to land systems, if fitted should
not be used to assist with flight beyond the visual range of the
a) double check the centre of gravity location of their aircraft
b) check R/C Tx/Rx range – as
specified in the transmitter manual.
c) repeat the
R/C Tx/Rx range check with the video Tx switched on.
d) check the video system range. On new set-ups this is best done
by flying a LOS circuit whilst recording the FPV feed and then
checking the quality before attempting to fly FPV. Alternatively
this can be checked by someone else flying a LOS circuit with the
newly configured aircraft whilst the pilot monitors the live
video. Nb. Ground range tests of video will usually
show 1/4 to 1/3 of air to ground range.
Battery Charge Status
Flying FPV can
involve several more batteries than normal R/C flight. All
batteries should be checked for full charge before each flight. If
possible the pilot should power all ground equipment from a
single, voltage/ capacity remaining monitored audio-alarmed
high-capacity source (eg a large capacity gel cell). Ideally the
airborne equipment should similarly be powered from a single
voltage/ capacity remaining monitored battery, or several if they
can all be monitored through an OSD/ low battery display.
batteries may include:
Video Receiver Battery
Video Transmitter/ Camera Battery
Aircraft (Motor) Battery
Video Goggles Battery
R/C Transmitter Battery
First Person View flying means
that the pilot controls the aircraft by reference to the horizon
just as with full-sized aviation. It is recommended that novice
FPV pilots practice on a radio control simulator with FPV mode and
become proficient before attempting FPV flight for real. Before
attempting a first flight it is a good idea for a novice FPV pilot
to wear the goggles and view the video feed as a "passenger"
whilst another pilot flies the aircraft. This will give the new
pilot a feel for FPV flying and allow him to become familiar with
the flying field and locality before taking control. Until the
pilot is proficient at flying FPV, it is advisable that flights
are carried out with an experienced person in charge who will
carry out the take offs and landings by traditional line of sight
FPV flying is
different to line-of-sight flying. The pilot sees a completely
different perspective, and during his first flights, it is easy to
lose track of where the aircraft is relative to the flying field -
especially when directly above it. Pilots should get to know the
flying field and locality from the air by flying as a "passenger"
and also by using tools such as OS maps, or Google Maps/ Google
Earth to become familiar with the terrain, trees, buildings,
roads, landmarks, etc. Equipment such as OSDs (on screen displays)
which can overlay GPS data on to the pilot's screen and provide an
arrow and distance back to the field ensure that positional
awareness is never lost. Flights should be planned to ensure that
obstacles such as woods or terrain cannot come between the plane
and the pilot thus disrupting control or vision. The observer
should be able to see the entire area of operation and be able to
spot full-size aircraft that may entering the model flying area.
The observer should establish an effective communication routine
to inform the pilot of full-size activity and how to maintain
separation between models and aircraft.
9. BEC Capacity
If the aircraft uses servos for a pan/ tilt mount, the pilot
should ensure that the BEC on the ESC can drive the total number
of servos in the system – or they should use a UBEC. Most BECs,
especially when running off 3s LiPos, can only drive 3 or 4
servos. (Regulating the voltage down to 5v creates heat - and
supplying amps to servos creates heat: too many volts or too many
servos can result in thermal overload - which shuts down the BEC
and the power to the Receiver). If 3 or 4 servos are already in
use to fly the plane, adding 2 more for the pan/tilt mount could
result in disaster. Pilots need to take care not to overload their
1. All members are responsible for familiarizing
themselves and complying with Civil Aviation Laws applicable to
model flying. See NZ CAA Rule Part 101.
2. FPV activities are confined to the flying of model
aircraft for sporting and
3. Members involved in any type of incident
that could lead to an insurance claim must
fault or liability.
4. When flying from
club sites pilots must familiarise themselves, and comply with the
club site rules.
5. Members must
not act in a manner which brings or may bring MFNZ or the FPV
activity in general into disrepute.
Multirotor Wings Badge is currently offline, Please contact
as these are being re-written.
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