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Aerial Photography, Video and FPV Guidance:

The legal situation at this present time is un-clear regarding flying FPV and photography.
We have researched the currently available documentation to make you aware of the legal requirements.

The following has been taken from the BMFA handbook:

First Person View RC Flying.

FPV RC is a legitimate activity but there are limitations that you must observe to be both legal and insured. ANO Article 166 (3) says the person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must 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. This is a strict legal requirement.

The implication for FPV RC is that the pilot ‘under the hood’ cannot, by definition, be the pilot in charge of the model and that there must be a separate ‘pilot in charge’ at all times. After discussions with the insurers and the CAA, BMFA has been able to arrange insurance for the activity but ONLY if the following regulation is followed:

When flying FPV RC, the pilots MUST use a buddy box system with the pilot in charge using the master transmitter. In addition, the model is equipped with a video camera and video link to the ground and will automatically be classed by the CAA as a small aircraft equipped for surveillance. Consequently, all of ANO Article 167, (Small unmanned surveillance aircraft) will apply to any flights made. This can be read in full in the section ‘Legal Controls over Model Flying’.
Again, these are strict legal requirements.

Aerial Photography using UAV, UAS, Quadcopter, RC Helicopter etc.:

It has come to our attention that the CAA has a law within the UK with regards UAV usage for commercial gain. If you intend to fly your aircraft for video or photograpy for personal financial gain the CAA require the user to hold a Civil Pilots licence and must undertake relevant check to fly their aircraft.

The Law for the CAA states this in there CAP 722 Document available to download from the CAA website.

As we understand it, as long as the user is flying for recreational purpose only and NOT personal gain, this requirement does not apply.
However, we always recommend when flying any RC product that permission is asked from relevant land owners, councils or park authorities.

See also: CAA Drone Flying Guidance

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