DJI Drone Help Forum

Using a spotter to maintain VLOS in the US

#1

Hobbyists Must Fly VLOS in the US

Per the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (US law), model aircraft in the US must be flown within visual line of sight (VLOS) of the person operating the aircraft. That means the following:

  • The aircraft must be visible at all times to the operator
  • That the operator must use his or her own natural vision to observe the aircraft
  • People other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight

Under the criteria above, visual line of sight would mean that the operator has an unobstructed view of the model aircraft. To ensure that the operator has the best view of the aircraft, the statutory requirement would preclude the use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles designed to provide a “first-person view” from the model. If interested, you can find more details here.

How to Legally Use a Spotter

The only way to legally fly with a spotter is if:

  • You have a Section 333 Exemption
  • You have a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA)
  • You’re flying commercially under FAA Part 107
  • You’re flying indoors (which is not regulated by the FAA)

Flying with FPV Goggles or Glasses

This topic often comes up when people want to fly with googles like the DJI Goggles. Unfortunately, most goggles completely block the operator’s view, so they do not allow the operator to maintain VLOS. Glasses like the Epson Moverio BT-300 are one potential option that allow the aircraft to be seen while wearing the glasses.

2 Likes
#2

FYI - FAA’s Drone Regulation Directory, Section 107.31 https://jrupprechtlaw.com/section-107-31-visual-line-sight-aircraft-operation

1 Like
#3

Avegant Glyphs are also a great option.
The tablet or remote will need an HDMI port

#4

Yep! I have those too. While they are great if you’re looking for a more compact set of goggles, they completely block the visual line of sight with drone.

#5

I have to respecfully disagree.
I can look down at tablet or up to drone without moving goggles.

#6

Looking down at the tablet is certainly doable since that angle is always visible. Looking up at the drone is only possible if your head is tilted down and you’re looking over the top of the headset. While possible to do either, I wouldn’t say that setup allows the drone to be “visible at all times to the operator”.

avegant06