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View Poll Results: A poll
Yes, I think it is OK to fly FPV directly over people or houses
11.86%
No, it is never OK to fly FPV directly over people or houses
88.14%
Voters: 312. You may not vote on this poll

Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:57 AM
  #26
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

No. Conventional wisdom in our hobby dictates that model aircraft, regardless of operating mode, be kept away from houses, roads, parks, schools, etc. There's already enough uncertainty when it comes to the future of our hobby and we don't need to give the non-RC crowd anymore ammo than they already have.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:30 AM
  #27
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

No.... my understanding of the AMA insurance is that it will not cover an incident..... Some guys at our club are flying FPV and keep it over the field and are having more fun than they can stand....
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:30 AM
  #28
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

No. In fact you could get into trouble for trespassing. Rare but it has happened.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:58 AM
  #29
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

I voted no for obvious, common sense reasons, but since the OP is so determined to push the issue I'll offer a set of requirements that would make it ok in my mind. The standard I would have to see met is that the average person with little knowledge of the RC hobby wouldn't be uncomfortable with it, and there would be no actual danger to people or property.

1. An autopilot system that acts as a failsafe in case the radio link is lost that can guide the plane either back to its takeoff point for landing or to a crash site away from houses. We're talking something either with a GPS or some type of homing signal system. Of course, this would need to be independently powered and able to work with any failure of the radio system.

2. In the event of a mechanical failure that would render the plane unflyable by either the pilot or autopilot system, a parachute recovery system that will keep the plane from impacting the ground (or whatever it hits on the way to the ground) with any significant force.

3. A radio and FPV range at least 3 times your intended flying distance. That allows a safety margin for atmospheric conditions that affect your range.

4. Stay at least 500 feet above any house with people in it.

5. Notification of local law enforcement of the plane and its capabilities in case reports come in so they can refer concerned people to the pilot if necessary.

Even with all of this, there is still the possibility of hitting someone's house and causing a PR incident, but that would be pretty minimal with the failsafes in place. The established safety rules for RC flying are there or good reason- our radio connections are fragile and non-redundant, and our planes are pretty rickety by modern aviation standards. Pilot skill is also suspect since nearly none of us are professionally trained like a full scale pilot is. Go to any airfield on a busy day and you'll see a crash, usually of a good plane whose pilot was trying hard to fly right. The odds are simply against you to do this safely, and I suspect if your neighbors knew about it they wouldn't like it. That's reason enough to stop unless you can put a bird in the air like the one described above that would put their minds at ease.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:57 AM
  #30
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

    I used to fly at a high school field with a friend. When we flew, there were no people at the field, except once, and those people were at least 100 yards away. Some smart-alec pilot flew at the field one time, but also flew past the field over some homes, after which we were informed the high school was no longer allowing the field to be used for R/C (there was no damage done by the pilot, the complaint was for noise and privacy).
    Now whether or not someone has a legal right or is allowed to use an area to fly, flying over a built-up area is not smart in my opinion. No matter how well you pre-flight your aircraft, something can go wrong, or someone may complain. As has been mentioned before, a local government can restrict us from flying. It doesn't matter if it was a once-in-a-million chance, once something goes wrong, you can't take it back. Even if a plane lands (crashes) in a yard with no damage, the possiblity of the homeowner going ballistic and causing an eventual restriction or ban is not worth (to me) gambling with.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:36 AM
  #31
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

You tell us. I believe you have already made up your own mind. Sounds more like you wish to invade the privcy of others and that is your choice.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:03 AM
  #32
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

I was flying a park flyer (GWS P-51) over a park/track and accidentally strayed over a nearby road during an aerobatic maneuver (outside loop). At that exact moment, the fuselage separated from the wing and the fuselage made a rapid, uncontrolled descent into the nearby road.
This was not FPV - I had full visibility and control (up to the point of wing separation) over the aircraft. I'm a darn good pilot, though I didn't anticipate the amount of stress I was putting on the airframe, and the inherrent weakness of the wing attach point.

There was traffic in the road, and I nearly caused an accident.

On that day, I decided that I would always fly in one of three places:
- Local RC field
- Remote area
- Lake

I think that flying FPV over populated areas (neighborhoods, roads, etc...) is inherently dangerous for several reasons.

An unplanned landing (crash) could cause the following issues:
[ul][*] Distract traffic - drivers are not expecting to see something like that in the road.[*] Cause an accident - a motorcycle rider may not fare well if he hits an RC aircraft at 60 MPH[*] Start a fire - LiPo batteries can and do catch fire. [*] Cause an injury - a park-flyer prop turning at 10K RPM is a dangerous thing
[/ul]

There are also potential in-air events that could be problematic (though perhaps less likely):
[ul][*] Potential contact with medical, police or television helicopters. I live in a large city and these guys are up there all the time. Contact with the airframe or rotors is probably not an issue. However, I'm not sure how well a turbine engine can ingest and digest an airframe, motor and lipo battery. [*]Potential contact with power lines: This probably isn't an issue, but if a squirrell can cause a transformer to pop, then maybe an RC airplane can? (I consider this to be a pretty weak argument, myself, but I don't know)
[/ul]

I would agree that each of these potentialities is fairly low. However, those of us who are fans of flying, the space program, and technology know that problems tend to cascade.

Remember, Murphy's law is always in effect. "If anything can go wrong, it probably will."
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:12 AM
  #33
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

We should definitely ban free-flight.

There are no regs pertaining to it, except a requirement that the airframe weighs less than 20 kg. But, even those little free-flighters can go anywhere ... and they do.

What could be more irresponsible than taking a powered model and just letting go of it? Those guys are so selfish. Don't they know that their selfish actions could see all model flying prohibited?








I never realised that Americans have exactly the same collectivist' mindset as do Europeans... until I read this thread.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:30 AM
  #34
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

I don't care how safe they can make them, if an FPV was flying over my house, I will run over to my neighbor's and borrow his shotgun. How's that for American collectivism? Share your shotgun.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:37 AM
  #35
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Will you shoot it down when it's being flown by the local police?




Anyway, the point I'm making is that, once you adopt the "precautionary principle", no activity is safe from those who would curtail it.



We would do better to support each other, than to collaborate with the "nanny-Staters".



If you can make an argument for banning the flight of a tiny model plane ... how easy will it be to ban guns? Because, you are using the same basic arguments as do the gun-grabbers.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:18 AM
  #36
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Prudence and concern for the safety of others should be paramount in our hobby.

We are operating small aircraft. Those aircraft can harm ourselves and others. (go ahead, do a Google search on LiPo fires, and propeller injuries).

By moving from the flying field (or daytime park) to the neighborhood at night, we are introducing a large number of new variables to the situation.

We are also involving more people without their consent. Those who have more than a surface understanding of Libertarian philosophy can see where this is going...

As they say, YOUR liberty ends where MY nose begins.

If you start target shooting in your back yard, and my house is within your range and line-of-fire, then I have a legitimate complaint. My nose is potentially in the way of your liberty.

Similarly, if your flight path has the potential of taking your aircraft into my house, me, or in the path of my car, then you may go beyond the acceptable bounds of your liberty unless you have my consent to do so.

If anything else: Be sure ALL your contact information is on the plane, and I would recommend a sizeable personal liability policy.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:18 AM
  #37
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Sorry, I disagree. in my opinion the OP is only try to gather enough support to justify his opinion over in the other thread. The question is very narrow, like political polls being taken today. I didn't vote so I'm just an observer in both threads.
Quote:
ORIGINAL: RCKen

Ok guys, I've already had to step in and take actions in this thread. Let's keep the thread here on topic of what the poll was asked. The question was asked in a generic form about flying ANY FPV. Not specific planes. Please do not try to drag the discussion from other threads into this poll because they are not germane to what is being asked here. Had the OP wanted to include specific planes, or plane types, in consideration of the question then he would have put that into his poll. The OP asked the question in a certain way for whatever reason he did so, please respect his desires and keep the discussion on that topic.
Since this is a poll it is going to be watched a little bit tighter than for a regular discussion thread because it has a different purpose than a regular discussion thread. For whatever reason he did so, the OP asked his question in this manner so that he can gather data about that specific question. If for whatever reason you feel that you can't answer within the confines of the question then maybe you should refrain from entering into the poll or the discussion.
Ken
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:25 AM
  #38
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: topspin

Lets see what the general consensus is about flying FPV over a populated area either day or night.

Please vote and provide your thoughs on topic please.
Um. Bad Idea.

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Old 10-18-2012, 10:35 AM
  #39
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Your nose doesn't begin in the airspace above your house.

And, every time that I take out a model plane, there is the potential for it to injure someone else.

I reckon that I could pretty soon convince my local councillors that there is the potential for the most horrendous injuries to be caused by model planes. I have lots of good photos, showing injuries. I could demonstrate the potential of a large engine with an APC up front. I could drag along a dozen of my friends, whose hands have been stitched ... at public expense ... owing to aircraft accidents.



I just roughed out the energy equivalent of my 7kg Chipmunk, flying at a modest 40 km/hour. ... it's equal to an average .45 ACP ... how dangerous is that? (432 J for the Chipmunk, about 380 - 500 J for the ACP)


Like I said, the application of the "precautionary principle" can be seized upon to stifle any and all activity. Global Warming, anyone?
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:53 AM
  #40
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Even the NRA has gun safety rules and best practices.

http://www.nrahq.org/education/guide.asp

no difference. AMA has established rules and best practices.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:01 AM
  #41
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Maybe my space ends at my nose, but that still won't stop me from shooting down an FPV (or a regular RC plane) that is not sanctioned by the authorities.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:55 AM
  #42
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

LOL Some of the guys at my flying field had developed the habit of flying beyond the limits of our field and buzzing the field and home of a nearby farmer.

the 12-gauge came out and several planes were lost.

Guys don't intentionally fly beyond the borders of our flying field anymore.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:23 PM
  #43
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

No....


AMA Safety Code, Section B, Article 1

"All pilots shall avoid flying directly over unprotected people, vessels, vehicles or structures and shall avoid endangerment of life and property of others."

I've been practicing this for 25 years with everything from rubber powered stick and tissue to gas powered quarter scalers. The size and type is irrelevant.


FPV fliers need exercise the same restraint most other modelers have for decades. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:00 PM
  #44
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

In my opinion it is never ok to fly any model, fpv or not, over any road, house, or person. Period. As in the other thread it has nothing to do with a camera or being recorded. It is an unsafe practice.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:32 PM
  #45
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

No matter how safe you think your FPV model is, it does not belong over crowded areas. Flying at night over towns with the model out of the visual range is not ok at all.
It might be legal in most areas, the AMA gives out guidelines, they are no laws though.
Also the airspace above your property is not yours. If you fly high above someone's property, you are legal. Do not fly too close to people and houses, that is just common sense.

As with many things in live, it takes one person to screw up and ruin it for many others.


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Old 10-18-2012, 05:45 PM
  #46
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

I am sure someone has already said it, But I will say it anyway..

Just because there is no Law against something, doesn't mean that doing that something isn't wrong.. if someone does that "something", whatever it might be enough times, and someone deems it as "being wrong", then they will eventually make a law against it or regulate it to death, thus ruining it for everyone..

Craig.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:53 PM
  #47
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

I would say give it a go, but know your plane before flying. And stay on your street. and tell the people before you'll be flying a plane overhead. What i do when i run my nitro rc.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:11 PM
  #48
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: bogbeagle

If you can make an argument for banning the flight of a tiny model plane ... how easy will it be to ban guns? Because, you are using the same basic arguments as do the gun-grabbers.
Nobody here is saying that FPV in any form should be banned by the government. The question is should we as a group of hobbyists choose not to engage in the activities of the OP in flying FPV over people's houses. The caution is simply that if someone sees it and doesn't like it, and that person is the right person or knows the right person, it won't just result in FPV flying over people's hoses being banned. It will result in all RC flying of any kind being banned in a given area. The OP is being a bad representative of the hobby by doing something that can cause the public to distrust aeromodelers.

BTW, you comment about free flight is not relevant either. Free flight pilots launch in locations where their planes couldn't possibly hit a house or endanger people. When a free flight pilot turns one loose down main street in your town you may have a case, but I doubt that's going to happen.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:19 PM
  #49
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

Another thought I've been having with this topic is my other hobby of shooting. I could build a suitable backstop in my backyard (1/3 acre lot in a suburb) and shoot my .45 at it. To do so would be perfectly safe because I'm a good enough shooter to hit the target every time and I would regularly inspect the backstop for wear so there would be no danger from shoot throughs. Any neighbor who was alarmed by it would be responding to danger that doesn't exist, a nervous nellie so to speak. Yet, if I did that even here the great pro-gun state of Texas, the sirens would approach in record time and my practice session would be rudely cut short. Why? Not because I have hurt anyone or endangered anyone, but because I have made people feel unsafe. And chances are it would make the news, and chances are some pinko left wing organization would use it to lobby congress to pass new restrictions on guns and may actually succeed. All of that not because anyone was hurt or endangered, but because a shooter represented shooters badly and acted irresponsibly.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:26 PM
  #50
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Default RE: Is Flying FPV Over a Neighborhood OK?

ok for who?
shoot it down in a populated area?
i cannot comment because i will surely be banned from this site.
however i will vote. No, it is not ok to fly anything other than a kite, a rubber band powered airplane, a frisbee, or the plastic army man with the parachute that gets all tangled up after his first toss in the air in a neighborhood. all of which are....TOYS!
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