Interested in a FPV 250 racer , but am i allowed ? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:56 PM   #1
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I am: Martin S
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Interested in a FPV 250 racer , but am i allowed ?

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I've been doing some research into the FPV racer thing , looks cool.

A little background on my flying :

- about 15 years into RC now , focus in the last 8ish years has been focused on heli's.
- I'm flying the logo 700 and 800 series heli's.

- I also fly a dji 450 with HK electronics, just to goof off and have fun. Machine is $200 all up , so crashes are amusing at the least.

I'm part of the local club here in Penticton. Good club with about 30 or so active members. Primarily airplanes are flown , there are one other member and I for serious heli pilots.

As a result I'm the safety officer for the field , and offer up info and setup tips for the airplane crowd.

Some issues I can forsee :

- My spotter most likely won't have the skills to fly a quad.

- we have no committee to make up rules and testing to certify. Essentially that would be me. I can see it being a conflict issue being I'm making , enforcing , and writing my own test.

- spotter issue of not being able to 'take over' (getting a spotter would be easy). I have no issue dumping it should it be going anywhere near the pits or persons. 250's are cheap.

I'd be going to the 250 sized machine because there flown close in and not to far away increasing the safety margin. I'm not into the flying miles down the road even though maac wouldn't allow it anyways (spotter LOS).

I'm looking to be covered by maac and follow the rules. I'll be a sanctioned field with a spotter , flying a small machine close in.

Is there some kind of provision / exception to be able to fly close in with a spotter (potentially lacking multi skill) FPV ?

Another thought I had is a auto level / return to home setup for the spotter to push. This would give me time to take off glasses and get a lock on machine.

Any thoughts welcome

What goes up will come down one way or another !!
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:06 PM   #2
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I am: Scott R
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Re: Interested in a FPV 250 racer , but am i allowed ?

doubtful any spotter could save a miniquad about to digger it. But I also highly doubt any spotter on earth has ever saved an FPV plane from a crash. That is just not really their role despite the loophole used to make them legal. Spotter are very useful nonetheless for many other reasons: spot other aircraft, spot for objects and people on the landing site, spot fullsize aircraft, and mostly importantly - to observe where to look for the craft when it goes down. And really a spotter is equally necessary for FPV as it is for non-FPV flying.

But also, you could buddy-box the spotter in and practice taking turns recovering for each other in non-FPV. The spotter would then need control over all 6 channels, or at least 5 to set the flight mode. You can train them on flying in self level mode in perhaps 5 minutes - TOPS. They behave like a coax heli in this mode, except maybe ever easier. I just doubt there will ever be an occurrence in your FPV flying career that a spotter will 'save' a model aircraft by taking control - only specific kinds of emergencies would this work and there are a lot of other unsavable emergencies that bite our aircraft as we all know. Since you are going to be very careful, you will not have this kind of emergency, in my experience.

In acro mode a miniquad is going to be a real handful, I doubt I can fly it much in acro mode without FPV, but in FPV flying in Acro mode is easy easy easy. Once you try FPV in acro mode you won't fly in self level mode except to take off and land. (I am talking with a properly set up Naze32 or CC3D)

Pretty much all the minicopters have autolevel mode - VERY HANDY for recovering the craft if you get lost or disoriented, or have FPV troubles. This could be how the spotter could theoretically have time to take over the craft. But by then you will have goggles off as the quad patiently hovers on its own. I have had to do this once. Just flip the switch and boom it stops in the air as long as you have perhaps mid-throttle on (eg with Naze32).

You have to fly by the MAAC rules, the HAM rules and the CARs too. I am sure you know these rules better than myself, as you are safety authority in your club. Spotter, someone has to have HAM license on site, qualified pilot, safety check/range checks, stay in the pattern or safe flying zone, local altitude restrictions, and stay within visual line of sight distance at all times so your spotter can see the craft, etc.

Also follow good HAM-FPV practices: turn on your receiver+goggles first to check for other users on the frequency - and then double check again for other users using your frequency-impound if necessary. Ensure you are using as little RF power as necessary and have researched other users of the freq in your vicinity. The HAM license holder has to have authority over your FPV system too, can't just take off without him knowing he is responsible. If you want to strict about it, hold a callsign card in front of the fpv camera before taking off to meet the callsign broadcast regulations (not that anyone would be watching).

I advise against using any GPS on an aircraft being flown at a MAAC field. Not needed for navigating the short range, and adds complexity which has caused 100x as many fly-aways as recoveries. It is faulty to think GPS-RTH is a safety device, imho, as the evidence suggests just the opposite. Instead it is a convenience and comes with much greater responsibility and requires more caution than an all manual machine. Its best use on a quad is for steadying the quad for making cinematic videos. OK I find it nice to have GPS peed and altitude telemetry on screen too, Perhaps an arrow pointing to home too, but not for a miniquad. Just fly around gingerly learning to navigate from the air and memorizing the ground features - this is highly important skill to acquire, but doesn't take too long. If it is very unfamiliar to you to navigate from the sky, then when I do is place my big white pickup in a visible spot, so I can quickly orient myself at an unfamiliar flying site by banking around till I see the truck. But since I have flown maybe a thousand FPV flights, I dont even need to do that now.

Last edited by bcsaltchucker; 01-29-2015 at 09:02 PM.
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