Dedicated to the Promotion of Electric Propulsion in all types of Aeromodeling

Safety Report for Nov 2016

By Quan Nguyen


This month, due to some recent incidents, I need to bring up the requirement of having a spotter with you when you fly FPV. This is the one rule I need you to all help me keep our club in compliance 100% of the time. We need to enforce this to make sure we can keep our field. I realize this is a sensitive issue, and it’ll require compromising for everyone. FPV fliers often don’t want to bother other members to spot for them, especially when they intend to fly a marathon, back to back sessions for hours. Bystanders, on the other hand, are reluctant to bother FPV pilots when they’re just keeping to themselves enjoying a relaxing afternoon FPV flight in perfect San Diego weather. However, the problem is that some recent stray drones have shown the limitation of FPV technology, and it’s simply not ready to be safely flown solo for hours at a time from a lawnchair.
FPV fliers must have a spotter at all times in order to fly. I apologize in advance to those who fly extended flights and can’t find a spotter. You’ll have to find a spotter before you can fly. If you have an FPV monitor connected during the flight, you are no longer a Line of Sight pilot, even if you are looking at the drone most of the time. This is how the latest incident happened.
Fellow members, try to offer your assistance to spot for FPV pilots, and FPV pilots, please be courteous and limit your FPV session to a reasonable time so the spotter can enjoy their hobby as well.
If you see someone flying FPV without a spotter and you can’t spot because you’re leaving or something, please do the club a favor and politely remind them they cannot fly without a spotter. I understand it’s difficult to tell someone who is enjoying their hobby peacefully in solitude, but there have been enough incidents of drones wandering off to where they shouldn’t be, such that a strict enforcement of this rule is needed to ensure the continued operation of the club for the 425+ members.
If you inform the FPV pilot politely and they don’t listen, simply back off and contact myself or another board member, and we will handle it.