I understand there is First Person View (FPV) drone flying which involves putting on a headset and controlling the drone from the live camera feed,

The FAA Rules For Unmanned Aircraft Part 107 state:

Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS.

If that is true, then surely FPV flying is illegal as you don’t maintain a visual line of sight with the aircraft?

  • $\begingroup$ No body mentions the FCC license requirement for the camera transmitter on the Drone used to provide FPV to the pilot. That transmitter requires an FCC license!!!! $\endgroup$
    – Sotm
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ Does it? I'm not familiar with the finer points of FCC licensing rules, but I'm pretty sure you can transmit in the ISM bands without a license, so long as you keep the power within limits. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 23:14

4 Answers 4


FPV is not actually illegal because that document also states:

Part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in section 336 of Public Law 112-95.

and the criteria specified in section 336 of Public Law 112-95 is:

(1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

(2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

(3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization;

(4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and

(5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)).

This is essentially saying that if it is a recreational drone, follows community guidelines, is not more than 55lbs, doesn't interfere with manned aircraft, and notice is given to airports before flying within 5 miles of them, that FPV is perfectly Legal

  • $\begingroup$ One important thing to note. Section 336 was repealed with the 2018 FAA Reauthorization act, allowing the FAA to create new regulations for UAV use in the US. $\endgroup$
    – 5zero7rc
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 14:46

The rules for operating a UAV in the United States have been in a nearly constant state of flux for the past few years with perhaps the biggest changes coming from the FAA Reauthorization Act in late 2018.

One important change that this brought was a legal way to fly FPV thanks to this statement:

"The aircraft is flown within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft or a visual observer co- located and in direct communication with the operator."

So, for recreational flight, as long as you have another person acting as your visual observer, you can fly FPV.


The line "remain within visual LOS" doesn't technically require that the pilot actual have eyes on the craft, it must just remain within the distance capability of LOS. So if you have a spotter and that spotter is standing next to you with his eyes on the craft, then technically the craft is still within LOS of you as well.


From an enforcement end, I believe technology is way ahead of the so-called "regulators". Today's FPV drones are equipped with coupled multi-directional sensors to an ADSB-out system which can not only detect (and avoid) terrain obstacles but can position and track other ADSB equipped aircraft, and automatically avoid a possible collision through various possible maneuvering characteristics augmentations. In practice, most "violations" occur as a result of a reported incident or accident to the NTSB and/or the FAA. Therefore, I believe you can safely "violate" the written law without "getting caught" by a plethora of the FAA's "UAS Police".

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hey, welcome to the site! Your answer has been flagged because it appears to condone breaking the law; while more careful examination suggests that you were probably simply stating the way things are and why many people fly FPV drones without "getting caught," it would be best to make that a bit more clear in your answer. If the answer is indeed intended to encourage breaking the law, it will be removed. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – anonymous2
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 19:54

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