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Drone regulations vs Performance claims

Mar 24, 2016
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Melbourne, Australia
I'm confused. I admit to being a newbie, but still....
While patiently awaiting the Typhoon H, I'm checking claims and counter claims of both DJI & Yuneec. On the one hand I've read the maximum distance you can legally fly is "line of sight", which I assume means you have to have the aircraft in view at all times.... As far as I can see that's approximately 300 to 500 meters, depending on who you believe. After that you cannot see the craft, and again I assume to fly further away, you then have to use "FPV".
I thought using only FPV was illegal?
At the same time, we have DJI claiming a flying distance of 5000 meters, and a ceiling of 6000 meters....... What's wrong with this picture?
I used this excellent site for the information:


Again, I understand you are limited by the regulations to a maximum height of 400 feet.
Am I missing something here?
The Typhoon H is limited to 122 mtrs (400 feet) and a generous 1000 meters distance.
No doubt some people are buying the P4 because of the performance figures here, but if it's illegal, why would you put yourself at risk?

Anyone have any thoughts, or am I on the wrong track?

(I've checked as far as I can on previous posts but couldn't find this topic)
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Right now they are "Recommendations" and if you register with the FAA in the US, then you have signed a legal agreement that you will abide by their 10 commandments. Stay in LOS (translates into NO FPV ~unless you have a spotter), 400' AGL, will not fly within 5 miles of any airport, stadium, helipad, etc (NFZ). Violate those commandments you agreed to, and you can be slapped with up to $250k in fines and prison time.

SO -

LOS, that depends on your vision and the size of the aircraft. The Q500 and other Yuneec RC aircraft are larger than the DJI products by a fair bit. Yuneec are black on the underside, DJI - white (not sure about the inspire, but it's a streamline frame, not much surface). What shows up better? Black on blue/white or white on blue/white?

400' AGL, You can change the settings on the Q500, and I would presume the other Yuneec products to what ever elevation you want. Range - Yup, DJI wins in that arena.

NFZ, Yuneec has NFZs built into their firmware that the motors will not even start up if inside the zone (they do not publish a list, but some people managed to get a copy and are floating around out there). Unlike DJI, they do not have every single airport, helipad, stadium, arena, and farmer dirt runway in their system. Only Major International and National airports. DJI, you have to give them your CC info, get the app, and have them unlock your quad to fly in their blocked out zones, and even then they have (IIRC) made other mandatory restrictions as far as ceiling in proximity (might be wrong on that last part).

If you absolutely have to fly in a Yuneec NFZ , you have to get your 333 from the FAA, send that and a written letter to Yuneec, then they will send you a firmware update unlocking that NFZ for you.

People gripe about the audacity of Yuneec making it impossible for them to start up and fly inside one of these NFZs. I can't believe the audacity of the person griping that Yuneec will not let them violate Federal Regulation. It's a 5 mile circle, find another spot. Besides, you have other issues to deal with, and probably don't know it.......

The bigger picture -

People make too much of an issue of the Yuneec NFZ, and NFZs in general. The real issue people should be thinking about is local municipal statute or code. That is one thing I did not check out before I bought. Shame on me.

In the Denver CO Metro area, I have 2 NFZ in the Yuneec Firmware...Yippie! In the North West quarter of the metro area where I currently reside, there are 2...only 2, Cities/Counties that allow RC aircraft flying in their parks or open space. 250 square miles and I can only legally fly in 1 square mile divided between two parks large enough to not violate the FAA commandments.

These are not new statutes or codes. These have been on the books for Decades.

Yes, yes, yes. I know, the FAA controls the airspace, not local Government. However, Local Government can control where you operate from - ergo you are screwed one way or the other.
Nice post @Sticks! For many of us that fly model airplanes the FAA rules seem lax. Don't believe me? Go read this...https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.PDF

True story...In Portland, Oregon there was only one model airplane field on the Eastside of downtown. It was small and stuck between a bunch of industrial buildings. There was a small, core group of guys that would go hang out after work and on weekends. We'd go for the whole day but actually only fly a few times. Most of the time was spent talking and joking around. Over the whole summer we all became close friends. Think warm and fuzzy thoughts...LOL

Over the years people had crashed their planes into the roofs of the surrounding buildings. Obviously no one wants to crash their plane but flying and crashing is part of the hobby. The worst crash was high speed nose-dive into a building that hit so hard the engine went completely through the roof! Finally the building owners got tired of the damage and said one more crash and they're going to close the field for good. About a month later my buddy was being an idiot and lost control of his plane. He flew inside the building, through the big side doors and had everyone inside running for cover! BAM! Our days of flying ended in an explosion of balsa.

After they closed the field it was never the same. We would sometimes drive up to Washington but it was a long drive and rarely was anyone there. It just wasn't as much fun without all my buddies. All of us went our separate ways and I can honestly say I really miss those days. All it took was one careless pilot to ruin it for everyone.

So when I start thinking about a bunch of guys hooking up their FPV goggles and taking off on an adventure I started doing the math. Check out this formula I came up with:
FPV + AP = BI (first person view + amateur pilot = bad idea)

Now you're probably thinking I'm a little crazy but think about it for a minute. First off, I am crazy but that's beside the point, second...think about some rich, 12yr. kid taking off from his backyard and buzzing the local freeway. As soon as he puts on those FPV goggles he's not flying a drone, he's playing an FPS game and it's not real anymore. I don't know about you guys but FPV is too **** close to FPS in both alphabet and concept. I think the Osmond Brothers said it best when they sang, "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch girl, oooh". Which is true...but what they didn't say is that one bad apple will get all the other apples kicked out of the bowl.

Okay I'm joking a little but I'm sure you understand the concept. Safety first and all that stuff...
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