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What do you, or the FAA, consider VLOS?

Phaedrus

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The FAA has not demonstrated any real interest in enforcing mush of anything in Part 107. Until, and unless, they do I think an increasing number of folks will choose to simply ignore them.
 
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Phaedrus

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FAA implementing rules? It's now a joke!
They implement just fine. They ignore them after that. Enforcement seems not to be a priority for them, and hence, lots of rogues out there.
 
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PatR

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VO with a two way radio
RPR,

Perhaps it would be helpful for those that haven’t participated in inspection work to learn that BVLOS operation in this field most often is not associated with long range flights at extreme distances. Typically visual disconnect with the aircraft occurs because the view is blocked by obstructions at relatively short distances.

You may be only a couple hundred feet away inspecting a building or exhaust stack and find the aircraft has to be below the top of a structure or spend some time on the side opposite you and lose sight of the aircraft.

You may be inspecting electrical towers out in the boonies and find your line of sight blocked by tree tops or branches when inspecting portions of a structure. This also is quite common in residential areas as the operator frequently can’t access areas that provide the best line of sight due to property owners not giving access permission or when dealing with locked gates and backyard dogs.

Distance can and does come into play but not as frequently as obstructions interfering with our ability to see the aircraft. In this Part 107 provides us the ability to briefly lose sight of the aircraft by employing a VO than can maintain line of sight and communicate directly with the operator. As “brief” is not defined we have considerable subjective latitude with time.

You mentioned having a VO and a two way radio, which is great but I’d like to expand on that a little. Having a good VO, one that you have practiced and trained with a lot, where you have developed communications protocols that minimize misunderstanding is essential. Also helpful is having a VO that also has drone pilot experience as that experience provides the VO a greater understanding of what the drone is capable of doing. Excellent depth perception is a plus. When the pilot can’t see the aircraft or is busy flying the camera that VO is all there is to prevent disaster.

On the subject of two way radios I’ll suggest using “hands free” devices as often as possible. Having a voice activated boom microphone and an ear bud is essential for safety and effective communications. The VO can use a hand held with no problem but when the pilot can’t see the aircraft and is dealing with positioning the aircraft, dealing with winds aloft, or adjusting camera settings he can’t be hands on a radio at the same time, and those times is often when he or she needs it most.

The price of an effective two way radio can be high but paying more to have features and range that allows the team to be effective is money well spent. It will be the difference between being on site and getting the job done or cutting an inspection short to reposition or fail to complete one because of a communication failure. Should that happen you can lose more in lost revenue than good radios would have cost.

So typically a very long range aircraft is not needed. What is needed is good, reliable equipment suitable for the task and team work.
 
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PatR

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Agree, and lots of rogues out behind wheels too.
80/20 rule. 80% of the people usually obey the law or don’t stray far outside of the law. The remaining 20% cause 80%+ of the problems. The folks doing 5 or 10 over the speed limit are rarely a problem. The aggressive drivers zipping in and out of lanes, tail gating, and trying to do 20 or more over the limit cause most of the accidents outside of incessant cell phone users.
 
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