1.6 mile flight - then threatened by redneck to shoot down my Solo

I've also been pushing the limits of my Solo's - seeing how far they can fly with a stable video feed. I have two Solo's and I've done identical mods on each one that include:

MikroTik 800mw Wifi cards
Alfa antennas
Beitian BN-800 GPS (M8N) - with my custom designed mounting fixture
Cirocomm GPS antennas replaced with a Taoglas antenna specifically designed for optimum reception of Glonass satellites
3DR EMI absorber GPS shield

It was a smooth flight (aside from the wind) with 20 to 21 sats locked the entire time, and my friends were impressed with the Solo. My target was a water tower that was 8420 feet away.

Youtube video here (read the timeline commentary in the description - and select 1080P to see all the details)

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Congratulations on the safe well executed flight. Glad to see you brought along two spotters to stay within the guidelines....
 
The UK CAA has the same VLOS rule. They indicate no more than 400 metres distance would be compliant. (Offered for info).
 
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I think the thing we can learn from this thread is to be careful. The FAA hobby rules are short and somewhat vague. This is likely on purpose for two reasons. One it is hard for them to regulate a hobby due to the staffing. Second, they probably want to leave room for interpretation depending on circumstance. Having spotters as mentioned above would not make you compliant but if KDan could in fact see his drone then he would be in VLOS. Spotters should be for watching the airspace around you. For most situations, 1.6 miles would be beyond VLOS. I live in a flat part of the country with tall pine tree so I can't go very far. They do specify that hobby flyers should fly under established community-based safety regulations. I have been told this would be rules established by organizations like the AMA and local clubs. Likely more of a suggestion.

Check out this article about the Blackhawk incident. It explains how they tracked down the owner because one dji motor became lodged in the Blackhawk. This will likely set the precedence for future incidence and violations.

For the most part the FAA does not have the staffing to track down the violations. Even in NC where we have our own rules I heard someone at a seminar ask the people who head up the drone program for the state ask who follows up on violations and they just looked at us and said "don't know".

This sounds bad, but many federal rules seem to only matter when you make a mistake.

I am super overly cautious when I fly. Even on my club field I will land when the military helicopters fly over the field even though they fly above 500' AGL.
 
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