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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Martycox51, Oct 16, 2016.
Is it legal to fly as a hobbyist after dark?
Please include a geographic location (country) and I'm sure people will be able to advise you better.
Additionally, try using the search function by typing in Night Flights or similar as there are already several threads on the subject.
In the USA, without special permission from the FAA, VFR applies to all civilian remotely piloted aircraft and thusly, you may not fly after sunset. I'm sure there will be some debate over this as that some push the envelope with dreck like flying miles away from the RP location and hair split over what is legal.
This was taken from the FAA web page here Getting Started The charts shows that "Fly For Fun" there is not a VFR requirement, only a "Visual Line of Sight" requirement.
Sir I am willing to be corrected here but this is for 107 commercial use, hobbyist are simply required to follow AMA or similar guidelines which does not include night restrictions.
Many are confusing 107 guidelines with hobbyist guidelines. This is the FAA link. Fly for Fun
I'm not going to try to correct anyone and have seen this debate play out over several forums and posts. However, VLOS by it's very definition by the FAA, is limited to daytime operations. When I answered this post I knew this would likely be a point of contention. Here are the AMA suggested limitations and precautions for their sanctioned events:
Weigh your options and make an informed decision. Truth of the matter is there aren't "air cops" running about issuing citations and unless you're careless, unlucky or flying over populated areas no one but the operator will know it happens. For me, I'll just watch the stars from my lake house deck...
We're beating a very dead horse at this point, view post #4, then go to "operating rules", notice there is absolutely no mention of night restrictions under "fly for fun" while the language is plainly there under "fly for work". Folks are making their own interpretations of rules unnecessarily because the language is very clear. The question is can he fly at night as a hobbyist, YES! K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid.
>> The question is can he fly at night as a hobbyist, YES!
To my mind the question should not be more about whether he CAN but whether he SHOULD.
At least with a professional waiver (or even studying for a Part 107) you have to learn about night vision, visibility marking, and anti-collision lighting. If I have a 50 pound RC glowplug gas-engine helicopter as an AMA flyer, is it wise to take it up in a remote location with no exterior lighting and no spotlights during a new moon and no exterior or other streetlighting to help? Nope, probably not...
My brain is screaming "let it go Mac", but hey what's life without stimulating conversation. Have you ever taken a test and initially made the correct answer but then you had time to ponder the possibilities and changed it to an incorrect answer?
KISS, the simple answer to his question is yes, if he doesn't express common sense that is a completely different dialogue. I in fact fly at night, never higher than 100ft high or down range. As in real estate, location, location,location. There are innumerable variables that may be applied to his question however the fact remains currently the FAA does not have language that restricts night flying by hobbyists. Period. (Pun intended).
As a pilot is it wise to fly 400ft agl at night? Would you see any lighting or markings on a sUAS, even if you could how would one reasonably react flying NOE at night? Would studying for part 107 suddenly illuminate his UAS and improve the night vision of himself or an idiot pilot flying at 400ft agl in a remote area. Everyone doesn't want to drink the Part 107 kool aid, if you're using your UAS for commercial purposes fine if you're a hobbyist it does nothing for you that common sense shouldn't have already.
I've done it all the time, flying experimental systems (not at night, though!). See here
But for nighttime flying, the waiver process is pretty clear, and you have to clear several hurdles.
Yes, an AMA flyer flying under the cover of Part 101 can do so, within those regulations and guidelines. Is it wise to do so?
I suppose my main point is that safety of people and property in the air and on the ground should be the primary consideration. At least with a waiver process they vet that you know your "holy ****" procedures and ensure that you've engaged reasonable mitigating equipment and procedures and such. Not to mention doing so lets you get actual Insurance for a nighttime flight.
I would not fly 400 AGL at night unless the thing was bright as the Sun (directionally, on top of the anti collission lights) and I had multiple redundant radio failsafes, for example. The Inspire doesn't qualify in this regard, unaided, I'm afraid. Most 333 waivers for night flying stipulate those restrictions, so I'm not the only one to agree with this.
But, as always, common sense is always the proper guide. Not all of us have it, though. I suspect you do, but that assertion of fact has not been proven in an administrative hearing...
Nice to know I'm an idiot until proven otherwise in a court of law! Happy and safe flying sir.
They do make lights visible at 3 miles for the inspire
Very good discussion about 3-mile anti-collision lighting options over on this thread (there seem to be lots of options!):
Anti-Collision lighting for Inspire (20 Grams)
I have strobes hooked up with a tiny 3s battery there blinding