Drones fitted with video cameras often provide an opportunity to downlink live video to the remote pilot either via a mobile phone, tablet computer or other screen, or even through video goggles - this capability provides the pilot with a pseudo pilots eye view from the drone and is generally known as First Person View (FPV).
Normally a remote pilot must always keep the drone within their unaided visual line of sight, but FPV may be used, when a spotter is assisting the remote pilot.
The law (UAS Implementing Regulation- UAS.OPEN.060) states:
‘The remote pilot may be assisted by a UA observer helping them to keep the unmanned aircraft away from other aircraft and obstacles.
‘The UA observer must be situated alongside the remote pilot and observers must not use aided vision (e.g. binoculars).
‘UA observers may also be used when the remote pilot conducts drone operations in first-person view (FPV), which is a method used to control the UA with the aid of a visual system connected to the camera of the UA. In all cases, the remote pilot is still responsible for the safety of the flight.’
Images captured by a camera and displayed on a flat screen give the pilot little by way of depth perception and no peripheral vision. This can make it difficult for the pilot to accurately judge speed and distance and to maintain sufficient awareness of the area surrounding the drone to effectively see and avoid obstacles and other aircraft. As a result, the use of FPV equipment is not an acceptable mitigation for Beyond Visual Line of Sight flight unless the relevant operator has received a specific authorisation to do so from the CAA.