Good, Bad, and Ugly — What CBO Should You Use?

By | December 28, 2022

Multiple CBOs have been approved by the FAA, which one is right for you?
Only three have been approved so far: Flite Test Community Association, FPV Freedom Coalition, and Academy of Model Aeronautics. Each of these has nuanced rules but this video will clear everything up for you.

00:00 Introduction
00:16 What is a CBO?
01:46 How to Fly Under a CBO
02:49 Flying Near/Over People
04:47 VLOS
07:02 AMA Nuggets
07:21 Night Operations

FTCA Guidelines:
FPV Freedom Coalition Guidelines:
AMA Guidelines:

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If you're flying a drone of any size for Recreational purposes in the United States you have to select a Community-based organization guideline Or CBO guidelines let's take a look at Three fa approved cbo's their guidelines And which one is best for you and then When you need them let's get to it first You may be wondering what a CBO actually Is and that is a great question CBO is a Nationwide non-for-profit organization That promotes recreational flying and They also offer community events Seminars guidance any type of mentorship For those that are interested in getting Into the hobby they also offer Guidelines on how to operate your drone Safely and as of the end of 2022 you Must you must choose FAA guidelines that Are approved by the FAA before you fly Your drone recreationally regardless of The size of your drone the cbo's in this Video are flight test Community Association fpv Freedom Coalition and The Academy of model Aeronautics also Called EMA now if you're not familiar Flight test Community Association is the Arm of flight test the popular YouTube Channel that puts out very educational And very entertaining videos on flying Foamy airplanes flight test also spends Tremendous time educating the younger Generation using their stem program Nationwide we will refer to them as ftca

For the rest of the video to make things A little bit easier fpv Freedom Coalition is an avid voice for first Person view Pilots across the country And they work closely with legislators To protect the privilege of airspace Access across the country the Academy of Model Aeronautics or AMA has a variety Of clubs across the country where Members can fly mostly fixed-wing RC Aircraft and share their passion with Other like-minded individuals now let's Be clear here you can select a CBO Guideline before each flight a different One if you want to cbos typically have Specialties whether it's fixed-wing RC Fpv flying or flying very large drones And pretty much everything in between You might like ftca for flying your Fixed Wing RC aircraft but the fpv Freedom Collision guidelines might make A lot more sense when you're flying your Quadcopter and no access to these Guidelines does not require membership To a CBO it is free and this is very Very clear from the FAA if you're flying Under part 107 this is not necessary at All I want you to stop the video and Move on to the next one the guidelines From ftca and freedom creation were Actually pretty easy to find on their Website on the home page the AMA on the Other hand had us digging around about Six pages before we could find a

Document and even then it wasn't really Clear at all that we had the right one Every guidelines that we saw covers a Variety of what I call Common Sense Rules you'll quickly know what I'm Talking about once you start reading Them I'm not going to cover any of those But let's talk about an important aspect Of flying unmanned aircraft which is Flying near or over people or near Objects or over objects and if you want To follow along you can download the Cheat sheet that we put in the Description I think it's going to make Your life a little bit easier all three Cbos in this video prohibit flying over People Which actually makes sense because it's Also not allowed under part 107. keep in Mind that if you've heard about Categories of drone like category 1 2 or 3 this is only a rule under part 107 Which means that if you're flying for Recreational purposes it is not going to Apply to you in addition to not flying Over people ftca states that you should Remain 25 feet away from other pilots And also 50 feet away from Spectators The fpv freedom Coalition guidelines State that you should not disrupt or Pose a danger to emergency response Which makes sense large Gatherings and Civil infrastructures and if you're Wondering what civil infrastructures

Actually are they are your power water And transportation infrastructures that You can find Across the Nation think About your water treatment facility your Large power distribution sites etc etc Note that the fpv freedom correlation Guidelines do not mention any distance From other pilots and other Spectators Which I think makes sense because under Part 107 there's also no such limitation And they're more geared towards the the Quadcopter flying type of operation the AMA had somewhat conflicting information About distance from people and objects In one paragraph it stated that you must Stay a hundred feet away from Spectators During free flight but in another it Mentions 25 feet away from individuals 50 feet away from Spectators and 50 feet From power lines their guidelines also Specify that you should not fly over Occupied structure this one had it Scratching our head a little bit does This mean that you cannot fly over Houses with people in them your guess in This case is as good as ours let's talk About visual line of sight or V loss all Cbos mention that visual observers are Going to be optional unless the pilot is Using fpv goggles they also all Mentioned that the visual Observer if One is being used must be co-located Next to the pilot this means that your Vo visual Observer can be a mile away

Down the road from you using a radio to Communicate it can be confusing because This method is actually allowed under Part 107 and it can be a little bit Confusing maybe not a mile away but it Can be not co-located let's put it this Way ftca matches the requirements from Part 107 when it comes to visual line of Sights which requires that both the Operator and the visual Observer if one Is used must be able to see the drone at All times but that only one of them must See the drone at all times now it can Get confusing here replay what I just Said the visual Observer and the pilot Must be able to see but only one of them Must see the aircraft at all time so for Example if you have your goggles on and You're the pilot at all time you should Be able to see the Drone if you were to Remove the goggles and your visual Observer should always look at the Drone Should always see the Drone when you're Under the goggles now the fpv freedom Correlation guidelines on visual line of Sites were pretty close with the only Exception that either the vo or the Pilot must be able to see the drone at All time this means that in theory the Drone could disappear from the Pilot's View as long as it is in the vo's view But keep in mind that your vo must be Co-located so it's almost the same ad Result at the end there's a very very

Minute difference here you just can't Daisy chain Vios to fly 10 miles away From the pilot on the fpv freedom Correlation guidelines they are Applicable to fpv and also non-fpv Operation for specific fpv operation the Flight test Community Association the Ftca requires that you are familiar with Fpv operations before you go fly fpv Which makes sense and that you announce Powering the aircraft which is also a Good habit even if it's not in the Guidelines they also prohibited fpv Operation for drones over 55 pounds so If you're looking to do this those are Not going to be the guidelines for you Now we were pretty disappointed pointed To find that not only did the AMA have Guidelines for flying fpv indoors where It's not controlled by the FAA and the Fa has no Authority they also required Membership in order to fly fpv under Their guidelines the FAA is pretty clear That membership is not required to Follow approved guidelines so we're not Quite sure how they were able to get Away with that one the last topic I want To talk about is night operations both The ftca and the AMA required an Anti-collision light visible from three Statute Mars this is the same as part 107. ftca specified that in an area that Is well lit you can forego the use of Anti-collision Light which makes sense

If the Drone is highly visible you don't Need to have those on they also Recommend flying at night using a guide Or Mentor if you are a novice the AMA Went one step further in requiring that You also have a light that shows Attitude and the direction of flight They also require night training through The AMA which we're guessing is actually Not free so that's another thing right Here we were surprised to see that no Specific night operation information was In the fpv freedom Coalition guidelines Keep in mind if you own a small drone Under 250 grams put in a light on top of It for night flying might take you over The 250 gram limit which requires Registration now registration is only Five dollars it's good for three years It's also available on the fa drone zone Website this is something that you need To plan for before your next night Flight the DJI Mini 2 for example with Using a firehouse light most of the fire Ass lights it is still under 250 grams Or 0.55 pounds but using a Mini 3 Pro For example putting any lights on top of That one would put it over the limit so Know your drone know your limits in this Case there were also a few interesting Nuggets the fpv freedom Coalition for Example had a great definition of ground Level which clarified that flying from The top of a 200 foot building for

Example is going to put you 200 foot Above the ground already I'm glad Actually if you see that definition in There because it was one of the things That I asked the fa to clarify in the New advisory circular and I'm glad that The fa did and I'm glad that the fpv Freedom Coalition put that in there as Well another nugget not such a good one Is that the AMA limits 4S batteries for Drone racing the current standard for Drone racing is 6s batteries so it Sounds like a lot of fpv racers Including multi GP might want to find New guidelines in order to make in order To remain within the actual rules of the Fa if you plan to fly a drone over 55 Pounds that's another nugget and you Want to do that recreationally using the AMA guidelines you will need to fly at a AMA fixed site which more than likely Requires membership in order to follow Those rules it's usually in their bylaws It's usually in the letter of agreement That they receive from the tower and Also flying a turbine powered RC Aircraft is also going to require some Kind of fee there is a 15 application Fee on the AMA website for that last one From here go ahead download the Guidelines read all the details print a Copy of it follow the guidelines during Each flight leave a comment in the Section if you have any question and

Then make sure you fly safely we'll see You on the next video [Music]