Reported here earlier this month and spreading, like well, pun intended wildfire around the web today. The story of a First Person View (FPV) flight undertaken with fireworks onboard.

By no means the first and probably not the last. When I was about 10 we had a chap who made violins for a living and free flight models for fun  in the village. He used to get bored of his expertly made machines and tow them up the line with fireworks onboard to blow them up in flight. Not perhaps the wisest thing to do but it all happened within 100m of launch.

The danger for an emerging civilian  sUAS industry is that the connection is being made between sUAS and FPV flying.

Whilst sharing many of the same bits, and practiced with restraint by many there is a large group of FPV proponants that just don’t care.

Youtube and Vimeo are littered with examples of flight beyond VLOS and above 400′

What are regulators to do? They surely can’t afford to regulate this activity?

If you have to apply for a licence to fly sUAS and pay for an operators certifcate you will have a reason to keep within the law.

Time after time, FPV operators post the proof regulators need to ground the activity. Lets see what SFAR 107 does in the USA and WG 73 in Europe.

FPV operators should be creating safety guidelines and rules, the UK has http://www.fpvuk.org/ and they are doing an excellent job of sending out the right message.

Youngsters with time on their hands and enough cash in their pockets for equipment need not worry about mortgages and school fees. Unlike many of the people trying to make their way in the emerging sUAS industry.

Perhaps if they want real kicks flying FPV youngsters should join the army!

Its a difficult subject that always brings abusive and sometimes threatening retorts from anonymous posters. But it needs to be spoken about.

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.