First Person View (FPV) flying has just passed a milestone with the formation of the British First Person View Model Flying Association. The BFPVMFA lists its goals as:
1. To promote the safe enjoyment of First Person View model flying.
2. To represent FPV model flyers in discussions with other bodies, specifically the CAA and OFCOM.
3. To cover all members with £5m of third party liability insurance.
Says chairman Simon Dale: "We're extremely pleased to have formed the BFPVMFA which provides all members with full £5m public liability insurance for all their model flying activities, including first person view flying, the latter without any impractical restrictions. We look forward to working with the regulators to ensure that this branch of model flying can continue to grow safely." Dale, proprietor of www.firstpersonview.co.uk clearly sees the need to support a growing interest in the genre. Accordingly the BFPVMFA has published comprehensive safety guidelines, for both training and flying, on its website at www.bfpvmfa.org.
"Our guidelines have been written by people who have actually seen and done FPV flying so they're detailed, thorough and appropriate. Members are given comprehensive 'best practice' guidance but with room to enjoy this fascinating branch of the hobby.
"FPV flying is a great slant on an already great hobby and we've been surprised by the make-up of our membership which largely includes traditional modellers who've been flying for decades, in a couple of cases more than 60 years! We've also been struck by the number of FPV pilots who fly full-size aeroplanes. For them FPV seems to be a perfect way to merge their favourite pastimes - model flying and full-size flying.
FPV has quickly grown a strong following around the world and the technology is constantly advancing. Systems such as head trackers and on-screen display systems (which overlay instrument information on the pilot's view (like a fighter pilot's HUD) make flying more enjoyable and, claims Simon, safer.
"Every new activity has its opposition but the risks are very small and manageable and through the BFPVMFA we'll demonstrate that we're safe and responsible people just like the rest of the model flying population."
Membership to the BFPVMFA is £15 per annum and available to all UK model pilots through www.bfpvmfa.org/
The £5m insurance policy covers members when flying in a traditional manner or FPV flying in the UK and Europe.