UAVs in Germany
The drones were flying and the legal situation in Germany was quite unregulated until mid-2017. But since October 2017 the new regulation applies. Details can be found at Information of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and in PDF-Flyer.
Basically, the conditions are decided according to weight (well, further down in the text there is a small relation – but for now we stick to it: ) so it depends on how high the take-off weight of your quad is. The three “classes”:
- Less than 250g
- 250g – 5Kg
- from 2Kg: proof of knowledge (“drone driver’s license”)
- About 5Kg
Under 250g – Toys
- No insurance necessary
- No spotter necessary for FPV flying
- No badge necessary
That’s quite interesting. Because right crass 3″ Racer like the HGLRC-XJB145 you can get to under 250g. And I wouldn’t call that ‘toy’! (Update: Read more below!)
250g – 5Kg – model aircraft
- Insurance required
- sticker obligation
- Spotter required for FPV
- From 2Kg only with proof of knowledge (see below)
In this class are the classic 5″ racers.
(If you want to know what a racer is and how to start FPV Racing: This way)
Is FPV flying legal in Germany?
The decision tree of the German Air Traffic Control says (point 14 – see the graph below) that if we do not fly over inhabited areas, we need no permission to be obtained of the State Aviation Administration.
In addition, here is an excerpt from the BMVI guideline, which is of interest to FPV pilots (it is about flying with goggles):
Use of video goggles
“Flights using video goggles are permitted when they are up to a height of 30 meters and the appliance is not heavier than 0.25 kg or another person is constantly observing it within visual range and is capable of alerting the controller to hazards. This is considered to be operated within the view of the controller.” (Point 8 of the BMVI Directive)
The decision tree of German Air Traffic Control (DFS)
What is the “drone driver’s license”? Do I need this proof of knowledge?
To fly FPV in Germany you need no drone driver’s license for the time being (so the proof of knowledge is called colloquially). Unless you want to:
- Use the recordings commercially (monetized YouTube channel)
- Fly over 2Kg
- If you answered “No” to any of the points 9 to 14 above
…then you need the bond.
How difficult and expensive is the drone driver’s license?
The proof of knowledge can be obtained for approx. 28 Euro at the German Model Aviation Association e. V. (DMFV).acquire.
It’s a multiple-choice test and there’s a video explaining each question. If you have answered a question incorrectly, you can try again. So it’s really no witchcraft to get the proof of knowledge.
The DMFV drone driver’s license is This way.
Do I need liability insurance for FPV Racing drones?
Yes! =) And no, your current liability or household insurance will most likely not suffice.
[This article is under construction. Subscribe to the newsletter to be informed when the article is finished. On the subject of insurance I want to do some research – this is a rather sensitive topic]
Are FPV racers under 250g the solution for all legal problems?
Jain. Well, well… well…
In my opinion, there is still a little legal uncertainty. If you take the text from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure literally, the following applies: For threats under 250g you don’t need a spotter or a sticker.
A sentence from the knowledge proof softens the whole a little:
And when you’re on guns like that Diatone G3 or the HGLRC XJB145 thinks is clear why – these are really no toys. But it’s not quite legally binding, that’s why my recommendation: If you fly with caution and don’t disturb other people while flying, then you don’t have to find out exactly what’s going on here.
Problems for commercial use and professional pilots
unmanned aeronautical system vs. model aircraft
Es becomes bureaucratic: Is an FPV Racing drone an unmanned aeronautical system or a model aircraft? The exciting answer: It can be both!
If you fly the Quad just for fun, it is a Flight model. With the declaration as flight model, there are fewer requirements and obligations. However, if you use the drone to shoot the YouTube video and earn your bread rolls with it or resell the recordings otherwise you have an unmanned aviation system because you use the device commercially. In many forums, we discuss whether an FPV Racer is considered a drone (and thus an unmanned aircraft), because unlike a DJI it can’t fly without a pilot. I don’t think it’s possible to finally clarify this question here (I’m still waiting for the precedent and judgment), but in case of doubt, I’d assume it: Commercially used => unmanned aeronautical system.
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