Follow Me Mode: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using This Must-Have Drone Feature
The “Follow-me” mode, as known in English, is a flight mode that many drones have been equipped with for several years. It has allowed many pilots to record themselves while engaging in various activities, such as running, cycling, or even riding a motorcycle.
It’s important to note that even if a drone offers this mode of flight, its legality in different scenarios must be carefully considered.
As you may know, drones must be certified for use in the Open Category. This means that the “Follow-me” mode needs to be tested and certified. This mode is only allowed for aircraft in Class C0 and C1. Let’s examine the characteristics that the “Follow-me” mode must fulfill:
It’s important to understand that this requirement means the drone should never move more than 50 meters away from the pilot, unless it is the pilot being followed.
If the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) exceeds the 50-meter distance from the pilot, it must stop its flight and maintain its current position.
Under no circumstances should the aircraft resume flight, even if the object or person it was following approaches the aircraft.
Regaining Control of the Drone
The pilot must always be able to regain control of the aircraft at any point during the “Follow-me” flight.
- The flight must be conducted within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS).
- With a C1 drone, flying over uninvolved people is not allowed.
- The operator must always maintain continuous control of the aircraft.
Therefore, if you are driving a vehicle and the drone is following you, you wouldn’t be able to take control of the aircraft or ensure that it avoids flying over uninvolved individuals. Additionally, you wouldn’t be able to maintain continuous control of the aircraft, thus not meeting the VLOS requirement.