Shielded flight

Hello everyone! I joined recently. :smiley: :wave:

Anyone familiar with shielded flight? It’s a drone regulation in New Zealand (perhaps other countries too) that permits drone flying in controlled airspace providing the drone is kept low and close to a shielding object.

The following link explains it (watch the video too):

The UK rules and regs don’t recognise shielded flight but I think it could be a useful concept to extend our article 16 authorisation.

If shielded flight was combined with a suitable weight limit (perhaps 75g) and safety features (like prop guards) perhaps it could be used to permit article 16 authorised pilots to fly certain FPV drones (such as tiny whoops) outdoors without a spotter? :see_no_evil:

Any thoughts? :brain:

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Hi @Numb_Nut

Great post! Welcome to FPV UK and!

Yes, I am familiar with NZ’s Sheilded Operation concept and yes I have asked for that extension to our A16 OA.

In my answer to question 19 of the call for input I said:

The regulation should enable the flying of sub-250g drones in one’s own garden using FPV without the need to a competent observer. Where the air volume is shielded by features such as the house, trees, etc (forming non-navigable airspace / an atypical air environment). And access by uninvolved people is controlled (i.e. there is a fence/hedge/gate).

All the best



Thanks @SimonDale. :+1:

Yes, I was thinking lower weight limit and prop guards to minimise danger to uninvolved people but in a location with controlled access neither prop guards nor the lower weight limit should be necessary. :smiley:

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I first heard about this from xjet’s youtube channel some years ago.
and I thought it was very pragmatic approach.


  1. I DID include this in my response to CAA call for input / last question.
  2. As above, Simon did also include this in the FPVUK response. It promoted flying FPV without an observer in a contained / controlled airspace (trees, buidlings along property boundaries - providing some shielding) above (private) property with no ingress to the public due to fences/gates.

I agree - we do need to be promote this in the UK - seems like Simon has already raised this with the CAA. Bravo Simon :raised_hands:


Hi @JubFPV :smiley:

I also heard of shielded flight from xjet and also thought it seemed very pragmatic. :smiley:

In addition to flying FPV without an observer on property with controlled access I think there should be a drone category for which flying FPV without an observer is permitted even in an area where access is not controlled (e.g. a public park). I think tiny whoops belong in such a category as they have integral props guards, typically weigh under 50g (mine is just under 40g) and they are generally flown at low altitude (i.e. shielded flight). Surely the risk of injury from collision with a person is far less than that posed by a football or frisbee?

When playing football or throwing a frisbee in a park the participants are trusted to find a suitable space for their activity and the same grace should apply to pilots of tiny whoops.

Any thoughts on this?

Totally Agree.
I often fly sub 50g ducted whoop in the local park during summer.
I do a risk assessment whcih natually leads me to fly in an area
where fewer people walk through.

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