FPV DRONES FLY – LEGAL SITUATION IN GERMANY

Flying drones and the legal situation in Germany was quite unregulated until mid-2017. But the new regulation has been in force since October 2017. You can find details under Information from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and in the PDF flyer.

Basically, the requirements are decided according to weight (well, there is a small relation further down in the text – but let’s stick with it for now:) So it depends on how high the take-off weight of your quad is. The three “classes”:

Under 250g
250g – 5Kg
from 2kg: proof of knowledge (“drone driving license”)
About 5Kg
Under 250g – toys
E010-Black-Gray-Vector Mini Drone Drone under 250g
No insurance needed
No spotter needed when flying FPV
No badge required
That’s really interesting. Because really blatant 3 ″ racers like the HGLRC-XJB145 (best entry-level drone!) Can be got for less than 250g. And I wouldn’t call that ‘toy’! (Update: read below!)

250g – 5Kg – flight model
Wizard-X220 drone 250g to 5 kg
Insurance required
Badge required
Spotter needed for FPV
From 2kg only with proof of knowledge (see below)
The classic 5 ″ racers are in this class.
(If you want to know what a racer is and how to start FPV Racing: this way)

Is FPV flying legally in Germany?
The decision tree of the German Air Traffic Control says (point 14 – see the graphic below) if we are not flying over an inhabited area, we do not need to obtain permission from the State Aviation Authority.

In addition, here is an excerpt from the guidelines of the BMVI, which is of interest to FPV pilots (it’s about flying with glasses):

Use of video glasses
“Flights using video goggles are permitted if they take place up to a height of 30 meters and the device is not heavier than 0.25 kg or another person is constantly observing it insight and is able to alert the controller to dangers do. This counts as operation within the driver’s range of vision. “(Point 8 in the BMVI guideline)

So spotter is a must for FPV.

The decision tree of the German Air Traffic Control (DFS)
Decision tree DFS drones fly right in Germany
Source: DFS

What is the “drone license”? Do I need this proof of knowledge?
To fly FPV in Germany, you do not need a drone driver’s license at first (this is how the proof of knowledge is called colloquially). Unless you want:

Use the recordings commercially (monetized YouTube channel)
Fly over 2Kg
If you answered one of the points 9 to 14 above with “No”
… then you need the certificate.

Proof of knowledge DMFV drone driving license
How difficult and how expensive is the drone license?
Proof of knowledge can be obtained from the Deutscher Modellflieger Verband e. V. (DMFV).
It is a multiple-choice test and there is an explanatory video for each question. If you answered a question incorrectly, you can try again. So it is really not rocket science to get proof of knowledge.

Click here for the DMFV drone license.

Do I need liability insurance for FPV Racing drones?
Yes! =) And no, your current liability or household insurance will most likely not be enough.

Update: I finally decided to take out insurance: GetSave’s liability + drones. You can read why here.

Are FPV racers under 250g the solution for all legal problems?
Jain. So well … so …
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: You don’t need a spotter or badge for threats under 250g.
A sentence from the proof of knowledge softens the whole thing up a bit:

Fuzzy 250g limit for drones
Fuzzy 250g limit for drones – extract from the drone driving license
And when you think of cannons like the Diatone G3 or the HGLRC XJB145, it’s clear why – these are really not toys. But none of this is entirely legally binding here, so my recommendation: fly with caution and don’t disturb other people while flying, then you don’t have to find out what exactly is pulling here.

Problems for Commercial Use and Professional Pilots
Unmanned Aviation Systems vs. Flight model
It gets bureaucratic: is an FPV racing drone an unmanned aviation system or a flight model? The exciting answer: It can be both!
If you’re just flying the quad for fun, it’s a model aeroplane. With the declaration as a flight model, there are fewer requirements and obligations. However, if you use the drone to shoot YouTube videos and earn your money with it or otherwise sell the recordings, you have an unmanned aviation system because you use the device commercially. In many forums, we discussed whether an FPV Racer as a drone (

FPV Racing starts this way)

Is FPV flying legally in Germany?
The decision tree of the German Air Traffic Control says (point 14 – see the graphic below) if we are not flying over an inhabited area, we do not need to obtain permission from the State Aviation Authority.

In addition, here is an excerpt from the guidelines of the BMVI, which is of interest to FPV pilots (it’s about flying with glasses):

Use of video glasses
“Flights using video goggles are permitted if they take place up to a height of 30 meters and the device is not heavier than 0.25 kg or another person is constantly observing it insight and is able to alert the controller to dangers do. This counts as operation within the driver’s range of vision. “(Point 8 in the BMVI guideline)

So spotter is a must for FPV.

The decision tree of the German Air Traffic Control (DFS)
Decision tree DFS drones fly right in Germany
Source: DFS

What is the “drone license”? Do I need this proof of knowledge?
To fly FPV in Germany, you do not need a drone driver’s license at first (this is how the proof of knowledge is called colloquially). Unless you want:

Use the recordings commercially (monetized YouTube channel)
Fly over 2Kg
If you answered one of the points 9 to 14 above with “No”
… then you need the certificate.

Proof of knowledge DMFV drone driving license
How difficult and how expensive is the drone license?
Proof of knowledge can be obtained from the Deutscher Modellflieger Verband e. V. (DMFV).
It is a multiple-choice test and there is an explanatory video for each question. If you answered a question incorrectly, you can try again. So it is really not rocket science to get proof of knowledge.

Click here for the
DMFV drone license.

Do I need liability insurance for FPV Racing drones?
Yes! =) And no, your current liability or household insurance will most likely not be enough.

Update: I finally decided to take out insurance: GetSave’s liability + drones. You can read why here.

Are FPV racers under 250g the solution for all legal problems?
Jain. So well … so …
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: You don’t need a spotter or badge for threats under 250g.
A sentence from the proof of knowledge softens the whole thing up a bit:

Fuzzy 250g limit for drones
Fuzzy 250g limit for drones – extract from the drone driving license
And when you think of cannons like the Diatone G3 or the HGLRC XJB145, it’s clear why – these are really not toys. But none of this is entirely legally binding here, so my recommendation: fly with caution and don’t disturb other people while flying, then you don’t have to find out what exactly is pulling here.

Problems for Commercial Use and Professional Pilots
Unmanned Aviation Systems vs. Flight model
It gets bureaucratic: is an FPV racing drone an unmanned aviation system or a flight model? The exciting answer: It can be both!
If you’re just flying the quad for fun, it’s a model aeroplane. With the declaration as a flight model, there are fewer requirements and obligations. However, if you use the drone to shoot YouTube videos and earn your money with it or otherwise sell the recordings, you have an unmanned aviation system because you use the device commercially. In many forums, we are discussing whether an FPV Racer counts as a drone (and thus as an unmanned aerial vehicle) because, unlike a DJI, it cannot fly without a pilot. I think it is not possible to finally clarify this question here (I am still waiting for the precedent and the judge’s verdict), but in case of doubt I would assume: Commercially used => Drones; Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS); Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV); Model Aircraft; Radio Controlled Aircraft