Can I fly under the Article 16 Operational Authorisation using a DJI or similar drone?

Question

Can I fly my DJI drone under the terms of the Article 16 Operational Authorisation?

Answer

Yes.  So long as it is flown ‘manually’ (i.e. using the control sticks) rather than automation.

CAA confirmation:  

Yes – an unmanned aircraft that is being flown in accordance with the definition of a model aircraft in the Article 16 authorisation, may fly within the terms of the authorisation. 

This would mean that an ‘off the shelf drone’ with  a reasonably complex ‘computer’ and some automated modes may be flown in accordance with the Article 16 authorisation, providing it is flown in a manual mode, such that the aircraft requires active control inputs in order to manoeuvre. 

If the aircraft manoeuvres without control inputs from the pilot, this would place it outside the definition of a model aircraft, and so must follow the requirements of the open category. 

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