If it is a swamp cooler no if it is a condensing unit then yes. In sight is described as being within 50 feet with clear visibility
condensing unit, elecric panel, electrical service enterance, grounding rod
No. The service disconnect must be within sight or within 25 ft. of the AC motor.
Some form of disconnect is wise and safe to have for performing service work either a buss main or external and should be within 5 feet in sight of the panel.
D, In California an unfused disconnect switch shall be installed within sight of any grounding rod as per NEC code for the following reasons: A) To definatively locate the grounding rod, B) To allow for service including troubleshooting, removal for cleaning and/or replacement of a defective grounding rod during periods of unstable atmospheric activity.
The definative answer to this question should be located in the NEC, but I would say within sight and reach of the condensing unit.
An electrical disconnect has to be within 20 feet and line of sight of the equipment you are working on. This electrical rule was brought about because most times the distribution motor starter is in another part of a building in an electrical room. If you can not see that the motor starter is locked out or it is more that 20 feet distance from the motor an isolation switch has to be added to the circuit at the motor. This allows anyone working on the motor to lock it out near the motor. If the motor starter does not get locked out and inadvertently starts automatically, the local isolation switch will stop the current flow and provide a safety factor to the person working on the motor.
because it is dark in a cave, good eye sight is not required.
The following describes the term "in sight from;" the equipment must be installed in sight or within 50 feet of the original installation. This applies to electrical equipment.
You measure them, using a laser sight, if required.
The IRC states that an AC unit should have "A readly accessable disconnect within sight from unit as the only allowable means".