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Flying over the Hudson River

Rafiky

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I’m new to drones, but have done 10 missions with litchi waypoints successfully. I travel to NYC a lot and was wandering if it is legal to fly over the Hudson and take some footage of the city skyline, even at night. Any advise? Thank you
 

shegeek72

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Unless you're close to an airport, flying over the Hudson day or night should be fine.
 

BigAl07

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Unless you're close to an airport, flying over the Hudson day or night should be fine.

Ummmm have you looked at any aviation maps? Large portions of the Hudson River are sporadically covered in TFR's etc. Lots of bad space there and the only "confirmed" USA Manned Aircraft to sUAS happened out of the Hudson River.

To make such a bold blanket statement is inviting someone else to get into hot water.
 

Scottalmas

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I think the only caveat I would offer is that, as long as your flying for recreational purposes only (i.e., no Part 107 license requirements), you can fly at night but you must be able to keep the UAS within your visual line of sight. I haven't flown my Spark at night yet. I realize it has more lighting than any of my other drones, but I feel like that might be a consideration in a full analysis and answer to this question.
 

PhantomFandom

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Hello,

Three totally different things to look at here:
  • First is being able to fly legally in that airspace, as per FAA regulations. Yes that is extremely congested airspace, with three major airports and a wide variety of heliports in the area. However, looking at the sectional charts you will see that there is navigable airspace at low altitude in that corridor. Small aircraft and helicopters use it all the time for VFR operations, mostly for sightseeing. I personally flew up the Hudson and around the Statue of Liberty in a Cessna 172. What a beautiful area for sightseeing.
  • Second is being able to fly safely while avoiding other traffic. That one I would be really careful about and make sure to stay well below 100 feet AGL. That way you minimize the risk of encountering small aircraft. You will still need to have your head on a swivel.
  • Third is the New Your City "regulation" which states that all UAS operations within city limits is illegal. The only places they allow you to fly are within 5 designated city parks. NYC even asks citizens to call 911 if they see a drone in city limits. The police deploy a DJI system to track DJI drone communications. They are able to find both the drone and the remote controller/pilot.
    Of course this regulation is completely illegal and would not hold up to scrutiny if it came down to a lawsuit. However, who wants to go through all that (arrest, confiscation of equipment, fines, lawyer fees, etc...)?
So my recommendation is to NOT do it. It's not worth the potential risk and aggravation.
 

Rafiky

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Thank you all for your valuable input. According to the AirMap app, it is ok to fly from J. Owen Grundy Park in Jersey City and pan-out Manhattan flying over the Hudson. Is AirMap a reliable source?
 

BigAl07

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Hello,

Three totally different things to look at here:
  • First is being able to fly legally in that airspace, as per FAA regulations. Yes that is extremely congested airspace, with three major airports and a wide variety of heliports in the area. However, looking at the sectional charts you will see that there is navigable airspace at low altitude in that corridor. Small aircraft and helicopters use it all the time for VFR operations, mostly for sightseeing. I personally flew up the Hudson and around the Statue of Liberty in a Cessna 172. What a beautiful area for sightseeing.
  • Second is being able to fly safely while avoiding other traffic. That one I would be really careful about and make sure to stay well below 100 feet AGL. That way you minimize the risk of encountering small aircraft. You will still need to have your head on a swivel.
  • Third is the New Your City "regulation" which states that all UAS operations within city limits is illegal. The only places they allow you to fly are within 5 designated city parks. NYC even asks citizens to call 911 if they see a drone in city limits. The police deploy a DJI system to track DJI drone communications. They are able to find both the drone and the remote controller/pilot.
    Of course this regulation is completely illegal and would not hold up to scrutiny if it came down to a lawsuit. However, who wants to go through all that (arrest, confiscation of equipment, fines, lawyer fees, etc...)?
So my recommendation is to NOT do it. It's not worth the potential risk and aggravation.
Great response.

Also keep in mind that some aircraft take off FROM the Hudson River. We flew a Cessna Caravan from the Hudson River a couple of years ago... flew around NYC, Statue of Liberty and down into New Jersey for a couple of hours and back to the dock on the Hudson. AWESOME flight!!

here's a pic of the "type" of airplane we flew but not the exact one (can't find those).
 

PhantomFandom

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Thank you all for your valuable input. According to the AirMap app, it is ok to fly from J. Owen Grundy Park in Jersey City and pan-out Manhattan flying over the Hudson. Is AirMap a reliable source?
Yes I find AirMap to be a reliable service. However when in question I always refer to the actual sectional charts AND always check for TFR notices. You can never be too safe, especially in congested airspace like that.

Now more to your point about taking off from the NJ side. My previous two points about flying in that area still apply. BE CAREFUL. However, you may have gotten around the third issue which is that ridiculous NYC regulation. You won't be taking off or landing within NYC limits. Where you fly though would determine what NYC could enforce. I believe the border between NY and NJ goes straight down the center of the river. Just be careful about the Statue of Liberty. That is officially OFF-LIMITS by true and legal FAA regulations.

In the end, you need to determine the risk/reward.
 
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shegeek72

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Ummmm have you looked at any aviation maps? Large portions of the Hudson River are sporadically covered in TFR's etc. Lots of bad space there and the only "confirmed" USA Manned Aircraft to sUAS happened out of the Hudson River.

To make such a bold blanket statement is inviting someone else to get into hot water.
Note I stated: "unless you're close to an airport." Below is an airmap map of the area. He may not be able to launch from NYC, but there are areas to the north where he could.

9191
 

BigAl07

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Note I stated: "unless you're close to an airport." Below is an airmap map of the area. He may not be able to launch from NYC, but there are areas to the north where he could.

View attachment 9191

But there is s LOT more going on in and around the Hudson than "just" airport issues. See the previous posts and other supporting info above.
 
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shegeek72

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Not to be argumentative, but if you go to phantompilots.com (and likely other forums as well) or youtube and search for "hudson river" or "hudson river drones" numerous videos will result. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning flying anywhere with TFR's or where other aircraft frequent. Perhaps some of the pilots are flying where they shouldn't, perhaps some aren't. I'm just suggesting that if one does want to fly over the Hudson they call local authorities and also try to contact the pilots who produced the videos for their feedback. :)
 
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Rafiky

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Not to be argumentative, but if you go to phantompilots.com (and likely other forums as well) or youtube and search for "hudson river" or "hudson river drones" numerous videos will result. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning flying anywhere with TFR's or where other aircraft frequent. Perhaps some of the pilots are flying where they shouldn't, perhaps some aren't. I'm just suggesting that if one does want to fly over the Hudson they call local authorities and also try to contact the pilots who produced the videos for their feedback. :)
Yes, I’ve seen them and I’m still wandering how. I requested information from AirMap, let’s see what they say.
 

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