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My House is within 5 miles of Airport - What now?

AF_Flyer

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Jun 18, 2017
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Crestview, FL
According to all the apps my house is 4.8 miles from the airport. If I go 8 houses down I'd be in the clear. With that said, do I have to contact the airport every time I fly in my back yard or is there some sort of written agreement I can do with the tower/airport? It appears that I'm stuck calling ever time...everything that I've looked up seems to apply to commercial drone pilots and not hobbyist unless I'm missing something.

While waiting for my Spark (delivery date expected 5 July) I've been researching where I can fly and since I live in Northwest Florida a very heavily tourist area & home of multiple military bases, there are airports/helipads all over. Getting some nice shots of the beach seem like a nightmare of endless phone calls.
 
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Kentech5

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May 27, 2017
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Upstate NY
I'm in a similar boat. The airport near me is a smaller on so i spoke with him and he didnt want a call every time I flew. We came to an agreement and he sent me an email detailing where I would fly and when.
 

AF_Flyer

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Jun 18, 2017
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Crestview, FL
I'm in a similar boat. The airport near me is a smaller on so i spoke with him and he didnt want a call every time I flew. We came to an agreement and he sent me an email detailing where I would fly and when.
Thanks, I'll give them a call and see what they say.
 

JD4x4

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May 27, 2017
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Silver Spring, MD
I feel your pain.
I live in mile 12 of the 15 mile inner D.C. NFZ and my backyard is totally under a tree canopy so it's frustrating as he** that it won't even power up when there is a GPS signal, and flight on my property can't be "authorized".

Plus, I'd need to drive another minimum of 18 miles just to get out of the outer auth zone.

Love my Spark but not so much the DJI surrogate police force.
 

Hansd

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Jun 20, 2017
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Netherlands
Why are you complaining? Firstly the number of drone incidents with airplanes is increasing steadily, so there is a solid reason for these drone rules and no fly zones. Secondly, you can check these rules and no fly zones before you buy a drone.
 
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JD4x4

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May 27, 2017
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Silver Spring, MD
Why are you complaining? Firstly the number of drone incidents with airplanes is increasing steadily, so there is a solid reason for these drone rules and no fly zones. Secondly, you can check these rules and no fly zones before you buy a drone.
A. In the U.S. the Supreme Court ruled that a property owner also owned the airspace above their property to (at least) 83 feet. Public airspace has been previously established as being above 500 feet, with various government agencies recently declaring (without adjudication and legal ruling) Public Airspace to be as low as "grass level and above".

B. No, you couldn't find out for certain until they were in your hand that DJI's new "Selfie" quad would or could refuse to operate completely, even at ankle height. Maybe I missed that it was supposed to be frequently only a hand held camera, but I don't think so.

C. Please point me to reports (in the U.S.) where there have been verified drone/plane incidents other than pilot sightings. Actually, that's not even relevant to the lack of product functionality, and THAT's what I find problematic.

I've posted Google photos of my property on another forum, and I'll be glad to repost them here. Imo, the ability to operate below the tree line on my own property shouldn't concern anyone other than me until such time as it affects someone other than me, or until you can point out something I'm missing about my situation.
 

JD4x4

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May 27, 2017
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Silver Spring, MD
Here. Someone explain my oversight in not being a threat to National Security and Public Airspace by flying a camera over my roof and gutters, or taking photos/videos on my property.

And, none of that "fly-away" bs either. I own several vehicles and I can start and drive all of them despite that I might drive them downtown and run people over, either on purpose or because of a malfunction.

View media item 17View media item 18View media item 19
 
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Hansd

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You know you cannot compare a car to a drone. Even on this forum there are reports of drones misbehaving and flying away. In Europe there have been several near-misses of airplanes with drones last year and the number is increasing.

I still dont get why you are upset. All this was known before you bought the drone. Maybe you are better of without it?

Btw. I cannot see your pictures.(no permission)
 
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JD4x4

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May 27, 2017
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Silver Spring, MD
You know you cannot compare a car to a drone. Even on this forum there are reports of drones misbehaving and flying away. In Europe there have been several near-misses of airplanes with drones last year and the number is increasing.
Anecdotes don't cut it.

I still dont get why you are upset. All this was known before you bought the drone. Maybe you are better of without it?

Btw. I cannot see your pictures.(no permission)
Didn't realize the pics defaulted to private. Corrected.

I'll refer to (B.) in what I posted above. And if you knew the exact details of Spark software & firmware before 25 May 2017 or even before 1 June then you must work for DJI.

I'm most upset at DJI for being a voluntary unauthorized agent for law enforcement. That's typically not how the U.S. legal system works. And DJI CERTAINLY didn't(/doesn't) prominently advertise that.
 
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Kardinal_84

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Jul 6, 2017
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53
According to all the apps my house is 4.8 miles from the airport. If I go 8 houses down I'd be in the clear. With that said, do I have to contact the airport every time I fly in my back yard or is there some sort of written agreement I can do with the tower/airport? It appears that I'm stuck calling ever time...everything that I've looked up seems to apply to commercial drone pilots and not hobbyist unless I'm missing something.

While waiting for my Spark (delivery date expected 5 July) I've been researching where I can fly and since I live in Northwest Florida a very heavily tourist area & home of multiple military bases, there are airports/helipads all over. Getting some nice shots of the beach seem like a nightmare of endless phone calls.
Without getting into whether its appropriate for DJI to enforce no fly zones, the OP's problem is the main reason I decided to get my part 107 drone certification. Now that I am certified, I dont need to call every airport. BUT there are other restrictions.

It wasnt for commercial flying since I only have the spark. It'd be like hiring a commercial wedding photographer and they showed up with a smartphone. Lol.

I posted a map of my dilemma in my question about clarifying part 101 vs 107 question in this category. Who knew we had so many airports and thus so few places we could legally fly as a hobbyist without spending a half hour or more calling everytime I wanted to fly in Alaska. To drive from the top of the map to the bottom, its 5 hours.
 

AF_Flyer

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Jun 18, 2017
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Crestview, FL
There is a private airport nearby without a tower (small strip of grass). I've never seen it used, I think some guy owns it for his small plane. I had to do some research to even find a phone number since it's not listed. I guess I'm calling this guy's house to let him know I'll be within 5 miles?
 

FatherXmas

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May 31, 2017
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Mentone, Alabama
Without getting into whether its appropriate for DJI to enforce no fly zones, the OP's problem is the main reason I decided to get my part 107 drone certification. Now that I am certified, I dont need to call every airport. BUT there are other restrictions.

It wasnt for commercial flying since I only have the spark. It'd be like hiring a commercial wedding photographer and they showed up with a smartphone. Lol.

I posted a map of my dilemma in my question about clarifying part 101 vs 107 question in this category. Who knew we had so many airports and thus so few places we could legally fly as a hobbyist without spending a half hour or more calling everytime I wanted to fly in Alaska. To drive from the top of the map to the bottom, its 5 hours.
I've seen several posts referencing Part 101 lately. Best I can tell Part 101 is for (copied directly from the law) :
'PART 101 - MOORED BALLOONS, KITES, UNMANNED ROCKETS AND UNMANNED FREE BALLOONS'
Recreational drone use is covered under (per the FAA FAQ website): 'Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336)'.
 

Texy

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Jul 9, 2017
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There is a private airport nearby without a tower (small strip of grass). I've never seen it used, I think some guy owns it for his small plane. I had to do some research to even find a phone number since it's not listed. I guess I'm calling this guy's house to let him know I'll be within 5 miles?
You don't have to notify if they don't have a tower that is active at the time you fly. If there is no tower at all then you don't have to notify at all. Also, owners of little grass strips won't care as long as you assure them that you will be listening to their channel on your radio so that you can descend if anyone announces an approach.
 

PascalG

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Jul 7, 2017
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Common sense isn't so common anymore ...

Why not allow drone flying up to ... say 100'. If any airplane flies at 100' 1 mile from a runway they have more things to worry about than a drone...
 

Big Ben

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Aug 9, 2017
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I keep hearing Sparks can't fly because of NFZ. I live close to an active airport and have no problem. I never fly above the tree tops and only use to practice. I have never gone over 80ft unless in the middle of the night and no planes are flying. I can hear them long before they get close and bring her down in plenty of time. I really am safe and feel I am not a dangerous pilot.
 
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