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Traveling with Spark, worth it?

czguy

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As a former European living in Canada, I have decided to have a round trip around Western Europe to see what has changed in 2 decades I have not visited. My wife and I will be traveling light, just a carry-on.
What's your opinion, should I even bother to bring Spark along with all the restrictions nowadays?
 

Chrislaf

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Yes! Spark is so small and light and would be perfect for travelling. You will likely regret not taking it when you arrive at a perfect location and wish you had your Spark.

Chris
 

czguy

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That's what I've been thinking, however, been drone pilot for a little while, I don't find it appealing to fly my drone unless I can get some nice footage out of it. Nowadays, with so many restrictions to fly anywhere near anything interesting I'm slowly loosing my will to bring my drone along because of nuisance trying to be discovered by authorities flying my drone.
 

Highflyer

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I agree with Chrislaf, I traveled to the Canadian border from Minnesota and didn't bring my spark I'm still kicking my self for not bringing it with. I missed out on a lot of great videos of the scenery and wildlife like deer, moose, and wolves. :mad:😢😢

Jeff :cool:
 
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czguy

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We will be visiting mainly large European metropoles. London, Paris, Rome, etc. We even have a small detour planed for Marrakesh. Bringing drones to Morocco is prohibited. Each country has introduced so many legal restrictions that I cannot imagine flying anywhere near interesting tourist's attractions. Even Niagara Falls in Canada is off limits. I don't really plan to get video of moose in the middle of the forest. I just don't feel like getting busted and fined and have my drone confiscated when trying to get areal footage of the Colosseum or Venice. To legally register to fly in every single country is practically impossible and as I've said anything interesting will be off limits anyway. Thinking about it more, it seems like nowadays, the only place to fly my drone is far in a middle of the wilderness in order not to get harassed by anyone. Having small carry on bag, although small, Spark will be a dead weight most of the time.
 
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SparkyPaul

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As a former European living in Canada, I have decided to have a round trip around Western Europe to see what has changed in 2 decades I have not visited. My wife and I will be traveling light, just a carry-on.
What's your opinion, should I even bother to bring Spark along with all the restrictions nowadays?
What restrictions? I take Sparkie to Europe and the States each year. Never a problem. Never any questions. Just carry it onboard with your batteries. :)
 
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Born In The Bronx

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We will be visiting mainly large European metropoles. London, Paris, Rome, etc. We even have a small detour planed for Marrakesh. Bringing drones to Morocco is prohibited. Each country has introduced so many legal restrictions that I cannot imagine flying anywhere near international tourist's attraction. Even Niagara Falls in Canada is of limits. I don't really plan to get video of moose in the middle of the forest. I just don't feel like getting busted and fined and have my drone confiscated when trying to get arieral footage of the Colloseum or Venice. To legally register to fly in every single country is practically impossible and as I've said anything interesting will off limits anyway. Thinking about it more, it seems like nowadays, the only place to fly my drone is far in a middle of the wilderness in order not to get harrased by anyone. Having small carry on bag, although small, Spark will be a dead weight most of the time.
CZGuy, I agree with you. I’m an International travel too and a SemiPro photographer, I don’t both to bring my Spark anywhere. Too many restrictions, drones have become considered a nuisance in so many Cities that the locals frown upon it. Combine that with the relatively short flight times, it’s really not worth it. I’d rather spend my time finding that wonderful location to take some great photos. My Spark has pretty much become a stay at home device taking ariel shots of family and friends around the house. Also the places you mentioned, you’d never be allowed to fly.
 
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twickers14

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Agree with all the above. I hummed and haaad before visiting the States in May so glad I went for it.
 

skipper20

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We will be visiting mainly large European metropoles. London, Paris, Rome, etc. We even have a small detour planed for Marrakesh. Bringing drones to Morocco is prohibited. Each country has introduced so many legal restrictions that I cannot imagine flying anywhere near international tourist's attraction. Even Niagara Falls in Canada is of limits. I don't really plan to get video of moose in the middle of the forest. I just don't feel like getting busted and fined and have my drone confiscated when trying to get arieral footage of the Colloseum or Venice. To legally register to fly in every single country is practically impossible and as I've said anything interesting will off limits anyway. Thinking about it more, it seems like nowadays, the only place to fly my drone is far in a middle of the wilderness in order not to get harrased by anyone. Having small carry on bag, although small, Spark will be a dead weight most of the time.
Sounds like you've already made up your mind. Yeah, if you think your Spark is nothing more than a dead weight, leave it at home. On the other hand........................
 

czguy

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Nope, I have not made up my mind yet. That's why I'm sharing my dilemma with fellow hobbyists.
I'm not worried about no fly zones, I fly responsibly, however, I've hacked my drone to get rid of no fly zones as It was just too much pain in my behind in the neighborhood I reside in. Canada and most countries now require official registration of drones (didn't bother with it yet). I suspect police or some other busybody would give me a hard time when spotted flying my drone. I was really looking forward to get some footage of Venice above the water.
With newly introduced LEGAL restrictions it's just not fun to look around constantly to see if anyone has an issue with my flying.
 
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czguy

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What restrictions? I take Sparkie to Europe and the States each year. Never a problem. Never any questions. Just carry it onboard with your batteries. :)
Airplane travel is not an issue in most cases. It's the fact that governments require registration of drone pilots + request permits. In Canada those dickheads want you to maintain flight logs + ton of other nonsense.
 

Chrislaf

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Airplane travel is not an issue in most cases. It's the fact that governments require registration of drone pilots + request permits. In Canada those dickheads want you to maintain flight logs + ton of other nonsense.
Yes, the new rules in Canada require you to register your drones and get a pilot's licence (via an online test). I have done both and did find many of the questions on the test a bit too much like knowing the broadcast frequencies of a specific airport, but many of these types of questions can be looked up online. The upside to all of this is that many other countries have already, or are moving in the same direction, so being able to show that you are a licensed drone pilot may make it easier for you to fly in other countries. Just like my driver's licence in Ontario, allows me to drive a car in most other countries.

With regard to flight logs, I use Airdata UAV to log all of my flights. You can get a free account that will log up to 100 flights for you. It also shows tonnes of other useful information as well.

I just got back from a camping trip and I brought my Spark with me. Although, I did not use it as much as I had planned, I still did some flights and was glad, I did. I would have regretted not bringing it.

The Spark is the perfect drone for traveling light for many reasons:
•Spark with one battery and controller = very light setup
•small and compact
•Spark is the cheapest DJI drone so if it gets lost or stolen you are not out a ton of money
•Hand launching and landing makes Spark very easy to use almost anywhere (where legally permitted)
•excellent picture/video quality

Hope this helps.

Chris
 

czguy

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Thank you, any info helps. So, your opinion is?
Camping far away from people or zooming around Eiffel tower :p are bit different. Registration unification is still years away and it's not as simple with (vehicle) driver licences either. Thailand demands that you have "international' or local licence. Using Canadian one gets you fine. Knowing all this, I'll be flying illegally everywhere. Should I bother to pack Spark for the trip?
 

Chrislaf

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Thank you, any info helps. So, your opinion is?
Camping far away from people or zooming around Eiffel tower :p are bit different. Registration unification is still years away and it's not as simple with (vehicle) driver licences either. Thailand demands that you have "international' or local licence. Using Canadian one gets you fine. Knowing all this, I'll be flying illegally everywhere. Should I bother to pack Spark for the trip?
Whether you pack the Spark for the trip is up to you. If it were me, I would definitely pack my Spark. Last summer, I flew out to BC with the family and took my Spark along. Did I fly in built up/major cities or at major attractions? No, but I flew it in places I would never have known about or even considered. Many of those places were places we stopped as we were traveling from one destination to another in our rental car. I understand, traveling to BC is much different than traveling internationally but I would still bring my Spark. I also would never knowingly break the local laws. I use Apps like UAV Forecast and AirMap to help me find areas that are legal and safe to fly in. Also, for me, I have never flown either of my drones (Spark and P3S) out of visual line of sight so I always know where my drone is.

Good luck with your decision.

Chris
 

czguy

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Just a quick update. I'm currently traveling throughout Europe and have decided to bring my Spark along after all. I've visited Morocco as well, while my drone spent my visit there in drone jail at the airport. Really shame, the footage I could get there would be great.
Flying in Europe seems to be heavily regulated with fines in thousands of euros. So far, in 1 month here, I saw only one other drone, San Marino from all the places.
I no longer can say that I fly responsibly, to get the footage I was able to to get, I had to get rid of NFZ restrictions. I've been looked for by London police when flying above Thames getting great footage of the Tower bridge at night or in Rome getting arieral footage of the Coliseum.
So to answer my initial question, I would not bother to bring drone along visiting big metropoles if you are not confortable to become an outlaw and be prepared to scout out your take off/landing location extra carefully like a sniper in order not to be caught by police, security or military personnel, which is present at every popular tourist destination, due to past terrorist incidents.
With restrictions tightening more and more, drone flying will be reserved to those who are content taking video of endless forests or grass planes far away from civilisation.
 
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Excesstext

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Thailand is pretty much a no-go for flying unless you have a day to arrange the permit/register/insurance - it’s not impossible but for a short trip through better to leave in your luggage.

Malaysia is better (you can fly legally) but there are some specific air-space restrictions. Unlike Europe where the fines are massive you may find the prospect of 3-years in a SE Asian gaol more of a deterrent!

Where I am right now (Malaysia-Sabah-Kota Kinabalu) the flying would be great except for the airport nearby. With a local permit it’s possible to fly to 60m but it’s easier I think to go well clear of the airport :)

The nearby marine park islands are permit only, but given the thousands of people visiting each day I think it’s for the better.


IMG_4598.jpg
Sunset from my hotel (ground level)

E4249F1C-CAC9-4A8D-80E9-88134A441EFD.jpg
Between Sapi and Gaya Islands (ground level)

IMG_4554.jpg
The groups of people at Sapi Island. Imagine if 10% had a drone! There’d be more drones than tropical bugs in the air!

So while I’m disappointed about the lack of flying, I actually understand it. I’ll head down the coast in a day or two and see if I can find a place for free-flight :)
 
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czguy

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****, I visit SE Asia practically every single year (my wife is Filipina) and I plan to bring drone along for my next visit there. From experience, I know that most laws are observed by locals on voluntary basis, except drugs.
I don't like Thailand much, besides Philippines I like to spend my time in Vietnam preferably. Any idea how's situation over there?
 

ol' Sparky

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From another thread:

oh...one more thing...the Canadian certification is recognized by ICAO...so other than the US, it is an internationally recognized license.

Like PMshop said....rather have it and not need it.

Last flight I took , you were allowed a carry on and a personal article. Wife took a purse,,,I took my Spark.
 

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