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First time with a drone today
742 12 2017-12-12
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LAphil
lvl.2
United States
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I took my Spark out today for the first time. It was my first time ever flying a drone..

My God, did it put the fear of Christ up me!

I live in Los Angeles in an apartment block. We have a communal courtyard with a pool, so I figured I would give it a go there. Seeing it drift so high up and far away really made me feel so sick and nervous. It was only about 200ft up in the sky, but I kept on feeling like I was doing something illegal and the feds would be at my door any second, ha ha! The fact that it told me I was flying in a Category D restricted space really frightened me at first.

I tried to registed with the FAA but it's not working - it's as if the site isnt set up to take new people, which I guess may be because it only brought the registration back in today. I did use the B4UFly app first so that I could notify ATC I was in the air nearby.

Took it out a little bit later and played with it in a more open setting - but again, it's a little nerve-wracking. I'm sure that will pass

2017-12-12
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Todd in Chicago
Second Officer
Flight distance : 513757 ft
United States
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LAPhil...

Bravo, glad you enjoyed your Spark.  Take it slow, be safe and learn a lot.  This is a very addictive hobby!

Also, the B4UFly app does NOT notify fulfill your obligations to the FAA, even if you fill in the information regarding your flight and choose "Submit".  You are still responsible for notifying the airport and tower.  I just want to make sure you are aware that the app does not fulfill your obligation, but simply let's you know who you need to contact or what situation you are in.

Cheers and have fun!

Todd in Chicago
2017-12-12
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jjgmygy
lvl.1
Flight distance : 21716 ft
United States
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Just got my red spark recently too but haven't flown out in public yet. I've only tried the ROCKET shot at our apartment courtyard but only up to a 100ft.
Where can we possibly publicly fly our sparks without getting in trouble?
2017-12-14
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Brambleman
Second Officer
Flight distance : 20627 ft
United States
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jjgmygy Posted at 2017-12-14 16:32
Just got my red spark recently too but haven't flown out in public yet. I've only tried the ROCKET shot at our apartment courtyard but only up to a 100ft.
Where can we possibly publicly fly our sparks without getting in trouble?

That's a really good question...i'm struggling to find a place out in Seattle, WA. Even leaving the major metropolitan core, most towns have no drones in our parks policies. Someone mentions school fields... thoughts?
2017-12-14
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Precision
lvl.4
Canada
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First time flying , 200ft up BRAVO , over people BRAVO , take a course , this is not a toy you can injure someone with a spark also ....
2017-12-14
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Range30
Second Officer
Flight distance : 11281079 ft
United States
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Great story! Thank you for sharing your first experience ever with a drone. Yea, any dji drone is safe to fly (most of the time) just make sure you get that FAA Certificate or apply for the 107 (that way no law enforcement show up at your door). And if the Category D Restricted airspace bothers you, take your drone to an away open field area where you can see what your Spark can do especially with sport's mode on. Just be careful! Have a great week!
2017-12-14
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LAphil
lvl.2
United States
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Range30 Posted at 2017-12-14 19:00
Great story! Thank you for sharing your first experience ever with a drone. Yea, any dji drone is safe to fly (most of the time) just make sure you get that FAA Certificate or apply for the 107 (that way no law enforcement show up at your door). And if the Category D Restricted airspace bothers you, take your drone to an away open field area where you can see what your Spark can do especially with sport's mode on. Just be careful! Have a great week!

Thanks all.
I've taken the Spark out a few more times this week and slowly gotten a little more used to it.
Yesterday, I went through the process of trying to contact all local airports and heliports. For reference, I live n Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles. My local airport is Van Nuys and there are four heliports within a five mile radius.
I called the airport twice in two days. Nobody answers the main number. I called ATC and left two detailed voicemail messages for the Tower Manager in her mailbox. Neither of which were returned up to this point.
But according to AirMap, the airport 'Accepts Digital Notice'. Although there is no link on the app, the much poorer B4UFly allows you to submit details.. although Todd mentions above that don't that doesn't fulfill obligations..
The local hospital heliport had no idea what I was talking about. The fire department heliport were really friendly and thanked me for calling and said I don't have to notify them, just the airport who then pass the info on, but he couldn't vouch for the LAPD who may fly over randomly and don't even apart on this list. So my question is, do ATC effectively control the airspace and are they there ones I notify who then pass the information down to the heliports. My head hurts but I don't understand what else I can do.
2017-12-16
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
Germany
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Congratulations first and I am sure you'll find your way. And it is great to see that you are concerned about the regulations and correct procedures. I wish, everyone would do that!
2017-12-16
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LAphil
lvl.2
United States
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Wachtberger Posted at 2017-12-16 09:32
Congratulations first and I am sure you'll find your way. And it is great to see that you are concerned about the regulations and correct procedures. I wish, everyone would do that!

Thanks!

I am thinking of going down to Huntington Beach tomorrow morning and getting some lovely shots of the pier around sunrise. It looks stunning from others' videos.

Am I ok to do that, does anybody know? I've read various things about it being OK and their website doesn't say there are any restrictions. I know there is a power plant in one direction which I'll be sure to avoid though! anyone who knows this area would be great to hear from.. I live about 90 mins north, so I'll br driving down especially.

Also, just to add - I got through to Van Nuys ATC this morning. They told me I don't need to call them every time I go up. Just to stay safe and below the limit!
2017-12-16
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djiuser_Z5p6zcM
New
United States
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LAphil Posted at 2017-12-16 17:50
Thanks!

I am thinking of going down to Huntington Beach tomorrow morning and getting some lovely shots of the pier around sunrise. It looks stunning from others' videos.

Hi, thanks for your sharing!
I'm also a new drone player who's worrying about the notification to ATC. I don't want to break the law. But it seems that the notification is a little unnecessary and hard to reach the people who need them.
You know, everywhere is within 5 miles of a heliport/airport when u open B4UFly app. I want to know what 'll you do if you see  "warning- action required" on  B4UFly app in the future? Try to call ATC or just fly safe?
2017-12-21
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fanscc377136
lvl.1
United States
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Did you register as 107 or 336?
2017-12-25
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fansf7d6187b
lvl.2
United States
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Range30 Posted at 2017-12-14 19:00
Great story! Thank you for sharing your first experience ever with a drone. Yea, any dji drone is safe to fly (most of the time) just make sure you get that FAA Certificate or apply for the 107 (that way no law enforcement show up at your door). And if the Category D Restricted airspace bothers you, take your drone to an away open field area where you can see what your Spark can do especially with sport's mode on. Just be careful! Have a great week!

how does part 107 stop people showing up at your door? It allows commercial use and that's it
2018-1-19
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fansf7d6187b
lvl.2
United States
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LAphil Posted at 2017-12-16 17:50
Thanks!

I am thinking of going down to Huntington Beach tomorrow morning and getting some lovely shots of the pier around sunrise. It looks stunning from others' videos.

you are not allowed to fly after sunset unless you have anit-collison lights with a 3 mile range and then you can only foy 30 mins after
2018-1-19
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