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Update: Flying the Spark in Austria
3963 12 2018-1-30
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peselito
lvl.3
United States
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Hey there!

Since I am from Austria (but currently living in the US until October 2018) I tried to get some information concerning the rumours of flying the Spark without license (basically as a toy drone) in Austria. I was very intrigued by what I read in different forums and contacted the responsible association in Austria, AustroControl via Email.
I explained the "problem" and mentioned all the factors that the DJI Spark has a very low takeoff weight of 300g and does not exceed the limit of 79 joule of kinetic energy. The response was the following (in German):

"da  die DJI Spark laut Angaben des Herstellers über eine sehr geringe  Betriebsmasse von nur ca. 300 g verfügt, ist das Gerät in vielen  Anwendungsfällen als „unbemanntes Gerät bis zu 79 Joule maximaler  Bewegungsenergie“ (§ 24d Luftfahrtgesetz) zu klassifizieren, somit ist auch bei der Erstellung von Luftbildaufnahmen keine  Bewilligung der Austro Control erforderlich. Jedoch ist darauf zu  achten, dass Flughöhe und Geschwindigkeit so gewählt werden, dass die  79-Joule-Grenze nicht überschritten wird, und durch den Betrieb keine Personen oder Sachen gefährdet werden.
  

  Wird das Gerät auch in Höhen über 30 m über Grund verwendet  (bzw. die  79 Joule überschritten) und erfolgt der Betrieb gegen Entgelt/gewerblich  bzw. nicht zum Zwecke des Fluges selbst (zB zur Erstellung von Foto-  oder Filmaufnahmen), ist eine Betriebsbewilligung der Austro Control erforderlich.

  

  
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
"

In short, this basically means that the DJI Spark does not need a license when:
  • flown at or under an altitude of 30m (100ft)
  • flown at a speed that the79-joule-limit will not be exceeded
  • flown only for personal use (no commerical filming)

I think this is a vry positive response from the association of AustroControl and makes me personally really happy as I am saving myself 300€ for a license which would only be active for 1 year. Of course the pilots still have to follow the basic safety guidlines like avoiding crowds of people, avoiding airports, etc.


Let me know your thoughts!

regards,
peselito





2018-1-30
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dj_dread
Captain
Flight distance : 648399 ft
United States
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thanks for the update!
2018-1-30
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Hummingbird.UAV
Captain
Flight distance : 7820476 ft
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Canada
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Thanks for the info, I'm passing through Austria this summer.  Would you PM me to arrange a copy of your email.
2018-1-30
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S-e-ven
Captain
Flight distance : 5835331 ft
Thailand
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>>In short, this basically means that the DJI Spark does not need a license when:     flown at or under an altitude of 30m (100ft)<<

Make it at or under 26m.
On 30m your spark is at 90 Joule already, 26m however is 78 Joule

And in case you wanna fly sport, stay under 17m for the 79 Joule
2018-1-30
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peselito
lvl.3
United States
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Hummingbird.UAV Posted at 2018-1-30 06:51
Thanks for the info, I'm passing through Austria this summer.  Would you PM me to arrange a copy of your email.

Hey there.

Do you mean the email I composed or the response from AustroControl?
2018-1-30
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peselito
lvl.3
United States
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-1-30 07:02
>>In short, this basically means that the DJI Spark does not need a license when:     flown at or under an altitude of 30m (100ft)

Okay. Thank you for further clarification.

To be honest, I don't think that they will be able to control the flights if I am planning to exceed the height limit for some specific shots...
2018-1-30
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S-e-ven
Captain
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Thailand
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peselito Posted at 2018-1-30 07:34
Okay. Thank you for further clarification.

To be honest, I don't think that they will be able to control the flights if I am planning to exceed the height limit for some specific shots...

If they catch/ask you on the spot and or you taken some pictures, they have your app and the infos from the pictures about the height and speed ;-)
And because YOU telling them, it is under 79 Joule, you will have to prove/show that.
Worst case, I know, but be prepared!
2018-1-30
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Hummingbird.UAV
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peselito Posted at 2018-1-30 07:32
Hey there.

Do you mean the email I composed or the response from AustroControl?

I'm interested in the response so I can print it and take it along.  Its a good way to educate the beat cop should there be an issue.
2018-1-30
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peselito
lvl.3
United States
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Hummingbird.UAV Posted at 2018-1-30 08:14
I'm interested in the response so I can print it and take it along.  Its a good way to educate the beat cop should there be an issue.

I copied the full response in my first post of the thread. It's the text in italics. I just removed my name and the name of the person responding.
2018-1-30
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Hummingbird.UAV
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peselito Posted at 2018-1-30 08:16
I copied the full response in my first post of the thread. It's the text in italics. I just removed my name and the name of the person responding.

Thanks, I'll copy and past it into Word.
2018-1-30
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Flighty
Captain
Flight distance : 1977175 ft
Croatia
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Thanks for this info. I regularly go to Austria to visit my family, and always take my Spark with me. This info now helps me stay legal.
2018-1-30
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DJI Elektra
Administrator
China
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Thanks for your sharing. More info, please check in the following link: https://www.bmvit.gv.at/verkehr/luftfahrt/drohnen/.
2018-1-30
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fans825f7c1e
lvl.1
Flight distance : 11030 ft
Taiwan
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Thanks for the details. But I am still confused about one thing — what if I am on a top of a mountain in Austria, can I still fly up 30m there? Or the height of the mountain is included in the maximum height of toy drones?
2018-3-5
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