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Fort Funston - only place in San Francisco legal to fly
2315 22 2018-4-20
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Danger Lampost
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After a number of back and forth phone calls and emails with the folks at the National Park Service who regulate the space around Fort Funston in San Francisco, California, I determined that this is the only place in San Francisco where it's legal to fly your drone. It's not clear that it's legal to fly here, since National Park regulations prohibit drones - it's more like there's an exemption for this area that you have to know about. So if you're in San Francisco, now you know, and you should definitely stop by and fly. And boy is it an amazingly beautiful place to fly! Here is the Google Maps link to the launch location - just make sure you show up before the gliders launch or you won't be able to fly.
The main challenge is that you have to share the air space with hang gliders and hawks who are wont to dive bomb your drone, and there's a pretty constant 5-10mph wind blowing, with stronger gusts up to 15-20. At least the wind blows on shore, so there's no risk of getting carried out to sea.

I will be returning to capture a better video, but in the mean time here is my first quick attempt. Hope you enjoy!







2018-4-20
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Woe
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Nice video.
2018-4-20
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Suren
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Nice video
2018-4-20
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4WDaus
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Well done!
2018-4-20
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DJI Diana
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Nice video, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing more works from you.
2018-4-20
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A CW
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Cool video!   
2018-4-20
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GoldenSun
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Poland
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LOL sounds nerve-wracking ;)
2018-4-21
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Danger Lampost
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GoldenSun Posted at 2018-4-21 07:12
LOL sounds nerve-wracking ;)

Yeah, it was a bit nerve-wracking. Actually the reason why the video ends at 30 seconds: you can see a seagull was headed towards me and then veered away, at which point I took evasive action which isn't in the video. Seeing the seagull on the video it's hard to tell how far away it was, but looking at things from my VLOS position a few hundred feet away it looked pretty close.

At least the wind is blowing inland, so there's not much risk of getting carried out to sea by the wind. And you just have to show up to fly before the hang gliders launch, which I did.
2018-4-21
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fans86bea0ca
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great post thanks....I had heard Fort Funston was "allowed" but it's good to see the link you gave that explicitly states it! (guess I didn't look hard enough ).  New drone flier, just got an Air, so will go and give it a go...did you launch from the top or down on the beach?
2018-4-24
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Danger Lampost
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fans86bea0ca Posted at 2018-4-24 17:29
great post thanks....I had heard Fort Funston was "allowed" but it's good to see the link you gave that explicitly states it! (guess I didn't look hard enough ).  New drone flier, just got an Air, so will go and give it a go...did you launch from the top or down on the beach?

Thanks. Oh definitely launch from the top, right where the gliders launch from. I even sent a link to my video to the Golden Gate National Park Service folks who replied, "Thanks for sharing!"

Link to launch location (make sure you get the whole link if it's broken):

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fort+Funston/@37.7145528,-122.5031054,402m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x808f7d04948d3c6b:0x2c5b494bcda94ecc!8m2!3d37.7195436!4d-122.5028052
2018-4-25
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Dacdiver
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nice video
2018-4-25
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B1houdini
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Great video.
I thought the mist from the ocean made for a dramatic video.

2018-4-25
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M2Wair
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Nice video, looked like the seagull got a bit of a shock lol
2018-4-25
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Danger Lampost
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B1houdini Posted at 2018-4-25 12:34
Great video.
I thought the mist from the ocean made for a dramatic video.

Thanks. Some time I would love to capture the fog coming in or out from that location.
2018-4-25
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Danger Lampost
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M2Wair Posted at 2018-4-25 12:40
Nice video, looked like the seagull got a bit of a shock lol

Oh I freak out every time a bird seems to fly towards my drone. I have the biggest problems with seagulls and hawks, and both are flying there. My guess is that the seagulls will veer away and they're just playing a game of "chicken", but I think the hawks mean business!
2018-4-25
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Montfrooij
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Nice video!
2018-4-26
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Danger Lampost
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Thanks! Such a beautiful place to fly.
2018-4-26
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Montfrooij
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Danger Lampost Posted at 2018-4-26 13:01
Thanks! Such a beautiful place to fly.

Yes, thanks for sharing that!
2018-4-26
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rent
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I'm in SoCal so not too familiar with the municipal code in SF. Obviously the NPS has banned drone flights around Golden Gate. Are there city-imposed regulations that ban drone flights in the entire city of SF?
2018-4-26
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Danger Lampost
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rent Posted at 2018-4-26 14:18
I'm in SoCal so not too familiar with the municipal code in SF. Obviously the NPS has banned drone flights around Golden Gate. Are there city-imposed regulations that ban drone flights in the entire city of SF?

I think it's an evolving thing, and what's published online may not necessarily match reality (as I found out by calling the NPS). These links may help answer your question:

https://www.sfchronicle.com/busi ... -zones-11243988.php

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/ ... -Fly-427297153.html
2018-4-27
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davidmartingraf
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Well photographed thanks for sharing.
2018-4-27
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fans11933dd7
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It’s been like a year or so since the last time I flew there. Here’s a picture, tweaked it a bit.
I think you can fly at Treasure Island too,. never tried though. It should look nice to take some cinematic footage of the city (fr afar, kinda) BUT,. it’s always windy there too!
13C87C2F-BB1D-4D1D-A334-C354334C69A0.jpeg
B5DED467-E7C2-40B4-B3FA-3CD6A0AF36EF.jpeg
2019-3-20
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TomThomson
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Nice stuff - I am looking forward to see your next >better< video
2019-3-20
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