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What's with this fly zone crap?
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docsboost
lvl.1
United States
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The Mavic Mini is my third attempt at buying and enjoying a drone.  I started with a Holy Stone, then went to a Hubsan Zino Pro, now the Mavic Mini.  I could take the first two out of the box and fly them where I live but not the Mavic.

It tells me I am in a restricted zone.  Really?  Furthermore, when looking at the maps of areas in Phoenix Arizona I find that I have to travel miles before finding a place to fly this damn thing.

Even though the website says the mini does not need a license, I applied for one anyway.  Now I am in a holding pattern to get credentials to try and unlock zones so I can fly my drone.

I find this absolutely ridiculous.  If I cannot fly this where I live, I have no choice but to return it and keep trying to find something that is high quality and flyable anywhere.

I have a YouTube channel called Doc's Boost.  My goal is to get aerial shots of me driving my Shelby near home, through a few choice areas around my home, and some country road shots.  This was possible with the first two drones, but not this one.  

What's wrong here?  Why is this even a thing for such a small form factor?  Why does nobody else find this as a problem?

6-6 06:38
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dronego
lvl.2
Flight distance : 55820 ft
United States
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If you’re in a no fly zone, you’re in a no fly zone. Those are set by the FAA. DJI is simply following rules, the other companies are not. It has nothing to do with registering the drone, unless you are requesting access to restricted airspace.

People not following the rules is how you get more rules.
6-6 17:17
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docsboost
lvl.1
United States
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I live in a no fly zone.  So, in order to have  a BBQ/pool party and hover my yard for video using my Mini, I have to get a license from the government, apply to have access to the no fly zone, and hope they approve my request to take video shots using my drone in my yard.  Okay.  If my Mini is under the legal requirements for registration, then why do all the rules still apply?

Moreover, does that mean I have to look for remote areas to fly?  For example, all the videos DJI supplies are people roaming remote dunes, shore lines, or parks.  I am restricted to those areas?

What about the example videos where people dance on the roof tops?  The maps indicate cities (downtown areas) are mostly no fly zones.  Did those people doing the promotion videos need licenses, apply for the privilege to fly in a no fly zone, and register their Mini, which doesn't require registration because of it's size?

I understand the rules make things safe, but looking at the whole picture makes no sense.  

Finally, I am not happy with the 9 to 5-ish support only Monday thru Friday.  We all have jobs and cannot call support to have conversations during regular work hours.  When businesses limit their support like this, it makes me wonder about their desire to support at all.

I know it sound like I am playing the devil's advocate here, but can someone answer those concerns, meaningfully?
6-7 06:12
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K6CCC
lvl.3
Flight distance : 62264 ft
United States
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As far as the no fly zones, as dronego said, it's the FAA.  DJI is following the rules - as they should.  Not everyone does.  Mostly it's around airports.  In simple terms, it's a 5 mile radius around any controlled airport, however in real life there are differences for a multitude of reasons in both the size and shape of airport traffic areas (properly called Class D airspace).  Without getting overly involved here, when I got my pilots license (real airplanes), we spent several evenings of ground school learning all about various types of airspace.  I live in the Los Angeles metro area and it is the same problem.  I am fortunate in that my house is about a quarter miles outside of the Class D airspace for Bracket airport (also where I flew out of for most of my flying).

I also registered my Mini because among other reasons, if you add the prop guards, you are over the weight limit.  Heck, I may be over it with the addition of a P-Touch lable that said "If found call <my phone number>", and the label with my drone registration number.  I am not an anti-government conspiracy theory guy (I work for a city government), and I have licenses with both the FAA and FCC already.  When I did my first flight with a friend who is a long time drone flier and also a licensed helicopter pilot, it took the two of us two hours to determine that a park near his house was legal both with the city, and the FAA.  It was about a mile south of Los Angeles International Airport, and even the LAX tower did not realize that the area we were looking at is only part of the class D airspace by NOTAM (Notice to Airmen), and that had last expired in 2012.  The DJI Fly app did tell me that it was a no fly zone, but allowed me to override it - took about 30 seconds.  Maybe having it registered made that easier, but I don't know.

In the city I live in, I can't take off or land from any city property, but there is no limit from taking off or landing on private property, but the next city over does not allow drone flights anywhere within the city limits.  We may not like the rules, but they are there and we should live by them.  Failing to do so will only result in more rules or more enforcement of the existing rules.
6-10 13:28
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docsboost
lvl.1
United States
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Thanks for you input.  It all makes sense.  However,  I returned my mini and moved on.  I did register though.  I do have an FAA license for the drone.  I just need to update it for other drones now.
6-10 15:04
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