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UK Dronecode interpretation
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Simon Child
Second Officer
Flight distance : 153852 ft
United Kingdom
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Page 4 of the UK Dronecode says to keep 50m away from people and properties, and 150m from crowds and built-up areas.

The wording, and the diagram there, suggest that over-flying people and properties is OK, so long as

1. the height above them, or the linear distance from them, is over 50m
2. it is not a built-up area or crowded

So the $64,000 question, what is a "built-up area" or a "crowd"?

- a single house or structure??
- a cluster of n houses, where n=3 (a smalll village), n=10 (a larger village), n=50, n=150, or what - where is the line drawn?
- a quiet country road, a busy country road, a quiet A road, a busy A road, a motorway?! - where is the line drawn?
- how many people / what density of people make a 'crowd'? a group of 5? a group of 10? 50 people in a cluster, or 50 people spread over a couple of acres of a park?

I'm not asking because I want to push my luck - I have no intention of overflying busy motorways etc! I'm asking because I don't want to restrict myself unnecessarily.

Am I OK overflying a quiet road, or a few buildings? When does an area become 'busy' enough to be considered a 'built-up' area or enough peple present to constitute a 'crowd'. I can't find any guidance on interpretation of these phrases.

Thanks





2017-6-22
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embayweather
Captain
Flight distance : 556667 ft
United Kingdom
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The CAA definition is

Congested Area: This is defined in relation to a city, town or settlement: any area which is substantially used for residential, commercial, industrial or recreational purposes.

Under no circumstances should you fly over people unless they are under your control.

I hope that helps
2017-6-23
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Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
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The answer seems to depend on which regulations you are reading, I think you need to use common sense based on the risk of you crashing or your aircraft malfunctioning.  Phantoms are fairly reliable unless it is a new one on a test flight, the risk of crashing depends on what you are doing, if you use sports mode, or have the obstacle avoidance turned off.

The most common suggestion of a crowd in the regulations is 1000 people, personally I would go for around 10 to keep the risk low.

Yes, our Drone Code lets you fly over people as long as the "radius" stays at over 50m.  Probably not sensible if you are doing aerobatics but for normal flying I don't think flying directly over someone puts them in more danger than flying 50m away since if the aircraft malfunctions it is unlikely to come down completely vertically.  It is not sensible to hover nearly directly above someone but just flying over I think is not an issue.

For crossing roads, try to do it when there is no traffic coming, but again with more than 50m "radius" and not hovering over the road the biggest safety issue is probably the car driver taking their eyes off the road to watch the drone!

The images in the Drone Code show that a single house is not a congested area since the diagram shows a drone flying over it.

Legally, if you stick to the Drone Code and do a risk analysis before your flight using common sense and satisfy yourself that the flight will be reasonably safe and respects peoples privacy then you should be OK.
2017-6-23
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 4768845 ft
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Ireland
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Crowd in my country is 12 or more.
2017-6-23
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Simon Child
Second Officer
Flight distance : 153852 ft
United Kingdom
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Thanks for the comments
2017-6-24
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