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Beachball42
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I'm new to this whole thing and I've done one flight at the elementary school down the street from me.  I'm still using beginner mode so not going very high or far.  I was looking at places to possibly go fly and downloaded an app called B4uFly.  Much to my surprise, all around me I seem to be in a 5 mile radius of airports.  No major ones but local ones where small planes fly.  I had also thought about parks but it appears that in Indiana, state parks are off limits to flying.  I haven't yet seen anythng on county parks but will be checking.

So, my main question is where do you all fly?  Seems like everywhere I look is restricted in some way.  My other question, if I am within 5 miles of an airport it appears that you can fly but must notifiy the airport.  The app I have looks like I can just send a notice via that app.  Do I only have to notify them or do I need to wait for them to respond to say that I am clear to fly in that space?

Didn't realize how involved this whole hobby was going to be.
2017-9-24
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Genghis9
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Oh boy, almost one of those where do you begin...
First What App are you using?
If it is GO 4 or GO then no that App will not and does not notify anyone other than DJI.  It is, at best, a DJI cover their backside feature that ensure A) you don't fly in certain areas and B) if you do they told you so.
As FAA rules state you cannot fly in controlled airspace, and in and around airfields within 5NMs, unless you get clearance.  Obviously, you wont be getting clearance from Chicago O'Hare but the local private or county airport, yes more than likely depending on how busy they are.  You have to call each airport's control tower (controlled field) or FBO/owner for uncontrolled/private fields, for each you have to coordinate where you will be and at what altitude you will be at.  As long as you remain at or below 400 feet you should really never have a problem unless you are very close to the field.
Back to the App., if it is GO or GO 4 their process is to ID certain areas (they are known to be inaccurate & outdated) and either restrict you from flying there or require you to unlock some areas.  You can learn more here: http://www.dji.com/flysafe?site=brandsite&from=insite_search
As you already found out, each area and state is going to have their own restrictions, you will have to check each individually.  There are many threads here about people's experience with this issue.  One thing, watch out for those that will tell you, you can't, when in actuality you can.  Knowing the law is best.  Also, be aware all National Parks are off-limits now too, however, you can takeoff and land from permitted land and overfly.  If you go down or land within the park they can confiscate your equipment and bird.
Your safest bet is to find a friendly farmer or friend that has some land/field and use that as your learning area, while you discover the places you can go to and how to operate there.
Not sure I answered all of your questions, so let me know.  Also, I'm sure others will have additional advice and comment.  Maybe you'll find some folks in your neck of the woods that can give you better info on where to fly too.
Take Care and Fly Safe!  
2017-9-24
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Irate Retro
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-9-24 08:39
in and around airfields within 5NMs

It is 5 SM, not NM.  Yes, this is inconsistent with everything else FAA-related.  I guess the FAA figures photographers are too stupid to be able to deal with nautical miles.  They may be right.

You do not need to get "clearance" from the FBO or airport manager.  You are simply required to notify them.  This can be a letter or even a voicemail.  There is no need to wait for a response, but leaving a voicemail 5 minutes before you fly isn't really in the spirit of things.  All of this only applies to uncontrolled fields, of course.  

OP-  If you live near this airport and are only planning on flying near that one airport, and IF it's class G, it would probably be worth your time to come up with a letter of agreement with the airport manager.  This is just a one-time deal and then you can fly whenever you want.  Get yourself a scanner and tune in to the CTAF frequency so you can hear when aircraft are approaching.  Aviation band is still AM radio, so any cheap secondhand scanner will do.  You probably could find one for $15-20 on ebay.  Or if you've got money to blow, get yourself a handheld aviation band radio that transmits, and then you can have fun switching on the runway lights at night.
2017-9-24
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alex_tseli
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I've been on a road trip in the US for 4 weeks and haven't found a descent place to fly, where I was allowed to fly. All national parks, majority of state parks, city parks, beaches, smaller lighthouses, national forests, lakes etc. Many places had explicit "No Drones" signs, so to take off we had to make detours and paying attention to maps and regulations rather than choosing a good spot. I was frustrated and will not even try to bring a drone again to the US until the NP regulations will change and it will be easy to obtain the permit or pay for flying. So my only advice for now - fly anywhere else other than US - with little exceptions you can fly everywhere in most of the countries around the world
2017-9-24
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RMJovo
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alex_tseli Posted at 2017-9-24 09:01
I've been on a road trip in the US for 4 weeks and haven't found a descent place to fly, where I was allowed to fly. All national parks, majority of state parks, city parks, beaches, smaller lighthouses, national forests, lakes etc. Many places had explicit "No Drones" signs, so to take off we had to make detours and paying attention to maps and regulations rather than choosing a good spot. I was frustrated and will not even try to bring a drone again to the US until the NP regulations will change and it will be easy to obtain the permit or pay for flying. So my only advice for now - fly anywhere else other than US - with little exceptions you can fly everywhere in most of the countries around the world

Sadly true in the US a lot of places one would like to make a video or take pictures is off limits. When I look at videos posted from around the world, one here in the states realizes how restricted we are.  And with some of the irresponsibile people flying things are likely to become worse.
2017-9-24
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Capt Whitefoot
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Question:  Where to fly?

Answer:  EVERYWHERE!

(Except in no-fly zones, of course)
2017-9-24
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Genghis9
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 08:55
It is 5 SM, not NM.  Yes, this is inconsistent with everything else FAA-related.  I guess the FAA figures photographers are too stupid to be able to deal with nautical miles.  They may be right.

You do not need to get "clearance" from the FBO or airport manager.  You are simply required to notify them.  This can be a letter or even a voicemail.  There is no need to wait for a response, but leaving a voicemail 5 minutes before you fly isn't really in the spirit of things.  All of this only applies to uncontrolled fields, of course.  

Agreed, if it is an uncontrolled airfield, however, I would further suggest going in person and doing a face to face first so they can gage your sincerity and that the memorandum of agreement/understanding is a good idea.

Now not to seem argumentative but according to FAA Order JO 7400.11B dated 15 Sep 17 page A-2 para 1002.  "Bearings, Radials, and Mileages.  All bearings and radials in this Order are true and are applied from point of origin and all mileages in this Order are stated as nautical miles (nm)."

...and according to FAA Part 71.7 "§71.7   Bearings, radials, and mileages.  All bearings and radials in this part are true and are applied from point of origin and all mileages in this part are stated as nautical miles"

Now granted my civilian flying is extremely limited but we've always used NMs for everything airspace related, so I may be reading this wrong and would love to learn what I'm missing or what is different that I don't get, thank you?
2017-9-24
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Mark The Droner
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I am lucky in that I can fly right out my back door over the farms nearby.  Otherwise,

Google maps is a good place to look for wide open spaces to fly.  Flying over farms, fields, and woods is ideal.  But you'll also need a good place to park.  Church parking lots are good to launch from during the week - especially early in the day.  Also, small business buildings that are vacant and for sale is potentially a good place early in the day.

But it's hard to find the perfect spot.  What is the perfect spot?  In my mind it's

>An open area

>Some place where nobody will walk up and talk to me or better yet, even notice me

>A place where I can park my vehicle and not have it stand out or seem out of the ordinary - which might draw unwanted attention

>No utility lines overhead - and ideally no cell towers or radio towers within sight either

>Launch point is flat

>Launch point is in the open enough to see the satellites

>Control point is slightly elevated

>Control point is in the shade

Once you think you have found a good spot, check your favorite airmap site to be sure it's FAA-happy and also check the DJI flysafe site to be sure it's DJI-happy.  


If you have to fly somewhere near a lot of people, try the contrarian approach and consider wearing a bright orange or lime green vest.  You might also consider getting a bright yellow flasher for the top of your vehicle - they're not expensive.  People, even LEOs, may think you're working in some official capacity and leave you alone.  



2017-9-24
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-9-24 10:06
Agreed, if it is an uncontrolled airfield, however, I would further suggest going in person and doing a face to face first so they can gage your sincerity and that the memorandum of agreement/understanding is a good idea.

Now not to seem argumentative but according to FAA Order JO 7400.11B dated 15 Sep 17 page A-2 para 1002.  "Bearings, Radials, and Mileages.  All bearings and radials in this Order are true and are applied from point of origin and all mileages in this Order are stated as nautical miles (nm)."

I haven't yet read the order in question to get a better feel for context, but here is what AOPA has to say about it:

Is the five-mile distance statute or nautical?
The FAA has made it clear in various guidance and policies that the distance is measured in statute miles when it is referring to when a drone operator must contact the airport and the air traffic control tower (if the airport has one).
Link to AOPA FAQ

Unfortunately they do not go on to list a source for the "various guidance and policies".  It is entirely possible that FAA's varoius guidance and policies is in direct conflict to one of their own orders.  That sounds like something the FAA would do.

Also note that your part 71 quote does say "in this part"... which I would take to mean it only applies to part 71.
2017-9-24
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Genghis9
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 10:33
I haven't yet read the order in question to get a better feel for context, but here is what AOPA has to say about it:

Is the five-mile distance statute or nautical?

Love the wording...
Nothing, I mean nothing, the FAA puts out is made clear, not unless you are a lawyer.
Well I don't know what to make of that.  AOPA is not known for putting out BS.  First they caveat it to drone flyers, hidden meaning maybe drone operators can't measure NMs, who knows.  However, it is less restrictive by 720 feet when measured that way, a small plus.
Well I'd love to see this guidance source material, if for no other reason to see what the FAA puts out that is made clear.
Thanks
2017-9-24
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alex_tseli
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-9-24 10:24
I am lucky in that I can fly right out my back door over the farms nearby.  Otherwise,

Google maps is a good place to look for wide open spaces to fly.  Flying over farms, fields, and woods is ideal.  But you'll also need a good place to park.  Church parking lots are good to launch from during the week - especially early in the day.  Also, small business buildings that are vacant and for sale is potentially a good place early in the day.

Have a look at what people in other parts of the world are flying over and filming. Farms, fields and woods? If that is what is left in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, something is wrong.
2017-9-24
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Irate Retro
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-9-24 10:24
You might also consider getting a bright yellow flasher for the top of your vehicle

You can also put an official-looking decal on the side of your car.  One that says "NUTCASE".

I agree with taking off from someplace where nobody is going to come by and bother you.  I think too often people drive right up to the point of interest, park in the parking lot with all of the other tourists, and basically set up camp there.  A couple guys were even talking about setting up canopy chairs!  You're just asking for it if you stand around in full view holding an RC while this thing is buzzing around in the air.  

Park a long ways away and take off where you won't be seen nor heard.  The folks at the point of interest might notice your drone, but they'll not know who to come bother.  And sometimes you just have to say screw LOS.
2017-9-24
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Mark The Droner
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 11:37
You can also put an official-looking decal on the side of your car.  One that says "NUTCASE".
...



Not necessary.  It's already implied.
2017-9-24
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Beachball42
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 08:55
It is 5 SM, not NM.  Yes, this is inconsistent with everything else FAA-related.  I guess the FAA figures photographers are too stupid to be able to deal with nautical miles.  They may be right.

You do not need to get "clearance" from the FBO or airport manager.  You are simply required to notify them.  This can be a letter or even a voicemail.  There is no need to wait for a response, but leaving a voicemail 5 minutes before you fly isn't really in the spirit of things.  All of this only applies to uncontrolled fields, of course.  

I'm just north of Indianapolis, so the airfields I am near are local ones.  I'm really right on the edge of the 5 mile radius.  The B4UFly app shows me right on the outer ring of the 5 mile mark.  

When I open the app it alerts me to my location and it asks me how high, how far and for how long will I be flying.  It then gives me the ability to submit.  I didn't end up flying today.  

I've seen someone else fly at the elementary school I flew last weekend so didn't think much about it and as I mentioned, I'm still in beginner mode so I'm not going very far or high at the moment until I get more comfortable with all the controls.  

There is a lot of open space near me, what surprised me as I was looking at the maps is just how many small airports are all around.  I knew of two of them but there appears to be a lot more.  I'll need to research a bit more about the type of airports and airspace.  
2017-9-24
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Beachball42
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-9-24 08:39
Oh boy, almost one of those where do you begin...
First What App are you using?
If it is GO 4 or GO then no that App will not and does not notify anyone other than DJI.  It is, at best, a DJI cover their backside feature that ensure A) you don't fly in certain areas and B) if you do they told you so.

Thanks for all the info.  I'm using the Go app and I also have the B4UFly app to check the airspace.  I'm just North of Indianapolis so not too far from a lot of farm fields and open spaces but they all seen to be within 5 NM of a small airport.  Didn't realize there were that many fields in rural Indiana.  
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Irate Retro
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If you're right on the boundary of the 5 SM ring, to the point that you're sitting there counting pixels on your screen, then my opinion as a fixed wing pilot is not to worry about it.  Pattern altitude is usually 1000' AGL, but can be 800' or sometimes higher.  A standard 3 degree glide path (say for a straight-in approach) would put an aircraft at 900' AGL 3 NM (3.45 statute miles) away.  Point is, nobody with wings is going to be anywhere near 400' AGL 3 miles away, and certainly not at 4.5-5.0 miles away.
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Beachball42
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 14:16
If you're right on the boundary of the 5 SM ring, to the point that you're sitting there counting pixels on your screen, then my opinion as a fixed wing pilot is not to worry about it.  Pattern altitude is usually 1000' AGL, but can be 800' or sometimes higher.  A standard 3 degree glide path (say for a straight-in approach) would put an aircraft at 900' AGL 3 NM (3.45 statute miles) away.  Point is, nobody with wings is going to be anywhere near 400' AGL 3 miles away, and certainly not at 4.5-5.0 miles away.

Thanks, best I can tell is I'm about 4.5 miles away.  The only thing I see flying low around me is some Hot Air Balloons that take off from the church about 1/2 a mile away.  There is a county park that probably puts me more like 4 miles away from the airport.  

I wanted to try and get some flights there as its right along the White River and there are a few golf courses that would make for some nice shots.  Just trying to do my best to not be a hinderance to others.
2017-9-24
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Genghis9
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Beachball42 Posted at 2017-9-24 14:04
Thanks for all the info.  I'm using the Go app and I also have the B4UFly app to check the airspace.  I'm just North of Indianapolis so not too far from a lot of farm fields and open spaces but they all seen to be within 5 NM of a small airport.  Didn't realize there were that many fields in rural Indiana.

I completely understand nor am I surprised about all the airfields.  The fundamental problem with the GO app and apparently B4UFly is that every swinging runway ever built and designated in this country is on those maps regardless if they are even used or that you can even find their present existence.  
I get the fact even abandon airfields can make for emergency landing sites, but some of these were old crop duster fields that were never paved and have not been used in years if not decades.  Which makes flying our UAVs in the present world nearly impossible especially after DJI instituted their fencing operation using this data set.  The good news is many of those fields do not cause a no fly condition, and you can basically ignore them.  However, you will still be harassed with warnings about their presence.  Wish I had better news on that subject, but that is the basic lay of the land.
2017-9-24
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Mark The Droner
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 14:16
If you're right on the boundary of the 5 SM ring, to the point that you're sitting there counting pixels on your screen, then my opinion as a fixed wing pilot is not to worry about it.  Pattern altitude is usually 1000' AGL, but can be 800' or sometimes higher.  A standard 3 degree glide path (say for a straight-in approach) would put an aircraft at 900' AGL 3 NM (3.45 statute miles) away.  Point is, nobody with wings is going to be anywhere near 400' AGL 3 miles away, and certainly not at 4.5-5.0 miles away.

I understand this.  But who's to say the manned AC pilot isn't flying 600' AGL as he enters the 5 mile radius?  Or even 500', depending on the location?  
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-9-24 17:23
I understand this.  But who's to say the manned AC pilot isn't flying 600' AGL as he enters the 5 mile radius?  Or even 500', depending on the location?

A manned aircraft certainly could be flying at 500' AGL somewhere.  Anywhere really, except over a built-up area.  But that wouldn't have anything to do with the airport, because you have that possibility anywhere.  Not just within 5 SM of the airport.  So there's no reason to be more strict at 5 SM, and no reason to even tie it to an airport.  Catch my meaning?

True, I should not have said that nothing with wings would be near 400' AGL because that's a possibility anywhere.  That pilot isn't heading for the airport though because he's supposed to overfly _above_ the pattern altitude first.  I'd expect him to be at around 2,000 AGL, or at the very least pattern altitude if he's a lazy cowboy type.
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Genghis9
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 17:35
A manned aircraft certainly could be flying at 500' AGL somewhere.  Anywhere really, except over a built-up area.  But that wouldn't have anything to do with the airport, because you have that possibility anywhere.  Not just within 5 SM of the airport.  So there's no reason to be more strict at 5 SM, and no reason to even tie it to an airport.  Catch my meaning?

True, I should not have said that nothing with wings would be near 400' AGL because that's a possibility anywhere.  That pilot isn't heading for the airport though because he's supposed to overfly _above_ the pattern altitude first.  I'd expect him to be at around 2,000 AGL, or at the very least pattern altitude if he's a lazy cowboy type.

Maybe for an uncontrolled airfield, but there could be aircraft coming in for a visual straight-in if its under TCA or Tower control.  I've seen plenty of crop dusters come in low for straight-ins too, to their uncontrolled airfield, and I doubt they are under TCA control.

I should clarify, being under TCA control does not mean being under postive control, but being in contact/coordination with them and being granted clearance to proceed with a straight-in approach.
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-9-24 19:27
there could be aircraft coming in for a visual straight-in if its under TCA or Tower control

In which case he's not allowed to fly in their airspace anyway without getting permission and waiting for the response.  Approach is not going to vector you around at 500' AGL.  If they clear you for the visual it will be higher than that, and you are not allowed to descend below the glide path.  If there's PAPI or VASI lights (which is almost always), then the pilot can't dip below and claim he didn't know he was below.  That's why I did the math above assuming 3 degrees.

As for crop dusters coming into the field for a straight-in at a constant altitude below pattern altitude; I can't say I've seen that.  But I'd believe anything, especially when they think nobody is looking.  I'd report it if I saw it.  VFR straight-ins are bad enough at uncontrolled fields, but dragging it in below pattern alt is ridiculous.  If you're turning base you've got almost no chance of seeing that guy against the ground.  I hope the guy is at least talking.
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Genghis9
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 19:42
In which case he's not allowed to fly in their airspace anyway without getting permission and waiting for the response.  Approach is not going to vector you around at 500' AGL.  If they clear you for the visual it will be higher than that, and you are not allowed to descend below the glide path.  If there's PAPI or VASI lights (which is almost always), then the pilot can't dip below and claim he didn't know he was below.  That's why I did the math above assuming 3 degrees.

As for crop dusters coming into the field for a straight-in at a constant altitude below pattern altitude; I can't say I've seen that.  But I'd believe anything, especially when they think nobody is looking.  I'd report it if I saw it.  VFR straight-ins are bad enough at uncontrolled fields, but dragging it in below pattern alt is ridiculous.  If you're turning base you've got almost no chance of seeing that guy against the ground.  I hope the guy is at least talking.
Agreed TCA/ATC/Tower is not going to clear or vector a straight-in below MSA/MDA.

However, with respect to the glide path restrictions, unless I'm missing something that appears to only apply to Large or Turbine-powered Aircraft flying to an airport in Class D airspace.  
CFR 14 Part §91.129   Operations in Class D airspace.
(e) Minimum altitudes when operating to an airport in Class D airspace. (1) Unless required by the applicable distance-from-cloud criteria, each pilot operating a large or turbine-powered airplane must enter the traffic pattern at an altitude of at least 1,500 feet above the elevation of the airport and maintain at least 1,500 feet until further descent is required for a safe landing.
(2) Each pilot operating a large or turbine-powered airplane approaching to land on a runway served by an instrument approach procedure with vertical guidance, if the airplane is so equipped, must:
(i) Operate that airplane at an altitude at or above the glide path between the published final approach fix and the decision altitude (DA), or decision height (DH), as applicable; or
(ii) If compliance with the applicable distance-from-cloud criteria requires glide path interception closer in, operate that airplane at or above the glide path, between the point of interception of glide path and the DA or the DH.
(3) Each pilot operating an airplane approaching to land on a runway served by a visual approach slope indicator must maintain an altitude at or above the glide path until a lower altitude is necessary for a safe landing.
(4) Paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this section do not prohibit normal bracketing maneuvers above or below the glide path that are conducted for the purpose of remaining on the glide path.

EDIT: sorry, I forgot one exception in sub para (e)(3) if VASIs are installed, which you wont normallly find at small uncontrolled airfields.

Per §91.126   Operating on or in the vicinity of an airport in Class G airspace. and §91.127   Operating on or in the vicinity of an airport in Class E airspace. neither states any like requirement as noted for airfield ops in Class D.  I'm sure Class B & C will be equal or more restrictive than Class D.
Technically a crop duster flying in to a Class G or E airfield could conduct a straight-in starting at 500' AGL.  The only directive is that all turns be to the left, unless otherwise marked on the field.  Factoring in a Class G or E field approach at other than a straight-in would likely need to be at least 1000' AGL assuming it is in a low populated area, such as rural or farm and there is no Tower in operation and not taking in to account VFR flight altitude requirements.

CFR 14 Part §1.1   General definitions. defines: "Large aircraft means aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds, maximum certificated takeoff weight."

I stand to be corrected?
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Irate Retro
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Hrmm it seems you're right; I cannot find anything that explicitly forbids a straight-in approach starting at 500'.  As long as no turns are made.  Reportedly the FAA has held that making say a right turn for a 5 mile final is contrary to the FARs (I don't have a reliable cite for that), but other than that they are pretty silent.  The AIM says a lot more, but still doesn't come right out and say anything.  Seems this topic has sparked great debate elsewhere, now that I look.

I seem to remember a question on my private pilot written test where the correct answer was that you must comply with any traffic pattern established for the airport.  This was back in 1991 though, so the memory is a bit foggy.  Maybe they used the word "should".

I did not know that the glide path restriction only applied to >12,500lb MTOW and class D or better; thanks!
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Genghis9
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 21:26
Hrmm it seems you're right; I cannot find anything that explicitly forbids a straight-in approach starting at 500'.  As long as no turns are made.  Reportedly the FAA has held that making say a right turn for a 5 mile final is contrary to the FARs (I don't have a reliable cite for that), but other than that they are pretty silent.  The AIM says a lot more, but still doesn't come right out and say anything.  Seems this topic has sparked great debate elsewhere, now that I look.

I seem to remember a question on my private pilot written test where the correct answer was that you must comply with any traffic pattern established for the airport.  This was back in 1991 though, so the memory is a bit foggy.  Maybe they used the word "should".

As I noted earlier nothing the FAA puts out is simple to read or understand.  That's what I loved so much about military flight ops, they rewrote the damn FARs/CFRs so normal people could read and understand them.
BTW current regs do state or imply that you should follow established airfield traffic flow.  However, unless it is documented there is no way to know, not unless you are the owner/operator, but still...
My impression is that you wont find much of anything at small uncontrolled airfields about traffic patterns, I'm sure some have them but I suspect they are by far the exception.
Re glide path, true, unless there are VASIs then it applies to all aircraft.

EDIT: Personal experience, under tower control I've made many a turn to final at 5 miles or more.  Now, if under tower control and you are going outside their airspace they must coordinate with RAPCON or advise you that you are see and avoid i.e. VFR.  Therefore, they really work to ensure you remain inside their bubble.  I suspect this is where the magic stay within 5 comes from for airfield flight ops, and I would agree that is within the spirit and intent of FAA rules.
2017-9-24
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-9-24 21:39
My impression is that you wont find much of anything at small uncontrolled airfields about traffic patterns, I'm sure some have them but I suspect they are by far the exception.

This part fortunately is not true.  Every Podunk airport has a traffic pattern (1000' AGL left turns if not otherwise noted) and the information is easily found.  Segmented circle on the field if it's there.  They are _all_ documented in the Airport/Facility Directory, which has just been renamed the "Chart Supplement". Right there on the sectional you can see "RP" if there is right traffic at any of the runways -- though this may have changed in the last couple years; they were talking about removing it because of accidents it caused.

Wait, so if there's a VASI or PAPI the glide path restriction still stands for light aircraft as well?  I must have misread something up there.  That's kinda what I was saying in the first place.  It wouldn't make sense to have the restriction without a VASI, because otherwise how would you know for sure.  Now I'm confused again.
2017-9-24
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 21:54
This part fortunately is not true.  Every Podunk airport has a traffic pattern (1000' AGL left turns if not otherwise noted) and the information is easily found.  Segmented circle on the field if it's there.  They are _all_ documented in the Airport/Facility Directory, which has just been renamed the "Chart Supplement". Right there on the sectional you can see "RP" if there is right traffic at any of the runways -- though this may have changed in the last couple years; they were talking about removing it because of accidents it caused.

Wait, so if there's a VASI or PAPI the glide path restriction still stands for light aircraft as well?  I must have misread something up there.  That's kinda what I was saying in the first place.  It wouldn't make sense to have the restriction without a VASI, because otherwise how would you know for sure.  Now I'm confused again.

That was not my point, it was about following an "established" traffic flow.  Otherwise yes you follow as you stated.

Yes see my edit and para (e)(3), yes VASIs would apply to all aircraft.  However, I don't know about you but I sincerely doubt you will find properly certified VASIs at many uncontrolled airfields (read Podunk), I know many non-Towered fields have them but are usually serviced by local TCA and run by the local government or state.  Otherwise, the vast number of small uncontrolled fields don't have them.
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-9-24 22:01
owever, I don't know about you but I sincerely doubt you will find properly certified VASIs at many uncontrolled airfields (read Podunk)

We have it pretty good here in that department in my state.  VASI's are rather rare because they're mostly all PAPI's, even in small towns!  I dunno about them being certified; I just assumed some bozo didn't order 4 lights from Amazon and set them up over a few beers.  At least I know that if I follow them I have a pretty good chance of not encountering any rocks on the way down -- if for no other reason than because some other sucker would have hit before me.
2017-9-24
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 22:08
We have it pretty good here in that department in my state.  VASI's are rather rare because they're mostly all PAPI's, even in small towns!  I dunno about them being certified; I just assumed some bozo didn't order 4 lights from Amazon and set them up over a few beers.  At least I know that if I follow them I have a pretty good chance of not encountering any rocks on the way down -- if for no other reason than because some other sucker would have hit before me.


OK then, yeah I'm sure any joe can set some up...but technically they have to be certified and flight tested/evaluated (I believe they can do ground certs now).  The reason is most are tied to fields with instrument approaches.  However, that is not a requirement to have them.  Yeah VASIs have been on the way out for some time, too bad I like them best.  Now PAPIs are the thing, I think because they are supposed to be more precise than the VASIs.  You should try using the FOLS, but unless you go to a joint use base with the Navy you should not run in to those.

EDIT: BTW - just because the Part doesn't say PAPIs doesn't mean it's a no for that restirction.  What they meant to say was a precision glide path light system be it VASIs or PAPIs or anything else approved by the FAA and certified.  They would not expect you to fly an 8 degree glide path nor a 1.5 degree one cause some bozo put them up wrong.
2017-9-24
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Beachball42 Posted at 2017-9-24 14:04
Thanks for all the info.  I'm using the Go app and I also have the B4UFly app to check the airspace.  I'm just North of Indianapolis so not too far from a lot of farm fields and open spaces but they all seen to be within 5 NM of a small airport.  Didn't realize there were that many fields in rural Indiana.

Hey beachball, I'm just north of Indy too! It takes me an hour to get to work on east Washington. Yea I'm learning there are more and more airspace restrictions than I thought too. Half the battle is figuring out where more than the how. Lol
It's just a major PIA that we can't fly in our beautiful state parks. Already locked out of the national parks. which I have some questions regarding this that would need a new post.
2017-9-28
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alex_tseli Posted at 2017-9-24 09:01
I've been on a road trip in the US for 4 weeks and haven't found a descent place to fly, where I was allowed to fly. All national parks, majority of state parks, city parks, beaches, smaller lighthouses, national forests, lakes etc. Many places had explicit "No Drones" signs, so to take off we had to make detours and paying attention to maps and regulations rather than choosing a good spot. I was frustrated and will not even try to bring a drone again to the US until the NP regulations will change and it will be easy to obtain the permit or pay for flying. So my only advice for now - fly anywhere else other than US - with little exceptions you can fly everywhere in most of the countries around the world

Well, if you make it out to Southern California, you are welcome to fly at my place.  150 acres of pretty rugged but interesting scenery.
2017-9-28
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Kneepuck Posted at 2017-9-28 19:01
Well, if you make it out to Southern California, you are welcome to fly at my place.  150 acres of pretty rugged but interesting scenery.

Very nice...!
2017-9-28
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E.T._Drone_Home Posted at 2017-9-28 18:03
Hey beachball, I'm just north of Indy too! It takes me an hour to get to work on east Washington. Yea I'm learning there are more and more airspace restrictions than I thought too. Half the battle is figuring out where more than the how. Lol
It's just a major PIA that we can't fly in our beautiful state parks. Already locked out of the national parks. which I have some questions regarding this that would need a new post.

Well add the county parks in Hamilton County to the list as well.  I was searching because I have a few near me that would be some nice video and saw they don't allow flying.  

I plan to get out and do some more flying this weekend at least at the school near me.  Still trying to get comfortable with the controls and how everything operates.  Staying in beginner mode for a while until I feel like i understand how everything operates.  
2017-9-29
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Irate Retro Posted at 2017-9-24 14:16
If you're right on the boundary of the 5 SM ring, to the point that you're sitting there counting pixels on your screen, then my opinion as a fixed wing pilot is not to worry about it.  Pattern altitude is usually 1000' AGL, but can be 800' or sometimes higher.  A standard 3 degree glide path (say for a straight-in approach) would put an aircraft at 900' AGL 3 NM (3.45 statute miles) away.  Point is, nobody with wings is going to be anywhere near 400' AGL 3 miles away, and certainly not at 4.5-5.0 miles away.

Hello,
Thanks for the info about glide paths.
I also am at the outer 5sm ring of a class D airspace. Sadly though, I am right under that glide path.
My flights are usually under 300 ft. so I am glad to hear they won't be bothered by me.

Happy flying in or out of your gear !
2017-9-29
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JamesWhenman Posted at 2017-9-29 05:46
I also am at the outer 5sm ring of a class D airspace. Sadly though, I am right under that glide path.

The 5 SM ring is for the notification requirement.  Above I was mentioning the glide path (and implying a little fudging) mainly in the context of an uncontrolled airport, not class D.  You could be outside of 5 SM but still be inside the class D, depending on the airport.  Before class D's were called class D, they were in fact (almost?) always 5 SM / 4.4 NM.  Many still are.  However now they can pretty much be anything, and I thought I remembered one being as large as 7 NM.  You will need to check your airport on a sectional and measure the dotted ring, or you can look up the radius in JO 7400.11B.  Be aware that all distances in that document are NM, not SM.
2017-9-29
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JamesWhenman Posted at 2017-9-29 05:46
Hello,
Thanks for the info about glide paths.
I also am at the outer 5sm ring of a class D airspace. Sadly though, I am right under that glide path.

Irate Retro is correct...also, you need to consider pilot error.  If a pilot comes in too drug in and you are up and there is an incident, then you could be found at fault even though the pilot was below glide path.  Reason being you were violating the airspace.  As Irate was describing, airspace is in effect a buffer zone to not only ensure control and deconfliction but to keep non participating aircraft out and help clear areas that the participating aircraft can end up being in case they do deviate.  
Sorry to tell you, even though you are at or below 300 does not mean you are good to go and as Irate points out, you could be violating the fields airspace.
Please be careful and fly safe!
2017-9-29
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HI, Yikes....  Too much info.....   way deep insight....  I might have a simple solution. Find a field in your area that flies RC airplanes. Do a search for RC model airplane clubs. And where they fly. Join the group. Ask for a spot to fly so not to interfere with planes. Oh...  join the AMA, American Modeling Association. They'll welcome you and the "drone"  lol  
2017-9-29
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Sportbike_Pilot
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Typically fly at a few locations nearby my home and so far so good. Folks leave me alone and in fact had a couple of guys ask what copter I was flying but that's about it.

I'd like to fly at various places or even in different states but just don't have the time right now. Wouldn't it be nice to just travel and just fly at every destination huh. Wishful thinking right.

I think I'll do that while on vacation !
2017-9-29
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fansb2edd25e
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It sounds like you're a hobbyist,  but the FAA has changed things considerably.  I'm not trying to confuse you or the answer to your question.   I'd encourage you to check out the FAA website.   I have a pt 107 rating, and the FAR's seem to indicate one thing, but in reality the FAA has changed the rules. For example: § 107.41 Operation in certain airspace. No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from Air Traffic Control (ATC). However,  the FAA is now reguiring  part 107 pilots to submit a form via the net for a request to fly in b,c,d, or e airspace. The process is beyond ridiculous.  I use the drone for real estate photography, and I live under  a "Class D" airspace.  I used to be able to just call the tower, which seemed to meet the requirement for contacting ATC.   The fields with control towers are no longer supposed to accept  calls  from drone pilots requesting permission to fly in their airspace.  Now we're supposed to submit a request via the net and basically  the FAA may or may not get back to you. within 90 days.   So, if someone calls me tomorrow and they want me to do aerial photography in the class "D" airspace,  to do it legally, for all intents and purposes,  I'm screwed.   
2017-9-29
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sSunSets Posted at 2017-9-29 17:10
HI, Yikes....  Too much info.....   way deep insight....  I might have a simple solution. Find a field in your area that flies RC airplanes. Do a search for RC model airplane clubs. And where they fly. Join the group. Ask for a spot to fly so not to interfere with planes. Oh...  join the AMA, American Modeling Association. They'll welcome you and the "drone"  lol

Hey,
I do have a club nearby behind Stone Mountain Park. On their website they explained their neighbors
complained about drone flyovers. They do not allow drones to fly there. RC airplanes are ok for some reason.( Insert head scratch here). They still wanted me to join both the AMA and their club.
2017-9-30
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