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Greater Washington, DC area anyone?
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Toomer
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It's definitely the most restricted airspace on the planet, and the flight restriction zone from Reagan (DCA) Airport extends 15 nautical miles which removes all of DC proper, and all of the really close-in suburbs like Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, Arlington, Vienna, Alexandria, Springfield etc. from ever being flown at all (unless you can get a specific waiver from the FAA - unlikely for 99.9% of owners).

Outside of DC and the close-in suburbs, do we have any flyers here maybe from further-out suburbs?  I don't have a DJI yet ... I'm on the fence about ordering one.  I love the unit ... but there's also a challenge that Fairfax County parks definitively prohibit drones (and model airplanes, etc.) as do Loudoun County parks, and nearly every other park authority I've looked into so far.

In other words - it's really really hard to find a place to fly around here, unless you've got a nice patch of land (which doesn't really happen in the area since real-estate is so expensive).  So has anyone found any good flying spots?

2017-1-16
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fans5a754f03
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I'm a newbie to the hobby, but Maryland to be pretty liberal as it pertains to the flying drones. The governor signed legislation creativity jurisdictions from establishing their own drone rules until the state can do a own study and a establish State rules.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development, Regulation, and Privacy Act of 2015

2017-1-16
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fans5a754f03
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fans5a754f03 Posted at 2017-1-16 17:32
I'm a newbie to the hobby, but Maryland to be pretty liberal as it pertains to the flying drones. The governor signed legislation creativity jurisdictions from establishing their own drone rules until the state can do a own study and a establish State rules.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development, Regulation, and Privacy Act of 2015

[img]https://forum22.djicdn.com/data/attachment/forum/%5Burl=https://flic.kr/p/R512SJ%5D[/url]Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 7.45.22 PM by ivory3673, on Flickr[/img]
2017-1-16
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Toomer
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Thanks!  That's good to know about the current state of Maryland law, I didn't know that ... and appreciate having a link.

Along those lines, here are other relevant links I've found for the area:

* NPS memo from 2014 banning UAS use in National Parks (so no Skyline Drive in the fall):  https://www.nps.gov/policy/PolMemos/PM_14-05.htm
* Fairfax County Parks - note section 1.17 on the top of p.104:  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/par ... k-policy-manual.pdf
* Loudoun County Parks - still trying to find formal documentation
2017-1-17
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Toomer
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Also, here is an ulta-high resolution map I found on the FAA's website of the flight restriction zones around the area.  This map definitely seems like it's made more for pilots of manned craft than unmanned ... but it shows a lot of detail and allows zooming in to specific areas to see where the lines may fall.



Interestingly enough, I'm curious about the "AML 7NM" designation on the ring drawn around Dulles Airport.  I thought airports had a 5NM exclusion ring, except DCA (obviously).  Does anyone know if Dulles is handled slightly differently in this case - just by nature of it being in "the DC area"?  Or is this just due to the fact that this is primarily a chart for pilots of actual manned craft landing at DCA?
As you can see on the chart, if it's 7NM that takes pretty much all of Reston out, but if it's 5NM then Reston might be possible if you know anyone with land willing to let you launch and land.
2017-1-17
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fans90d4f438
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feel for you guys. To be in, say, Annandale, well away from DC itself, and not even be able to fly say, 50 feet high? I mean..whats the risk in that situation, DJI? To not even allow flights well BELOW tree level??? From that far away from DC itself?
2017-1-20
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k1vN7mqf68aO
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Check out the following:  http://www.1nvrc.com
2017-1-21
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Mark The Droner
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I'm in northern Montgomery near Olney and it's fine to fly out here.  
2017-1-30
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greekphantom
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Any good groups/clubs for drone owners in this area?
2017-2-4
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Focus4
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EVERYTHING inside that big red circle is a permanent no-fly zone. EVERYTHING. Reston included. These restrictions don't just apply to manned aircraft. Under FAA regs, your drone (larger than .55 pounds - yeah, that means 9 ounces or more) is required to fly by the same rules as a manned aircraft. One the west side of Washington, DC for example, you have to be west of Leesburg before you are in a place where you can fly. I live in Arlington and have to drive an hour and a half from my home to fly. Not fun, but it is what it is.

As for clubs, there is one on the meet-ups website. I haven't joined it so I can't tell you much about it.
2017-2-4
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fansabe5d35c
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So, I live in Reston and I am looking in two places on DJI's site right now: on both the Advance Unlocking page - http://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-system/unlock and on the Fly Safe page - http://www.dji.com/flysafe/no-fly the No Fly Zone around DC does NOT cover the greater Reston area. The GEO system unlocking page shows a yellow, "Authorization Zone" that extends about another 1/4 mi past the DC No Fly Zone and there is an additional, green "Enhanced Warning Zone" that extends a further 1/2 mi. But the Green zone, which covers part of Reston, does not even give you an option for requesting authorization, implying that such is not necessary. The green and yellow outer rings do not appear at all on DJI's No Fly web page.

The No Fly Zone corresponds to the FAA's Flight Restriction Zone and the 15 NM radius around DCA. Reston is clearly within the 15-30 mile zone that is specifically defined by the FAA as being for "Flying a UAS for recreational and non-recreational use" I checked these and other resources to confirm the extent of the No Fly Zone before placing the order for my Mavic.

Imagine my dismay then, upon receiving my Mavic today and going outside for a set-up flight only to see "NO FLY Zone" on the controller and DJI Go 4 app. What gives? If this area is truly un-flyable, either due to overly-aggressive programming of the Geo-fence by DJI, or inaccurate/mislabeled maps on their websites, I will feel absolutely misled and cheated. How do we get some input from DJI on this?
2017-2-6
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Mark The Droner
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Focus4:

EVERYTHING inside that big red circle is a permanent no-fly zone. EVERYTHING. Reston included.

It bugs me when members speak with authorty about subjects they know little about.

Short explanation:  We can't fly within 15 miles.  We can fly 15-30 miles.  The boundaries you see in the map in post #5 above show both areas.  

Detailed explanation:  As you can see in the FAA map posted above, you can fly in at least most of Reston and plenty of other places outside of the dark red ring provided you follow NOTAM FDC 6/2069.  I've flown hundreds of times within the outer region of the DC SFRA, including earlier this morning.  I've had people meet me out here with Inspires and P4Ps and have flown here - 19 miles from the White House.

DJI's restrictions are designed to keep us from breaking FAA rules and the law, but the area restricted by DJI doesn't quite match up perfectly with the DC FRZ.  IIRC, the DJI restriction is a 25 km radius from Reagan National Airport which is a perfect circle, and the DC FRZ is not a perfect circle.  Since DJI's restrictions aren't quite aligned correctly, it won't allow flight in some areas where it's completely legal to fly, and other areas allow flight where it's not legal to fly.

If you're flying a P2 series, DJI's circle is a couple miles north using the White House as the radial point rather than the airport (it was moved south with the P3A).

Hope this helps.  

2017-2-7
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superjet96
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-7 06:25
It bugs me when members speak with authorty about subjects they know little about.

Short explanation:  We can't fly within 15 miles.  We can fly 15-30 miles.  The boundaries you see in the map in post #5 above show both areas.  

Where are you flying exactly?  I am looking for a place this weekend and I am in Burke so not too far from you probably.
2017-2-7
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Mark The Droner
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I fly from my back property 99% of the time but I've met people who are in the DC FRZ and having trouble finding a good spot to fly.  They've met me at a rec center in Olney several times.  It's a great field because it's got lots of open area and space and it's perfectly flat.  It's also under used - there's never anybody using the field.  It's got good protection from the north or west wind.  And nobody ever bugs us.  I can probably meet you there this weekend if you want to make the drive.  But it's a long drive considering all you have to do is drive to the west a bit.  You can even fly at Burke Lake Park depending on the park rules.  
2017-2-7
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superjet96
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I will find out tonight if I can fly in my yard.  I am within walking distance of the NFZ.  Even if I can fly I am in tons of trees so not good.  I doubt I can fly at Burke Lake.  There are a good bit of trees there anyway.  Thanks for the offer but would hate to make you drive all the way out there.  It is a hike.  I may do it if I have to.  Anywhere near you that is better.  There is so much space out west but someone or a county owns all of it.
2017-2-7
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Mark The Droner
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Drive out where?  I live near Olney.  Longwood Rec Center is only a half mile away from me.  Come out if you want.  

Like your avatar.  One of my favorite records.
2017-2-7
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fansabe5d35c
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-7 06:25
It bugs me when members speak with authorty about subjects they know little about.

Short explanation:  We can't fly within 15 miles.  We can fly 15-30 miles.  The boundaries you see in the map in post #5 above show both areas.  

Agree with all your points. I'm still confused as to why the part of Reston I'm wanting to fly is coming up NFZ. As the crow flies, I'm just under 15 NM from DCA. However, I'm still outside of the FRZ because, as you note, the Western-most boundary of the FRZ is not actually circular, but rather runs along an obvious longitude adjacent to (but not covering) the greater-Reston area. Flying a Mavic running Go App 4, btw.

Having DJI use klicks instead of NM actually helps me as that should put the geofence well away from Reston (as it shows on their website) and definitely shouldn't cover the area in question. Even accounting for a sphere vs ellipse and a slightly off-centered, mis-placed and/or overly-large geofence, my spot should be flyable. Curious.

I've entered an Advance Unlock for the adjacent Authorization Zone (which also falls outside where I want to fly according to DJI's map) and I'll see if that does anything, but I was never prompted to request authorization by the app, so not sure it'll help.

Also, FWIW, I've seen video on YouTube of P4's flying the exact same area dated as recently as May 2016, so it seems previous versions of the app and pre-Mavic birds were not having this issue. I know living in this area means extra restriction, as it should, but it stinks that an otherwise-flyable area is possibly being cut off due to some overly-aggressive programming in the new app.
2017-2-7
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Mark The Droner
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Could it be the airport causing the problem?

http://www.dji.com/fly-safe/category-mc?w=&www=v1
2017-2-8
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fansabe5d35c
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-8 04:03
Could it be the airport causing the problem?

http://www.dji.com/fly-safe/category-mc?w=&www=v1

I thought that, but no. I'm outside the 5mi ring around Dulles as well. If you zoom in on the South Reston area, below the toll road and between the Dulles and DC NFZ's I'm trying to fly the Gary Braithwaite soccer field, just East of the intersection of Soapstone Rd and Glade Dr. The field is owned by Reston Association and not the county, so it's okay to fly and there are two nearby heliports (shown on other maps/apps, not DJI) that need to be notified, but otherwise, there are no restrictions. Even stranger, I flew there with a friend's P3 just six months ago with no issues.

Also, I was able to take off from the pool and tennis center just West of that same intersection (about 1/4 mi closer to Dulles) with no issues, but obviously I can't fly in that area.

So I'm wondering if it's a recent update to the geofence that got overly-aggressive with the NFZ or something in the Go 4 app? I tried with Go v3 and still got the no-fly notice. I haven't seen anything in the forums about "appealing" a geofence location with DJI - would my next step be to inquire with tech support?

Thanks for the input.
2017-2-8
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superjet96
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-7 15:11
Drive out where?  I live near Olney.  Longwood Rec Center is only a half mile away from me.  Come out if you want.  

Like your avatar.  One of my favorite records.

Ah, I was assuming you were in Reston for some reason and wondering why you would drive that far to fly.  I am going to give it a shot locally on Saturday and see what happens.  Maybe you will see me Sunday who know?

I was not able to get it to spin up last night as I thought may happen.  I will try again tonight and see how far I need to go away from home.  I am in the green zone right now but no matter what I do it will not let me fly.
One of my favorite artist for sure.  He is a bit off for most people but it works for me.  I was lucky enough to see him a couple of times in the late 80's.  
2017-2-8
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madkow70
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fansabe5d35c Posted at 2017-2-6 22:02
So, I live in Reston and I am looking in two places on DJI's site right now: on both the Advance Unlocking page - http://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-system/unlock and on the Fly Safe page - http://www.dji.com/flysafe/no-fly the No Fly Zone around DC does NOT cover the greater Reston area. The GEO system unlocking page shows a yellow, "Authorization Zone" that extends about another 1/4 mi past the DC No Fly Zone and there is an additional, green "Enhanced Warning Zone" that extends a further 1/2 mi. But the Green zone, which covers part of Reston, does not even give you an option for requesting authorization, implying that such is not necessary. The green and yellow outer rings do not appear at all on DJI's No Fly web page.

The No Fly Zone corresponds to the FAA's Flight Restriction Zone and the 15 NM radius around DCA. Reston is clearly within the 15-30 mile zone that is specifically defined by the FAA as being for "Flying a UAS for recreational and non-recreational use" I checked these and other resources to confirm the extent of the No Fly Zone before placing the order for my Mavic.

I feel you fansabe5d35c.
I'm in Vienna on Hunter Mill Road, just before Reston.
My Mavic wouldn't spin up because of NFZ, but the craziest thing is that my Phantom 4 has no problem what so ever to my West from where I am.  just about 99% of Reston is good to go with my Phantom.
With Mavic, I can only fly around wiele Avenue and west of it for Reston.
2017-2-8
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madkow70
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superjet96 Posted at 2017-2-7 07:42
Where are you flying exactly?  I am looking for a place this weekend and I am in Burke so not too far from you probably.

You can spin up and fly starting about 1/4 mile south west of burke lake with Mavic.  I confirmed it.
2017-2-8
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madkow70
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fansabe5d35c Posted at 2017-2-7 21:25
Agree with all your points. I'm still confused as to why the part of Reston I'm wanting to fly is coming up NFZ. As the crow flies, I'm just under 15 NM from DCA. However, I'm still outside of the FRZ because, as you note, the Western-most boundary of the FRZ is not actually circular, but rather runs along an obvious longitude adjacent to (but not covering) the greater-Reston area. Flying a Mavic running Go App 4, btw.

Having DJI use klicks instead of NM actually helps me as that should put the geofence well away from Reston (as it shows on their website) and definitely shouldn't cover the area in question. Even accounting for a sphere vs ellipse and a slightly off-centered, mis-placed and/or overly-large geofence, my spot should be flyable. Curious.

hahaha.  I'm one of those cases that you saw.
from the deck of my house, I can fly P4, but the Mavic won't....
2017-2-8
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madkow70
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fansabe5d35c Posted at 2017-2-8 10:20
I thought that, but no. I'm outside the 5mi ring around Dulles as well. If you zoom in on the South Reston area, below the toll road and between the Dulles and DC NFZ's I'm trying to fly the Gary Braithwaite soccer field, just East of the intersection of Soapstone Rd and Glade Dr. The field is owned by Reston Association and not the county, so it's okay to fly and there are two nearby heliports (shown on other maps/apps, not DJI) that need to be notified, but otherwise, there are no restrictions. Even stranger, I flew there with a friend's P3 just six months ago with no issues.

Also, I was able to take off from the pool and tennis center just West of that same intersection (about 1/4 mi closer to Dulles) with no issues, but obviously I can't fly in that area.

I have tested both Mavic and P4 across the street from Dulles airport.
(I didn't take off)
both drones have no problem powering up and no NFZ issues with either one.
IAD airport is no issue.   it's the DC NOTAM
2017-2-8
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madkow70
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fansabe5d35c Posted at 2017-2-8 10:20
I thought that, but no. I'm outside the 5mi ring around Dulles as well. If you zoom in on the South Reston area, below the toll road and between the Dulles and DC NFZ's I'm trying to fly the Gary Braithwaite soccer field, just East of the intersection of Soapstone Rd and Glade Dr. The field is owned by Reston Association and not the county, so it's okay to fly and there are two nearby heliports (shown on other maps/apps, not DJI) that need to be notified, but otherwise, there are no restrictions. Even stranger, I flew there with a friend's P3 just six months ago with no issues.

Also, I was able to take off from the pool and tennis center just West of that same intersection (about 1/4 mi closer to Dulles) with no issues, but obviously I can't fly in that area.

DJI support was no help at all.
I'm using the same iPhone with the same instance of DJI Go 4.
Phantom would fly and Mavic would NFZ out.

DJI support said this DC NFZ info is embedded in the firmware.

When I got my Mavic, the original plan was to sell my Phantom 4.  because of this, I'm forced to keep the P4 so I can fly from the deck of my house....
2017-2-8
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That Bex
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madkow70 Posted at 2017-2-8 18:01
DJI support was no help at all.
I'm using the same iPhone with the same instance of DJI Go 4.
Phantom would fly and Mavic would NFZ out.

Looks like we're covering this in at least two threads now...let's start a few more and maybe this will get some attention!

Good thing you have the P4 - looks like I'm grounded from all the good Reston spots except Lake Anne - lol.
2017-2-8
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superjet96
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That Bex Posted at 2017-2-8 22:06
Looks like we're covering this in at least two threads now...let's start a few more and maybe this will get some attention!

Good thing you have the P4 - looks like I'm grounded from all the good Reston spots except Lake Anne - lol.

He started that other thread to try and get some resolve out of DJI.  Hopefully they will do something.  I know they want to be careful around the DCNFZ but more than a two mile buffer is way much.  
2017-2-9
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superjet96
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madkow70 Posted at 2017-2-8 17:53
You can spin up and fly starting about 1/4 mile south west of burke lake with Mavic.  I confirmed it.

I spun up just on the North side of West Ox so anything outside of that will work.
2017-2-9
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superjet96
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madkow70 Posted at 2017-2-8 17:53
You can spin up and fly starting about 1/4 mile south west of burke lake with Mavic.  I confirmed it.

Trying to figure out where you would fly that close to Burke Lake hmmmm....
2017-2-9
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Mark The Droner
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Okay who was it?

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-n ... planes-874783811506

It wasn't me, I'm on the yankee side of the river!

2017-2-10
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superjet96
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Still haven't gotten mine off the ground.  Idiots are going to get us shut completely down.  Why would anyone fly that close to Dulles?  
2017-2-11
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Ex Machina
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-10 18:50
Okay who was it?

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-n ... planes-874783811506

Argh. Exactly why DJI feels compelled to build-in hard-restrictions.
2017-2-11
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Ex Machina
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Maybe Dulles or National will be the next airport to use this new anti-drone tech?

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-me ... -arriving-in-denver
2017-2-13
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superjet96
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All good with me as long as they don't get too crazy.  I just landed in Denver yesterday.  DEN is practically in the middle of nowhere.  There really isn't anything around and you would have to go out of your way to fly a drone there.  Maybe that is a good test spot where there isn't much going on but still a major international airport.
2017-2-13
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superjet96
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Unlock in the green zone denied yesterday.  I finally found a good and proper place to fly but can't.  The worst part is their wording puts it on me as if I am trying to break laws which I am clearly not.  Sorry but this is getting very frustrating not to be able to fly outside of the DCNFZ.
Probably having that knuckle head fly too close to Dulles didn't help.
2017-2-17
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Regaj
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Wow, my Mavic arrived on Friday and I made my first flights yesterday.  I'm on several acres in Fauquier County and am fortunate to be able to fly from my back yard.  But, man, am I stunned reading of the flight restrictions just a few miles east!  I understand the NFZ around DC and Reagan and Dulles.  But, crikey, why the heck does it need to extend out as far as it does?!

I do find it interesting how strict the DJI software is... when I power up it shows me in a cautionary area... because of a landing strip (not an airport, no facilities, no planes, but just a landing strip) a couple miles away.  In the thirty-some years we've lived here, I only ever saw a plane land there one time.

My dad does own six acres in the Lorton area of Fairfax County that I had wanted to fly at and photograph.  Looks like that might be just one the edge of what's legal.

Good luck to everyone in sorting out where to go...
2017-2-19
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Fyodor_Ivanov
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I live and work in DC. Just ordered a Mavic yesterday. Plan on flying it in areas outside of the no fly zone when on motorcycles trips and visiting the inlaws in OH and PA. After looking at DJI Geo map it didnt seem as restrictive as I thought it was going to be.
2017-2-20
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SkyMemories
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wow... So many rules here.....
2017-2-23
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Mark The Droner
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DJI's NFZ around DC might change slightly some day...

http://www.wetalkuav.com/dji-new-shapes-no-fly-zones/


Edit:  https://www.airvuz.com/video/Dro ... 14c66fc9830d66e5406


2017-3-3
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KevinJ
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I started yet another thread on this yesterday. I'm a pilot and fly the SFRA airspace all teh time. I'm based out of W00, Freeway Airport.  I bought a Phantom 3 Standard and found that although my house is 1.5 miles outside t the FRZ  in Waldorf MD It's about 1 mile inside the DJI NFZ. So no flying in my back yard. There are a lot of parks in So Maryland where I can fly it's just annoying I can'r do much in my back yard. At least I can inspect my roof.

BTW I've been flying fixed aircraft since 1983 but this thing is like learning to fly ALL over again. ;)
2017-6-15
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