Flying for the first time, Can I use the beach?

Good afternoon all, I am about to start flying for the first time and I am struggling to know where I can practice. Can I use the beach at low tide when there is nobody around? I live on the coast in East Sussex and if anybody can help me as to where I can practice really basic starter stuff, nothing crazy, I would really appreciate it. Thanks all, Simon

Hi @Sigh and welcome to Grey Arrows :wave:t2:

Have you seen our members map? (Click the burger-menu in the top right) You may find some pilots living near you. Feel free to add yourself to the members map too :+1:t2:

We’re a well established club with many knowledgeable members so it’s very likely that any issues you come across will have been discussed here before. Our discussion forum has very powerful search features which should help you find what you need but if you get stuck you can post a new question in the #questions-and-answers category.

Looking for recommendations of places to fly? Check out our interactive map on Drone Scene - be sure to log in to gain access to the full suite of features and map layers:

And please feel free to add locations of your own too.

Please also take a moment to look at the Membership Levels section on our FAQ as we’re quite different to other clubs and you’ll be eligible for some rather exclusive club discounts as your membership level increases :blush:

Welcome once again!

Hello, and welcome to GADC!

In many cases you will find that between the low and high water line on beaches is classed as Crown Estate land. This means that you are able to take off and land freely without any risk of being accused of trespass.

DroneScene will tell you if there are any airspace restrictions nearby that would prevent you from flying for any reason.

The main question revolves around what sort of drone you are using. A DJI Mini 2 (or other sub-250g model) has much more freedom in terms of overflying uninvolved people than larger models.

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Hi Rusty.

It’s an Air 2S, so it’s above 250g.


Crown estate foreshore is your friend :ok_hand:t2:


Is a good place to start

Thank you Chris, Do I get article 16 authorisation if I join FPV? I am registered with the CAA already.

Article 16 is available yes if you are a member of FPVUK.

Worth it for the PL insurance alone.

Other clubs are available

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Hi Simon - welcome o GADC :+1: :+1: :+1:

Flying from the beach is fine on Crown Estate lands. On the Drone Scene map they are coloured purple. They don’t only control the foreshore as you can see here:

Some beaches are privately owned, the majority that are not Crown Estates tend to be run by the local council. IIf you don’t fly into people’s faces and look confident while you are flying you should have no bother. I regularly fly from my local beach - council controlled - and no one has said anything in the three years I have been flying apart from showing genuine interest. They are the people it’s worth chatting to, showing what’s on the screen and pointing them to wherever you show your pictures - Facebook or whatever.

It would be a good idea to either use a landing mat or learning to hand launch and retrieve so that you keep all your Air 2s’s important little places free from sand and/or moisture. Hand catching has the advantage of looking showy to an audience, a landing mat, either bought or a roll of material, will stand out against the background if you choose a nice bright colour. That will help the vision positioning system land it precisely at the end of each mission.

Have fun!


Thank you, that is really really helpful. Much appreciated. I live on the sea front so I can go and learn!!!

Thank you.

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Thank you Chris.

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Hi I red your question . You want to fly first time. Please let me know which drone you have. If you have dji mini 2 less than 250 gram you can fly in a1 open subcategory you just need a flyer id. You can fly over the uninvolved people buy not on assemble of people. Before flying must do a planing. Check flight restrict zone, postcode where u fly, weather wind and gust values, don’t fly in a bust time.

Hi u need a operator id drone less than 250 gram not a toy with camera fly in A1 category feel free to ask any question thanks its better to get the flyer id as well

Got it, thank you!