I'm New, I'm Here - But for how long? Wareham, Dorset

Hey all. I am a new drone user having taken receipt this week of my first real (to me at least) drone, Fimi X8 SE 2020.

I set out with all the full intentions of doing everything by the book. I’ve registered with CAA, taken as much unofficial training as I can, purchased insurance and downloaded as many recommended apps as I can, to keep my drone but more importantly, everyone else, safe.

I’ve so far had a couple of practice flights in the garden no higher than 4-5 feet just to get the feel of things and thinking about where I’m going to fly properly next.

Today, whilst looking up safe areas to fly near me I stumbled across an article that is talking about the delayed regulations inline with new EU regulations on drone flights - news to me personally that the rules were changing, but ok. I then find out that as of December 2020, it gets a whole lot harder to fly without much more expense of taking the correct new training courses for the Open category.

I guess my question/point here, is that considering the additional cost as well as the massive stigma around drones - I feel incredibly self-conscious even just turning the motors on - the lack of area to actually fly without gaining permission from everyone (if you can even find any contact information for them at all), did I make a bad decision in wanting to get into this as a hobby now?

I get that some people have ruined it for everyone else and why the regulations need to be there, I really do, and me not wanting to do anything outside of guidelines makes me think should I just send it back :frowning:

Sorry for the slightly down welcome; I want to love this hobby, I really do - but it seems like everything is stacked against the good people likely to frequent this forum.

2 Likes

The extra training comes into play if you want to fly closer to people and oblects that is allowable at the moment. I see you live in Dorset though you don’t say where, I grew up in the Isle of Purbeck and, from memory there must be a large amount of unrestricted countryside to play in. Most beaches are Crown Estate property and they are drone-friendly - if you follow the code, they are happy.

The best resource for finding places to fly is this, strangely enough subtitled Where to fly your drone - itt’s DroneScene, CAA approved, with layers showing various restrictions (turn Class D airspace off) and recommendation of flying areas given by GADC members from practical experience. (Use your GADC long on Dronescene). When you find good places to fly you can add to the map as well. Always worthwhile clicking on the link in a site description, it will bring you to the thread regarding that site in GADC so extra information and pictures may well be available.

There should be some flyers local to you along later - and relax, it’s nowhere near as restrictive for flying as the doomsayers make out :slight_smile:

6 Likes

Have a look at the members map for members nearby, and maybe add yourself

A couple of screengrabs from Dronscene:

The first shows the pop-up from clicking on a green flying site symbol:

Also visible are various circles and polygons. Each will have a description when you click on it. Many are advisory, warning of potential risks but not banning flight. It’s the darker red circles - Airport Flying Restriction Zones that need to be observed. The purple lines along the coast are good news - they indicate Crown Estates ownership.

The next screenshot shows an advisory, in this case a temporary hazard - the map is updated in essentially real time so that temporary restrictions like this are always current. In this case it refers to parachuting and dropping objects - probably marines or SBS being dropped into Studland Bay from the back of a Hercules.

Have a play!

3 Likes

This is really helpful - thank you @macspite!

Hey - yes I’m in Wareham so have access to this area as you say. I must admit I though the new rules said that drones can only fly what is known as A3 after 2022 to 150m horizontally away from people not involved in the flight, unless you get the extra training to get A2 or A1 if you want to get really close. I might have the wrong end of the stick of course - still learning :slight_smile:

If so then it will be more restrictive than now if that’s right?

Have a look at the members map for members nearby, and maybe add yourself

How do I add myself onto the map?

You’re right. It won’t affect me as I don’t like people :slight_smile:

But we are looking at 2022 - so we have two years flying under the current rules. And, going by the rich people in here splashing the cash, a two year old drone is way past it.

If the new rules come in - and I mean if - possession of a new drone with the C marking approval will give you privileges when flying. At the moment there are no such drones on the market. So enjoy your flying for the next 24 months and, if you want, start saving pennies in a jar for a new aircraft when / if the rules eventually change :slight_smile:

2 Likes
1 Like

Hey buddy

You got loads round your way to explore!!! I’m in Poole and have done a few flights recently over Wareham Forest (after the fire)- big open spaces. You get the odd walker/mouthan biker but mostly clear of bodies.

Are you looking to just fly or get photos/videos of anything in particular? If you’re ever over our way, Hamworthy Park/Baiter/Canford Heath/Bourne Nature Reserver/Beaches… could go on all day!

I don’t know of the drone you’ve got, but if you follow the drone code and use your common sense, you won’t go wrong.

Just holler if you got any questions and I’ll help if I can :wink:

1 Like

It’s not that clear, nor is it that bad, at least for the bit of your quote that I’ve highlighted in italics.

The actual regulations say the open A3 category requires:

“no uninvolved person will be endangered within the range where the unmanned aircraft is flown”

That’s helpful because it leaves that issue to the judgement of the pilot i.e. you can fly closer than 150m to uninvolved persons if you are confident nobody will be endangered.

The latest CAA guidance, CAP 1789, is less helpful. It says:

The intent is that the unmanned aircraft will only be flown in areas that are clear of uninvolved persons

That is an intention, not a legal requirement, though. In the same document the CAA also say this (my italics for emphasis):

Note that no specific horizontal separation distance values have been set in the regulation for A3; however, it is clear that any distances employed must be greater than those set out for the A2 subcategory (which specifically caters for flight ‘close’ to people). The CAA’s interpretation is that a horizontal distance (i.e. no overflight) of at least 50m must be maintained from all uninvolved persons.

So: 50m horizontally clear of persons, not 150m clear, in A3.

Until I see the actual amended Air Navigation Order, I’ll personally be interpreting this as:

  • Fly in open category A3 at least 150m away from urban areas (no change to today!)
  • Take responsibility for whether people are endangered and fly so as not to endanger them (also not really a change)
  • Avoid being within 50m horizontally from anyone (slightly worse than today where you can overfly at 50m height, but not a big deal)

However the big change in the new regs is that we will be able to fly within urban areas if we have the right type of drone and pass the A2 CofC test. That is a massive improvement over today and will allow us to fly in all sorts of areas we could not previously legally enter (without a PfCO).

So on balance: the new regs are less restrictive overall, so long as people demonstrate they are appropriately competent and fly equipment that meets the various requirements.

In any event, rest assured nobody is out there with a 150m tape measure checking up on you anyway!

4 Likes

Welcome to the club.
I’m new to the drone scene too and looking forward at hopefully getting some video and photos of the fantastic ship’s anchored over in Weymouth bay at the weekend plus a trip over to Portland Bill.

Thanks @kvetner that really helps my confidence! Of course, will need to keep an eye on what happens but it isn’t the doom and gloom I originally suspected :slight_smile:

1 Like

ship’s anchored over in Weymouth bay at the weekend plus a trip over to Portland Bill.

I’d quite like to get some of them as well and have been looking at Portland. I know there is an MoD base over there as well as the prison, but these show up on Drone Assist so easy to avoid.

I have ben given the contact number for the MOD base to ensure their not emitting any strong magnetic fields on the day I want to fly and I have also emailed the lighthouse requesting permission to fly around the lighthouse taking photos and filming but still waiting for a reply.

1 Like

Let me know how you get on :smiley:

Don’t give up, it’s great fun and you will get lots of help from people here and with a little research you find places to fly from.
You will have to travel if you want to take photos or videos of interesting places and the challenges that that presents will increase your enjoyment and we will look forward to your posts.
Think positive, use common sense and stick to the rules (when someone is watching) and you will have fun.

1 Like