New To Drones - Couple of Q's

Hi All,

I am new to here and indeed drones in general.

I have just purchased a DJI Mini SE to use mainly for taking some photos and videos.

I have done some research and just want to double check I have things correct.

As the drone is under 250g it is exempt from most rules such as flying in residential areas, near people …etc. I understand I need to still use an operator ID because it has a camera on it?

Of course I intend to be very careful flying and respect the surrounding but I just wanted to be sure regarding flying say above my house (to look at the roof) which is in a suburb.

I also want to ask about the restricted areas in Scotland. I am going there in Sept and want to take some aerial shots in places like Isle of Skye …etc. From what I can read the restricted space is only when flying above a certain height and I will be under 120m. Is this correct?

Great community forum and tools here and I hopy to share some of my shots.

Thanks,

Ian

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

Quick ‘official’ welcome from me, I’m sure that someone will be along soon to answer your questions, but you pretty much answered them correctly ;o)

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!

Hi Ian

Get your operator ID sorted and have a read through https://register-drones.caa.co.uk

Make sure your firmware is all up to date at home and before your first flight.

As recommended by @milkmanchris take a look on drone scene for places to fly and avoid.

The 120m is the maximum altitude for flying most consumer drones. the CAA link will explain the do’s and don’ts

Hi Ian.

Drone Scene, with its switchable layers and loads of site recommendations, is your friend.

But it can be confusing.

The Class D airspace layer covers a lot of real estate but isn’t that relevant to us. Turn it off.

Parks, prisons, hospitals and other sensitive areas will show as irregular yellow patches. Use your judgement - flying in parks without annoying people should be fine - if there is no local by-law in place. Often there isn’t but “No Drone” signs are displayed. Probably best to obey them until you have enough confidence in the law to tell the parkie to ___ off.

Hospitals, pretty much a no for the patients’ sake. Prisons - your drone may be confiscated and you may have an enforced holiday

Purple markings, mainly on coastlines and waterways. Crown Estates land. They have a fair attitude to drones being flown from and over their land - follow the drone code and you will be ok.

Not so Forestry Commission and National Trust / English Heritage. They do not allow take off or landing on their land. They also claim, wrongly, that you cannot overfly. So most people take off from a public footpath or roadway close to the property boundary and overfly at a height that doesn’t attract attention - 50 metres or so.

You can fly in a Flight Restriction Zone but only with prior permission. Leave them alone for the time being.

Blue circles may appear on the map where there were no marks a couple of days before. These are temporary exclusions, sent out as a NOTice to AirMen (NOTAM). As with any of the other markings on the map click it and an explanation will popup.

The green tabs on the map are sites that a member of the forum has flown. Ideally they will have given some useful information such as who to contact if permission is needed, where to park, where to take off, any hazards, any other interesting things nearby and nearest pub/cafe/public toilets :slight_smile:

If using the magnifying glass (top right) to start a search doesn’t bring the results you want eel free to keep asking questions, we have a whole category devoted to them: #questions-and-answers

Happy flying!

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Hi Ian - welcome to GADC :+1: :+1: :+1:

Hi Ian welcome to GADC. :+1:

If you are planning on flying in Scotland’s forests then they pretty much welcome you with open arms :+1:

Fly a drone in a forest

Visitors to Scotland’s national forests and land can fly drones for personal and recreational use as long as it complies with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) and Civil Aviation Authority guidance, Drone Code and all other legal requirements, such as those relating to privacy/data protection and wildlife protection. In such cases you will not require prior approval from us.

If you want to take off and land a drone for commercial or professional purposes, please contact the relevant regional office to apply for permission as early as possible in your planning. Drone use for filming and photography will be considered through the Filming or photography request process. In all cases, before approving the use of a drone for commercial or professional purposes, we will ask you to provide specific documentation to demonstrate Civil Aviation Authority Operational Authorisation and safe use.

As long as you are not in a Flight Restriction Zone, you can fly from your garden. I’d recommend not hovering 20 feet about your neighbours while they sun bathe, but otherwise there are very little restrictions for a sun 250g drone (see what others have said).
Have a look at DroneScene (here) and try out the DroneAssist app … very useful to identify any restrictions.
UAForcast is good to check if the weather is likely to give you any issues.

If you can find somewhere open with no one around … it’s a good place to get used to flying it.

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Another reason to live in Scotland despite the weather and the midges :slight_smile:

And if you’re only inspecting your roof and chimney its always nice to offer to do theirs at the same time, maybe even a few beer tokens in it for you

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Welcome Ian to GADC :clap: :clap:

I think all your questions were answered, mainly by yourself.

You may find that the DJI zone (blue) doesn’t always match with the true FRZ - it is the FRZ that is the important one, although you will need to get the blue one unlocked still.

FRZ :wink:

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That is what is says :joy: :joy:

Must admit I keep mentally saying it - I will change…

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Having a copy of this with you may help as well as it is the rules for flying in congested areas and states the exemptions for sub 250g

DRONE RULES: FLYING IN TOWNS (OR BUSY AREAS) (caa.co.uk)

Many thanks for al the advice so far.

Operator ID now obtained.

Regarding Air Space - no problem with most of it. Looking at Scotland The highlands stands out as a very large area of “Restricted” space from surface to 5000ft MSL so I guess thats a no go as well.

Skye on the other hand is also restricted but from 750 FT MSL upwards so I should be fine for there.

Ian

1st test flight went pretty well. Very nervous but got it out to a few 100m distance and about 80 up.

RTH worked well and landed well.

One thing I did notice was even though I was in an open field (Newport Pagnell - Bury Field) I did sometimes get weak signal alert. Is this normal?

It is used for low level flight practise by the RAF, as far as I’m aware you can fly there, providing there are no active NOTAM’s. Just check before you intend to fly, but when you do, keep your wits about.

You have the Mini SE.
The main difference between that and the Mini 2 is that the Mini 2 uses Ocusinc, and the SE (and Mini 1) use WiFi.
Wi-Fi is fine over short distances, but it’s not uncommon to get weak signal warnings quite often where ocusinc drones can get huge distances without issue.
The Wi-Fi drones can also get “swamped” by other Wi-Fi signals in an urban area.
Make sure the return to home is set correctly, and that will look after you if you lose comms all together

Thanks for the info. If I get in tt this then the Mini 2 is an option later

Welcome to the club!!

Just a side note about the low flying areas, you would probably get permission to fly in them easier if you are planning on flying at weekends. The fly boys don’t like working past afternoon tea on a friday :wink::joy:. You’d just have to get in touch with ATC a couple of days before.