Understanding Flight Restrictions

Hi everyone,

I finally bought myself a Mavic Mini 2 and I absolutely love it.

I went out during the weekend, looking for an open field but unfortunately there was no one in the farms in order to get the permission to fly over their private land. So I went to a local park at 7am and started to familiarise with the drone settings, whilst the park was empty.
At a certain point, a gentleman approached me and said that what I was doing was illegal as I wasn’t allowed to fly there, since I should fly 50m away from people/houses. He was a CAA pilot who owns several drones (perhaps he’s on this foum) and shared with me some useful information.
Since it was my first time out with the drone and he knew what he was talking about, I thanked him and moved to a more deserted area away from people/houses. However I thought that the rule on minimum distance to people didn’t apply to the DJI Mini 2? Can someone help? I checked on the CAA website and it states the below:

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On another note, I just asked to an historical mansion based in the UK if I could fly over their external grounds (they have several acres of land) and they are asking me to pay a £300 fee. Is this allowed?

I’m a bit confused as I was sure that the DJI Mini can bypass the distance restrictions, as long as I respect people privacy/safety and of course I stay away from airports, airfields and any Flight Restriction Zone.

Do your own research.

Read the Drone Code.

And ignore idiots who approach you in parks and who know nothing about the current regulations.

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:grinning:

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Landowners including the lovely national trust? Do not not own the airspace, If you take off somewhere else you can overfly their land they do not own the airspace, You are legally allowed in parks providing on notices to the contary, Down load some rules on your class of drone and carry them with you, Also look at joining FPV flying club £20 for 5 million insurance cover, Dont take notice of idiots on parks if they say they are going to ring police just say ok i’ll wait with my paperwork no problem.

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I had an idiot last month. I was flying out over farmland but near a track that dog walkers use. Some lady aproached me and complained about the noise I was making!! Now the best bit is it was on the approach to RAF Marham (but oustside the NFZ :laughing:) and as she was complaining to me an F35 came roaring over us making a hell of a racket. Told her that i agree my drone was making such a noise and that I shall make a complaint to DJI as it shouldnt be that loud! :grin: :grin:

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Please try GADC’s Good 2 Go, you can run several scenarios through it. I think you’ll find the Mini 2 may be flown in many many situations :slightly_smiling_face:

Further I can recommend joining FPVUK (small annual cost) for the public liability insurance that comes along with it.

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Either he was an extremely ignorant CAA “pilot” or he was, more likely, just trying to sound knowledgeable whilst knowing nothing, probably can’t even spell “drone”!

As long as you do not fly over “crowds” or TOAL from private land, the Mini 2, at sub-250g flying weight is all but unrestricted. You do not need permission to fly over private land, only in legitimately restricted zones, eg, danger areas, near airfields/airports, military establishments, NOTAMd areas etc

The restriction to overflight the NT and EH try to claim from paragraphs in their charter is, at best, questionable as it would seem to equally apply to light aircraft, military jets, commercial airliners etc etc etc. They wouldn’t be able to enforce that so …

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Complete tosh. You can fly wherever you want, with the Mini 2. People reserve the right to not like it, but the law is the law. Considerations, such as FRZ, privacy, still apply of course.

If you TOAL outside their property, they can’t do Jack Sh*t, and certainly can’t demand payment for doing so.

TL;DR … my response to both encounters would have been “No”, after a serious bout of laughter.

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He obviously knew bits of law but not enough… He shouldnt have approached you until the drone was landed either if he did.

Just enjoy. As long as youre not flying military bases, airports, prisons and other restricted areas you should be ok.

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He was talking about bigger drones maybe but he’s out of date. He may be pfco holder and at the time he would of taken the course he’s info would of been correct. Check drone assist on mobile devices and drone safety map on pc for places you can’t fly.

Or use our far superior GADC dronescene

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There is no law against interrupting a drone pilot while they are active, that’s a myth.

I didnt say it was a law but surely distances still apply.

I would have throught common sense would tell you not to disturb someone who’s flying something overhead…Oh, wait. Yeah, scrap that.

Always when I fly I am trying to be aware of situation on the air and around me, and possible landing sites if I need to bring the drone down:

However I am usually looking to keep a low profile myself. I’m not wearing hi viz gear — quite the opposite; it’s a throwback to my street photography days. Dress dark to not stand out. And so I might find somebody step close or even strike up a conversation not really aware of the task I have at hand. And so I have to manage that situation when it arises and make it clear I’m concentrating when I need to.

Legally, the pilot is entirely responsible for the safety of those around them. You don’t get to assume you are unapproachable. If there’s a risk of uninvolved people deciding to wander within the required separation distance, you shouldn’t take-off, or should have a contingency plan in place.

That’s the legal position.

In practice, I’ve used both hi-vis to put people off approaching me, and tucked myself somewhere quiet where I don’t think anyone will bother me, depending on the situation. But I know I’m the one in trouble if somebody does decide to strike up a conversation, I have to manage that situation, I can’t rely on them to step away.

Except over crowds which, my understanding, is a large enough group of people who wouldn’t be able to get out of the way if the drone crashed. It’s not a specific number, for example 50 people in your park might be able to get out of the way easily but 50 people in the enclosed kids playground in your park, they wouldn’t.

Whoever owns the park may also have their own byelaw(s) stopping you from TOAL.

Your account says you’re in Wokingham, this will help

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I’ve previously posted here, mirroring similar experience to yours which freaked me out, thinking what I was doing was anti-social. I sold my Mini, through self doubt and frustration.

Long story short, I regretted it soon after, but stumbled on an unused Mini 2 combo on FB Marketplace that someone had bought on a whim when pissed and wanted rid of. Fate and too good to ignore.

I then spent some time collecting, collating and printing out FOI replies from Local Authorities re their bylaws and policies wherever I plan to fly, replies from land owners I contacted (like NT, English Heritage, etc) and printed out the CAA Code, all of which I’ve got in a soft ring binder which I take with me in my rucksack.

Now, if I get questioned, I simply point to the folder and ask the individual to read through the salient highlighted sections, while I return and land the drone, then I’d be happy to talk current regulations with them and explain why I’m flying legally. So far it’s not been necessary to land my bird. Those that have stopped have flicked through the ring binder and walked off :joy:

Just fly within regulations and enjoy. There’s always somebody out there looking to be offended.

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“The reason is that it is likely that we use
primary legislation for any necessary enforcement in connection to public
space and do not have to rely on byelaws which are now rarely used”.

That paragraph is a complete copout and utter rubbish, primary legislation is the term used to describe the main laws passed by the legislative bodies of the UK e.g. Acts of the UK Parliament. I have yet to see any act of parliament that prevents anyone from engaging in a hobby activity on council managed land.

What they are really saying is "we have no bylaws in place and we know to put any in place would be a lengthy and costly process so it is easier to try and confuse or scare people with BS.

I stand to be corrected…

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