Northern California Airborne (Bay Area)

Discussion in 'Northwest USA' started by Daniel, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Daniel

    Daniel Member

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    So, I am researching getting my first drone (Mavic Pro), currently trying to understand all the rules (there should be a Drone Laws for Dummies). How friendly or unfriendly is it to fly in this area? I understand I will have to travel somewhat to find great places to fly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I would hate to spend al this money, and be extremely limited on being able to fly.

    Thanks in advance,

    Daniel
     
  2. bschaub

    bschaub Member

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    Most parks are off limits now. Certainly. State Parks, Nationals and East Bay. It is best to just get away from people.
     
  3. Skydog

    Skydog Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in Eastbay, Northbay areas to fly. A list of recommendation would be welcome. I've seen a lot of folks fly down in the park north of the Berkeley Marina.
     
  4. bschaub

    bschaub Member

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    I have flown 'drones' for a few years now. Most of my stuff has been on the coast. I also belong to the East Bay Radio Controllers as I also fly fixed wing. I do all of my testing at the field. The best advice that I can give is to learn to fly. Almost every 'fly away' that I read about on the forums are people relying on the technology and not knowing how to fly. i.e. learn to fly figure eights in the sky.
     
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  5. Achilles

    Achilles Well-Known Member

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    North Bay here (santa rosa) and I've found out the Bay Area can be troublesome. I've found some awesome places towards the cost but Marin county and east bay can be troublesome. Regional parks freak about drones and I've found the best way to go is open paths parks.


    Mavic - North Bay, CA
     
  6. scott rand

    scott rand Well-Known Member

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    Anyone know if Sausalito, Napa/Sonoma or Walnut Creek are off limit ? Gonna be vacationing in SF in July with family, but plan on brining my Mavic. Usually go to those areas.
     
  7. Skydog

    Skydog Well-Known Member

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    They should not be. Check the B4UFLY app. You can also fly in the park near the Berkeley Marian
     
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  8. scott rand

    scott rand Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Skydog.
     
  9. scott rand

    scott rand Well-Known Member

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    I figure I can get some really nice shots of Napa/Sonoma, usually go on a wine tour when I vacation in the Bay Area. Also, Sausalito may be my favorite Bay Area town, so would love to get some video/pics of it, especially by the marina and some houseboats. Also may be going on a tour of Carmel/Monterey, so should be able to get some great shots there as well. Did that tour the last time I vacationed in the Bay Area in 2015, but didn't have a drone back then.

    Lived in the Bay Area for 7 years, my favorite place on earth, plan on retiring there some day. The Bay Area has some of the best scenery in the States, well, basically most of California does.
     
  10. ecoyne

    ecoyne Member

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    As a Bay resident, I also am finding it very difficult to fly in the Bay Area due to our parks and airports. Looking at the NFZ areas, it does appear Sausalito is open, but in and around Golden Gate is NFZ, and with Mount Tam being a park, that prohibits a lot of the Marin area...

    Hopefully some day these NFZs open up a little...
     
  11. applebyjlee

    applebyjlee New Member

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    I think it is some how tighter now.
    I've been flying in Baylands Park and now DJI app wants me to verify myself since it is now a certain zone that needs user's verification...
     
  12. kendegg

    kendegg Member

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    Anyone flying today? Any good places? Might the only sunny day in a while.


    Sent from my iPhone using MavicPilots
     
  13. JakeS

    JakeS Well-Known Member

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    I'm in Vacaville visiting family but I don't know if I'll get out away from the NFZ here to fly today. I was really hoping to since I live I. Alaska and the warm weather here is a nice change!
     
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  14. ecoyne

    ecoyne Member

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    I have the itch myself, and you're right! Not many non-rainy days in the forecast!
     
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  15. Retoxx

    Retoxx Member

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    NOT TRUE. State parks have NEVER been off-limits. You guys do know how to use google before you spout off lies, right?

    https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/937/files/csp_uas.pdf

    Only Wilderness Areas, Natural Preserves, and Cultural Preserves have a no-motorized vehicle policy, which includes UAS. Just research the park, and they usually have a number to call and ask if it is ok, or what areas of the park it may be allowed in.

    Let's get out and make some great videos!
    - Retoxx
     
  16. F6Rider

    F6Rider Well-Known Member

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    If you fly in a State park PLEASE PLEASE obey all rules and policy's as I fly in them a lot, and do NOT want this privileged revoked because of a few bad apples. I always check at the Ranger station to ask permission, ask if there are any 'out of bounds areas' and to let them know what space I am in and to pleaes let me know if there are any issues. I have for the most part been met with politeness and a thank you for checking. I have been told not to fly over campsites at less than 100' and to please launch from a specific area away from sites. These are not unreasonable requests and I always comply.
     
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  17. ecoyne

    ecoyne Member

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    Sounds completely reasonable to me! On the contrary, maybe if more people adapt this method, regulations won't be so constraining!

    Mind sharing which parks you've had success with?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  18. F6Rider

    F6Rider Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Sunny California
    Most of the places I fly are in NorCal, so Indian Valley, Union Valley, Fallen Leaf (over the lake or shore, no flying over the camp sites) Wrights lake, I did fly in the Tahoe National Forest and a Ranger saw me but didn't say anything. I think as it wasn't a National Park he wasn't concerned. I also filmed Bridal Vale Falls from the car park at twin bridges, not sure if it was allowed or not, no people around. Also places in the Eldorado National Forest, again not a Park, but I was back packing at 7500' and not a soul around at the time (this was with a P3).
     
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