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Any Help with a USA Trip Please

Wow you certainly got a load of really good advice and from my very limited experience of droning in the USA (SW Florida only) it is not any easy country to fly in but it’s big so you can pop off to areas near to where you will be and hopefully fly happily-just no pix of Cities. The B4UFLY app is excellent and just be sure to check all around you before you take off and while flying-just a simple point, the sun is very hot at this time of year everywhere you’re going so a hat etc is hugely recommended. Packing a drone for airline trips is no problem, just have a look at your carriers’ rules re batteries in Lipo bags etc Immigration and customs have never troubled me re the drone. Bonvoyage!
 
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Thanks for the heads up mate, we are only in San Fran for two nights so already looking forward to moving on.
We stayed a couple of nights in SF quite a few years ago before it got as bad as it is now. The hotel recommended we use their valet service as leaving your car on the street, even then, was a risk. I hope your hotel can keep your car safe.

On the drive between places, you will see some very pretty locations where, hopefully, you could stop and fly your drone and get some good video.
 
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Me too.

I also understand that a lot of news is local, so people far away aren't exposed. For example, despite the fact i read two newspapers and am a news junkie, i have no idea at all if there even is any crime in Biloxi. Any at all.

But here's the thing: If Biloxi was in the national news almost every week about it's decline and increasing crime, and you came on and made it sound far worse than I'd seen from my remote perch here, I'd accept it. I have no reason to think you're lying.

I certainly wouldn't expect you to compile a report based on the FBI UCR and present it. Regardless, it's not important. I hope people do check before they make plans to visit. Much has closed, and there are all sorts of danger-don't-go areas in the city now that used to be safe, any many don't-wanna-go places unless you are looking to step over and be accosted by the homeless.

It really is that bad, and if you lived in the SF Bay Area, you'd hear about it every night on the local news.
This isn't a personal attack. It's simply pointing out an exaggeration. 50% of cars in SF are not broken into every day.

Over and out.
 
Hi All,
in August i am going on a Road Trip from the UK and visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas. My trip will include visiting Alcatraz Island, Hoover Dam and The Grand Canyon, i am also hoping to get some city shots.

I will be taking my DJI Mini 3 Pro and would like to know from our American friends if they can give me any advice or warnings about flying in these locations.

Also any recommendations on some other nice areas to fly.

My drone is Registered (in the UK only) and i hold an A2 CofC License which i don't think is recognised in the USA, so am i likely to run in to any issues and is there anything i should before i visit.

Thanks in advance.
Before I went to the UK, I took their test. You should get on line and take the easy TRUST test as you will need that to fly recreationally. The drone will not need to registered as it is under 250 grams.
 
If you haven't been locked into reservations and airline tickets, you might consider southern Utah. You'll be nearby anyway, at the Grand Canyon. The desert scenery there is world class, and there are no safety concerns. You'll have plenty of places to fly and shoot spectacular videos.
 
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As a general rule, you cannot fly anywhere in the U.S. that is part of the National Park Service. That includes national parks, national monuments, national seashores, national historic sites. It does not include national forests (unless wilderness areas) or land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Every state has different rules about state parks.
 
We spent the weekend in San Francisco (Marina District) a few weeks ago and never felt like it was dangerous. Some sidewalks smelled bad, but no worse than Portland or Seattle. Traffic is insane, but BART and the buses worked well. According to the DJI GeoZone maps, there are some areas in SF that are legal to fly, but be sure to account for the wind. Hoover Dam and national parks are out, but there are miles of places around them that are legal. The area around Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas has plenty of interesting countryside to fly around. Take plenty of water to drink.
 
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This isn't a personal attack. It's simply pointing out an exaggeration. 50% of cars in SF are not broken into every day.

Over and out.
Got it. We're trying to warn people, you're focused on statistical precision.
 
This isn't a personal attack. It's simply pointing out an exaggeration. 50% of cars in SF are not broken into every day.

Over and out.
Try this out for some real numbers: SF Car Break-in Tracker

1000006509.jpg

You won't find Bay Area residents advising outsiders to visit SF. It's pretty much the standard view among the locals that it's too dangerous to go there and leave your vehicle unattended on the street at all. The numbers on the map above are for the last 30 days. We're you aware of this high rate? I don't know if there have been any car break-ins in Biloxi the last month. Have there?

There was one 24-hour period this year when there were over 200 break-ins.

I'm not exaggerating, and @Nanny Ogg's luck notwithstanding, our friends from across the pond should be careful where they go, and don't rent a car.

I'm harping on this because I don't want to see someone get hurt. People are.
 
The north rim of the Grand Canyon while still in the Park has great views and is cooler and less crowded than the zoo at the south rim.
 
Thanks for your input :) That is exactly what we are doing, we have a car for the whole trip and have hotels booked in many different locations. I just mentioned the obvious site seeing locations but our trip consists of a 1200 miles drive starting in San Fran down to San Diego then across to Vegas and on to LA with plenty of other locations on route.
I will have to see where Pacific Coast lies in the scheme of things tho. Thanks again mate.
Edit: Just checked and we are traveling along the Pacific Coast High Way :).

Edit again: Can you recommend any places of interest along the Pacific Coast High Way.
 
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Try this out for some real numbers: SF Car Break-in Tracker

View attachment 165842

You won't find Bay Area residents advising outsiders to visit SF. It's pretty much the standard view among the locals that it's too dangerous to go there and leave your vehicle unattended on the street at all. The numbers on the map above are for the last 30 days. We're you aware of this high rate? I don't know if there have been any car break-ins in Biloxi the last month. Have there?

There was one 24-hour period this year when there were over 200 break-ins.

I'm not exaggerating, and @Nanny Ogg's luck notwithstanding, our friends from across the pond should be careful where they go, and don't rent a car.

I'm harping on this because I don't want to see someone get hurt. People are.

Thanks. This is very interesting. If you zoom out, the app does the arithmetic for you. During the last 30 days there have been 1.5k vehicle break-ins in the tabulation area. So, in order for a visitor to have a "better than even chance" of experiencing a break-in, the would have been fewer than 3000 automobiles parked in the city during the past 30 days. Hmm.

It's also interesting to compare the last 30 days to June of 2018, the beginning of the data set. There were 1.9k break-ins during that period. So, break-ins have declined 21% in the past five years.

So, the actual numbers show that far, far fewer than every other vehicle is broken into and the number of break-ins has declined during the past five years. The WOLF! is actually just a small rat with a bad attitude.

Got it. We're trying to warn people, you're focused on statistical precision.

Objecting to gross exaggeration is not a quest for statistical precision. A warning is good, but make it a realistic one.

So to our visitors from abroad:
Be careful where you park in San Francisco and don't leave valuables in your car. Vehicle break-ins have been averaging 50 per day recently. Use this online tracker to understand where the problem areas are: SF Car Break-in Tracker
 
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Along the PCH get off at Beulton and take a short drive to Solvang...it is a step back in time ...it is just north of Santa Barbara...also get off at any of the Missions along PCH...I would skip Las Vegas all together and spend extra days along the PCH, there is that much to see along that route....Las Vegas is not as dangerous as SF ( and despite the nay sayers, SF is bad) but the drunken pot smoking homeless people sleeping literally in the middle of the sidewalks make it disgusting...it is depraved.
 
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Thanks for your input :) That is exactly what we are doing, we have a car for the whole trip and have hotels booked in many different locations. I just mentioned the obvious site seeing locations but our trip consists of a 1200 miles drive starting in San Fran down to San Diego then across to Vegas and on to LA with plenty of other locations on route.
I will have to see where Pacific Coast lies in the scheme of things tho. Thanks again mate.
Edit: Just checked and we are traveling along the Pacific Coast High Way :).

Edit again: Can you recommend any places of interest along the Pacific Coast High Way.

You can get some pretty decent aerial shots along the Pacific Coast Highway.

If you come visit the States again, try drive the entire PCH, starting from Seattle and end at San Diego. You will be amazed by how scenery changes from Washington to Oregon, and to California.

PacificCoastHighwayMapDrivingDistance.png

52994533265_097b3f74f3_c.jpg
Pacific Coast Highway in Oregon. Shot with original Mavic Pro in 2018.
 
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It's not THAT bad. I live in San Jose and go to the city every so often. There are plenty of great areas to go, but of course keep safety in mind. Keep aware of your surroundings.. Don't leave anything in site in your car, or don't take a car. I had my window smashed and camera gear stolen out of my car back in 2008. I was taking pictures at Fort Point and stopped for a cup of coffee before going to another site (or I had planned to anyway). Normally I keep my camera gear in my trunk but I didn't plan to stop between sites. I decided to grab a cup of coffee and parked on a side street. I was gone 5 mins and that's all it took.

Areas around the Golden Gate bridge are usually safe, the Embarcadero is usually safe, Pier 39 is fine, Chrissy Field is nice, etc. Stay away from the Tenderloin. Don't pull out a lot of expensive fancy camera gear in public because there is a chance you could get followed and robbed. Good reasons for not flying a drone in the area is 1. You're not paying attention to your surroundings, and 2. You could get followed by someone who saw you flying. That being said, I do plan to go up and fly there sometime. It's risky but I'd still do it. As we discussed in the other thread, people fly from Treasure Island but you'd need a car to get there (Not sure about taking a bus there, might be a long ride.) Bottom line is I wouldn't worry too much, but I would be careful and practice good situational awareness.
Thanks for this mate, some good advice i think i will keep the best kit at the hotel lol
 
Golden Gate Bridge is a no no and so is the overlook (both sides including Presidio). But Coit Tower, Palace of Fine Arts and parts of Treasure Island are okay. Best to do it at first light on a weekend.

The strip in Vegas in a no no, but Red Rock Canyon is a yes yes and only 20 minutes away. Hoover Dam is a no no, but you can still take pics and videos of it from the highway right above the dam. There's so many interesting places just outside Vegas like 7 Magic Mountains.
wow more great advice, this is all really helpful THANKS
 
You're stating that more than five of ten people parking a car in San Francisco or LA will experience a vehicle break-in. If you can support that with facts, please proceed. Otherwise we'll mark it down as sensational hyperbole.


@McLaren, I'll note that such views of those two cities are not universally shared by all Americans. I read three major papers every morning and I seldom see reports of widespread crime and hopeless societal decay. My friends who live in LA are quite content and the friends who visited San Francisco recently had a wonderful time with no issues. I hope your visit to my country is similarly safe and enjoyable.

Certainly, all large urban areas have elevated criminal activity. I'd take the same precautions in LA or SF that I'd take in London, Paris, or Rome.

There are some good opportunities for flying in and around San Francisco. The B4YouFly app will help you locate them. We'll look forward to seeing some of your photos and videos.
Thanks for some reassurance there, i appreciate you taking the time to put my wife at ease at least. London can be dangerous place to visit so i'll treat SF & LA with plenty of observation. Cheers
 
Her are the rules and registration you must follow to fly your drone in the United Sates…


And here is a link to give you a better idea of what is required to fly in many various locations, once you fulfill the US Government requirements above…


Just realize that you cannot fly your drone in any of our National Parks nor can we…

View attachment 165835
Thanks for the links, i have passed the Trust test and printed it off so half way there.
 
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