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Anyone in Sonoma County?

NorCalCorax

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I sent mine up the night the fire started but I was over on west 3rd(near place to play) way away from any flight paths. I was curious how much I could see in the distance with just a straight vertical ascent and back down. Nothing really to see.

Just an hour earlier we had seen the glowing hillside from ground level at the olivers there.


Personally with all the calfire posts, among others, about drones in the area... I'd stay well clear of restriction zones. Last thing I want is to be the cause of more regulations coming down on us.
 

MavicPeter

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I do have a question for you fine folks. This one relates to the fires in the area.

I noted on the DJI Fly app the GEO zone. On AIRMAP, as well as the FAA Website for TFR, I am outside the bounds of the TFR. Going forward, say i've unlocked the GEO zone, but would of course adhere to the TFR by not crossing (or even approaching, really) the bounds. Does this flight fall more under "good judgement" - as in.. don't fly because people will be upset? It is technically within the bounds of legal flight, but may be in poor taste.

FDC 0/3271

How do you folks approach situations such as this? Last thing I want is to be another "drone in the sky during a fire" so I won't take it up.

Thanks,
Tom

As long as you adhere to the FAA's TFRs (which as you mentioned are visible on AirMap or Kittyhawk) and all other appropriate regulations, then perhaps legally you are fine.
However, as you mentioned, staying *much* further away than even the bounds is probably a good idea, to avoid any potential ambiguity. Also, since the flight paths of the various aircraft will extend outside of the TFRs, you need to be hyper aware.
I would probably just stay away.

As I noted here ( New Authorization Zone East Bay Wildfire response ) the DJI "Fly Safe" authorization zones DO NOT match with any FAA TFRs or with any official regulations from my experience. That means:

1. A DJI Fly Safe Authorization zone may extend BEYOND the actual TFR or other restricted areas.
2. OR: A DJI Fly Safe Authorization zone may not adequately cover where you are *not* allowed to fly!

My suggestion is to never rely on the DJI authorization zones and always consult FAA TFRs, etc. The DJI Authorization zones are really just to get you to agree that you "accept all liability" and know what you're doing, etc. It's not by any means an indicator of where it's actually allowed to fly. (A prime example is GGNRA - none of this shows up on DJI Fly Safe maps)
 

PAWS

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Hello NorCal Coastal Drone Community,
Sharing the following (attached) Sonoma - Mendocino Coast Superintendent Order concerning drone use at California Coastal State Parks in the Sonoma -Mendocino District. Obtaining accurate information is challenging at best on this subject as every area seems to have their own local ordinances / laws on this subject. As a new Part 107 holder, it is disappointing and unfortunate to find so many restrictions on responsible drone operations in the area in which we live. Hope this information addresses questions newbies may have before you invest $$ in a UAS and certification for legal private or commercial use. Best!
 

Attachments

  • UAS Dist. Superintendent Order.pdf
    166.4 KB · Views: 20

Moozer

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Yes, this is very frustrating. I would love to be able to fly at the coast, even if limited to certain beaches, but they do not seem interested in considering this option.
 

pelagic_one

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I just want to offer a different point of view: There are so many places we’re actually allowed to fly.

If you’re fairly new to the hobby, it is important to check local and regional regulations, and to consult apps like Kittyhawk...at every single place you fly. When doing so, a couple NorCal forum members and I have flown from over 75 locations in 2020, spanning from Humboldt to Sacramento, Santa Cruz to Mount Hamilton, Altamont Pass to the Central Valley. And no, there have been no Golden Gate Bridge flyovers, fly by’s, nor high speed passes.

Most trips are planned a week in advance. We always confirm locations by going to Google Earth’s Streetview, just to see where we’d park, and hike, if need be.

I hope you won’t be dissuaded by the forum members reminding us of places we cannot fly. They’re merely trying to keep us out of trouble, and perhaps trying to prevent society’s continued intolerance of our hobby.
 
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pelagic_one

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A place to place is no longer welcome. City code 13-24.034
Welcome to the forum!

So, have you found any interesting flying spots since you’ve started? Oftentimes the newer forum members have already been flying with friends and neighbors, so they’ve got a couple good spots to share.
 

Sunset

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Hey guys I live in petaluma I have a mavic 2 pro. I have had amazing luck up north by fort ross. I stay out of the park no one is out there you can sit in the truck drink some coffee and fly all day chain charging battery's. just keep driving north. has anyone here been unlocking airspace? I was able to use the app here in petaluma and from what I gather I had 1 day access to fly in a small bubble within the petaluma recreational airport airspace. I did not end up flying that day but I wanted to know how legit this was. like does the air traffic controller get notified from DJI? all very exciting. hope you all stay heathy
 
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usaken

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I am in San Rafael and always looking for legal places to fly. I was thinking bodega bay might be somewhat open but am not sure. No controlled airspace there but what about state parks? It is outside the GGNRA.
I drove from Bodega Bay to Jenner yesterday looking for a spot. All coast in that area either State or County parks. no takeoff/landing areas.
 

pelagic_one

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Hey guys I live in petaluma I have a mavic 2 pro. I have had amazing luck up north by fort ross. I stay out of the park no one is out there you can sit in the truck drink some coffee and fly all day chain charging battery's. just keep driving north. has anyone here been unlocking airspace? I was able to use the app here in petaluma and from what I gather I had 1 day access to fly in a small bubble within the petaluma recreational airport airspace. I did not end up flying that day but I wanted to know how legit this was. like does the air traffic controller get notified from DJI? all very exciting. hope you all stay heathy
Welcome to the forum! Which app are you using? I have flown near airports, where I was granted LAANC approval via Kittyhawk app, but for usually a limited altitude (50-200 feet depending on the airspace). DJI does not notify control towers.

As @usaken noted, the north coast is covered with restrictive parks. This is mostly the case all the way down to San Diego. For me, I’ll find pockets of non-park property, typically along the east side of Route 1, and fly from there. I am respectful of the National Marine Sanctuary restrictions, so I won’t fly near the water at those locations. Oftentimes, going straight up and staying where you are permitted to fly will get you images of distant seascapes, cliffs or hillsides.
 

Drudru

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Welcome to the forum and to the hobby. Bodega Bay has some picturesque spots to fly and test out your video and photography skills. The lower campsite is drone-friendly and gives you a chance to practice flying over water and getting footage of water skiers.

When we’re allowed to group up again, a few of us are planning to meet up with another fellow forum member on the Russian River, around Duncan’s Mill. I just can’t wait to sit in a cafe again, and simply enjoy breakfast. Apparently excellent footage is available from the cafe parking lot.

And up your way, I would imagine you could get beautiful footage over the vineyards.
Hello I just got registered and am exploring the north bay for legal flying areas. It looks like Russian river and bodega bay are fine, I would love some guidance on these strict restrictions upon us. I am looking at the AIRMAP app it seems to be the most accurate.
Chat? Fly? Hope to here from this community. Thanks Drew
 

Aviatrix

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Welcome! I'm still here, but haven't posted on this site in quite some time. Also in SR. Duncans Mills is still a fairly friendly spot to fly.

-Tom
Thanks, Tom. Would you be willing to do a little "hand holding" for a newbie? I've got to get over the initial fear of breaking something. ~~Christina
 

Aviatrix

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Can I put in a shameless plug here? I teach the drone classes at SRJC and have one going this fall semester - CS 76.11. Let me know if you want to know more about it :)
And I just paid for a course from Pilot Institute to pass the Part 107 exam and start a drone business...
 

Aviatrix

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And I just paid for a course from Pilot Institute to pass the Part 107 exam and start a drone business...
Applied for enrollment. Boy, has it been a loooong time since I set foot on a college campus! I wonder what all the cool kids are wearing? (Not really.) Really looking forward to meeting you.
 
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