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Flying indoors: all good without people, but what if people arrives?


Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2017
Reggio Emilia, Italy
Yesterday I flown my Mavic in a kind of a Lounge Area in a nearby wineyard, the lighting was perfect so it acted just as i expeted it to: Vision mode, stable as with GPS, flown perfectly almost upto the ceiling, at about 10 meters up. The floor is a bright beige/orange color and is tiled, with wide and well visible fissures between the tiles, which I think helps the VPS a lot. What if that salon will host a lot of people? Part of the floor will remain clear, but just a quarter (and I'd fly over that), while the rest will be covered by people (co-workers, I do it for fun), who will take the shape of three letters (the company logo). They will be moving or at least changing shape as they move their arms or heads, and I fear that all this could cause issues to the VPS of the Mavic.
What would you do, try or let it go?
Here's a picture I took yesterdayAlbineaCanali.jpg
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In spite of what appear to be ideal conditions I would proceed with extreme caution. The only place that I have safely flown a drone indoors was a warehouse with very high ceiling. There were only two people present during my test indoor flight.
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I am already skeptical about flying indoors, there is zero way I would do it with people present. For one, you are not supposed to fly above crowds of people, and for two you could seriously injure someone if you lose control. Forget the cost of a damaged drone, the liability of injury and the possibility for a lawsuit is far too great a risk to be worth it.
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I like to fly my Mavic in my 600 ft studio apartment. It seems safe in tripod mode.
The Mavic is designed with flying indoors in mind, but I do concur with @Just_nick that this does represent a hazard to other people around you. Perhaps you would consider using prop guards (or even prop cages)? I've used these when people are around before and, imho, it would be significantly more difficult to hurt somebody with them fitted.
I think too dangerous and also I think about how you would feel if "something" happens and someone is hurt, friend or family. I agree with your concerns about the VPS without the grid visible. Get everyone to step outside on the stairs and get a group shot "out there".
While flying over people in any environment seems like a cool photo idea, the FAA and other federal agencies from other counties don't like you to do it outside, so I can't imagine it's ok inside. That aside, the liability issue is a little scary. If your drone misbehaves, or has a failure of some kind, and hits someone hard enough to injure them, you're going to be in a world of legal hurt. I would gently advise against doing that. There have been several incidents of drone operators hitting people in the US, and the outcome has not been pleasant.
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