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Flying over a beach. Okay or not?

Sharvul

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Just got my first drone. Mavic air. Having a huge debate with my wife as she is convinced it it not appropriate to fly it over a populated beach. She thinks that people see it as an invasion of their privacy and that parents in particular are wary of drones taking pictures of their kids (for the record, I am a parent myself to 3 young children). I fly it along the coast of the island we are on for our holidays. I fly it 40 of 50 meters high. I Don't zoom, just filming the coast line on cinematic mode and testing the ability of the drone. I stay well away from people and make sure it's far and high enough not to be noticed of seen. What's your opinion about it? Okay to fly over a beach or only fly into the open blue waters for a very boring blue video?
 

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She thinks that people see it as an invasion of their privacy and that parents in particular are wary of drones taking pictures of their kids
I'm sure many other people would think this too. Cell phones with cameras are likely the biggest threat at the beach. Almost everyone has one and it would be much easier to record people unnoticed with a phone than from a drone. Show your wife what people look like from 40-50 meters in the air and she'll probably change her mind ;)
 

neggy

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A Part 107 can NOT fly over people (directly over them) unless they are direct participants in the flight ( visual observers and such). As for 336, I will let someone else chime in.

if we are going to get into the privacy debate, you have no expectation of privacy in a public space. That was decided by courts long ago.

There is no more public place than a beach IMHO.
 

gnirtS

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Just got my first drone. Mavic air. Having a huge debate with my wife as she is convinced it it not appropriate to fly it over a populated beach. She thinks that people see it as an invasion of their privacy and that parents in particular are wary of drones taking pictures of their kids (for the record, I am a parent myself to 3 young children). I fly it along the coast of the island we are on for our holidays. I fly it 40 of 50 meters high. I Don't zoom, just filming the coast line on cinematic mode and testing the ability of the drone. I stay well away from people and make sure it's far and high enough not to be noticed of seen. What's your opinion about it? Okay to fly over a beach or only fly into the open blue waters for a very boring blue video?
Thats going to depend massively on which country you're located in.
 

Sharvul

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Thats going to depend massively on which country you're located in.
I'm in Croatia at the moment. The holidaymakers here are mainly locals, and German. No one approached me about it as said I am flying high and far. Its just a general debate with my wife who thinks it's completely wrong. As I am new to this, I wanted to get the opinion of other more experienced pilots. I didn't think that drones are to be used only in a human-free area. Anyone here do it?
 
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Sharvul

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A Part 107 can NOT fly over people (directly over them) unless they are direct participants in the flight ( visual observers and such). As for 336, I will let someone else chime in.

if we are going to get into the privacy debate, you have no expectation of privacy in a public space. That was decided by courts long ago.

There is no more public place than a beach IMHO.
Totally agree with that. If someone is on a beach with a swimsuit (or without) they should take into account that there are crazy people out there whole would take a picture of them. Intentially, or not (such as not noticing them in the background).
 

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I was flying back to the US from Aruba and heard some folks talking about seeing a drone flying over the beach. :Let's just say the conversation was not positive with everyone in the conversation that it was, at the very least, rude. For what it's worth.
 

JoostGT3

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I have been flying over the beach in the Netherlands on an exceptionally beautiful spring day (meaning; really sunny, but not warm enough for people to be out in their bathing suits).

My approach (because I wanted to be left alone at that time) was to sit somewhere away from most people. The good thing with the surf is that the sound basically drowns out the sound of the drone. Obviously filming the sea (chasing waves, flying low over the retreating water, flying high parallel to the coast line), I haven't had a single negative look or remark, even though a lot of people saw it, were pointing at it, etc. More friendly waves than negativity tbh.

On the other hand, I have been sunbathing on the beach last week, when it was VERY crowded with people, and not a single moment did I think about flying the drone then and there.

All I want to say is; it depends on the circumstances and your behavior and your flying behavior. Be sensible, and think about other people as well. Just that it is legal to fly somewhere doesn't mean that you should...
 

Wilbur&Garth

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I wouldn't do it if it was on a crowded day. I'd stay mainly over the water to risk the chance of injury to anyone in case it fell out of the sky. And I'd up that altitude to about 100 meters just to be sure you're not drawing attention/bothering anyone.
 

RBeaton

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Cell phones with cameras are likely the biggest threat at the beach. Almost everyone has one and it would be much easier to record people unnoticed with a phone than from a drone.
^ This. It's funny how people will get weird about a drone or even a DSLR camera, but the reality is that people can and do record people covertly with their phones and post it on social media. People do have a weird perception though -- I was flying at the beach recently and a guy said to me, in a bro-kind of way, "What, are you creeping on the chicks on the beach?" Yeah, don't you know it. They'll never notice the flying lawnmower sneaking up on them.

There are a lot of amazing shots you can get at the beach, and like you said, once you get a couple hundred feet offshore, the footage gets boring really quickly. It's the waves, shoreline, land masses, etc. that makes it interesting. I don't think flying at the beach is a problem as long as you're not flying directly over people and giving them enough space/altitude so as not to be a nuisance. Just be aware that some people might take it the wrong way if you're around them. The key is courtesy.
 

Marko9219

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Everyone everywhere will soon quit worrying about drones overhead anywhere. They will get all the attention of passing cars or birds overhead. It's just exactly like the "No Cell Phones In Locker Rooms!" signs we saw at all the gyms when cell phone cameras first became a thing. Knee-jerk reaction. Does ANYBODY not take their phones into the locker rooms now? Of course not
 

lenabanana

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Take this with a grain of salt, but my background is European - so we have many Euro friends and family, and I can genuinely say that people of European background tend to be much more laid back about things like this than North Americans (no offence to anyone intended, I have lived in North America for most of my life). I just find that Europeans are much less likely to get their panties in a twist over things like this.
Personally, I fly over beaches and coastlines pretty often. I try and go high enough that the buzzing doesn't disturb anyone since I am trying to get a shot of the shoreline and not the people anyways - but no one has ever complained about it.
Just be courteous with it.
 

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Just got my first drone. Mavic air. Having a huge debate with my wife as she is convinced it it not appropriate to fly it over a populated beach...
It isn't appropriate to fly over a populated beach, but it is appropriate to fly along side a populated beach. But this isn't about semantics or legalities, it is about how your wife feels about it. I think the only way to change her opinion is to show her, or better yet let her fly it. Then make sure you are not flying over people and are high enough not to be heard. It is best to keep moving since people think a stationary drone is looking at them, no matter what direction it is pointing.

Keep in mind that a video that you will probably look at once and then forget is not worth an irritated wife.
 
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Upabove

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I don’t know if FAA means anything for folks in Europe but as rule of thumb it is not recommended to fly over populated areas especially stadiums or concert areas. If you do as it looks in photo that was the morning of really crowded day. I fly at least 100 feet above if i fly over, pass over, not to stay too long over populated areas.
 
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Marko9219

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Remember the old cliche of the beach bully throwing sand in the weaklings face? Now we can blow it into his face with our prop wash
 
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gnirtS

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I don’t know if FAA means anything for folks in Europe but as rule of thumb it is not recommended to fly over populated areas especially stadiums or concert areas. If you do as it looks in photo that was the morning of really crowded day. I fly at least 100 feet above if i fly over, pass over, not to stay too long over populated areas.
In general european rules are roughly 50m from people or buildings and 150m from crowds or build up areas (and no direct overhead allowed at all). Varies country by country but they're bringing in EU wide rules shortly based on similar to that.

Theres more to it than the "law" though. There's "being nice". Drones can be annoying, they're noisy, they do disturb people. Some people also dont like them. Ultimately if flying your drone is likely to annoy or disturb people, even if it IS legal you should probably not do it and fly higher or around.
A little of of responsibility goes a long way to pacifying people who might be hostile or at least neutral about them.
 

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