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Heading soon to US!!!

nikkolaa

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Arriving soon on east coast, but returning from west coast, I began to ask myself about the possibility customs eventually keep my MP at first arrival.

Besides the fact nbr of batteries is limited (one in drone plus 2 correct ?) and it's charge level must be lowered, and kept with you in hand luggage, eventually with batteries inside safety bags..

In fact I have no knowledge about some restrictions for foreign travelers, but I have to admit I didn't show up on forum these three last months, so is there any new laws that might constrain me?

Maybe an ability test, as it's necessary in Denmark for instance (prior to entry in territory with the drone)?

I was also personally thinking about subscribing the state farm insurance, does any know if possible for foreign people?

I'll have also some "NPs can I fly correct me if wrong questions", but I'll save them if no no-go are raised i guess

Thanks to all of you,
Cheers, Nicolas
 

nikkolaa

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Arriving soon on east coast, but returning from west coast, I began to ask myself about the possibility customs eventually keep my MP at first arrival.

Besides the fact nbr of batteries is limited (one in drone plus 2 correct ?) and it's charge level must be lowered, and kept with you in hand luggage, eventually with batteries inside safety bags..

In fact I have no knowledge about some restrictions for foreign travelers, but I have to admit I didn't show up on forum these three last months, so is there any new laws that might constrain me?

Maybe an ability test, as it's necessary in Denmark for instance (prior to entry in territory with the drone)?

I was also personally thinking about subscribing the state farm insurance, does any know if possible for foreign people?

I'll have also some "NPs can I fly correct me if wrong questions", but I'll save them if no no-go are raised i guess

Thanks to all of you,
Cheers, Nicolas
lifting off from inside NPs is no-go, this is already clear by the way, I was thinking more about the real possibility of flying close to starting from outside, considering the purpose of my eventual flights would not be to fly beyond vlos so just wondering if there's really some spots where it could worth it..
 

LuvMyTJ

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Traveling in the US with a drone and batteries is no problem. I carry mine on with all batteries. I lower the charge but no one has ever checked. In fact from the early days of traveling with a drone before they were all the rage, they would look at it strangely and swipe it. These days they don't even open the case.

Keep in mind there are regulations on flying in the US as a non-resident on vacation or commercial purposes - Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions


Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.51.20 PM✨.png
 
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Prismatic

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Arriving soon on east coast, but returning from west coast, ... I'll have also some "NPs can I fly correct me if wrong questions", but I'll save them ... Cheers, Nicolas
The US is very big. There are more places to fly freely the further west you go (until you’re near the Pacific, and many there, too, if you do the research).
You can’t fly in any area managed by the National Park Service, including all National Parks and many (not all) National Monuments (NMs). Some NMs are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Generally, you can fly in a BLM-managed NM, excepting smaller historical monuments, military cemeteries, and ... better check if you’re unsure.
You’re free to fly in any National Forest or BLM lands unless posted (it’s rare), but most State and local parks are restricted. Most native American Indian reservations are also restricted, as are Wilderness and Primitive Areas.
Oddly, you’re more likely to encounter someone who objects to your drone in a rural setting than in an urban locale. Rural Americans do not like anything unfamiliar. Not. One. Bit. Your drone, coupled with accented English, could lead to dangerous conflict with the xenophobes here who feel empowered these days. I regret to say that you should not expect Americans—especially in the countryside—to welcome foreign visitors. These days, you’re more likely than ever to be met with suspicion, if not outright hostility. These attitudes can be found anywhere, but are unfortunately magnified out in the hinterlands. In such places, keep the drone stowed away and smile a lot.
Still, the public lands I mentioned are fine to fly for now (unless they aren’t, but it’s easy to find out for any borderline situation), and they offer countless wonderful opportunities, without any hassles. So that’s what I recommend for you: National Forests, and any lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Stay away from private lands and drone-restricted public lands (NPS and similar).
But even though you can’t fly in them, don’t miss the National Parks along your route! They remain the jewels of the continent (along with their Canadian and Mexican counterparts): not to be missed!
 
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nikkolaa

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Thanks to the both of you, I have to admit you covered completely all interrogations I had!!

Section 336 to be filled in, basically just a registration of the drone and owner in fact, great!! No commercial purposes yet, only have led than 10 hours of flight!
 

AForceone

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As long as the battery is in carry-on luggage and is below 100 Watt--hours (that is the determining factor) you should be good. Also would recommend using an app like UAV Forcast or AirMap to ensure where you can and cannot fly (i.e. away from airports etc). Also check / see DJI - The World Leader in Camera Drones/Quadcopters for Aerial Photography for reference. Each state has its own rules for state park so you may need to research it. Even within a state, I have seen parks were one will allow it and another one would ban it so each place may need its own research.

Off topic:
While you cannot fly in national parks, still check them out along your way (I assume you are doing a roadtrip?). Many great places to check and see. For multiple national parks visits, consider getting a national parks pass (good for a year for any national park for any one inside the vehcicle). It is $80 but if you plan to go to a few of the more popular parks some off them have fees as high as ~$30/each) .

Have a fun trip!
 

nikkolaa

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The US is very big. There are more places to fly freely the further west you go (until you’re near the Pacific, and many there, too, if you do the research).
You can’t fly in any area managed by the National Park Service, including all National Parks and many (not all) National Monuments (NMs). Some NMs are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Generally, you can fly in a BLM-managed NM, excepting smaller historical monuments, military cemeteries, and ... better check if you’re unsure.
You’re free to fly in any National Forest or BLM lands unless posted (it’s rare), but most State and local parks are restricted. Most native American Indian reservations are also restricted, as are Wilderness and Primitive Areas.
Oddly, you’re more likely to encounter someone who objects to your drone in a rural setting than in an urban locale. Rural Americans do not like anything unfamiliar. Not. One. Bit. Your drone, coupled with accented English, could lead to dangerous conflict with the xenophobes here who feel empowered these days. I regret to say that you should not expect Americans—especially in the countryside—to welcome foreign visitors. These days, you’re more likely than ever to be met with suspicion, if not outright hostility. These attitudes can be found anywhere, but are unfortunately magnified out in the hinterlands. In such places, keep the drone stowed away and smile a lot.
Still, the public lands I mentioned are fine to fly for now (unless they aren’t, but it’s easy to find out for any borderline situation), and they offer countless wonderful opportunities, without any hassles. So that’s what I recommend for you: National Forests, and any lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Stay away from private lands and drone-restricted public lands (NPS and similar).
But even though you can’t fly in them, don’t miss the National Parks along your route! They remain the jewels of the continent (along with their Canadian and Mexican counterparts): not to be missed!
Very complete answer thanks a lot, you also anticipated what I was going to ask : what about area under BLM

We're going to have such a crazy trip that I have no worries if have to wait some more to get granted for flight in the "good" spot to avoid troubles.. NPs won't be avoided if not flight worthy, there is so much to be seen from ground level, you're definitely right

You're right also that one think first to rangers, but local are quite "annoying" too when not having the same knowledge.. Well, all I can say is France or Italy are not better about that..

Indeed, I was concerned about the flight into BLM lands, as I've seen we could have some pretty good loops in Escalante staircase for instance..

If well understood, at the time you're riding a BLM road, you should in BLM land so you can usually be flight approved without restrictions apart from basics: vlos, etc, all the standard package?
 

nikkolaa

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As long as the battery is in carry-on luggage and is below 100 Watt--hours (that is the determining factor) you should be good. Also would recommend using an app like UAV Forcast or AirMap to ensure where you can and cannot fly (i.e. away from airports etc). Also check / see DJI - The World Leader in Camera Drones/Quadcopters for Aerial Photography for reference. Each state has its own rules for state park so you may need to research it. Even within a state, I have seen parks were one will allow it and another one would ban it so each place may need its own research.

Off topic:
While you cannot fly in national parks, still check them out along your way (I assume you are doing a roadtrip?). Many great places to check and see. For multiple national parks visits, consider getting a national parks pass (good for a year for any national park for any one inside the vehcicle). It is $80 but if you plan to go to a few of the more popular parks some off them have fees as high as ~$30/each) .

Have a fun trip!
Yes indeed, we'll get the annual pass as we're about to visit at least 8 of them..

I'm sure I won't be frustrated not flying in NPs as the road trip will be large enough

Any particular hints about this plan :

1-nyc
2-philly
3-dc
For this three first ones I honestly think it will be kept stowed in hotel..

Then, and here's the real fun :

4-Vegas
5-zion NP
6-vermillion cliffs (flight approved)
7-grand canyon
8-goosenecks (not sure..)
9-valley of gods
10-arches (in vicinity there's plenty of other spot)
11-escalante grand staircase (this is where I hope to get the best video footage with less restrictions, as under BLM rules)
12-Grosvenor
13-death valley (too hot,, no way...??)
14-sierrra Nevada and inyo national forest ( yesssss go flyyyyy !!)
15-yosemte
16-lake Tahoe
17-sfo
18-pacific coast to LA (any hints around big sur and vicinity???)
19-LA and SDO

We finish with new Orleans and a bit of Texas as returning from Houston!!

I'm currently ordering additional sd cards!!!

Any good spots or hints will definitely end up in passing them by
 

Prismatic

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Very complete answer thanks a lot, ... Indeed, I was concerned about the flight into BLM lands, as I've seen we could have some pretty good loops in Escalante staircase for instance. If well understood, at the time you're riding a BLM road, you should in BLM land so you can usually be flight approved without restrictions apart from basics: vlos, etc, all the standard package?
You’re welcome! There are unlimited opportunities for you in GSENM. Try to avoid places where people congregate (there are some; swimming holes, popular overlooks, etc.), but otherwise fly with joy.
That said, please understand that the GSENM is extremely remote, and many of the BLM roads you see in Google Earth are far too rugged for ordinary vehicles. I drive a well-equipped, very capable late-model 4WD, and I’m experienced with this kind of driving, but I will turn back rather than risk sand or mud that could strand me 50 km or more from help. (A buddy in a 2nd 4WD is a great comfort.) From mid-May through mid-September, temperatures regularly top 100F (38C), and unprepared visitors regularly die out there. Be careful, also, of flash floods. Even if the sky is clear, rain so distant you didn’t see it when it fell can turn a dry, sandy stream bed into a deadly, black, growling maelstrom in moments.
Never overestimate your driving abilities—or your vehicle. Carry way too much extra water and food with you, and enjoy a truly wild place.
I shot the two videos below in April. The balanced rock is near the AZ/UT line. The “badlands” are near Capitol Reef NP, north of the Grand Staircase/Escalante NM. Neither required 4WD.
 
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Prismatic

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Yes indeed, we'll get the annual pass as we're about to visit at least 8 of them...
<*snip*>
4-Vegas [ick]
5-zion NP [superb; no flying]
6-vermillion cliffs (flight approved) [not all of the Vermillion Cliffs are open, check with the station at Big Water first]
7-grand canyon [superb; no flying]
8-goosenecks (not sure..) [wonderful, but flying allowed only in winter.]
9-valley of gods [superb; distances are greater than you think! Please stay off the cryptobiotic soil there. You’ll love the Moki Dugway, too.]
10-arches (in vicinity there's plenty of other spot) [There are many opportunities outside the nearby National and State Parks; take care, the winds near high cliffs—and in canyons—can be treacherous.]
11-escalante grand staircase (this is where I hope to get the best video footage with less restrictions, as under BLM rules) [This area can be the treasure you desire, but heed the warnings in my other reply.]
12-Grosvenor [arch, I suppose. Beautiful and flyable, but you’re not likely to have it to yourself; speak with the other visitors if you can, to get their OK.
13-death valley (too hot,, no way...??) [superb, but summer is a perfectly terrible time to be there! Too severe, mortally dangerous in mere moments, NOT FUN. Wait for winter; no flying]
14-sierrra Nevada and inyo national forest ( yesssss go flyyyyy !!) [unknown to me, probably amazing but drones don’t look upward, and the peaks may tower a km or more above your launch point.]
15-Yosemite [superb; no flying]
16-lake Tahoe [unknown to me, but I believe most if not all the shoreline is either private or restricted public land; better check first.]
18-pacific coast to LA (any hints around big sur and vicinity???) [largely unknown to me, but I know much of Big Sur is private or restricted State or local park lands.]
Any good spots or hints will definitely end up in passing them by.
I don’t give away my fishing holes! :cool: (P.S. and for reference, the English idiom of “passing something by” means exactly the opposite of what you intended.)
 

nikkolaa

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Thanks for the clarification, especially those about English idioms!! Always good to know hmm

I found out recently that avenza maps app (do you know that?) is quite powerful to know and download geoloczlized (free) maps "approved/issued" by blm, giving you a way to assess suitability of each road way better than Google common database - weather then has to be included as well advised, and of course eventual limitations depending of season.

It gave me confidence about ETA planning during this first loop but we'll always have a way to go backwards even if resulting in a longer distance.
I've experienced this in Iceland when emptying the fuel tank so much because of a flooded river usually rideable that I decided to always buy a jerrican!!

I used to have 4wd at home too, and rented for this part a wrangler as I've spent some times on it already, guess at least knowing the car and having real 4wd not just SUV is a nice to have.
 

nikkolaa

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Your videos are awesome, already giving me some hints about how I'd videotape some monuments

Is it monuments valley in far background in first video around 1:36?

Or this place is so full of these gigantic rocks structure that they all look the same?!
 

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