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Hi from Santa Clarita!

davidarmenb

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Location
Santa Clarita, CA
Hi everyone!

What a great forum.

I am a hobbyist/enthusiast photographer and videographer and, being a gadget geek, I have always been into drones.

The latest generation of DJI drones, such as the Air 3 and Mini 4 Pro, have advanced enough where I feel they are worth it for my needs and price point.

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of learning and research and this forum has been a huge help. I got my TRUST certificate, have learned all the laws and rules regarding recreational UAS flying in the US and plan on flying under the recreational exception. My entire area, the Santa Clarita Valley, is Class G Uncontrolled Airspace and I believe I will have many places to easily fly, especially up north within Angeles National Forest, where I regularly go off-roading in my Jeep Wrangler. Places like Rowher Flats OHV, Drinkwater Flats OHV, and the countless forest and fire roads and vast open areas with almost zero people, other than the occasional ATV, Jeep 4x4, or dirt bike.

Checking the airspace with Autopylot, I can see that these locations north of the city of Santa Clarita are also Glass G Uncontrolled Airspace, and despite being within a National Forest, they are nowhere near Wilderness, Wildlife, or Protected Areas.

Am I correct in deducing that I can fly in these areas?

I am still undecided between the Air 3 and the Mini 4 Pro. I realize I will need to register the Air 3. I will get the Fly more combo with the RC2 remote whichever way I go. I will get the Plus batteries for the Mini 4 Pro (if I choose the Mini) since I don’t mind registering. am leaning closer to the Air 3 for its’ second camera, higher weight (wind resistance), longer flight time, and the assumption that it will not have the compromises in build material/quality that the Mini 4 Pro will have in order to keep it under the 250g limit. However, I am concerned about is the Air 3 will be more noticeable in the air due to its larger size and louder sound. I will most likely be making my decision and purchasing the drone this weekend.

Anyway, long thread but I’m just here to say hi as a future fellow drone owner!

IMG_3554.jpeg
 
Hi neighbor from down the mountain in Bakersfield!
There are some nice places around you to Fly BUT Stay out of the National park area They are very Drone aware up there at the National forest, and you NEED to get their Permission to take-off and land within the areas they control. It's a gamble as to getting it- They will site Fire Dangers, Wildlife disturbance, and Worst of all-> California Condor preservation areas, as reasons to tell you NO. Remember it is a national park.
 
Greetings from Birmingham Alabama USA, welcome to the forum! We look forward to hearing from you!
 
Hi everyone!

What a great forum.

I am a hobbyist/enthusiast photographer and videographer and, being a gadget geek, I have always been into drones.

The latest generation of DJI drones, such as the Air 3 and Mini 4 Pro, have advanced enough where I feel they are worth it for my needs and price point.

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of learning and research and this forum has been a huge help. I got my TRUST certificate, have learned all the laws and rules regarding recreational UAS flying in the US and plan on flying under the recreational exception. My entire area, the Santa Clarita Valley, is Class G Uncontrolled Airspace and I believe I will have many places to easily fly, especially up north within Angeles National Forest, where I regularly go off-roading in my Jeep Wrangler. Places like Rowher Flats OHV, Drinkwater Flats OHV, and the countless forest and fire roads and vast open areas with almost zero people, other than the occasional ATV, Jeep 4x4, or dirt bike.

Checking the airspace with Autopylot, I can see that these locations north of the city of Santa Clarita are also Glass G Uncontrolled Airspace, and despite being within a National Forest, they are nowhere near Wilderness, Wildlife, or Protected Areas.

Am I correct in deducing that I can fly in these areas?

I am still undecided between the Air 3 and the Mini 4 Pro. I realize I will need to register the Air 3. I will get the Fly more combo with the RC2 remote whichever way I go. I will get the Plus batteries for the Mini 4 Pro (if I choose the Mini) since I don’t mind registering. am leaning closer to the Air 3 for its’ second camera, higher weight (wind resistance), longer flight time, and the assumption that it will not have the compromises in build material/quality that the Mini 4 Pro will have in order to keep it under the 250g limit. However, I am concerned about is the Air 3 will be more noticeable in the air due to its larger size and louder sound. I will most likely be making my decision and purchasing the drone this weekend.

Anyway, long thread but I’m just here to say hi as a future fellow drone owner!

View attachment 172827
Welcome! I just recently joined this forum myself. There are LOTS of great, helpful people here. Even if your App indicates you can fly there, be aware of local and state regulations. I was shocked to learn just how heavily regulated drone flight is these days, especially in and around national parks and state parks.
 
Hi neighbor from down the mountain in Bakersfield!
There are some nice places around you to Fly BUT Stay out of the National park area They are very Drone aware up there at the National forest, and you NEED to get their Permission to take-off and land within the areas they control. It's a gamble as to getting it- They will site Fire Dangers, Wildlife disturbance, and Worst of all-> California Condor preservation areas, as reasons to tell you NO. Remember it is a national park.
Thank you so much neighbor! Yes I have read a ton and learned about the National Park drone issue. However, as far as I know, there is a clear distinction between National Parks and National Forests. I have read that there is absolutely no drone flights allowed in any National Parks in the USA. However, it is a different issue when it comes to National Forests. From all the reading I have done, flights are allowed within National Forest boundaries so long as it isn’t also within Protected Wilderness areas etc.

Here is a great PDF from the Forest Service outlining drone flights in National Forests.
In summary, it cautions pilots to be aware of Temporary Flight Restrictions in wildfire areas and it outlines where inside the National Forest you shouldn’t/cannot fly.

Quoting the PDF:
- Do not fly over congressionally designated Wilderness or Primitive areas as many people seek these places for the opportunities for solitude and quiet that they provide.
- Do not fly over or near wildlife as this can create stress that may cause significant harm, and even death.
- Pursuit, harassment, or an intentional disturbance of animals during breeding, nesting, rearing of young, or other critical life history functions is prohibited unless legally approved as research or management.
- Follow state wildlife and fish agency regulations on the use of UAS to search for or detect wildlife and fish.
- Launch the UAS more than 100 meters (328 feet) from wildlife. Do not approach animals or
birds vertically with the UAS.
- Birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and bald eagles are also protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act which, among restrictions for causing harm, also
prohibits harassment and disturbance of bald and golden eagles.

Other than these guidelines, I believe we are allowed to fly in National Forests.
I hope the more experienced members can confirm this one way or the other!
 
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I am a hobbyist/enthusiast photographer and videographer and, being a gadget geek, I have always been into drones.

Welcome from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, USA. We have a Member's Map in the Upper Right of the Title Bar. Click on "Members" and then Click on "Member's Map…" Check it out and you might find some new flying friends.


I am so impressed with your knowledge level, you will go far!!!

However, as a New Drone Pilot, there are a couple of Legal Things you may still need to do…

The Mini 4 Drone weighs less than 250-grams (0.55 pounds), and while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are not required to register this Drone.

However, the Air 3 Your Drone weighs more than 250-grams (0.55 pounds), and even while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are required to register this Drone.

Link to the FAADroneZone (Optional Registration for Drones under 250-Grams…)


If you are considering acquiring your Part 107 License, here is a link to get you going…


Since you live in California, there are specific laws and rules for you to follow, please check the link below for all the Rules and Laws that are in effect in your neck of the woods and it also links you to some of the Best Places to Fly in your area… Also, if you travel on vacation, visit friends, and relatives in other parts of the country, check back here so you do not run afoul of the law.


Even though you have flown Drones before, here is some Good Old Fashion Advice…

You paid a lot of money for that Drone, put your phone number on it. If your drone gets lost or stuck in a tree and it finally comes down when you are not around, give the finders an opportunity to contact you so it can be returned.

Now, for the Fun Part, But do not let the excitement of the moment get the best of you. When you are going out to fly, do it slowly and deliberately. Get used to a set procedure and even practice it.

There are so many things I could write but these are the highlights that I feel need mentioning.

Plug in your phone/tablet into your controller; turn on the Controller and DJI Fly App (if it does not start on its own…). On the Drone, open the front legs, then open the back legs, then remove the Gimbal Cover.

The Gimbal is the most delicate item on the Drone and banging or bumping can damage it. I also fastened a short "Remove Before Flight" ribbon to the cover so it's more noticeable and I do not forget to remove it…

Turn on the drone and watch it come to "life." Watching the Gimbal go through its self-check is almost like watching a puppy or kitten opening its eyes for the first time…

Place the drone down (preferably on a Landing Pad) while it finishes its self-test (collecting satellites, etc…).

Check your battery status (Phone, Drone, and Controller), check the Signal Strength, by now the Controller should have reported it updated the Home Point.

Lift off, 6- feet (2-meters) or so, hover a bit, check the controls (move the drone a bit forward, back, left, right, yaw left and right). By now, your Controller will probably report again, Home point Updated.

If you go out in a rush and race thru your start up and take off before the drone has finished it prep, it may update its Home Point over that pond or that old tree you are flying over and in your excitement, you'll fly the drone long past it Low Battery point and when it engages Return to Home and lands in the pond or in a tree; it will be all on you…

Now go have fun, learn to fly the drone by sight before you try to fly it out a distance depending on the video feed, FPV.

I would also advise you to use YouTube and watch a lot of the Videos on flying and setting up the Drone. When it is too dark, too cold, or too wet, you can "fly it vicariously" through YouTube. Also watch some of the Blooper Drone Videos and learn how not to fly your "New Baby."

Below is the link to all of the downloads offered by DJI for the Mini 4 Pro and th Air 3, including the User Manuals.

After you read the Manuals, read them again, you will be surprised what you missed the first time and you will be better prepared for that first "scary moment…"



Fly On and Fly Safe…
 
Welcome to the forum! :)
 
Welcome from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, USA. We have a Member's Map in the Upper Right of the Title Bar. Click on "Members" and then Click on "Member's Map…" Check it out and you might find some new flying friends.


I am so impressed with your knowledge level, you will go far!!!
Thanks a ton for all the incredible information and resources!! The Members Map is an awesome tool that I wasn’t aware of!
However, as a New Drone Pilot, there are a couple of Legal Things you may still need to do…

The Mini 4 Drone weighs less than 250-grams (0.55 pounds), and while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are not required to register this Drone.

However, the Air 3 Your Drone weighs more than 250-grams (0.55 pounds), and even while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are required to register this Drone.

Link to the FAADroneZone (Optional Registration for Drones under 250-Grams…)

Yes I already have my TRUST and I am aware I will need to register my drone and even if I get the Mini 4 Pro, I will get the Fly More Combo Plus, which includes the higher capacity, heavier batteries, taking the drone above 250g. But I am leaning very heavily towards the Air 3 the closer we get to the weekend.
If you are considering acquiring your Part 107 License, here is a link to get you going…

I have no plans yet of operating under Part 107, however, it is totally something I am open to doing once I have my drone for a while.
Since you live in California, there are specific laws and rules for you to follow, please check the link below for all the Rules and Laws that are in effect in your neck of the woods and it also links you to some of the Best Places to Fly in your area… Also, if you travel on vacation, visit friends, and relatives in other parts of the country, check back here so you do not run afoul of the law.

Thank you for this great resource of state drone laws.
Even though you have flown Drones before, here is some Good Old Fashion Advice…

You paid a lot of money for that Drone, put your phone number on it. If your drone gets lost or stuck in a tree and it finally comes down when you are not around, give the finders an opportunity to contact you so it can be returned.
This is a great idea and is something I will do, sticking it adjacent to my registration sticker.
Now, for the Fun Part, But do not let the excitement of the moment get the best of you. When you are going out to fly, do it slowly and deliberately. Get used to a set procedure and even practice it.

There are so many things I could write but these are the highlights that I feel need mentioning.

Plug in your phone/tablet into your controller; turn on the Controller and DJI Fly App (if it does not start on its own…). On the Drone, open the front legs, then open the back legs, then remove the Gimbal Cover.

The Gimbal is the most delicate item on the Drone and banging or bumping can damage it. I also fastened a short "Remove Before Flight" ribbon to the cover so it's more noticeable and I do not forget to remove it…

Turn on the drone and watch it come to "life." Watching the Gimbal go through its self-check is almost like watching a puppy or kitten opening its eyes for the first time…

Place the drone down (preferably on a Landing Pad) while it finishes its self-test (collecting satellites, etc…).

Check your battery status (Phone, Drone, and Controller), check the Signal Strength, by now the Controller should have reported it updated the Home Point.

Lift off, 6- feet (2-meters) or so, hover a bit, check the controls (move the drone a bit forward, back, left, right, yaw left and right). By now, your Controller will probably report again, Home point Updated.

If you go out in a rush and race thru your start up and take off before the drone has finished it prep, it may update its Home Point over that pond or that old tree you are flying over and in your excitement, you'll fly the drone long past it Low Battery point and when it engages Return to Home and lands in the pond or in a tree; it will be all on you…

Now go have fun, learn to fly the drone by sight before you try to fly it out a distance depending on the video feed, FPV.

I would also advise you to use YouTube and watch a lot of the Videos on flying and setting up the Drone. When it is too dark, too cold, or too wet, you can "fly it vicariously" through YouTube. Also watch some of the Blooper Drone Videos and learn how not to fly your "New Baby."

Below is the link to all of the downloads offered by DJI for the Mini 4 Pro and th Air 3, including the User Manuals.

After you read the Manuals, read them again, you will be surprised what you missed the first time and you will be better prepared for that first "scary moment…"



Fly On and Fly Safe…
Thanks a ton!! Yes I’ve been watching hours of YouTube videos, including hourlong beginners guides for the Air 3 and Mini Pro 4 that go over every single aspect of the drone including all features and operation. I’ve watched many tips and tricks videos, many cinematic controls tutorials, drone dos and don’ts, drone laws, etc.. Basically, to educate myself in making an informed decision on my purchase, I have been watching and reading everything drone related I can get my hands on for the past few weeks.
I don’t wanna be that guy who causes damage to my drone, or worse, damage to other property, because of a stupid decision/mistake due to lack of proper education.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LoudThunder
Thanks all so much for the warm welcome.
Welcome to the forum and good to have you here. Once the drone you eventually obtain is above 50mtrs you and anyone nearby won’t hear it anyway.
This is amazing news to hear. One of my big concerns is noise. It’s reassuring hearing a real world opinion from a drone pilot. I myself don't have much experience with drone noise but now that I think about it, all of the drones that I have noticed in public have been at pretty low altitudes, maybe at average tree height. I assume this is because they are much harder to notice at higher altitudes.
 
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