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Keep or return Air 3????

bmad786

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Hi. First ever post. So I just bought an Air 3. Got it yesterday. So far I've just updated the firmware. The last drone I had was a Mavic 2 zoom. Sold that nearly 2 years ago. Logged a lot of hours on it so have some experience with that size of drone. Anyway I've been wanting to get back into it again and with the release of the air 3 I thought now would be a good time to jump in.

Rather than doing research I just bought it. Anyway I've now been doing some research and it just seems recreational flying of a drone in the UK is a massive ball ache. Looked into doing the A2 c of c qualification to help derestrict where I can fly and even that seems to be pretty useless. I actually never got hassle from anyone when I had the Mavic but my understanding is loads more folk complain now. In fact I rarely hear drones round my way anymore.

The air 3 is currently packed up ready to return. I had made my mind up earlier but as the day has worn on I'm now having doubts. Am I being defeatist? Is it so difficult flying a drone now? I'm a pilot by trade so love aviation obviously and always loved the perspective a drone gave me. Yes I know I could buy a mini 3 Pro but tbh I like the bigger drones and certain features they offer as well as the 3x zoom on the air 3.

Flipping eck what do I do lol. Cheers
 
What sort of areas do you want to fly in? Town, suburbs, the back of beyond etc.?
If you have not yet opened the Air 3's packing don't until you decide what you are going to do.
Where did you buy it?

If you have opened the packaging, booted and perhaps bound the drone to care refresh etc. and if you return it, REMEMBER that you need to undo the binding otherwise some poor soul may end up with an expensive brick.
 
So, it seems your main concern is the UK regulations regarding flying drones. If so, you either do what is necessary to comply or you don't,
 
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@bmad786 firstly welcome to the forum
unfortunately since your last foray into the wonderful world of drones ,things have indeed moved on ,and to fly the Air 3 with less restrictive distances from all manner of things, now requires you to have the A2 C of C ,as someone who has flown the Mini 3 pro since its release ,it is actually a much more capable drone than many give it credit for, and as you have found out right now for UK flyers ,has very few restrictions on where it can be flown
personally my advice would be to return the Air3 and go for the Mini 3 pro ,and wait and see what the CAA come up with before the end of 2025 ,when its all going to change with regards to the open category if you believe what they say
go with what you heart feels its your decision good luck
 
I fly mainly in the suburbs/ countryside. I have unbound the drone so it's ready to go back.

Regards the A2 qualification, I think I understand what it enables but is very confusing. If it allows me to fly within 50m of uninvolved persons and buildings, which I think it does, then tbh that's good enough for me. However watching a video about it today the host was basically saying the qualification isn't worth it now until the CAA give more clarity. Which might be years!!

Annoyingly I bought a mini 3 Pro a few months ago but the firmware just wouldn't update so I sent it back. Took it as a sign from the drone gods that maybe I shouldn't be buying one!

Must say I'm on the edge of opening it up again.................
 
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The Air 3 is certified as a C1 (just like th Mavic 3) so basically it can fly the same way as the <250g drones (C0).

But idk how much the UK rules have drifted away from the core European drone rules.
 
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@DARKSeifer yes it is C1 but that classification is not recognised here in the UK
 
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The C1 classification was important to me but again lack of research on my part. Didn't realise CAA were not recognising it. Maybe they will change their minds in the future.
 
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So it doesn't matter which drone you get about the MIni 3 Pro. The RULES will be the same. If you want to fly drones your option is to get the certificate
 
I have a Mavic 2 Pro and Mini 3 Pro.

I mainly take landscape images, well away from anyone.

I try and fly early morning/late at night. Golden hour images and less likely to meet other people.

If I feel I might get too close to anything whilst flying, I use the Mini 3 Pro. I also use the Mini when hiking 🥾 as much lighter than the Mavic 2
 
I'm currently in the UK and have the luxury of owning both the Mavic 3 and Mini 3 Pro. I diligently stick to the rules so mostly fly the Mavic out and about away from everything and frankly that's where most of the beauty is anyway. I must tell you that Mini 3 pro is very capable and the images and video are excellent. The only issue I find is that it is rather sensitive to the wind but having said that the gimble does an outstanding job.
 
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I think I'm going to hold out for a Mini4Pro. The Air3 just looks too big and heavy for what I want.
I predict a Mini 3 Pro S (or some other designator) that mainly has the new Omnivision sensor that's in the A3, with a few other fluff changes (enable Precision Landing, higher framerates, other camera features on the A3) well before a Mini 4.
 
Hi. First ever post. So I just bought an Air 3. Got it yesterday. So far I've just updated the firmware. The last drone I had was a Mavic 2 zoom. Sold that nearly 2 years ago. Logged a lot of hours on it so have some experience with that size of drone. Anyway I've been wanting to get back into it again and with the release of the air 3 I thought now would be a good time to jump in.

Rather than doing research I just bought it. Anyway I've now been doing some research and it just seems recreational flying of a drone in the UK is a massive ball ache. Looked into doing the A2 c of c qualification to help derestrict where I can fly and even that seems to be pretty useless. I actually never got hassle from anyone when I had the Mavic but my understanding is loads more folk complain now. In fact I rarely hear drones round my way anymore.

The air 3 is currently packed up ready to return. I had made my mind up earlier but as the day has worn on I'm now having doubts. Am I being defeatist? Is it so difficult flying a drone now? I'm a pilot by trade so love aviation obviously and always loved the perspective a drone gave me. Yes I know I could buy a mini 3 Pro but tbh I like the bigger drones and certain features they offer as well as the 3x zoom on the air 3.

Flipping eck what do I do lol. Cheers
I am in the US but a few thoughts:
1. Only get your info from primary sources i.e. the UK government sites ending in co.uk not "somebody on the internet said." There's a wealth of inaccuracy here and other places. Here's one that says 250g or under means no flyer ID required but with a cam means you need an operator ID: https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code/getting-what-you-need-to-fly
Another that mentions fewer rules for <250g and 250-500g: https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code/where-you-can-fly
Another that shows restricted areas: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1BktWMPYNuh6N5_IPngyq8jW80nAWXI8d&ll=51.800227372697336,-1.390067555299428&z=8

2. In the USA, which I think is similar, I have found the restrictions to be workable even in urban areas. There are a few exceptions (Washington DC, the coast near Los Angeles) Look at the maps and make a fact based decision.

3. The Mini 3 Pro has the same main sensor as the Air 3 and is a very decent craft. Since it is under 250g and less money, I would strongly consider it as an alternative. In practical use, it seems less steady in heavy winds but although it wobbles more the video is often times still quite good.

Good luck and don't let the nay sayers make you miss out on the fun.
 
I’m also in the US and they do not have the same restrictions.

I’m thinking why not just fly the Air 3 in the UK despite the regulations? Do the police there have remote ID scanners and do the police ever walk up to you while flying and ask to see the C1 certificate? What are the odds of getting caught?
 
3. The Mini 3 Pro has the same main sensor as the Air 3
NO IT DOES NOT!!!!

The A3 has a much more advanced technology sensor that is the same size. Made by the same company.

The majority opinion is the newer Omnivision 1/1.3" sensor produces better results than to 1" 20MP sensor in the A2S. It's all over the reviews, and stunning examples posted here.

I would love to have this sensor in my Mini3P.
 
Hi. First ever post. So I just bought an Air 3. Got it yesterday. So far I've just updated the firmware. The last drone I had was a Mavic 2 zoom. Sold that nearly 2 years ago. Logged a lot of hours on it so have some experience with that size of drone. Anyway I've been wanting to get back into it again and with the release of the air 3 I thought now would be a good time to jump in.

Rather than doing research I just bought it. Anyway I've now been doing some research and it just seems recreational flying of a drone in the UK is a massive ball ache. Looked into doing the A2 c of c qualification to help derestrict where I can fly and even that seems to be pretty useless. I actually never got hassle from anyone when I had the Mavic but my understanding is loads more folk complain now. In fact I rarely hear drones round my way anymore.

The air 3 is currently packed up ready to return. I had made my mind up earlier but as the day has worn on I'm now having doubts. Am I being defeatist? Is it so difficult flying a drone now? I'm a pilot by trade so love aviation obviously and always loved the perspective a drone gave me. Yes I know I could buy a mini 3 Pro but tbh I like the bigger drones and certain features they offer as well as the 3x zoom on the air 3.

Flipping eck what do I do lol. Cheers
To your point, the Wild West of drone flying is over, and more and more regulations and restrictions are being imposed daily. With the loss of 10,000 Mavic 3's every month in Ukraine, it's clear that these drones can and are being actively weaponized for war and terrorism, and also indispensable for battlefield reconnaissance.

Many seasoned flyers have recently sold off all their drones. If I had to guess, I'd say the posting traffic on our forum is down to 10% of what it used to be! When I flew my first DJI drone in 2015, I figured we had maybe a year before the hobby would be regulated out of existence. It has taken 8 years, but the handwriting is on all the walls. Congress in the U.S. has banned all Chinese drones from any government use, and wants to prohibit all DJI drones from using any FCC bands for transmission and control! As they used to say, "Smoke 'em if you got 'em!" but don't plan on smoking any more after the pack is empty! Karens abound! Congress and DHS are determined to regulate all consumer drones out of the sky and out of existence. The UK and the EU are doing the same!

The only drone I would consider buying at this time is a Mini 3 Pro, which is temporarily registration free in the U.S., and also legally exempt from RID for recreational use. It is small enough that it poses no real threat, and is perceived as a toy rather than a weapon. It is also among the cheapest, so your financial investment and risk are minimized.

If you haven't already, take up golf! It's been around for over a hundred years, and will around for another hundred years. It is just as addictive, and will also drain your pocketbook annually, buying the latest and greatest driver every year for those extra 5-10 yards! Fore!
 
NO IT DOES NOT!!!!

The A3 has a much more advanced technology sensor that is the same size. Made by the same company.

The majority opinion is the newer Omnivision 1/1.3" sensor produces better results than to 1" 20MP sensor in the A2S. It's all over the reviews, and stunning examples posted here.

I would love to have this sensor in my Mini3P.
Could you share a reference? I have read a couple different reviews that say it is the same Omnivision sensor. For example, "The Mini 3 Pro (M3P) and Air 3 both utilize the same 1/1.3″ camera sensor (Omnivision OV48C) for 12mp/48mp photos and 4K video." from DJI Air 3 vs Mini 3 Pro: DJI's Best Beginner Drone
 
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