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Newb Questions: USA Flight Permissions: FAA Authorizations, Geozone Unlocking, Etc

ZaphodFtW

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Texas USA
Hello, all. I am brand new to drones (and flying anything for that matter) and am trying to work my way through the legal requirements to fly. I'm not sure which steps are necessary and which are not. (I did formerly work as an engineer at Lockheed Martin so I'm familiar with many technical aspects of aircraft and flying, have actually taught mission planning systems to F-16 pilots and have worked with many Air Force pilots over the years - I've just never had to deal with the details of actually flying!)

I live in the USA, in Class D airspace, due to my proximity to Naval Air Station / Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth (formerly Carswell AFB). According to maps on FAA DroneZone and other sources, my altitude limitation in this restricted airspace is 200 feet at my home, 400 feet a bit south of my home. Here's what I have done so far:

- I have created an account on the FAA DroneZone as a recreational drone pilot, (Exception For Recreational Flyers)
- I have registered my drone with the FAA through DroneZone
- I requested, and received from the FAA, a wide area authorization to fly in this Class D airspace with certain special provisions. (For example, I have to call base flight ops every time I want to fly, cannot fly in the special security overlay close in to the runway without additional authorization.) But I DID get that authorization and it only took 2 days!
- I have registered my drone with DJI FlySafe.

Right now I'm in the process of creating, through DJI FlySafe, a custom geozone unlock for a portion of this Class D airspace that I'm most likely to be flying in. I have not completed the process. Is the geozone unlock truly necessary? The reason that I ask is that after receiving my drone a few days ago I have been learning to fly it in my back yard at very very low altitude. I do get a popup from the DJI Fly app warning me that I'm in controlled airspace but I can just click "confirm" to accept responsibility and I am able to fly. The app is not restricting me from flying, at least not in my back yard. So I am confused about the necessity for geozone unlocking or how it actually works.

Can you experienced flyers help me understand this a bit more? And let me know if I'm on the right track with the steps I've taken?

Thanks much!
 
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Well, I made a bit of progress. I successfully got approval for a one-year DJI FlySafe geozone unlock in the area within this Class D airspace in which I may be flying. My first request, which was for a 2-year period to align with the FAA authorization, was rejected as FlySafe only goes out to one year. I resubmitted with a one-year period and was approved, and successfully imported the license to the drone so I'm good to go in my nearby protected airspace.

My next challenge will be when my wife and I are out roadtripping and I encounter some other restricted airspace (like White Sands National Park, just south of ( and abutting) the missile range. 😲
 
Just curious - receiving 1 year approval requires an upload of some kind. What did you upload to get this?
 
Just curious - receiving 1 year approval requires an upload of some kind. What did you upload to get this?
I uploaded my 2-year authorization from the FAA.

Edit: To clarify, when I applied for an FAA authorization to fly in this Class D airspace, their online form allowed for a time span of up to 2 years. I applied for that amount of time and was approved.
 
Yes, thanks.
Sorry, I didn't realize another fellow replied four minutes before I did! I'm studying for Part 107; exam scheduled for the end of June.

Edit- FWIW, if you take the TRUST prep and exam on Pilot Instutute, as previously mentioned, it's maybe 30 minutes of your life at the outside.
 
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Sorry, I didn't realize another fellow replied four minutes before I did! I'm studying for Part 107; exam scheduled for the end of June.

Edit- FWIW, if you take the TRUST prep and exam on Pilot Instutute, as previously mentioned, it's maybe 30 minutes of your life at the outside.
Cool, thanks!
 
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