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Newbie drone owner from the UK with a general drone code question.

petedameat

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Hi guys,

As the title says I'm a newbie drone owner (Mavic Mini) from the UK and have a general drone code question. I'm aware of the rules that you cannot fly above 400ft, over large crowds etc but my question is in reference to the flying over/near a "congested" area. I live on the outskirts of a small town with my garden almost backing onto open fields. By almost, I mean there are a couple of small housing estates in the flight path. Am I within the rules/code to take off from my garden, rise to say 200ft (so I'm not within 50m of a house/person) then fly over the few houses and accross the open fields? Below is a map of my potential flight path:

flight_path.png

I know the easiest answer is for me to stop being lazy and walk to the open fields but just wondered if I'd be within the law/rules to try the above.

Any input would be much appreciated.
 
Hiya, and welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but there is a new version of the drone code, which states that you can't fly any less than 50m from buildings, cars, trains and boats - so, you'd be in breach of the regulations.

The new code can be found here: https://dronesafe.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Drone-Code_October2019.pdf

Edit to add - I also don't see how you can maintain a VLOS with other houses in the way.
 
Last edited:
Since you cannot fly closer than 50m to any building/car in the UK, you are therefore not allowed to take off/land in your own garden, down your street, in a car park (with parked cars there). I'm sure people will quote caveats, but that's how the guide is written.
1582554314368.png
 
Hiya, and welcome to the forum.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but there is a new version of the drone code, which states that you can't fly any less than 50m from buildings, cars, trains and boats - so, you'd be in breach of the regulations.

The new code can be found here: https://dronesafe.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Drone-Code_October2019.pdf

Hi,

Thank you for your response. I was aware of the 50m restriction but was under the impression, from the image on the drone safe website, that provided you were at an height/distance of >= 50m of the house, person etc you could fly over the top and therefore not breaching the regulations?
 
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Welcome to the forum.
I hope you will find our site helpful and look forward to any input , photo's/video's you might post .
Don't be shy and ask anything if you can't find it by searching. Thumbswayup
 
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Hi,

Thank you for your response. I was aware of the 50m restriction but was under the impression, from the image on the drone safe website, that provided you were at an height/distance of >= 50m of the house, person etc you could fly over the top and therefore not breaching the regulations?

If your garden is more than 50m from a house (including yours), person, car, train or boat (!!) then you'll be fine.

But, can you maintain a visual line of sight of your drone with all of those houses between you?

This might help you - What to do if you See a Drone Over your House
 
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Since you cannot fly closer than 50m to any building/car in the UK, you are therefore not allowed to take off/land in your own garden, down your street, in a car park (with parked cars there). I'm sure people will quote caveats, but that's how the guide is written.
View attachment 94932

Surely if my take off point was 50m from another property I could take off, climb to say 200ft (which should allow for 50m space between my drone and the highest point of another property, car, person etc) I could then fly over the top? The graphic doesn't state a no-fly zone above the structure?

Also, I've seen other web pages where it says the 50m restriction is reduced to 30m for take-off/landing.
 
If your garden is more than 50m from a house (including yours), person, car, train or boat (!!) then you'll be fine.

But, can you maintain a visual line of sight of your drone with all of those houses between you?

This might help you - What to do if you See a Drone Over your House

Thanks for this. I could maintain visual line of sight for the 2 flight paths shown if I were to control the drone from an upstairs room in my house. One other question, I've seen on other sites where the 50m restriction is reduced to 30m for take-off/landing, have you ever heard this, or is this a myth?
 
welcome to the forum
on your map you are going to be flying over dwellings and roads which must be unoccupied at the time to allow you to fly over them
unfortunately you would not be able to see if there were people or vehicles present as you flew over them
you would be better to walk the short distance to the field and then fly from there, and no more closer than 150m from the houses as that is classed as a built up area
 
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welcome to the forum
on your map you are going to be flying over dwellings and roads which must be unoccupied at the time to allow you to fly over them
unfortunately you would not be able to see if there were people or vehicles present as you flew over them
you would be better to walk the short distance to the field and then fly from there, and no more closer than 150m from the houses as that is classed as a built up area

The built up area is still a bit vague, but Jonathan Nicholson, Assistant Director of Corporate Communications at the CAA stated 'a village is most likely not a built up area'.

I think given the vague criteria for 'a built up area' it's open to personal interpretation. I wouldn't class the houses in OP's photo as a built up area. Anyone that tried to prosecute someone for flying over the buildings would have a hard time.

I've never read that the buildings have to be unoccupied, where is that from? The drone code doesn't state that.
 
Thanks for this. I could maintain visual line of sight for the 2 flight paths shown if I were to control the drone from an upstairs room in my house. One other question, I've seen on other sites where the 50m restriction is reduced to 30m for take-off/landing, have you ever heard this, or is this a myth?


Also, keep in mind - when the rules change in July as follows: No flight within 150m horizontally of residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas (A3 subcategory of Open category).
 
its ok to fly over roads when no traffic is moving ie empty road but not over moving vehicles and it was mainly that point i was trying to make ,i am unable to fly from my house because there is traffic moving past it all day, and most of the evening,plus there is a school approx a 120m away at the end of the road ,it just would not be practical to try and fly from my home
i think that at this time there is too much ambiguity in the rules,and there application, so for me its better to be safe than sorry
 
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Hi guys,

As the title says I'm a newbie drone owner (Mavic Mini) from the UK and have a general drone code question. I'm aware of the rules that you cannot fly above 400ft, over large crowds etc but my question is in reference to the flying over/near a "congested" area. I live on the outskirts of a small town with my garden almost backing onto open fields. By almost, I mean there are a couple of small housing estates in the flight path. Am I within the rules/code to take off from my garden, rise to say 200ft (so I'm not within 50m of a house/person) then fly over the few houses and accross the open fields? Below is a map of my potential flight path:

View attachment 94913

I know the easiest answer is for me to stop being lazy and walk to the open fields but just wondered if I'd be within the law/rules to try the above.

Any input would be much appreciated.
You will require permission to over f
Hi guys,

As the title says I'm a newbie drone owner (Mavic Mini) from the UK and have a general drone code question. I'm aware of the rules that you cannot fly above 400ft, over large crowds etc but my question is in reference to the flying over/near a "congested" area. I live on the outskirts of a small town with my garden almost backing onto open fields. By almost, I mean there are a couple of small housing estates in the flight path. Am I within the rules/code to take off from my garden, rise to say 200ft (so I'm not within 50m of a house/person) then fly over the few houses and accross the open fields? Below is a map of my potential flight path:

View attachment 94913

I know the easiest answer is for me to stop being lazy and walk to the open fields but just wondered if I'd be within the law/rules to try the above.

Any input would be much appreciated.
If you want the current rules and regulations see this link

 
You will require permission to over f

If you want the current rules and regulations see this link


No, they don’t need permission to fly over. The information in the link you gave clearly states a person can fly at a distance of 50m over buildings.

If you read the rest of the thread, the answers have already been given with correct information.
 
Hi guys,

As the title says I'm a newbie drone owner (Mavic Mini) from the UK and have a general drone code question. I'm aware of the rules that you cannot fly above 400ft, over large crowds etc but my question is in reference to the flying over/near a "congested" area. I live on the outskirts of a small town with my garden almost backing onto open fields. By almost, I mean there are a couple of small housing estates in the flight path. Am I within the rules/code to take off from my garden, rise to say 200ft (so I'm not within 50m of a house/person) then fly over the few houses and accross the open fields? Below is a map of my potential flight path:

View attachment 94913

I know the easiest answer is for me to stop being lazy and walk to the open fields but just wondered if I'd be within the law/rules to try the above.

Any input would be much appreciated.
jump to 200 ft go full boat then you can go become a lawn mower or shoot pics of butter flys ...the laws are to stop drone from hovering over peoples home or looking in there windows ....im under the same thing .. jump up and go at 200 nobody will even know ur there ........zooom enjoy
 
jump to 200 ft go full boat then you can go become a lawn mower or shoot pics of butter flys ...the laws are to stop drone from hovering over peoples home or looking in there windows ....im under the same thing .. jump up and go at 200 nobody will even know ur there ........zooom enjoy

This is true for "everyone else" except the day the OP does it. In that case three people phone the police due to "low flying drone spying on them". Then, win , loose or draw the OP will be on the police' radar as a drone operator flying over the estate. From then on every time "a drone" is seen in the area the OP will be the first port of call. Given how close the fields are it is just not worth messing about. Walk/drive to the fields and fly from them.

The other point is you said VLOS from an upstairs bedroom. I assume this is the bedroom overlooking the take of point? You need VLOS for whole flight.
 
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I think the common sense question you have to ask yourself before you fly is "what would happen if I had a rotor/engine failure at any point on this flight?" If you would potentially damage property or worse, land on a child or cause a car to swerve and crash, then don't fly.

It does not look as if you would be able to maintain visual sight of your drone with what you are proposing anyway.
 
There's a lot of confusion about what a congested area actually is. A good few years ago now, when I took my PCFO, the instructor on my course said a congested can be described as just one property! Since then the rules have at least been clarified a little better. Yes you can fly over properties as long as you're at a height of over 50 metres. You must stay within visual line of sight with your aircraft and fly to a maximum distance from the take off point of 1,500ft (500 metres). Your take off point must be at least 50m (150ft) from any property, structure, vehicle or road not under your control. The 30m take off and landing rule you were referring to, regards people. You must stay at least 50m away from any person or animal not under your control, this is reduced to 30 meters for take off and landing. Is the road the runs past your house more than 50 metres away from where you intend to take off? If it is, you have a pretty substantially sized garden (for the UK). Are there properties on either side of your property and if there is, are they at least 50 metres away from where you intend to take off from? If they are less than 50 metres, you will have to get permission from those property owners, so that you can take off and land from where you intend to conduct your flight. Permission is best gotten in writing, this saves any confusion if any dispute arises at a later time.

Having said all that! Just because you (could) legally fly over properties, is it really best practice to actually do so? I know this is highly unlikely. But what if you were happily flying out over the properties that you have written about and a motor went nuclear on your aircraft. It'd fall straight out of the sky and most likely hit one of the properties, out buildings, car or even a person. An MM is only a small and light aircraft I know, but if it fell from a height of 50 metres straight on top of someone's melon, then that's at least going to cause an injury of some kind... As the pilot, you are liable for any injury or damage caused.. What I'm saying is, for the sake of walking a couple of hundred metres to the fields you are on about, is it worth the risk?
 
There are a couple of terms used interchangeably - "Built-up Area'" and "Congested Area". It used to be that the CAA used the term 'Congested Area' to determine a place where the population density was reasonably high (a Town or City), like the centre of Sherborne (Cheap Street). My opinion would be that you are stretching the rules due to the fact that you are overflying houses in 'The Sheeplands' estate where you have no 'control' of the occupants (i.e. you can't order them to stay indoors while you are flying over them, to guarantee their safety).
It's going to be one of those things where you'll have no issues until you are reported by somebody who doesn't like you overflying them, or worse - if you have a failure that puts the drone on or in somebody's property, then you are going to have to fight your case.

You are also going to have to explain why you are not flying Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS), as your take-off point on 'Twelve Acres' is not going to give you an unobstructed view of the drone out to the end of the red-lines (500 metres) you have put on the map in the OP.
My advice is to have a word with the owner of the farmhouse up Trent Path Lane, and ask if he minds you basing yourself at the cross-roads on the B3148 to fly from there (making sure you keep 50 metres away from vehicles on the B3148, and from his house!).
 
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