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Newbie: Unlocking Geo Zones?

Ray&Paula

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Hi, I was looking at the video below about unlocking Geo Zones. I'm confused about this due to watching several video's and responses in forums. I thought all you had to do was call airports that are within 5 miles to let them know when/where you are flying..... That's it. Here's where I'm confused, DJI wants credit card numbers for access/unlocking to airports in yellow area's. I seen somewhere you also may be locked out through the DJI App and can't fly. I'm a newbie to all this in which I'm totally unclear of what I need to do to fly. I thought all I needed was to call the airport ahead of time. Could someone "Please" set me straight? Thanks, Ray

 
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BD0G

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You need call and notify if you are going to fly in an area that is within 5 miles of an airport, heliport, etc. So say you call. Great!
Even though you have called the airport or or airports the DJIGO4 app will still notify you that you are in a No Fly Zone when attempting to take off in the area near the airport. The personel at the airports have no way of interfacing with DJI and temporarily removing the No Fly Zone restriction from the app (DJIGO4) that will prevent you from taking off.

So essentially you will be staring down at your drone that is land locked and not allowed to venture up into the air.

Thats where GEO Unlocking comes in. Essentially you visit the DJI website and provide them information that is requested and then you are issued a code to enter that will allow the No Fly Zone to be unlocked and allow you to fly. Without this unlock no fly.

What is also interesting is that if you fly from an area that is not a No Fly Zone and approach a restricted No Fly Zone you will not be able to fly into that area unless unlocked. Imagine an invisible brick wall.
 
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Ray&Paula

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You need call and notify if you are going to fly in an area that is within 5 miles of an airport, heliport, etc. So say you call. Great!
Even though you have called the airport or or airports the DJIGO4 app will still notify you that you are in a No Fly Zone when attempting to take off in the area near the airport. The personel at the airports have no way of interfacing with DJI and temporarily removing the No Fly Zone restriction from the app (DJIGO4) that will prevent you from taking off.

So essentially you will be staring down at your drone that is land locked and not allowed to venture up into the air.

Thats where GEO Unlocking comes in. Essentially you visit the DJI website and provide them information that is requested and then you are issued a code to enter that will allow the No Fly Zone to be unlocked and allow you to fly. Without this unlock no fly.

What is also interesting is that if you fly from an area that is not a No Fly Zone and approach a restricted No Fly Zone you will not be able to fly into that area unless unlocked. Imagine an invisible brick wall.

This is really p....... me off! Ok, if I want to fly I have to spend fifteen B.S. minutes to get in the air. I just received my Mavic Air a couple days ago and this certainly would have had me thinking twice. Who do I have to thank for this? DJI? Anyway...... Thank you for giving me the information on this and have a great weekend. Ray :)
 
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ChrisW81

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This is really p....... me off! Ok, if I want to fly I have to spend fifteen B.S. minutes to get in the air. I just received my Mavic Air a couple days ago and this certainly would have had me thinking twice. Who do I have to thank for this? DJI? Anyway...... Thank you for giving me the information on this and have a great weekend. Ray :)

I agree that it’s a hassle to do so. But the rules were in place before you bought the drone. While registering for the FAA Registration for your drone, all the rules were stated up front.
DJI GEO unlocking is essentially a fail safe for pilots who want to ignore the rules; not saying you are one of them.

The authorization lasts 24hrs but I’ve had them last a week since I live in a area that would require a daily code to unlock. It is up to DJI’s descetion. Hopefully you can get what you need and start flying.
 

Ray&Paula

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I just received my Mavic Air and haven't done anything yet, I barely have it out of the box. I agree with what your saying and I can see that GEO Unlocking has been around. I have looked at and saved well over 100 videos about the Mavic Air. I can honestly say, today is the first I heard of GEO..... All the video's I've seen basically stated to call an airport that's within a five mile radius of where you want to fly and let them know where you are flying and how long..... That's it. All I'm trying to do is wrap my head around it so I know what to do. This came as a surprise to me. I've already seen a few people elsewhere that stated that the use of a phone number doesn't work. What I don't understand is, why the credit card option? I understand that DJI wants verification but, couldn't this be done another way for example; Serial, registration number's, etc.? I have "NO" intentions of flying illegally anywhere........ I'll be fine once I get going, BD0G (post #3) gave me a pretty good understanding of how to use this. Please keep in mind, I'm a newbie. Thanks, Ray
 
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BD0G

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It only comes into play when there is a No Fly Zone or restricted airspace. Have you looked at the map of the areas that are within the No Fly Zones as stated on DJI's website? You very well not be within any of them. Or you could be surrounded by them. I am in an area that it causes me little hassle if any. Big cities are hit hard as there is alot of air traffic. I fly Lake Tahoe NV and there are lots of open areas that are not within No Fly Zones. Plus many pilots take thier birds on vacation to spots that are beautiful and have less restrictions.

If you really cant get past the NFZ 's and that is a deal breaker well fortunately for you the secondary market for reselling the Mavic Air is still strong. When the Mavic Pro 2 is released look for your bird to take one in the shorts as far as resale. That will be the latest and greatest that will (assumedly) be near the pricing that the Mavic Pro started at. That will be quite an enticement.

There are very solid reasons for the No Fly Zones and they are not to be taken lightly. DJI sets up the No Fly Zones that are recognized within the DJIGO4 App and any attempt to circumvent them without unlocking will be logged by the software.
 

Ray&Paula

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It only comes into play when there is a No Fly Zone or restricted airspace. Have you looked at the map of the areas that are within the No Fly Zones as stated on DJI's website? You very well not be within any of them. Or you could be surrounded by them. I am in an area that it causes me little hassle if any. Big cities are hit hard as there is alot of air traffic. I fly Lake Tahoe NV and there are lots of open areas that are not within No Fly Zones. Plus many pilots take thier birds on vacation to spots that are beautiful and have less restrictions.

If you really cant get past the NFZ 's and that is a deal breaker well fortunately for you the secondary market for reselling the Mavic Air is still strong. When the Mavic Pro 2 is released look for your bird to take one in the shorts as far as resale. That will be the latest and greatest that will (assumedly) be near the pricing that the Mavic Pro started at. That will be quite an enticement.

There are very solid reasons for the No Fly Zones and they are not to be taken lightly. DJI sets up the No Fly Zones that are recognized within the DJIGO4 App and any attempt to circumvent them without unlocking will be logged by the software.

I didn't say I couldn't get past the NFZ's and my Mavic will not be up for sale. What I did say in the above post #5 "I'll be fine once I get going, BD0G (post #3) gave me a pretty good understanding of how to use this. Please keep in mind, I'm a newbie. Actually, I paid you a compliment for helping me out. I only said; "this certainly would have had me thinking twice." I wasn't saying that I'm upset because I can't break the law. I will be flying legally, responsible and respectable. This simply took me by surprise....... BIG DEAL. I'll say it again, I'm a newbie. For those that get upset with someone getting into the hobby..... should just move on to another thread. I was looking for answers not a debate. Ray
 
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Ray&Paula

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I am near an airport and fly in yellow zones all the time. In fact that's all I have flown in so far. It is a real pain but Im getting use to it. I use the phone number method and it takes seconds to get the activation code. I just keep this bookmark in my browser DJI - The World Leader in Camera Drones/Quadcopters for Aerial Photography

Thank you for the positive reply. I'm sure I'll get use to it as well. I will definitely try to use the phone method to get the activation code. Also, thanks for the link and taking the time in helping me out. Ray :)
 

JDawg

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I didn't say I couldn't get past the NFZ's and my Mavic will not be up for sale. What I did say in the above post #5 "I'll be fine once I get going, BD0G (post #3) gave me a pretty good understanding of how to use this. Please keep in mind, I'm a newbie. Actually, I paid you a compliment for helping me out. I only said; "this certainly would have had me thinking twice." I wasn't saying that I'm upset because I can't break the law. I will be flying legally, responsible and respectable. This simply took me by surprise....... BIG DEAL. I'll say it again, I'm a newbie. For those that get upset with someone getting into the hobby..... should just move on to another thread. I was looking for answers not a debate. Ray
Wow...
 

BD0G

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Ray - I think you took my post the wrong way. No need to get sensitive. I am not upset in the slightest and enjoy helping self professed newbies such as yourself enjoy this amazing hobby!
Im here to help and in the end nobody wins on internet debates.

I do understand that you are thankful for the knowledge imparted and lets just keep it that way.

I was just pointing out that there is always a Plan B. I did not want you to feel discouraged and encourage you to forge ahead.

Were still internet friends Ray! LOL! Additionally , if you were closer I would invite you to one of our drone outings and get togethers and you would not be a newbie for long. :)
 

neggy

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There are a whole lot of places you are not going to be able to legally fly, better get used to it or send it back.

Class B Airspace..... near MLB or NFL games, Division 1 football, NASCAR races.... anyplace where there is a TFR. Forget taking off or landing in a National Park.... Washington DC, within 1500 feet of a Right Whale... just a few examples.

In theory, you are supposed to notify EVERY hospital heliport, office park heliport,private helipad, private air strip, and airport within 5 miles before you even think of flying.

Just because you can unlock a geo fence does not mean you should be flying there.

When you go to DJI's website and unlock an area, you are leaving a pretty good trail of bread crumbs for an investigator to follow. Ignorance of the law is not going to save your backside should something go wrong, like you are flying beyond VLOS and happen to damage a helicopter with your drone.
Drone Operator Blamed for Collision With Helicopter in New York
 

BD0G

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I sent a letter to the two nearby heliports in my area stating my intentions to fly when I first began my drone hobby.

Only one responded within 3 days and told me they would text me any time there was a Life Flight inbound to the heliport and asked that I not fly if I receive a text. I asked if there was anything else and the Security Manager of the Hospital said, "Nope- just have fun"

The other heliport did not even respond , but I have a certified receipt of delivery of the letter.

National Parks are off limits , but 3/4 a mile away from the National Park is not. With a Mavic Pro that has 4.3 Miles of Line of sight flight distance this is a non-issue.
 

neggy

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National Parks are off limits , but 3/4 a mile away from the National Park is not. With a Mavic Pro that has 4.3 Miles of Line of sight flight distance this is a non-issue.

If you can see your Pro at 4.3 miles, eyes only, no goggles, etc, you are eating a lot more carrots than I am, even with Cree Strobon's I can't see mine at half of that distance

Then there are places the FAA has added to the thou shall not fly over, near or around WRT National Parks and monuments... meaning even if you took off away from NPS/ Dept of the Interior property, and had VLOS, you ain't supposed to be flying near them. here is a PARTIAL list:

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York
  • Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston
  • Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia
  • Folsom Dam, Folsom, Calif.
  • Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Ariz.
  • Grand Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, Wash.
  • Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nev.
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, S.D.
  • Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, Calif.
 
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Ray&Paula

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Ray - I think you took my post the wrong way. No need to get sensitive. I am not upset in the slightest and enjoy helping self professed newbies such as yourself enjoy this amazing hobby!
Im here to help and in the end nobody wins on internet debates.

I do understand that you are thankful for the knowledge imparted and lets just keep it that way.

I was just pointing out that there is always a Plan B. I did not want you to feel discouraged and encourage you to forge ahead.

Were still internet friends Ray! LOL! Additionally , if you were closer I would invite you to one of our drone outings and get togethers and you would not be a newbie for long. :)

I sincerely apologize for taking your comments the wrong way. I joined this forum almost a year ago and have had an interest in drones for a few years. I was actually looking at the Phantom 3 back then. I've been wanting the Mavic Air since it first came out. Everything about it shouts me and finally I have it in my hands. I have learned an incredible amount since I joined from you and many other great members here. As I stated, this Unlocking GEO Zones took me by surprise. I never seen anything on this since I joined here and throughout all the video's I've seen. Maybe it's something the majority knows which simply doesn't come up. I probably started this thread a little to harsh. I can see now, why some may wonder about my intentions. My intensions are pure of making this part of my video making hobby/passion an enjoyable experience. I absolutely believe in safety along with flying in a legal responsible and respectable way. I have gained a lot of knowledge in regards to the laws over the past year as well. I have other 4k video equipment that makes this a great mix which even has me more excited. I'm just getting into FCPX coming from Sony Vegas Pro. Even with all the knowledge I've gained here in the forum, I know there will be much more to learn as I move forward. I'm happy to be part of this drone pilot group made up of people that's willing to share their knowledge, experiences and helping others. Thank you for setting us straight and I'm extremely happy we can be friends here. If I were closer, I would take you up on your invitation..... it sure would give me a giant step out of oblivia. LOL :cool: Thank's and have a great Memorial Day. Ray Thumbswayup
 
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Ray&Paula

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There are a whole lot of places you are not going to be able to legally fly, better get used to it or send it back.

Class B Airspace..... near MLB or NFL games, Division 1 football, NASCAR races.... anyplace where there is a TFR. Forget taking off or landing in a National Park.... Washington DC, within 1500 feet of a Right Whale... just a few examples.

In theory, you are supposed to notify EVERY hospital heliport, office park heliport,private helipad, private air strip, and airport within 5 miles before you even think of flying.

Just because you can unlock a geo fence does not mean you should be flying there.

When you go to DJI's website and unlock an area, you are leaving a pretty good trail of bread crumbs for an investigator to follow. Ignorance of the law is not going to save your backside should something go wrong, like you are flying beyond VLOS and happen to damage a helicopter with your drone.
Drone Operator Blamed for Collision With Helicopter in New York

Thanks to this great forum I have learned everything you mentioned over the past year and much more. I absolutely believe in safety along with flying in a legal responsible and respectable way. I fully understand that the GEO unlock doesn't give me a license to be stupid and/or ignorant. Thanks for the inf. Ray :)
 

BD0G

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If you can see your Pro at 4.3 miles, eyes only, no goggles, etc, you are eating a lot more carrots than I am, even with Cree Strobon's I can't see mine at half of that distance

Then there are places the FAA has added to the thou shall not fly over, near or around WRT National Parks and monuments... meaning even if you took off away from NPS/ Dept of the Interior property, and had VLOS, you ain't supposed to be flying near them. here is a PARTIAL list:

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York
  • Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston
  • Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia
  • Folsom Dam, Folsom, Calif.
  • Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Ariz.
  • Grand Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, Wash.
  • Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nev.
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, S.D.
  • Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, Calif.


You are so right about the Hoover Dam. I was just there and had my Mavic Pro with me and told my girlfriend that I could not wait to fly.

She said there is no way you can fly here. I though, Jesus she is probably right and checked online. Sure enough. Government installation and it is strictly prohibited. Switched over to ball cap mount and Go Pro darn quick. :) Everyone was pulling out phones and framing shots. I just walked up -positioned my head with Go Pro mounted and pushed the remote button on my wrist remote. Then said, "next". LOL
 

BenE

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is there no other possible way to fly near restricted area since i work and live near airports.. i know the safety parameters and i just want to fly within the limits just to relax myself.
 

Jotne

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Here in Norway the NFZ is 5 Km not 5 miles, but I am able to fly in those zone, just get a warning when I take of.
It may be a block zone with 1 km radius (looks red on the map) where my drone will not fly at all. Not tested.
 

ahyan

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Hi All, Greetings from Bangladesh!
Just a quick newbie question. Can I fly outside the red marked area in the DJI website map, even if the country doesn't allow drone?
Here is the map from DJI website. So except the red marked area I will be able to fly the DJI pro?

dji-map-bd.PNG

Many thanks in advance.
 
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