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Night Flying in UK

eckydrone200

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I am waiting on a new DJI Mini 4 Pro being delivered direct from DJI UK as I wam going to get back in to this excellent hobby and have a question regarding night time flying in the UK. According to the CAA rules it says "the drone must be fitted with at least one green flashing light when flying at night." Does this mean I would be ok with the green LEDs on the Mini 4 or would I need to fit additional strobe lights that would take me over the 249g? I'd be grateful for any advice. Thanks in advance. 🙂
 
I don't believe the stock LEDs on your drone qualify as strobe lights with the brightness and range intended to warn manned aircraft. You might try one of the ViFly lightweight strobe lights to see if it keeps you within the limit.
 
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I don't believe the stock LEDs on your drone qualify as strobe lights with the brightness and range intended to warn manned aircraft. You might try one of the ViFly lightweight strobe lights to see if it keeps you within the limit.
Thanks for that info. I wasn't sure how bright they are. It does have an LED light on the underside that can be switched on via the RC but that is white so I doubt if that meets the requirements either.
 
Just found this in a CAA publication, this is the link to the publication:

In the document, there is a red line through the first sentence starting "(g) when operating at night"
(g) when operating at night, ensure that a green flashing light on the unmanned aircraft is activated.
Note:

Requirement UAS.OPEN.060(2)(g) did not originally become applicable until 01 July 2022 as set out in Article 23(3). As a result of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, this requirement was not retained in UK law when the UK exited the EU. As a result, UAS.OPEN.060(2)(g) does not apply within the UK.
 
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@eckydrone200 there is currently no difference in the rules, between flying your drone at night or in daylight, here in the UK
in both instances being able to maintain VLOS ,is the same ,the lights on the drone will aid in this endeavour ,only in the fact that they will help with knowing the direction of the drone ,simply because the front and rear ones are different ,but they will not allow the drone to be flown ,under the definition of VLOS ,just because you can see them ,and you have to remember that the lack of sufficiant lighting will compromise the OA ,the fact that as with other DJI drones ,the Mini 4 pro has a downwards facing light ,will help define the landing spot ,night flying is really something that requires a lot of care ,when it comes to preventing the drone from colliding with objects ,that are difficult to see and judge distance from, when viewd from the pilots perspective
 
Thanks for that info OMM. I think if I did fly at night it would basically be straight up and a very small circular flight just really to get night shots of a couple of villages or possibly long exposure shots above and to the side of main roads. In this scenario it would never be out of my VLOS.
 
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Thanks for that info OMM. I think if I did fly at night it would basically be straight up and a very small circular flight just really to get night shots of a couple of villages or possibly long exposure shots above and to the side of main roads. In this scenario it would never be out of my VLOS.
I fly quite a bit during the night for long exposure shots of cityscapes and road networks. Unless the rules have changed in the last month or so: strobes are not a legal requirement (as they are in EASA airspace) but they are a good idea. Unfortunately there aren't any stick-on strobes light enough not to bump your MTOW up past the magic 250 gram mark.

I try to keep it simple and safe. Scout the location carefully during daylight. Make note of all visible hazards. Set the rule of thirds and the diagonal crosshairs grids on your screen. Set manual focus to infinity (autofocus will throw a complete wobble because of lack of ambient light). Set a nice, bright strobe on the ground facing straight up. Only fly vertically up, then use yaw to select the shots. When you've got the shots you want: tip the camera 90 degrees down. Centre the flashing strobe on the ground in the cross hairs in the screen and drop down along the same vertical line you climbed on.
When you get your first good long exposure shot at night: you'll be hooked. Have fun.
 
@eckydrone200 ,just to clarify a part of my reply in post #5 above ,i have an Air 3 ,and that has blinking status lights on the rear arms,one green one red ,during flight , and also there are blinking green lights on the front arms as well ,but i checked up on the Mini 4 pro ,and it appears to only have the rear status lights ,like the Mini 3 pro ,but i would imagine that as it has a C0 EU sticker ,that those blinking green lights ,conform to the EU requirement for night flying
 
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I fly quite a bit during the night for long exposure shots of cityscapes and road networks. Unless the rules have changed in the last month or so: strobes are not a legal requirement (as they are in EASA airspace) but they are a good idea. Unfortunately there aren't any stick-on strobes light enough not to bump your MTOW up past the magic 250 gram mark.

I try to keep it simple and safe. Scout the location carefully during daylight. Make note of all visible hazards. Set the rule of thirds and the diagonal crosshairs grids on your screen. Set manual focus to infinity (autofocus will throw a complete wobble because of lack of ambient light). Set a nice, bright strobe on the ground facing straight up. Only fly vertically up, then use yaw to select the shots. When you've got the shots you want: tip the camera 90 degrees down. Centre the flashing strobe on the ground in the cross hairs in the screen and drop down along the same vertical line you climbed on.
When you get your first good long exposure shot at night: you'll be hooked. Have fun.
Thanks for a lot of great info and advice there. You have covered things I never considered and I'll take that onboard as it will make the night flying part simpler and less stressful. Thumbswayup
 
@eckydrone200 ,just to clarify a part of my reply in post #5 above ,i have an Air 3 ,and that has blinking status lights on the rear arms,one green one red ,during flight , and also there are blinking green lights on the front arms as well ,but i checked up on the Mini 4 pro ,and it appears to only have the rear status lights ,like the Mini 3 pro ,but i would imagine that as it has a C0 EU sticker ,that those blinking green lights ,conform to the EU requirement for night flying
Thanks again OMM for your help there and as you say the Mini 4 Pro does seem to only have green blinking lights on the rear arm. Just want to make sure I am conforming to the rules to the best of my knowledge. I have done my A2 CofC a while ago so am aware of the rules but if anything I tend to be over cautious and don't want to upset anyone when flying.
 
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@eckydrone200 ,i wouldnt worry about being over cautious ,much better to be that way ,than devil may care ,the two things that contribute most, to a successful and trouble free flight ,are knowledge of the rules ,and aknowledgement of the fact, that just because you enjoy flying your drone ,and taking pics and video ,others may not share your enthusiasm,often because they have seen negative media coverage about drones capabilities ,people react in many different ways ,to seeing a drone in flight
 
I fly at night. I love the low light video and the night mode on my Mavic 3 Classic. I fly with strobes at night and almost always, just straight up directly above me hovering and "looking around" although I have had the opportunity for longer flights out over open water out at the lake where maintaining VLOS is easy even quite far away. And there's not typically alot of bird traffic in darkness so a bird strike is very unlikely. But, agreed with the others on night flying is a very different environment that must be respected. Make sure your aircraft can be easily seen, especially by you.
 
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