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Practice flying at low altitude

cdr

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I am a new Mavic owner, and I've practiced a few times on a Phantom 4, but still haven't taken my Mavic out on a maiden flight. I live in Boston, which is surrounded by a huge no-fly zone around Logan airport. Before I head out to an unrestricted airspace location, I'd like to practice some basic fly maneuvers in my backyard. If I'm flying the drone at a max of 8 or 10 feet in my yard, is that allowable in a restricted airspace zone?
 
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Cyberpower678

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I am a new Mavic owner, and I've practiced a few times on a Phantom 4, but still haven't taken my Mavic out on a maiden flight. I live in Boston, which is surrounded by a huge no-fly zone around Logan airport. Before I head out to an unrestricted airspace location, I'd like to practice some basic fly maneuvers in my backyard. If I'm flying the drone at a max of 8 or 10 feet in my yard, is that allowable in a restricted airspace zone?
I highly doubt a plane will fly 10 above your yard when landing, so go ahead.
 

SteelFlyer

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If you are in the area where controlled airspace goes to the ground then, no, you can't legally fly there.
 

*Knowledge*

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Depending on where you are exactly you might fall under that 1st tier of class b airspace in which, like SteelFlyer said, starts from the surface.
If you really wanted to you could request permission from the ATC via the FAA but I doubt you'd want to wait for an answer... eh which might be also a 'no'
 

Fletcher500

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I intend on following the rules, and live about 5 miles from a small airport, but like you wanted to give it a test run today (first go out). Typical so-cal back yard, with neighbors 40 ft. away. Kept it at the 10 ft. elevation, did some circles, basic maneuvering. Finding an open field is probably the best way to go, because it got dicey a few times with the over head lights, and other obstacles in our back yard. Amazing little machine.
 
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DodgeP

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Actually you can call ATC to request permission. You'll need to know your location, so you'll have to look it up on a vfr map.
 
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SteelFlyer

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I second the suggestion to do your initial flights in a good-size open field. While the Mavic is very stable and easier to fly than many others, it will be a big benefit to you to be in an open place where you can make mistakes without issues and be free to learn the aircraft rather than spending most of your time worrying about what you might hit in your backyard.
 
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cdr

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Thanks everyone. Logan is a busy airport, so I doubt they'll even respond, but I'll try. Right now I'm trying to find the best open area to fly that isn't a long drive from my house. Logan's radius on B4UFly is huge, seemingly much larger than 5 miles! I'll check with the MA group to see if they have any recommendations.
 

SteelFlyer

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Logan TAC.jpg

Take a look at the image above taken from the Logan Airport TAC sectional chart. The inner ring around Logan extends out 8 nautical miles and is Class B airspace from the surface to 7,000'. If you live in this area then you are out of luck without authorization from Air Traffic Control (which is highly unlikely in Class B airspace). The next concentric circle extends from the 8 nautical mile point out to 10.5 nautical miles. This area has Class B airspace starting at 2,000' up to 7,000 feet. If you live in this area, you are OK to fly since you will be flying below the controlled airspace "shelf". You still need to notify any other airports within 5 miles as shown on the B4UFly app. The remaining "shelves" of the Logan Class B airspace are higher up and further out so the same would apply if flying there. Just check the map and see where you live in that area.

One last thing. There is also Class D controlled airspace (dashed circle) around the Bedford Airport (upper left part of image) and the Norwood Airport (lower left) that extend from the surface to 2600' . If you want to fly there, you'd have to have authorization from the Bedford or Norwood towers.
 
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Cyberpower678

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I once had an interesting conversation with the FAA once, since I live in controller airspace myself. Here's what they said.

"While you technically are in controlled airspace, if you are flying below the tops of trees and remain confined to your yard, you can skip the formality. A plane below the tree tops above your yard probably has bigger problems than worrying about hitting your drone."
 

Squamer

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I fly frequently outside the restricted areas on all 3 Logan, Bedford and Norwood. Like they said it is a pain but must be followed. I spoke with Norwood airport one time and they flat out told me "it would be best for you to simply drive 2 miles out from where you are and avoid the hassle." Knowing that airport pretty well living in that area for a while I understand why. I see plans flying pretty **** low taking off and approaching pretty often. I just wanted to shoot up to 200 feet over my dads building to show him his business sign from the sky. At 60 I didn't think he needed to climb the 45' ladder to take a peak when the drone was much easier!
 

cdr

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View attachment 8413

Take a look at the image above taken from the Logan Airport TAC sectional chart. The inner ring around Logan extends out 8 nautical miles and is Class B airspace from the surface to 7,000'. If you live in this area then you are out of luck without authorization from Air Traffic Control (which is highly unlikely in Class B airspace). The next concentric circle extends from the 8 nautical mile point out to 10.5 nautical miles. This area has Class B airspace starting at 2,000' up to 7,000 feet. If you live in this area, you are OK to fly since you will be flying below the controlled airspace "shelf". You still need to notify any other airports within 5 miles as shown on the B4UFly app. The remaining "shelves" of the Logan Class B airspace are higher up and further out so the same would apply if flying there. Just check the map and see where you live in that area.

One last thing. There is also Class D controlled airspace (dashed circle) around the Bedford Airport (upper left part of image) and the Norwood Airport (lower left) that extend from the surface to 2600' . If you want to fly there, you'd have to have authorization from the Bedford or Norwood towers.
Thanks- this is great. I'm having a hard time interpreting the B4UFly map, so this breakdown is helpful. What is the source of this so I can refer to it in the future?
 

DodgeP

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I once had an interesting conversation with the FAA once, since I live in controller airspace myself. Here's what they said.

"While you technically are in controlled airspace, if you are flying below the tops of trees and remain confined to your yard, you can skip the formality. A plane below the tree tops above your yard probably has bigger problems than worrying about hitting your drone."
and this is why you should call and request authorization. You're not flying in restricted airspace right, you're flying in Class B and what are the rules when planning a flight in Class B? You need authorization. Calling doesn't mean you'll be granted, but not calling means you definitely don't have permission.
 
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Cyberpower678

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and this is why you should call and request authorization. You're not flying in restricted airspace right, you're flying in Class B and what are the rules when planning a flight in Class B? You need authorization. Calling doesn't mean you'll be granted, but not calling means you definitely don't have permission.
You completely missed the point I was trying to make. If he's restricting himself to his yard below the tree tops, it shouldn't be a big deal. The FAA was jokingly saying that a plane should never be flying in his yard. If it is, there's a bigger problem going on than a drone flying in a yard in Class B airspace.
 

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Thanks- this is great. I'm having a hard time interpreting the B4UFly map, so this breakdown is helpful. What is the source of this so I can refer to it in the future?
This is from a version of the FAA visual flight sectional chart called a TAC. I got this off of Skyvector.com which has up to date online versions of the charts and is free.

There are many good Youtube videos that can help you learn how to read these charts.
 

Foxtrot Uniform

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View attachment 8413

Take a look at the image above taken from the Logan Airport TAC sectional chart. The inner ring around Logan extends out 8 nautical miles and is Class B airspace from the surface to 7,000'. If you live in this area then you are out of luck without authorization from Air Traffic Control (which is highly unlikely in Class B airspace). The next concentric circle extends from the 8 nautical mile point out to 10.5 nautical miles. This area has Class B airspace starting at 2,000' up to 7,000 feet. If you live in this area, you are OK to fly since you will be flying below the controlled airspace "shelf". You still need to notify any other airports within 5 miles as shown on the B4UFly app. The remaining "shelves" of the Logan Class B airspace are higher up and further out so the same would apply if flying there. Just check the map and see where you live in that area.

One last thing. There is also Class D controlled airspace (dashed circle) around the Bedford Airport (upper left part of image) and the Norwood Airport (lower left) that extend from the surface to 2600' . If you want to fly there, you'd have to have authorization from the Bedford or Norwood towers.
As a hobbyist, you are required, as above is stated, to "notify" all
airports as well as heliports, within the five mile radius of your flight location. Legally, you do not need permission, as a hobbyist, but you are required to inform all of the airports and heliports within 5 miles. The FAA is not supposed to tell you that you cannot fly, but can highly suggest that you don't. The only true restrictions would be that you cannot fly in a TFR, and, you shouldn't fly near the airport (common sense should prevail).
 

bakerboy

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You completely missed the point I was trying to make. If he's restricting himself to his yard below the tree tops, it shouldn't be a big deal. The FAA was jokingly saying that a plane should never be flying in his yard. If it is, there's a bigger problem going on than a drone flying in a yard in Class B airspace.
Nothing to say the quad wont glitch out and shoot off

Think of the worst case, not the best case scenario before flying
 
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SteelFlyer

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As a hobbyist, you are required, as above is stated, to "notify" all
airports as well as heliports, within the five mile radius of your flight location. Legally, you do not need permission, as a hobbyist, but you are required to inform all of the airports and heliports within 5 miles. The FAA is not supposed to tell you that you cannot fly, but can highly suggest that you don't. The only true restrictions would be that you cannot fly in a TFR, and, you shouldn't fly near the airport (common sense should prevail).
I respectfully disagree with this position. The FAA has issued their interpretation on how they see the Model Aircraft exemptions. Those interpretations can be read at this link:

https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf

In discussing airspace and other general aviation rules, the document says this:

However, the prohibition against future rulemaking is not a complete bar on rulemaking that may have an effect on model aircraft. As noted above, the rulemaking limitation applies only to rulemaking actions specifically “regarding a model aircraft or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft.” P.L. 112-95, section 336(a). Thus, the rulemaking prohibition would not apply in the case of general rules that the FAA may issue or modify that apply to all aircraft, such as rules addressing the use of airspace (e.g., the 2008 rule governing VFR operations in the Washington, DC area) for safety or security reasons. See 73 FR 46803. The statute does not require FAA to exempt model aircraft from those rules because those rules are not specifically regarding model aircraft.

Furthermore, when it comes to needing to notify vs getting permission from airports within 5 miles, here is what the FAA says about that:

Finally, the statute sets a requirement for model aircraft operating within 5 miles of an airport to notify the airport operator and control tower, where applicable, prior to operating. If the model aircraft operator provides notice of forthcoming operations which are then not authorized by air traffic or objected to by the airport operator, the FAA expects the model aircraft operator will not conduct the proposed flights. The FAA would consider flying model aircraft over the objections of FAA air traffic or airport operators to be endangering the safety of the NAS. Additionally, we note that following this 5-mile notification procedure would be read in conjunction with FAA rules governing airspace usage discussed below.

Clearly FAA position is that you cannot operate any aircraft (even a model aircraft) in controlled airspace without Air Traffic Control Authorization and also if you notify airports within 5 miles and they object to your flight, then you shouldn't fly. I can almost guarantee that if you call the ATC in a Class B airspace and ask for authorization, the anser will be no.
 

MavicFlieger

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How do you come to this conclusion:
Clearly FAA position is that you cannot operate any aircraft (even a model aircraft) in controlled airspace without Air Traffic Control Authorization.

from this statement:
Finally, the statute sets a requirement for model aircraft operating within 5 miles of an airport to notify the airport operator and control tower, where applicable, prior to operating. If the model aircraft operator provides notice of forthcoming operations which are then not authorized by air traffic or objected to by the airport operator, the FAA expects the model aircraft operator will not conduct the proposed flights. The FAA would consider flying model aircraft over the objections of FAA air traffic or airport operators to be endangering the safety of the NAS. Additionally, we note that following this 5-mile notification procedure would be read in conjunction with FAA rules governing airspace usage discussed below.
 

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