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Check your NOTAMs - glad I did.

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by David T, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. David T

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    So a client wants some early morning shots of their building... no problem.
    I'm up, dressed, fed, gear packed, checked the weather... go to check NOTAMs and I find this

    6/1495 NOTAM Details

    It's several miles away from where I will be operating - but it wasn't there when I flew Sunday.

    EPA is working around a gasoline pipeline leak. No non-EPA aircraft.
    Glad I checked.
     
    GOHF, Falcon900, ExcObs1 and 2 others like this.
  2. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Do you use any Aps to check NOTAMs or only the website?
     
  3. David T

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    It actually showed up on B4UFly, which I checked (kinda for the fun of it) before I checked the website.
    It also shows on UAVForecast app, and iFlightPlanner.com, but I haven't tried the iFlightPlanner app yet.
    Sadly, B4UFly doesn't give any information about it at all. Even the number it displays is not the same as the number on the FAA website.
     
    Unmannedsky likes this.
  4. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Thanks David. I just wanted to get a feel for what people are using other than the website (Which is the only tried and trusted source at the moment).
     
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  5. David T

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    Understand. I've got the website as a favorite so it's quick to access from my iPad just before takeoff.
     
  6. N017RW

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  7. David T

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    Yeah, that looks to be it.
     
  8. Adam T

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    I realize I'm incredibly late to the party here, but have only been flying UAS since April. At work, our preferred method of filing NOTAMs is electronically via ENII. Our preferred website to check for NOTAMs is the FAA's Pilotweb as we haven't found any phone or tablet apps to our liking.

    To check TFRs and DROTAMs, I've been recommending that our staff use SkyVector and check the FAA sites to confirm. In my brief experience, SkyVector and the FAA appear to always be in sync. Enabling the TFRs and DRNOTAMs layers in SkyVector provides current and upcoming areas of activity overlayed on user-selectable maps or sectionals of the geographical area of interest throughout the US national airspace. The other layers (SIGMETs, weather radar, satellite IR, etc.) are also welcome features.
     
    #8 Adam T, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
    BigAl07 likes this.
  9. Unmannedsky

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    Adam, What industry are you serving with your drones?
     
  10. Adam T

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    Hello, sir. Electric Utility. Primarily visual inspections of electrical utility infrastructure and assets.
     
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  11. Unmannedsky

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    Very interesting. It's fun to find people actually out doing this thing. I'd like to learn more about what you do.
     
  12. Adam T

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    Thanks for your interest. Most people tend to stare into the distance after a couple of minutes of hearing how electrical utilities use UAVs. LOL Here's an article that should give you some insight: The Drone Advantage
     
  13. Stoney Truett

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    I am coming in late as well but wanted to ask: do any of you use DJI products? I purchased a DJI Phamtom 3 standard. I am a pilot and sUAS certificate holder. I document aviation events and work with airports to do aerial photographic survey work. After I purchased the Phantom I discovered that DJI has constructed a map of airspace in which THEY will not let you fly the drone by geofencing that airspace and disabling the drone. You then must go through an elaborate process to request that airspace be unlocked on a specific date and time in order to fly the drone. I have found no other manufacturer who does this and this makes this drone almost useless to me. Had I known this BEFORE I purchase the drone I certainly would not have bought it. Has anyone else had this experience? Is there any practical way to deal with it other than buying a different product?
     
  14. Alex Baxter

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    I'm not sure about where you are, but here in Ireland Litchi does not impose restrictions like DJI, so you can get your restrictions lifted the same way a private pilot would. Litchi would be a heck of a lot cheaper than a new drone...
     
  15. Stoney Truett

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    Sorry about that, I am in the U.S., South Carolina. DJI purchases maps from "Airmaps". These folks assemble maps showing areas of "sensitive" airspace that drone pilots need to be aware of. DJI seems to take this data and classify it into areas of differing levels of "Restricted" airspace and limit operation of their drones according to their belief as to whether or not the drone should be operated in that airspace. If you want the airspace unlocked you must provide DJI with picture ID, written permission from the controlling entity of that airspace, a statement of intent of your activity and the serial number of your controller so you activity can be tracked. I have tried to comply with this for now and have so far been given permission to operate at one airport next month (I can only wait to see if it works on that date). I have another request in to them but their permission (given in the form of an "adhoc" app for your mobile device) is not loading and I am having no help from DJI in resolving that issue.
    I appologize for my "rant" but I am not accustomed to having limitations put on me by people who want to be "seen" to be contributing to airspace safety without knowing what they are doing and assuming the operators are not capable of complying with U.S. rules and regs....
     
  16. Alex Baxter

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    Sorry Stoney, I did not make myself clear..
    If you use the Litchi app for your Phantom, when you fly using it, it does not restrict you in the same manner as DJI go, so if you need clearance to fly, you get it yourself, rather than going through DJI. The app will not restrict your flight, so if you see a NOTAM or NFZ in say, Airmap, Litchi will leave it to you to get clearance rather than applying a blanket restriction, you will see no warnings in the app. I apologise, I'm not brilliant at explaining this stuff... Litchi has a number of excellent features, and is a good 'solid' app, well worth the dough..
    Looking at some of the posts in these forums though, it seems that DJI 'nanny state' may be necessary for some people, who see no harm in flying in NFZs.
     
  17. Stoney Truett

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    Yes, you are correct that many folks do not use common sense when flying drones but I believe that there should be a way for DJI to allow for those who want to use their very good products for work, and with proper identification, to have universal unrestricted use. I have not heard of the "Litchi" app. I assume it is available in the "App Store"? How long have you used this app? Do you know anyone else who has used it with success?
     
  18. Stoney Truett

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    I have just tried to fly the DJI at my local airport and received a voice warning: "warning, take-off command timed out, error -1003" has anyone encountered this?
     
  19. Alex Baxter

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    Hello Stoney,
    Yes, Litchi is in the app store, and it does cost money, for opinions other than mine, I'd suggest you use the search engine in the forum. I did just that, and that's why I bought it,I've used it for five months. It's finest attribute is the mission planning, which you can do on the computer and then upload it to the Phantom. BTW, I don't work for them and don't get any backhanders for recommending them...
    Litchi - An App to extend DJI Phantom and Inspire Capabilities - Drone Flyers
     
    Falcon900 likes this.
  20. Stoney Truett

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    Thanks for the feedback. I did purchase it in hopes that it would solve the airspace problem I have. It does work well at home but when I went to the airport at which I am supposed to do some work the drone would not fly. I got a "take-off command timed out, error -1003" error. Nothing I did would get the drone to fly there. Do you have any experience with this and if so, do you have a "fix"?