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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cyberheuze, Sep 5, 2015.
Is it legal to fly at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco? Any suggestion for a startimg point?
Looks like a big no fly zone.
Found in video's ..not mine
Not saying ya can just showing ya .
You ought to google it:
Increased drone activity around Golden Gate Bridge ramps up security fears
Read more: Increased drone activity around Golden Gate Bridge ramps up security fears
It has been deemed a "critical infrastructure" by Homeland Security. That is all I need to know.
Was just showing em and seen abunch of em in there . I believe all our Locks here on the Ten-Tom are considered the same .
I've read literally dozens of posts and news articles on flying drones around the Golden Gate Bridge. From what I've found, it is not illegal to fly around the Golden Gate in a drone. Bridge officials do not want drones flying directly over the roadway or through the cables (obviously), however flying alongside it seems to be acceptable by the bridge district.
That said, it is illegal to fly in the Golden Gate National Recreation area, which covers the entire Marin Headlands area north of the bridge and the Presidio and beach areas south of the bridge past Ocean Beach. Crissy Field is also off limits.
If it's not illegal to drone around the bridge, where do pilots launch their drones legally? Is it legal to launch from a boat in the bay, shoot the bridge, then land back on the boat?
I know people are regularly shooting footage of the bridge, and wondering if there's a way people can do so without breaking rules by launching in the off-limits areas.
My guess is you need a boat or a long-range drone to get to the GG Bridge legally. If you see any new videos, my guess is they're made by operators launching where they're not supposed to.
About a year and a half ago, I was carrying my P1 at Fort Point and a cop approached me. He told me he was Golden Gate Bridge police and he didn't care, but if the Park Police (GGNR) saw me flying it, they would confiscate it. I didn't launch and haven't tried since.
About a year later, I was talking to some Golden Gate National Recreation cops at Lands End and they told me if they see people flying they ask them not to.
Your mileage may vary.
This is a legal way.
That's a huge strut on your drone! And it looks like you may be over the 400-foot guideline, too...
I usually do a "Bay Tour" at 2000 ft. I like to see all the views of SF. I had flight following the entire time. Helicopters fly at a lower altitude. Sometimes at 3000 ft you have airliners doing a Bay Tour when departing SFO.
I thought I'd add to the thread - for future searching and reference by other pilots wanting to fly in SF - that these are the restrictions that I know of for the Golden Gate Bridge area. I encourage others to chime in to add/edit/or correct any of this information below.
Areas that are definitely off-limits (due to being in a National Park):
The Marin Headlands, north of the Golden Gate. This includes Fort Baker, the bridge lookout areas, and every area on the north side of the bridge within flying range of the bridge.
Fort Point, the Presidio, Crissy Field, and Fort Mason along the northern edge of San Francisco. These areas are considered National Parks land.
Most of the coastline south of the Golden Gate Bridge, including Ocean Beach and even further south.
If you haven't seen it, here is a map of all no-fly zones, including SF:
Don't Fly Drones Here
From what I have read in local media, flying around and photographing the bridge is not illegal, although bridge officials do not want drones flying over the roadway, for obvious reasons.
I had the same questions earlier in the year when I was making a trip to SF. Decided it was not worth it to fly the Golden Gate. I did, however, fly the bay bridge area and didn't encounter any issues there. I took off from a little park that had a large Cupid's bow and it was very close to the bridge and the pier 14 I believe. I did notice that there was at one point, after I had landed, a helicopter that came around that are and flew around a while. Of course my fear of doing something wrong kicked in and I wondered if they were looking for someone flying a drone but again, didn't encounter anything to suggest it was illegal. Also didn't find anything to suggest it was illegal when searching online as well.
Here's my video.
The area where the large bow is called Rincon Park and there are frequently launching from there. The other area with good access is the pier just south of the bridge, on one of the large parking lots that extend into the bay. The one at Red's Java House is very easy to access. I've not heard of anyone having problems with police, etc. at these locations, and not found anything indicating it's against any laws or guidelines.
That said, while the Bay Bridge can make for a spectacular shot, it also has something like 80,000 cars a day going across it, so if you land in the roadway and cause a crash you won't be a very popular person!
Here's my thought. If you can readily find drone/uav footage of a special landmark as grand as the Golden Gate Bridge on YouTube (which there are plenty) then leave it alone and avoid the risks that are involved as well the attention you will be bringing to yourself. Enjoy the videos and go find something new and original. Let's face it, the laws and regulations are coming and there will be a lot of no fly zones. I see laws where hobbyist and recreational flyers will be banned from "commercial drone/uav" airspace and that can be pretty much everywhere. Guaranteed!
One more thing, ask yourself, what would you do if you're a rookie pilot and all of a sudden you experience of those stupid 'compass errors' because of all the electro-magnetic interference in the area and your bird crashes? Ugh!! I don't even want to think about that! You'll then wish you had removed your "REWARD IF FOUND STICKER" with your phone number that you put on your shiny new Phantom.
I fly light planes and the hysteria surrounding drones amazes me. Not flying my plane under the bridge would take all my will power. You have to remain 500' above or horizontally from any structure or person. Over sparsely populated areas, ground level is legal. And if you can't fly along comfortably at 50' -- vigilantly of course -- I think it's something you should know how to do. Would 200' UNDER the bridge be legal?
Getting upset over a P3 taking pictures of the bridge from the side is ridiculous.
Off subject: How DO you launch from a boat? I thought level and stationary were important at power up. I'll look for a thread, or make one.
I'm not upset. It's just that not everyone practices common sense. Of course there is nothing wrong with taking pictures of the bridge from the side but there's always that one guy who takes it a step further and ruins the fun for everyone.
GREAT POST! I have tons of hours in light planes, and when I read about some of these UAV proposals, worries, proposed licensing requirements, even privacy, I like to give an example involving a light plane. "500' (vertical or horizontal) from any persons or structures...1,000' in densely populated areas...in any case, no undue hazard if power unit fails..." So in a "regular" aircraft, 500' beside, or above is totally legal. Just saying... Also an aircraft and a camera with a telephoto lens can violate a lot of privacy too. As can a pedestrian with a cell phone.
I wasn't thinking you were very upset Mario, and I hadn't read your first post on this topic. Sad to say but I think that you are totally spot on with your comments. People appear to have "drone hysteria", and there is no telling what will fan the flames. And yes again, the guy who takes it just a "little too far", can REALLY fan the flames, and hurt it for the rest of us. And what he did might not be so horrible. If you were 50' off to the side in an Inspire (Or even a Phantom 3, but less so), the distraction to a driver could be a hazard all by itself. I'd be looking as fast as anyone! LOL "Drone sighting causes accident on Golden Gate Bridge." That would be just what we need.
I hadn't though of your EM interference remarks, and after a few seconds of thought, if being to close to a metal object is a risk -- as is repeated so often in DJI's literature -- you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger hazard than the GGB! I would think if you flew too close, common sense tells me a hand held compass would point at the bridge, so the P3's compass would be rendered useless if too "close". The distance that would be, I have no idea. I've landed near my car (10'), but that comparison is off by a billion tons or so I bet! LOL
Good points Mario. Would it be fun to take YOUR OWN video of the bridge? Sure. Considering there are easily found views from every possible vantage point, it's not worth the risk of upsetting someone. Whether justified or not sometimes doesn't even matter.