Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Not happy with B4UFLY app, nor the upgrade!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LordEvil, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. LordEvil

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    So was a happy camper flying from my front yard for the past 2 plus years at least 3 times a week. P3P, P2V+ and other flying toys.
    Finally downloaded the latest App (over a year behind) for my P3P and got a strange notification that I had to have authorization before flying and something else, forgot what it said since I thought it was a new bug within the app.

    Downloaded B4UFLY yesterday and I see Flying prohibited. I thought WTH is this? Maybe it's because it's clouds and storms nearby. Click on Map and there are all these tiny crop duster airports around my town and a heli pad for the hospital.

    Never once experienced any problems flying where I do. Many police drive by's friendly waving etc. Anyone else had this problem? Anyone quit flying because of the app? I always thought major airports with towers. I figure I am at least 35 miles from the closest real airport I wouldn't have any issues. The heli pad at the hospital fly's maybe once a day if that.The small airport is only used on Sundays for the most part.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Coloradoscot

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    I find myself in the same situation as you, I've owned quads for years and it would seem I'm surrounded by helicopter-pads and just on the edge of a major airport. I've never flown in a reckless manner and rarely above 100 feet. I take the FAA restrictions very serious but now I'm forced to drive to to an out of the way area to fly. My 2 week old P4 is going to get packed up and returned this morning. I'm not complaining mind you, just disappointed that a hobby I enjoy has become to restrictive to participate in regularly at my location...
     
  3. Blue Bird

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    159
    Location:
    Dade County, Florida
    Welcome to Geo Fencing. You might be able to unlock the zone however you will need credentials such as a credit card and DJI account. I know others will chime in on this. Good Luck.
     
  4. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,119
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    These maps also include old obsolete airports/ helipads. You should find out all active airports/ helipads next to your location. As you say you never faced any problem during your flights, may be flights on those airports are not so frequent. LOS is the best gauge for you. In case you see any helicopter near you, lower your drone to safe flying. I'm sure you should not fly for miles when you can't see your drone.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  5. brothers

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    17
    I just downloaded and tried B4UFly, and found out there's an airport in my town! Who knew?

    Upon investigation, turns out it's a thousand-foot grass strip on the farm of a guy who died last year. It was registered with the FAA in 1970. The only contact information on the FAA listing is the phone number of the dead guy.
     
  6. brothers

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    17
    Delving further, I'm also in range of three heliports. Two of them belonged to a long-gone company (DEC - I remember their amazing helicopter fleet, back in the day), and one is in a state park. Only that last might still be active, and a call to park headquarters should resolve it.
     
  7. CCrew

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    72

    I'm seeing similar. While I don't totally live in the sticks it's certainly not a highly urban area either and short of one legit airport and the local trauma centers heliport many were at one time farms that have landing registrations on the books but have become subdivisions. It seems we may be being restricted to contact airports that no longer exist because the FAA's system for keeping them current is older than some of us. Given the Government ineptitude I'm not surprised, but here we are at the dawn of a new age of restriction, working with info that predates us (incorrectly) by years.
     
  8. brothers

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    17
    I found the strip on Google Earth, seems to still be there, but insufficient resolution to see how overgrown it's become. Didn't look right at first - supposed to be runways 18/36, and this was angled off that quite a bit. Then I realized Google is probably using true north, and runways use magnetic. The variation in my neck of the woods (New England) is around fifteen degrees, so that accounts for it.

    Gonna try that phone number tomorrow - might connect me with a widow or other heir who can confirm whether the strip is still in use.

    As far as the DEC helipads, I know the properties (I had a long relationship with DEC through the sixties and seventies), and I'm sure the helipads are no longer there. That leaves only the state park, to either find out the helipad is no longer in use or to arrange notification or blanket permission procedures with.

    With the above taken care of, I'll feel comfortable jumping through DJI's hoops to get an OK to fly around my property.
     
  9. diajavier

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    If is FAA app you never flight, I use UAV Forecast


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
    bkushner likes this.
  10. Robert Smith jr

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    21
    Hello, the first time I launched the B4UFLY app (after its initial release, I was surprised that I was within the 5 mile limit of a heliport). I looked up the airport contact info using Airnav.com

    I called the owner of the private heliport and notified that I would be flying (often) in the neighborhood. He said to follow the published flight limits and rules and was very pleasant. I asked if he needed regular notification, he said that this once was enough.

    I also use B4UFLY as a planning tool. Before flying over a river from a friends property, I notified four or five heliports, no problem at all.

    I find that the owners / managers of these small facilities genuinely appreciate the notification.

    The B4UFLY app states that they are working on an electronic notification system. This will really help, especially for these small private airports.

    You should be able to find out using skyvector what else is in the area and if there is a restriction or not.

    The DJI app won't stop you from flying just because you are near a helipad. Maybe there is a TFR in your area?

    Bob


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  11. diajavier

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Nice, I will do it too thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  12. jwara

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Very interesting. I looked at B4U-Fly as well, My fly area is just over the 5 mile limit for the local Airport (OWD) but there is a medical pad 4.3 mi
    and a TV studio at 4.9 miles. I want to be safe so I will call them to tell them there are hi-tension lines and Cell towers within 1/4 mile of my
    spot so they should be careful. :-} Jim
     
    cfd701 likes this.
  13. Robert Smith jr

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    21
    Jim,

    I am sure that the Medical helipad would appreciate the heads up about you flying, as well as the Tv studio(you probably would not have to contact them again, if you fly in that area all the time). They already know about the cell towers and hi tension lines. They might not be aware that you are flying however. Do what you want, but following the rules is a good idea.

    Bob


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  14. Stealth Tours

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, California
    I'm considering downloading Hover or B4UFLY...Airmap has never responded in 6 months via their "contact us", email, phone or phone messaging system since being the ANNOINTED COMPANY by DJI in December 2015 upon announcing geo-fencing. Any opinion on the first 2...some say that Hover is more user friendly and more current.
     
  15. joet

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    120
    The problem is that the FAA doesn't check up on these registrations frequently and remove the now-invalid entries. I have a seaplane base within 5 miles that in actuality is someone's house on a lake who had a seaplane. He died in a crash last year.

    When I spoke to the FAA, they said that in cases where you have tried to reach these smaller airports but cannot that you have met your burden. I'd log your contact attempts just in case.

    With the local heliport, I went down and dropped off a letter stating that I would be flying from my house, with distance and altitude limits. They thanked me, and we chatted for a while. They often drop low to spray for mosquitos, so they definitely appreciated the notice, and I was also made aware that they might very well be under 200' near my house.

    Once I get my Part 107 price by the FAA, that notification requirement goes away - another benefit to getting it.
     
  16. Stealth Tours

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, California
    If you could explain your last sentence.....I've passed 107, gone from "completed" to this morning "transferring to registry"...what changes with the notification process? If I understand this new process, we have to ask the FAA online to fly into class B, C, D, E airspace prior to getting into the area and hope they issue notice to the tower over that airspace IN A TIMELY MANNER....where a hobbyist calls the tower and tells them where they are?
     
  17. brothers

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    17
    Hobbyists have a flat "within five miles of an airport" notification requirement. Under 107, as long as you stay in Class G airspace, you have no notification requirement.