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Philadelphia, PA area flight restrictions

Discussion in 'Northeast USA' started by osirhc, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. osirhc

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    Hopefully I'm posting in the right section. I do apologize if I'm not.

    I live in Philadelphia and recently flew around the Art Museum and Boat House Row area right off of Kelly Dr. There's a parking lot right near the roundabout at the back of the Art Museum where I took off and landed. I got some great shots there and will certainly be going back soon, but I'd really like to fly closer to Center City/down the Ben Franklin Parkway.

    I've been searching and searching but I cannot find anything online that tells me one way or the other if there are flight restrictions around Center City. I'd love to do a point of interest shot around City Hall, Independence Hall, some fly bys down the Parkway, and other ideas I get while I'm in the city. Can anyone in the Philly area tell me if these locations are okay? The way I see it, I'll have line of sight the entire time, I can easily find safe take off and landing points in these areas, and really no one will ever notice my Phantom except maybe for take off and landing. I had no reaction, positive or negative, at all when I flew around the Art Museum. Obviously if someone (an officer, etc.) told me I can't fly when I'm setting up shop then I'll certainly comply. I would just love to get a nice shot of City Hall and Center City in general.

    The only thing I'm really uncertain about comes down to the hospitals in the area. There's Jefferson Hospital just southeast of City Hall. All the area hospitals have helipads on top of them for the MedEvac helicopter, but I would't be flying anywhere near the actual hospital (albeit ~five to seven blocks away from the hospital, but never near the flight pattern the helicopters use). I just want to make sure I'm doing everything by the books. If anyone has any advice, experience or knowledge on this any bit of information will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. FASTFJR

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    I have flown around the Art Museum also. I can't imagine flying down the Parkway. Too many possible cars to hit if something goes wrong
     
  3. osirhc

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    Not necessarily down the Parkway, but around it I suppose. Especially the fountain at Logan Square. I'd have to scout it out of course first and make sure I have a good take off/landing and emergency landing locations mapped out.
     
  4. nick thomas

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    Did you ever get an answer to your question? I too live in Philadelphia, recently purchased a DJI Mavic, and am wondering where is legal to fly it in the city. I know that Independence Hall is a part of the national park in that area, so flying there may be an issue, but I'm not sure about City Hall.

    I know there are websites like Drone Base, which offer work photographing residential and commercial properties. You need a Part 107 license to get paid for these, but there are several hundred jobs in Philadelphia itself, if you are not legally allowed to fly in the city, how is this possible?

    If anyone knows, it would be great to get clear on what is possible.
     
  5. osirhc

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    Short answer, no I never did.
    Longer answer, sorta.
    I pretty much go by a combination of apps which show me flight restrictions on a map. Primarily I use UAV Weather as it has a bunch of other handy features, but I also reference the FAA's app, B4UFLY which also has some good information (it's a little buggy at times though). I'm an Android guy but I'm sure there are iOS equivalents. I've stayed away from Center City flying because of all the hospitals and their heliports.

    As far as I know, if you wanted to get paid and obtain a part 107 for paid gigs then you can submit a waiver to the FAA which, if approved, will allow you to fly in certain areas you may have not otherwise been able to, and under certain circumstances which may typically be against normal procedures. I'm currently pursuing a part 107 certification myself but have not gone very far with it yet so I'm not 100% sure about restricted areas. I know airports and military area are definitely still locked down no matter what, but you may be able to fly within 3 or 4 miles of an airport perhaps, depending on the circumstances (you'd probably have to get permission from the FAA and the airport first, and it could take up to 3 months to get approval).
     
    nick thomas likes this.
  6. nick thomas

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    Yeah, I have B4UFly - its definitely a little confusing or maybe its just me. If I pull the app up where I live, there are 20 "Nearby Airports", let alone PHL - which I'm not sure if I am 5 miles away from. It would take longer than the flight to alert all these airports if I wanted to send the drone up. I understand the safety aspect and have no problem complying, it would just be nice to have clear direction on what you can and can't do. It would also be nice to have a way of alerting the airports automatically when you are scheduling a flight. I know that you can use the NOTAM system, but that seems to be for Part 107 / Exemption 333.
     
  7. osirhc

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    Yeah it's pretty weird, I don't really understand everything in the B4UFLY app either. Because if you go into the map in B4UFLY for Philadelphia there's PHL of course, the big red circle, but then there are all of these yellow circles all over the place. Going into map filters and deselecting Airport Ranges removes all of these yellow circles (besides the NE Philadelphia airport). I have no idea what Airport Ranges are or what that's supposed to mean. The biggest problem with flying in Philly that I see are all the area hospitals/helipads. Those helicopters will fly at incredibly low altitudes so I can definitely see how a drone could be in their way and vice versa. For commercial usage I think if you stay clear of hospitals and the helipads as marked in B4UFLY and other apps you should be good. And just get waivers as needed for other things. And otherwise just be smart and careful about it, for commercial and recreational, and think we should be okay.
     
  8. 大疆粉丝

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    I have been flying it on Penn Treaty Park out across the Delaware River toward NJ many times. And also some parks around S Philly. Just caution not to fly on the NFZ. The next place I wanted to fly is Schuylkill Banks Broadwalk. Happy Flying

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  9. 大疆粉丝

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    Not sure if I can take off from here ...Seem to be a nice place to fly across the river.

    [​IMG]

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    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  10. osirhc

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    That's so funny because a few weekends ago I wandered up that way and discovered Penn Treaty Park. Never even knew it existed! Got some really cool shots of that old PECO station there. As well as the city from that distance.
     
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