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UK. Permission to Fly

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Hughie, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Hughie

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    I seem to be running into problems lately with my usual flying sites.

    Take as given that I am following articles 166/167 to the letter, and that I am not doing any low level stuff - all at around 80-100m up. The only low level stuff is vertical/glideslope take off landing.

    One site I use houses a bird sanctuary and members of the RSPB have kicked off (while I was trying to fly... which is not nice). I have permission from the landowner but only if the RSPB agree. Still waiting to hear but I am not sure they will. I dont want to disturb any birds, but I am not convinced I am anyway.

    So I look around and speak to the local council about flying on a piece of council ground which looks perfect, is away from buildings, people etc and they say no chance. Join a flying club. Now I used to be a fixed wing guy and I know there are some clicky guys in those clubs. I have a good idea that a guy with a DJI Phantom rocking up to a fixed wing flying club is going to be about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. So I dont fancy that much.

    As far as I am concerned as long as I am sticking to the CAA's rulebook I dont need permission from anyone to "fly". But I do need permission to take off and land at the site.

    Does anyone agree or disagree with this.

    If there is any merit in this, and all I need is permission to access the land, then perhaps I have a right to take off from any public footpath.

    Thoughts? Or am I losing the plot ?
     
  2. beazo

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    A footpath could suggest being within 150m of a congested area unless there are no houses near by? Are there no public parks near you? I fly over my nearest public park often with no trouble from anyone.
     
  3. fly-catchers

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    I fear that will be the key issue with flying any craft. I watched the DJI launch of the P3 with all the impressive footage. But most looked as if it would breach any CAA rules. Flying over that village in Greece etc. Even Philip Bloom flying in Thailand may no longer be possible- certainly not for ordinary people. So marvellous technology but nowhere to use it!
    I currently fly from either the edges of local fields or footpaths running alongside the nearby Countryside. No issues yet though I only fly for short periods most months. But certainly it looks like if there is a choice for permission to be given or not- its easier to not to give permission- unless you are from the BBC of course!
    I would be very happy to take a course and test if it could open up the opportunity to fly legally in more challenging and photogenic areas!
     
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  4. Hughie

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    It could be taken as being within 150m, although as I said articles 166 & 167 being adhered to is a given anyway, I am talking about council land in the middle of nowhere, which they dont want to give permission to.

    Also as I said I dont think "flying over" is a problem. I dont need permission for that. Just for take off and landing.
    Curious about the public footpath thing though. I think it might hold water, access-wise. I have just noticed that the very same piece of council land has a public footpath going right through the middle of it.
     
  5. Hughie

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    So true. And they wonder why people dont ask.
     
  6. IrishSights

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    Speaking from a recreational point of view I have a couple of farmers i became friendly with who let me take off from their land. I always checkin to make sure the bull is not in the same field. Being near the sea I also take off a lot from between high and low tide line - crown property...i dont think the Queen gives a hoot as she hasn't answered any of my emails.

    My local electric flying club are also very accepting. I must admit sometimes i just weigh it all up and take off from a quiet country road....there i said it!
     
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  7. noiseboy72

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    I feel your pain! I have permission to use parts of an old airfield I work on and also a large private estate, but both are a good drive away, so locally, I fly from the end of a road - which leads to nowhere, as it was built to serve a housing estate yet to be built. Not the most exciting of scenery, but gets the hours in.

    I find timing to be of the upmost importance. With these nice light, still mornings, finding a deserted field next to a footpath is quite easy and opens up more possibilities. Wait until the dog walkers are up and about and then it starts to get a little more problematic...
     
  8. Nidge

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    Hi Hughie
    I do understand your frustration. For me the ability to find a suitable flying site was restricted due to my mobility issues. I would use the local sports field but even that would prove unsuitable at times due to poor drainage, I was tiring of repeatedly getting my walking stick stuck. My first introduction to RC clubs was a little off putting after attending a swap meet in Horsforth. I, like you, thought they were a bit of a clique bunch and I left feeling somewhat like a red headed step child.

    Last August I joined my local flying club, as I was interested in learning how to fly fixed wing models, and I have not looked back.
    When they learned I also flew multirotors they were fine so long as I followed the same rules as those for the fixed wing pilots.

    Our club has a varied membership. There are those that live for scale scratch built planes, ranging from small electric up to 1/4 scale Warbirds. A group that fly 33% Edge 540's and Yak 54's. Foamies of all shapes and sizes. Powered and towed gliders, my current thing.
    Even a couple of guys who occasionally fly scale and 3D heli's.

    When I first joined there was just one member who regularly flew a quad, a Phantom V1, but when I took my Hexacopter up and passed the goggles around it generated quite a bit of interest. Very recently another long time fixed wing flyer has just bought his first quad and I'm also currently building an APM based camera ship for another member.

    The club is, for all intents and purposes, for fixed wing craft and as such to be allowed to fly at the site you have to prove your proficiency and adhere to the established rules governing safety and conduct with respect to fixed wing craft, irrespective of the propulsion method. But once you have satisfied these requirements you are permitted to fly any platform so long as it doesn't impede other members enjoyment. The only big restriction is that two stroke engines are not permitted due to noise levels.

    I started into RC with a Phantom V1, though I very rarely fly it these days instead my current interest is gliders/sailplanes. I still give the Hexacopter a blast and have used it to provide aerial footage of some of the other members pride and joys.

    Here's just a short video of our flying field, situated between Otley and Harrogate.



    Regards

    Nidge
     
  9. landmannnn

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    I don't believe you should be asking for permission, you know the CAA rules which don't require landowner's permission to fly. Probably worth keeping away from nature reserves because twitchers are nasty people, other than that you are free to roam.
     
  10. IrishSights

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    Its only an absolute requirement if flying under a PFAW
     
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  11. Hughie

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    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread. Some interesting answers,
     
  12. jason

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    Well Hughie It's time to learn hand launching/catching as long as your standing on their property.
     
  13. Hughie

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    Yep. I'm fine with hand catching Jason, if they can't get me for takeoff/landing/flying from their land they can do me with tresspassing I guess. Hence the reference to looking for Public footpaths. Pretty sure I cant be tresspassing on a Public Right Of Way.
     
  14. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    LMAO ! Naaa ya didn't email er did ya o_O
     
  15. IrishSights

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    Of course i did :)
     
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  16. Hughie

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    Getting ready to do a trip to film a Grade II listed Roman pharos on the top of a hill in rural north Wales. I was relying on taking off from a Public Footpath .... because I am entitled to be on a Public Footpath, right ??

    Just checked (I think it is the Highways Act 1980/81) and a reference states as part of the definition of a footpath/bridleway :

    "It is a criminal offence to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on public footpaths and public bridleways unless:
    you are the landowner;
    you have the express consent of the landowner;
    or you have a private vehicular right of way that runs along the route."

    My P2 is not carrying people or cargo, and, although "mechanics" are involved in flight, it is surely electrically propelled not mechanically.... so I guess I am in the clear on that one ?

    Thoughts ?
     
    #16 Hughie, Apr 19, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015