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Confused about the limitations of no fly zones

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I'm using the hover app on my android phone and earlier today I got a caution that said "No fly zone"
I was in the City of Sacramento Ca and in the airspace of Sacramento Executive Airport. I should mention that when I pulled into my location there was a Sac PD parked there and I asked them if they were aware of any City ordinances that prevented me from flying a drone there.
The response was " Good question. I'm not aware of any city restrictions but you might want to check with the FAA."
Well I had already planned on doing that and had called the control tower for clearance on a prior flight at the same location. I was told you're fine as long as you stay under 400 feet. Which I intended to do. This time I called and got a recorded message.
So, might this be the reason I was unable to acquire GPS? I mean, what DOES happen when you try to fly in a no fly zone. (Even though I had permission from all of the governing agencies)
For what it's worth, it even said on the app in the airspace warning that it is recommended you do not fly over 400 feet.
 

Steve Carr

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Any app you are using has no integration with the Yuneec hardware or firmware. The app is just providing you with information to use in making a decision to fly or not.
There is a database for no fly zones of major airports into the firmware for major airports. When your current GPS location is within the boundaries of the NFZ firmware locations then the motors will not start. You cannot turn this feature off by turning off the GPS. If you have the proper clearance you have to get special firmware from Yuneec which will allow the motors to start.
 
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Thank You Steve. I do have my pilots license and would like to get the firmware if that is the only pre req. Haven't had any issues yet with motors not starting but,.... does getting the firmware necessitate sending in the drone or can it be accessed and installed another way?
 

Steve Carr

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Thank You Steve. I do have my pilots license and would like to get the firmware if that is the only pre req. Haven't had any issues yet with motors not starting but,.... does getting the firmware necessitate sending in the drone or can it be accessed and installed another way?
You will need to contact Yuneec. They will email you the form that you need to complete and return to them. Then they will send you the firmware which must be installed using the GUI. I think the Serial Number of your aircraft is embedded in the firmware so it is only usable on your machine.
 

Murray Martz

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You will need to contact Yuneec. They will email you the form that you need to complete and return to them. Then they will send you the firmware which must be installed using the GUI. I think the Serial Number of your aircraft is embedded in the firmware so it is only usable on your machine.
I always find this interesting, because in Canada, this does not happen with a locally bought H like mine. When I first got it, I knew nothing and up I went within a mile of our International airport without issue. Now that I know what to and not to do, I never do that, even though I can. I wonder why it's like that for the US H and not the Canadian one....
 

PatR

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Yuneec does not employ very many NFZ's in their system software so it is easy to be in an area you should not be and still have everything power up. The responsibility for obeying the law lies with the operator. In this particular case Sacramento Executive Airport lies a little south of the Sacramento International Airport (SMF) control zone. The outer ring of that control zone has a floor of 1600' and a upper limit of 4100', and is roughly 1 mile north of SAC airport, but the entire area surrounding SAC field lies under Class C airspace which means ATC (SMF approach/departure) needs to be aware of your flight activities. Notifying SAC tower should accomplish that.
 

CraigCam

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I’ve experienced a non motor start NFZ from being close to a Major League Baseball game. It was fine before and was a no go that day.
 
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You will need to contact Yuneec. They will email you the form that you need to complete and return to them. Then they will send you the firmware which must be installed using the GUI. I think the Serial Number of your aircraft is embedded in the firmware so it is only usable on your machine.
Interesting situation about yuneec motors no starting. I had an assignment about 1 mile from Myrtle Beach International Airport and called the tower and gave them the info they required and was able to fly below 400'. The only problem I had was a loss of connectivity between my H & St16 once airborne, even at low altitude. It was on & off intermittently and was able to complete the assignment. Because I was flying over a line of retail stores I thought it might have been conflicting WI FI signal interference. No problem controlling the H although I wasn't happy with no image and error messages. I landed and did recals of system but still not any better. Also had a site seeing chopper fly between me an my H much below 500'. I did change my underwear when returning home.
 
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Any app you are using has no integration with the Yuneec hardware or firmware. The app is just providing you with information to use in making a decision to fly or not.
There is a database for no fly zones of major airports into the firmware for major airports. When your current GPS location is within the boundaries of the NFZ firmware locations then the motors will not start. You cannot turn this feature off by turning off the GPS. If you have the proper clearance you have to get special firmware from Yuneec which will allow the motors to start.
There is a long, long list of private airfields that are no longer used and have fallen in to disrepair and are truly not serviceable. My family farm is in the middle of nowhere and if you have a medical emergency you meet the ambulance at the end of your driveway or you just drive them to the hospital yourself. Last spring I went out there and wanted to fly my H out there. At first no motor start, when it did start it would not go even 30 feet AGL.
I know the system was working fine because I had just returned from Corpus Christi, TX and it all worked fine.
I calibrated the system again even though it was less than 20 minutes from the last time and no movement from that site. Then it dawned on me there was a Hunting lodge 2 miles away. I pulled out my Phone and checked the B4UFly app. and there it was. They had a grass field for landing small aircraft. The hunting lodge is out of business and the landing strip is now a plowed hay field. But it still stopped me from flying at my son's farm. I was pretty angry about that and I called a friend of mine who is a private pilot and asked him to take a cruise by and let me know what he saw. The landing strip had been plowed and hay had been planted and it was still listed as active airfield. There are fields just like this all over the U.S. and if you landed there the rough ground would probably tear the landing gear off of your aircraft.
 
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PatR

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You can thank DJI and the Small UAV Coalition for the creating and implementation of no fly zones. Yuneec used to be a member, along with 3DR, Amazon, Go Pro, and DJI. The NFZ concept was and still is a DJI thing. Although in concept they could be beneficial a total ignorance of our airspace dimensions and true classifications has caused perpetual grief for commercial operators, lots of bloated FC software, and restrictions where none are warranted for recreational users. Make a statement with your wallet, don’t buy systems that contain NFZ’s. If you can obtain a waiver from the maker of the system you have, or can hack the software to bypass them, do so.
 
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You can thank DJI and the Small UAV Coalition for the creating and implementation of no fly zones. Yuneec used to be a member, along with 3DR, Amazon, Go Pro, and DJI. The NFZ concept was and still is a DJI thing. Although in concept they could be beneficial a total ignorance of our airspace dimensions and true classifications has caused perpetual grief for commercial operators, lots of bloated FC software, and restrictions where none are warranted for recreational users. Make a statement with your wallet, don’t buy systems that contain NFZ’s. If you can obtain a waiver from the maker of the system you have, or can hack the software to bypass them, do so.
Yes, I have the NFZ implemented in my software. I've only used it once so far just to see if it starts up and flies, I only went up 5 feet for testing
 

Steve Carr

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At first no motor start, when it did start it would not go even 30 feet AGL.
The Yuneec database only contains major airports. If you can start the motors then you are not in a NFZ listed by Yuneec. If you were having a problem there is some other cause but certainly not because of a small airstrip.
 
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Private airfield is no issue will not cause you not to fly or start up. Is it a red zone, or any red zone areas close by?

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I beg to differ. A private airfield must be approved the FAA. It is a no fly zone due to the approach pattern for the private airport. I have seen only one aircraft fly right over my head while Deer hunting. I know he was less than 400 feet AGL. And that is the only aircraft I have ever seen flying out of that airfield.
 
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Ahhh, you need to read 107 regulations about B,C,D, and E airspace regulations do's and don'ts. Do you have your 107? Flying around them depends on what class are they in and if within ATC flight area. Patterns differ with size of ATC's and approach patterns.
 
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No 107 here. I have been trying to get information on the offending airfield. The Airport is called "High Lonesome" near the bustling beer stop "String Prairie, Texas." My son's farm is across from St. Mary's Church. His land is in direct path of the "Runway". The point I want to make is that the airport is dead as **** and needs to be taken off of the list. I know when I was down there and checked the B4UFLY app and it said I was in a no fly zone.
I live less than three miles from Louisville international airport and I can fly here upto 60 ft AGL.
I'm pretty certain my "H" was fully functional batteries all charged, transmitter and bird bound and calibrated.
 
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Ahhh, you need to read 107 regulations about B,C,D, and E airspace regulations do's and don'ts. Do you have your 107? Flying around them depends on what class are they in and if within ATC flight area. Patterns differ with size of ATC's and approach patterns.
There is no ATC at this location. Unless you count all of the gophers sitting on top of their mounds watching.
 

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Private airfields for the most part listed for an emergency landing and general information purpose are only classified by the type of airspace that overlies them. They do not have control zones, and therefore do not qualify to be a No Fly Zone, something that does not exits in Title 14 or 49 of the CFR's or the FAR's. "No Fly Zone" is not a term listed in the FAA's list of definitions. Anyone can file to have their own personal airfield listed with the FAA for inclusion on aviation charts. They are generally marked on the chart as "private" or "restricted". Courtesy dictates you notify, or attempt to notify, the owner of such an airfield but I'm pretty darn sure they are not afforded the same airspace controls as provided military or public controlled or uncontrolled airports. There are also some qualifiers for heliports to meet before they become a type of controlled airspace.

The commercial operator is required to obtain permission to fly in controlled airspace. The recreational flyer does not need permission, although in some types of airspace they would be wise to obtain it. They are required to "notify" the managing person or agency or their intent to fly. They can be informed atht some areas cannot be flown in, and they would then have to comply.

The 400' altitude limit is legally applicable to commercial operators. The recreational flyer has no such altitude limitation. Their air system maker may incorporate an altitude limit in the system but such is not legally mandated. Don't get caught up as so many have done in confusing what is truly legal, or not, with a bunch of uninformed "tribal knowledge" chatter on public internet forums. Read the law, it's clearly published in Parts 333, 336, and 107 of the code of federal regulations and the FAR's.
 
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Steve Carr

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I beg to differ. A private airfield must be approved the FAA. It is a no fly zone due to the approach pattern for the private airport. I have seen only one aircraft fly right over my head while Deer hunting. I know he was less than 400 feet AGL. And that is the only aircraft I have ever seen flying out of that airfield.
I think @AH-1G is referring to those locations which are programmed into the firmware that would prevent the motors from starting. If the airport is not in the database the motors will start and the aircraft will fly. It's up to the pilot to determine if it's safe to do so.
I have attached a list below of those airports in the US which are in the database.

Remove the .txt at the end of the file name so you can open it with Excel.
 

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All I know is the "H" would not fly any more than 30' AGL. Got back to Kentucky calibrated and went to my usual place to fly and got to 400' AGL with no problems. I made no adjustments at all and flew fine. I don't understand why. This was still back when registration was still required and you had to have a waiver just to power up test near an airport. I stay below 400 AGL because it is my choice and I don't see any need on my part to go higher.

I think the altitude restriction of 400' AGL being applied to the Part 107 pilots seems wrong. The 107's have study and pass a test. The recreational flyer does not have this restriction does not have to do anything other than plop their cash on the table. That is tantamount to CB'ers having all of the power and bands the amateur radio operators have and making ham operators take a test and restrict to cb rules and regulation power levels.
It just seems upside down.

But that's just my opinion.
 
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