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Where are people in the Twin Cities area flying if you want to stay local and not have to notify?

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I'm looking forward to heading up north with the meet that's being planned, but I'd also like to get a few test flights in without having to do a road trip.

I'm having a difficult time finding anywhere that doesn't have ordinances banning drones or isn't near an airport, especially since so many people have tax-purposes-only private airports. I'll harass them if I have to, but I'd rather somewhere that I can just go and put the H up for testing and practice without having to jump any hurdles. Preferably in the northwest metro.
 
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I'm looking forward to heading up north with the meet that's being planned, but I'd also like to get a few test flights in without having to do a road trip.

I'm having a difficult time finding anywhere that doesn't have ordinances banning drones or isn't near an airport, especially since so many people have tax-purposes-only private airports. I'll harass them if I have to, but I'd rather somewhere that I can just go and put the H up for testing and practice without having to jump any hurdles. Preferably in the northwest metro.
Go to Google Play and download the phone app AIRMAP. It provides a link to the LAANC FAA airspace authorization system. It will help inform you of rules, altitude maximums, close airports, schools, prisons, heliports, hospitals, and other various no-fly zones. It will inform you of the airspace grid which posts maximum ceilings in that particular proposed airspace where you intend to fly. It's da bomb! If you stay within the regs, and don't propose flying above the ceiling limits, you can achieve an automatic waiver to fly within the airspace rules. Unless of course it is not available in your area. I fly near OGG (Kahului airport) and get case by case approvals when I need them. For what it's worth...
 

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ownload the phone app AIRMAP.
Sorry cbecker125, but Airmap is notorious for being inaccurate. It is also a company that has been lobbying very hard to get airspace restricted for drones with the goal of being a soul source of paid authorizations. Bottom line.....don't use or support Airmap. There are two reputable companies that provide LAANC authorizations for commercial users.

The type of restrictions Eslader is asking about concerning local ordinances cannot be found in a single place. It's one reason I have found fault with the FAA's policy of not intervening in this hodge-podge nightmare of local restrictions.
Some states, such as Michigan, have developed a state statute that prohibits units of local governments from passing drone use regulations. The problem in many states including MN and CA has been the unbridled proliferation of local regs that no one can assemble into a usable document.

For hobbyists the easiest method of determining a locations airspace restrictions is to zoom in on this map.
 
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I'm looking forward to heading up north with the meet that's being planned, but I'd also like to get a few test flights in without having to do a road trip.

I'm having a difficult time finding anywhere that doesn't have ordinances banning drones or isn't near an airport, especially since so many people have tax-purposes-only private airports. I'll harass them if I have to, but I'd rather somewhere that I can just go and put the H up for testing and practice without having to jump any hurdles. Preferably in the northwest metro.
I fly at a park (River Park) a couple blocks from my house, its located in the north metro area of Brooklyn Park, go to 83rd and Westriver Rd. then head east towards the Mississipi River its down the hill about a block right along the river no problems there and great flying along the river too
 
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The airspace restrictions aren't too hard to determine, although both Airmap and the ArcGIS map don't show all of them (hospital helipads, etc).

I know River Park pretty well. The problem is that the river side of it is inside KANE's 5 mile radius, and also that section of the Mississippi is a no-fly zone per the National Park Service, so that won't work for me. I'm unwilling to risk conflicts with authorities, because I'm only planning to stay "hobbyist" until I'm good at it, and then I'm going part 107.

I had been looking at Northwoods park north of 610, but it's within 5 miles of Mercy's helipad. Most of the parks in the area are either under KMIC/KANE's radius, or a Three Rivers park (no fly), or within the radius of "private airstrips."
 
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Sorry cbecker125, but Airmap is notorious for being inaccurate. It is also a company that has been lobbying very hard to get airspace restricted for drones with the goal of being a soul source of paid authorizations. Bottom line.....don't use or support Airmap. There are two reputable companies that provide LAANC authorizations for commercial users.

The type of restrictions Eslader is asking about concerning local ordinances cannot be found in a single place. It's one reason I have found fault with the FAA's policy of not intervening in this hodge-podge nightmare of local restrictions.
Some states, such as Michigan, have developed a state statute that prohibits units of local governments from passing drone use regulations. The problem in many states including MN and CA has been the unbridled proliferation of local regs that no one can assemble into a usable document.

For hobbyists the easiest method of determining a locations airspace restrictions is to zoom in on this map.
Steve,
I had no idea it was that way with Airmap. My experience with Airmap has been limited to Maui and to date, no problems. I'm Part 107 certified. I live and fly quite a bit within the 5 mile radius of Kahului (OGG) airport - Class C airspace. Not defending Airmap, assuming there is quite a bit I don't yet know about the beast, Airmap, so far, has been able to secure me an Automated FAA Controlled Airspace auth to fly there. I stay well within the flight plan (distance, elevation, and filght time, etc.). All good so far.
I sometimes fly on the west side (Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua) and I call in to Kapalua airport UNICOM (PHJH) which is Class E airspace. Here I must be aware of not only commercial aircraft, but private, parasails, hang gliders, ultralights, and sightseeing helicopters. So far, I've had little interaction with any other than light commercial commuter type aircraft arriving and departing Kapalua. I have gotten to know a few by name up there in UNICOM who are real accommodating. I let them know where I'll be flying, letting them know I'm "starting now". I stay aware of other aircraft in my area. Sometimes I'm fairly close to the flight path too. It is an uncontrolled/non-towered airfield I might add. So far, they ask me how high I'll be (I'm always under 400'), then salute. Good to go!
I do appreciate the Airmap, insight you've provided. I get the fact that Airmap has seized an opprtunity to capitalize on this industry. My hope is that they do more good than harm. Good or bad, I appreciate Airmap's simple interface I can use in the field to get an automatic LAANC auth. If they are as you say hurting the droners, I need to know so I can take action in my small corner too. To your point, which are the two reputable companies that provide LAANC authorizations for commercial users? Can you point me in the right direction to study Airmap's role in this indistry that exposes their nefarious motives?
 

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Kittyhawk and Skyward seem to be the preferred apps.

 
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I found this resource provided by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) for the Twin Cities, MN. The page is titled "Unmanned Aircraft Systems". It lists the #'s for all the airports in the TC's when you need to obtain FAA approval when flying in the 5 mile zone.
Metroairports.org - Unmanned Aircraft Systems
As a recreational flyer (sect 336 registered) am I able to legally fly in the airport 5 mile radius if I follow the rules and get this approval?
 
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Pelican Lake WMA out by Rogers is a nice spot. About 25 minutes from Brooklyn Park.

Honestly though..... methinks you're not looking very hard or being a bit overly concerned. Yesterday I was flying at the now closed Mpls Port Authority site that's slated for redevelopment to get some industrial porn footage. Had a nice chat with a local cop too.That's at Dowling and 94.

Last month I flew at the Arcola train bridge north of Stillwater to get some bridge porn footage. No restrictions there either.

Last January I stood on the docks at the depot in Wayzata and filmed the train going through town while looking in from the lake. No hobbyist rules or laws were broken since the aircraft stayed over water/ice the entire flight and never exceeded 400 ft in altitude. Again.... even had a local cop watch me for awhile before going off to do whatever Wayzata cops do.

Use a little ingenuity and think outside the box, there's thousands of flyable locations that are incredibly interesting within a 30 minute drive of downtown Mpls.
 
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Our photo group calls it "industrial porn" because everyone gets so excited when we see a rotted out building...or an old bridge...or...
 
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methinks you're not looking very hard or being a bit overly concerned.
Bottom line is, I do not want to be this guy:


Other bottom line, I intend to go part 107, and don't want "violations" in my past potentially messing that up.

So I intend to fly only where it is confirmed legal, or at least not likely to be illegal, and I'm not finding many places like that in or near the northwest metro based on my understanding of the rules. If that understanding is wrong, I welcome corrections but I assure you I'm not being lazy.
 
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Wasn't implying you were being lazy, just having a hard time understanding lack of flying locations.

That cat accepted a job, a non-paying job. But in the eyes of the FAA services rendered to another individual constitutes "commercial" use. Courts have ruled once that donated pictures do not constitute "commercial" use in a previous similar case. Hopefully we'll get another confirmation as this guy makes his way through the system.

But lack of flying space? Minnesota is covered in WMA lands, even near the cities. Check a DNR map for one near you that's in uncontrolled airspace.
 
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@Good time Charlie , When I look at the location of your industrial shoot by the Mississippi river, (Dowling and I94) in Airmap, It shows that location to be inside the boundary of a National Park. The actual name of this area is Mississippi National River and Recreational Area.

Does anyone of the experts on this sight know if the National Park UAS restrictions also apply to National Recreation areas? This area is an abandoned industrial sight 3mi north of downtown Minneapolis. it is not a place that is patrolled by employees of the Nat. Park system. While the FAA has no restrictions in this spot, should I be concerned "at all" about flying with in the boundaries of this national park area? (the penalties are big)
 
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My take on it is that the Port Authority is still a largely abandoned industrial site until it gets released to the park system for redevelopment. The current park land directly north would be problematic and flying in any of the metro park areas up and down the river is a no go.

When I was there I had a nice chat with a friendly officer who didn't seem worried at all once I offered up some ID and he figured out I wasn't some kind of terrorist or something. Of course I've been wrong about many things in life, so there's that.
 
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That cat accepted a job, a non-paying job. But in the eyes of the FAA services rendered to another individual constitutes "commercial" use.
You're highlighting the problem right there. Well, two of them. First, the guy didn't know he was doing anything wrong. He "accepted a job" by taking a picture for someone without charging them. He had no reason to believe that was "commercial use," because common sense and the dictionary says it isn't.

And second, the FAA says private pilots can give airplane rides to people, including transportation from one place to another, as long as they don't accept money. In fact, they can even accept money if it's specifically to pay for gas/oil/airport fees provided no one in the plane contributes more to the trip than the pilot. Beyond that, they can use their airplane in furtherance of their business as long as the flying isn't the primary part of the business. So if you're using the plane to fly around and meet clients for your company, you don't need to have a commercial license even though you are much closer to "engaging in commercial activity" with it than that drone pilot ever was.

So the FAA is apparently inconsistent here. On one hand, GA pilots can render services to others and not be guilty of engaging in commercial activity. On the other, if I take a picture of my neighbor's house and give it to him, suddenly I'm engaged in commercial activity.

This is the issue with getting into drone flying. The rules are often unclear, even *finding* what the rules are can be difficult because there's no central aggregation of *all* of them, and then when you do find them they're sometimes incoherent.

That was the impetus behind my post, because I am new at this and figured I'd ask rather than reinvent the wheel, especially since it's difficult to know where all the parts of the wheel even are.

That news is almost 3 years old.
Are you aware of developments that say what happened to him won't happen now?
 
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My take on it is that the Port Authority is still a largely abandoned industrial site until it gets released to the park system for redevelopment. The current park land directly north would be problematic and flying in any of the metro park areas up and down the river is a no go.

When I was there I had a nice chat with a friendly officer who didn't seem worried at all once I offered up some ID and he figured out I wasn't some kind of terrorist or something. Of course I've been wrong about many things in life, so there's that.
@Good time Charlie
You need permission to fly in any of the yellow areas
Doc1-1.jpg
 
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And that map isn't complete. Minneapolis bans drones in any of their parks. Elm Creek, Crow-Hassan, Baker, and Carver park reserves are Three Rivers Park District property, and they ban drone flying without a "permit." But when you try to get one you find they only give permits to commercial photographers and they charge $250.

The non-yellow area over Plymouth and Maple Grove is within 5 miles of several "airports" including hospital helipads and private ultralight fields, so while you can fly there you need to jump through some hoops first. Same story north of the north-most yellow circle (KANE) - the Rice Creek park is an Anoka Co. park - drones banned in all of those. And there's an "airport" by Ham lake so that's another yellow circle that isn't there.

And that's why I started this thread. Even the better sources of information aren't complete sources of information.
 

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