A Great Write Up On How To Fly Over A NFL Stadium With a Game In Progress, LEGALLY!

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BigAl07

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Excellent article, but title is a little deceiving.
At no time did they "Fly Over A NFL Stadium With a Game In Progress".
However they explain how to follow the rules and communicate intelligently with authorities to get a great pic.
 
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MTO

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That’s a really cool shot, one any drone pilot would love to get, and apparently CAN get...if you don’t mind dealing with security guards, NFL officials, cops, and yes, even the FBI.
I’ve been harassed plenty by people, security guards, and cops just trying to get legal, legitimate jobs done, can’t imagine going through all of that!
Good on him for being prepared and keeping his cool.
 
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Thanks all. I am truly amazed at how much this blew up. I simply wanted to have a blog post on our Drone U site, and it was picked up by others.

And like here, it was spread.

This will also be talked about at InterDrone next month. I'm on a "Ramp Check" panel on policy day 9/3, and this was perfect timing for that panel.

Thanks again for sharing this, I'm really glad so many people are getting some good info out of it.
 
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Incredible shot and I'm sure you have many, many more. Congrats on the success of your mission.
 
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I've had a similar situation with BB&T bank. Got paid $600 to do 4 banks ground (30-40) and aerial 360s at 400', 200', 75', roof, etc. I got paid $300 as I did 2 aerials and 1 ground. I did the aerial and ground shots but then the bank manager came out. Asking questions about what I'm doing and I showed her my business card and who hired me. The police came but she said they come twice a day. I gave them my FAA license and driver's license. I showed them the hire through the app. We couldn't contact who hired me for a while. They thought it was so the bank could be robbed which they said happens a lot. They knew I was legit and left but later on, the one who hired me called me and he talked to the bank manager. Ended up talking with the district manager or whoever is top of the branches in the area. They said we will need to wait for authorization. We waited a few days and more but then realized the hassle was too high so they just paid me half.

If you are going to take pictures of sensitive sites, you need to have a work order ready to present, you contact the people who can trickle down the information, or of course do it w/o getting detected. I had to take front images of places around the area like Dunkin' Donuts. The Dunkin' Donuts worker was looking at me through the window and kept mouthing, what are you taking pictures for. I couldn't hear her at all but I could read her lips. I showed her I get paid to do it and she left. Mind you, this was during the day with a lot of people and traffic.

The whole point of drone laws is so it doesn't fall out of the sky, just like speeding.

I also had an issue with taking pictures of a bankrupted Macy's. A worker ordered to watch the site wanted info too. He called his boss later and knew I was legit. I asked him how much he gets paid, he said $200 for 8 hours. He also asked if my vehicle was a rental.. I then asked him if his was. We were talking for a bit, then I left and it was all good. I was flying at the boardwalk and generated a crowd, as always, and the Police came asking questions when I was on my Spark. He asked if I have a license to fly it, I said I did. He said can I see it? I said I didn't bring it w/ me as I'm carrying light and didn't need my wallet. I said I'm flying recreationally (it's at night at the beach, over the beach). I said the drone is registered and can shot them. They left before I landed. I was flying over the beach in Sport mode in 3rd person for fun. Like the old 2013 times where FPV didn't exist. I learned to do it again from someone I met in NYC when I went to take pix w/ the P4PV2.0. He went out because his wife was bothering him and needed some alone time. He was off of work. I saw him fly in 3rd person and I was like, wow I forgot you can do that! Now I do it a bunch of times.

The worst is going to be those DJI FPV pilots who have custom drones, hopefully with RTH GPS that works, that will fly all inside NFZ zones. A lot of the tech has been refined so much that it will never crash out of the sky for no reason. People who look at us the wrong way, those who do it right and save ("They also mentioned that about 1 in 10 people they contact actually have their drones registered. And when confronted, are clueless that they even needed to. That bothered me quite a bit.") , instead of looking at the people doing it wrong is bad.

Just need to make sure everything is hooked up right, always take off with GPS, check props that they are mounted every now and then, check for cracks and bends on the props, never fly with low batt, etc.and you should be good.
 
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Very refreshing to see an article about someone flying responsibly for a change! I learned a lot from all of the practical information in the article. The amount of pre-flight preparation was incredible. And the I reaction with the authorities was interesting. Keeping a cool head and being transparent while being questioned was obviously crucial. That fact that the authorities knew their stuff helped a lot too. Unfortunately all of us will not be as lucky in that regard. Although I am guessing that all the pre-flight preparation helped steer things in that direction.

However, I am a little baffled by one thing. Why would the TFR not apply to pre-season games? Was this just an oversight? Seems to me that the same risks are there for both pre-season and regular season games.

Great shots though. Glad he was able to get them safely and legally!
 
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Very refreshing to see an article about someone flying responsibly for a change! I learned a lot from all of the practical information in the article. The amount of pre-flight preparation was incredible. And the I reaction with the authorities was interesting. Keeping a cool head and being transparent while being questioned was obviously crucial. That fact that the authorities knew their stuff helped a lot too. Unfortunately all of us will not be as lucky in that regard. Although I am guessing that all the pre-flight preparation helped steer things in that direction.

However, I am a little baffled by one thing. Why would the TFR not apply to pre-season games? Was this just an oversight? Seems to me that the same risks are there for both pre-season and regular season games.

Great shots though. Glad he was able to get them safely and legally!
I have no idea why pre-season games aren't covered. But others have predicted they will next year.

And yes, preplanning with the NOTAM printed and highlighted definitely helped the situation. So did my approaching each guy who showed up. First thing I did was stick my hand out and introduce myself as I approached them. A person will rarely refuse a handshake, and that helps set the mood.

Thanks for the kind words.
 
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Also, this was shot at ISO400, f/5.6 in AEB 5 shot mode. Exposures were 1/8-.3 seconds, underexposed on purpose. I underexposed because I wanted it to look later in the evening than it was.

I processed the RAW files at 125% in CaptureOne, brought them into Skylum Aurora HDR 2019, and then finished them up in Adobe Photoshop. I then re-sized and added my logos in Photoshop.
 
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Also, this was shot at ISO400, f/5.6 in AEB 5 shot mode. Exposures were 1/8-.3 seconds, underexposed on purpose. I underexposed because I wanted it to look later in the evening than it was.

I processed the RAW files at 125% in CaptureOne, brought them into Skylum Aurora HDR 2019, and then finished them up in Adobe Photoshop. I then re-sized and added my logos in Photoshop.
What does 125% in captureone mean? Did you try shots in ISO100?
 
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The problem with 100% compliance is that 99% of those in an authoritative position don't even fully understand the rules and laws governing UAS's. You spend a bunch of time dotting your I's' and crossing your T's just to get hung up by some minimum wage security lemming who fully believes he's "just doing his job" by making you land and remove your battery.

Or you get some "community watch lemming" who's prepared to "shoot that drone down" if it "crosses his property line again!!"

This is why I like closed sets. Everyone knows who you are and why you're there. I can't think of a better incentive to NOT follow the rules than Vic's experience. Fortunately, 95% of my work is done out in the sticks, so I don't have those issues.

And to be clear, I don't SUPPORT going rogue, but I sure as hell UNDERSTAND why some might. It's gotten to the point that I don't even fire up my drone any more unless there's a paycheck in it or the occasional R&D. Flying was so much funner when people were still asking, "What is that thing?!?!?!?" and "You mean it has a camera?!?!?!"

D
 
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Great article, Vic! I had an entire chair, but I only needed the edge!...<;^)

For what it's worth, unless I really have to, and have full permission, I never launch from private property. I always find a public street, put on the dork vest and launch from there. People can say what they want, but they can never kick you off public property or force you to land or make you remove your battery or ask for ID. All they can do is call the cops, who will at least RESPECT your paper work, even if they don't fully understand it.

1566797467186.png



I'm always friendly and cooperative with citizens up to the point they start barking orders. And if they want to call the cops, I offer to make the call for them.

In your situation, I would've launched from W. 16th avenue, which was literally 400' from your chosen launch point.

1566797736036.png


From there you could've told those melon heads to take a hike or call the cops. Honestly, they probably wouldn't have even approached you had you launched from W 16th Ave. Just food for thought.

Best of luck to you.

D
 
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The problem with 100% compliance is that 99% of those in an authoritative position don't even fully understand the rules and laws governing UAS's. You spend a bunch of time dotting your I's' and crossing your T's just to get hung up by some minimum wage security lemming who fully believes he's "just doing his job" by making you land and remove your battery.

Or you get some "community watch lemming" who's prepared to "shoot that drone down" if it "crosses his property line again!!"

This is why I like closed sets. Everyone knows who you are and why you're there. I can't think of a better incentive to NOT follow the rules than Vic's experience. Fortunately, 95% of my work is done out in the sticks, so I don't have those issues.

And to be clear, I don't SUPPORT going rogue, but I sure as hell UNDERSTAND why some might. It's gotten to the point that I don't even fire up my drone any more unless there's a paycheck in it or the occasional R&D. Flying was so much funner when people were still asking, "What is that thing?!?!?!?" and "You mean it has a camera?!?!?!"

D

Launching from private property can piss people off. Took off from a farm place to take pictures of a farm and a work selling the vegetables was mad and said for me to land now but after he realized I wasn't making money off it he was relaxed and I said I'm leaving.

When someone says to remove the battery, it's because they don't know how it works. We should be more considerate of people who don't know how these things work. I had a situation where I did a night concert shoot for fun with my new M2P. I did not fly over people but around. Usually, I fly inconspicuously so people don't see me but this time I flew not too far by and w/ people walking around. Some guy came over, "Did you fly over the venue?" etc. etc. I said I didn't fly over people, I flew around. He said it's restricted airspace, if you fly over the venue again you are getting arrested. I was landing ready to leave anyway and I told him, ok and everything was good. The people near me said, did you get the shots? I said yeah. He said that's awesome, you got what you needed and he told you to **** off. : p

I had another situation where I was flying the beach boardwalk at night w/ the Spark for fun in 3rd person. People come over as they usually did but this time the cops came as I generated a big crowd and one asked if I have a license to fly it. I said I do and said for me to show it. I said I didn't bring it because I didn't bring my wallet because I'm going lightweight mode. I told him I'm flying recreationally. I said it was registered and they could see it. (I was still flying around), and they left. Someone else was flying a big drone (Inspire 2) on the other side and in the conversation I said someone else was flying too. I'm not the only one.

Just like good actors who engineer their work, it's a lot better to know what to do than to not know and go naturally which sometimes is a hit or a miss perpetually that have had people die or worse.
 
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