Airspace/Flight Question - San Francisco

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Howdy all!

I just passed my FAA 107 this week (wooo-hooo), and wanted to run a question by folks who have more experience than I do!

I live in San Francisco - and I want to fly my Mavic up a few hundred feet in my backyard and capture a Pano (I was thinking this might be a cool project to do a few times a week with waypoints or a Litchi flight plan, and then make a time lapse video out of them!).

My question:

from my reading of a sectional map, my house is in Class E Airspace from 700 ft AGL+, which means from my lawn up to 400 Ft is Class G (right?).

(here's a link to a screen cap of the section chart in my area, in case I am reading it wrong?)

View media item 3554
The red arrow is the appx location of my house, so I read it to mean Class B = 2,100 Ft - 10,000 Ft, and since i'm inside the shaded Magenta, Class E = 700 ft+.

I know there's this law about flying in the first 350 ft of airspace over private private property without permission: Today's Law As Amended, but wondering how/if that applies to the airspace over my backyard? Also, super curious how this law interacts with the fact that the FAA regulates airspace - is there an update on this?

Trying to stay "in-bounds" as best I can, what are your thoughts?

Thanks!
 
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hmmm... First I've heard of the California 350 foot law in your link on Today's law as Amended. That would make almost any flying illegal outside of one's own property. I know Senators Feinstien (D) and Cotton (R) are pushing for a 200 foot minimum national and set by locales, but the link is puzzling.

Add: The above was not signed by Gov. Brown if you read the Status in the link so ignore it for now. Whew!

I would assume you are legal over your own property.to 400 feet AGL as the floor in the area is at 2,100 feet. Of course, some badge may tell you otherwise and come up with some local ordinance like public nuisance, safety, privacy, trespassing, critical infrastructure, HOA, or something out of his hat. One never knows really, short of getting a film permit out of the local commissioner's office where you can tell anyone to bugger off.
 
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Based on the location of the arrow I read the chart the same as you, Glass G airspace to 700' AGL.

Your link to the 350' over private property was for a proposed bill. This is not in the current California State Civil Code: Codes Display Text

You may also want to look into any specific ordinances for the City and County of San Francisco regarding drones, UAS, unmanned aircraft, model aircraft......
 
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sar104

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You are correct that you are in Class G below 700 ft AGL.
hmmm... First I've heard of the California 350 foot law in your link on Today's law as Amended. That would make almost any flying illegal outside of one's own property. I know Senators Feinstien (D) and Cotton (R) are pushing for a 200 foot minimum national and set by locales, but the link is puzzling.

From it, I would assume you are legal over your own property.to 400 feet AGL as the floor in the area is at 2,100 feet. Of course, some badge may tell you otherwise and come up with some local ordinance like public nuisance, safety, privacy, trespassing, critical infrastructure, HOA, or something out of his hat. One never knows really, short of getting a film permit out of the local commissioner's office where you can tell anyone to bugger off.

At that location the Class B floor is 2100 ft, but the Metro Oakland Class C floor is 1500 ft and the San Francisco Class E floor is 700 ft. It's still Class G below 700 ft though.
 

THA

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be sure you understand the difference between AGL and MSL as altitudes in sectional use both denoting altitudes. Most are MSL but obviously you can't use MSL as floor when your ground level is higher than sea level, say the 700' if read as MSL and your ground level elevation is 600' MSL your floor above you is 700' not 100' An example of an obstacle is the antenna just SW of your orange circle, it shows the antenna is 1814'MSL where it also shows it is 977'AGL Some of the airspace is like that.
 
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You are correct that you are in Class G below 700 ft AGL.


At that location the Class B floor is 2100 ft, but the Metro Oakland Class C floor is 1500 ft and the San Francisco Class E floor is 700 ft. It's still Class G below 700 ft though.
Thanks! That's how I read it too, nice to have a confirmation!
 
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be sure you understand the difference between AGL and MSL as altitudes in sectional use both denoting altitudes. Most are MSL but obviously you can't use MSL as floor when your ground level is higher than sea level, say the 700' if read as MSL and your ground level elevation is 600' MSL your floor above you is 700' not 100' An example of an obstacle is the antenna just SW of your orange circle, it shows the antenna is 1814'MSL where it also shows it is 977'AGL Some of the airspace is like that.
Thanks THA - totally right - I believe the 21/100 is in MSL; while the 700 Ft Class E airspace magenta is in AGL (see this snap from the sectional chart - it says above surface there)

Sectional Chart Legend.png


Thanks for your feedback!
 
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hmmm... First I've heard of the California 350 foot law in your link on Today's law as Amended. That would make almost any flying illegal outside of one's own property. I know Senators Feinstien (D) and Cotton (R) are pushing for a 200 foot minimum national and set by locales, but the link is puzzling.

Add: The above was not signed by Gov. Brown if you read the Status in the link so ignore it for now. Whew!

I would assume you are legal over your own property.to 400 feet AGL as the floor in the area is at 2,100 feet. Of course, some badge may tell you otherwise and come up with some local ordinance like public nuisance, safety, privacy, trespassing, critical infrastructure, HOA, or something out of his hat. One never knows really, short of getting a film permit out of the local commissioner's office where you can tell anyone to bugger off.
GMack - WHEW! Thank you!!!!

Yea, I am sure we have some ridiculous ordinance in SF on the books, but this seemed awfully restrictive :)

Thanks for the peace of mind, for now
 
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I know there's this law about flying in the first 350 ft of airspace over private private property without permission: Today's Law As Amended, but wondering how/if that applies to the airspace over my backyard? Also, super curious how this law interacts with the fact that the FAA regulates airspace - is there an update on this?

Trying to stay "in-bounds" as best I can, what are your thoughts?

Thanks!

With the fact you say you're flying over private property I'll tell you my bit of advice. I do aerial photography for realtors and when I do my photos I alert the neighbors of the house I'm shooting of what I'm doing so they don't feel like I'm going to invade their privacy and cause trouble, and they're cool with it (for extra security I ask them to sign a paper saying they approved the flight).So I'd say if you want to keep your neighbors comfortable you let them know that you have a sUAS and you plan to fly it daily to make a time lapse and you don't want them to feel like you're invading their privacy when you fly.
 
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With the fact you say you're flying over private property I'll tell you my bit of advice. I do aerial photography for realtors and when I do my photos I alert the neighbors of the house I'm shooting of what I'm doing so they don't feel like I'm going to invade their privacy and cause trouble, and they're cool with it (for extra security I ask them to sign a paper saying they approved the flight).So I'd say if you want to keep your neighbors comfortable you let them know that you have a sUAS and you plan to fly it daily to make a time lapse and you don't want them to feel like you're invading their privacy when you fly.

Thanks for the response!

Have you ever had an issue where a neighbor was not OK with you taking photos/flying? How did you handle that?

Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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Don't forget to check airmap.io, or the airmap app to get heliport and seaplane base phone numbers for the area you are going to fly at, call them and notify when,where and how high you will be flying.
 

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