Question regarding Airports/Helipads

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I know this has been asked but I searched around but couldn't find a definite answer.

I am a hobbyist and I recently got my Phantom 3. My problem is that I live on the outskirts of town which has this nice open field with no trees which makes it the perfect place to practice. However, I'm 2 miles from the hospital helipad and about 4.5 miles from an airport.

I'm well aware that I have to contact the airport and helipad 48 hours before I fly but as of right now, I just want to practice in this open field in which I wouldn't go higher then tree line until I'm feeling comfortable. Once I am ready to go higher up then I would obviously be a responsible person.

I"m just wondering if there's a way to contact airports besides calling them? I just feel like I"m going to be annoying to constantly contact them when I wouldn't be going higher then 40ft and I"d like to put in practice every day.

Thanks!
 
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I know this has been asked but I searched around but couldn't find a definite answer.

I am a hobbyist and I recently got my Phantom 3. My problem is that I live on the outskirts of town which has this nice open field with no trees which makes it the perfect place to practice. However, I'm 2 miles from the hospital helipad and about 4.5 miles from an airport.

I'm well aware that I have to contact the airport and helipad 48 hours before I fly but as of right now, I just want to practice in this open field in which I wouldn't go higher then tree line until I'm feeling comfortable. Once I am ready to go higher up then I would obviously be a responsible person.

I"m just wondering if there's a way to contact airports besides calling them? I just feel like I"m going to be annoying to constantly contact them when I wouldn't be going higher then 40ft and I"d like to put in practice every day.

Thanks!
Good question, your best bet is to call the airport and tell them exactly what you just said and see what they say
 

Mark The Droner

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If you can find their email on google, you could email them and say exactly what you just typed out as well. You could do it today. No need to wait until you start flying above the tree tops.

My nearby small airport has a website and a Contact Us box - that's where I initiated contact. Now I just send them text messages before each flight.

Welcome to the site!
 
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Thanks!

I been trying to contact them for the past week but nobody picks up and no answering machine.

I know about 9 months ago someone in my town got slapped with jail time and a huge fine cause he was flying a drone directly above the helipad which prevented takeoff. Obviously, that's just common sense but I'm trying to avoid causing any more black marks on the drone industry due to ignorance.
 
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I don't see how you could contact a helipad operator especially if it is a hospital. My b4ufly app says airport within 2.5 miles and to notify airport operator or control tower but does not mention helipads which there are 5 within my 5 mile radius, four of them are no longer there. Can't trust b4ufly app. I didn't update go app or firmware so I don't know what restrictions there are on the go app.
 
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Not sure where you got the 48 hours. I usually call 30 to 40 minutes before I fly. I give them name, phone number, a time period during which I might be flying and location and height AGL. If you can't reach anyone, it might be worth a trip to the airport just to see if you can find anyone that might have some contact info. I wouldn't worry about bothering them. One or two phone calls a day shouldn't be a problem. If you just can't find anyone, send the airport manager a letter telling them that you couldn't reach anyone by phone and just say that you will be flying intermittently during the daytime at your location. An none of the FAA documentation says anything about contacting helipads
 
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Thanks!

I been trying to contact them for the past week but nobody picks up and no answering machine.

I know about 9 months ago someone in my town got slapped with jail time and a huge fine cause he was flying a drone directly above the helipad which prevented takeoff. Obviously, that's just common sense but I'm trying to avoid causing any more black marks on the drone industry due to ignorance.
Anytime an unmanned aircraft interfere with the flight of a manned one, the unmanned craft is in the wrong.
 
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Not sure where you got the 48 hours. I usually call 30 to 40 minutes before I fly. I give them name, phone number, a time period during which I might be flying and location and height AGL. If you can't reach anyone, it might be worth a trip to the airport just to see if you can find anyone that might have some contact info. I wouldn't worry about bothering them. One or two phone calls a day shouldn't be a problem. If you just can't find anyone, send the airport manager a letter telling them that you couldn't reach anyone by phone and just say that you will be flying intermittently during the daytime at your location. An none of the FAA documentation says anything about contacting helipads
Yeah, as in my video above, I actually landed and took off from the hospital's helipad. It didn't really enter my mind to notify anyone about it. At least, from that location, I could spot a helicopter coming in more easily. There would be an associated commotion, what with landing lights and all the other stuff. I mentioned the flights to an administrator that works there (I work there too). Their only comment was "don't run into any emergency helicopters".
 
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So you have permission from some one in authority to fly, should be hassle free (we can only hope LOL)
 
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Okay just an update...

I finally got in touch with the airport, the manager said that they have to give me permission to fly. I told them that I am only flying at the most, 40ft, which they were cool with and took my registration number. However, they said if I plan on going above 40ft then I would have to call to ask them for permission.

I'm in the clear to practice but as a hobbyist, I thought that you were allowed to fly as long as you notify the surrounding airport. I'm just assuming that they wouldn't grant me permission and the DJI app also doesn't list my area as a no fly zone. Anyone care to shed some light on this?

Thank you for the answers!
 

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Not sure where you got the 48 hours. I usually call 30 to 40 minutes before I fly. I give them name, phone number, a time period during which I might be flying and location and height AGL. If you can't reach anyone, it might be worth a trip to the airport just to see if you can find anyone that might have some contact info. I wouldn't worry about bothering them. One or two phone calls a day shouldn't be a problem. If you just can't find anyone, send the airport manager a letter telling them that you couldn't reach anyone by phone and just say that you will be flying intermittently during the daytime at your location. An none of the FAA documentation says anything about contacting helipads
I agree - doing a roof inspection - called the manned airport (small city run airport) before I powered up - they were cordial and thanked me for the call - FAA B4UFly app was very helpful
 
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Okay just an update...

I finally got in touch with the airport, the manager said that they have to give me permission to fly. I told them that I am only flying at the most, 40ft, which they were cool with and took my registration number. However, they said if I plan on going above 40ft then I would have to call to ask them for permission.

I'm in the clear to practice but as a hobbyist, I thought that you were allowed to fly as long as you notify the surrounding airport. I'm just assuming that they wouldn't grant me permission and the DJI app also doesn't list my area as a no fly zone. Anyone care to shed some light on this?

Thank you for the answers!
The airport manger was wrong! You weren't asking for permission just notifying him. The FAA is very clear that airports have to have definite, specific reasons for asking you not to fly when you call, such as some low level operations being conducted in the area where you plan to fly. However, if they do have a reason and ask you no to fly and you fly anyway the FAA might consider that reckless. Based on the comments on several threads on this forum, there are a lot or airport operators, etc. that just don't know the current rules.
 
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I agree - doing a roof inspection - called the manned airport (small city run airport) before I powered up - they were cordial and thanked me for the call - FAA B4UFly app was very helpful
Not being the drone police, but if the roof inspection was 'commercial' and you have the proper Part 107 paperwork, you wouldn't even need to call, although doing so as a common courtesy helps with our image within the flying community.
 
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mjw

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Not being the drone police, but if the roof inspection was 'commercial' and you have the proper Part 107 paperwork, you wouldn't even need to call, although doing so as a common courtesy helps with our image within the flying community.
Well, prior to doing the inspection, I consulted B4UFLY site, in big red letters is says "You are within 5 miles of an airport - you must call the tower, its the law" (paraphrased) - I will try to call - luckily it was a small city run airport - I wonder how happy the tower at DFW or the Joint Reserve Base would be to hear from someone doing roof inspections - i was no higher than 100' - I agree, bugging a busy airport tower for this issue is kinda silly but does give positive PR for our efforts
 
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The airport manger was wrong! You weren't asking for permission just notifying him. The FAA is very clear that airports have to have definite, specific reasons for asking you not to fly when you call, such as some low level operations being conducted in the area where you plan to fly. However, if they do have a reason and ask you no to fly and you fly anyway the FAA might consider that reckless. Based on the comments on several threads on this forum, there are a lot or airport operators, etc. that just don't know the current rules.
The problem with that is that many, most, or all law enforcement officers don't know the current rules either. So, the airport operator calls the cops, they come and arrest you and/or cite you, and/or confiscate your drone because they don't know any better, even though the rules are pretty clear. Ultimately, you'll probably get off and your drone returned if you really weren't violating any rules, but it won't really matter....as they say, you might beat the rap but you won't beat the ride.
 
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Well, prior to doing the inspection, I consulted B4UFLY site, in big red letters is says "You are within 5 miles of an airport - you must call the tower, its the law" (paraphrased) - I will try to call - luckily it was a small city run airport - I wonder how happy the tower at DFW or the Joint Reserve Base would be to hear from someone doing roof inspections - i was no higher than 100' - I agree, bugging a busy airport tower for this issue is kinda silly but does give positive PR for our efforts
I wouldn't waste time trying to talk with them. I'd just leave a voice message, send them an email, or post a registered letter. Or all three.
 
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Well, prior to doing the inspection, I consulted B4UFLY site, in big red letters is says "You are within 5 miles of an airport - you must call the tower, its the law" (paraphrased) - I will try to call - luckily it was a small city run airport - I wonder how happy the tower at DFW or the Joint Reserve Base would be to hear from someone doing roof inspections - i was no higher than 100' - I agree, bugging a busy airport tower for this issue is kinda silly but does give positive PR for our efforts
Roof inspection is a commercial operation, therefore there's no need to call the airport.

I feel in the future, hobbiest will be required to obtain clearance in the same fashion as a commercial pilot. Time will tell.
 

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