Today was a bad day for unlocks, I guess

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I actually had a job today...yea, a real one. So last night, I get on the DJI unlock site and unlocked a Phantom 4 Pro authorization zone and one tomorrow for another job, then unlocked tomorrow's for an Inspire 1. Today, I try to take off with the Phantom and it says I'm in a no-fly zone, same address, just not shown as anything but class G on Airmap and as an authorization zone for the Phantom. It asked me if I wanted to unlock and I went through that procedure...and after 3 attempts, it unlocks. Meanwhile, the original unlock is still shown on my phone. It took .5 hours to get in the air. Now there really is a really gosh darn military no-fly zone but that was over 1/4 mile away. There were many other frustrating things that happened with that job, including it being cancelled while I was onsite (didn't find out until later). I was seeing a no-fly zone warning pop-up with nothing more than an altitude change and then when flying straight away, it told me that return to home isn't available because it goes through a no-fly zone.

Now the question: Do you have to have only one unlock active at a time? If not, is there a problem with having them for different drones on the same account (the size of the zones are different between the two drones)? Is there a difference between the zones on their site and what is stored on the craft?

Is there any possible way to avoid this in the future (other than get another drone)?
 
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Question?
1. Did you use the LAANC to get approval for no Fly zone
2. If the military zone is 1/4 mile away why is it a no fly zone
3. Did you get approval from military prior to flight if it cross military airspace
4. If the area is class G, it shouldn't be a no fly zone (unless there are other reason IE; power plants or other infrastructure no fly zone)

Just a few questions I think could help us help you, and if you good provide the location so we can check sectional maps.
 

MTO

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I don’t know the answers to your questions but the same sort of things happen to me with the unlocking licenses, usually takes several attempts and the one I set up the night before never works.
I’ll have half a dozen of them racked up in the app and finally get one that works. Very frustrating.
 
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Question?
1. Did you use the LAANC to get approval for no Fly zone
2. If the military zone is 1/4 mile away why is it a no fly zone
3. Did you get approval from military prior to flight if it cross military airspace
4. If the area is class G, it shouldn't be a no fly zone (unless there are other reason IE; power plants or other infrastructure no fly zone)

Just a few questions I think could help us help you, and if you good provide the location so we can check sectional maps.
1. LAANC was not available, since for us, it's class G airspace
2. DJI said it was and sporadically. I couldn't tell if it was one of their new runway things or the base which was further away. It was shown to be a self-unlocking authorization zone.
3. Didn't cross military airspace...wasn't even close. On looking back at my media, it appears to be a lot further than 1/4 mile from the boundary shown on the DJI website.
4. It was shown as an authorization zone on the DJI website. It was shown as clear on Airmap and on the Sectional chart. Military wise, there is a small un-towered runway about 2 miles away. The property I was flying (about 1/2 acre) wasn't in DJI's shown extended runway boundary. It wasn't far from it, but clearly outside it.

I'm thinking that the data on the Phantom didn't match the data on their site or they add in some pretty large fudge factor.

I'm hoping not to find out today. I have another property to shoot very tight to a military installation, but this one, I had to get a waiver (Class D airspace), the Air Boss had to issue a NOTAM, and I have to notify the tower when I start and finish. My experience yesterday has me nervous, but I'll find out in a few hours. I've unlocked both drones for this tower, even though the INSPIRE entries say I don't need to. This will not be good if I can't complete today's mission because of DJI. I can't just stand out there and curse at my phantom. I may not get another chance to do this.
 
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very odd, but I've have had issues with approved LAANC flights and the DJI Geofencing software. I was in controlled airspace "Class D", and my bird wouldn't even spin up. I had to use my older P2 to get the shots of the site.
 
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Guess what? Everything ready...cleared by the tower, waiver in my pocket in case the law shows up, clock running...and wait for it...Phantom tells me it's in a No-fly-zone. The "no-fly-zone" was shown on the app (DJI GO4, not on their website), with a long thin spike coming from the real no-fly-zone and encompassing the area I was standing. I moved to each side and further away and the "no-fly-zone" followed the controller. Nice....I was lucky I had the INSPIRE 1 with me. It flew. I can't believe that the FAA and NAVY was way, way more helpful (both were great to deal with) than the people that, I guess, really own the drone. It must not be me. I really need to start concentrating on learning the X5 camera. i would have liked to take better video, but me and the drone were still a little unsettled after almost getting hit by some woman speeding down the dead end street...but that's another story.
 
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Been in a similar situation, checked Airmap the night before, outside of controlled airspace, director over my shoulder, P4p won't take off. It was a simple shot of a house so I covered the GPS antenna with heavy black aluminum foil that I carry with me and flew in ATTI mode. Got the shot. Next day same location P4p took off with no problem.
 
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gfieldsr

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I feel your pain and the same thing happened to me yesterday.

Before every job, I go the FAA UAS website to look for any airspace restrictions. The site I was going to showed 400' AGL approved on the map. When I get to the site, I am unable to take off. The app says "NFZ". I was unable to use the app to unlock, so I used my laptop (on site) and got an unlock approved. I imported the code into my P4P (as I have done many times in the past) and still was unable to take off. I gave up after 5 hours of trying.

I lost a lot of money on this deal. I contacted DJI to ask why I even needed an unlock code to begin with, and better yet, why after getting it, I was still unable to take off. DJI has not offered an explanation.

I am more than frustrated.

If anyone knows a better way to check for Airspace Restrictions and the ability to do the flight, let me know. Below is what I do for every job

1. I use Kittyhawk airspace to check for restrictions
2. I examine the FAA UAS map
3. DJI Geo Map

It is frustrating when all the resources above show that you can fly but unable to when you get there.
 
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Unfortunately I know of no correct answer to give out, but I am glad that I did not sell my P2. The P2 is not app based or confined by geofencing, That is why I am spending some time & money on getting mine to fly as smooth as my P3P or P4. Nothing worst than losing out on money and your time, when you did all the things required to fly in an area and get the dreded NFZ.
 
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I can't believe that the FAA and NAVY was way, way more helpful (both were great to deal with) than the people that, I guess, really own the drone.

I guess the trick is not to buy a DJI product from here on in. When I found out their products are crippled with geofencing, I decided my first DJI purchase would be my last.
 
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To a certain extent, I understand. The culture they are building this in, is completely dominated by their government. I'm assuming they think ours is too. That doesn't mean I like it though. I loath the thought that I have to ask someone in another country to use my own property. If they want to control where "their" drones fly, at the most, they should have us show them we have a 107. It's absolutely none of their business who I am working for, or why I am flying. Trying to insert themselves in that part of my business just makes me angry. I bought a product, not a government overlord. If I can find something to replace all its functions for a reasonable price, this Phantom is going up for sale. I don't have a lot of hope for that though. It's too versatile, most apps are built specifically for it, and the camera is perfect for orthomosaics.
 
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