Where to fly - Orange County, Southern California

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I'm going to Tehachapi Loop tomorrow. One of my favorite shoots, capturing trains looping over themselves in a canyon. Anybody want to join us? I'll be at the monument at 11am, Saturday morning. Sorry for the late notice. :D
I would love to, but I already have made plans. Let me know when you want to fly another time!
 
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...that train loop looks like an awesome place to get great footage! - would love to join another time - I looked up the sectional for the area and it is squarely in a military operations area, but luckily it operates 06:00-22:00 M-F and starts at 200' AGL, so, in theory, you could still fly during the week if you stay under 200' - have a blast and show us your footage! - do you have a way to check train schedules through there?
 
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40+ trains go through there every day. Today's trip was epic, the best I've experienced. I'll post the video soon.

The loop area has recently had a new track section open up that allows more trains to pass each other to a greater degree than before. Today's train traffic was great.

I plan to return in Feb or Mar when the hills are green.
 
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Videoed my condo complex recently (Seabridge in Huntington Beach). Here's a view unlike any of the residents have ever seen...

 
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I flew my drone out over the ocean to photograph the "Supermoon" tonight. Drone cameras aren't the best for very distant objects, such as supermoons, but here is the result of my flight. The orange tone of the moon was very evident being low on the horizon.

Tonight, my bird had company...two other P4's, a Mavic, a 3DR Solo, and "HB One" (police helicopter). LOL! The chopper stayed away from us and we stayed away from him. I think he was taking some cool photos, too. o_O

o2RQ7sU.jpg
 
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Nice shot at Huntington, one of my favorite flight areas. I don't fly there during the summer much due to all the people, but now that it's fall, I'll start flying there again during the golden hour, right across from DQ.
 
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Newbie here. Just got a Mavic, and yes, I realize this isn't a Mavic forum....but, you guys have more OC activity than anywhere else.

My question...how many of you fly in Newport Beach regularly? Obviously, it's within 5 miles of John Wayne and multiple other helipads. Have you had any problems? What do I need to know?

(Registered already with the FAA and joined the AMA.)
 
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I have known police to threaten drone flyers in Newport, saying they'll take your drone, bla bla bla. They are using the excuse that you're within 5mi of the airport, however I'm sure this is a tactic that's dreamed up by the local resident and persuaded the captain to minimize drone flying. I don't think they actually have a local ordinance against it, so the police use the 5mi threat tactic, that's my guess. Logically, since you're on the border of that 5mi range, and all commercial aircraft are always more than 500' high, whether landing or taking off, this is perfectly safe area to fly. However the police don't care. So if you want to fly there you need to be stealth about it and fly safe, such as over water only.

One area I've flown with no hassle so far is Corona Del Mar state beach. I hide up on the rock mountain toward the West end of the beach so nobody notices me with the RC in my hand. There's a handy shelf in the rock mountain overlooking the Newport jetty that's conveniently out of the way, and a safe place to fly from. This give you pretty good vantage to fly the Wedge, Balboa Pier, Newport Bay, and down the coast to the Flintstone (Portabello estate) house. In the winter Till about May 1st you can park in the parking lot for 2hrs free near the burger stand. That's when I fly there.

Certainly, if you see people watching you, then use their cellphone, you'll need cease operation and pack up. That's my policy. I don't get any NFZ warnings in Newport, so I deem it acceptable to fly along the coast. Newport Pier is actually beyond the 5mi radius, the police should know that.

upload_2016-11-20_22-57-49.png


I fly from the red X spot on the rock mountain. In the winter very few people are nearby, it's pretty vacant.
upload_2016-11-20_23-7-29.png
 
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My question...how many of you fly in Newport Beach regularly? Obviously, it's within 5 miles of John Wayne and multiple other helipads. Have you had any problems? What do I need to know?

I just flew Newport Beach on Saturday. Just be sure you are in Class G airspace (like I was).

Here are a couple of unretouched, straight-out-of-the-P4 images of that operation. The full video is forthcoming.


After hiking about 0.5 miles over rugged terrain (boulders) on the west jetty, I'm doing a "course lock" fly-by...
CQ0YLJK.jpg


The sea lions, lounging on a buoy located approximately 1,500 feet off-shore (from the end of the jetty)...
JM6MBnq.jpg


Location of Buoy (RW "NWP")...
1MBZwhf.png
 
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I am envious of you guys flying in Newport. I have flown there several times and always get chased by the seagulls. They are very aggressive.
 
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I am envious of you guys flying in Newport. I have flown there several times and always get chased by the seagulls. They are very aggressive.
Here's some tips about seagulls:
1. Usually seagulls are more aggressive in the springtime when eggs are laid or their young hatch. They get very protective. Try to avoid that season.
2. If you encounter aggressive seagulls, ascend 100' with full power, then leave the area fast. Seagull cannot climb as fast like you can.
3. When you encounter seagulls and you leave the area, don't go back to that general area that day because they'll be looking for you.
4. Generally momma seagulls stay close to their nests, within half mile.
5. Don't assume all seagulls are aggressive, I've flown behind many seagulls and they seem oblivious to me, even though I know they can hear me. With P4, I will occasionally chase them with 2X zoom enabled to stay away a greater distance. They tend to not be concerned when I do that.
6. Seagulls cannot see the props spinning, they can ram your craft, thinking no harm will come to them and potentially bring you and the seagull down.

We need a loud speaker on the drone to play some bald eagle squawks. :p

Maybe a drone wrap that looks like a bald eagle would help. :rolleyes:
 
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Here's some tips about seagulls:
1. Usually seagulls are more aggressive in the springtime when eggs are laid or their young hatch. They get very protective. Try to avoid that season.
2. If you encounter aggressive seagulls, ascend 100' with full power, then leave the area fast. Seagull cannot climb as fast like you can.
3. When you encounter seagulls and you leave the area, don't go back to that general area that day because they'll be looking for you.
4. Generally momma seagulls stay close to their nests, within half mile.
5. Don't assume all seagulls are aggressive, I've flown behind many seagulls and they seem oblivious to me, even though I know they can hear me. With P4, I will occasionally chase them with 2X zoom enabled to stay away a greater distance. They tend to not be concerned when I do that.
6. Seagulls cannot see the props spinning, they can ram your craft, thinking no harm will come to them and potentially bring you and the seagull down.

We need a loud speaker on the drone to play some bald eagle squawks. :p

Maybe a drone wrap that looks like a bald eagle would help. :rolleyes:


Thanks for the tips! Now that you mention it, I have flown behind them before in the same ares where I've been chased in Newport. I have gotten pretty close to them with no threat just following them with the P3A. They were grounded and I was a few feet in the air just following them while they walk. They didn't seem scared or bothered by me. One of these days I'll have to give it another shot flying out there especially now that we're heading into winter with less people.
 
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This is called, "Arch Rock" and is located off-shore of Little Corona Beach, in Newport Beach, California.

(Shot with five exposures with my DJI Phantom drone at a height of 5.2m (17.1 ft) at a 130° heading. All five images were HDR merged and tone-mapped with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop)

Video is forthcoming. Stay tuned!

kJ0o2QP.jpg
 
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Here's the video of the aforementioned jetty flight...

Jetty, Buoy, and Sea Lions

This was my most challenging flight to date. After trekking over up and down over boulders as big as small cars for about 1/2 mile, I flew in winds of 16.2 mph with 22.6 mph gusts during the flights. I've since flown in much higher winds.

Additionally, I couldn't (didn't want to try) to land directly on the rock where I launched, so I hand-caught it. I hand-catch quite a bit, but I usually am able to move myself to the drone. On a boulder, I couldn't move. With the winds (blowing the aircraft and myself [while wearing drone backpack]), I had to navigate it to within reach. I did this for two flights. It was definitely challenging!

 
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Top of the world in Laguna. Lots of mountain bikers, open area and relative easy shots to get on some on the downhill mountain bike sections. Check out my footage @kevinsstagram




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