MikeV

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About MikeV

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  1. Hey Jojo, have you looked at AirMap as a place to start? It gives a pretty good indication of airports, national parks, etc, that you can't fly in and should show you some areas you could drive to that would be open. Check the app store for AirMap or swing by airmap.com and it'll link you to where you can get it if you don't already have it.
  2. Hey thanks @Av8Chuck, great thoughts - totally agree - After reading a bit more it seems like they're still not set up for permits and you'd be taking a big risk. If it's not for work, I'd leave it behind unless you can get someone there to tell you that you can get a permit once you land in the country. Otherwise I wouldn't want the pressure of flying and not knowing what could happen with local authorities while I was vacation. If it is for work, keep pressing through the Civil Aviation channels to see if they can get you a permit. I recently flew in Ghana and there was articles about prison time and fines so we went through the office of civil aviation and got a permit for $20. No one every stopped me anywhere in any rural or tourist areas so it wasn't an issue, and they never stopped me at customs either, so in theory I could've just walked into the country, flown where I wanted and left - but there's the chance of fines/prison, so I paid their $20 to not take the risk. It took an hour of waiting and some paperwork but I had scheduled that into my trip for a non profit I was filming for. I will say that I got no response from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority website and finally got someone through the GCAA facebook page 3 days after I emailed them through that so you could try that route for Kenya as well. But again, it doesn't sound like they are setup for that yet. Take a nice long lens for your DSLR camera if you have one or rent a 100-400mm if you're doing a safari and get great stuff from the ground. Have a good trip!
  3. Hey Gio, Worse case, customs will not allow you in if they search your bag when you enter the country. If they take it you will get it back when you fly out of Kenya provided you go into and out of the same airport. Best case scenario, you go through customs and they don't check your bag at all and it's fine. It appears that they don't have a permit process right now, which means you can fly there without a permit as long as you follow the same rules we do here in the US. Kenya might have slightly different rules on altitude but for the most part, other countries rules are very close to the US. I would say though that you should be careful around any national parks as they may not permit flying in there, and not to fly too close to wildlife. If you do a safari you might ask the company you're going with if it's okay to fly, but I doubt that they'll let you take off from inside the national park. I would definitely take it with you and try to get shots where you can. The Rift Valley would be beautiful to film. I haven't taken mine there yet because before recently they had a country-wide ban on drones but that has changed. Uganda and Nicaragua are the same, full ban on drones, and they took it from me at customs and returned it when I left. The majority of countries I go to though don't stop me and search my bags so I usually take it in just fine, then I don't fly in highly populated areas, near any Gov buildings or too close to any tourists sites that someone might try to shut down my flight.
  4. great shots! I like how you cut it together too, it flowed it really well. I always wonder how long to make my real estate videos and I'm finding that I start repeating shots just because they were cool, then I go back through and realize that about 60 seconds is really all it takes. You did a good job of covering all the angles from high & low - well done!
  5. Hey all - awhile back, maybe a year or more ago I heard that if you update the Mavic Pro firmware it was locking people out of being able to fly even if you had permission to fly in those areas. I wasn't sure if everyone experienced that or not? I haven't updated my firmware in forever because I was afraid of that. I do a lot commercial work for architects and the local airport is super cool about giving permission over the phone, especially when I'm only doing 50-100ft AGL flights within 50-100 yards of the home point. (I'm part 107 certified as well) I recently got the Mavic Air and it's newer firmware has prevent me from taking off in spots saying "cannot take off" on the screen, even if I have permission, so I always have my Mavic Pro ready to go as well. Now I'm headed to China for a company specifically to shoot Tea Plantations for their business. (DSLR photo/video & drone shots.) I'd love to take the Mavic Air because of it's size for travel, but I'm afraid I'm going to get over there and get that "cannot take off" message. Let me be clear, I'm not saying I want to make illegal flights. I just want to be able to fly in the areas I should be able to fly, class G, and in the middle of nowhere in a tea field, or in places that I've been given permission to fly. The controller obviously doesn't know that I've been given permission though. Anyone had this issue, know a way around it, or an article pointing to this firmware issue? Better yet, anyone in China been flying around tea fields in Shoaxing, Nanning, or Pu'er City? I see a few geo zones on the DJI website map, but I think the tea fields will be out in the country away from them. Thanks so much for the help - Mike.
  6. Awesome! I'm just about to dive into it myself - do you guys have any idea how much you invested in it all? Should I set aside a whole week to do the online course, then another week of reviewing it all, or did you guys need less time? thanks!