Sean Gordon

Warning on DJI Go 4 App "Approaching Class B Airspace"

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I was recently performing a test flight at a past project.  The address of the operation is: 190 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

I did my usual flight planning and while I know I am near Class B Airspace, I am not in it.  

I took my Inspire 2 up to around 150' as I was looking to get some photos of a brick chimney at the site.  Even at lower altitudes I was getting a message in my DJI Go 4 app saying something along the lines of approaching Class B Airspace.  I had never seen this before.  Is this common and is there anything I should worry about?  Or should I just do my usual due diligence as I have been doing?

 

The area I was is in Waltham, near Main Street, just north of the river as shown on the map below.  

I appreciate any replies as I just want to be sure I'm taking the necessary precautions.

 

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7 hours ago, Sean Gordon said:

I was recently performing a test flight at a past project.  The address of the operation is: 190 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

I did my usual flight planning and while I know I am near Class B Airspace, I am not in it.  

I took my Inspire 2 up to around 150' as I was looking to get some photos of a brick chimney at the site.  Even at lower altitudes I was getting a message in my DJI Go 4 app saying something along the lines of approaching Class B Airspace.  I had never seen this before.  Is this common and is there anything I should worry about?  Or should I just do my usual due diligence as I have been doing?

I have gotten a few warnings from the GO app attempting to fly near the stadium here even though there was nothing happening and the TFR was inactive. I rarely fly using the GO app. I use another flight control app to manage my business shots (Pix4D Capture) for utility and construction mapping. I am sure there are others out there on the market for photography that do as well if not better than DJI GO.

Of course, if you happen to be blissfully unaware of your surroundings a warning could be welcomed. I am guessing that most people who operate commercially know what they are doing and are able to interpret a sectional chart and the vast amount of data available to them to determine what airspace you are operating in (thank you Alan for teaching me to read a sectional chart).

Edited by R Martin
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17 minutes ago, R Martin said:

I have gotten a few warnings from the GO app attempting to fly near the stadium here even though there was nothing happening and the TFR was inactive. I rarely fly using the GO app. I use another flight control app to manage my business shots (Pix4D Capture) for utility and construction mapping. I am sure there are others out there on the market for photography that do as well if not better than DJI GO.

Of course, if you happen to be blissfully unaware of your surroundings a warning could be welcomed. I am guessing that most people who operate commercially know what they are doing and are able to interpret a sectional chart and the vast amount of data available to them to determine what airspace you are operating in (thank you Alan for teaching me to read a sectional chart).

Thanks for the reply.  I haven't even thought of using another flight control app.  I'll have to test that out.  

 

And I like to think I am aware of my surroundings, which is why I was a bit confused when the notification popped up on my screen.

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4 minutes ago, Sean Gordon said:

Thanks for the reply.  I haven't even thought of using another flight control app.  I'll have to test that out.  

 

And I like to think I am aware of my surroundings, which is why I was a bit confused when the notification popped up on my screen.

I think its a CYA feature the Chinese built into their app to distance themselves from liability issues. And I thought the whole part of getting the cert was to be able to see things like that and avoid them....silly me. Some paper-pusher in China apparently knows more about the airspace I fly in than I do...

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2 hours ago, R Martin said:

I think its a CYA feature the Chinese built into their app to distance themselves from liability issues. And I thought the whole part of getting the cert was to be able to see things like that and avoid them....silly me. Some paper-pusher in China apparently knows more about the airspace I fly in than I do...

DJI is fully aware that their "dji-fencing" built into their system can quickly become a problem for commercial users.  They really couldn't care less. 

Those of us that use hardware manufactured by them just have to find workarounds and/or live with the pseudo restrictions.

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10 hours ago, Dave Pitman said:

DJI is fully aware that their "dji-fencing" built into their system can quickly become a problem for commercial users.  They really couldn't care less. 

Those of us that use hardware manufactured by them just have to find workarounds and/or live with the pseudo restrictions.

Ok so basically, I was fine where I was flying.  Just do my usual due diligence and understand the airspace I'm in and I should be fine?

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1 hour ago, Sean Gordon said:

Ok so basically, I was fine where I was flying.  Just do my usual due diligence and understand the airspace I'm in and I should be fine?

Think of it as Chinese insurance. It covers the manufacturer in case their product is misused by you and they get included in a lawsuit. That being said, its business as usual and just another annoying reminder to double check and move on. You've already proven (to me for what its worth) that you are responsible by asking the question. Enjoy.

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11 hours ago, Dave Pitman said:

DJI is fully aware that their "dji-fencing" built into their system can quickly become a problem for commercial users.  They really couldn't care less. 

Those of us that use hardware manufactured by them just have to find workarounds and/or live with the pseudo restrictions.

So don't use the DJI GO app....problem solved; minor annoyance at best. Life is filled with them. Not worth getting your knickers in a twist. ;-)

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2 hours ago, Sean Gordon said:

Ok so basically, I was fine where I was flying.  Just do my usual due diligence and understand the airspace I'm in and I should be fine?

Actually,  the warnings are the least of it.  At times, the craft will refuse to arm or even worse will try to start auto landing if it thinks it is where it shouldn't be.  

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1 hour ago, R Martin said:

So don't use the DJI GO app....problem solved; minor annoyance at best. Life is filled with them. Not worth getting your knickers in a twist. ;-)

You don't fully understand the system.  You can get away with no warnings depending upon which sdk app you use.  However the dji-fencing is global.  Go to a dji indicated NFZ and see how your app of choice responds.

There are other workarounds though.

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4 minutes ago, Dave Pitman said:

You don't fully understand the system.  You can get away with no warnings depending upon which sdk app you use.  However the dji-fencing is global.  Go to a dji indicated NFZ and see how your app of choice responds.

There are other workarounds though.

Again, not worth getting worked up over. If it didn't have a solution THEN it might be worthy of an expletive appropriate for the situation. Due diligence will solve the problem though. No worries on my part....

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I understand I can't get away from it, and I have no intention of getting away from it.  As I am new to this I really just wanted to make sure that I wasn't flying in an area that needed authorization, which I'm not.  

 

Thanks for your responses.

 

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Sean, to be clear, use FAA sectional charts and TFRs notices as your guide to where you are legal to operate. DJI's system's goal is to keep them from getting bad press which can harm sales. If the system also helps users that is a bonus.  

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Not to defend DJI, not at all, but based on the address you provided you are in Class G airspace but 1600 feet below the floor of BOS Class B.  In that particular area, the floor of Class B is 2000AGL.  Yes you are legal, but you are close (albeit below) to class B.

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The issue isn’t whether you can get away from it, its more about whether you can trust it.  It arms in places it shouldn’t, it doesn’t arm in places it should. At time it is very inconsistent so if your a commercial operator how can it be part of the critical workflow? It is a single point of failure that you can not control.  

 

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