Flying Over Cars on Bridge


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I recently got a job opportunity to fly my drone and capture video footage of a bridge. This client is a transportation firm and participated in the design of the bridge. Can I fly over the bridge to get footage if there are cars on it? I know I can fly over stationary cars but what about moving. If flying over moving cars isn't allowed, can I get a waiver to do this? I am part 107 certified but never came across an answer to this situation. I feel like there are lots of little situations which aren't specifically answered by the FAA. Any advice helps! Thanks!

Max

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Actually you cannot. Stationary vehicles are one thing but once it has someone inside it and moving it becomes a liability. Of course I am going through something similar and the are ways around it. I usually wait for a break in traffic and then cross with my camera at 90 degrees to see that im fully across to the other side. If I need more top down or an angle closer to the bridge i fly with the camera at 90 degrees again and set up adjacent to the roadway. While there are rules agaisnt flying over traffic there's nothing about flying adjacent to the roadway. 

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I can confirm it’s not legal to fly directly over moving cars. My understanding of the law is that if the cars were stationary, even if they had people inside, that’s ok (as in a parking lot, etc.) But once they are in motion, then it becomes illegal. 

I do something similar to what David M mentioned above. I occasionally have to cross a road or highway to get footage for tv commercials, and I’ll wait for a break in traffic and zip across while making sure that no one is coming. I often learn the traffic light timing and use that to my advantage. 

For your scenario, your best bet is to see if there’s a point where the traffic may be less and see if you can time it when there are no cars. It is possible to get a waiver for this, but I have a feeling it may be a slightly time consuming process. You could try to apply on FAADroneZone... I believe this would fall under the category of an operational waiver. It’s worth a shot!

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I agree it is not legal to fly over moving vehicles unless you have been granted a waiver to do so. We were lucky to be granted such a waiver for flying over people and moving vehicles a few months back, BUT in a very strict environment. The waiver was very hard to get approved and we cannot deviate from any part of that waiver. So unless you have a professional project and have experience in writing waivers, there would be no point in applying as it is very time consuming.

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As has already been stated, flying a drone over moving vehicles is prohibited. I completely understand your desire to do so for a video op. There is a spectacular bridge near where I live where I would also like to fly and video. I do, however, understand the prohibition. It is highly likely that a car driver going over the bridge and seeing a drone would take his/her eyes off of the road to look at that drone, and that could cause a catastrophic accident. The option is to get permission from land owners adjacent to the bridge to use their property to take off and land, and then fly at al altitude sufficient to prevent drivers from seeing the UAF while either flying adjacent and parallel to the bridge, or flying at a 90 degree angle when there is enough altitude and a break between traffic so that the UAV is not flying over moving vehicles.

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