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What Drone App Do You Use to Plan Drone Flights?

Published: 14/03/2019
By: larry

Last month, Kittyhawk and the FAA announced "an exclusive public-private partnership to rejuvenate and lead the development of the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile application using Kittyhawk’s Platform to power the safe and compliant flying experience for millions of U.S.-based users. B4UFLY is a free app that helps drone operators operate compliantly with FAA rules and regulations". See this article over at DroneLife.com for full details.

Having an app like B4UFLY that takes care of all the FAA notifications looks like it will make life faster and simpler for commercial drone flyers!

8 comments on “What Drone App Do You Use to Plan Drone Flights?”

  1. I use B4UFLY, and have started double checking it with AirMap. The software from DJI does nothing with checking weather or filing a flight plan, nor does it keep you safe from flying in airspace other than jails, power plants, and other no fly areas. If you only use DJI you will break FAA airspace.

  2. I know this was what apps do you use, but it should have been a bit more specific. This is nor about the app to fly the drones but the apps about flying safely and legally. In addition to the apps, I use the printed sectional chart for my part of the state when in doubt and when out of my immediate area. In my area, there are no airports, military flying corridors etc, but we do have some medivac warning zones, from time to time forest service planes flying low and on week ends the odd private pilot in small planes buzzing our village which is set in a small valley. These planes fly often below the 400 foot altitude. Sigh. So I leave my 3 statute mile strobe on day or twilight. But with those low flyers in private planes, who knows if they are paying attention?

  3. There is the FAA "Visualize it" web site: https://faa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c2e4406710048e19806ebf6a06754ad

    The other thing I have done is draw circles around the local airports according the the regulations, ie; 2nm for an uncontrolled airport without an instrument landing system (ILS).

    The LANNC program is implemented by a bunch of different entities. Unfortunately for me, the airports around me have not been incorporated into LANNC yet. I hope they will be
    shortly. It's dead simple to and lighting fast to get permission that way. I haven't seen if it speeds up permission for altitudes higher than listed on the Visualize It map where there
    has to be another layer of review done first.

    As Peter points out, you need to have and know how to use the sectional charts for your area. I keep mine in my P4A pack along with my log, insurance card, license and registration.
    Even if I'm wrong, maybe I'll be able to cast enough "gray area" around if I've done my homework honestly.

  4. Ken, that is a great suggestion about drawing circles on Google Earth. As complete as Sectional Charts are, they are also very complex with very small writing that for old guys like myself need a magnifying glass to read. The sample tests for the 107 license showed chart sections reproduced at very low and indistinct imagery and I, for the life of me, I could not read them. I was worried that on the test itself they would utilize the same chart sections; happily they supplied full resolution, easy to read charts. But being able to basically transfer the relevant information to Google Earth images with only what I need for my market is a great suggestion. Now I just have to figure out how.

  5. @Peter, no charge. I had a hard time on the sample test sectionals too and much of what's on a sectional doesn't apply to drone flights anyway. Building a consolidated chart for my service area just seemed to be easier to deal with and I can find addresses to see which side of the line they are on if it's close. Trying to plot a home on a sectional chart takes a big dose of guesswork.

    Google was giving away copies of GoogleEarthPro so I'm not sure if the non-pro version is as flexible, but click around on the tool bar to find the radius tool. Set the measurement to NM and drag from your center point. You can also change colors and give the circle a name. I have also marked out my pricing breakpoints. As I get further away from home, I charge incrementally more. I find it easier to do that than to calculate a mileage charge each time. If it's right on a border, I quote the lower rate. I also have big circles that define distances where I'm losing an appointment slot due to travel distance. In the busy season I charge a lot more if I'm over those lines unless it's short notice and I don't have anything else booked that day. The biggest circle shows me roughly where I'm down to only being able to do one appointment and I'm not going to be very cost effective unless the customer can book multiple jobs in that area. I'm not getting called for destination jobs where I have travel days in addition to shooting days. I'll figure that out if it happens. I did all of the office work so I'm consistent with my quotes. I think it looks better if it doesn't seem like I'm making up rates on the fly when I talk to customers.

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