I can see my house from here…(drone questions, positive stories, videos, etc.)

There have been a couple of drone related threads in the past few months such as @BeachAV8R fantastic Australia vacation videos and not so fantastic Gatwick drone intrusion. Perhaps a thread for the positive stuff and questions from those not as familiar with flying drones. Example: The last UAV I worked with was a Global Hawk…before that it was mostly Preds. So my knowledge of there smaller cousins is admittedly poor.

I’m thinking about getting a drone to “oversee” at my property.

My property is mostly tidal wetlands…even at low the the mud is pretty thick, plus I don’t eat to disturb the habitat by walking all over it. Still, I want a way to monitor it. For example, I am pretty sure we have a Blue Heron nesting out there somewhere…I’d like to find the nest and see how it is doing.

From the photo, you can see that most of my property line is well defined (the center of the creek) so keeping it away from neighbor houses should be easy.

Langley AFB is about 2 Nm to the NW…I think I could keep it out of their airspace.

So what type, size, make, model drone should I be looking at purchasing?

You are…literally dead ON the water with that location I think. Download the B4UFLY app from the FAA and it will show your position on the map and tell you what the restrictions are…but I’ll bet where you are is all going to be a no-go zone unfortunately. Drone regulations are more restrictive than just staying out of FAA airspace. Like, you couldn’t fly UNDER a Class B airspace even though other VFR aircraft can.


For instance, this is where my Dad lives…no flying anywhere within 50 miles of DC. He’d have to drive to Fredericksburg to get out of the restriction area…

A very cool app! Thanks!!

It says that I am required to notify the closest tower / facility before I fly. That would beLangley AFB, I can probably use my “retired O-6” status to work through that process. :sunglasses:

So, treetops and below, 100-400 yards (more like 200 yds) and less than an hour flight. Notify ahead of time. I think it is doable. It would just be to take a look at my (very wet) back yard without disturbing it so maybe 4-6 times a year

I’m probably looking at a lower capability drone…not really need great video and long endurance…a 100 ft max altitude is fine…



Yeah…definitely contact the tower and they may issue a NOTAM or something. I’m honestly not too sure how that process works since my house is in a drone free-fly area.

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Yeah, drones are pretty handy to do things like find a roof leak or determine where critters are infiltrating your home.

DJI makes the most advanced, consumer friendly, and well supported drones, but they tend to be pricey. A used Phantom 3 or 4 or better, a used first gen Mavic would be a safe bet. A Spark might also fill your minimal needs and have a really small footprint.

The DJI software that runs on your phone or tablet in large part determines the quality of your experience and media collection. The DJI apps are pretty well developed, but log your flights and may or not collect them in a database. If you trust your common sense not to endanger other aircraft or do something that would otherwise draw the attention of law enforcement, there is alternate software that will allow you to fly more anonymously. Note: in no way am I recommending that you do anything illegal. Just an FYI.

I also recommend flying the first few times in a large park or field away from people, pets, and especially trees. Take your time, read the manuals thoroughly, or watch YT videos. Being rushed or unprepared will get yourself added to a YT drone bloopers reel or send you back to the Internet shopping for another drone to replace your first one that “just flew away”. Ask me how I know :grin:

Sims are also a good way to build your chops if you don’t have any hobby grade RC experience. Check out Liftoff on Steam.

Let us know if you have any more questions.

PS: if noise is a concern, in general slower turning larger props produce less noise than smaller higher rpm props. The quiet props which came standard on the Mavic Platinum can run on the first gen Mavic. They work.


You’d be amazed to know how many ppl are being charged for flying drones in Oceana’s airspace.


I would be. I can only find the 2017 incident. Perhaps my Google foo needs tuning.