New RPA AIM

New RPA AIM

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New TC AIM RPA Section 

Guidance for RPA Pilots

What is the AIM?

The AIM or Aeronautical Information Manual is a 500+ page online and print resource published by Transport Canada twice a year (March and October) to provide guidance and detailed information not available in the CARs. 

Excellent Reference Tool

While this document may not be something you want to sit down and read cover to cover, it’s an excellent reference tool when questions pop up regarding airspace, flying at night or SFOC requirements. Keep it bookmarked and definitely have open when you’re writing your certification exams!

Coastal’s Contribution

Coastal Drone is proud to have contributed to the content and editing of the new RPA AIM section! Collaboration with Transport Canada in this way helps ensure the industry gets the information it needs so we’re grateful for the ongoing opportunities to work closely with TC!

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Dear Fellow Drone Pilots,

As Canada continues to escalate the response to COVID-19 in recent days, We are doing our very best to respect our front line workers, and to practice as much physical distancing as we can. From coast to coast, individuals, organizations, and all levels of government are working together to minimize impact on our communities. We stand united as we all do our part to protect our neighbours, friends and family.

We are open for business and available to answer any questions you have regarding our courses. Flight reviews are being conducted on a case-by-case basis at the Reviewers discretion by using a combination of online and in-person tools to ensure physical distancing requirements can be fully respected. Our memo to Flight Reviewers is available here with more details. 

Now is a great time to get your drone pilot certificate online from the comfort and safety of your own home.

On behalf of the entire team at Coastal Drone – Stay safe and fly safe.

Kate, Alec, Andrew, Adam and Leland

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

The Podcast

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

Flying A Drone In Canada if you are not a permanent resident, or Canadian Citizen.

The process to get certified to fly in Canada if you are not a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident has changed.

There is a bit of a stir online as Transport Canada has recently announced that they have changed the process available for foreign pilots.

If you are a foreign operator, meaning you are not a Canadian Citizen, a permanent resident, or a corporation that is incorporated in Canada, and you want to fly in Canadian airspace you are going to want to listen to this episode.

Kate explains what you need to fly in Canada.

New RPA AIM

DJI Mavic Mini: Busting Rumours!

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Busting Mavic Mini Myths

Are the rumours true? Read on to find out!

Is it actually 249g?

YES! Even with a micro SD card the Mavic Mini weighs in at 249g.

Can I fly it in controlled airspace?

Yes! But you have to be extremely vigilant!
You’ll find on the DJI Fly app that controlled airspace isn’t depicted. You will see restrictions near airport arrival paths and on airport property.

 

Can I use the DJI Go app to fly the Mavic Mini?

No, DJI Fly is the app is the app to use with the Mavic Mini. DJI Go and all of its fancy features are not compatible with the Mavic Mini.

Is it good enough to use for work?

Ish? In certain situations, yes. But all the camera setting are automatic so you lose the control that professionals often want over the camera functions. It’s a good piece of kit, but maybe not your whole kit.

Can I fly a Mavic Mini in the rain?

DJI doesn’t recommend it. It also says to avoid snow and winds stronger than 8 m/s.

Is the Mavic Mini connection reliable?

At close range, absolutely. But for those that are familiar with flying Mavic Pros, you’ll be pretty disappointed with the WiFi connection at any distance. It’s been a common complaint from users.

Have more rumours you want us to take a look at? Let us know below!

Canadian Airspace Classes

Canadian Airspace Classes

Blog: Airspace

Canadian Airspace Classes

They’re just letters! A, B, C, D, E, F and G.

But the Canadian airspace system causes most people to just scratch their heads at first. We’ve broken down the airspace classes and how they show up on various resources to help you make sense of what you’re seeing!

Class A and B

Class A airspace is generally defined as high level airspace starting at FL180 or approximately 18 000 ft in Southern Domestic Airspace, FL230 in Northern Domestic Airspace, and FL270 in Arctic Domestic Airspace. This type of airspace is not denoted on aeronautical charts. Given the high level nature of Class A airspace, it is rarely a concern for small RPA pilots. 

RPA pilots wishing to operate in Class A airspace require specific authorization from both Transport Canada and NAV CANADA. 

 

Class B airspace is generally defined as low level controlled airspace and exists between 12 500 ft and the floor of Class A airspace but it may include some control zones and control areas that are lower. The specific dimensions of Class B airspace in Canada can be found in the DAH.

RPA pilots wishing to operate in Class B airspace require specific authorization from both Transport Canada and the ANSP. 

Class C

Class C airspace is controlled airspace and generally exists around large airports and extends from the surface to an altitude of 3 000 ft AGL, but the exact size and shape of the space is dependent on local airspace management needs. Class C airspace is depicted on all VFR Navigation Charts (VNC) and VFR Terminal Area Charts (VTA) as well in the DAH and the National Research Council Canada Drone site selection tool.

Class C airspace is considered an advanced operating environment. Clearance is required before operating in Class C airspace. 

Class D

Class D airspace is controlled airspace and generally exists around medium-sized airports and extends from the surface to an altitude of 3 000 ft AGL, but the exact size and shape of the space is dependent on local airspace management needs. Class D airspace is depicted on all VNCs and VTAs as well in the DAH and the National Research Council Canada Drone site selection tool.

Class D airspace is considered an advanced operating environment. 

Class E

Class E airspace is controlled airspace for aircraft operating under IFR and can exist around an airport as a control zone or away from an airport where an operational need exists to control IFR aircraft. Class E control zones usually extend from the surface to an altitude of 3 000 ft AGL. It can also often exist from 2 200 AGL and up in a control area extension surrounding a control zone. When this type of airspace is not associated with an airport it usually begins at 700 ft AGL and extends to 12 500 ft ASL, but the exact size and shape of the space is dependent on local airspace management needs. Class E airspace is depicted on all VNCs and VTAs as well as in the DAH and the National Research Council Canada drone site selection tool.

Class E airspace is considered an advanced environment.

Class F

Class F Airspace is special use airspace and can be either restricted or advisory. Class F can be controlled airspace, uncontrolled airspace, or a combination of both, depending on the classification of the airspace surrounding it.

Class F Restricted Airspace
Class F restricted airspace is denoted as CYR followed by three numbers (e.g. CYR123). The letter D for danger area will be used if the restricted area is established over international waters. Class F restricted airspace is identified on all VNCs and VTAs as well as the National Research Council Canada drone site selection tool and is restricted to all airspace users except those approved by the user agency. CYRs can be found over federal prisons and some military training areas, for example.  To gain access to Class F Restricted airspace, RPA pilots should contact the user agency as listed for the specific block of airspace in the DAH.

Class F Advisory Airspace
Class F Advisory airspace is denoted as CYA followed by three numbers (e.g. CYA123). Class F advisory airspace is identified on all VNCs and (VTAs as well as the National Research Council Canada Drone site selection tool. CYA denotes airspace reserved for a specific application such as hang-gliding, flight training, or helicopter operations. RPA pilots are not restricted from operating in advisory airspace and no special permission is required, but pilots should be aware of the reason the airspace has the advisory and take steps to identify any additional risks and mitigate them. Many activities in a CYA often bring directly piloted (manned) aircraft into airspace below 400 ft AGL and are therefore a greater risk to RPA operations. 

Class G

Class G airspace exists in any space that is not Class A, B, C, D, E, or F. Class G airspace is uncontrolled and is considered the basic operating environment for RPAS, assuming the conditions regarding proximity to people, airports, and heliport are met. You don’t need to get permission from the ANSP to operate in class G.

Here are the resources we referenced for the airpace images!

FLTplan.com (VTAs and VNCs)

Drone Site Selection Tool

Canadian Airspace Viewer

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A final word of caution. If your resource charts look dark, like this:

rather than pastel like this:

you’re using a US-based chart. No bueno. Find a new resource.

Drones for Christmas: What you need to know!

Drones for Christmas: What you need to know!

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Getting or Gifting a Drone For Christmas?

Here’s the Top 3 Things You Need to Know.

It’s about that time of year! If you were good, you might expect to see a drone under the tree. 

Before you unbox or gift one to friends or family, learn the top 3 things you should know about drones before you fly.

Watch the video below!

 

  • Who needs a certificate anyways?
    • Weight classes are the big deciding factor here. If the drone weighs more than 250g, then the pilot will require certification before they can fly it outside. The drone will also need to be registered. The written exams for certification and registration can be completed through the Transport Canada Drone Management Portal
  • Where can you fly?
    • Basic category pilots are restricted to flights outside of controlled airspace, and must remain 3 nautical miles (5.6 kms) from airports, 1 NM from heliports and 100’ from bystanders. If you’re not sure if that’s you, check out this tool! We also have a hand flow chart here
    • Advanced category pilots have more flexibility in where they’re allowed to operate. It’s a bit more work, and requires an in-person assessment in addition to the online test to get certified
  • How easy is it to get certified?
    • While training can seem like a hassle before you get started, it’s valuable for more than just passing your tests. When you really understand your gear and all of the factors that affect your flight, it becomes way more fun! Basic category pilots can get trained and certified in one day! It’s a great way to get started, so why not start now!

Check out our top picks!

DJI Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic Pro 2

Mavic 2 Pro

Skydio 2

We offer online training bundles that include ground school, exam prep and checklist preparation guides for under $100! Gift cards are available too! Pick up the perfect drone-related gift to make sure your favourite drone enthusiast enjoys their new machine today, and for the future.