DJI Mavic Mini: Busting Rumours!

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. 

DJI Mavic Mini: What can you do with a 249g drone?

DJI Mavic Mini: What can you do with a 249g drone?

DJI Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic Mini: What can you do with a 249g drone?

The Mavic Mini is a disruptor.

Never before in this industry have you had such a capable machine in such a tiny and unrestricted package. Let’s take a look at what doors the Mini opens up!

With this literal pocket-sized drone, you can grab some epic shots on your next outdoor adventure, gift the bride and groom with some aerial shots from their ceremony or help your neighbour figure out why their roof is leaking. You can sell the shots you take and build skill and experience while learning! The Mavic Mini is a great way to “get your toes wet” in the drone industry and also makes a great piece of kit for those flying larger drones already. 

In Canada and many other nations, 250 grams is an important number when it comes to drone regulations. The Mavic Mini, at 249g, means most of the Canadian drone regulations don’t apply! This doesn’t mean they’re totally rule free, however. 

There is one Canadian aviation regulation that we like to call the “don’t be an idiot” rule that says:

900.06 No person shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger aviation safety or the safety of any person.

So you want to fly at night? Go for it.

Over people? Sure!

By an airport? In controlled airspace? At national parks? …Okay let’s slow down a bit. 

 

While the Mini doesn’t have specific aviation regulations there may still be city bylaws that apply and since it’s still a drone (RPAS) you can’t fly in National and Provincial or Territorial Parks. If you’re going to do something that seems a little risky, understand that it’ll be on you to explain why what you’re doing isn’t considered “reckless or negligent”. If you start sweating while thinking about trying to justify your actions to a Transport Canada inspector or the RCMP, it’s maybe not a great idea. 

DJI provides some help with making good decisions. The Mini’s DJI Fly app has a map to show you approach paths and controlled airspace. Aim to give these a wide berth regardless of your planned altitude. 

Whether you’re brand new to drones or want to round out your fleet, the Mavic Mini is a great new addition.

 

Capture any amazing footage with yours? Tag us in it on Facebook and Instagram @coastaldroneco

UNREGULATED Drones?

UNREGULATED Drones?

UNREGULATED Drones?

DJI’s new sub 250g drone: what does it mean for you?

If you spend any time lurking in drone forums, I’m sure you’ve seen DJI’s new Mavic Mini. This objectively adorable palm-sized machine weighs in at under 250g and is therefore unregulated – or is it?

Folks are stoked about the idea of not requiring certification to operate, or need to register their drone. And this is totally correct. HOWEVER, calling it an “unregulated class” of drones is misleading. There certainly are regulations that apply.

While the majority of Part 9 Canadian Aviation Regulations apply to RPAS between 250g and 25kg, TC still has regulation covering sub 250g RPAS. RPAS are defined as a navigable aircraft, other than a balloon, rocket or kite, that is operated by a pilot who is not on board. Note that the definition does not include a weight class. Instead, this comes up in the definition of a small RPAS; a remotely piloted aircraft that has a maximum take-off weight of at least 250 g (0.55 pounds) but not more than 25 kg (55 pounds).

By that logic, this regulation from Part 9 also applies.

900.06 No person shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger aviation safety or the safety of any person.

So while a permit isn’t required, not acting like an idiot still applies. Be smart out there, or risk fines of up to $1000 for individuals and $5000 for corporations.

Also, don’t forget there are other regulations that apply to RPAS outside of what Transport Canada mandates. For example, RPAS pilots for all weight classes are required to comply with privacy acts and regulations specific to national, provincial and municipal parks. 

Flying a Drone in the Maritimes

Flying a Drone in the Maritimes

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Flying a Drone in the Maritimes

Category of Operation

Tools

Map Controls

Centre Map

Airspace Information

With new drone regulations in force, there’s one question we get more that any other –

WHERE CAN I FLY MY DRONE?

The good news is that the 2019 Canadian drone laws are actually a lot more permissible than they have been previously! Once you receive either a basic or advanced category certification, drone flying becomes pretty straightforward. And there’s a great tool to help you see where you can fly drones in Canada. While provinces don’t have their own drone or UAV specific laws, there may be additional restrictions in provincial or municipal parks, so be sure to check in on those before you fly. 

The screen shot above is taken from the Drone Site Selection Tool – your new best friend for flying drones. The side menu has lots of additional information and tools you can activate. My favourites are the zoom tool, distance measuring tool and the operational design tools. You can even save your favourites to be the default when you load the page! 

Click around to get information about specific areas and keep checking back for more updates including airspace coordination procedures which are coming soon! If another app is disagreeing with the information you see on the Site Selection Tool, I’d be more likely to trust the SST. It uses official NavCanada data which many app developers don’t pay to have access to. 

Have questions about the SST? Or drone flying regulations in general? Send us a note! [email protected]