Can you fly a Drone in CHICAGO? – KEN HERON

Can you fly a Drone in CHICAGO? – KEN HERON

Ken tries to fly a drone in Chicago with mixed results.

Tips on how to fly drones in large cities:

Ken’s Gear:

Sony URX-P03D (Dual Receiver) Lavalier Microphone:
Roland R-07 Digital Recorder:

Sony RX100 Mark-VI:
DJI Osmo Action sport camera:
GoPro Hero Session 5 HERE:

For FPV race drones:
Fatshark Dominator V3 Goggles:
For Photography drones:
For both:

Other Gear:
Bestem Controller knob covers HERE:
Roland R-07 Digital Recorder:
Sennheiser Wireless Lavalier Mic:
DJI Inspire 2 Drone:
Osmo Pocket HERE:
Polar Pro Lens bracket for Phantom 4 Pro:
DJI Phantom 4 Pro 2.0 HERE:
Rolling Phantom 4 case HERE:
DJI Crystalsky Monitor HERE:
Crystalsky mount for Phantom HERE:
RAM camera-mount HERE:
Pelican 1200 Camera Case HERE:
For Lighting:
Get a set of red Chucks HERE:
Get Phantom Obsidian props HERE:
PolarPro Vivid Filters for P4P:
Fatshark Dominator V3 Goggles:
Ken’s Quick-Release Neck Strap:

Get eyeball decals for your drone. Send $10 PayPal to:

Get T-shirts and Hats HERE:

If you would like to help make this channel better, kindly drop some cashola in my PayPal “Tip Jar” and I’ll be forever grateful:

Twitter: @ken_heron
Instagram: ken.heron

More Ken videos HERE:
Buy your own drone HERE:
ALL of Ken’s YouTube videos HERE:
Music by Epidemic Sound (
Video Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Ken Heron is a holder of an FAA Part 107 Certificate
This flight complies with the rules set forth by the FAA
for UAV flights within The United States.
Register your drone with the FAA here:

Billy and me fly The “Bat Building’ in Nashville:




For you:


  1. GeroLubovnik on August 3, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    You experienced some of the odd nuances of The People’s Republic of Chicago. You got lucky dude. The city drone ordinance is vaguely written, prohibiting any drone flights that aren’t "recreational". Your channel is monetized, no? You’re lucky you weren’t challenged by the local constabulary. I’ve lived here most of my life and still am extremely hesistant to flyin in the city, though I have some missions that I’d love to fly, some similar to yours. You could have ended up like this guy: . This is a crazy effen place as far as what you can and can’t do. If an "authority" approaches, the law here is what they say it is. As for parking, they sold off the streets for pennies to a private company who doubled (and some places quadrupled) the street parking rate and still virtually no place to park on the street. Lori Lightfoot is now Mayor and is batshit crazy. Come here and fly "the Magnificient Mile" (the wealthy downtown area) where you can film all the boarded up store windows (as long as you’re not flying above rioters… they may shoot you out of the sky :0 ). I’m glad you finally got some good footage and got away unscathed.

  2. WESLEY XIS on August 3, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    please someone explain to me. which animal crossed the avenue? at 1:05 minutes? Cat? mouse?

  3. Victorio Vitalinsky on August 3, 2021 at 9:25 pm


  4. Robert Rydin on August 3, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    I find this video very misleading.

    I am a Chicago native, and a Part 107 UAS pilot. I tried flying from Grant Park, and almost got my Drone confiscated my Chicago Police. Chicago ordinances prohibit flying a drone FROM Chicago Park District Property. Which is all of Chicago’s Lakefront. A high level employee of the Park District took the time to explain to me this is all about revenue… you can get authorization to fly FROM Park District property if youpay a lot of money.

    So here is the thing. Local ordinances prohibit flying FROM Chicago Park District property. But the ordinances cannot supersede FAA Regulations. So you can fly OVER Park District property… but you cannot operate FROM Park District Property (take off or land). Chicago. or any municipality, cannot regulate the airspace OVER their property.

    What I was hoping to learn from this video is where are the best paces to OPERATE FROM- not on Park District Property – to fly over and photograph our beautiful city and Lakeshore.

    I would love to get suggestions!

  5. Savage Mister on August 3, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    I wanted you to fly by Abe Froman’s house.

  6. Fotoshutter on August 3, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    I use airmap.. I summit my flight plan and I always get a message saying "your flight has been summited but no authorizations on your behalf". Then the timer starts. So whats the point of asking when they dont authorize?

  7. Joe America on August 3, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    In Chicago it is a big bucket of Mush..

  8. Ray The Drone Guy on August 3, 2021 at 9:34 pm


  9. ROTTER on August 3, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    chicago isn’t a bump you on the head and take your stuff….i live there. bad areas everywhere…yes it is still called the SEARS TOWER.

  10. Mar S on August 3, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Weird, I was able to fly there no problem!. 🤷🏽‍♂️

  11. Jan Spoelstra on August 3, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    What crossed the road at 1:05 into the video?

  12. Marcel Jeannin II on August 3, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Great footage of the city Ken,thanks!

  13. R-Wheelz on August 3, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Should have came 60 miles south I would have met up with ya!!

  14. Kurt paffel on August 3, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    I’ve been driving truck for 20 years and every time I go through the loop at night and see the skyscrapers with the lights on it’s just like watching a movie👍

  15. Raymond Brown on August 3, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    Great work Ken as always. Loved it. 👍

  16. Mike Clarke on August 3, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    deep dish is a "PIE" real pizza is thin, but then not a fav of NY either, best Pizza here is a little hole in the wall place making Greek style with Gyro meat, best ever!

  17. StoneE4 on August 3, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    If you want a good Chicago pizza you need to go with a thin crust. Deep dish is tourist food.

  18. El Smeghead on August 3, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Being cautious and responsible Ken says, "I won’t fly over that 1 dude"
    Next shot, stupid woman walks directly under Ken’s drone!

    I had a jogger almost run into mine in a park.

  19. Timothy Kelly on August 3, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    You learned what I did when I tried to fly the PA State Correctional Institution on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Although the LAANC system doesn’t show any advisories, DJI has it geo-fenced off. It’s been shut down for several years now.

  20. A1shots on August 3, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Hahaha, love this one. I was born & raised in Chicago & lived in mobile Alabama & love them both.

  21. Vids By Jeremy on August 3, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    Next time you visit Chicago…Give me a holler. I know all the good spots to park and open areas. I’m your guy!!!

  22. Philip Joseph on August 3, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    I know it would be illegal to fly as high as the Sears Tower outside of the 400 feet radius, and since we can’t go higher that we have already tried, I’m wondering how far away would you have to be before your drone would even reach the height of the Sears Tower and as your flying towards it would it be forced stopped or automatically be forced down? interested to know what would happen if this was attempted.

  23. Jad Omar on August 3, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Hi , great shots ,
    But is it Legal for a dji mavic mini to fly in the down town or take shots ( you don’t have to register it what google says because it’s small )


  24. Proctor Willson on August 3, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    That dronie at the river was a great bit of flying. I am still thinking how to work the sticks and plan to practice that one.

  25. G H on August 3, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    FYI, it’s called the Windy City because of the blowhard politicians, not the actual wind.

  26. TAPP Channel on August 3, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    wow thanks for that video… My drone video is the most popular in chicago with almost 500K views any many haters about that 😀
    BTW the reason why you couldn’t go higher than 30ft is because you didn’t had solid GPS connection at that spot 😀 and that app wont let you go higher than that if you don’t have at least 8GPS connections

  27. depellerinluc on August 3, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Ha ha ha, right where you started that video you were on the bump you in the head an take your drone side! South Michigan Ave!

    Then at 2:00 you drove past the 001 police District/ central detention where all the cities uh… more involved arrestee’s are processed.

  28. Bobbydog66 on August 3, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    2:02 Thank you for putting that in there.

  29. PAWs Thoughts on August 3, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Awesome footage, I live here and you still awwwwwwwwe me.

  30. Droning And Going on August 3, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    This is so cool, I though that the cool parts of Chicago were in a no fly zone! I should go here and fly some day! After all, I live an hour away!

  31. Gordon R on August 3, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Ken, What’s the rules for flying in San Fransisco? any good place you can suggest? I am a hobbyist and I have registered my drone is there anything else I need to do so I won’t get into trouble as im from Austalia.
    Nice Videos btw …

  32. Joy Cool on August 3, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Pizza is MUSHHHH :^P

  33. Joe Fotoleo on August 3, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    absolutely gorgeous shots

  34. Douglas Kirschbaum on August 3, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Ken, that first area that you area you attempted off of Wacker and Jackson I recently had the exact same interference issues and sadly lost my drone in the river after a shaky flight…. Its nice to see that I was not the only person having this issue. Soon I hope to get another one. I believe I will be going with the Phantom next. I would have loved to meet you. You have a great channel. Thanks!

  35. Miguel Manzur on August 3, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    Laws in Chicago are confused , I have asked to a police and he said not allow

  36. Sylvester Boines on August 3, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    I live in Chicago and as crazy it may sound it takes outsiders to really catch the beauty of the city. Cause there are some dark and ugly places here

  37. Droning And Going on August 3, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    I was flying my drone and this cop told me that the railroad tracks were private property, so I couldn’t fly over them. Is this true?, because the tracks may be private property, but I’m sure you could still fly over it.

  38. allmopars on August 3, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    I’m sure you know but there is a hand full of apps that work with popular drones that will get around geo fencing. Electro magnetic interference will still fight you.

  39. Bearly Fishin’ on August 3, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Gotta question. 1:07 what ran across the road. No clue why I saw that😂

  40. Bits and Pieces on August 3, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Kenny!! my town…contact me, buddy

  41. Dinky Shop on August 3, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Nice footage. A beautiful city. That’s Field Museum at 6:05 just north of Soldier Field (Bears), and that’s harbor lakefront (not a river walk) at 7:05 just east of Shed Aquarium. Beautiful footage. (Must have been after 1pm hour ? Guessing by sun position.) Morning shots take best advantage of the eastern facing Michigan Ave buildings (vs shadows on eastern face after 1pm.) Love the drone tips!

  42. MrPlaneTalk on August 3, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Why did the drone stop climbing in your initial attempt? You said “geofenced?”

  43. The Freedom Lifestyle Channel on August 3, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    It’s still the Sears Tower… No Chicago native will ever call it the Willis Tower.

  44. Lee Stevens on August 3, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Deep dish pizza = Pizza Cake

  45. stride82288 on August 3, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Glad you had a good time in the Chi

  46. Don *The Drone Guy* on August 3, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks Ken,I live just north of Chicago. So many places to fly. I still have not made it to the lake front. It is a beautiful city. Sunrises are my favorite. Take care, Don Long

  47. Alex Bolden on August 3, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    It will always be the Sears Tower to us Chicagoans lol…Always!!!😎

  48. Lee Kidman on August 3, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    HERON! done it again lad! simply stunning!

  49. M on August 3, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    That’s my neighborhood in the sunrise shot! Museum Campus (where you were) is a great place to fly.

  50. Drone Redneck on August 3, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Awesome footage Ken!

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