Flying your Drone over Roads, Buildings & People? | Mr MPW

Flying your Drone over Roads, Buildings & People? | Mr MPW

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the channel – in this video, we take a look at if and when you can fly your drone over built-up areas such as houses, roads, railways and Congested Areas… Safely and legally!

Please feel free to rate the video and leave any comments or questions below…

There are more videos and reviews coming all the time so be sure to check back regularly or subscribe to stay up to date!

Blue skies,

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  1. Matt Wearmouth on July 6, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Great video Matt. What do you recommend using to get permission from people roads vehicles structures within the 30m TOL or 50m bubble? Is a letter drop sufficient or would I need something back from them, verbally or I’m writing? Blue skies!

  2. Edward Robson on July 6, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Point taken about Art 241. If, for a task, I need to cross from one side of the road to another (to get a different angle on a photo or video shoot for example) and in my risk assessment I state that any over-flight of a road is at 90 degrees to minimise ‘exposure’ (ie not hovering over or flying along the road, directly overhead) I have kept the risk to "as low as reasonably possible".

  3. Kim - Discovering History on July 6, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Very well explained. Great and easy to digest. I particularly liked the comparison to driving your car seniario. I also like the idea about the parachute system as this not only lessens the risk of hurting someone seriously but also lessens the risk of your drone breaking into a thousand pieces. Superb video. Now where can I get one of those parachutes 🙄👍👍👍👍👍

  4. Gwyn Jones on July 6, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    I am registered pilot took my test of my drone labelled up et cetera et cetera.
    My flight is a hobbyist.maybe get the odd reasonable photograph or short video.
    Question. So you’re telling me that I can’t fly over a building so if I was to be taking a picture of a tree lake or just a view and there is an old very old building en route can I fly over at low-level or high-level or do I need permission from the owner?
    Keep up the videos they are great Mr MPW

  5. UK Drone Adventures on July 6, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    But according to the Drone Code, I can (As a hobby pilot) fly over people or buildings as long as I am more than 50m away.

    See here:

    This clearly shows a bubble (Although suggests that you don’t overfly people).

  6. Mark Neville on July 6, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Hey Matt. Really good video.
    With reference to overflying roads and railways, the only thing I would add is that I wouldn’t overfly them in such a way as to hover directly over, or travel along them in the air. I would take the safest and fastest route possible to cross over the road. Obviously a proper plan and safety assessment for the flight would have to be made, taking in account terrain, obstacles etc, but I wouldn’t let a road or railway on it’s own stop me from undertaking a safe commercial flight.

  7. Dragons Eye Filming on July 6, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    SO many try to flaunt this for self gain, kidding people that a 3.5kg drone with regular checks is sufficient 😒
    Too many ignore article 241 so glad you covered it well.

  8. Ioan Said on July 6, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Same with GVC?

  9. Jamie Rhodes on July 6, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    If I have my pfco but I am over flying on a non professional job ie. Recreationally am I aloud within the 150m range?

  10. Midi Photography on July 6, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Great video Matt. Possibly the single most contentious item relating to drone flights. I know people that overfly and people that don’t. With a risk assessment I’ve occasionally overflown adjacent empty buildings before but never people, occupied areas or busy roads etc.

  11. Media Borne on July 6, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Great work guys! Paving the way to making things a lot more clear, dare I say where the CAA has failed at doing!

  12. Will on July 6, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    I own a mavic air 2, and they do a parachute system for it, great video thank you very much , I didn’t know all this and gonna do the pfco course now.

  13. Al James on July 6, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Matt, Just listening to this tutorial again one thing came to mind. Love that we can overfly, legally, whilst taking into full account with risk assessments when making decision to overfly baring in mind if something goes wrong. Its liberating to know we can make this decision and my tip would be to do any overly on a full battery, rather than one at 43% based on the temperamental nature of Lipos. Getting back to my main point I wanted to make. So I’ve made the decision to overfly at say 60m, doing a wide sweep of a residential estate to get that quick money shot. The problem I think will be encountered more will be the general public seeing more drones doing this now (potentially). The chap two blocks away sees a drone and calls the police, or local news. What these people don’t realise is that we are not breaking the rules and before we know it, it becomes a wider issue. Is there a standard process you’d recommend following where we can be proactive and contact the police in advance to get a flight pre-registered. So that if a call comes in the police can say they know we are onsite? I have heard of some doing this but wondered if there is a documented process of contacting police in this way? Maybe a future video from Mr MPW on proactive approach to safety? 😀 . Great work as always. Al

  14. Jet Rex on July 6, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    Different rules for DJI Mini 249grams ? C0 Class

  15. Christian brown on July 6, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    It should be noted for U.S flyers these rules are for the U.K

  16. Matthew Jones Commercial Photography on July 6, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for the clarity on this issue. These videos are incredibly helpful.

  17. JAG 32165 on July 7, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Nice info matt cleared a few things up

  18. D A Davidson on July 7, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Any air civil, commercial, MoD accident, the finger is pointed at pilot error first, then defects etc. Since the ‘set up’ (it really does sound like a set up) looks the same from the CAA for us, is there the equivalent of BALPA for UAV pilots with a dedicated legal team? Regretfully, regardless of how careful we are, the more UAV’s there are, it’s a matter of time before there’s a serious incident and when the brown smelly stuff hits the prop, who do we turn to?

  19. OVA Drone on July 7, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Great content, as a recent PfCO trainee, it’s good to hear the actual common sense applied to the regs…. TY 👍

  20. Vistaworx on July 7, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Nicely explained.

  21. Crooked Oak on July 7, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Another great particularly useful video Matt! By the way I love the arm waving – shows passion!

  22. Flypic on July 7, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Very good Matt. Wave your arms as much as you like ! It looks as though you’re ordering more cakes. . . . . Jim

  23. Jonny Beadling on July 7, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Fantasic videos, as someone starting out In the drone services industry this is a big help ! Keep them coming 🙂

  24. Alexey Alekseev on July 7, 2021 at 12:12 am

    Interesting… just got me thinking – 50 meters, not “50 meters laterally”, so that means one might be 50 meters above 999 people and if the aircraft engine quits – it will just fall vertically. Am I missing something ?

  25. Keith Skidmore on July 7, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Wow brilliant video thanks.

  26. Dragonfly Drones on July 7, 2021 at 12:14 am

    I totally get the point of your video and it’s much appreciated. I’m not sure the analogy with the car is quite right though… if someone stepped out into the road and you were doing everything else right, then the driver would unlikely to be found at fault (the pedestrian has no right to put themselves or others in harms way by stepping out into traffic) – but I understand the point you were trying to make.

    Of course, with all flight, there are risks (planes, helicopters and passenger drones (will all) be operating over people and buildings). Accidents do happen and can’t be completely mitigated – hence the mandate to mitigate risk "As Low As Reasonably Practicable". Without this, we would have nothing flying in the air, and no cars on the road. Clearly, there are times when we need to overfly and the drone industry (and clients) depend on the ability to do so. There are some issues with parachutes as well – not 100% reliable, uncontrolled descend, added mass, provides illusion of safety, so I’m not sure there’s a complete solution to this. The new GVC add-ons will only enhance our ability to operate further, albeit I guess, with new tech helping to mitigate the risks?

    So is this problem something that tech needs to solve, or are we stuck with the limitations / concerns outlined in your video, or are there other options? Will we only be able to fly over people and buildings (more) safely with UTM and autonomous flight plans (similar to the way self-driving vehicles is developing) and if so, does that limit the value of pilots? I’m interested in expanding the discussion to explore the some of the wider implications. By the way, I think you’re right in principle, but I’m not sure there’s a suitable answer to this dilemma (yet). I’m digesting the new CAP722A so perhaps that sheds more light on things?.

  27. mrbg55 on July 7, 2021 at 12:15 am

    Very helpful video – thanks. Can you recommend a parachute system for a phantom 4 pro? Thanks!

  28. Cranners79 on July 7, 2021 at 12:17 am

    But doesn’t Cap722 state that you can’t fly directly over people or vehicles within a congested area at ‘any’ height?
    Also, if a road is empty, flying over it is fine as there is no risk to 3rd parties…

  29. Simon Logan Photography on July 7, 2021 at 12:17 am

    This is exactly what I asked you about at the photography show in Brum. I think the CAA have dropped a clanger here. There should be no grey areas at all when it comes to safety.

  30. Edward Robson on July 7, 2021 at 12:17 am

    I’m really enjoying these relatively short but focused videos. Keep them coming!

  31. Wolf Rock Media on July 7, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Great video and completely agree! Keep up the good work! Just one comment though…less waving of the arms – very distracting 😉 But apart from that, nice job!

  32. Tom Sykes Media on July 7, 2021 at 12:19 am

    I did your course. So you CAN overfly urban areas now then as long as you maintain a 50m bubble?

  33. NicholasEJones on July 7, 2021 at 12:20 am

    So well put, absolutely spot on taking common sense 👌👌

  34. New View Lancashire on July 7, 2021 at 12:20 am

    So I’m guessing your insurance won’t pay out if you overfly and injure someone, but would they pay out if a small drone fell from the sky with a parachute system installed?

  35. Slow Lane on July 7, 2021 at 12:21 am

    The thing is you need to state where you are from in your videos. I say this because you don’t seem to be in the United States of America. Different set of
    Regulations from the U.K where I believe
    You are from. I am not criticizing. I’m
    Absolutely sure you are correct for your
    Region. But I am looking for information
    About the FAA. Not the CAA..( I have no idea what the CAA is) happy droneing.
    Stay safe.

  36. clear air PHOTOGRAPHY on July 7, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Many thanks Matt – Great video! It makes things a lot clearer. Another vote for arm waving!

  37. Delta L on July 7, 2021 at 12:22 am

    Someone flew a drone over my house and garden including my neighbours property. They kept it hovering there for approx 2 mins without my consent at the roof top level. So I got my fishing road and cast the line over it, snagging the rotors and pulled it down. I then made sure it landed hard in my garden. The owner came to collect and I held the drone until the police arrived. He was arrested and charged!

  38. Matt Knight on July 7, 2021 at 12:25 am

    I’m glad someone has said this. I follow this guide too, it’s just not worth flying over roads, buildings & people not under my control.

    Turned down a few jobs because of this.

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