Greetings From The Villages!

n8xwb

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I am happy to be here and hope to pick up some good info concerning Holly Stone drones! For many years I flew R/C planes and still have AMA # 165755. Several years ago I got rid of all my planes -- but then decided a drone might be fun. I have had an HS-720E now for a few years and have made 21 flights.
 
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decided a drone might be fun. I have had an HS-720E now for a few years and have made 21 flights.

Welcome from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, USA.

As a New Drone Pilot, there are a couple of Legal Things you may need to do…

If you have not already done so, you will need to get your TRUST Certificate. You can get that at the Pilot Institute Web Site (FREE…) . Your Drone weighs more than 250-grams (0.55 pounds) and while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are not required to register your Drone.

When I first started flying I registered my Mini 2 because the TRUST Certificate and FAA Registration established me as a "certified" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Pilot.

Link to the TRUST Certificate at the Pilot Institute Web Site (FREE…)


Link to the FAADroneZone (Optional Registration for Drones under 250-Grams…)


If you are considering acquiring your Part 107 License, here is a link to get you going…


Since you live in Florida, there are specific laws and rules for you to follow, please check the link below for all the Rules and Laws that are in effect in your neck of the woods and it also links you to some of the Best Places to Fly in your area… Also, if you travel on vacation, visit friends, and relatives in other parts of the country, check back here so you do not run afoul of the law.


Even if you have flown Drones before, here is some Good Old Fashion Advice…

You paid a lot of money for that Drone, put your phone number on it. If your drone gets lost or stuck in a tree and it finally comes down when you are not around, give the finders an opportunity to contact you so it can be returned.

Now, for the Fun Part, But do not let the excitement of the moment get the best of you. When you are going out to fly, do it slowly and deliberately. Get used to a set procedure and even practice it.

There are so many things I could write but these are the highlights that I feel need mentioning.

Plug in your phone/tablet into your controller; turn on the Controller and DJI Fly App (if it does not start on its own…). On the Drone, open the front legs, then open the back legs, then remove the Gimbal Cover.

The Gimbal is the most delicate item on the Drone and banging or bumping can damage it. I also fastened a short "Remove Before Flight" ribbon to the cover so it's more noticeable and I do not forget to remove it…

Turn on the drone and watch it come to "life." Watching the Gimbal go through its self-check is almost like watching a kitten or puppy opening its eyes for the first time…

Place the drone down (preferably on a Landing Pad) while it finishes its self-test (collecting satellites, etc…).

Check your battery status (Phone, Drone, and Controller), check the Signal Strength, by now the Controller should have reported it updated the Home Point.

Lift off, 4-5 feet (1-1/2 meters) or so, hover a bit, check the controls (move the drone a bit forward, back, left, right, yaw left and right). By now, your Controller will probably report again, Home point Updated.

If you go out in a rush and race thru your start up and take off before the drone has finished it prep, it may update its Home Point over that pond or that old tree you are flying over and in your excitement, you'll fly the drone long past it Low Battery point and when it engages Return to Home and lands in the pond or in a tree; it will be all on you…

Now go have fun, learn to fly the drone by sight before you try to fly it out a distance depending on the video feed, FPV.

I would also advise you to use YouTube and watch a lot of the Videos on flying and setting up the Drone. When it is too dark, too cold, or too wet, you can "fly it vicariously" through YouTube. Also watch some of the Blooper Drone Videos and learn how not to fly your "New Baby."

Fly On and Fly Safe…
 
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Welcome from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, USA.

As a New Drone Pilot, there are a couple of Legal Things you may need to do…

If you have not already done so, you will need to get your TRUST Certificate. You can get that at the Pilot Institute Web Site (FREE…) . Your Drone weighs more than 250-grams (0.55 pounds) and while you are flying under The Exception for Recreational Flyers, you are not required to register your Drone.

When I first started flying I registered my Mini 2 because the TRUST Certificate and FAA Registration established me as a "certified" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Pilot.

Link to the TRUST Certificate at the Pilot Institute Web Site (FREE…)


Link to the FAADroneZone (Optional Registration for Drones under 250-Grams…)


If you are considering acquiring your Part 107 License, here is a link to get you going…


Since you live in Florida, there are specific laws and rules for you to follow, please check the link below for all the Rules and Laws that are in effect in your neck of the woods and it also links you to some of the Best Places to Fly in your area… Also, if you travel on vacation, visit friends, and relatives in other parts of the country, check back here so you do not run afoul of the law.


Even if you have flown Drones before, here is some Good Old Fashion Advice…

You paid a lot of money for that Drone, put your phone number on it. If your drone gets lost or stuck in a tree and it finally comes down when you are not around, give the finders an opportunity to contact you so it can be returned.

Now, for the Fun Part, But do not let the excitement of the moment get the best of you. When you are going out to fly, do it slowly and deliberately. Get used to a set procedure and even practice it.

There are so many things I could write but these are the highlights that I feel need mentioning.

Plug in your phone/tablet into your controller; turn on the Controller and DJI Fly App (if it does not start on its own…). On the Drone, open the front legs, then open the back legs, then remove the Gimbal Cover.

The Gimbal is the most delicate item on the Drone and banging or bumping can damage it. I also fastened a short "Remove Before Flight" ribbon to the cover so it's more noticeable and I do not forget to remove it…

Turn on the drone and watch it come to "life." Watching the Gimbal go through its self-check is almost like watching a kitten or puppy opening its eyes for the first time…

Place the drone down (preferably on a Landing Pad) while it finishes its self-test (collecting satellites, etc…).

Check your battery status (Phone, Drone, and Controller), check the Signal Strength, by now the Controller should have reported it updated the Home Point.

Lift off, 4-5 feet (1-1/2 meters) or so, hover a bit, check the controls (move the drone a bit forward, back, left, right, yaw left and right). By now, your Controller will probably report again, Home point Updated.

If you go out in a rush and race thru your start up and take off before the drone has finished it prep, it may update its Home Point over that pond or that old tree you are flying over and in your excitement, you'll fly the drone long past it Low Battery point and when it engages Return to Home and lands in the pond or in a tree; it will be all on you…

Now go have fun, learn to fly the drone by sight before you try to fly it out a distance depending on the video feed, FPV.

I would also advise you to use YouTube and watch a lot of the Videos on flying and setting up the Drone. When it is too dark, too cold, or too wet, you can "fly it vicariously" through YouTube. Also watch some of the Blooper Drone Videos and learn how not to fly your "New Baby."

Fly On and Fly Safe…
Ahhhh, good old Hampton, Virginia! Brings back great memories. I spent 4 years at Langley AFB (1970-1974)! When I wasn't playing Air Traffic Controller on base you could find me on Buckroe Beach by day and at the Checkmate and Zodiak Clubs at night! Lived in an apartment at 431 Foxhill Road.

Thanks for the great suggestions. I got my UAS Certificate of Registration in 2015 and have completed TRUST.
 
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I spent 4 years at Langley AFB (1970-1974)! When I wasn't playing Air Traffic Controller on base you could find me on Buckroe Beach
I actually live within the Class D Airspace of Langley AFB and my home is in a Zero Altitude Flight Quadrant. Without my Part 107 Authorization, I would not be able to legally fly my drone even on my own property…

I entered the AF in '71 and spent my first tour at Luke AFB, AZ. and in 1975, I transferred here to Langley; so were just missed each other…

I left Langley in'78 to go to Headquarters NATO, Southern Europe, Naples, Italy (now there, they have some beaches…). After Naples, in '81, I was transferred to Griffiss AFB, NY (An Active SAC Base, with B-52s on Operational Alert…). I was to a Communication Command unit so I was not in SAC at that time…

Now, here is a couple of amusing Air Traffic Control stories from a co-worker who retrained in that field…

A co-worker, SSgt Mike L. (to protect the innocent and the guilty…) was still on 5-level upgrade training and he was giving a pilot instruction on which runway to take off from, the pilot turned the wrong way and Mike jumped onto the radio and instead of "repeating the proper runway to use…", he yelled, "Hey Stupid, you're going the wrong way…"

Well, that got him into lots of trouble and set him back in his training. But wait, there's more…

Sometime later, he was working the tower at night with fully qualified MSgt Controller, but the MSgt wanted to get some shuteye late at night, so he went somewhere to crash and he left Mike alone in the tower.

So, wouldn't you know it, Mike falls asleep too and a civilian airliner had an inflight emergency (fire/smoke/something like that…) and had to land at Griffiss. Once again, an Active SAC Base with fully armed B-52s on Alert Status…

Since I was not in SAC, I was not called up when the base went on full Alert when that civilian airliner landed on the base. The Security Forces went wild. The Plane was being evacuated using the emergency chutes and Security was throwing these poor folks who slide down the chutes down on the ground like they were invading hordes…

It was a hell of a mess. After that, Mike was dis-qualified, busted down from SSgt to Sgt, fined, and given extra duty, and he wound up coming right back to our Comm unit as an Unclassified Airman (no AFSC…), he was given only couple of AFSCs to choose from and he chose vehicle operator… Never saw his again…

But wait, there's more… Ultimately, during my 30-year career, I was assigned back to Langley 2-more times, for a total of 13 of my 30-years…

I retired out of Davs-Monthan, AZ, in 2001, and afterwards the wife and I RV'd all over the country trying to find "Home" (actually, we are both from Upstate NY and have known each other since grade school), but even going back to NY was not going home.

So, we finally decided to settle here in Virginia and we've been here since…

And as Paul Harvey might say, "That's the rest of the story…"
 
Greetings from Birmingham Alabama USA, welcome to the forum! We look forward to hearing from you!
 
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I actually live within the Class D Airspace of Langley AFB and my home is in a Zero Altitude Flight Quadrant. Without my Part 107 Authorization, I would not be able to legally fly my drone even on my own property…

I entered the AF in '71 and spent my first tour at Luke AFB, AZ. and in 1975, I transferred here to Langley; so were just missed each other…

I left Langley in'78 to go to Headquarters NATO, Southern Europe, Naples, Italy (now there, they have some beaches…). After Naples, in '81, I was transferred to Griffiss AFB, NY (An Active SAC Base, with B-52s on Operational Alert…). I was to a Communication Command unit so I was not in SAC at that time…

Now, here is a couple of amusing Air Traffic Control stories from a co-worker who retrained in that field…

A co-worker, SSgt Mike L. (to protect the innocent and the guilty…) was still on 5-level upgrade training and he was giving a pilot instruction on which runway to take off from, the pilot turned the wrong way and Mike jumped onto the radio and instead of "repeating the proper runway to use…", he yelled, "Hey Stupid, you're going the wrong way…"

Well, that got him into lots of trouble and set him back in his training. But wait, there's more…

Sometime later, he was working the tower at night with fully qualified MSgt Controller, but the MSgt wanted to get some shuteye late at night, so he went somewhere to crash and he left Mike alone in the tower.

So, wouldn't you know it, Mike falls asleep too and a civilian airliner had an inflight emergency (fire/smoke/something like that…) and had to land at Griffiss. Once again, an Active SAC Base with fully armed B-52s on Alert Status…

Since I was not in SAC, I was not called up when the base went on full Alert when that civilian airliner landed on the base. The Security Forces went wild. The Plane was being evacuated using the emergency chutes and Security was throwing these poor folks who slide down the chutes down on the ground like they were invading hordes…

It was a hell of a mess. After that, Mike was dis-qualified, busted down from SSgt to Sgt, fined, and given extra duty, and he wound up coming right back to our Comm unit as an Unclassified Airman (no AFSC…), he was given only couple of AFSCs to choose from and he chose vehicle operator… Never saw his again…

But wait, there's more… Ultimately, during my 30-year career, I was assigned back to Langley 2-more times, for a total of 13 of my 30-years…

I retired out of Davs-Monthan, AZ, in 2001, and afterwards the wife and I RV'd all over the country trying to find "Home" (actually, we are both from Upstate NY and have known each other since grade school), but even going back to NY was not going home.

So, we finally decided to settle here in Virginia and we've been here since…

And as Paul Harvey might say, "That's the rest of the story…"
Always a lot of interesting ATC stories! I was on duty back in 1973 I believe when the LFI NCO Club was robbed! Was also working a mid shift when our GCA unit tipped over after a runway change!

Better keep your eyes open flying in the Class D at Langley. I couldn't count the number of times I had to issue traffic due to a seaplane that would depart unannounced from the river near the approach end of (then) runway 25!

Spent two years at Zaragoza Air Base in Spain after my time at Langley followed by almost 2 years at Kinchloe Air Force Base in Michigan. We closed Kinchloe in 1977 it was a SAC base.

Got out after 8 years in the Air Force and then worked in the FAA. Like you, when I retired from the FAA, we lived full-time in a 36 ft motor home for 3 years before settling down in Florida.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
 
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Back in '77, the week before Christmas, I was working the Swing Shift 1PM to 9PM, and I was heading after work towards the LaSalle Gate and I barely got past the King Street bridge circle and traffic was stopped at all the gates. I quickly turned around and went back to work and called the wife to tell her I was not on my way home. I then called the Security Police to find out what was going on and they informed me that the Base Exchange Cashier was making a night deposit and she was robbed…

They kept the gates closed for about 4-hours and then they started letting the cars though, but only after each and every vehicle was searched completely, hoods lifted, air cleaners opened, Glove boxes and trunks emptied, and they even pulled out the back seat of each car.

I could see the King Street gate from work and it did not clear out until about 5AM.

They did not find anything… However, about a week laater they did solve the case… the K-9 Security Policeman was "running late…" and did not have time to pick up his dog. And then he did not try to stop the two robbers after the left on foot. So they really grilled him…

He finally broke, he and two other SPs had done the robbery. The grand total of the haul was about $20,000 in Checks made out the BX and only about $150 from the petty cash draw…

They burned the checks and spent the cash… All three were courts martialed and sent to Leavenworth…

Worse part, my boss did not give me credit for spending the night at work and I still had to come back that afternoon.

However, one of the guys form my shop was dancing when the BX announced that they would like the patrons who shopped that day to come back in re-write the missing checks… My co-worker got a free Christmas that year…

Langley does not have a Runway 25 anymore, it's 26 now… It's been a lot years since you've been here and the Magnet Pole has shifted enough to force re-calc of the Magnetic North…

As for Seaplanes, I cannot say that I have ever seen a seaplane take off from the Back River… Langley has seen a lot changes, mast of the Wind Tunnels are all gone, they even took down the "Mile Long Building…" You should take a look at Google Maps and see the changes. Most of the old hangers are still there.

When I look at Luke AFB in Google Maps from my time there in the early '70s, I do not recognize the place, not even the roads… Most of the base was WWII buildings and as an additional duty back then, we had to dig a two-foot trench around every wooden building so that a carelessly tossed cigarette that caught the grass on fire did not burn a building down.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Good Talk…
 

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