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Mavic Air 2 - yay or nay?

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Really loving the look of the Mavic Air 2, thinking of getting it as my first drone.

Any reason NOT to buy it? I’m seeing a few issues reported online. Anyone here got one yet, thoughts?
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
went from the MM to the MA2 recently , all I can say is wow , well worth the extra money for all sorts of reasons , what issues are you talking about ?
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
went from the MM to the MA2 recently , all I can say is wow , well worth the extra money for all sorts of reasons , what issues are you talking about ?
Mainly registration/activation issues with the DJI servers, which won’t let the people fly their drone.

Did you go for the standard or fly more package?

Just trying weight up if it’s worth the extra, or adding bits like batteries over time. Maybe they will release the fly more packs separately to the drone at some stage.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Also apparently huge restrictions effecting where the Mavic Air 2 (and other drones) can be flown are coming in soon -

That massively puts me off.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Ok, so I have been doing a lot of reading up on the situation, and basically it boils down to a big fat NAY - No way am I going to spend almost a grand on a drone that in 2 years time will be almost useless, as the only place you could confidently fly it legally then would be in the middle of a desert or the ocean (even with a qualification).

I will be getting a drone at some point, maybe an Air 2, but I will wait until they release a updated version 2.0 that conforms to the required EU/UK classification (a lot of people seem to think they will). DJI have made a big mistake leaving the air collision detection system hardware out of the European version.

I wouldn’t be surprised if many people are buying these in the UK without fully realising the ramifications of the new law specifically on the Mavic Air 2, which DJI failed to get classified and thus will be flying illegally in even many rural locations. As it can’t be applied retrospectively (confirmed by the CAA) the resale value will be effected to for the Air 2 and other ‘legacy’ drones.
 
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nheather

Distinguished Member
I wouldn’t be surprised if many people are buying these in the UK without fully realising the ramifications of the new law on the Mavic Air 2, which DJI failed to get classified and thus will be flying illegally. As it can’t be applied retrospectively (confirmed by the CAA) the resale value will be effected to for the Air 2 and other ‘legacy’ drones.
Wouldn’t surprise me since a lot of ‘drones’ are still be flown in breach of the current CAA legislation. EASA will come along and sit above the CAA legislation and enforce some tighter rules.

I‘m sure many won’t follow them, either because they don’t know about them or simply ignore them.

I simply don’t believe that all the people buying drones from high street places like MenKind and Currys are registering with the CAA, passing the competence test and paying the £9 annual fee.

Even if you look at the more knowledgable enthusiasts, you can still go onto Youtube and see plenty of movies shot by ‘drones’ being flown outside the regulations.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Wouldn’t surprise me since a lot of ‘drones’ are still be flown in breach of the current CAA legislation. EASA will come along and sit above the CAA legislation and enforce some tighter rules.

I‘m sure many won’t follow them, either because they don’t know about them or simply ignore them.

I simply don’t believe that all the people buying drones from high street places like MenKind and Currys are registering with the CAA, passing the competence test and paying the £9 annual fee.

Even if you look at the more knowledgable enthusiasts, you can still go onto Youtube and see plenty of movies shot by ‘drones’ being flown outside the regulations.

Cheers,

Nigel
Yes, I have seen enough YouTube videos with blatant unlawful flying in the UK with the current laws. These people make no attempt to conceal their identity, filming themselves often at their home address, so I can only assume they are ignorant of the law (ignorance being no defence of course).

The annoying thing is that the new laws coming in very soon will actually allow many things which are currently not permitted - if the drone is correctly certified. If it isn’t, it becomes much more restrictive. The problem isn’t the new legislation, which on the whole is pretty fair and well thought out, it’s the drone manufacturers like DJI. In fact the new legislation should be a real boost for the drone industry and drone owners.

Why on earth would DJI release a drone that that isn’t ready for the new legislation that was announced ages ago is beyond me, as from everything I have read it would not have take much at all (sight hardware tweak, that’s already in the US version. It doesn’t effect performance just additional safety feature).

So frustrating as I would love to own one, it’s an incredible bit of kit.
 
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nheather

Distinguished Member
Interesting that you say EASA will relax some of the current legislation. Must admit my interest isn’t multi-rotors but traditional RC fixed wing and helicopters and from what I can see EASA doesn’t really change anything for that. But I thought it was toughening the riles for multi-rotor drones.

In what way does it relax the CAA legislation.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Interesting that you say EASA will relax some of the current legislation. Must admit my interest isn’t multi-rotors but traditional RC fixed wing and helicopters and from what I can see EASA doesn’t really change anything for that. But I thought it was toughening the riles for multi-rotor drones.

In what way does it relax the CAA legislation.

Cheers,

Nigel
As you may be aware, the new legislation creates a number of categories and sub categories of drone flying activities, with different rules. Drones have to be certified for the categories of flying to be flown legally (some categories require you gain a new certificate of competence, which looks pretty easy to gain, but costs). But if they do get certified they are less restrictive - for example, you can fly much closer to buildings (they realise now that small drones pose little risk to drones). This is for small consumer drones, not larger professional commercial ones. You can also fly closer to people, so long as you are not directly above them and providing you use a slow (tripod) mode of flying. And, what has a lot of people excited, you no longer need a separate qualification for commercial use - so if you get a sweet photo or video, you can sell it now if you want. There is some other changes too.

The problem is - if the drone is not certified for the new categories (like the MA2 isn’t, but could have been) the CAA (in adopting the new EU law) classes the drone as a “legacy” device (even though it’s brand new). Legacy devices can only be used in a very restricted category, in which you have to fly much further away from people, buildings and build up areas than the current rules allow. Even in rural England you would struggle, even large parks would be a big no no. You would basically have to find a friendly farmer who would allow you to fly around a large field.

There is no way DJI won’t have their drones certified going forward, as it will limit their sales in the UK and Europe. A huge shame the MA2 won’t be. From what I have read the only thing stopping the MA2 is the omission of the aircraft detection/warning system that the US version inexplicably has, but I am not 100% sure about this - certification might have been possible without it.

It should be noted that I am just repeating what I have read over the last few days. It seems there is some contradiction on some sites, however it is a little confusing and I’m happy to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable than me!
 
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Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
The new rules largely affect commercial flight, not private flights.. Under the new rules legacy drones won't be able to fly over uninvolved people nor within 150m of built up areas but you're not allowed to do that under the current drone code either.

This is a good read:


The doom mongering about the new rules is out of hand.
 
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Autopilot

Distinguished Member
The new rules largely affect commercial flight, not private flights.. Under the new rules legacy drones won't be able to fly over uninvolved people nor within 150m of built up areas but you're not allowed to do that under the current drone code either.

This is a good read:


The doom mongering about the new rules is out of hand.
What doom mongering? It’s not doom mongering about the new rules.

If you read what I wrote you would see that I have no issue with the new rules, as I said about they are an improvement and quite good.

The point is about the drone itself and that the MA2 hasn’t been certified so will be hampered in 2022, as it’s classed as legacy from the moment it’s released. The likelihood is that they will release an updated model, or by then an MA3. Many other drones are being certified as C1 and C2.

If people want to spend a grand on a device now, and fly within those restriction, cool. But I would much rather wait a little longer and get a C1 or C2 drone.
 
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nheather

Distinguished Member
I’m still not clear what changes under EASA, much of that is because I only fly traditional RC at flying clubs anyway, and as far as I can see FOR ME, the CAA didn’t really change anything (other than having to take the idiot test every two years, stick labels on my aircraft and pay the government to run their silly IT system) and I don’t think EASA changes anything.

My current understanding is that drones (over 250g) have to follow the same rules as my traditional RC.

When EASA comes into force, nothing will change for traditional RC, but are you saying that it will relax the rules for enthusiasts flying certified drones - not talking about commercial operation, just little Johnny who has bought a certified drone from Currys.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Don’t know how RC stuff falls into it all, but basically with drones the current situation with is basically that you have commercial and non-commercial flying. They are doing away with that in favour of a system of categories of drones and activities (anyone can do commercial stuff, its just about drone types and safety now). The category for Legacy (uncertified) drones restricts you to more or less the same flying as current rules, but with a few more restrictions. If drones are certified for other categories, they can be flown much closer to people and buildings.
 
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paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
well , this certainly got some wind behind it quickly , FWIW , it was the flymore pack I got , as for the rules . ask 10 people and you will get 10 different interpretations , I've given up trying to work them out , I've registered for the £9 test , whether I go further than that , I don't know ......
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
If this ends up that any person can buy a certified drone and fly with less restrictions than they can now I’ll be pretty miffed as an RC flier.

As my community see it.

We have been flying with association membership, insurance in approved clubs in fields that are miles away from built up areas, airports and the public.

Then come along drone pilots, many of them sensible, but others flying irresponsibility in terms of safety and privacy.

So then we get these regulations and before we know it, RC hobbyists are roped in as drone pilots, been made to take idiot tests which look childish compared with the competence test we already have to take, having to stick stupid labels on our perfect scale spitfires, and having pay each year for this over-priced white-elephant IT system.

Okay we thought, we are all in it together, we’ll just have to suck up and accept it.

If it turns out that those same irresponsible minority of drone fliers can now fly under relaxed conditions just because they have a CE approved drone it will be a real kick in the teeth.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
As I say, not sure how the new rules apply to RC, if at all, but I take you point.

I think I’m going to buy a Mavic Mini now anyway. Although it will be classified as a legacy drone, because it’s less than 250gm it can be flown indefinitely in the A1 class (rather than A3 for larger legacy drones) which will be awesome. I didn’t realise how good the Mini was until I saw some footage on YouTube.

Then I’ll look to upgrading to an Air 2 when they release a certified one, or wait till the Air 3.
 

coldpenguin

Standard Member
The CAA doc from 29th April can be found here: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1789 April 2020.pdf
It is worthwhile reading rather than some of the misinterpretations I have seen in certain youtube channels.

As I understand it, the term UAS (unmanned air system) was intended to also cover RC Fixed Wing aircraft.
However, I suspect that the majority of people who fly RC fixed wing do so at BMFA clubs or similar. Not really doing much photography above where people are (i.e. countryside with paths) on the whole.
I suspect that those that do, are probably pretty confident already in their abilities and would have previously done the BMFA certs. anyway.

Where this hurts really are the hobbyists who don't have a flying club near them, as they would come under the special permits section I believe.. After July 2022 it will not be legal to fly 'near' people. Unless it is below 250g (so mavic mini, in theory without guard), it will be A3 only. Quoting Article 20:
‘Legacy’ unmanned aircraft (those that do not hold a class marking and were placed on the market before 1 July 2022) may be used indefinitely in the Open category:

• If less than 250g – within the subcategory A1 (fly over people) limits listed in Part A of the Annex

• If less than 25kg – within the subcategory A3 limits (fly far from people) listed in Part A of the Annex
Article 22:
… , this Article has been developed to provide operators with some ability to operate within the general scope of the new UAS classes even though their unmanned aircraft is not marked as being compliant. This privilege is ‘time limited’ however, and only applies until 30 June 2022 ...
...
The effect of this is that unmanned aircraft:

• with a mass of less than 500g (‘flying weight’ as described earlier) will be able to be used in subcategory A1, as if it was a class C1 device, but only if the remote pilot has been tested to a competency level specified by the state where the operation will take place.

Note 1: Within the UK, remote pilots will be required to have passed the A2 CofC in order for this privilege to be exercised.

Note 2: This transitional provision does not ‘convert’ a legacy unmanned aircraft weighing less than 500g into a ‘C1’ device.
Main body definition of A3:
A3 (Fly ‘far from’ people) – This category covers the more general types of unmanned aircraft operations. The intent is that the unmanned aircraft will only be flown in areas that are clear of uninvolved persons and will not be flown in areas that are used for residential, commercial, industrial or recreational purposes (roughly equivalent to what is currently referred to as a ‘congested area’).
Apart from Woods (which might come under the classification of recreational anyway), I can't think of anywhere that doesn't fit in the categories above.
 

paulyoung666

Distinguished Member
The CAA doc from 29th April can be found here: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1789 April 2020.pdf
It is worthwhile reading rather than some of the misinterpretations I have seen in certain youtube channels.

As I understand it, the term UAS (unmanned air system) was intended to also cover RC Fixed Wing aircraft.
However, I suspect that the majority of people who fly RC fixed wing do so at BMFA clubs or similar. Not really doing much photography above where people are (i.e. countryside with paths) on the whole.
I suspect that those that do, are probably pretty confident already in their abilities and would have previously done the BMFA certs. anyway.

Where this hurts really are the hobbyists who don't have a flying club near them, as they would come under the special permits section I believe.. After July 2022 it will not be legal to fly 'near' people. Unless it is below 250g (so mavic mini, in theory without guard), it will be A3 only. Quoting Article 20:


Article 22:


Main body definition of A3:

Apart from Woods (which might come under the classification of recreational anyway), I can't think of anywhere that doesn't fit in the categories above.

with respect , and I'm in no way pulling you to bits you have said and I quote 'As I understand it' , and this is the problem , everyone is interpreting this differently , its a minefield ..........
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
with respect , and I'm in no way pulling you to bits you have said and I quote 'As I understand it' , and this is the problem , everyone is interpreting this differently , its a minefield ..........
Go and watch the YouTube video Mr MPW, he knows what he is talking about and explains it very well.

These three especially...




 

nheather

Distinguished Member
The CAA doc from 29th April can be found here: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1789 April 2020.pdf
It is worthwhile reading rather than some of the misinterpretations I have seen in certain youtube channels.

As I understand it, the term UAS (unmanned air system) was intended to also cover RC Fixed Wing aircraft.
However, I suspect that the majority of people who fly RC fixed wing do so at BMFA clubs or similar. Not really doing much photography above where people are (i.e. countryside with paths) on the whole.
I suspect that those that do, are probably pretty confident already in their abilities and would have previously done the BMFA certs. anyway.

Where this hurts really are the hobbyists who don't have a flying club near them, as they would come under the special permits section I believe.. After July 2022 it will not be legal to fly 'near' people. Unless it is below 250g (so mavic mini, in theory without guard), it will be A3 only. Quoting Article 20:


Article 22:


Main body definition of A3:

Apart from Woods (which might come under the classification of recreational anyway), I can't think of anywhere that doesn't fit in the categories above.
I don’t think there is a shortage of clubs. I have travelled around the country a fair bit and have always found a club close enough.

I think it is the way drone fliers want to fly - and I‘m not being critical, I totally get it. Traditional RC clubs are mostly in a farmer’s field in the middle of nowhere. Works fine for traditional RC who typically fly line of sight, fixed wing and helicopters without any cameras but I imagine it would be truly boring for drone fliers who want to interesting things to see and film. We do get quadcopter fliers at my club, but not the DJI stuff, these are the 250mm racing or freestyle aircraft.

The irritation of my community is that all the things that the laws are meant to legislate we were already doing and beyond. We saw it that we got lumped in because of a desire to regulate drone flying, and because of that we have to a take a test which is a joke compared with the certs we have to take, we have to stick labels on our aircraft (not much of an issue but annoying if you have a perfect scale mustang), and we have to pay each year to fund a system which we don’t think will work.

We wouldn’t mind so much if the Police and the CAA were arresting/fining those that are breaking the legislation but we can see no evidence of that.

We feel cheated enough, but accept it because at least we are all in the same boat. But if we then find that the rules have been relaxed for those that triggered the concerns in the first place we will be pretty miffed.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
This is the sort of thing that gets my goat


Accept that there is a possibility that they applied for and were granted permission by the CAA to fly like this but I doubt it.

So I had to take an idiot test, label up all my planes and pay the government £9 a year to prevent this sort of thing. But nothing is happening at all, it doesn’t take much effort to find videos like this.

Is the guy even registered, paying his subs. He may be flying under 250g so doesn’t have to (another kick in the teeth to my community) but does he realise he still has to fly with within regulation - does he even care.

BTW - I never had much issue with how responsible drone flier fly. Sure I‘d see idiots (and still do, well before COVID) flying DJI Phantoms from the roof of the multi-story in a leisure park but mostly I am pretty okay with they way most fly. But it is clear that the legislation is primarily for what the public thinks of as drones because the fixed wing community went down every item in the list saying “no, don’t do that, never have done”.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
This is the sort of thing that gets my goat


Accept that there is a possibility that they applied for and were granted permission by the CAA to fly like this but I doubt it.

So I had to take an idiot test, label up all my planes and pay the government £9 a year to prevent this sort of thing. But nothing is happening at all, it doesn’t take much effort to find videos like this.

Is the guy even registered, paying his subs. He may be flying under 250g so doesn’t have to (another kick in the teeth to my community) but does he realise he still has to fly with within regulation - does he even care.

BTW - I never had much issue with how responsible drone flier fly. Sure I‘d see idiots (and still do, well before COVID) flying DJI Phantoms from the roof of the multi-story in a leisure park but mostly I am pretty okay with they way most fly. But it is clear that the legislation is primarily for what the public thinks of as drones because the fixed wing community went down every item in the list saying “no, don’t do that, never have done”.

Cheers,

Nigel
Mate, that video wasn’t shot with a done :laugh:.

I could immediately tell it was a handheld gimbal, so looked at the YouTube description and confirmed it was a Canon camera mounted on a Movi Pro (Mōvi Pro - Freefly Systems).
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Mate, that video wasn’t shot with a done :laugh:.

I could immediately tell it was a handheld gimbal, so looked at the YouTube description and confirmed it was Movi Pro.
Whoops, my mistake. Just picked one of many,

How about this one.


Cheers,

Nigel
 

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