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Tennessee Drone Services

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2018
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Background: 150+ day wait for authorization from FAA. Client waited for approval. Restricted zone approval via manual submission to DJI for date/time of flight.

Pack equipment, board a plane, hours later arrive in Green Bay. Shoot b-roll at predetermined locations. No issues, all equipment arrived safely.

Go back to hotel and get everything set for the next day's shoot. Try to load certificate for restricted area in the Phantom 4 pro plus controller while connected to my hotspot, it just keeps saying refresh. I contact DJI, they say to wait until the day of the shoot.

Day of: try to unlock restricted zone, still just says refresh. Arrive at Schneider's headquarters, get checked in and get the equipment set up, try again to unlock the zone and all I get is refresh. I was unable to take off. I had FAA authorization, I had DJI authorization, I followed their instructions, but had no way of getting onsite help due to their hours of operation. I moved the drone to the yellow ring around the restricted zone, but it would not accept that I was out of the restricted area (half the property is in the zone and half is outside of it).

The outcome: Thankfully, I was also doing gimbal work for them and was able to fly at another property of theirs that was outside of the restricted zone. So the job wasn't a total loss, but it's still frustrating to propose for a job, get the job, jump through all the hoops, deal with the airlines, only to get onsite and find that there's some technical. Issue with DJI's restricted zone flying capabilities.

I understand the need to protect themselves from lawsuits, hence restricted zones, but there should be a method in place that works for pilots who need on site help to lift restriction zones. I told them as much, but haven't heard back. It's been a few weeks, so i'm assuming I probably won't.

The Takeaway: Be wary of jobs in restricted zones until DJI irons out those wrinkles and you're willing to take the hit for a job your not able to fly. Or find a drone that doesn't have geo-fencing.

Has anyone else encountered this issue?

Dave Pitman

Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2017
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Washington State
Last edited:

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