Can you fly drones under a bridge? If this question piqued your interest, get ready to learn about drones flying under bridges, inside vehicles, and in strange places.

Drones have become an essential piece of technology- not only are they used to shoot stunning footage of landscapes, but they are also used in recreation. When you are parked in front of a bridge and want to fly your drone, it would be great if you could power up your drone and have some fun with your controller, right?

Bridges are a grey area in drone flying, and while the law doesn’t clearly state whether it’s illegal to fly under bridges, it can be helpful to check for signs that prohibit the use of UAVs near the bridges.

This short post discusses flying drones in the air, whether it’s legal to fly quadcopters under bridges, and what you need to pay attention to.

The Science Behind Flight With Propellers

Most drones available in the market have propellers- usually a pair or four of them; quadcopters are called so because they have four propellers.

The motor inside a drone draws energy from the battery, which in turn causes the propellers to spin. Two propellers spin in the anticlockwise direction while the rest spin opposite to them- creating a balancing force that helps the drone hover smoothly in the air.

how drone propellers work to help drones fly

When you want your drone to ascend, you provide the propellers with more energy- so they can spin faster and push more air toward the bottom. This action generates an equal and opposite lift (as Newton’s Third Law states).

If you would like the drone to come to a lower altitude, you can do so by simply reducing the number of rotations of the propellers- so they push less air toward the bottom, and the lift is also reduced.

The propellers used in drones are carefully selected- and everything from the design to the number is determined after rigorous trials by the manufacturer. From an efficiency point of view, drones with a large single-blade propeller would be very efficient, but such a drone would also be subject to high vibration. Putting an extra propeller in there helps cope with that issue – so the drone can fly in a balanced manner.

Can You Fly A Drone Under A Bridge?

Legally, you can fly a drone under a bridge as long as you have the necessary permits and are not violating any FAA regulations. In the past, you couldn’t fly over moving vehicles, but that has changed in the present, thanks to the amendments in Part 107. Just ensure you aren’t too close to a vehicle so you don’t collide with the vehicles or anything nearby.

There’s also the Operations over People rule, which doesn’t prohibit you from flying under bridges, either.

The FAA stresses that the drone operator should have a clear view of the flying quadcopter at all times- so if the drone is within your field of view and you are flying safely, you shouldn’t have any issues there.

flying a drone under a bridge

Flying drones around airports is a different matter- the airspace around airports is strictly regulated, and you will incur hefty fines trying to fly drones in the area. If you have a special reason to, you will need a permit from the authorities, but I’ve been told that the process can take many weeks and the chances of you getting a permit to fly around the airport are slim, but it’s worth giving a shot.

As a responsible drone operator, you should always make sure that you are allowed to fly in certain areas. So, it would help if you kept these things in mind to avoid any trouble:

Visibility and SIgnal

The quadcopter should be within your field of view at all times, and if the bridge is quite long, signal loss could be an issue. If you are unsure how far the signal will be, it’s a good idea not to fly a drone under a bridge or near areas where your drone could fall and get damaged.

To be safe, you can switch off your drone’s RTH feature (to hover) when it loses its signal. You won’t have any problems with the signal if it’s a small bridge, but you could lose it. If it’s a large bridge- when that happens, there’s no need to panic- make sure you have a clear view of the drone, and you will be able to guide it to safety.

Know Your Surroundings

This piece of advice is a fit-all kind of advice. It sounds boring, but you should always check for objects the drone could crash into if it loses the signal.

If you are flying in a secluded area, there are fewer chances of harming stuff. If your drone is set to return to you, any obstacles in the way could be something the drone might crash into.

If you’ve got metal or vast amounts of water, perhaps that could interfere with the VPS on your drone or the compass, so turning that would be a good idea too.

Final Thoughts

Flying under bridges can be fun, but you should always check for warning signs that forbid people from flying drones near bridges. There’s also a fine, so you will want to avoid that.

Flying drones under bridges is perfectly legal as long as you have a clear view of your quadcopter. If you are flying under a bridge, you may also want to check out some of the other rules on whether you are allowed to fly drones from inside a car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fly drones from inside a car?

Yes, you can. This would involve setting up an FPV so that you have an obstructed view of the area around you, but it’s worth it if you would much rather chill in your car listening to the Stereo system than stay out in the streets with a controller. Flying drones from inside a car is also quite exciting.

Can you fly drones in the rain?

Most recreational drones in the market don’t have waterproofing- and if they do get in the rain, you risk water damage to the internal circuitry. Unless your drone specifically says that it won’t get damaged on exposure to water, you shouldn’t assume it’s waterproof. You can also waterproof your drone with a silicone sealant you can find in a local hardware store.

How long do drone batteries last?

Most modern drones use Lithium-polymer (LiPo) batteries which are known to be durable and efficient yet have a small size. The smaller size of LiPo batteries is why they are the batteries of choice in most electronics like DSLRs, smartphones, RC vehicles, and drones.

Under normal use, drone batteries usually last for up to 10 – 15 minutes on a single charge and up to 30 minutes on high-quality models. These batteries are quite durable, and mine have lasted me for years. You can try many things to boost your drone batteries– and it’s super easy as well.

Do drones without propellers exist?

Absolutely! You would be lucky to find any manufacturers that don’t make one meant for recreational use like those, but propellerless drones like the Impeller Drone certainly exist. A researcher made it, and the model was made with impellers instead of propellers- which just pulled in air from the bottom and pushed the air to the sides.

While drones without propellers sound like a much safer alternative, they produce a lot of noise and are less battery efficient.

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