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Finally got my DJI Drone! Mavic Air 2 :-)
Posted by: SKYLANE
Date: March 29, 2022 05:01PM
I was pretty well set on getting one of the following drones (ref. earlier post [forums.macresource.com] )

DJI Air 2S (with Fly More Package) - $1299

DJI Mini 2 (with Fly More Package) - $599

DJI Mini 2 (with Fly More Package) - $479 refurb from DJI

I was looking at accessories at Best Buy while talking to a representative back on 03/19, our conversation drifted into the DJI drones. I asked how often he sees them going on sale, he said not often but he did sell one on sale the day prior. He said the sale had ended though! As the store was closing, I noticed that the sale price was still on the shelf for Mavic Air 2 even though the app didn't reflect it. The next day 03/20, I came back and the sale price was still up. I told the manager: "There is a sale price on the Mavic Air 2 and I was wondering if it is still valid. If it is, I will buy it today." He looked at the price on shelf and checked the computer then said, "The sale is over. However, if you want the drone today, I will honor that price."

So, ended up buying the following drone from Best Buy! Picked it up on Friday 03/25!

DJI MAVIC Air 2 (with Fly More Package) - $790 on sale at Best Buy ($199 off)

At $790, I moved in closer to the Mini 2 price while being able to retain several of the features that Air 2S has. So, very happy about the purchase and excited to get it airborne soon.



EDIT: 03-29-2022, 4pm PDT

Just checked the website at Best Buy, looks like the Mavic Air 2 sale is back on: [www.bestbuy.com]

I know this is an older model, but feels like a good price for it...









SIDE NOTES - Some additional things that I have been doing leading up to getting one of these. This may be of interest to some of you, if you see any details that you think I have mis-stated, let me know:



2019 & 2021: Being a Certified Flight Instructor, I take the Flight Instructor Revalidation Clinic (FIRC) every two years with AOPA. During the last couple of FIRCs, one session was spent on the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) aka drones. These mini classes within the FIRC actually sparked my interest, so I was somewhat familiar with what was coming my way for flying these things.



2022-01-20 [www.faasafety.gov] Part 107 Small UAS Initial - Part 61 Pilots

I passed this multiple choice test at the FAA Safety site above - free to take. From what I understand, passing this test as a pilot with a current Flight Review within the last two years is all the pilot needs to get the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC).

Since I do not have a current Flight Review, I will need the TRUST certification to fly recreationally, plus the Part 107 Test to get the RPC for any operations beyond recreational. For now, I am getting what is needed for recreational use, RPC will be in the next month or so.



2022-03-26 [www.faa.gov] Drone Registration

Registered my drone since it is less than 55 pounds which is covered by part 107 [www.faa.gov] . The weight of the Mavic Air 2 is over 0.55* lbs, so it needs to be registered whether it is being used for Recreational or Part 107 operations. Credit card and $5 is all it takes to get the drone registered online. Then I labeled the drone with a sticker from the Brother label maker that I have.

* If the drone is 0.55 lbs (250) or less, it does not need to be registered if flying under the recreational exception [uscode.house.gov] . However, the drone does need to be registered if being used for Part 107 purposes.

Note: It does not matter how much the mfr says the drone weighs for the above distinctions relative to registration, take-off weight is what matters. For example, if you get the DJI Mini 2 which likely weighs a few grams less than 250 grams and then you add landing gear, beacon, or other light weight stuff that might take your drone above 0.55 lbs (250 grams) - then you need registration for the drone.

FYI: This is what the back of the registration card says:

This Small UAS Certificate of Registration is not an authorization to conduct flight operations with an unmanned aircraft. Operators of unmanned aircraft must ensure they comply with the appropriate safety authority from the FAA. To operate as a recreational flyer, a person must meet all of the statutory conditions of the exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft (49 U.S.C. 44809). Persons who do not meet all of the statutory conditions may not operate under the statutory exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft.

For U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain non-citizen U.S. corporations, this document constitutes a Certificate of Registration. For all others, this document represents a recognition of ownership.

To fly under the exception for recreational flyers you must:
- Have a current registration
- Fly only for recreational purposes
- Follow the safety guidelines of a community based organization
- Keep your drone within your visual line of sight
- Give Way and do not interfere with any manned aircraft
- Fly at or below 400’ in controlled airspace and only with prior authorization
- Fly at or below 400’ in uncontrolled airspace
- Comply with all airspace restrictions
- Pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test




2022-03-27 [www.faa.gov] TRUST Certification

TRUST - The Recreational UAS Safety Test (required for recreational flying)

This took me less than hour to take and pass since I am familiar with much of the material. For non-pilots may take longer since a lot of the material is likely to be new to them. Once you pass the test, you get a certificate to print out and keep with you.

FYI: This is what the back of the TRUST certificate says:

For Recreational Flyers operating under the exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft (Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.) § 44089), this document is evidence that the holder has passed the aeronautical knowledge and safety test as required by 49 U.S.C § 44809(a)(7).

- Register your drone if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds
- Fly only for recreational purposes
- Operate in accordance with or within a Community-Based Organization's (CBO's) safety guidelines
- Always fly within visual line of sight
- Do not interfere and give way to any manned aircraft
- Obtain authorization before flying in controlled airspace
- Do not fly higher than 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace

Recreational flyers must make this certificate available to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or Law Enforcement officials upon request.
For more information, visit [www.faa.gov]




2022-03-27 Bought the DJI Care (directly from DJI)

If DJI Care is desired, this needs to be done within 48 hours of activation of the DJI drone.




Some other resources of interest:

[www.aopa.org] Guide To Remote Pilot Certification

[www.faa.gov] FAA Remote Pilot Study Guide (pdf)

[www.faa.gov] Advisor Circular (AC): AC 107-2A - Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS)

[www.faa.gov] Recreational Flyers & Modeler Community-Based Organizations

[uscode.house.gov] Exception for limited Recreational Operations of unmanned aircraft

[www.faa.gov] Certificated Remote Pilots including Commercial Operators (for sUAS, Part 107)

[www.faa.gov] Remote ID is coming for drones...





Some YouTube folks I like to watch for tips:

FlytPath does good reviews and tips: [www.youtube.com]

UAV Coach provides good tips: [www.youtube.com]

Jevon Dovey provides good tips on camera usage: [www.youtube.com]


Caution while googling for information from FAA: Several people out there like to put the letters "faa" into their link names (so that they pop up easier, I think). Verify the links you are about to click for they might be tied to ads and not actually tied to a valid FAA site.



Edited 27 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2022 09:14PM by SKYLANE.
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Re: Finally got my DJI Drone! Mavic Air 2 :-)
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 29, 2022 05:10PM
Wow bro, thank you so much for the informative post!
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Re: Finally got my DJI Drone! Mavic Air 2 :-)
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 29, 2022 06:00PM
I got a discontinued MAVIC mini Fly more kit from B&H a while back.

<250 was my choice as I'm not ready to commit to the Part 107 cert yet.

I got my TRUST cert before even ordering the mini, easy peasy.

You can't even put on the prop protectors and fly the mini out doors without a PT 107 cert, as it puts the mini over 250g.

I've yet to fly it, but I've done all the firmware updates, and run the props.

AMZ just sent me a phone/tablet holder, and I'm going to DIY a MagSafe type holder so I don't have to keep taking my 'Phone out of its case.

Being able to use my iPad mini and maybe my iPad Pro would be a big plus.

Depending on how I do with the mini, an Air 2 will be my next drone, but I'm in no hurry.

$790 is a good price on that A2 Fly More kit, but it's more than double what I was willing to pay to go feet wet.

In looking at various drone forums, it's interesting to see debates raging about flying BVLOS — Beyond Visual Line of Sight.

I can see the attraction, but not my cup of tea.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Finally got my DJI Drone! Mavic Air 2 :-)
Posted by: SKYLANE
Date: March 29, 2022 06:25PM
RAMd®d

I don't think I am a fan of the idea of BVLOS either - I could see where some Part 107 operations could benefit from it, but curious as to why recreational pilots would want/need that priviledge. FAA has a lot to think about with BVLOS. Maybe BVLOS will remain in the waiver request section for Part 107 operations only.


VLOS - (unaided) Visual Line of Sight.
BVLOS - Beyond Visual Line of Sight



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2022 06:59PM by SKYLANE.
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Re: Finally got my DJI Drone! Mavic Air 2 :-)
Posted by: rz
Date: March 29, 2022 07:20PM
I think drones are neat, but can't really fathom why I'd want to spend that kind of money on one. The only thing I'd ever use it for is to take aerial pictures of my property to allow me to plan landscaping around the house.
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Re: Finally got my DJI Drone! Mavic Air 2 :-)
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 30, 2022 06:32AM
but curious as to why recreational pilots would want/need that priviledge.


Certainly, there's no real need. except to the obsessed.

But I can understand that VLOS is something akin to a car on an oval track, instead of a course or no track at all.

BVLOS is probably a lot like being in a cockpit – no limitations (aside from the obvious battery time, etc.

Being limited to being able to keep tabs on a drone with naked eyes, is a leash, one easily shortened by external conditions.

I'd be too paranoid on more than a couple of levels about BVLOS, so I'm good.

There are some YouTube videos of BVLOS pirate pilots, and it appears to me their attraction to it is the thrill of coloring outside the lines, and not the more 'romantic' fly, and be free! state of mind.



The only thing I'd ever use it for is to take aerial pictures of my property to allow me to plan landscaping around the house.


For me, it's just about having fun, and remotely controlling a device that enables fun.

I've been up in a private plane a few times (172/177 Cardinals), and aside from the noise, it's an amazing experience.

Flying a drone is a vicarious approximation of that experience for me.

I don't know if the bigger drones, Phantoms, etc., have this feature, but the only thing that I would like to see in the MAVIC series is a joystick controlled gimbal for the camera.

Obviously this can be done without it, but controlling the gimbal would give a more realistic feel compared to rotating the drone.

And be a heck of a lot easier to do.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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