You might be considering buying a Holy Stone drone because you’ve heard it doesn’t have geofencing restrictions like DJI. Is that true?
All recent Holy Stone drones need the Ophelia Go or Ophelia Fly apps, which have safety features that make your drone comply with no-fly zone regulations. There is no way to remove the restrictions from your drone, but you can unlock them to get clearance to fly with AirMap or Aloft.
We know this topic is confusing because Holy Stone doesn’t give us too much information.
If you want to know more about how Holy Stone implements geofencing, this article is for you. We’ll present a clear guide on getting clearance to fly in those zones with AirMap.
Also, we’ll explain the only accurate way to avoid zones you don’t want to breach.
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Do Holy Stones drones have geofencing restrictions?
As I have read on forums, these drones have had many issues taking off lately. Most problems come down to a GPS issue, as the forums suggest.
The real reason is that Holy Stone outfits its newest drones with geofencing.
I contacted Holy Stone, as I had my doubts about the subject. They replied to me with the information in the screenshot below.
Your Holy Stone drone can’t take off if it’s violating restricted airspace.
How does your Holy Stone drone get geofencing data?
That’s through the GNSS data it receives.
The Ophelia app loads a map that complies with the country’s aviation regulations. That’s why your drone can’t take off.
You can shut the GPS down as follows:
- On your Transmitter or Remote Controller, find the GPS switch. It’s typically on the right side of it.
- Move that switch, and check on the LCD Transmitter screen that the GPS is off.
Now you can fly in any area without restriction. However, as you have read from the Holy Stone response, your drone can fly uncontrollably in a no-fly zone.
Until Holy Stone gives us drone pilots specific information about how geofencing works with their drones, it’s better to become no-fly zone-savvy. Then you can pilot your drone safely without breaking the law.
What is a no-fly or no-drone zone?
There are areas where flying a drone can be dangerous for other people, entities, or aircraft. Zones such as airports or where people congregate are places where our drones can cause harm.
Civil aviation authorities set boundaries around these areas that no aircraft must breach. If you break them, you are violating those regulations and can get a penalty fee.
The first boundary you must not breach is restricted airspace. You can’t take off or land your drone in these zones, so recent Holy Stone drones cannot do so either.
Commonly restricted airspace areas are airports and their surroundings.
Temporary flight restrictions
Let’s say there is a massive congregation in a park, like a festival. Aviation authorities will place temporary restrictions on flying there.
These are zones you can fly your drone in everyday conditions without breaking the law, but when there is a special event, it becomes a zone you must avoid at any cost.
Finally, there are places where the civil aviation authorities haven’t jurisdiction, so they don’t have civil aviation restrictions.
However, the entities with jurisdiction there can place regulations that disallow drone flying.
With temporary and local restrictions, the tricky part is that your Holy Stone drone will take off, fly, and land naturally, but you are breaking the authority or entity’s laws and risk getting penalized.
How to get clearance to fly in a geofence?
So you can’t fly in these zones? You can if you have the authorization.
You can get authorization from a wide range of providers, but we recommend only two of them.
AirMap is a company that developed a map with highlighted no-drone zones and colors marking boundaries. The boundary extension depends on the restriction of the zone.
You can find a circled area in blue that allows you to fly up to 200 feet with the required approval or a portion of that area where you can get automatic authorization just by clicking one button and flying up to 400 feet.
There will be zones with no allowance at all, so you must avoid flying in them, or your Holy Stone drone can become unstable and crash. Plus, if the authorities find out, you get a penalty fee or a heavier punishment.
The idea of using AirMap is to avoid headaches once you find a place to fly. If you’re a hobbyist who wants to fly a Holy Stone drone for fun, this app really comes in handy.
You can get permission with some clicks when you need to fly in a specific area with geofencing.
AirMap helps you to plan your flight from your desktop or mobile device. The desktop version works in the browser. The app is available for iOS and Android.
We aren’t going to cover the steps on how to get that authorization here. We have a clear step-by-step guide in the article below.
Aloft is perfect for US pilots, as it only works with the Federal Aviation Regulations geofencing zones.
Using this app is a great way to avoid penalization.