Can You Fly A Drone By The Hollywood Sign? Is It Legal?

can you fly a drone by the hollywood sign

It is the dream of every flyer to take beautiful pictures of iconic landmarks with their drones. The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles is one such landmark. However, many are not sure of the rules governing flying drones in that area.

The simple answer to the question, can you fly a drone by the Hollywood Sign, is no. Drones are prohibited from flying by the sign. If you fly your drone you will incur in sanctions if you are apprehended. This rule is stipulated in the Los Angeles Rec & Parks Ordinance No. 176,929.

Can You Fly A Drone In Hollywood?

The rules for flying a drone in Hollywood are the same for flying in the whole of Los Angeles. All you need to know about flying a drone in Hollywood is discussed below.

drone shot of the Hollywood sign at sunset

Can You Fly A Drone In Los Angeles?

You can fly a drone in Los Angeles; however, you must do it legally or face sanctions. Just like in every state in the United States of America, rules and regulations are governing the flying of drones in Los Angeles. If you are traveling to Los Angeles for the first time, or you reside in the city permanently, there are important things to note to make your drone flying a safe and enjoyable exercise.

Laws Governing Drone Flying In Los Angeles 

Before you start flying your drone in Los Angeles, you must take your time to understand the laws guiding the activity. Thankfully, the article contains just all that you need to know about the drone laws in Los Angeles.

The first thing to note is that there are two classes of drone pilots recognized under Los Angeles’s laws. You are either a recreational drone pilot or a commercial drone pilot. Below is everything you need to know about each class of pilots.

Recreational Drone Pilots 

You qualify as a recreational drone pilot if you are only flying your drone for fun. This means that you are not using your drone for official assignments or paid jobs. Using a drone recreationally is governed by the FAA model aircraft rules. All that pertains to drones in these rules are highlighted below:

  • You must ensure to register your drone. This is the first step to take after acquiring your drone. This gives you the authority to fly legally. When flying, always ensure to have your proof of registration at hand, to avoid unnecessary trouble.
  • If you register your drone for recreational use, do not use it for commercial purposes. Heavy fines will follow if you are caught doing this.
  • Fly at the regulated height of 400 feet or below always.
  • Always keep your drone in sight when flying. Losing sight of your drone could result in losing it, or worse still, collision with other aircraft.
  • You should only fly at night if your drone has lighting features.
  • Also, ensure to be sober whenever you are flying. Never fly your drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Take permission from appropriate authorities before flying in controlled airspaces.

Following all of these rules, you can fly recreationally in Los Angeles without any trouble.

Commercial Drone Pilots

Commercial drone pilots use their aircraft for business and work purposes. They are governed by the FAA Part 107 regulations. Commercial drone pilots must pass a test before they are allowed to fly in Los Angeles.  Below are some of the requirements to fly a drone commercially in Los Angeles:

  • Having a Remote Pilot Certificate is a must. The FAA must issue this certificate for you to be eligible to fly commercially.
  • Your UAV must be registered with the FAA. You can do this registration on the FAADroneZone website.
  • At all times, your UAV must not weigh more than 55 pounds. This includes payload before takeoff as well.
  • Do not fly close to another aircraft.
  • Always fly in Class G airspace unless you have permission to do otherwise.
  • Your drone should always be less than 55 lbs when flying.
  • Your drone should always remain in your line of sight.

Fulfilling these requirements will ensure that you can fly a drone commercially in Los Angeles.

drone flying towards city center LA

Five Best Places To Fly A Drone In Los Angeles 

Having discussed everything you need to know about the rules guiding drone flying in Los Angeles. It is only right that we recommend some of the best places to fly a drone in Los Angeles. These are locations that score full marks for accessibility, airspace restrictions, as well as great attractions. They are all uncontrolled spaces, so you do not need permission to fly. All you need to do is follow the rules, and you can be sure to have the best flying experience. These places are highlighted below:

  • MacArthur Park: The MacArthur Park, located at 2230 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA, is one of the best places to fly a Los Angeles drone. Formerly known as Westlake Park, it is very close to downtown Los Angeles and has a Class G airspace. The park was renamed in the 1940s, after General Douglas MacArthur. The Class G airspace means that you are allowed to fly without restrictions and a need for permits. Some of the attractions which MacArthur Park offers include an amphitheater, a playground, a natural spring-fed lake, as well as soccer fields. MacArthur Park has some of the best spots for drone pictures anywhere in Los Angeles, with the beautiful skyline and the lake offering great views. Take your drone out to MacArthur Park, and you can be sure to have a great time flying your drone.
  • Lake Hollywood: This is an excellent spot for drone flying, located within Lake Hollywood State Park. Lake Hollywood is a human-made reservoir built-in 1924. Located at 3160 Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA, Lake Hollywood has a paved road for cycling, jogging, walking, and flying drones. The best part of Lake Hollywood’s attraction is the views it offers. One can see the Los Angeles skyline, as well as the Hollywood sign.  Taking drone shots of the Hollywood sign from Lake Hollywood remains one of its main attractions to drone pilots.
  • Silver Lake Meadows: Silver Lake Meadows is located at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. It is a Class G airspace, which means you can fly your drone uncontrolled with no need for authorization. The Silver Lake Meadows is located opposite the Ivanhoe and Silver Lake Reservoirs. A sprawling green space, it offers tranquility and a cool spot for flying drones. Its major attraction is the mountains in the distance, as well as the walking paths and open space. This is the perfect spot for drone pilots that love nature.
  • Hermosa Beach, Pier: Located at 1 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA, this is one spot in Los Angeles that drone pilots certainly love. Built as early as 1904, Hermosa Beach Pier was formerly a wooden structure. It, however, got washed away and was eventually rebuilt in 1914, ten years after it was established. This time around, it was built in concrete, and it has remained so, ever since. Hermosa Beach Pier is a Class G airspace, making it an ideal space for drone flying. Part of its numerous attractions is the view of the Pacific Ocean, which it offers. The skyline of Hermosa, a coastal town, also makes for amazing drone shots.
  • Terranea Bluff Top Park: Terranea Bluff Top Park is located at Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Like every other location on the list, it is also a Class G airspace. Among its attractions are the ocean views (it offers a view of the Pacific Ocean), a lighthouse, and a lovely landscape for amazing pictures. It is a top choice among drone pilots in Los Angeles.

Places Where You Can Not Fly A Drone

Now that you have a list of locations where you can fly a drone in Los Angeles, California is relevant to list the places where you can not, as education and a friendly reminder:

  • You can not fly drones in airports (or within 5 miles from one)
  • Military facilities
  • Private property with a clear no drone sign

drone flying in front of a plane

Conclusion 

It is important to note that the laws guiding drone piloting in Los Angeles are stringent, so you must adhere to them at all times. Be sure to clearly state what the use of your drone is, whether recreational or commercial.

There are many drones aficionado’s out there but not everyone is the same, some people might feel threatened and feel exposed when they see a drone with a camera flying in their vicinity. So, the best way to fly your drone, whether you do it for recreational or commercial purposes is by abiding by the rules and regulations set for safe, legal flying.

This way if you are ever reported or someone is not comfortable with you flying your drone you will be automatically protected because you have done nothing but comply with the existing guidelines.

Once you have settled the requirements, you can enjoy flying in these locations we have provided above, or any other locations permitted in your area. As long as you have the appropriate permissions to fly your drone and you are always staying on the correct side of the law you have “free-range” to fly your drone.

Remember to steer clear to avoid trouble and enjoy!

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.