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Legal in Texas?
1042 24 2015-9-8
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PhantomLover
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Looking to buy the P3P for a friend who lives in texas. Can anyone verify if its legal or not to fly in this state and in neighbourhoods? I've been told its not.
2015-9-8
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ntxbowhunter13
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Yes it is legal.  But I wouldn't fly it over private property and things such as that.
2015-9-8
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coyneg
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Generally legal - you can't surveil private property, which basically restricts recording while overflying private property.  Here are the regulations:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.423.htm
2015-9-8
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PhantomLover
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What about flying around beaches, town and cities, open fields and things like that? Open areas like lakes, the sea etc.
2015-9-8
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PhantomLover
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Are you allowed to practice flying in the garden at all? If its just practicing at heights.
2015-9-8
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suqsid.bobmail
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PhantomLover Posted at 2015-9-8 13:47
What about flying around beaches, town and cities, open fields and things like that? Open areas like ...

Many towns and cities in every state have local laws that no aircraft can be flown over a public park under so many feet.

Those laws where made long ago but they do apply to today's remote aircraft so no you can't fly in them.

You have to check the local statutes to know.
2015-9-8
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suqsid.bobmail
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coyneg Posted at 2015-9-8 13:42
Generally legal - you can't surveil private property, which basically restricts recording while over ...

Wow.

I just read the law you linked to and I am shocked. That is a terrible law.

They have no idea how much law enforcement time is going to be wasted on that crap when this technology matures over the next ten years.

Here in Florida we have the best law. It just says no surveillance and it is a civil issue, no law enforcement involvement. Our cops can't even use them for surveillance.
2015-9-8
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heyandy
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suqsid.bobmail Posted at 2015-9-8 14:25
Wow.

I just read the law you linked to and I am shocked. That is a terrible law.

Actually the law is the typical mumbo jumbo...   It all boils back to section 003 and this line:
"A person commits an offense if the person uses an unmanned aircraft to capture an image of an individual or privately owned real property in this state with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or property captured in the image."

So for it to be illegal, you have to PROVE that the intent of the picture was for surveillance... Think it will be hard to prove that.. Unless of course every one of your pictures you have that include your neighbors yard also happens to have them laying in a bathing suit or such..  Then I would guess you are going to lose the case..  QUICKLY!
2015-9-8
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PhantomLover
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I dont really understand it then. Whats the point in spending so much on a P3P if you cant use it anywhere :/
2015-9-8
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mech
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Having grown up in Texas, I would say it's legal until you fly over someone with a shotgun. Even in Colorado one of my neighbors told me that he would shoot mine down if I ever took his picture, like I would have any interest in that.
2015-9-8
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coyneg
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I didn't write the law, and I don't advocate that it is either well-constructed, or well-intended.

Texas was one of the first states to create this kind of statute - it was known as the Texas Privacy Act as it made its way through the system before being adopted.

There were various big-money interests that lobbied it - including Oil & Gas, to prevent citizens from using UAV to monitor their activity, big agriculture, to prevent citizens from monitoring their activity, etc.

The burden of proving intent is an interesting one, and it does not prevent overflight of any public area not otherwise prohibited by the FAA.  So far, only a handful of challenges have arisen, where UAV-acquired video and/or still photography was submitted to a news agency, or made publicly available under auspices of investigative journalism.
2015-9-8
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mech
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Having grown up in Texas, I would say it's legal until you fly over someone with a shotgun. Even in Colorado one of my neighbors told me that he would shoot mine down if I ever took his picture, like I would have any interest in that.
2015-9-8
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PhantomLover
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But i dont understand where to use them then. If you want some cool aerial footage for making youtube videos look cool etc, how is this possible.
2015-9-8
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AerialLens
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Hold on there, Pards (Texas talk). The key pointed out in the link AND the "mental culpability" reference link within it pretty much says - to paraphrase - You have to have an intent to surveil the property or its occupants to be considered as defying this law.

In other words (well, in MY words - and I am not an attorney, so don't jump on me for practicing law without a license) - You gotta be in act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent, or detect, or commit a crime.

If I was in Texas, I would not worry about this at all.

2015-9-8
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StephLed
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Currently living in Texas and haven't had any problems -- just make sure to follow local regs.  HeyAndy is right with the interpretation; because a violation of the Texas law hinges on the subjective intent of the UAV user, litigation over the user's state of mind will ultimately establish the Privacy Act's scope and enforcement.
2015-9-8
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AerialLens
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StephLed Posted at 2015-9-8 15:23
Currently living in Texas and haven't had any problems -- just make sure to follow local regs.  HeyA ...

Absolutely. Nailed it there, StephLed.
2015-9-8
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Willie Wonka
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And in my closing statement, GO fly and enjoy but remember to fly smart.
2015-9-8
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PhantomLover
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but my friend told me that in his neighborhood, drones aren't allowed. Incorrect? And surely you have to fly over private houses to get to your destination no?

and what are the regular laws? like 400ft etc?
2015-9-8
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AerialLens
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PhantomLover Posted at 2015-9-8 15:57
but my friend told me that in his neighborhood, drones aren't allowed. Incorrect? And surely you hav ...

Really? Can't imagine they can control the sky other than re-stating some public ordinance or regulation.

Maybe they have a HOA (Home Owners Association) with covenants prohibiting noise or launching and landing of RC models in the common areas? In any case, it seems an HOA would impose rules only on those who reside in the neighborhood and have signed the covenants package. Interesting.
2015-9-8
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PhantomLover
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So whats the verdict guys? :/  legal or illegal around texas. I want to purchase but I dont want to be arrested or have it shot down for flying around the place and city and taking it places to shoot aerial footage for youtube videos.
2015-9-11
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jimcloud74
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PhantomLover Posted at 2015-9-11 16:00
So whats the verdict guys? :/  legal or illegal around texas. I want to purchase but I dont want to  ...

Legal. Just go fly.
2015-9-11
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PhantomLover
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ok heres a question. Who is the best person to ask for legality of these in the drone areas? Would the police know if I gave them a call? I just want to know if its fine to fly around the neighbourhood as long as Im not illegally recording people. Maybe I can fly to my friends house for example. And then, when I go to beaches etc, can I fly around the beach? What about high in the sky at events over a crowd of people? Etc
2015-9-13
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danieldos22
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Is legal to fly in Texas but not around airport
2015-9-13
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PhantomLover
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danieldos22@hot Posted at 2015-9-13 15:18
Is legal to fly in Texas but not around airport

So you can definitely fly around neighborhoods, cities, landmarks etc right?
2015-9-13
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PhantomLover
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Safe to say its illegal then?

http://www.phantompilots.com/threads/austin-tx.45008/
2015-9-13
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