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I flew over an amusement park
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justin_mcvideo
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This is Lagoon amusement park, northern Utah.  First of all, there were no people under me, it was just concrete and asphalt, that's why I chose that position.  I did NOT launch or land within the amusement park property.

So now, before I go public with this, I want to get my ducks in a row, or basically cover myself from any problems.  Aside from flying over populated areas, it seems like a grey area of uncertainty when flying over private property.  In the U.S., it's legal, but not always a good idea.  If the drone fails, it lands on private property and can be a headache to retrieve sometimes.  And then if it's harrassing people, it's a bad idea, and in general it's a bad idea to draw attention to it.

So aside from all of that, the flight went well and I think I got some great shots. Now I want to go public with them, but I want to make sure I'm covered and that the laws haven't changed since I last read through them.

(for anybody waiting to post a link with a huge amound of reading and laws to search through, thanks but no thanks, unless you can point to one specific area)

Is it still legally acceptable to launch from outside of an area, such as an amusement park, and to fly over and video?  I'm not asking if it's a good idea, I'm just asking if it's still legal and if any prosecution can come from it.  I'm not interested in personal opinions, I'm just looking for actual rule and law, thank you.

Here is a sample of what I shot. Check out the little kid, the only one not freaking out on the roller coaster drop.



2018-8-16
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Mark The Droner
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Haha that's funny - that kid is chill - I like it
2018-8-16
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ALABAMA
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He has probably ridden on it 500 times.
2018-8-16
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RedHotPoker
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Cute.

Got the lifetime pass? Haha


RedHotPoker
2018-8-16
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justin_mcvideo
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Thanks, but um.... no thoughts on the flight?  Is there any way I could be in legal trouble?
2018-8-16
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RedHotPoker
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-16 18:52
Thanks, but um.... no thoughts on the flight?  Is there any way I could be in legal trouble?

We are not here to condone or condemn.  Your flights and photography missions are on you bro...

But the pic turned out awesome. Thanks for sharing, is all I’m going to say... I like it. ;-)



RedHotPoker
2018-8-16
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justin_mcvideo
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.  I'm about to edit the shots I caught.  
2018-8-16
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Bashy
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I am sure the whole park would be classed as a no go area over here in the UK as it would be classed as a built up area, i know thats different for the US
I am not sure how close you can legally fly to structures in the US?

Also, was the flight classed as "endangering life or property" cause i bet there is sommat like that in the FAA laws and to be honest, being this close to a "fast" amusement ride  would break the endangering human life rule, actually, it looks like the coaster went underneath the drone  or very close to it, so if it did drop or go crazy due to magnetic interference or a mind of its own or pilot error or........... that drone could have seriously hurt someone.

I have said the above because you asked, if you post this in public view, expect some flak thats for sure
2018-8-16
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justin_mcvideo
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Bashy Posted at 2018-8-16 20:12
I am sure the whole park would be classed as a no go area over here in the UK as it would be classed as a built up area, i know thats different for the US
I am not sure how close you can legally fly to structures in the US?

Good point about the proximity to structures, I'm not sure on that one.  I would say I was within 30 feet.
2018-8-16
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Dirty Bird
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-16 18:52
Thanks, but um.... no thoughts on the flight?  Is there any way I could be in legal trouble?

You'll need to blur faces or get signed releases from everyone on that coaster!

2018-8-16
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JasonPictures
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Nice shot mate!
2018-8-16
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RedHotPoker
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-16 19:28
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.  I'm about to edit the shots I caught.  Here's a pixelated version of part of my shots.  I'm just trying to prepare for some of the blow back for when I go public.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O-kNaJ6ElE

YouTube is public. Hahaha

But so is the forum for that matter.... ;-)


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2018-8-16
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justin_mcvideo
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RedHotPoker Posted at 2018-8-16 21:23
YouTube is public. Hahaha

But so is the forum for that matter.... ;-)

Yeah, I've got the video unlisted at the moment and I doubt the amusement park visits this forum

Once I post it on social media, it will get quite a big following
2018-8-16
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justin_mcvideo
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-8-16 21:07
You'll need to blur faces or get signed releases from everyone on that coaster!

I'm not so sure about that.  I won't be using it for commercial purposes.  There are so many cell phones and GoPros filming nowadays, people visiting an amusement park should have no expectation of privacy.
2018-8-16
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RedHotPoker
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-16 21:25
Yeah, I've got the video unlisted at the moment and I doubt the amusement park visits this forum

Once I post it on social media, it will get quite a big following

You post the video, you take your chances... ;-)


Keep it private...


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2018-8-16
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Dirty Bird
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-16 21:27
I'm not so sure about that.  I won't be using it for commercial purposes.  There are so many cell phones and GoPros filming nowadays, people visiting an amusement park should have no expectation of privacy.

I was only kidding.  
2018-8-17
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Nigel_
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Bashy Posted at 2018-8-16 20:12
I am sure the whole park would be classed as a no go area over here in the UK as it would be classed as a built up area, i know thats different for the US
I am not sure how close you can legally fly to structures in the US?


Just think what would happen if the drone got caught in the wheels and jammed the car at the top of a loop with the passengers hanging upside down!  That was close enough for the drone to be affected by magnetics and air currents and reception to be blocked by metal structures and metal vehicles.

A highly irresponsible and illegal flight, if it was in the UK.  But as you say, we are in the UK not USA, and it is not up to us to rule on their laws, ways of life, safety culture, weapons culture etc.  We can only comment!
2018-8-17
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Mark The Droner
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Linked below is the classic "FAA goes after hobbyist" story.  I'm not sure there has been another one like it since.  It's a little dated.

https://www.dailysignal.com/2016 ... n-government-fines/

2018-8-17
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TheLazyC
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-8-16 21:07
You'll need to blur faces or get signed releases from everyone on that coaster!

Not sure I agree with he blur faces and signed releases, they are in the public which makes them fair game.

You can sit on the bench and take photos of everyone who passes you by,

Not saying it is a good idea, but you are subject to photography and video if you are in the public.
2018-8-17
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TheLazyC
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I think it is a neat capture, but only opinion, I would bet that it is illegal and would fall under the surveillance or privacy laws. I also think it is a huge liability. What if the drone suffered a transmission lost of fly away and flew into the faces of that crowd.
2018-8-17
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Odan
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If I were you......I would make sure that I know the law.    I'm in USA and in Wa state this flight would be deemed illegal. You can't just go anywhere you want and fly a drone.
Not only could you have caused injury if your drone malfunctioned but you could face huge fines.  Non-flyers just love to hang sloppy drone pilots.

2018-8-17
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Odan
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Ok...….. I did a google search for drone laws in Utah....
I would suggest you do the same.  Maybe not fly at all until you have.

2018-8-17
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justin_mcvideo
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Odan Posted at 2018-8-17 06:14
Ok...….. I did a google search for drone laws in Utah....
I would suggest you do the same.  Maybe not fly at all until you have.

And the result?

I as well planned and searched for the laws.  I would appreciate the feedback of what you found, directly related to my flight over the amusement park.  Keep in mind, I did not fly over people.

Thanks
2018-8-17
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msinger
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While it's often legally acceptable to take off from outside of private property and fly over it, you still need to follow these rules when flying as a hobbyist. In your case, you could have been violtating those rules by not flying VLOS (not sure where you were standing) and/or not following the safety guidelines of a nationwide community-based organization. In addition to those rules, the FAA’s safety mandate under 49 U.S.C. § 40103 requires it to regulate aircraft operations conducted in the National Airspace System (NAS), which include UAS operations, to protect persons and property on the ground, and to prevent collisions between aircraft or between aircraft and other objects (see more details here).

My advice? Before attempting a second flight like this, you should contact the FAA and ask them if they believe this is a safe thing to do. I'm guessing they are going to advise you not to do it.


2018-8-17
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justin_mcvideo
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Respectfully, we all know how the conversation would go;

Hello, may I fly near an amusement pa--
NO
2018-8-17
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msinger
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If you think the party that has been tasked to ensure safe aircraft operations wouldn't want you to do it, then what makes you think it would be a great idea?
2018-8-17
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justin_mcvideo
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If the FAA doesn't want us to do something, they'd better make it a rule.  Simple.

I've been turned down on the simplest requests from land owners, business owners, and recreationalists, unless I'm feeling energetic enough to follow up and show them an example of what my footage can do for them.  And the result is always the same, it's "Oh, wow, yes that does look good.  I didn't know that's what you meant."  They just hear the word "Drone" and they put that wall up.

So, again respectfully, I do appreciate the feedback, but I'm truly looking for a law or a rule against flying here.  I didn't fly over people, I had VLOS, I stayed under 400' AGL, and it was not designated a NFZ.

As for the harassment perspective, I'll show you all of the people waving at the camera and you can ask if they felt harassed.  

There is a lot of knowledge here, so I'm coming to you.  I would really appreciate a legitimate rule or law that I may be breaking.  
2018-8-17
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Oracle Miata
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I know you don't want opinions but this hobby doesn't need any more bad press.  Why risk it?
2018-8-17
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Jimmy hoffa
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Dont mind the tight as#e$ ...don't fly directly over people and keep it safe... gl
2018-8-17
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justin_mcvideo
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Oracle Miata Posted at 2018-8-17 08:31
I know you don't want opinions but this hobby doesn't need any more bad press.  Why risk it?

Exactly why I'm investigating and double checking the rules before I post on social media.

If it's bad press, I assume there would be a specific reason?
2018-8-17
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msinger
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-17 08:12
If the FAA doesn't want us to do something, they'd better make it a rule.  Simple.

I've been turned down on the simplest requests from land owners, business owners, and recreationalists, unless I'm feeling energetic enough to follow up and show them an example of what my footage can do for them.  And the result is always the same, it's "Oh, wow, yes that does look good.  I didn't know that's what you meant."  They just hear the word "Drone" and they put that wall up.

Which CBO safety guidelines were you following for your flight? Outside of the FAA coming after you for possibly endangering people in the park, that's probably the only other thing they could hold against you.
2018-8-17
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justin_mcvideo
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msinger Posted at 2018-8-17 08:48
Which CBO safety guidelines were you following for your flight? Outside of the FAA coming after you for possibly endangering people in the park, that's probably the only other thing they could hold against you.

OK now we are getting somewhere.  What is the minimum distance I should fly from people, and can you cite the rule?
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msinger
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-17 08:50
OK now we are getting somewhere.  What is the minimum distance I should fly from people, and can you cite the rule?

It's from the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. See more details here.
2018-8-17
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justin_mcvideo
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msinger Posted at 2018-8-17 08:59
It's from the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. See more details here.

the whole page?

No offense, but the lack of clarity is getting old.  Can somebody just give me the simple answer regarding the simple rule I'm expected to follow regarding distance from bystanders?  

If somebody says I'm breaking the rules, please just name the rule, and not send me to an extended reading session.  No offense, but the answer should be simple to type up, if it really does exist.
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msinger
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-17 09:02
the whole page?

No offense, but the lack of clarity is getting old.  Can somebody just give me the simple answer regarding the simple rule I'm expected to follow regarding distance from bystanders?  

I linked you to a summary to save you time. If you want to dig in deep, then grab your favorite beverage and start here.

What does your CBO state about flying near bystanders?

2018-8-17
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Oracle Miata
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-17 08:37
Exactly why I'm investigating and double checking the rules before I post on social media.

If it's bad press, I assume there would be a specific reason?

With the media and public perception there doesn't need to be a specific thing. People won't do the research.  It's the society we live in.  
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justin_mcvideo
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msinger Posted at 2018-8-17 09:07
I linked you to a summary to save you time. If you want to dig in deep, then grab your favorite beverage and start here.

OK, I asked if you could cite the rule about a minimum distance from people.  From your link, I found:

Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people

Great.  Thanks  

You know, I don't think anybody would go to jail if they just admitted "Yeah the FAA is really unclear about that".  Is it ok if we just say the rules are vague?

But we get people that say I'm breaking the rules and then send me links that go nowhere.

I think it's becoming clear, I broke no rule with my flight.  Thanks for the feedback everybody.
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Oracle Miata
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-17 09:11
OK, I asked if you could cite the rule about a minimum distance from people.  From your link, I found:

Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people

I cant think of any specific rule you broke, but then we haven't seen the flight either.  
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justin_mcvideo
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Oracle Miata Posted at 2018-8-17 09:13
I cant think of any specific rule you broke, but then we haven't seen the flight either.

Now THAT is a good response, and I thank you for that.
2018-8-17
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Oracle Miata
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justin_mcvideo Posted at 2018-8-17 09:15
Now THAT is a good response, and I thank you for that.

In reality we all know that many of the rules and guidelines set by the FAA are vague at best.  Somewhat open for interpretation.  
2018-8-17
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