Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
Call from National Park Service
1683 19 2016-8-2
Uploading and Loding Picture ...(0/1)
o(^-^)o
jmims
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1686991 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Got a call from the National Park Service this morning. Seems that someone with a name similar to mine posted a video on YouTube of his/her flight over a national park. The ranger called to remind me that flying over a national park is illegal and that I should use the B4UFly app. I explained that it wasn't me, and we both went on our merry way.

While the law, of course, is not a surprise, what suprised me was that the National Park Service did some research to find someone to call about the video. I don't think that even if the video had been mine he was going to give me a citation - I just got the impression that he was trying to "raise aweness about the issue" (his words). They are getting serious about us flying in a national park.

For the sake of our community, I'd like to remind everyone
- Don't fly in land operated by the National Park Service
- Don't fly over Washington, DC, Disneyland, Disney World or within a couple hours of a sporting event
- Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport without notifying a control tower
2016-8-2
Use props
DJI-Ken
DJI team
Flight distance : 1515312 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Yes they definitely are getting more serious about it.
2016-8-2
Use props
wmcvey
First Officer
Flight distance : 904364 ft
United States
Offline

"For the sake of our community, I'd like to remind everyone
- Don't fly in land operated by the National Park Service"

On this Nat park issue. There are a lot of posts about this issue, with many members stating (telling everyone) that it's completely legal to fly over park lands if your not standing on park land yourself, and not lifting off or landing from the park itself. And that only the FAA is in charge of the airspace, not the park system. Which makes sense since aircraft fly over park lands everyday, but over 500' I'm sure. Being we need to be under 400' not sure if that makes any difference.
2016-8-2
Use props
scgene31
lvl.3
Flight distance : 17802 ft
United States
Offline

Got accused and Security criminal investigator question me two weeks ago, there has been about a dozen flights on a large government site in South Carolina.  Someone called Security and told them that i had drones. Heck its a contraband and not alllowed on site. Wouldn't risk my security clarence and job 5 months before retirement.
They asked for my FAA number but refused since it proved nothing.
2016-8-2
Use props
jmims
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1686991 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

wmcvey Posted at 2016-8-2 13:33
"For the sake of our community, I'd like to remind everyone
- Don't fly in land operated by the Nati ...

I agree, wmcvey. I don't really think that they have jurisdiction over the air above the park as long as you aren't standing in it as you fly, but here is what they say at the bottom of all their press releases: Launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from, over or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of (specific park) is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent. I don't think that the FAA has jurisdiction over commerce either, but I'm studying the material to get the license required to fly commercially. Oh well.

Sadly, unless you are a lawyer, it'll cost you a fortune to prove that they don't have jurisdiction. It's just easier to abide by the rules, and if you really want to fly in a park, ask for permission. The real sad thing is the reason that they imposed the ban - idiots were flying over/near people (specifically rock climbers) and rangers were afraid that people would get hurt.

Again, it's a handful of idiots ruining everything for everybody.
2016-8-2
Use props
Cetaman
Captain
Flight distance : 2494390 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

wmcvey Posted at 2016-8-2 07:33
"For the sake of our community, I'd like to remind everyone
- Don't fly in land operated by the Nati ...

Aloha wmcvey,

     The key for the National Parks Airspace issue is that both the National Parks Service and the FAA are parts of the US Government.  They have a working relationship that is not available for states and local governments or private land owners.  What I have said about parks only applies to state and local parks and private land owners.

     It really is a bummer that the Feds want to keep us out of National Parks.  I have never been able to get to the bottom of that one although liability is always one possibility.  Helicopters operate in National Parks regularly.  There must be a permit system.  The helicopters also operate in a concession system which generates money for the Feds.  Maybe there is, or will be, a concession system for drone photography.

Aloha and Drone On!
2016-8-2
Use props
Cetaman
Captain
Flight distance : 2494390 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

jmims@me.com Posted at 2016-8-2 17:56
I agree, wmcvey. I don't really think that they have jurisdiction over the air above the park as l ...

Aloha jmims,

     Is that why drones were prohibited in National Parks because of risky flying and endangerment or is that a guess?  I wrote something to wmcvey about the issue just above - you cannot fly in the airspace above National Parks.  It is cut and dry.  Nothing needs to be proven.  But, I do not know why they did it.

     The ". . . is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent." comment sounds like a permit system.  Maybe, like airspace around airports, you can fly in National Parks if you apply to the administration for a specific permit (or to operate a concession).  

     You are right that the FAA does not have jurisdiction over commerce, but they do write the rules that apply to commercial operations.  The National Parks Service has jurisdiction over commerce in the parks through the concession system.  It might be worth it for you to look into the National Parks concession system and how it applies to drone photography.  Maybe you could get a concession for your commercial operation.

Aloha and Drone On!
2016-8-2
Use props
wmcvey
First Officer
Flight distance : 904364 ft
United States
Offline

Cetaman Posted at 2016-8-3 03:05
Aloha wmcvey,

     The key for the National Parks Airspace issue is that both the National Parks  ...

I guess the main point I was trying to make was there are people on this and other forums advising others to do just that. To sit yourself just outside of the park boundaries to fly over the park and there's nothing they can do about it because of the airspace being under the FAA. So bottom line is people are going on these sites to ask for clarification, and some are encouraging them to do this.

ps: You have the cutest state rep of all in Gabbard, has a great life story too.
2016-8-3
Use props
Cessna172
Second Officer
United States
Offline

Did you those state representatives voted themselves a Presidential salary?   Nearly $200,000 a year !!   (BEFORE other stipends and allocations!)
Must be nice.

https://ballotpedia.org/Tulsi_Gabbard
2016-8-3
Use props
Bill Abbey
lvl.1

Offline

wmcvey Posted at 2016-8-3 01:33
"For the sake of our community, I'd like to remind everyone
- Don't fly in land operated by the Nati ...

None of this makes any sense. The law specifically says defines the air space as over a National Park.  

2016-8-3
Use props
roger.crawford
lvl.4
Flight distance : 41568 ft
United States
Offline

Cessna172, hardly a presidential salary.
"Since 2001, the president has earned a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment. The most recent raise in salary was approved by Congress and President Bill Clinton in 1999 and went into effect in 2001"
2016-8-3
Use props
msduncanrolltid
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1669012 ft
United States
Offline

Cetaman Posted at 2016-8-3 02:05
Aloha wmcvey,

     The key for the National Parks Airspace issue is that both the National Parks  ...

I think it all started when someone crashed their drone into a hot springs in Yellowstone.   
2016-8-3
Use props
28wins
lvl.4

United States
Offline

wmcvey Posted at 2016-8-2 10:33
"For the sake of our community, I'd like to remind everyone
- Don't fly in land operated by the Nati ...

This is my understanding as well.

Based on what I have read int he past, flying over a National Park and using that airspace is not a problem.

What is illegal is taking on, landing and operating the drone why standing on land controlled/ owned by the National Park Service.

Am I correct?
2016-8-3
Use props
UCLABruins
lvl.3
Flight distance : 488904 ft

United States
Offline

By the way, how do I find the control tower of the airport?
In particular, I'm looking for Mather Airport in Sacramento, CA.
2016-8-3
Use props
z28lt1
First Officer
Flight distance : 336204 ft
United States
Offline

UCLABruins Posted at 2016-8-4 03:31
By the way, how do I find the control tower of the airport?
In particular, I'm looking for Mather A ...

I've used the contact us section of several airports to ask for the number for airport operations and the control tower to contact when wanting to fly.  They all have been very helpful in giving the contact info and their expectations for me.  For example, one airport has no tower and they said if I can't reach them, and email or voicemail is fine.  Another gave me the number for the 24/7 operations and the tower and the information they will be requesting so I can be prepared.

I see Mather has a phone# and contact form on their website.  Write a nice note to them (or call if it is urgent) and I suspect you'll get a reply with all the information.
2016-8-3
Use props
Cetaman
Captain
Flight distance : 2494390 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

wmcvey Posted at 2016-8-3 03:55
I guess the main point I was trying to make was there are people on this and other forums advising ...

Aloha wmcvey,

     Did you know she is Hindu?  She just got married last year to.  My brother was heartbroken!

     As long as they do keep their bodies out of prohibited state, local and private parks, it is OK.  But, be sure to post that the difference for the National Park system is National Parks - Federal Land and Federal Airspace.  All one owner - and they have their own enforcement agencies - in fact a few of them.  Not everyone is clear on that subject.

Aloha and Drone On!
2016-8-3
Use props
Cetaman
Captain
Flight distance : 2494390 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

28wins Posted at 2016-8-3 08:03
This is my understanding as well.

Based on what I have read int he past, flying over a National  ...

Aloha 28,

     That may not hold for National Parks because the National Park system is National Parks = Federal Land and Federal Airspace.  All one owner - and they have their own enforcement agencies.  The National Parks Service also has helicopter concessions.  This is a money maker for them and they can enforce an airspace exclusion using the FAA rules.  This has to be confirmed but because the National Park Service has sharp teeth, it may be prudent to define the situation before you try an encroachment.

Aloha and Drone On!
2016-8-3
Use props
Cetaman
Captain
Flight distance : 2494390 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

UCLABruins Posted at 2016-8-3 09:31
By the way, how do I find the control tower of the airport?
In particular, I'm looking for Mather A ...

Aloha Bruin,

     The FAA web site has all the control towers.  You just have to hunt for it or ask them in the drone section.

Aloha and Drone On!
2016-8-3
Use props
Cetaman
Captain
Flight distance : 2494390 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

msduncanrolltid Posted at 2016-8-3 07:46
I think it all started when someone crashed their drone into a hot springs in Yellowstone.

Aloha duncan,

     Mahalo!  Any idea how long that was?  Maybe I can look up an article or something.

Aloha and Drone On!
2016-8-3
Use props
mikeon
Second Officer
United States
Offline

I think disturbing wildlife is one of the reasons for the restrictions in National Parks.  I've been in Yellowstone (without drone) many times.  Wherever a bear can be seen from the road, there will be a big crowd (50+) of people trying to get close with their cameras, and a park ranger trying to keep them back at a safe distance.  I photograph from a distance with a big telephoto lens, but one problem with getting nice pictures is people with small cameras walking right up with 10' of bison or elk.  So if drones were allowed, there would be a small percentage of users trying to get right in the animal's face, possibly causing injury or stampedes.
The noise is possibly another reason.  Other park visitors might find it annoying.
2016-8-4
Use props
Advanced
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules