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Legalize flying in State Parks!
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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I am a new UAV pilot, I have recently purchased the Inspire 1 pro V2.0 and the Venmuse x5 and I am absolutely loving it! I am posting this because with as great as this technology is, I was shocked to learn that here in Florida it is illegal to fly in State Parks. As a professional photographer I gained so much inspiration from taking my new gear out to my local state park and testing my new capabilities.
I understand that there are liability issues involved with flying at the parks but at the same time I think that a blanket ban is absurd. I feel like our parks are doing themselves a disservice by completely banning drone flight and the ability to capture from the air. Showcasing the beauty that we as taxpayers pay to protect would only increase the awareness of why we are paying into the parks as well as drive in traffic to some our state's best locations.

At the very least I feel that proof of insurance and a "resonable" permit fee should be all that is required to fly in any state park and that it would benefit both the UAV pilot in having a non-crowded/rural place to fly as well as increasing revenue, awareness and possible traffic to our state parks.

I have searched around online for quite a while today and I haven't seen anyone supporting the legalization of UAV/Drone flying in FL state parks, I created a facebook page @:

https://www.facebook.com/LegalizeDronesFLStateParks/

Please show support if you agree with the cause, even if it is a long shot I feel that banding together to show support of a specific opinion is important. Thanks!

2016-10-12
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Machoman
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They will never do this because in a few years there would hang thousands of abandoned drones on the rocks. Who will remove them? MOST people crash and loose their drone sooner or later and imagine now with things like the Mavic any fool would come with a drone on a weekend you have 20 drones in the air - sure not 20 will go home with a drone



Better invest in a camouflage set and keep the cowards out.

2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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I kind of understand your point but as a US citizen I pay to protect that property, I'm not suggesting that any 15 y/o with a drone be able to fly. I'm saying that the parks could charge for permits to fly after verifying that the pilot carries suitable insurance. This would allow for responsible pilots to have TONS of acreage at their disposal to fly and capture pictures and video as well as increase State revenue and awareness for what our tax dollars are going into to protect. Not only that but you can already legally fly over State Park land as long as you don't take off or land there. So as technology gets better what you stated will happen any way. Our parks are just making it inconvenient and not capitalizing on another way to increase the money they make back on our tax dollar.
2016-10-12
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Farnk666
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You are about a year too late on this one OP. It's done.
We have the same thing happening here with blanket bans being applied across the country, without consultation and all based on the 'US model'.

So a big thank you to all those idiots in the US who felt entitled to fly anywhere they damned well please without a second thought as to the consequences.
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Again I understand but this attitude doesn't help imho. It all comes down to the support of the community, nothing is going to change over night but at the same time showing support for what we believe is right only hurts if no one shares it. There will always be situations in which a few "bad apples" fall too far from the tree, but imo they should be handled individually. I think that most rational adults would agree. I feel that if we begin to conform as a community then only good can come of it. I don't expect to wake up tomorrow and see that we can fly in State/National Parks but you really have to start somewhere if you believe in what you are doing.
2016-10-12
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flighttime1
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I think you will find more support when drones become less of a noise nuisance. I personally don't find it to be such a terrible idea to have someplace you can take your kids and camp out without listening to drones flying over your head. You might also consider that it would be impossible to enforce your concept without having 'drone enforcers' driving around the parks checking that each drone is being flown by someone who paid their fees. There is beautiful scenery to spare. No need to encroach on our national parks.
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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I appreciate your opinion but you can't tell me on an 800+ acre parcel of land you can hear a drone across its entirety opposite your campsite can you? And I honestly feel like having to apply for a permit and having to provide proof of insurance would eliminate most of those irresponsibly flying. Outside of that, handle it on a case by case basis. If someone is going up and buzzing campers and wildlife just to be immature and inconsiderate then prosecute them individually, don't blanket ban everyone... "There is beautiful scenery to spare" is a VERY broad statement as we all pay for that beauty to exist and it will not last forever, yet we are incapable of capturing it in a very safe and suitable way because the government rushed a ban on something it failed to fully look into. I mean honestly we are already paying the rangers' salaries, you're telling me we need drone police but all I see is an extra hour or two or perhaps an extra class or two by the rangers to understand proper drone legislation should it be changed.
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Not to mention that rules could be set based upon the park as to the time of day of acceptable flying, areas in which to fly etc, etc.... a blanket ban is simply rediculous
2016-10-12
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flighttime1
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-12 19:20
Not to mention that rules could be set based upon the park as to the time of day of acceptable flyin ...

You managed to ignore the fact that enforcement would be a major problem. You can't search every camper/car that comes in the gates for drones so how do you know if someone paid their fee when they are flying accept to have drone police chasing down every sighting? Also, I'm not sure where your 'we already pay for it' concept is coming from. National parks are set aside to maintain their natural state and for people to enjoy that environment. I'm pretty sure drones are not what people want to see when they are communing with nature. I get your point but hey, if it's that important, hire a copter and shoot to your hearts content.
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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I don't feel I ignored anything, you may have missed where I stated that the rangers should take on the responsibility of controlling drone use as it is ultimately a "newer" form of technology which by all means would enhance the promotion and awareness of our parks? Let me ask you this, do we have "beer" police to check every camper/attendant and all of their belongings in the park? Do we have "animal" police tell if people are feeding wildlife or encroaching upon marked off habitat or "collecting" police tell if firewood is being taken illegally or if people are keeping items found withing the parks as keepsakes? My entire point is that the rangers handle these situations, probably based upon reports given to them and drones should be no different. National parks and State parks are both, as you say, "set aside", based on their beauty right? You do realize that it's federal and state tax dollars that pay for their maintenance, upkeep and those which care for it right? So yes, we all are already paying for it. There is no need to create a "drone police department" just add in an hour or two to "ranger school" that covers drone legislation. Really not sure where the disconnect is here? Not only that but just because you commune with nature in one way does not mean that I do so in the same way. You are arguing a point of opinion here, which again, I understand but do not agree with. Lets not forget the fact that it is completely legal to fly into most of these parks already so long as you don't land or take off from within them, what sense does that make?
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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It only promotes pilots pushing their UAV's to further limits which imo is more dangerous than finding an amicable solution.
2016-10-12
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Mike-the-cat
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-13 11:31
I don't feel I ignored anything, you may have missed where I stated that the rangers should take on  ...

You make some good points - powered boats on lakes and scenic helicopters / fixed wing aircraft are noisier and have a larger acoustic footprint than quadcopters.

And the overfly exception (airspace over parts is not technically 'park') is indeed not consistent with the spirit of the law.
2016-10-12
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flighttime1
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I guess we just disagree on the enforcement concept. Thinking a few hours training would be the only change isn't realistic in my opinion. As far as 'we pay for it'. That isn't relevant. We pay for everything and some things are restricted. Everyone will not agree with the choices but saying 'I paid for it' doesn't change a thing. And yes, you may commune with nature by flying a drone but that could very easily disturb others and I tend to think they would be the majority. My last comment as I don't wish to make this an arguement... There are so many other worthwhile issues that one can put their energy into that would serve the public good and not just a small group of folks who like to play with expensive toys.
2016-10-12
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flighttime1
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Sorry... One last question. I can't figure out why you feel it's legal to fly in a national park as long as you take off from outside of it. If the language is that there is no flying of drones in a national park, that means you can't fly a drone INSIDE of a national park.
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Expensive toys which will likely be flown, instead, in smaller parks within rural areas or city limits, probably close to dog parks or playgrounds, almost guaranteeing that it will be closer to other citizens and what ever wildlife that calls that smaller habitat home vs. being able to fly on some of the most vast acreage located in Florida? What you call an expensive toy others call a means to put food on the table and look for the safest way in which to practice flying to ensure professional accuracy when they are on a job. The fact that our tax dollars are going into maintain these PUBLIC lands is absolutely relevant in that there are certain intangible rights regarding freedom of expression in regards to the 1st amendment of the constitution which some of us look to uphold and exercise to it's fullest extent as American Citizens. If you choose throw your rights away as a conformist to what has been a knee jerk reaction by an overly protective government policy so be it, but please don't attempt to lecture me on why I should do the same. The fact that you cannot see how two or even a hundred people can be on such vast quantities of land at most of these parks and never know each other are there regardless of if one is flying a drone or not is more than a bit one sided. I never stated that those flying drones should be able to infringe upon campers or other park goers, but the fact that there is, apparently, "no place to fly" without disturbing someone on this type of acreage is absurd and ridiculous. Good luck to you and whatever it is you find to put your energy into, I'm sure it will be very important!
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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flighttime1 Posted at 2016-10-13 00:04
Sorry... One last question. I can't figure out why you feel it's legal to fly in a national park as  ...

Read the thread Title, pretty sure it reads STATE PARKS? Pretty sure you brought in the National Parks
2016-10-12
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flighttime1
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LOL... Right. Got it.
2016-10-12
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RichJ53
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Yes, this would be nice, but a few have ruined it for everyone else. In Oregon they are closing most of the areas on the coast to drones by the Fish and Game. I fly where I can... and in some of the state parks you need to talk to the ranger in that area. Some of them are nice and for me so far I give them my flight plan and they will let me fly. The National parks are posted with drone ban signs...

Rich
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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I'm down in Florida and I've heard that you can talk to rangers on a case by case basis as well but ultimately you are still liable and are actually putting the ranger at risk as well according to the law as it stands here. I feel like this is completely unnecessary. I don't see how sectioning off certain spots as "no fly zones" such as known animal habitats, high traffic areas, campsites, etc... would hurt the parks. I really feel like if they vetted the pilot to make sure they carry legitimate insurance to cover liability and charged a reasonable permit fee, they would begin to make more money annually as drone photography and video becomes more economical for consumers and more popular. As I said before, the technology is only increasing and the "grey" area of being able to legally fly into the park without taking off or landing inside of it is completely counter productive to the safety of all involved. There are plenty of ways in which everyone can be happy imho.
2016-10-12
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flighttime1 Posted at 2016-10-13 12:04
Sorry... One last question. I can't figure out why you feel it's legal to fly in a national park as  ...

Actually, the FAA controls the airspace over the Nat. Parks while the Nat. Parks control the ground so they have the right to ban them on their land, but airspace is FAA.  There was a flyer on the Phantom forums who overflew a Park and the ranger chased him down, but was unable to do anything as the take-off and landing point was on private land outside the park's boundary along with the owner's permission.  Most drones won't get so far in from the boundary and back out so it isn't too much of a concern due to the park's acreage.

See question #45 here:  https://www.dronelaw.pro/faa-ann ... 07-uav-regulations/
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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gmccurdy@att.ne Posted at 2016-10-13 01:18
Actually, the FAA controls the airspace over the Nat. Parks while the Nat. Parks control the groun ...

The way I see it National Parks could do the same thing for drones as they do for professional photographers and avid enthusiasts, rather than criminalizing them for bringing in tripods and professional or prosumer gear in, many parks have designated areas meant for capturing some of the more popular shots. This could very easily be set up for drones with the amount of acreage in most of these parks. It's always been my opinion that there is more than one way to skin a cat in that if you are going to the park to wreak havoc you can do it with or without a drone.
2016-10-12
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-12 21:12
Again I understand but this attitude doesn't help imho. It all comes down to the support of the comm ...

Something you are overlooking is disturbing the wildlife.  From doing a shoot of some horses I can tell you they hated that thing even when it was about 200 feet away it got them freaked out.
2016-10-13
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Rinzler
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-12 22:09
I appreciate your opinion but you can't tell me on an 800+ acre parcel of land you can hear a drone  ...

FYI in winter sound travels farther in cold air. So at 100 acres I bet it could be heard and for MR to travel that entire distance is easy.
2016-10-13
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Drew Vallejo
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I live in Colorado Springs and the big draw here is Garden of the Gods. It is a beautiful state park that is definitely off limits. Although it would be amazing to capture some of the these cool formations, it is my understanding that it is indeed off limits due to wildlife. I would say that it is a bummer but I totally understand and respect the decision. To ignore that and expand on your proposal for flight in state parks though I would say that it would have to be first proven not to affect wildlife and require permit, insurance and commercial certificate. But truthfully, there is something to be said for perserving these specific places and lets be honest and say that drone crashes could definitely compromise that. Just my two cents
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Rinzler Posted at 2016-10-13 09:09
Something you are overlooking is disturbing the wildlife.  From doing a shoot of some horses I can ...

So 100% of every state park is inhabited by wildlife? As I have already mentioned buzzing wildlife, campers and park attendants is obviously something that should not happen. My point is there is more than enough space within most of these parks to designate specific flying areas which should not impede upon wildlife or other guests.
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Rinzler Posted at 2016-10-13 09:11
FYI in winter sound travels farther in cold air. So at 100 acres I bet it could be heard and for M ...

Perhaps, but the noise impact from a quad-copter at that range would be less disturbing than, lets say, a motorized boat (which are allowed in some state parks here in FL) or major highways that run along the sides of others. Again sectioning off specific fly zones away from campers and known wildlife hot spots could easily keep this from being a major nuisance to anyone or anything.  
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Drew Vallejo Posted at 2016-10-13 13:18
I live in Colorado Springs and the big draw here is Garden of the Gods. It is a beautiful state park ...

In my honest opinion recording and capturing these places would only help to preserve them. I believe that through capturing these places it would only help create awareness to those who may be unaware they even exist. I have stated here many times that I believe there should be a requirement of proof of insurance and permit as well as designated fly zones within the park which steer clear of campers, attendants and wildlife. I'm not sure about Colorado but here in FL you can already fly INTO the park legally so long as you don't take off or land inside. I fail to see how this is safer than the parks working with UAV pilots to create a safe environment for all involved. As the UAV industry continues to advance its technology the drones will be able to fly further and further away from the pilot and you will have more and more people flying further and further to capture the shots they want.
2016-10-13
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flighttime1 Posted at 2016-10-12 21:15
You managed to ignore the fact that enforcement would be a major problem. You can't search every c ...

just imagine the noise from the copter not to mention the emissions and the led and mercury dropping on the plants and vegetation later on consumed by park wild life...
Natural state ? , what about all the diesel stinking trucks running through the parks is that a Natural state to the park itself and the wildlife ?
I agree there should be an exemption to operators that carry permits, insurance and are qualified professionals, and there should be access in place to safely operate the drones...
Drones should be checked at entry gates scanned for serial number and upon departure also checked off
so there would be a proof that a specific drone had not been lost and if so then apply a fee to recover the lost unit.
It all can be done , however the government made a 10 min. long debate and decided to ban drone activities in parks.
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-13 13:54
Perhaps, but the noise impact from a quad-copter at that range would be less disturbing than, lets  ...

Or what about scenic helicopters? Is my drone going to be louder than something like this which can be heard from miles away? You say that I've overlooked this but scroll up the page and you will find that it has been mentioned and discussed.
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Drew Vallejo
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-13 12:01
In my honest opinion recording and capturing these places would only help to preserve them. I belie ...

May I ask where you obtained your understanding of flying above FL state parks. It sounds awfully suspicious. As well, flying a UAV without LOS is definitely not a safe practice, even if the technology allows it.
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Drew Vallejo Posted at 2016-10-13 14:35
May I ask where you obtained your understanding of flying above FL state parks. It sounds awfully  ...

The law in Florida states that you cannot take off or land within a state park. The state park does not control the airway above the land as it belongs to the FAA, therefore you have every right to occupy that airspace so long as you do not land or take off from within the state park. I mean there are quite a few forums out there discussing this as being the case in many states, not just FL.

I completely agree with you that flying without LOS is dangerous, that is exactly my point. Do you really think it will be the responsible pilots flying into this airspace? The state parks should be working with the community now to establish fair boundaries for those willing to follow fair rules and regulations which are mutually amicable to all parties involved rather than following a blanket ban from flying period.

It will be irresponsible consumers who end up crashing due to flying without LOS as UAV's/Drones become more technologically advanced, cheaper and easier to use.
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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Drew Vallejo Posted at 2016-10-13 14:35
May I ask where you obtained your understanding of flying above FL state parks. It sounds awfully  ...



Garden of the Gods posted to youtube 2016.... it's already happening
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flighttime1
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The obvious answer to the dangers of flying without LOS over state parks is to add those parks to the FAA no fly list. Problem solved. End of discussion.
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-13 12:46
The law in Florida states that you cannot take off or land within a state park. The state park does ...

To be honest, I wouldn't take what people discuss in forums as a solid understanding of the rules and regulations at a state level. IF it is really like this, I don't think it would hold up if something did go horribly wrong within a state park. Just my opinion. As for Garden of the Gods, yes, just like in your state parks, people are breaking the rules. Which also means that they would most likely break whatever permit and insurance clauses you would want to put in place too. Just the way it works. All you can do as a responsible pilot is follow the rules yourself. Im just saying that in my opinion, the restrictions are there for a good reason. Thats all.
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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flighttime1 Posted at 2016-10-13 14:57
The obvious answer to the dangers of flying without LOS over state parks is to add those parks to th ...

Must have finished up expending all that energy on the important stuff, huh? Just because you fly over a state park does not mean you loose LOS, lmao, I was obviously presenting a situation by which new drone pilots could easily loose LOS as drone technology advances and they can fly further and further away. My point was that it is already possible to fly into the parks capture video and stills, crash your drone, and then at the end of the day no one is held accountable. GREAT SYSTEM!! While we're at it lets have the FAA remove all airspace so no one can fly! Give me a break man, it's people like you that are what is wrong with this country today. Way to eager to let Uncle Sam have all your freedom!
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy
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GHz-Drew Posted at 2016-10-13 15:02
To be honest, I wouldn't take what people discuss in forums as a solid understanding of the rules  ...

Appreciate your opinion and concern of my facts in terms of the law, but it stands:

(15) Aircraft. No person operating or responsible for any aircraft, glider, balloon, parachute, or other aerial apparatus shall
cause any such apparatus to take off from or land in any park except in an emergency when human life is endangered or where a
designated landing facility may exist on park property.

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/legal/Rules/parks/62d-2.pdf

I also called the parks department earlier this week to verify that UAV's/Drones are umbrellaed under "other" aerial apparatus.

I guess the biggest thing to me is how many people are out there just willing to keep a blind eye to situations like Garden of the Gods rather than try to make them better for everyone involved. You are absolutely right, those people would break every rule no matter what was in place. The difference is though, that as of now there is no way to hold them accountable and we all suffer. By registering for permits, providing insurance, etc... we create a system by which those that break the law can be prosecuted as individuals rather than the community in its entirety.
2016-10-13
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TCPSBxVG66Gy Posted at 2016-10-13 13:24
Appreciate your opinion and concern of my facts in terms of the law, but it stands:

(15) Aircraft. ...

I didn't have any doubt you looked into the written rule. I would just argue that it probably wouldn't hold up if you did in fact accidentally crash your drone in a state park and cause serious harm to something or someone. You couldn't look at the authorities and say "Well, there are a few forums discussing it, so I figured it was cool as long as I flew into the park and flew out." What you seem to be describing is a grey area. The rules are put in place to protect flying in the state park. That is there purpose and reasoning for actually even having the rule. Whether you want to interpret it that way or not. But, the quote you made above seems to be actually describing landing in the park and not actually directly pertaining to RC. Our regulations in Colorado Springs have RC restrictions in the header of the rule.  
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GHz-Drew Posted at 2016-10-13 15:43
I didn't have any doubt you looked into the written rule. I would just argue that it probably woul ...

Except for the fact that the parks do not control the air space obove them. ALL of the air space within the United States of America is controlled and governed by the FAA. It's pretty simple, the parks cannot legally dictate that you cannot fly overhead the way the law stands now.

I am not advocating to practice this, I personally do not nor will I. I also don't feel like I should be put into the situation of having to make such a decision to decide if I want to capture land my tax dollars help pay for.

What you are missing here is that people will do it, have done it, and WILL continue to do it more and more as drones become more popular. I believe that a safer, more amicable situation could be created within the law to remove much of the risk involved now for both the Park and the UAV/Drone Pilot.

I don't care if you "don't think it will stand up" because what I have quoted is written law and until other laws are created to specifically change the meaning of what is established it stands. I am simply advocating that when new legislation does come about that we as a community should be fighting to maintain and even increase our right to fly rather than just giving away everything at the drop of a dime.
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flighttime1
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It's pretty clear from the wording that the rule was not written with drones in mind but instead to regulate helicopters and other aircraft to allow for flights over the parks but restrict them from being based or otherwise taking off and landing in the park. It's called commerce. Tour flights are one of the draws for the parks and they don't wish to ban them. I would certainly expect specific language pertaining to drones to be forthcoming in the future and at that time I would assume a request to the FAA to restrict the airspace. This issue really boils down to numbers. There are quite a few more people that feel drones would be dangerous and have a  negative impact overall on state and national parks versus the expensive toy folks, which, by the way includes me even though I'm a professional photographer and drones are part of my work.
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flighttime1 Posted at 2016-10-13 15:56
It's pretty clear from the wording that the rule was not written with drones in mind but instead to  ...

Perhaps, thankfully you're not a politician or lawyer and it's not your place to decide that it "only applies" to manned aircraft. The way it stands and is written, the law covers drones, period regardless of your opinion. If new legislation comes out in regards to drones specifically then it's of my opinion that those looking to expand and maintain the right to fly and capture from aerial views should be vocal, especially to people looking to swing the "ban" bat in every direction.
2016-10-13
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