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Another flying site bites the dust - Hershey, PA

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Morgon, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Morgon

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    Up in Hershey this weekend for some camping with the folks. I brought my Phantom because, uh, why wouldn't you?
    It's a campground with some decent wide-open spaces. [For the strict 'no flying around people' folks: While obviously there's some pedestrian movement, the vast majority of camping areas are under the cover of trees, and I spent my flight time directly above me (with nobody but me/family), or just outside the grounds.]

    Anyway, I got a few flights in this weekend. Was taking it for an evening run tonight (Saturday) and as I was packing up, one of the park security folks walked over and informed me there's an 'unwritten rule' that "drones" are not permitted due to privacy concerns. I was courteous, of course, but kindly informed him that a) it wasn't a drone, b) while there is a camera, you cannot identify anyone at the heights it generally flies, and c) these are only going to get more popular, so they should think about writing it sooner rather than later.

    He informed me that he's only relaying with the park management have told him, as they feel guests would be uncomfortable. It's not an invalid concern, but of course, I didn't experience that. Those that saw it were simply curious and thought it was neat (.. and catering to mass ignorance is dumb). I do intend on writing to them to ask them to reconsider... but in the meantime, I thought it'd be a good general FYI to anyone in the area or planning to be.
     
  2. 480sparky

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    I'd tell him I have an 'unwritten rule' not to patronize places like theirs in the future, and that 'unwritten rule' includes advocating the same for everyone I know.
     
  3. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    If they have privacy concerns about toy flying cameras, they'd better make sure no-one comes in with a regular digital camera or a mobile phone. There's no telling how they can violate people's privacy with those things.
     
  4. doug86

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    so, they would be fine with you flying a drone that has no camera?
     
  5. MadMitch88

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    I wonder if this same park official chases down every commercial and private manned aircraft that flies over the campground for violating this "unwritten rule" of privacy? Why does this campground violate Federal law by claiming to own it's airspace up to infinity?
     
  6. Morgon

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    Doubtful. I'm sure they would say they'd make no distinction. He didn't explicitly mention the camera, just that the concern is that people would be uncomfortable simply seeing it overhead. Typical kneejerk/fear response.
     
  7. queue

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    In contrast to some of the other posts here, I'd advocate that you take the security fellow's side, respect his authoritah, and if you'll be back at the same location, develop a friendly relationship. The regular grunts who enforce the rules are also the ones most likely to grant you a "temporary exemption".
     
  8. Wedeliver

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    I am sorry to hear of your experience. Something like that can drain the fun out of life. I do wonder a couple of things. Is this a private campground, County, State?? If it is private I would think and I would support the rules that a private park might want to have. We can always not spend our money there. Also we might want to rethink our response that our Phantoms are not Drones. We have all seen the Parrot AR Drone, tomato, tomoto, potato, pototo. (I know my spelling sucks but you get the idea) So, my gentle suggestion is to let folks see what our cameras see, how we do not have zoom and if we are more then 20' away things get small. Offer a demostration, but if you are to do a demonstration keep spectators at a distance from that killing machine (I am working on a script where we drop a heavy lifter into a crowd and heads go flying everywhere).
    Finally, I own and operate an RV Park. At this point I have been the only person flying here and I want to have an AMA approved airport here, but I also advertise that my park is very quite and I need to maintain that. Also, your flying got somebodys attention. Was it the noise that made folks call security? Now for my last question and the most important one. Did you go to Hershey factory and see the giant chocolate kiss?

     
  9. Suwaneeguy

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    This brings up a good question for someone to ask an attorney who knows the federal and state laws.
    As I understand it, as a property owner, I own the property. I may or may not own the rights to the minerals in the earth below it, and I may or may not own any rights to the sky above it.
    In some countries, property owners also own the mineral and aerial rights. But not in the USA, AFAIK.

    In one video on youtube, a pilot takes off and lands within a city park. The pilot was cited under a city ordinance.
    I asked Peter Sachs, dronelawjournal.com, if I could be cited for merely flying over the park. He said, no.
     
  10. Wedeliver

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    I have learned in my life that a flat statement like the above by an attorney can get me in trouble (and then I gotta pay the guy to defend me). Yeah, he can't be cited but I sure can. Who knows what law the police might use. Disturbing the peace seems like a simple one. I know a lot a cities have made laws about things that make noise that bothers other people. Especially in a place, like a peaceful park. For discussion purposes, what do you all think of Mr. Sachs lawyering?
     
  11. Flying Cephlopod

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    With or without a camera, quadcopters are drones:
    "Drone" fits the bill. I posted the following in June:

    Merriam Webster defines drone as:

    1 : the male of a bee (as the honeybee) that has no sting and gathers no honey
    2 : one that lives on the labors of others : parasite
    3 : an unmanned aircraft or ship guided by remote control

    In the preceding list, definition #3 fits the bill for a wide range of UAV's, including RC quadcopters.

    Furthermore, American Heritage Dictionary defines drone as--in particular, see #4:

    1. A male bee, especially a honeybee, that is characteristically stingless, performs no work, and produces no honey. Its only function is to mate with the queen bee.
    2. An idle person who lives off others; a loafer.
    3. A person who does tedious or menial work; a drudge: "undervalued drones who labored in obscurity" (Caroline Bates).
    4. A pilotless aircraft operated by remote control.
     
  12. Morgon

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    It's owned by Hersheypark, so it is a private park. (Although who knows how deep the rabbit hole goes on who owns the state in that area :p - After all, all the highways are paved brown in the area!)

    I don't think so. I'm pretty sure security was just doing rounds and saw it. I didn't fly low enough for it to make that much noise - certainly not over the general noise made by kids, campfires, and the long train that passes directly next to the campground! They did see the lights, but like I said, nobody seemed concerned; people didn't seem backwoods-enough to think it was a UFO ready to abduct them or anything. The security guard didn't come across as if someone had been concerned, just that they may be concerned. In other words, pure kneekjerk conjecture.

    This seems to echo the experiences of others who have posted threads about federal park employees stating (or otherwise inferring) they could fly over a park as long as they weren't standing on park/federal property.