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Banned from flying over the river HELP

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by skyhighdiver, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. skyhighdiver

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    So as I’m flying over the Missouri river along the South Dakota Nebraska border taking pictures of an old railroad bridge clearly over as I launched from my boat. When I am yelled at through a bull horn from shore by a park ranger to come over. I see a sheriff’s car parked with him as well so I bring my craft down, pull up anchor and drive over.

    I’m told it is illegal to fly drones in a national park and to not fly anymore. Not trying to be being confrontational or wanting to push for a ticket I calmly ask I thought these are state parks on both sides of the river (As you have to have a state park sticker to launch boat or camp) he said no their national parks as the army core of engineers owns the water way (there is a dam approx. 1 mile up river)

    So I ask ok so how far away from the **** do I need to be if I’m over the water? I’m just filming boats skiers and bridges. He tells me 2 locations making up approx. a 40 mile stretch up and down river. Quoiting in his words a 1996 ban on drones in all nation parks. So Now I know he is unsure and blowing smoke up my a#%.But I said ok and loaded up and moved on.
    As a side note about this time a helicopter comes flying up the river appox 100-150ft off the water and fly’s right up to the dam, hovers and fly’s around with tourist taking picture. And fly’s back down the river.
    Wow really and my little drone if causing wildlife problems and bothers park goers but that thing is just fine

    NOW IM LOOKING FOR HELP
    1. After some google research I see the national director banned drones in nation parks but each park must right there own rules and implement and only about 8 have so far.
    2. I can’t find the exact law or rule they are using in general or park specific
    3. Although I don’t agree with! it ok they banned them in parks ,but how do they ban them over a public river especially with privet homes and docks all along and a city, There has to be some limit to the distance of control and if so how do I find that

    I have found the regional nation park directors number for this area

    As well as the state parks director (since it was a state park ranger)

    And will try to contact them for clarification as I film a lot of sail boat races in this area and need to have some documentation as to what I can and can’t do.

    I thought with all the vast knowledge here someone may have a few links or people I could contact or actual rule or law numbers So I can have documentation next time I’m approached and don’t have to cave so easily.

    Thanks for your help any and all

    OLD BRIGE NOW A PEDESTRIAN CROSSING ONLY



    update update

    I made a phone call to the regional NPA in my area and left message for Head Patty Trap
    I was called back by Superintendent Mark Engler who was very friendly and very helpful after explaining my case and location he sees no reason I should not be able to fly at this location. And explained the Ranger may have been wrong, as this is a new policy and they still trying to figure it out.

    He put me in contact with Steve Thede Deputy Superintendent for the district. Who was also super friendly and seemed genuinely for our cause. He also seen no reason I could not fly in this area as it is outside the nation park boundary’s
    I explained that the Ranger said (with the dam being approx. one mile away in this area that the army corps of engineers was national and they asked for them to not allow drones) I explained that I would like helicopters to stop flying over the dam as it loud and scares my kids but the rangers can’t stop that without a law on the books and drones are no different. He agreed and knew of no law or ban on drones in this area

    He also informed me for what its worth that if I fly from private land or land just outside the parks I can overfly them as they only ban taking off or landing in park boundaries or waters and not over flights. He Said not the best relationship builder but if went to court I would win as per there wording.
    I Don’t know that this would work in all parks! I feel if I fly up to Mt Rushmore with my drone no matter where I’m flying from I think there coming to get me. But if you’re out in the badlands and can overfly from Outside Park boundaries I think you would be ok as per his direct quote.

    Anyway he has contacted the local Park ranger managing the actual area I was flying Superintendent Rick Clark to check out the situation and inform him of our findings from the top down.
    Steve Said he is sure the flights can continue and will get back to me within a few days.

    Side note from the top all the way down comments were made of how great I handled this situation ,by landing saying ok for today looking into it and trying to contact the right people. This goes along ways towards getting the help you need VS a sorry don’t fly there its banned with no looking into.
    Good news I have the direct line to regional manager division manager local park manager now so if I ever have trouble again I can keep flying and say here please call them as its already been cleared
    .
    Good to know not all Rangers are on the ban them bandwagon
     

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  2. lignow

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  3. MadMitch88

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    Basically all these ignorant cops and park rangers are just plain jealous that you got a Phantom and they don't --- they could care less about public safety. Like you said, I'd be a lot more concerned about a real helicopter crashing down on my head than some 2 lb. plastic toy that has a lot more autonomous features to prevent it from crashing than a $1 million helicopter.

    But when has anyone accused the police of being calm, objective and intelligent when it comes to our hobby?

    I'll probably have a massive coronary if I met a cop who was friendly and fair about civilian UAV's. Of course, they seem to have no problem committing Constitutional crimes against the people they swore to protect when they fly their drones anywhere they **** well please, eh? Welcome to the Gestapo Police State of America.

    :mrgreen:
     
  4. srandall25

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    Apparently, the National Park Service has no policy preventing one from flying their drone/unmanned aircraft over the national park, as long as they are not operating the unmanned aircraft from the NPS lands or waters. They only prohibit the operation of the drone/unmanned aircraft within park bounderies.. not the flight over the park. The NPS actually emphasizes this in their own policy memo.

    Here is an excerpt from the NPS policy memo dated 19 June 2014. Link here: http://www.nps.gov/policy/PolMemos/PM_14-05.htm

    Paragraph 9.
    The NPS has the authority to regulate or prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS. As a result, the compendium closures required by the Policy Memorandum only apply to launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS within the boundaries of the park. The closures do not apply to launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft from or on non-federally (e.g., private or state) owned lands located within the exterior boundaries of the park. The closures do not apply to the flight of unmanned aircraft in the airspace above a park if the device is launched, landed, and operated from or on lands and waters that are not administered by the NPS.

    The link to the Policy Memorandum above is straight from the NPS.gov website. This is their policy. You CAN legally (and according to the NPS's own policy) fly over their park. They even have that part underlined as if they were emphasizing it. I recommend you print a hardcopy of the policy and carry it with you if you decide to fly over this area again. You asked for help... You got help!! Use your new knowledge wisely.. :)
     
  5. skyhighdiver

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    THIS IS A GREAT TALKInG POINT FOR ME WHEN I CONTACT THEM BUT, my thought is they will say even if you take off from the state park you are over federal waterways using this

    2. The compendium closures required by this Policy Memorandum do not apply to launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft from or on non-federally owned lands located within the exterior boundaries of units of the National Park System. However, in accordance with 36 CFR 1.2(a)(3), the compendium closure applies to such activities conducted on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States located within the boundaries of the National Park System.


    (3) Waters subject to the jurisdiction
    of the United States located within the
    boundaries of the National Park System,
    including navigable waters and
    areas within their ordinary reach (up
    to the mean high water line in places
    subject to the ebb and flow of the tide
    and up to the ordinary high water
    mark in other places) and without regard
    to the ownership of submerged
    lands, tidelands, or lowlands;
     
  6. srandall25

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    well yes, if the waters are considered within the NPS boundaries then you cannot operate the drone in those waters. The question is, are those waters really within the NPS boundaries? How does the fact that the Army Corp of Engineers owning the water way, make the state land part of a National Park? This makes absolutely no sense... But to be honest, all you have to do is prove that the water way isn't within a NPS boundary... If it's not, you can operate from that property assuming that the State doesn't have a policy or ordinance against flying a UAV in that particular area. As you pointed out, most officials trying to enforce such policies, regs, ordinance, etc... don't really know what they're talking about. They often can't quote or cite a regulation or law that backs up what they're trying to enforce. all they know is that they've seen a lot of negative publicity on drones lately and that the NPS recently put a ban on drones in their parks.. so now when any official sees one, they just assume it's illegal to fly it there... Every State is different. Most States do not have clear regulations, policies or ordinances to ban such activities because it's only really becoming an issue since the Vision+ was released (IMHO)... Now everyone is scrambling to ban this technology and at the same time, totally over reacting... I digress... :)

    btw, i seriously doubt they would even mention that paragraph you just quoted. You mentioned it because you're thoroughly analyzing every word of the document. A lot of these folks barely know their own policies or that a policy even exist...
     
  7. skyhighdiver

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    I guess my first thing is to find out what they consider there national park area.
    I mean can they ban me from a whole river for 40 miles I mean really
    Ok I take off from the marina privately owned inside the park fly over the river to film a sailboat race on the river and now I'm a criminal :oops:
     
  8. CRankin

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    The first thing I'd wonder is why they called you over to the shore. You might want to check the jurisdiction that each of the folks claimed they have with some sort of unbiased source (police and law enforcement in general don't necessarily have a reputation of telling the truth much).

    My guess is that they might have known that they didn't have jurisdiction to enforce their own made-up rules where you were (in the middle of the river), so they wanted to entice you to come to shore. You might have done better staying in the middle of the river and having them come to you. Depending on the situation, that's something I would have considered.
     
  9. srandall25

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    Even if the Federal government owns that river it still doesn't make it A national Park. There should be a listing somewhere of all national Parks. See if that area is on the list. If it's not it's not a national Park. If it's not a national Park then they need to quote you or show you what other regulation or ordinance states that you cannot fly there.
     
  10. witold

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    As srandall25 points out, NPS recognizes their authority over the lands they hold, but not the air above it. As such, they prohibit you bringing a drone and taking off from their parks to fly in the park, but at least in theory, they will not complain if you stand outside park grounds to take off and go fly above NPS land.

    It's somewhat similar to a private property owner telling people that X is not allowed and asking whoever they want to leave for whatever reasons they please.
     
  11. EMCSQUAR

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  12. flyNfrank

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    My advice would be to never fly there again and forget about it rather then pushing it into something it doesn't need to be. Just think about all the rest of everywhere that you can fly, an peacefully.

    But..........for the sake of having some arrogant creep actually ruin your day. I would take a little enjoyment from the situation. I would put together a fake flyer that shows a large event is taking place at this park you mentioned. And in the flier you are calling out thousands of hobbyist to come fly and participate in the $25,000 to Win Aerial Contest. Just deliver them all around the local area.......and of coarse never show up.
     
  13. skyhighdiver

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    I can’t just drop it as I love to film the sail boat races and we are at this location almost every weekend. I’m not going to act like a pushy drone idiot with them but after further research the area I was flying is NOT in a national park and is NOT in a no fly zone. So after pulling all my info together (maps park boundaries and park ban code) I’m ready to contact both the regional NPS office and the state level park rangers as they were with the NPR ranger.
    To explain why I feel there was a mistake made and that hopefully future problems will not transpire if flights are made in this area.
    Also I will care all this paperwork in my case for future contact if it happens.
     
  14. MapMaker53

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    It might take longer, but actually writing a letter to the appropriate agencies via snail mail with that question might get the answer you want on their official stationary - which you can then produce the next time authorities tell you otherwise. I would explain the the authority that you are a law abiding citizen and that you always go out of your way to make sure that what you do is legal -- and then produce the letter. (Make a lot of copies for yourself.)
     
  15. CarlJ

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    If this is a National Park you're just screwed, can't fly there anymore. I know people think they've found this magnificent loophole, but the whole idea is retarded. You need an attorney, plain and simple. Not having representation means they won't take you seriously.

    I had a similar situation with the local police, and they informed me of some bullshit law (that wasn't even a law) forbid me from flying in the state at all. It took some time and a meeting with the mayor and city counsel, but the police were corrected, and I'm allowed to fly with some restrictions.

    Being right didn't mean that I had won, the police take every opportunity to pester me whenever they can. Should you prevail you should expect similar treatment, they won't appreciate you pointing out their mistake, and they'll find ways to make you pay.

    Be careful of the advice that you get here, these guys are not your friends, and will not come to your aid.

    Get an attorney, and make this a matter of public record.
     
  16. tscott

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  17. srandall25

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    He stated that this is not a National Park. The other point made is that you can indeed fly over a National Park if operating it outside park bounderies. The NPS recognizes this in their own policy. So for the sake of argument, assuming this is a National Park, he would be able to fly over it in while operating the drone outside park boundaries and be perfectly legal... assuming no other State or city ordinance for this location was in effect.

    Regarding the comment "Be careful of the advice that you get here, these guys are not your friends, and will not come to your aid."... Other than the obvious joke someone made about the flyer and aerial contest... I didn't see any bad info provided in this thread.. What I provided is factual with a link to the NPS policy. I agree that one should be careful of advice... but I wouldn't make a statement like that based on what I've seen in this thread up to this point. My advise would be to this gentlemen to handle it exactly as he already described... Approaching the appropriate authorities with the legal information and ensuring folks know the rights, laws, regulations, city ordinances, etc... is something we all need to see more of. There is clearly a lack of education among authorities when it comes to handling this new technology. There is a lot of gray in this world. Hopefully things will become more black and white sooner than later...
     
  18. MapMaker53

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    Once you get someone to listen, it might also help to show that you have liability insurance through AMA membership, if you happen to be a member. I just joined so I would have that coverage - just in case by bird decides to drop out of the sky like a brick and hurt someone. http://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/membership/overview.aspx
     
  19. CarlJ

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    I have friends in Park Service that disagree, but I'm sure you know better.
     
  20. srandall25

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    You have friends in the 'National' Park Service that disagree with their own policy? I'm not stating an opinion. I'm quoting their own policy...

    The paragraph below from the NPS policy memo dated 19 June 2014 couldn't be any more clear. Link here: http://www.nps.gov/policy/PolMemos/PM_14-05.htm

    Paragraph 9.
    The NPS has the authority to regulate or prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS. As a result, the compendium closures required by the Policy Memorandum only apply to launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS within the boundaries of the park. The closures do not apply to launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft from or on non-federally (e.g., private or state) owned lands located within the exterior boundaries of the park. The closures do not apply to the flight of unmanned aircraft in the airspace above a park if the device is launched, landed, and operated from or on lands and waters that are not administered by the NPS.

    I don't know better... I only know what their policy states...