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Discouraging experience flying.....any advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pam, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Pam

    Pam

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    discouraging experience flying today...

    Went to a new location, a county park with a RC airfield open to public as long as you have an AMA number. within 5 miles of two local airfields, one a large military installation, one a seaplane base, called both with flight info (have great relationship with both!)

    Learned from this forum to take off discretely and fly high and quietly when in a new place. I did both. Late in day so sun was low and reflecting on the bird so was easier to go further and stay in LOS but distance from home point was probably no more than 1,100 feet. Did a big loop to the bay and back on a deserted park, or so I thought.

    First, car pulls up and a man gets out and starts challenging my right to fly there rather aggressively. You can't fly here. It's only open to AMA members. While still maintaining eye contact on my return flight I tell him I am an AMA member. He demands to see proof which I tell him I will provide upon landing. Land as quickly as possible and show him. He challenges again saying I need FAA registration. I show him my numbers on the drone. His tone changes and he starts sharing his background...president of club, being friendly, I should join and contribute. Sure I'd like to support the hobby.

    Then a county parks pickup pulls up. Before the driver could say anything, the RC club president yells, "she's not a member!" County guy proceeds to tell me he had a complaint from 2 birdwatchers that they were being "buzzed" by a drone. I informed him I was at 400 feet and only airborne for 6+ minutes...one loop and back. At this point he says:

    - drones are illegal in Maryland except in the little footprint of the RC airfield
    - drones illegally bother birds
    - those bird watchers have a right to privacy

    The RC club president agreed with county and said that we need to abide by their rules since they lease the land to the club.

    I asked county if there was any info or handouts I could provide him to help when people complain about this legal activity. He wasn't interested. club president got angry and told me to comply....doesn't matter what the law is, he said, do what they want.

    I politely told him I would be happy to make a contribution to the club but out of respect for them I wouldn't want to join as I would not just want to fly on the tiny rectangle of land they were self limiting to. He turned his back on me, obviously scared to damage relationship with county.

    I obviously won't fly from that location again, but would like to cover that waterfront area again from a friends house nearby.

    There are just so many things wrong here and so many in authority believe that drone pilots are doing something illegal.

    (Btw, I called the army airfield tower and told them I was finished flying...in front of the club president and county guy....glad they got the hear my end of the friendly conversation...I was even asked how the flight went.)

    These two obviously didn't want to hear anything other than their version of the "truth"

    What do you do about this?
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Not everyone that tells you what they think the law says is correct.
    If drones are illegal in Maryland, they haven't done a very good job of getting the word out so people would know.
    Digging for myself, this is all I can find:
    This New laws in Va., Md. and D.C. regulate drones, Uber, social media
    dated June last year:
    In Maryland, a new policy will prohibit counties and municipalities from enacting their own laws on the use of drones, giving the state and federal government exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the devices. The law also requires the state to study the benefits and concerns related to drone use and propose rules by the end of 2018 for how they can be used safely.
    And this http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/current-unmanned-aircraft-state-law-landscape.aspx
    dated this month, says:
    Maryland SB 370 specifies that only the state can enact laws to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems. This preempts county and municipal authority. The bill also requires a study on specified benefits.
    I'm not an authority on Maryland laws but I suspect your friendly local sources of drone law information might have no idea what they are talking about.
     
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  3. ftttu

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    That would be one RC field I'd never return to. Anyway, my drone flying wouldn't be at an RC field anyway since the flying is not just to fly, but to shoot video and images. They flying is secondary.

    I'm a retired law enforcement officer and a wild bird photographer. Most people with any authority will eventually abuse the power from the most minor to the top levels, so this park guy stating they were against the law in his state is failing to serve. Really sad. Also, if drones scared the birds and got them moving, I'd be happy. Yes, drones can be annoying but reasonableness and the Golden Rule is the way to go other than by following the rules and laws.

    The president sounds like a first race clown. If someone was setup with their telescope equipment at our astronomy club's dark sky site without being a member, we'd be welcoming them and trying to get them to join the club. Clowns all around!
     
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  4. Yeager74

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    The Brits invented a word called "w@nkers", describing those kind of sad human beings (that you met at the RC airfield). Sorry for your experience, wish you better luck next time you go fly.
     
    #4 Yeager74, Jun 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  5. Mark The Droner

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    I'm not only in MD but I'm also in the DC SFRA and I fly as often as possible - 2-3 times a week. I am in contact with a small airport 6-7 miles away, and they say they are "drone friendly" and encourage my flying and say they have many manned aircraft pilots that "fly drones", sometimes right there from the airport. So I think Meta's post #2 and links are probably pretty accurate.
     
  6. Pam

    Pam

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    Thank you all for your advice and encouragement.

    I agree that RC fields are not what we want to do. But I thought it would be a more acceptable way to take off and land from. Guess not.

    Agree that there is an epidemic of abuse of power in our society today....not just drone related....

    It's a shame when people don't even want to hear any other point of view, instead assuming that they are right no matter what.

    I really am struggling to find places to fly in northeastern Maryland.
     
  7. Mark The Droner

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    I've found rural church parking lots are pretty good. They are usually empty and usually have farm fields right next to them.
     
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  8. fizzlefish

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    Maryland resident here. What county was this in?
     
  9. fizzlefish

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  10. Pam

    Pam

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    Thank you fizzlefish! That makes it quite clear, doesn't it?

    Btw, I am in Harford County.

    I think the problem is being created in part by the adoption of the media-reported "evil" drones perspective....

    Combined with the abuse of power ftttu spoke of.

    But in this case, no one wanted information, no matter how graciously supplied.
     
  11. fizzlefish

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    No problem. I live in A.A. County. The only issue I have ran into was in a park where it was listed online that you cannot fly there. After talking to the park police it was agreed upon that I cannot control it from the park grounds. I moved outside the park to a nearby parking area and flew from there without them being able to do anything. They were not happy about it but after our conversation knew they couldn't do much about it. I am also lucky enough to be from a law enforcement family(Mother and Father both retired officers) and am friends with many officers in the area. They do not have clear laws in place to enforce anything but unfortunately and many will interpret how they want to. If you get a hot headed rookie they will take it and you will be required to go the legal route to get it back.
     
  12. ftttu

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    They may not be able to do anything about it in a legal since, but........THEY HAVE GUNS!!!!!! GUNS that can shoot down our precious drones just out of spite! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

    BTW, Pam, my wife's name is Pam.
     
  13. m0j0

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    I will have to disagree. Most LEOs do not take things they are not authorized to take. At least in the United States they don't. You may find the occasional dummy that will seize your property without cause... Most seasoned officers don't want to get sued though. Seizing property without authorization can/does get officers sued and nobody likes that.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  14. Formstone

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    I also live in MD and AA County like fizzlefish. Was that the large county park over in Severna Park?

    I have flown from various areas and even right here near BWI with a call to the tower and staying under 150' to test updates. BWI tower has been very cool to talk to as well.

    There is an RC field right at the 5 mile edge of BWI in the Baltimore Highlands on the Patapsco, they are clear about AMA but that's all. If I fly out of there, I launch from the launching ramps instead.

    As to Northeastern MD, there should be lots of areas. Ferry Point, Susquehanna state park ( stay away from the damns ) and up through Elk Neck state park.

    Governor Hogan was pretty clear about studying UAS before any new laws. I think the state has enough on its hands as is.

    I've been flying off the marina and just the other day did my first on the water launch from the RIB. Then tested follow me mode while buzzing Rock Creek, Again, no issues and the DNR boat was having fun watching, they were too busy ticketing jet skis with no registration.
     
  15. fizzlefish

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    Downs park is the one i had trouble with. It appears I was reported by someone. I have not been to a RC field in MD yet though. AMA membership required? I have talked to BWI on a few occasions now and have been no issues there. Ive spoke to an Erica in the control tower a few times who seems to have been reading from the FAA memo sent out to them but as i said very polite.
     
  16. snerd

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    Sounds like you ran into a "good old boy" network. Things have always been done this way, and we ain't changing them now! Plus................. you're a girl!! Birdwatchers buzzed at 400' Feet lol!! Don't let the chumps get you down. Totally typical of the few fixed-wing clubs that want nothing to do with any new-fangled technology. You're light-years above them in character and knowledge, just keep on keeping on.
     
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