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Flying Along Mexican Border at Rio Grande

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 37train5k, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. 37train5k

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    I am in Texas and can't find anything specific to flying along the country's border. I have a project I am working on and we are literally 20' from the water of the Rio Grande and can actually watch traffickers stage and cross the river and then watch the beehive of activity with helicopters, border patrol, National Guard, etc scramble to catch them all when they make a dash for it.

    I wouldn't fly due to the fear of having a problem with the Border Patrol's helicopter, but let's just say I was to fly it around over the water and get some footage of some trafficking action... Does anyone know of a specific law that tells me I can't fly along the border? aside from possibly being in the airspace of the Government's helipcopter?

    This is simply for information purposes and curiosity-- I would never fly here due to the publicity it would garner. Just hypothetical.
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The law you need to check is the Texas Privacy Act HB912.
    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83 ... 00912F.htm
    It's a bizarre and badly worded piece of legislation.
    It appears to ban photography that would be quite legal from the ground or a plane, if the photography is done from an unmanned aircraft.
    Among the many exemptions it appears to allow flying along the border (No. 14) although some sources suggest that this is pertaining to law enforcement rather than citizens - that's how badly worded the law is - you can'y really tell.

    Nice summary of HB912 for hobbyists here ...
    http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/sum ... -drone-law
     
  3. Suwaneeguy

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    I'd be more worried about getting shot at by the drug runners. They see that thing, they will shoot at it, and YOU become a target as well.
    Before you do any flying around the river there, go talk to the border patrol people.

    And for you meta4, are you like really frickin serious?
    They are in Mexico! Mexico is not part of Texas.
    Used to be, but not no more.
    Have you even read that law?

    The local news chopper is flying over your house and is taking video for the evening news because some bad guy is robbing the bank down the street. Why is it legal for them to show your house when a drone pilot has to have frickin permission?
    That part of the law is gonna get trashed.
     
  4. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Uh .. yeah - I am frickin serious.
    I have no idea what you're on about.
    They (who?) are in Mexico - not part of Texas.
    Have I read the law? Yes .. Have you?
    Maybe you should re-read my post.
    It's about a Texas law relating to flying UAVs in Texas, which is what the OP was asking about.
     
  5. Suwaneeguy

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    From the bill you cite:

    Sec. 423.002. NONAPPLICABILITY. (a) It is lawful to
    capture an image using an unmanned aircraft in this state:
    (14) of real property or a person on real property that
    is within 25 miles of the United States border;
    But here's the "Gotchya!".
    (15) from a height no more than eight feet above ground
    level in a public place, if the image was captured without using any
    electronic, mechanical, or other means to amplify the image beyond
    normal human perception;

    All that aside, the original question was, "Can I fly over the river to capture the activity?"
    Sure you can, just don't aim the camera north or you'll need to ask every homeowner for permission.

    When I said "They", I was speaking of the spectators on the Mexican side.
    Texas law does not apply.
     
  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Comprehension fail Suwanee. You need to be careful when you attempt to interpret legislation.

    Texas law does not apply to Mexico or their citizens on the south side of the river.
    But it does apply to the OP asking about flying on the Texas side.

    The original question was .. Does anyone know of a specific law that tells me I can't fly along the border?
    See the OP said ALONG the border (twice).
    Texas law does apply and exemption 14 in HB912 states that
    It is lawful to capture an image using an unmanned aircraft in this state:
    (14) of real property or a person on real property that is within 25 miles of the United States border.
    That is the opposite of your understanding that he would need landowner's permission for that area.

    Exemption 15 is just one of 19 exemptions and not related to the border. It is just another way that UAV photography can be legally undertaken according to HB912.