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Illegal to fly under 400 foot?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kingpin, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Kingpin

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    Hi all. I am new to the forum and from Pennsylvania USA.
    I recently had a discussion with our chief of police who informed me he could charge me with trespassing for flying over private property below 400 foot, as well as confiscate my phantom and phone. Not to mention charge me with stalking if I recorded video or photos while doing so. He claims the Supreme Court has already decided that a landowner owns the airspace above their property up to 400 foot. Please help. I was flying well over 100 foot and doing nothing wrong.
     
    richardtomcat likes this.
  2. Kingpin

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    PS: the locals have no ordinance against this, neither does the state to the best of my knowledge


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  3. Skywalker

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    Your Chief doesn't know the law and is tapdancing.
     
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  4. GoodnNuff

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  5. JKDSensei

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    Right or wrong, your chief has the force of law behind him until you take him to court or challenge his mistakes. That means you could still end up paying fines and enduring some bad stuff, including losing your Phantom.
    Disclaimer (I am NOT a lawyer)....but what I would do is.....
    Since it was the chief, Contact the mayor and or city council with your dilemma.
    Get THEIR official response before you test the waters again with this one. If they side with the Chief, you have a harder road to travel. If they side with you get a letter from them, send a copy to the Chief and keep a copy with you when you fly. Seems he has it in for evil "drones" and you'll have to play smart.
    Good luck.

    No fee has been charged for this advice. Spokesperson, not an attorney....lol
     
    #5 JKDSensei, Feb 10, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  6. WetDog

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    Or you could just sit down with the chief over a cup of coffee nice and friendly like and see what he thinks. Bring the supporting documents. Bring the drone and show him that you can't tell Aunt Tillie from an alien at 100 feet. Show him the FAA regs.

    Of course, it might not work and he may still threaten to arrest you for following FAA guidelines, but you've done your best.
     
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  7. Skywalker

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    Good to know, GoodnNuff! A copy of of those is going into my drone case! Thanks...
     
  8. JKDSensei

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    I recently had a discussion with our chief of police who informed me he could charge me with trespassing for flying over private property below 400 foot, as well as confiscate my phantom and phone. Not to mention charge me with stalking if I recorded video or photos while doing so. He claims the Supreme Court has already decided that a landowner owns the airspace above their property up to 400 foot.

    Somehow he doesn't sound like the type that would be interested in that cup of coffee. But hey, you could try.
     
  9. Petros5678

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    .

    The chief is just that "chief". From now on stick to 1000'. Can barely make it out at that height.
    Happy flying!
     
  10. GoodnNuff

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    Fly at that height and you will be in trouble with the FAA and possibly face a reckless endangerment charge.
     
  11. Petros5678

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    Nah, let's not get to wussy about this.
     
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  12. JKDSensei

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    lol, you have WAY too much faith in gubbment.
    How many people fly that high AND GET ARRESTED?
    Not that I would do it or recommend it, but government agents aren't standing on every potential flight location waiting to bust people :rolleyes:

    Folks, PLEASE don't go over 400 ft. "Please"
    (being nice is better than threatening folks)
     
  13. Petros5678

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    Look. Your 400' ceiling might seem all safe and cozy. The chief doesn't agree. It's his **** town.
     
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  14. GoodnNuff

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    LOL, whatever.
     
  15. JKDSensei

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    My Spidey sense is tingling.....
    A mod is about to chime in......
     
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  16. Lonewolf

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    Not really. You don't argue with him but you also do not want to take him to court & have him publicly humiliated when the true facts of the law and FAA guidelines were unknown to him. Calmly present those docs to him. Once he's informed of the facts give him a chance to retract his threat & leave gracefully.
     
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  17. GoodnNuff

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    Kingpin, you need to do your own research on the laws and follow them. It is bad practice to take much of the advice offered on these threads.

    There are plenty of idiots flying drones, some of them frequent these boards. All of them are the reason we are now all required to register and why there are so many restrictions being placed on how and where we can fly.

    The ONLY agency that has ANY authority over our national airspace is the FAA. Local government or LEO do not have that authority and cannot make up laws that supersede the Federal Authority.
    Happy Flying.
     
    #17 GoodnNuff, Feb 10, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
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  18. Petros5678

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    Mods don't care To babysit you. Clean discourse is encouraged
     
  19. JKDSensei

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    When you run across a cop (even a "Top Cop", who feels they are right)...shoving documents in their face and pressing your point usually has one ending....and it's usually not good for the other person right or wrong.

    Again, the "best" course of action is to go to the Chief's BOSS....and in a friendly manner present your documents and case to them.
    If they feel you are right, you will never need to confront that Chief again....plus...he'll be on notice to steer clear of any more potential harassment.
    Win / Win
     
  20. JKDSensei

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    Has nothing to do with babysitting you.
    Has to do with the discussion