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Is Quad-Copters Illegal to fly over National Parks?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Eric1084, Apr 15, 2015.

?
  1. No(Under All Circumstances)

  2. Yes(Under Some Circumstances)

  3. Yes(Under All Circumstances)

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  1. Eric1084

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    Ok, I am sure this questions have been asked way too many times. But I can't seems to find a definite answer. Some official source says that it is legal if it is for recreational use and not invading anyone's privacy, and within direct visual range. But some says that it is illegal, no matter what over National Parks. I preordered the Phantom 3 Professional. So I want to be 100% sure, and not get my new phantom confiscated :) . Any thoughts? Is it illegal all all circumstances at National Parks(US), or only in some condition? Thank you.

    P.S: Here is the source where I got that shows it is now legal for recreational use, but I'm still not sure whether it is legal over National Parks.
    https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=18295
     
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  2. CityZen

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    Here is the source of the confusion: http://home.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=1601

    My reading is that it is generally forbidden, unless the superintendent of a particular park has specifically allowed it for hobbyists. Also, new rules are expected to be made ... eventually.
     
  3. SteveMann

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    http://home.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=1601

    Basically, you cannot take off or land on NPS property. You can fly over it because that is the jurisdiction of the FAA, but most park rangers don't possess that level of knowledge or common sense.
     
  4. Eric1084

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    So basically, I can't fly a DJI phantom over National Park to take some videos? Since It would be unrealistic to fly it in to National Park.
     
  5. captej26

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    I think you meant "Are"
     
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  6. 2nd2non

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    that is correct. Check out the Hover app, it shows no fly zones like airports and national parks to keep you out of trouble
     
  7. IflyinWY

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    If you are considering Yellowstone, I'll suggest you get bail ready ahead of time. Someone plopped one into a hot spring a while back and it didn't go over very well.
    https://www.google.com/#q=yellowstone+drone
     
  8. Mako79

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    I heard its illegal because you disturb the bears when they are crapping in the woods.

    But srsly, I'm from aus... i still have no idea why its illegal... was it to do with battery contamination in the event of crashing into water?
     
  9. tcope

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    It has mostly to do with people's enjoyment of what the parks have to offer. The unspoiled enjoyment of nature. No one wants 20 drones buzzing around them while taking in a breath taking view. It does also have to do with drones disturbing animals. It appears there was at least one account of someone buzzing some deer or similar animals.

    Here is the thing... the National Parks are regulated/controlled by the Federal Govt. So there are laws in place that put them in charge of how to run them.

    Don't take my post the wrong way... I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the rule.
     
  10. gfredrone

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    That was killing me too!
     
  11. Hughie

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  12. SteveMann

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    National parks are frequently adjacent to National Forests where there are no drone restrictions, so take off from the National Forest and fly over park property for your videos and return to land on the forest property. That is completely legal because the FAA is responsible for the airspace and they have not designated National Parks as no-fly zones. (After the Disney debacle they are reluctant to designate no-fly zones where aviation safety is not the goal). Mister Ranger from the NPS may disagree with you. He would be wrong.

    National parks emphasize preservation of pristine areas and the park rangers work for the National Park Service in the Department of Interior.

    National forests emphasize resource utilization, such as forestry or leases to ski resort operators, leases for cattle grazing, and other productive uses. The national forests are managed by forest rangers with the US Forest Service (USFS) in the Department of Agriculture.
     
  13. GoodnNuff

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    I'm curious where one finds these postage stamp sized National Parks where you can stand outside the park boundry and legally fly over the park recording all the naturaul beauty found therein, and STILL maintain LOS as required by the law? If one doesn't maintain LOS, then one can still be fined for reckless operation, endangering park visitors, wildlife, etc simply because you are not within LOS.
    Here in the western states we don't have such small National Parks.

    If you have deep pockets, sure, stand in a national forest and fly over the banned area. You will be investigated and you will have to defend your flight.

    "...This legal hairsplitting matters, under the Park Service’s policy memorandum, the use of remote controlled flying toys is punishable by 6 months in jail or a $5,000 fine. I have interviewed and am aware of multiple persons who have been cited by the National Park Service for flying model aircraft/small drones. Moreover, as Jason Koebler wrote, at least one person was told if he paid the citation it would be a $350 punishment, however if he went to trial to challenge the Park Service’s interpretation, he would face 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine."

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregory...t-pending-evaluation-of-their-potential-uses/
     
  14. Clipper707

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    Last year, drones were banned at Yosemite National Park with "noise" given as one of the reasons.

    "Drones can be extremely noisy, and can impact the natural soundscape."

    Ridiculous, when you hear some of the Harley Davidsons that frequent the park.
     
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  15. Clipper707

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    Steve, do you know if this applies to National Monuments?
     
  16. Eric1084

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    OK, thank you for all of the replies. How about Lake Tahoe? ;) And similar lakes/areas? Does that count as a No-Fly Zone?
     
  17. SteveMann

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    Line of sight is not the law. Yet.
     
  18. SteveMann

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    National monuments are managed by the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, or Bureau of Land Management. The properties managed by the NPS are the ones you can't take off or land on. But, as usual, most park rangers don't have a clue to the rules regarding Drone flight.

    There are few "No Fly" zones. There's a lot of places where those in charge would like to call "No Fly" but only the FAA can designate any airspace as off-limits. No city, state or park ranger can prohibit overflight - they do not have the jurisdiction. They can only determine where you can take off or land. That's all.
     
  19. GoodnNuff

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    Yes, I know.
    However it is enough to allow the NP to clain your flight was "reckless."
     
  20. SteveMann

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    "Reckless" is defined in FAR 91.13 - the National Park Service has no jurisdiction over the flight. Once you are airborne, you belong to the FAA. The NPS rangers can document the reckless operation and ask the FAA to prosecute, but the NPS rangers can't do anything other than be a witness against you.
     
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