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No drones in MD state parks?

Discussion in 'Northeast USA' started by FotoGeek, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. FotoGeek

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    Yesterday I was flying my P3 in a state park in Maryland. I was approached by a park cop and was told I could not fly in the park. To my knowledge there are currently no laws prohibiting this (yet) but I just packed up and left. Is this in fact illegal and I'm just not aware?
     
  2. tcope

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    I cannot find any state law online. Did you ask the officer for more information in the law? Did you see any obvious signs that state this? Most likely the park will post their rules. You need to look there for more information. Feel free to call them as well.
     
  3. FotoGeek

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    There are no state laws on the books against it (yet). There were no signs prohibiting the flying of UAV's. I also checked their website and there were no rules against it listed. I did not challenge the park police...just didn't feel like getting into a confrontation.
     
  4. generalshiny

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    I'm not an expert, but got my drone recently and I'm trying not to do anything stupid/illegal with it. I could not find anything of the sort. The State Legislature has prohibited counties/towns from making their own drone laws. Nothing obvious on the DNR website either.
     
  5. tcope

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    You are not challenging anyone, you are asking for the information on the law. Should residence not be able to know what laws apply to them?

    I'd recommend contacting the people in charge of state parks and confirming if there is a law. If not, get their information / confirmation and fly away. Sometimes people like to impose their personal rules on other people. If people don't call them in this, they will feel the right to continue.
     
  6. FotoGeek

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    Trust me, I agree w/ you 100%. I am a photographer and I have had many situations where overzealous police tried to prevent me from taking pictures in public places. I know the law about photography and I feel confident in challenging police who tell me I can't photograph (Thanks to the the Photography Is Not a Crime' movement). I'm new to aerial photography and have only had my P3 for a little over a week. I'm pretty sure I've read all the applicable FAA laws, and I have searched for any state laws - I just wasn't 100% sure so I didn't push the issue. Cops don't like people who know their rights.
     
  7. SteveMann

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    Here we go again:
    49 USC ยง40103 - Sovereignty and use of airspace
    (a) Sovereignty and Public Right of Transit.โ€”
    (1) The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States.

    Only the FAA may regulate flight.
    Only the FAA may create a no-fly-zone.

    Amateur legislators in city hall or state governments cannot regulate flight. They cannot declare a "no fly zone". That is exclusively the jurisdiction of the FAA.

    What they may do is prohibit takeoff and landing on property they control. Parks, for example. If you look there will likely be a rule prohibiting the operation of a model aircraft in the park. Your drone is a model aircraft - accept it or argue with a judge. Operate does not mean fly, though many think it does. The FAA defines an operation as a takeoff or a landing.

    You can take off from private property, fly over anything that the FAA doesn't prohibit, then return to land back on private property, and you have never operated in the local jurisdiction.
     
  8. DroneDog

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    Section 15. Powered Model Airplanes and Rockets Chapter 5
    No powered model airplanes or rockets shall be flown or launched from any park area except on officially designated areas or by permit.

    Section 1. Aeronautical Activities Chapter 6
    Aeronautical activities are permitted pursuant to airport regulations. Airplanes, helium/hot air balloons, hang gliders, parachutes, ultra-light planes, or any other person operated aircraft shall not be flown or launched from any Commission property except in officially designated areas by permit.

    From Park Rules and Regulations
    Granted, you didnt specific which county you were in & this applies to 2 specific counties...
    Park Rules and Regulations
    GOVERNING USE OF COMMISSION PARKS AND RECREATION FACILITIES IN PRINCE GEORGE'S AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES
     
  9. FotoGeek

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    I wonder if that law is legal?

    http://www.faa.gov/uas/regulations_policies/media/UAS_Fact_Sheet_Final.pdf


    "Because Federal registration is the exclusive means for registering UAS for purposes of operating an aircraft in navigable airspace, no state or local government may impose an additional registration requirement on the operation of UAS in navigable airspace without first obtaining FAA approval."

    "A navigable airspace free from inconsistent state and local restrictions is essential to the maintenance of a safe and sound air transportation system."

    "...even complimentary state regulation is impermissible. Field preemption reflects a congressional decision to foreclose any state regulation in the area, even if it is parallel to federal standards.โ€
     
  10. tcope

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    Landing and taking off is local law enforcement. Airspace is the FAA.
     
  11. FotoGeek

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    "No powered model airplanes or rockets shall be flown or launched"

    The FAA is clear that local and state cannot regulate this...sounds like this state law CLEARLY is in violation of that!
     
  12. Res41cue

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    Unfortunately, Ive already found out Maryland is starting to look at drone owners like gun owners. Drones are evil. Ive run into this with cops at parks and although they have been very polite, sometimes it better just to politely apologize and leave. Dont make an issue of it and make things worse. For tht reason, I keep most of my flying outside of MD at my farm in PA. The media has done us no favors. I have flown RC aircraft at parks for years and now thats changed due to bad press. Ive also run into cops who are fascinated and I always offer to show them the craft and let them fly it. If its going to be an issue, I just pack up and leave. No biggie. I think after Christmas and all the goobers get a drone, its only going to get harder for us evil folk.
     
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  13. DroneDog

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    States Adopt Drone Usage Laws, Feds in Midst of Regulatory Process

    States Adopt Drone Usage Laws, Feds in Midst of Regulatory Process

    September 2, 2015
    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the past two years have seen 26 states pass legislation concerning drones, as reported in Route Fifty. The laws range widely in their treatment of drones, from the mildly limiting to the extremely restrictive, the article describes.


    Not arguing it, but I know the states have rights where it applies to their state parks, which the OP said they were in. Round here they are Park Rangers, not Park Cops but whatever.

    Delaware -- DNREC Parks Enforcement reminds visitors that flying drones is restricted in Delaware State Parks

    Virginia - Rules and Regulations
     
  14. DroneDog

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    I agree with Res41cue, I'm also a gun owner & ex military, its just not worth being considered one of those "ahole" people, the rangers & cops are just like us, they are tasked with enforcing laws, rules & regs they may or may not like but its part of their job.
    If they tell me to pack it & go, I do, I may be a touch mouthy about it, but not about the person tasked with enforcing it, that I may plainly clear the complaints are about the rule not the person.
     
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  15. FotoGeek

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    I agree also, thats why in my initial post I said I just packed up and left. Until the FAA or some citizens takes this to court.. we will always be targeted. Just like photography was once a crime.
     
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  16. DroneDog

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    FotoGeek, I agree with you also, you did the right thing. I could only find that one link on the 2 MD counties SP's, you have what? 10 or so?
    Theres no sense in being the bad apple that ruins it for the others, hell, we've already got enough of them out there. I for one do not want the SP's to go the way of the NP's & Wildlife Areas.
     
  17. Res41cue

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    Hopefully the FAA will change the rules in 2016 and we can use these things for professional photography without a 333 exemption. But that still wont change the park ruling... Maybe people will eventually see what beautiful work these things can do...and im not talking about the guy spying on the 12yo thru her window...that the media likes to talk about! lol!
     
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  18. DroneDog

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  19. Res41cue

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    Yeah, the insurance companies smell a $ to be made! They will be lobbying for regulations to require insurance. Hold on boys...weve started down a slippery slope! I started flying with FPV fixed wing...went to an FC40 when they came out, a P2v+ and now the 4k P3P. Great video! My hobby is documentary filmmaking so Im anxious for them to mod the regs...hopefully!
     
  20. generalshiny

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    I couldn't find anything on the DNR site for state owned parks. I'll need to see if Frederick County has similar rules as Montgomery. I haven't been kicked out yet, but I've only flown at my local park a couple of times. I'm pretty sure the local model airport club uses the same County park, so I'm hoping I'm ok.