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Texas State Parks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Astronut71, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. Astronut71

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    Hello fellow Phantom Pilots (first post here)....

    I purchased my P3P last week, and now that I have thoroughly explored my yard with it, I figured I would start looking for other sites to fly from.

    I called up one of the local State Parks here in central Texas to ask about flying my Phantom and was flatly told that they don't allow 'Drones' anywhere in the park, although they could not point me towards a specific rule. I contacted the main Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and asked for clarification. I have attached the PDF they sent me in case it is of interest to anyone else here who lives in Texas.

    I have responded to this by asking for a list of parks that have designated, approved areas for the recreational use of 'Unmanned Aircraft'.

    This is probably not news to many here, but I figured it was worth posting.

    I'll report back when I get any further info.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. delirious

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    I think what that is saying is that there was those locations in the past but because of new technology, they are trying to limit that activity now in all parks. As much as I love flying my phantom and would love to video scenery. I have to go with the parks on this. I love to hike and enjoy nature. What ruins it for me is loud motorcycles, cars, traffic, screaming kids and drunks. These places are meant to enjoy the nature and wildlife that is present. I don't wan't to hear bees buzzing overhead in the form of a phantom Drone. It ruins the pleasantness of the experience.

    There has to be some places where wildlife can be free to live in peace. There are so many other places to fly drones. Look at the perspective of natural habitat and the sanctity of the state park. I still love flying, but I want to be respectful of others whom may not want this noise or sight of a drone overhead.

    I think you are going about it the right way. By asking for designated areas....and that's fine.
     
  3. GrillMaster5

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  4. GoodnNuff

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    The areas within state parks that have designated flying areas for RC aircraft are AMA associated flying clubs. You will need an AMA membership to fly there, as well as aproval from the club itself. One of the flying clubs I belong to flies within a state park here in Washington. We are limited to an area of about 40 acres within the park.
     
  5. Fourman

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    The memo very much miss quoted 59.132 (a) and the writing of it make is look much more than the regulation really is. This memo is a knee jerk reaction to some event from what I could read. If I was flying in a State Park there is no stated update rule about unmanned aircraft anywhere but this .pdf memo. TPW need to update there website and laws....or does that have to be voted on.....interesting to say the least.
     
  6. tcope

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    I agree that these "mandates" are just the people in charge of the parks making more uninformed snap decisions. Where are all of these drones in state parks that are harassing the wildlife? We have a guy here in Utah that plead guilty to kicking an owl while fling his powered paraglider. Where are all of the ban on those? Baseballs and Frisbee hit and injure people all of the time. Compared to drones, those things are dropping people like nothing else. Truth is, if you asked these people who signed these memorandums, most would not have a clue about drone use other then a few stories they read or saw on the news.
     
  7. GoodnNuff

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    If more paraglider pilots were like Super Dale Schanze (the owl kicker), they would be banned or tightly regulated. You know about his other antics with his paraglider right? The boats he buzzed, buzzing I-15 traffic at rush hour, etc. The guy is an idiot.
     
  8. tcope

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    You give him too much credit.

    Same thing with drone fliers. 99.9999% of done use is not an issue.
     
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  9. richparry

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    Well said "delirioius", I'm with you.
     
  10. RichWest

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    The memorandum defines the usage from within the parks. My interpretation is that the UAV could legally fly over a state park property as long as the flight originated and ends outside the park boundaries.

    I do agree the TPW facilities should have some restriction to usage. I think many here would respect other people's privacy and try to minimize being a nuisance, but then you'll have others that will rip and roar because they feel it's their right to be otherwise.

    I could imagine quad racing as one example of mis-use in and around a park facilities. Flights with altitude would obviously be less of a nuisance or concern for safety. I'd hope these mandates in the future, state or national, could disseminate these two exampled usages as criteria to allow public usage. But as it stands, the defined usage for recreational UAVs are in the same basket at this time.

    We need to educate the differences moving forward to these public guardians. I really don't think the AMA is the .org to champion the cause. Maybe an organization for UAV Photo usage would be better focused help to change the direction. IMHO
     
  11. tcope

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    There are existing laws to cite people for use like this. Difference is, no launch/land means no problems at all. Existing laws only allow for citation after something happens. I feel existing laws should be used as a drone is no more dangerous than a baseball or Frisbee.
     
  12. RichWest

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    @tcope I don't agree with your baseball or frisbee analogy versus a small 3-lbs UAV. You're stating a watermelon to apple comparison...:eek:
     
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  13. tcope

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    Pick one... baseball or Frisbee. I'll ask, in the past year or couple of years which you think caused more 3rd party injuries... what you chose or UAVs?
     
  14. GoodnNuff

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    LOL, that is like saying automobile crashes are statistically more likely to injure us than air crashes are, so no need to regulate or worry about the airline industry.
    But really, it is not a good analogy. It is like an elementary school level quiz entry: Picture a rock, a baseball, an RC drone, a paper airplane, and a lawn dart with the caption;
    "Which is not like the others?"
     
  15. tcope

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    No one is talking regulation. I'm asking _one simple question_... which is more likely to cause an injury.

    Knowing that it's anything other then a UAV, my point is that there is no need to _ban_ UAV's specifically because they _might_ cause an injury or have that ability. We are not talking just about regulating UAVs... we are talking about banning completely. They are rapidly being banned from all public property. National Parks, city park, county parks, city property, county property.... all of these people are jumping on the same bandwagon. Why? Because they have been told that all UAV's violate people's privacy and cause injuries to people. My point is the truth.... that neither is true.

    You will _always_ have few people that misuse things. You will always have someone getting injured from things. What _needs_ to be considered is the general nature of that thing. Frisbee's are not designed to hurt people nor do they have an inherent trait to cause injury. As such, they should not simply be banned for this reason.
     
  16. RichWest

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    My son plays baseball, I'll choose that since he plays the hot corner. Players and spectators are fully aware of the dangers however. Frisbees are a formidable weapon in the right hands. In my day...

    I know what you're saying, just being the devil... Good analogy would be like riding a dirt bike or four wheeler through a state park at top speed...I think you could imagine that to be an issue at 6am while the dew evaporates off your tent's eastern wall. There are plenty of places to race motorbikes, we all agree there is a place and time for them because the dangers or their noise. They are given a space to enjoy their endeavor, have they not?

    There are various usages for multirotors, most here believe it is just photography, but there is an evil underground full of FPV flyers racing just "inches" (joking) off the ground through the woods. These evil pilots are good, pushing the speed beyond the ability for both man and machine...:rolleyes:

    At present the world sees recreational UAVs as all the same, just misunderstood and lumped together. Further the good pilots are lumped in with the bad pilots. I think in time we'll have what we want, to fly the parks or monuments of our eye. But for now those in control are putting on the brakes until they are educated, just like we learned by the experience gained, so will they. They are responsible for public safety to both wildlife and human, within a nature preserve.

    So the best effort by us is to educate others by our examples. Now you have to choose what example you will be...

    Good luck!
     
    #16 RichWest, Jun 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
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  17. GoodnNuff

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    There is a group of racers up here (several groups actually), I'd love to go watch them race through the forests here in the PNW, but God forbid I wake up to the sound of a hive of drones racing through my campsite at 7:00 AM!

    As a native of Utah I spent a lot of time enjoying our many National Parks and Monuments - beautiful country. Watching the sun set from Delicate Arch is **** near a religious experience! I do not want that peaceful landscape ruined by the sight and sound of tourist drones!
    I could support limited permits during certain hours on limited days, but to open these incredible vistas up to unlimited drones use is akin to allowing billboards to be allowed in the park. Both will ruin my view.
     
  18. Suwaneeguy

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    When are lawmakers and enforcers of gonna understand that they have no authority to create a state law to control aircraft of any type?
    Hell, you have manned helicopters flying over national and state parks all the time.
    Look at Grand Canyon, hourly helicopter and plane tours all day long!
    They make more noise than our little toy ones do.
    And yet, not one law restricts those flights.
    All of this horsehockey over a toy simply because it makes a little noise and can carry a camera.
    Grow up people.
     
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  19. Astronut71

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    I received a response from the Texas State Parks Region 3 (Central Texas) Director Todd McClanahan.

    Rather than paraphrase, I'll just post the pertinent sections of the email.

    "Since this is a relatively new policy for Texas State Parks, we too are trying to adjust and keep up with the demands of this growing and popular activity. Currently there are not any parks within my region (central Texas) which have designated an area for unmanned aircraft (drones). I have however asked the superintendents to give it some consideration and evaluate their sites individually to determine if there are any feasible locations where this activity might be safely conducted.".

    He also went on to say :

    "I personally followed up with the Superintendent at Inks Lake, along with all other park superintendents, to ensure their staff are aware of the policy and that it’s not just a purely prohibited activity and to understand some of the background information as well."

    And finally:

    "Again, I appreciate your patience as we continue to evaluate the possibility of allowing unmanned aircraft in some select state parks. I’d be happy to follow up with you if there are any parks in central Texas which find a suitable location to allow this activity."


    Personally I think this is a very encouraging response. I responded, thanking him and offered to put together a short informal presentation and demonstration for his staff, so that they can make a better informed opinion. I'm new to the UAV hobby, so I will be coming here for input if he takes me up on that.
     
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  20. RichWest

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    @Astronut71 great follow up and it does appear to be a receptive conversation. FWIW, I frequent Inks monthly if not more, if you need any support there let me know. I'm outside of the park's boundaries for my flights. Flew Inks lake over Memorial weekend, big issue there is the wind...great lake for small sailboats however...