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Washington State Parks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nathan morrison, May 18, 2015.

  1. nathan morrison

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    Ok, So I asked for the official policy. They responded:

    Hello Nathan,

    Thank you for contacting Washington State Parks regarding the use of UAV/Drones.


    Each Washington State Park must have a policy in place and designate an area of use.

    At this time, only Flaming Geyser State Park has a policy in place.


    I posed your question to Robert Ingram, Chief of Law Enforcement.

    Here is his official response:

    Flying remote controlled aircraft in a non-designated area of the park is a violation of WAC 352-32-130(4)—an $87 non-traffic infraction http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=352-32-130.



    If they don't have a designated policy, How can I be in violation? Am I reading the policy right?
     
  2. GoodnNuff

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    I believe they mean a policy allowing RC aircraft that specifies what type, size, gas vs electric, hours of operation, and the designated area of the park where they are allowed.
    I'd love to fly over the river at Flaming Geyser, or along the cliff faces, but I'm limited to the boundaries of the designated field. To fly outside I would face a fine, risk my membership and jeopardize the entire club.
     
  3. tcope

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    My next question of them would be, have they complied with 4a-e as the rules require. Lacking their adherence to their own policy I'd say 4 does no apply. You could easily argue that without a designated flying area, the entire park is open to remote control flying.
     
  4. SteveMann

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    Once you're airborne, you are in the FAA's jurisdiction. The park administration can only say where you can take off and land. Even their document says as much:
    "(1) No aircraft shall land on or take off from any body of water or land area in a state park area not specifically designated for landing aircraft. "
     
  5. GoodnNuff

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    Sorry Stevie, it is in the flying club's by laws, an agreement with the State Park system, the home owners on the other side of the river, and the flying club. Can only fly gas during certain hours and on certain days, electric 7 days a week from 10 AM to dusk, etc., etc. It is not the rangers or the FAA that will impose the nominal fine - it's our own club.
    They respect the agreement that allows them to fly inside a state park. They aren't irresponsible enough to flaunt the "rules" because "they are really in the only the FAA's jurisdiction."

    Are you implying we should fly in state parks and challenge the ranger's authority to stop us because they aren't FAA?
     
  6. Buzz313th

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    Good try SteveMann..

    Only problem is, "Your" not airborne, your "Drone" is airborne. Your still sitting there with the remote in your hand while the ranger is reading you your rights.

    Ranger: Excuse me SIR, I am going to need to ask you to please retrieve your drone. You are not allowed to fly that here..

    SteveMann: I'm sorry to differ with you Mr. Ranger, but I know my rights and nowhere does it say that I can't fly my "Drone" here. It only says I can't take off and land here.

    Ranger: Ok, so how did your drone get up there (Points to drone flying around) if it didn't take off from this park? And where do you plan on landing your cherished drone in the next 15 minutes when your battery runs out?

    SteveMann: (Blank Stare)

    Ranger: (Looks at Mr. Mann and smiles) That is a pretty cool drone you got there. Mind if I watch you fly it for a bit?

    Cut to...

    15 minutes later with the smiling Ranger standing next to SteveMann.... the Phantom goes into RTH mode due to low battery and lands right next to Steve where it took off from.

    Like I said, reading you your rights as you clutch your remote control..

    :p
     
  7. SteveMann

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    That's not quite the dialogue I would use, but close. The park cannot regulate overflight. This is more pertinent to someone who would take off from forest service land which frequently abuts National Park land. If your drone had enough endurance, and some motorized gliders do, you could take off from a legal location, overfly the park then return for a legal landing, and the NPS can't say anything about it.
    I hadn't thought of using RTH to incriminate myself regarding the takeoff location.
     
  8. SteveMann

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    The information that your flying club has a COA for the site is new. I thought the OP was asking about state parks in general.
    I have never advocated provoking park authorities because they know little about aviation law. I simply point out that if challenged by Mr. Ranger, you should know your rights.
     
  9. Buzz313th

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    Hey Steve...

    I was just having a good time with your post... Don't take it one way or the other..

    :)
     
  10. SteveMann

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    Thanks, I never do.
     
  11. TiDrone

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    Good afternoon. This appears to be a good place to ask my question (although I can start a new thread if necessary).

    I am a beginner drone pilot (hobbyist) and have a trip scheduled out to Washington state next month, near Carson.
    I was hoping to get some footage of the Columbia River Gorge and possibly some waterfalls - just generally some good scenic shots.

    I'm still learning. There are FAA regulations, the national park service, state laws that may differ from state to state and potentially even local laws at the municipal level.

    I'm trying to understand whether this is feasible, legal, etc. Right now the most I've been able to establish is that there is legislation pending in the state senate. Drones are clearly prohibited in national parks; however the area I was looking at was in and around national forest, not a park.

    And then there are state parks subject to rules as mentioned above.

    Can anyone offer clarification?

    Thanks!
     
  12. Sagebrush

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    I don't think there are any rules about flying drones from National Forests. (I'm surrounded.) The exception is for commercial activity and there's a permitting process that is cumbersome. And forget about areas designated as wilderness.

    They may have rules concerning drones flying from administrative sites–campgrounds and such.

    Unmanned Aircraft Systems | US Forest Service

    S
     
  13. GoodnNuff

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    I fly in our state's National Forests quite often. There is no restriction on flying within the National Forest. You will have some great places to fly near Carson with beautiful vistas of the Gorge. Enjoy your time!
     
  14. sdtrojan

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    Thanks for the link, sagebrush, very useful
     
  15. Snowpilot

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    I was wondering it anyone has any update about this? Is it legal to fly within Washington State Parks that do NOT have a policy in place?