2 Policemen come up to me......

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On Saturday we had perfect conditions here in Ballarat, Australia, to give the P3P its first night time test. Our local rail station is quite an impressive building and once they turn the lights on around dusk it looks great, so I thought it would make a great test location for the P3P's improved low light capabilities. So I send Ralf (I had to name it something for the initial set up!) up nice and high, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible (which is pretty hard with people walking by you constantly!) when half way through the flight I see a couple of policemen making there way over to me. Getting ready to being it straight down, they came over and we spent a few minutes talking about the whole thing...they were really interested and had no concerns at all! One of them commented on the fact that there are now pretty strict rules for filming around rail stations in general, more so down in Melbourne than where I was, though Ballarat is a 100,000 people city, but they couldn't see anything wrong with what I was doing. And once I showed them the live view they were blown away by the whole thing, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were looking at getting one themselves! I was actually parked in a no parking zone and one of them joked about ticketing me for that!
I've had the P3P up every day for 4 days so far (I had to wait 6 days for the wind to drop after I first got it). The main aim for me is as a stills camera and initially I have been quite disappointed with the quality as I have been flying a P2V+ for 6 months, however the quality of the images I got in these conditions is starting to sway me and maybe I just need to work on the settings a bit more.
BLRailStn0244v.jpg
 
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Yes beautiful pic. Sad commentary on the restrictions these days. Ben Franklin was right.
 
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My good buddy has been hassled for years photographing railroad stuff with a regular camera. Even standing on a public sidewalk.
 
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This is news to me. Where did you hear this? Flying over military installations is certainly restricted but photography at public rail stations is absolutely allowed.
Depends on what you are flying lol. I fly my 172 over top of c5 and c17 aircraft doing touch and goes at Dover air force base all the time. If above 2500 I don't even have to talk to them on the radio.
 
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On Saturday we had perfect conditions here in Ballarat, Australia, to give the P3P its first night time test. Our local rail station is quite an impressive building and once they turn the lights on around dusk it looks great, so I thought it would make a great test location for the P3P's improved low light capabilities. So I send Ralf (I had to name it something for the initial set up!) up nice and high, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible (which is pretty hard with people walking by you constantly!) when half way through the flight I see a couple of policemen making there way over to me. Getting ready to being it straight down, they came over and we spent a few minutes talking about the whole thing...they were really interested and had no concerns at all! One of them commented on the fact that there are now pretty strict rules for filming around rail stations in general, more so down in Melbourne than where I was, though Ballarat is a 100,000 people city, but they couldn't see anything wrong with what I was doing. And once I showed them the live view they were blown away by the whole thing, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were looking at getting one themselves! I was actually parked in a no parking zone and one of them joked about ticketing me for that!
I've had the P3P up every day for 4 days so far (I had to wait 6 days for the wind to drop after I first got it). The main aim for me is as a stills camera and initially I have been quite disappointed with the quality as I have been flying a P2V+ for 6 months, however the quality of the images I got in these conditions is starting to sway me and maybe I just need to work on the settings a bit more. View attachment 21869

Great photo, what were your settings for this? - Adam
 
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Strictly speaking, flying at night is illegal in Australia, even for a licenced UAV pilot.
But for a photo like that, as harmlessly as you were, I'd be damned tempted myself.
 
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This is news to me. Where did you hear this? Flying over military installations is certainly restricted but photography at public rail stations is absolutely allowed.
More information here.
 
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Strictly speaking, flying at night is illegal in Australia, even for a licenced UAV pilot.
But for a photo like that, as harmlessly as you were, I'd be damned tempted myself.
Night yes, but that's dusk. When I posed this question the advice was the terminology used by casa calculates out to be 30 minutes after advertised sunset (about 5:30 atm in Victoria)
 
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Every time I film, Security Guards, PoPo, everyone are like, "That is amazing" after they act all tough to me. I'm so easy to get on with though they realize I'm just a guy trying to enjoy a hobby, Glad eveything worked out for you.
 
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Night yes, but that's dusk. When I posed this question the advice was the terminology used by casa calculates out to be 30 minutes after advertised sunset (about 5:30 atm in Victoria)

Oh bummer. I misread the rules somewhere and thought we were able to fly at night. Went out to film the fireworks at Docklands last Friday - missed them but did put it up.

I was all ready to tell the cops what for if I was approached. Lucky for me.
 
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My good buddy has been hassled for years photographing railroad stuff with a regular camera. Even standing on a public sidewalk.

I got harassed by a total b-word of a cop for watching trains on the side of a public highway. One of the neighbors with nothing better to do apparently called them on us and she showed up looking for a criminal and when it became obvious that I wasn't, she tried to turn me into one. I'm always respectful towards cops, especially when partaking in my hobby because I know it can look suspicious but this lady pissed me right the hell off. I don't envy their job because people lie to them at every turn but she wouldn't let me finish my sentences, kept putting words in my mouth, threatened to arrest me and so on. As a result of that, I filed a complaint against her and her partner and the cop who called me to get some more information on my side of the story seemed to agree that she was out of line.

I'll probably never know what happened to her (I doubt anything more than a stiff talking-to) and really don't care. I just hope I never run into her again.
 
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Luckily for me, my dad was NYPD and I carry a mini version of his actual detective shield with number in my wallet should I ever get hassled. Hopefully, I'd at least be extended some degree of professional courtesy if questioned. At least they'll know I'm not one of the bad guys.
 

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