Cedar Hill State Park, Texas no-fly zone

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#1
I saw that Cedar Hill State Park south of Dallas is a recommended place to get some good drone video so went out there today. No surprise...The Superintendant, Josh Choate, has declared ALL of Cedar Hill State Park to be a no-fly area...no drones allowed because they are a danger to the public. I asked to see some documentation stating that and was shown a letter stating that drones are dangerous due to the technology ( really...that’s what it said!). When I asked for a copy of the letter I was denied. The office Park Ranger said that the letter is for “internal State Park office” use only. Drones are dangerous due to the “technology” but
any idiot with a credit card can buy a speedboat with a gazillion horsepower and get out on the lake not having the foggiest idea what he/she is doing. How pathetic. Another example of bureaucratic ignorance and
abusing ones authority to create a personal CYA fiefdom. In any case, Cedar Hill is a no-fly zone.
 
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#4
I'm guessing that a requirement by the state is that state parks display their regulations in a pubic place... or make them available to the public. Kind of makes sense... right? Why would they make a regulation and then need to keep it a secret? Makes no sense.

A state park cannot create a "no fly zone". It can tell _you_ that you can't operate a drone while standing on their property. Personally, I could nto find anything on their website. Personally, I call and ask them to send you this documentation.
 
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#5
I'm guessing that a requirement by the state is that state parks display their regulations in a pubic place... or make them available to the public. Kind of makes sense... right? Why would they make a regulation and then need to keep it a secret? Makes no sense.

A state park cannot create a "no fly zone". It can tell _you_ that you can't operate a drone while standing on their property. Personally, I could nto find anything on their website. Personally, I call and ask them to send you this documentation.
Yes....why keep it a secret? Texas is quite strict about public officials not withholding documents....
 
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#6
I won't even try to get permission in a Texas State Park close to me due to all of what I'm hearing. Instead, I just planned a 5.2 mile/21 minute Litchi mission which flies some of its perimeter. We've had some strong winds in my area lately, but I will be flying it when they die down.
 
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#7
any idiot with a credit card can buy a speedboat with a gazillion horsepower and get out on the lake not having the foggiest idea what he/she is doing.
Or a semi-automatic gun!

Anyway, I did find a Texas Park Department memorandum on the web. So it’s out there. Will try to locate it and post. Near as I can tell it was intended to apply to all TX State Parks but also seems to have left a bit of discretion to the local park managers. And it says you can’t lift off or land in the parks. So maybe you’re OK nibbling at the edges of the parks (assuming no other restrictions, of course). Wondering something: Has anyone had someone take shots at their drone?
 
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#8
I emailed the Parks & Wildlife Dept with this same question a couple of years ago. I was told that drone access to state parks were left up to each park manager to approve drones such as ours, or refuse them.I emailed and got permission from the park manager at the Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Monument in 2016. He was very good about it and gave me a three month window to go flying. Last summer we went out to Balmorhea State Park and the park manager refused to let me fly in the park. While we were there, I parked outside the perimeter of the park and flew the drone freely over the park. I later talked to her and she was unbending in her belief that drones are dangerous.
 
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#9
Or a semi-automatic gun!

Anyway, I did find a Texas Park Department memorandum on the web. So it’s out there. Will try to locate it and post. Near as I can tell it was intended to apply to all TX State Parks but also seems to have left a bit of discretion to the local park managers. And it says you can’t lift off or land in the parks. So maybe you’re OK nibbling at the edges of the parks (assuming no other restrictions, of course). Wondering something: Has anyone had someone take shots at their drone?
"Or a semi-automatic gun!" Was that comment really necessary?
 
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#13
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#14
Frequently Asked Questions — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Drones
Q: Can I fly a drone or other remote control aircraft in a state park?
A:
Two parks offer zones for flying remote controlled aircraft (including drones): Lake Whitney and San Angelo. You can request a filming permit for your craft at any park by contacting that park. Allow several weeks for us to review your request.
I just called Whitney State Park to verify that flying drones was permissible, Despite what the website says, the woman who answered told me drones are not allowed at the park. Apparently, that's at the request of the Corps of Engineers, something about the dam, rather than the State of Texas.

~Ed
 
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#15
Frequently Asked Questions — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Drones
Q: Can I fly a drone or other remote control aircraft in a state park?
A:
Two parks offer zones for flying remote controlled aircraft (including drones): Lake Whitney and San Angelo. You can request a filming permit for your craft at any park by contacting that park. Allow several weeks for us to review your request.
I just called Lake Whitney State Park and was told the website is wrong. NO DRONES.
 
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#16
I saw that Cedar Hill State Park south of Dallas is a recommended place to get some good drone video so went out there today. No surprise...The Superintendant, Josh Choate, has declared ALL of Cedar Hill State Park to be a no-fly area...no drones allowed because they are a danger to the public. I asked to see some documentation stating that and was shown a letter stating that drones are dangerous due to the technology ( really...that’s what it said!). When I asked for a copy of the letter I was denied. The office Park Ranger said that the letter is for “internal State Park office” use only. Drones are dangerous due to the “technology” but
any idiot with a credit card can buy a speedboat with a gazillion horsepower and get out on the lake not having the foggiest idea what he/she is doing. How pathetic. Another example of bureaucratic ignorance and
abusing ones authority to create a personal CYA fiefdom. In any case, Cedar Hill is a no-fly zone.
here is the official gov stand on this.... Unmanned Aircraft System (Drones) in State Parks
 
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#17
It's pretty clear that most of the 50 states in the US are quickly prohibiting drone activity. Arkansas has, since around February of this year. You have to apply for a permit, and the permit pretty much makes the process impossible, since you have to list hours, day, etc. when want to fly. Here, the weather changes fast enough that it's next to impossible (besides winter) to look out far enough to apply.

Arkansas has plenty of National Forest land, and flying is still allowed there, but the State has many great spots covered by State Parks, that would be excellent to fly, Petit Jean, Mt. Nebo, Mt. Magazine, Cossatot River and Pinnacle Mountain to name 5.

What is so tragic, is the reaction is totally overkill. I fully and totally understand why Arkansas doesn't want someone flying a drone in a area with lots of people milling around, both for disturbance issues and liability. However many of the spots within State Park Boundaries allow for flights, where no one is going to hear the drone and or be endangered by it. An example is Stouts Point on Petit Jean. An amazing place to launch from where you can fly out right over the Arkansas River and look back towards Petit Jean mountain, (Mt Nebo also has many such spots). The flight would be totally away from other people being out over the valley below Petit Jean, and landing the drone can be done in spots that do not endanger others.

When and if the US Gov prohibits flights over National Forest land, I will land for good. Moral of story, is get out and fly while you can. The press over reacts to most drone incidents or issues, but local governments are all very concerned about liability issues, and rightly so.

Paul Caldwell
 
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#18
West Virginia state parks are open for a few exceptions. Army Corp of engineers is one exception for WV. state parks. I flew at Cooper Rocks sp 3 days ago and met another guy there flying a P3.

Ga. says it has the deepest canyon east of the Mississippi, at 909 ft. Cooper's Rocks is above Cheat Canyon that is 1,200 ft. New River gorge is even deeper.
 
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#19
It would be a cool flight over New River gorge for sure. Kayaking it always was fun.

Even launching near the older bridge (I guess it's still there) and going up a bit would offer a nice shot, especially with the New bridge to frame the shot.

Paul C
 

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