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Hello Everybody,

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and thank you all in advance.

So I just bought my P3P two weeks ago, and have flown it on five separate occasions since.

Today, the fifth time, we drove up to Joseph D. Grant County Park, a county park near San Jose, CA, US.

I had previously flown here twice before with no problems.

However, today we were forced to leave by a park ranger, who stated that drones are illegal in all Santa Clara County parks.

However, I researched it before and after I'd ever set foot on the park with my drone, and cannot find anywhere that states this rule.

I did know that drones are illegal in all California State parks, but I was not aware they were banned from Santa Clara County parks.

Luckily, the park ranger was nice enough to allow us to leave with a warning ( I saw him creeping up on us from a distance, so I had already landed my P3P by the time he got to us, which might have calmed him down some).

He did quite arrogantly tell us though that my FAA registration number was not properly affixed to my aircraft. However, I have said number written with permanent marker on one of the supplied extra DJI stickers directly on top of the aircraft where it is most visible ( and in accordance with the FAA's regulation as stated here):

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions/Help

He then demanded my FAA certificate of registration, which I always make sure to carry.

I'm not sure whether what the park ranger told me was true, however, because he insinuated other things that I know are not true, such as:

1) You should not fly your aircraft anywhere near 400 feet above you.
2) You should not fly your drone farther than 400 feet from you.

Sorry for the long back-story. Basically, I just have two questions for you all:

1) How do I verify if it really is illegal to fly drones in all santa clara county parks, when its not publicly posted anywhere (that I can find)? Should I call their offices? Who should I ask? I don't think the receptionist who answers the phone will know anything about drone regulations. Who should I ask to speak to? And if it turns out to be legal, should I somehow get it in writing to show to park rangers in the future?
2) Should I affix my FAA registration number in a different manner? I believe I am interpreting the law correctly, but I haven't been flying drones very long at all.

Thanks for all of your help and for putting up with my probably stupid questions.


P.S. I got "caught" the third time because it was close to closing time and the park ranger was making his rounds. If I'd only come in the mid-morning, as I did before, I could have flown another day.
 
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Contact the County Park office and ask for the information.

As long as someone can easily find the registration number, you are fine.
 

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In terms of "UAS Marking" you might want to keep this for reference:
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions/Help (under Registration item #8)
How do I mark my unmanned aircraft with my unique registration number?
If you complete registration using the web-based registration process and satisfy the registration requirements, you may use a permanent marker, label, or engraving, as long as the number remains affixed to the aircraft during routine handling and all operating conditions and is readily accessible and legible upon close visual inspection. The number may also be enclosed in a compartment that is readily accessible, such as a battery compartment.

For the "Regulations" pertaining to height and distance you might want to have a copy of this handy:
Recreational Users | Know Before You Fly
 

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N017RW

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What a douche. Sorry that happened to you.


Why is the Ranger a douche?

Drones aren't allowed in the Park and he informed the OP of such.

OK he needs some clarification of FAA guidelines outside the park, which are not relevant, but to call him a douche?
 

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What a douche. Sorry that happened to you.

He was just doing his JOB! It's nothing personal and no different than you doing what your job is. He is a bit misinformed about some of the technical aspects but the rules are sometimes hard to understand and even more so if you don't eat-sleep-breathe this stuff every day.

So how about a little respect for this guy?
 
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Tax payers fund these parks and the people's wages. When are people going to start sticking up for their rights? There is no justification in banning drones in ANY publicly owned place.
I bet you are allowed to carry guns there? I think they are a a little worse...............................
 
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THE OP says "However, I researched it before and after I'd ever set foot on the park with my drone, and cannot find anywhere that states this rule."

I just did a Google search and found this at the top of the results:
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority restricts use of drones over its parks and preserves

How hard did you 'search'???

Either that's a poorly written article or something isn't right. Specifically -

"prohibit the launching, landing and operation of unmanned aerial systems on or above its owned and managed lands."

The consensus on this board is that only the feds (via the FAA) can restrict operations in the national air space. So, the highlighted text is ********, yes? Of course, proving that could be expensive.
 
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don't know of any distance away from you rule except keeping the aircraft in your line of site, i.e. ,can you see it? then its ok

California for ya, god how do some of you live in that state.
There are a few state/county parks by me and some illegal and they would never bother us.
Tax payers fund these parks and the people's wages. When are people going to start sticking up for their rights? There is no justification in banning drones in ANY publicly owned place.
I bet you are allowed to carry guns there? I think they are a a little worse...............................

exactly . This whole drone ban thing is out of control, just like CA with gun laws, they have ZERO idea why.
Dedicate an area, if they want. , I'd sit outside the fence and just fly over the entire park :) put it at 350 feet, they don't own that airspace
 

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Tax payers fund these parks and the people's wages. When are people going to start sticking up for their rights? There is no justification in banning drones in ANY publicly owned place.
I bet you are allowed to carry guns there? I think they are a a little worse...............................

What's being missed here are that even though we are (or most of us are) tax payers our numbers a minuscule when compared to non-flying tax payers. All it takes is one person to complain (justifiably or not) and the rules go against UAS operations. Really all it takes is one person to "think" they want to complain and the bans go up.
 

dirkclod

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OK ,I have cleaned this up and one has taken a vacation and one warned .
Please do not let this turn into a disruptive, bashing and name calling thread .
Am also moving this to GD as it not Pro/Adv related .
Thank-you
 
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He was just doing his JOB! It's nothing personal and no different than you doing what your job is. He is a bit misinformed about some of the technical aspects but the rules are sometimes hard to understand and even more so if you don't eat-sleep-breathe this stuff every day.

Actually, he was not doing his job. The closest he got was his job to enforce _actual_ park rules. I can't read his mind and tell you if he was just giving someone a hard time because he could... but it's certainly possible.
 
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Ya the ranger wasn't doing his job, he was over stepping boundaries with ignorance. Once again......... to someone who obeyed..........
 
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THE OP says "However, I researched it before and after I'd ever set foot on the park with my drone, and cannot find anywhere that states this rule."

I just did a Google search and found this at the top of the results:
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority restricts use of drones over its parks and preserves

How hard did you 'search'???


NO17RW the Santa Clara Open Space Authority only oversees OPEN SPACE PRESERVES, NOT COUNTY PARKS.

Preserves here are clearly posted as NO DRONE ZONES, so I STAY AWAY.

I know the difference because I have visited both preserves and county parks all my life here.

I wish I could use more colorful language for insinuating I did not even do a simple google search.
 
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The best thing to do is if you want to fly over the park is to find a good spot outside the park, set there and send the bird over and they cant do nothing, they will have no clue as to where the bird came from!. I can send my bird out over 2 miles away with no problem!
 
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Tax payers fund these parks and the people's wages. When are people going to start sticking up for their rights? There is no justification in banning drones in ANY publicly owned place.
I bet you are allowed to carry guns there? I think they are a a little worse...............................
Guns in a Ca. park, I think not. And yes Drones should NOT have free rein in any public place. With all the people getting drones now a days that don't have a clue about how to fly, let alone safely. All parks have rules, whether you like them or not.
 
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Ya the ranger wasn't doing his job, he was over stepping boundaries with ignorance. Once again......... to someone who obeyed..........
If it was your job, and your boss is telling you to inform any park going of rule violations and you don't. That could lead to termination of your employment. That's called doing your job, case closed.
 
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Either that's a poorly written article or something isn't right. Specifically -

"prohibit the launching, landing and operation of unmanned aerial systems on or above its owned and managed lands."

The consensus on this board is that only the feds (via the FAA) can restrict operations in the national air space. So, the highlighted text is ********, yes? Of course, proving that could be expensive.

I'm not an expert, by any means, but legislating bodies can put anything they want into their regulations whether or not it has any force in law. Santa Clara County may have included the "or above" phrase thinking they actually had that authority or hoping that people would believe they did. I think it's pretty well known that--as per several other discussions--the airspace is ruled by the FAA and if a pilot launches, pilots and lands a drone from outside of a park where launching and landing, operating (etc.) is prohibited then overflying the park is outside the jurisdiction of any governing body except the FAA. Other rules besides flying may apply, however: overflying people may be considered endangering them, disturbing wildlife may be a problem, etc., but overflying a park in and of itself... I don't think the park has anything to say about that that would be enforceable in a court of law.
 
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