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Logistics of flying in NJ

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by tmi, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. tmi


    Mar 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    So... got bored over the weekend and purchased a P3P and some other gear online - should have done my research first!
    After spending some time reading posts on this forum and elsewhere I've discovered I can't fly at any State Parks and the three municipal parks or school fields I had in mind near me are all just within the 5 mile radius of small local airports. Now I guess I'm supposed to call them to get permission to fly (why would they ever do that)? I actually did call the most local non-towered one and just got an answering machine (twice)!
    I guess my first question is has anyone actually gone through this process and received an "OK" to fly near an airport? What about the unmanned one - do I just leave a message and fly?
    Now my intension is not to break any rules and fly at 500' in small plane airspace so there is no real danger of a collision, but I know cops do roam these parks (mainly looking for unleashed dogs). What am I actually risking - confiscation, fine,... jail time?
    Maybe I should just return everything and look for another hobby?
  2. shockwave199

    Dec 19, 2014
    Likes Received:
    If you follow through and purchase, register and print it and have it on hand to produce if needed. You may have to drive to some flying locations other than the ones you had planned if you're hassled about it. I had to give up a favorite spot that I flew for a year, when security said not to fly there anymore. Probably a new guy that just wants to be a jerk about it. Look for industrial streets, as many of them are lonely roads with wide open spaces that are great to fly after hours and weekends. Be cautious about what you're flying around and near, but many times they are decent spots to fly. That and choice spots on the shores, where the public generally doesn't frequent. Also, lakes can be great too if you hit them at the right times when not many are there. Use google maps and look for possibilities. Sometimes you have to drive a bit for good spots. Good luck.
  3. Rahbarin

    Mar 3, 2016
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    I live in New Jersey and I live a block away from a school I have never had a problem I stay away from the school and when ever I fly if I see anyone from the block walking or driving I just say hey if you see a drone in the sky it's me so don't worry and they don't have a problem ask for parks don't fly if there's kids I go to a baseball complex and fly when no ones there you don't want to give people the impression your recording their kids

    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
  4. DrJoe

    Apr 13, 2014
    Likes Received:
    So I've been flying multi-rotors in NJ for years now. I'm also a licensed pilot, and I have a commercial drone exemption from the FAA.
    You can fly in some pretty cool locations in NJ, but state and national parks (Sandy Hook) are off limits now. There are many patchwork municipal laws governing drones. For example, Long Beach Township on Long Beach Island has a full ban on drones. The NJSIAA has banned drones at all outdoor high school sporting events, and will stop the game if one approaches. You should check with an unfamiliar town's police department if there are any specific regulations. Follow the FAA guidance. Lakewood and Farmingdale Airports are friendly when called, and usually give their blessing. I do contact local fields, but no one ever answers. Even Atlantic City tower gave me permission with a request to stay below 300 and outside 2 miles.

    As far as not starting trouble, be a good neighbor. Don't hover over anyone's home, and try to stay above 150-200 feet (which cuts down on noise and privacy concerns. I had a neighbor that freaked when he saw it and pounded on my door to insist I don't invade his privacy. I said "sure, let me show you something" and showed him the phantom and some video of our neighborhood. Even with that, he said he didn't want it over his house, so... I avoid his house. Legally, I don't have to, but why be a nudge? Even without a specific law, the police can cite you for public endangerment, disorderly conduct, or disturbing the peace. Avoid having someone call the police, and simply move on. Make sure your Phantom is registered with the FAA, they issued advisories to all local law enforcement. Stay away from hospitals, waste treatment facilities, and reservoirs (which sucks, reservoirs are cool locations). The best time to fly unhindered is early mornings when people just aren't around (the light is great too). I've filmed my kids skiing and surfing and biking, and followed myself in my car and on a motorcycle.

    My favorite places to fly are in a town park nearby, at the beaches, the bays and lakes, the pine barrens, etc. The best is bringing it with me when I travel. Some areas of the US and other countries are "drone-friendly". The thrill of flying still has a hold of me, and even though some of my videos will never reach 100,000 views, they are cool to me and my friends and neighbors. Seaside Heights even allowed me to take images of their St. Patrick's parade, but I took off far away from any people, stayed at 150 feet, and did not loiter or buzz the crowd. I have introduced myself to the town's police force, and even been asked to help them from time to time.

    I am even in negotiations with a local paper to provide images and video for their commercial use, but getting that Section 333 exception for commercial photography took some time.

    NJ has a lot of airports and restrictions, but there are still some very cool places to fly sanely and legally, for now.
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