New drone pilot from Long Island - looking for places to fly/TOH laws

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Hey everybody, I'm looking forward to becoming part of the community here. I'll first give a little background about myself. I'm 34 and currently a product/headshot/editorial photographer in Long Island NY and have been doing so over the last 6 years professionally. I'm new to drone's but have been doing lots of research on FAA/state/local laws concerning drones so I don't piss anybody off or do anything illegal.

I was curious if anybody has information on Town of Hempstead laws concerning drones. Most of what I've researched seems very murky, though I've been reading all TOH parks, beaches, etc are completely off limits.

I'm currently located in Baldwin NY (south shore of Nassau Long Island). Airmap shows my location as a go fly zone all around my area - its just the Town of Hempstead stuff I find a bit concerning esp since there is a $500 penalty for the use of a drone in so many areas.

I'll be getting my 107 class cert very soon - but before I do I'd like to just do some scenic stuff in my area for fun. My only problem is finding places I can fly.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Patrick

Drone - Phantom 4 pro
 

msinger

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Welcome to Phantom Pilots! :)
 
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Welcome to Phantom Pilots, there are plenty of fellow New Yorker's on here that should be on soon to help you out. Fly safe!
 
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Hey everybody, I'm looking forward to becoming part of the community here. I'll first give a little background about myself. I'm 34 and currently a product/headshot/editorial photographer in Long Island NY and have been doing so over the last 6 years professionally. I'm new to drone's but have been doing lots of research on FAA/state/local laws concerning drones so I don't piss anybody off or do anything illegal.

I was curious if anybody has information on Town of Hempstead laws concerning drones. Most of what I've researched seems very murky, though I've been reading all TOH parks, beaches, etc are completely off limits.

I'm currently located in Baldwin NY (south shore of Nassau Long Island). Airmap shows my location as a go fly zone all around my area - its just the Town of Hempstead stuff I find a bit concerning esp since there is a $500 penalty for the use of a drone in so many areas.

I'll be getting my 107 class cert very soon - but before I do I'd like to just do some scenic stuff in my area for fun. My only problem is finding places I can fly.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
So I guess you've seen this. Yikes.

Cute, how they don't specify what the permit fee is.

There's some interesting stuff in this article. Pay special attention to what George Gorman states. And try not to get too bent about the absurd paranoia portrayed throughout that page.

It's a murky mess, the federal and state laws. Interestingly as a hobby pilot you can get away with quite a bit, assuming you don't wind up with Officer Cartman trying to nail you on a vague disorderly conduct or criminal mischief charge because they can't possibly figure out what code, if any, would really apply.

Things like this always make me wonder about the law of unintended consequences. Like, folks will wind up with more annoying flights over their homes because the parks and other interesting looking, attractive sites were made off-limits.

Now stop abusing apostrophes, and welcome!
 
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Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it.

With regard to local ordinances restricting drone operation, it's important to ascertain whether the local laws regulate where you can stand when you're flying a drone, or do the laws regulate flying through their airspace regardless where you are. The former is a legitimate exercise of local authority and the latter is clearly disallowed by the FAA, which claims precedence over all airspace issues.

A murkier area of drone law regards privacy issues, which are not a concern of the FAA. Although it took lots of expensive legal cases, the US federal courts (under 1st amendment considerations) have recognized the rights of photographs to take pictures anywhere they can legally be, such as on a sidewalk. You can take photos of the front yard of somebody's house without restriction. If you can see into the back yard from the sidewalk, then you can take pictures of that as well. If the back yard is surrounded by a 10-foot fence, it would NOT be legal to bring a stepladder to enable you to see over the fence into the back yard, as the homeowner would have an expectation of privacy. However, this area of law as related to drone photography has not yet been explored in Federal courts. My guess, based on existing case law, eventually drone operators will gain the express permission to take drone photos anywhere you can see from a public place.

All that being said, it's probably a good idea to ask some other local drone operators what they know.

--Mike
 
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So I guess you've seen this. Yikes.

Cute, how they don't specify what the permit fee is.

There's some interesting stuff in this article. Pay special attention to what George Gorman states. And try not to get too bent about the absurd paranoia portrayed throughout that page.

It's a murky mess, the federal and state laws. Interestingly as a hobby pilot you can get away with quite a bit, assuming you don't wind up with Officer Cartman trying to nail you on a vague disorderly conduct or criminal mischief charge because they can't possibly figure out what code, if any, would really apply.

Things like this always make me wonder about the law of unintended consequences. Like, folks will wind up with more annoying flights over their homes because the parks and other interesting looking, attractive sites were made off-limits.

Now stop abusing apostrophes, and welcome!
Thanks for all the information man, I greatly appreciate it!

Yeah TOH hasn't put any information about the permits at all on their website and just say "go to the town clerk to apply". Nothing is said about the cost of the permit or what stipulations even apply. It's nonsense.

Auxiliary Officer Cartman was exactly what I was getting worried about. There is a park located right on the water by my house which has some great scenery I want to capture. The other nice part about that is nobody goes there ever during the winter really. I just see cops taking breaks all the time in there. I could always approach one and try and ask a few questions about it instead of just taking off and getting harassed even though no else one is in the park for me to bother.

I'll probably head over the town clerk's office this week and see if I can find some more straight answers. From what I've read most police in Nassau are very anti drone and will harass you if seen flying even over your own property. I have no idea how much of that is true, however.
 
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Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it.

With regard to local ordinances restricting drone operation, it's important to ascertain whether the local laws regulate where you can stand when you're flying a drone, or do the laws regulate flying through their airspace regardless where you are. The former is a legitimate exercise of local authority and the latter is clearly disallowed by the FAA, which claims precedence over all airspace issues.

A murkier area of drone law regards privacy issues, which are not a concern of the FAA. Although it took lots of expensive legal cases, the US federal courts (under 1st amendment considerations) have recognized the rights of photographs to take pictures anywhere they can legally be, such as on a sidewalk. You can take photos of the front yard of somebody's house without restriction. If you can see into the back yard from the sidewalk, then you can take pictures of that as well. If the back yard is surrounded by a 10-foot fence, it would NOT be legal to bring a stepladder to enable you to see over the fence into the back yard, as the homeowner would have an expectation of privacy. However, this area of law as related to drone photography has not yet been explored in Federal courts. My guess, based on existing case law, eventually drone operators will gain the express permission to take drone photos anywhere you can see from a public place.

All that being said, it's probably a good idea to ask some other local drone operators what they know.

--Mike
Thanks for the kind words and information, dude!

It seems like the community on here is very welcoming and informative. This forum was my first step in trying to meet some locals and others so I don't operate in my area with much to any ignorance as to what I should/shouldn't be doing. The last thing I want to do is make matters any worse for the local drone community or end up paying any hefty fines myself.

Especially not to do anything this stupid https://nypost.com/2017/09/22/army-helicopter-hit-by-drone/ :D
 
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Thanks for all the information man, I greatly appreciate it!

Yeah TOH hasn't put any information about the permits at all on their website and just say "go to the town clerk to apply". Nothing is said about the cost of the permit or what stipulations even apply. It's nonsense.

Auxiliary Officer Cartman was exactly what I was getting worried about. There is a park located right on the water by my house which has some great scenery I want to capture. The other nice part about that is nobody goes there ever during the winter really. I just see cops taking breaks all the time in there. I could always approach one and try and ask a few questions about it instead of just taking off and getting harassed even though no else one is in the park for me to bother.

I'll probably head over the town clerk's office this week and see if I can find some more straight answers. From what I've read most police in Nassau are very anti drone and will harass you if seen flying even over your own property. I have no idea how much of that is true, however.
You're welcome.

As for the TOH UAS permit language, the lack of clarity seems vaguely unconstitutional to me. I wonder what the mouthpieces at the Nassau chapter of the NYCLU would say.

Regarding the park by your house where you see "cops taking breaks all the time in there"... Forgive me if I've been tainted by a long stream of rather poor to very bad experiences with law enforcement, but I'm thinking the very last thing bored and relatively well-compensated Nassau cops would want is eye-in-the-sky coverage of them taking breaks.

But I suppose it wouldn't hurt to chat one up. Maybe bring coffee and donuts. :rolleyes:

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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You're welcome.

As for the TOH UAS permit language, the lack of clarity seems vaguely unconstitutional to me. I wonder what the mouthpieces at the Nassau chapter of the NYCLU would say.

Regarding the park by your house where you see "cops taking breaks all the time in there"... Forgive me if I've been tainted by a long stream of rather poor to very bad experiences with law enforcement, but I'm thinking the very last thing bored and relatively well-compensated Nassau cops would want is eye-in-the-sky coverage of them taking breaks.

But I suppose it wouldn't hurt to chat one up. Maybe bring coffee and donuts. :rolleyes:

Good luck and keep us posted.
Haha, yeah man lots of cops ******* off in that lot in the dead of winter. I'll keep you posted.

What's the deal with taking off from your yard and going straight up and panning around at the horizon a few hundred feet up? Is this also an issue around here? I hate having to feel so **** paranoid using a drone on Long Island outside of the few area's around here that are for recreation. I really just want to take some scenic shots, and not put around in a rec area after learning how to better and more safely fly
 
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I have spent a bit of time in Hempstead, Lynbrook, and surrounding areas. I'm sure a lot of the LEO that work for Nassau County are nice, I just haven't met one yet.

They are definitely very negative about "drones" in that area. Choose your flight area very carefully - you may still be hassled but at least theoretically you will be in the right.

I think the Hempstead bylaws are legally invalid due to their overreaching and nonspecific nature although many municipalities are following the same idea as it costs them nothing to overrule your rights.

The best part of that particular bylaw is:

For purposes of this chapter, the following rebuttable presumption shall apply: The possession by any person of a UAS while on or in the vicinity of any Town of Hempstead facility creates the presumption that such UAS has been used in violation of this chapter subjecting the possessor of such UAS to all penalties provided for herein.

Really... so when I drive through Hempstead from the Walmart in Valley Stream mall to get to Uniondale and I get pulled over, the police can seize and charge me for flying my Phantom. Ludicrous, but according to the bylaw, perfectly within the Leo's scope of operation.

I would hope that I would prevail in court but the cost would be prohibitive.

Good luck with your flying and if you find some great legal spots in that area to fly, please post them up. I am heading back to that area in March but had pretty much decide to not bother bringing my Phantom with me on this trip. I hope you can change my mind.
 
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TOH is crazy about how possesion of a device is considered guilty and I agree with the members who have already mentioned their choice of language to make things confusing.

Has anyone visited the town clerk ?
I checked out Town of Oyster Bay which is significantly lenient as compared TOH. I plan on visiting the town clerk at oyster bay to check it out.

Regardless you need insurance which can be satisfied through AMA membership but they are asking you to insure them as a recipient in the event something goes wrong.

I'm curious if anyone visited any town clerk office on Long Island. Please share your experience if you have... I'm getting paranoid to the point that I may have to just sell away my device till all rules and regulations are set in the upcoming years. As of right now the town are going as hard as they can because there is no resistance fighting back. They are making rules on airspace which is owned by FAA and not even specifying the costs of the permits. What the town of hempstead is doing is quite shady and yeah I would be worried flying in that town for sure.
 
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Any updates to this thread? Has anyone attempted to get a drone permit in TOH? If so can you share your experience of the process?
 
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I was curious if anybody has information on Town of Hempstead laws concerning drones. Most of what I've researched seems very murky, though I've been reading all TOH parks, beaches, etc are completely off limits.
Patrick to the white courtesy phone, please!

Any updates?
 
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I'm curious too. Will be back that way in August. Still deciding whether I will bring my Phantom with me. I had a non-drone related incident a while back with the police in Hempstead and from what happened I am glad I wasn't breaking any laws etc as they were very difficult to deal with as is.
 

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