Texas State Parks

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The memo very much miss quoted 59.132 (a) and the writing of it make is look much more than the regulation really is. This memo is a knee jerk reaction to some event from what I could read. If I was flying in a State Park there is no stated update rule about unmanned aircraft anywhere but this .pdf memo. TPW need to update there website and laws....or does that have to be voted on.....interesting to say the least.
If the question had been "Where can I fly my model aircraft"?, the reply would probably have been completely different.
 
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If the question had been "Where can I fly my model aircraft"?, the reply would probably have been completely different.
Or not.
Here is a discussion on RC groups where pilots with little ultralight "Park Flyers" (marketed as small enough to be flown in city parks, do not need a flying field) have been threatened with fines for flying where they feel entitled to within state parks:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258540

I think the response will be the same regardless of what you want to fly. No point in fanning the flames based on mere assumptions...
 
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I received a response from the Texas State Parks Region 3 (Central Texas) Director Todd McClanahan.

Rather than paraphrase, I'll just post the pertinent sections of the email.

"Since this is a relatively new policy for Texas State Parks, we too are trying to adjust and keep up with the demands of this growing and popular activity. Currently there are not any parks within my region (central Texas) which have designated an area for unmanned aircraft (drones). I have however asked the superintendents to give it some consideration and evaluate their sites individually to determine if there are any feasible locations where this activity might be safely conducted.".

He also went on to say :

"I personally followed up with the Superintendent at Inks Lake, along with all other park superintendents, to ensure their staff are aware of the policy and that it’s not just a purely prohibited activity and to understand some of the background information as well."

And finally:

"Again, I appreciate your patience as we continue to evaluate the possibility of allowing unmanned aircraft in some select state parks. I’d be happy to follow up with you if there are any parks in central Texas which find a suitable location to allow this activity."


Personally I think this is a very encouraging response. I responded, thanking him and offered to put together a short informal presentation and demonstration for his staff, so that they can make a better informed opinion. I'm new to the UAV hobby, so I will be coming here for input if he takes me up on that.
Maybe we can get a petition started online for us pilots who respect the privacy of others, fly responsibly and want to leverage this technology to enhance our creative sides and get pictures and videos of things we haven't seen. Maybe even a bigfoot. :) Seriously though. I agree with both sides of this discussion surrounding the peace and quite and nature that folks enjoy, but in areas like where there are waterfalls and other loud natural noises, having a Drone flyby would most likely not even be heard, especially at altitude. One option could be to keep a minimum altitude. This provides us pilots/enthusiasts/photographers & cinematographers with options. Also it precludes the privacy issue as well. If you are at altitude, you can't recognize the people. You can see that they are there, but you can't identify them. This gives them their privacy, and it provides us with the option to take some amazing photos and videos of our natural wonders.

They could even introduce a special drone license to ensure that folks that operate them within the parks have the right kind of training and awareness. Also gives them a new revenue stream, which they are always looking for. As long as they make it reasonable.

I've started a petition for this online. Let's spread the word and see how many folks we can get to support us. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/423/670/874/allow-unmanned-aircraft-in-texas-state-parks/
 
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I wanted to thank everyone for listing this information about Texas law. I'm in Dallas and was going to purchase a Phantom 3 for scenic shots of my neighborhood at high altitude and possibly use for lost pets as I'm on the neighborhood board but it looks like that isn't legal. Its too bad but I'm glad I came here first before buying!
 
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I wanted to thank everyone for listing this information about Texas law. I'm in Dallas and was going to purchase a Phantom 3 for scenic shots of my neighborhood at high altitude and possibly use for lost pets as I'm on the neighborhood board but it looks like that isn't legal. Its too bad but I'm glad I came here first before buying!
The prohibition discussed, here, has been about launching and landing drones in Texas state parks. It is not about flying over Texas state parks (as do other aircraft) or flying/photographing over your neighborhood (as do other aircraft).

I, too, am on the Board of Directors for my Central Texas neighborhood property owners association. I have 3 Phantoms. I use them for the purposes you list. Such use is not against any law.
 
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This was my answer in Mission Viejo, Ca.

RE: Quadcopters
Julie Zanio
  • Jul 31 at 10:35 AM
To
  • Mikedaniels

Ok – so the restriction are to not video any sporting event or group activity. Try to avoid the peak hours

at the major parks (11 -4).


Thank you and have a nice weekend.




Julie Zanio

Facility & Park Rentals

Norman P. Murray Community Center

24932 Veterans Way

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

(949) 470-3035 Fax (949) 855-6932

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Tour our virtual facility at:

http://cityofmissionviejo.org/rentals/

I hope DJI has an active participation in all this. They could suffer quite a business loss.
 
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The prohibition discussed, here, has been about launching and landing drones in Texas state parks. It is not about flying over Texas state parks (as do other aircraft) or flying/photographing over your neighborhood (as do other aircraft).

I, too, am on the Board of Directors for my Central Texas neighborhood property owners association. I have 3 Phantoms. I use them for the purposes you list. Such use is not against any law.
I thought I read you had to get written permission to fly and film over private property.
 
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I thought I read you had to get written permission to fly and film over private property.
I don't think you will find any such requirement for 'written permission".

Air space over private property, like road space around private property, is public space. A public entity (FAA in the case of airspace) publishes rules and restrictions. The private property owner does not own or control the airspace over his property, just as he doesn't control the road around his property. Can you imagine a private property owner requiring all aircraft to fly around his land?

In Texas, it is now a class C misdemeanor to "capture an image of a person or private property with the intent to conduct surveillance of that person or property" without permission. Your description did not sound like your property owners' association intends to conduct surveillance of any particular person or property. It would be up to the complainant to prove you did.

That said; civil and courteous actions are usually the most productive practices. So, consider making the proposal to your property owners, through your Board of Directors. Describe the benefits and ask for any objections before purchasing your Phantom. If you get significant resistance, it may be prudent to set aside your right to be in that public space; just as it may be prudent to respect resistance if you were going to take photographs of all the streets in your subdivision.
 
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And yet, not one law restricts those flights.
Actually tour operators in the Grand Canyon Park have a lot of FAA rules specific to them. More than any other wilderness area in the USA.
 
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Unfortunately it just takes one person to start buzzing people's tents at 6 AM, or one person that says "I launched outside of the park but flew over the park , its my right" to ruin it for everyone

You don't get rules loosened by breaking them, you show we can honor the rules and fly responsible, which includes following the rules, and working to get them changed.

I saw someone write in another thread that in his country you can't fly over 30 meters and can only fly in designated areas,,,if we don't show drone pilots can be responsible, that will end up being the type of laws passed here
 
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Well I'm glad that it isn't illegal to fly over houses. My goal was for aerial shots only from at least 150 feet up or higher. I was planning to launch from a local city park to keep the noise level down from landing and taking off but that doesn't sound like its legal now. How high does a Phantom 3 need to go before you can't hear them passing over? Courtesy is important to me.
 
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"The State Parks requests a determination"....this is strictly a internal memo from the Director of Texas State Parks to Carter Smith who is the executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is not a law. I can find nothing on the internet that says that Texas has banned drones from state parks. They may want to, but there would likely need to be a law written by the Texas legislature to ban the use of drones on state property.
 
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... How high does a Phantom 3 need to go before you can't hear them passing over? Courtesy is important to me.
I was surprised to find out yesterday that I can hear my P4 out to about 430 feet at a quiet field in the AM. They do seem to carry that buzziness noise pretty far.

There are helicopter blades that have some odd angles that make them a little quieter and more stealth-like (Blue Blade I think?). Surprised they aren't in the RC department yet.
 
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I was surprised to find out yesterday that I can hear my P4 out to about 430 feet at a quiet field in the AM. They do seem to carry that buzziness noise pretty far.

There are helicopter blades that have some odd angles that make them a little quieter and more stealth-like (Blue Blade I think?). Surprised they aren't in the RC department yet.
I flew my P3P the other day and it became disconnected from the remote. My wife and I were hoping it would return home and we were out at the end of the neighborhood looking up for it. It was about 250 feet high. We finally saw it and heard it, but we both commented that if we didn't know it was up there, we probably would not have known it was flying by. I think at several hundred feet, all but the most quiet environments will not hear it.
 
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What's the most recent update on flying in state parks? I'd like to get a little footage when we go to Garner next month.
 
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What's the most recent update on flying in state parks? I'd like to get a little footage when we go to Garner next month.
My former partner is now a Texas Parks and Wildlife police officer in the Austin area. I contacted him about this, and he told me that you would have to contact the park directly to see if they allow flying in the park, is restricted to certain areas of the park or is completely restricted.
 
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I'm not a pot stirer, but I can see a civil suit here on the grounds of public areas.
I'm also curious about the reasoning behind it.
 

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