Drone laws

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St. Louis, MO
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I've always wanted a drone to capture our camp sites and surrounding area, but have real hesitant because of the restrictions. We camp mainly in state parks, COE and some military FamCamps. As I understand drone are forbidden in these parks. Is that a valid statement? Or have regs lightened up any? And how about private parks? I realize that would be on an individual basis, but in general.
So where do you get to use your drone?
thanks
 
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Flying drones is prohibited in national parks as well as monuments, historic sites, battlefields, seashores, biking trails, walking trails, rivers and other places run by the national park service.

The CoE’s policies governing drones prohibits operation of them over developed public lands, including campgrounds, structures and critical infrastructure such as dams, locks and power stations.

Drones are also prohibited in most, if not all state parks. You’d have to check the website of each state’s parks section for the authoritative answer.

Private parks get to make their own rules but by and large, it tends to be frowned upon if not prohibited.

Its a shame. They are a neat little tool but most places where you’d want to use them expressly prohibit them and the penalties for violation are stiff. It’s one of the things that has kept me from getting one myself.
 
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From my perspective, drones can be pretty intrusive. I understand the "fun" aspect for the flyer, but that doesn't negate the intrusiveness. We've had a few folks flying drones at Polson and, as long as they kept them in/over their own site, it was fine. A couple of folks, however, thought it was fun to fly over other people's sites and even "buzz" them. Good thing the use of skeet guns is restricted at our resort! ;)

Like others, I wouldn't mind having one, but the legal, ethical and practical restrictions on where they can...or should...be flown are pretty restrictive.

TJ
 
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Good thing the use of skeet guns is restricted at our resort! ;)

did they say anything about net guns?

I would certainly never fly one in a campground but while mountain biking with my son in a FL state park a couple of weeks ago, it would have been nice to have a drone follow us and get some shots of us.
 
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DJI actually has a very good forum that explains the rules and regulations of flying drones.
 

Jim

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From my perspective, drones can be pretty intrusive.

TJ
I guess they could be but I think your fears are (for the most part) unfounded. It's possible to hover over your RV and take some pictures, but for what reason? Drones are more fun when you're a couple hundred feet up, and at that height, you and your RV are just part of the surroundings.

Here is a video I shot at my friends wedding anniversary a couple of years ago. People in the video were visible but detail is short of intrusive. :)

 
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I guess they could be but I think your fears are (for the most part) unfounded. It's possible to hover over your RV and take some pictures, but for what reason? Drones are more fun when you're a couple hundred feet up, and at that height, you and your RV are just part of the surroundings.

Here is a video I shot at my friends wedding anniversary a couple of years ago. People in the video were visible but detail is short of intrusive. :)

Not particularly worried about them getting too much detail. If they got very much detail on this Ol' Dinosaur, they would likely explode anyway. ;) I'm just worried about the shower of falling pieces. :ROFLMAO:

Actually, my primary "intrusion" concern is the pilot losing control and having the dang thing hit someone. Not everyone with the bucks to buy a drone has the skill and/or common sense to fly one successfully. :rolleyes:

TJ
 
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I'm a big fan of drones. If you have an interest in photography or getting views you can't for various reasons a drone is a great tool. DJI has made them very easy to fly and also safe, no real skills required, you can push a button and they will return to home and land exactly where it took off from and clear obstacles etc. But imagine you're in Alaska and you want great videos of BEARS or bears fishing for salmon. Are you going to go down and close to get that shot or can do so more safely via a drone? You can use a drone to go places you could never get to on foot, for example when I was in Deming, NM I think it was I wanted to see what was on top of the mountain. I flew my drone up and was able to see the antenna structures up there and other cool things right from the iPad on top of my drone controller. I've taken neat videos of my boat, drones have various follow modes so you can lock on a target and it can follow along, it can circle it to take cool videos, there's a lot to these things more than you think. Here is a great site for some of the features of my DJI Mavic 2 Pro:


Again, this is not some reckless toy, this is a very useful tool for many use cases.
 
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Sometimes I think the only thing that separates a drone from a toy is the price. If you buy a $100 drone it's a toy. When you spend $2000+ it's a tool. IMHO it's all about how you use it. The laws for flying are black and white, it's the way you fly it that can make it reckless and/or intrusive. I doubt very seriously there are many who are using it to spy/peep on someone.

I do know this .... unless an area is already restricted (airport, National Park, prison etc etc) the airspace above your house, property, neighborhood or campground is not controlled. You may own the land but you do not own the air space above it. If you're an idiot and fly/hover above someones property you deserve to have it shot down but the penalties for doing so can be costly.

Here is short video I shot a couple weeks ago at the Two Rivers Landing RV Resort. I asked one of the workers for permission before I took off. Do you think its intrusive? The drone is at least 100' in the air.

 
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I've always wanted a drone to capture our camp sites and surrounding area, but have real hesitant because of the restrictions. We camp mainly in state parks, COE and some military FamCamps. As I understand drone are forbidden in these parks. Is that a valid statement? Or have regs lightened up any? And how about private parks? I realize that would be on an individual basis, but in general.
So where do you get to use your drone?
thanks

There is no doubt there are people that abuse the use of their drone for intrusive or pestering means but I'm going to stop on that track as I'm sure all of us here are mature and respectful so let's return to the OP's question and assume that all of us here would use a drone for the tool that it is for photography and recording videos of our RV adventures.

I highly recommend one and if you get one you have to register it with the FAA. You'll get an ID that you are supposed to affix to your drone, I used a label maker and did so. The reasons and ramifications are obvious, it's your choice to have your drone traced back to you. There is a weight limit on drones that have to be registered, DJI now has a smaller one that falls exactly under this limit. Realize a smaller drone will be harder to fly and have less capable photography capability, in theory at least, pay attention to the specs that matter to you.


There are apps that can tell you if you're legal to fly at your location, the FAA has one, I think it's being redone, it's called B4UFLY. It identifies if you're near an airport, etc.


Some RV parks will outline no drones allowed in their rules, if so, you know you can't fly from the campground. If not specified then just show some respect and avoid others as much as possible. While fly aways are far more rare, imagine if your drone lost control and went full speed ahead into the side of a Prevost. Assuming you survive the owner, now you have an insurance issue. I was, not sure if I'm still current, subscribed to AMA. I think being a member offers insurance just like radio controlled aircraft I used to fly (and want to get back into).

My DJI Mavic 2 Pro is so small it shares my Lowepro camera case with my Nikon DSLR so I can take both when a photo opportunity may be available. I've enjoyed flying it on July 4th to capture fireworks, and it's great to keep a history of YouTube videos on your own channel of your travels and anything you want to record.

So again, go for it, and Black Friday is approaching so you may find deals to be had this coming weekend.
 
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On an aside, I watched the DRL Drone racing on tv - that flying is insane and I'm sure that those kind of drones shouldn't be used anywhere near anything expensive.
 
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