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Old 12-07-2008, 03:13 AM   #1
michaeljvdh
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Default Flying in parks and school yards !!! LAW

Hi I need help, I now live in Vancouver BC, Canada.

I love stick planes (electric) I want to fly my plane in empty school field's that have public access, or parks that have no one in them late afternoon ... or early morning.

I email the local flying comittee's here and I get all kinds of different replies about flying ONLY at their fields. personally I think its crap and does not apply to park flyers & slow flyers ... can anyone assist here ... I know of NO law forbidding the flight of electric toys !!! as per say in public places.

In defence of the clubs, I will graciously fly there, with bigger models .. I think thats what the clubs are meant for. But my stick planes ... !! I dont know ..

Input would be graciously appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:17 AM   #2
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If anything it will be local byelaws that forbid model flying. Many places do have such laws to forbid ANY model flying in any public owned areas. But since these by definition are LOCAL laws you'll have to find what applies in your particular town/city.

Steve
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:03 AM   #3
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Hello Michaeljvdh,
I agree with Steve, at least here in the US (and, apparently in the UK) there are usually local laws prohibiting the use of "Motorized" vehicles or flying models in City or State parks. These vary from region to region.
But whether or not those laws apply everywhere, there's another problem; Frequency conflict. A 72mHZ FM transmitter is capable of sending a signal more than a mile. If there was a park within radio range of the flying field, the user would be in conflict with another model (on the same channel) and neither flyer would be aware of it. This is why channels are so closely monitered at flying fields.
When a second transmitter (on the same channel, again) is switched on, the signal interferes with the original Tx signal. The result is almost always total loss of control and a crash of the first plane.
Clubs and organized flying sites generally have a frequency scanner, trainers, safety Officers, insurance (either through a club charter or by requiring the members to belong to a National organization that provides insurance), rules and permissions. There is no other activity allowed, so there are no "Bystanders", animals, children, picnics, sports or non-flyers wandering around the flight area.
In other words, it is a safe flying environment, or as safe as possible.
While you may be a safe and experienced flyer, not all R/Cers who fly at parks are. If even one of these flyers has a serious accident involving another person or property, it could well threaten model flying everywhere in the region.
The public tends to paint all R/Cers with the same brush. If one is irresponsible, they are all irresponsible. If one is dangerous, they're all dangerous.
Fly Safely!
Ron
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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I'm in Edmonton Alberta.

Our local bylaws state that flying "powered" models of any sort is prohibited without a permit. When I inquired about permits I was told that permits were only available to educational groups once or twice a year. This bylaw was put in place in 1962.

I still fly at a local soccer field if no one is around, otherwise I fly my suoercub at larger construction sites. The common consensus up here is to fly until some one complains. I see guys flying in local parks on a regular basis, and have yet to hear of anyone getting a fine for it. One of my buddies had a local cop watch him for several flights without saying a word. I myself have never had any one even ask about it, although I have had a couple of spectators.

All the sites I fly at have been previously checked using Google earth, to check distances from Known flying fields to avoid interference as per AMA/MAAC regulations.


Near as I can tell, the bylaws are put in place to protect the city from lawsuits if some one gets hurt, since no one enforces anything here unless there is a complaint.
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:32 PM   #5
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It still amazes me that on the web, including most of the flying forums, people will post videos or pictures taken from a model while flying over a town, city, freeway, their neighborhood, or even flying in their street.
But then I suppose to some it's no worse than exceeding a speed limit in a car,...'as long as no one gets hurt..so what' attitude.

Thankfully there doesn't seem to have been a serious accident reported that was caused by a model aircraft crashing on to a roadway, ....yet.

Fly safe.

Ray in Wales
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I walk into a room, and think, 'now what was it that I'm here after?' :o
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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There are no specific laws against it here in San Diego. I always fly in public parks, but only in the early morning when nobody is around.
The local club field here is a tiny dirt and tumbleweed area. I wouldn't fly there even if I were a member.

Of course, if you hurt someone, whether your flying a plane or even a kite, you're responsible.

"No user serviceable parts inside" means I have to crack it open to see what they think I can't fix.

I'd have a lot more planes if I didn't fly so often.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by phupper View Post
Of course, if you hurt someone, whether your flying a plane or even a kite, you're responsible.
Yeah, I've seen a few acrobatic kites come very close to drilling a hole in the top of someone's skull.
I fly on the coast and emailed the head of the state parks department for this area. I told him the type of park flyer I had and the weight, and the type of safety precautions I take - not flying when the are very many people on the beach. He emailed back and said -
"It seems that you are considering the correct risk factors, public safety, and minimizing potential user conflicts with other traditional recreational activities. The biggest concern would be wildlife issues, in particular western snowy plover. Admin Rule OAR 736-21-100 (3) prohibits harassing wildlife, seabirds or nesting birds, disturbing tide pools; gathering eggs or other live material. Please be aware that you cannot fly this plan fronting western snowy plover habitats. These areas are signed and roped from March 15 - September 15, during the nesting season.
Early morning may be best time for your activity due low recreation use and strong winds later in the afternoon.
As an individual enthusiast, I don't see a lot of concern, especially given your plane model. To consider a larger group event on the ocean shore would require a Misc. Use Permit, insurance, and permit fee."
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:16 AM   #8
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Wow. I'm impressed that you got an intelligent reply, and obviously with some thought put into it. It sounds like the head of your state parks dept. is an RC flyer too (yes, soon we will infiltrate every level of government).

"No user serviceable parts inside" means I have to crack it open to see what they think I can't fix.

I'd have a lot more planes if I didn't fly so often.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:40 AM   #9
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I was kind of surprised too. When I originally emailed him, I tried to keep my flying spot as vague as possible, not knowing what the response would be. Also something to note; here on the Oregon Coast, the beaches are not nearly as populated as say Cal. Sometimes I'm it, nobody else.
E
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:59 AM   #10
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Yep, I like to do the ol' Do it till someone tells you otherwise.... as long as your doing it with safety in mind, and without causeing a racket... then you can use the ol' "wow, I didn't know that.... I've been flying here forever and nobody told me a thing.... I even see cops drive by here all the time... and they've watched me but they never said anything..." that will usually cut some slack (little white lie)... Worst thing they'll prob do is tell you to leave...so long as your polite.... if you give them any lip... its your butt....LOL

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Old 12-08-2008, 01:28 AM   #11
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But stay out of any designated wildlife areas, they're deadly serious about that. There's a place near my house I could fly conveniently, but it borders on a designated bird habitat area. If I crashed my plane on the other side of the fence, it would be in plain sight but illegal to retrieve (I'd have to wait for dark of night).

"No user serviceable parts inside" means I have to crack it open to see what they think I can't fix.

I'd have a lot more planes if I didn't fly so often.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by phupper View Post
(I'd have to wait for dark of night).
now thats the spirit....LOL

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Old 12-08-2008, 03:53 AM   #13
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Michaeljvdh:
I have local info for you:

Vancouver - Parks Dept. forbids all rc flying in all parks except Jericho Beach at specified times and at 1 area only. Check with the City re: times and liability ins. coverage.

North Vancouver - flying prohibitted in all parks except Upper River Park, near Capilano College, again at specific times only. Contact the Parks Dept., or find contact info for the local club posted at the entry to the upper sports fields. Must join MAAC and local club.

Burnaby - No flying in any parks, except Burnaby Lake East Sports Complex, on Sperling Ave., at specified times. See info at www.hoods-up.com . Must be MAAC member and club member for liabilty coverage.

Coquitlam - RC flying only at Upper Coquitlam River Park, again at desigated times, with MAAC membership needed for ins. purposes. See www.WCRCAF.com for more info.

I believe that all other cities and municipalites in the Lower Mainland area have similar rules about flying in parks. I have no info about flying in school fields in the area, but I would think that their risk management people would also take a dim view of uninsured/unauthorized use of the facilities. It's not a matter of the size and weight of your park flier; it still has a whirling blade on it, ready to hack away at any flesh in it's path. Please do the right thing, and join MAAC, and the club nearest you. You'll find the people friendly and helpful, and the experience worthwhile.

If the Burnaby Lake Park is near you, come by and say Hi. I'm there most weekends, when it's not raining or blowing the trees over double. I'm the club pres., and the Assistant Zone director for MAAC in the area. I should be able to answer any questions that you might have about joining both organizations.

Cheers,
Brad.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:46 AM   #14
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I would like to second you here. I fly also when no one is around early or late afternoon. Also deserted school fields are best.

I also fly 2.4GHZ so im not worried about collission ... some earlier guys have raised the flag ... but as I mentioned im a parkflyer(2.4GHZ) ...

Thanks for your input on this. Im going to take out the insurance I suppose ... but to heck with the laws its an electric plane, and I dont fly when people are about.



Originally Posted by phupper View Post
There are no specific laws against it here in San Diego. I always fly in public parks, but only in the early morning when nobody is around.
The local club field here is a tiny dirt and tumbleweed area. I wouldn't fly there even if I were a member.

Of course, if you hurt someone, whether your flying a plane or even a kite, you're responsible.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:00 AM   #15
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BradT - Thank you for your interest ... I am actually a custom stick builder, and recently designed my own 1.4meter slow flying stick plane running on Eflite400 with 11.1v LIPO, and 2.4GHZ kit.

Im originally from South Africa, where you can fly where ever you like.

We had many open land areas available to for MILES, coming here ... I feel like my feet have been cut-off ... whilst developing my own plane, shooting to your local school ground or park to test your changes was convienient ... now .. I have to travel 20km to Burnaby from North Van, to "test quick" ... This hobby is just the best thing in the world, and if the world doesnt want us in it .... then why dont they give us our OWN 24hr flying site in each major area in vancouver. These restrictions jsut encourage people to do wrong, I think I would be better off making off to the hills or farm lands & lonely roads and fly for a whole day. Understand my frustration .... I just dont think its fair. Since the weather in my back yard does not confirm the weather at the flying fields, or by the time you get there. I am happy to take out the insurance.

But to walk past a gravel field hat is huge andhas no-one in it ... for DAYS ... just kills me ...

AAARRGGHGHGHGHHG.





Originally Posted by BradT View Post
Michaeljvdh:
I have local info for you:

Vancouver - Parks Dept. forbids all rc flying in all parks except Jericho Beach at specified times and at 1 area only. Check with the City re: times and liability ins. coverage.

North Vancouver - flying prohibitted in all parks except Upper River Park, near Capilano College, again at specific times only. Contact the Parks Dept., or find contact info for the local club posted at the entry to the upper sports fields. Must join MAAC and local club.

Burnaby - No flying in any parks, except Burnaby Lake East Sports Complex, on Sperling Ave., at specified times. See info at www.hoods-up.com . Must be MAAC member and club member for liabilty coverage.

Coquitlam - RC flying only at Upper Coquitlam River Park, again at desigated times, with MAAC membership needed for ins. purposes. See www.WCRCAF.com for more info.

I believe that all other cities and municipalites in the Lower Mainland area have similar rules about flying in parks. I have no info about flying in school fields in the area, but I would think that their risk management people would also take a dim view of uninsured/unauthorized use of the facilities. It's not a matter of the size and weight of your park flier; it still has a whirling blade on it, ready to hack away at any flesh in it's path. Please do the right thing, and join MAAC, and the club nearest you. You'll find the people friendly and helpful, and the experience worthwhile.

If the Burnaby Lake Park is near you, come by and say Hi. I'm there most weekends, when it's not raining or blowing the trees over double. I'm the club pres., and the Assistant Zone director for MAAC in the area. I should be able to answer any questions that you might have about joining both organizations.

Cheers,
Brad.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:44 AM   #16
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Michael, since you're in N.Van., check out that field near Cap. College, it will save you a drive over that often frustrating bridge! I understand your feelings about open land and freedom, it was like that here when I was young, but times, and lawyers, have changed :-( Come and visit us in Burnaby when you get a chance, I'd like to see what you're building. We have some pretty innovative and talented builders in our group, and I'm often amazed (or amused) by what they turn out.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:45 PM   #17
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Same old game: if you want a site, you have to fight for it. I got the site in Richmond for control line, and it took 7 years of meetings and selling to get it. Others were there at those meetings, but it wasn't us who eventually won the site, it was our youth program and the threat to cancel it if we didn't get the site.

The site (on Rice Mill Road) is still there, and is still good for c/l; too many other difficulties around it for anything else.

The key is to get specified-use park designation, ie, electric-powered aircraft only, MAAC coverage, and a weight limit.

But the quickest way is with a youth program. If the kids have no place to fly as a group, they can make their requirements known. It ain't easy, but it can be done...
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:30 AM   #18
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Exactly, Terry. Part of our pitch to the City of Burnaby was that we are youth-friendly, though not youth only. We always have some teens and pre-teens as members, at least in part due to our high visibility location in a public park. We also pointed out to the City that their "no rc" rule was being ignored at a number of other parks, and the Parks Patrol could go from being the "killjoy" when they approached young fliers who didn't know any better, to being the "good guys" by directing those new fliers to us, for proper instruction, especially safety instruction. We've had a good relationship with the City since 2000, and hope to continue for a long time to come.

The U/C groups at Rice Mill Road are now part of my responsibilty as Assistant (never want to abreviate that) Zone Director for MAAC, and I've met with some of the guys several times. I had no idea that you were instrumental in obtaining that site. Lots of folks are still enjoying the hobby there.

Brad.
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:51 PM   #19
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Bingo. So there you have it, guys: acquisition of flying sites is much easier if youth are involved. When a municipality (whatever) looks at us adults asking for land access, they think that we should just buy land like the golfers do, then fight for the right to fly there. Sometimes that works, sometimes not.

However, if you show that it is an activity that involves kids and teens, the attitude changes; I found that out the hard way. We went to meetings with some really lovely models, and got nowhere: old guys playing with toys. Once we had established a youth group, then we made progress. It's simple really.

And it pleases me no end that the Rice Mill Road site is still active; makes the fight worthwhile. It was built in '72 or so BY THE MUNICIPALITY, paved circles, windblock trees, picnic tables, the whole lot, is on the mowing schedule, etc. There used to be a sign on the fence crediting the Sea Island Model Flying Club for its presence, and that was us. I think that fight was where I grew to hate bureaucracies!
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:09 PM   #20
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Hello, i fly my supercub at garry point beach park in richmond , far away from the airport ,also huge open area, you can fly ur plane alone the beach too . So far people there are very nice and they always come to you ask you abt the rc hobby . The other place i go sometimes is in vancouver on 23 Ave west trafalgar park . Hope this will help .
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