View Full Version : Question about places to fly

02-21-2007, 08:54 PM
Is it really ok to fly park flyers in parks? Assuming they're big enough and there aren't people around. There are a couple near me that are a lot closer than the flying field.

02-21-2007, 09:58 PM
As long as you obey the AMA safety rules, you're in good shape. The most important part is to set up a flight line and don't allow anyone in it. Don't overfly people, houses, or roads. I'm sure there are a 101 exceptions that more experienced people will point out (e.g., overflying a rarely used country road is not very risky), but if you can stick to the simple rules you'll have no problems.

If you injure someone, damage someone's house, or (worse) cause a car accident or something, THEN there will be problems. :( I would fly at a park if I had a slower flyer and/or was better at flying. I currently fly at a vacant lot near the freeway, and stay FAR from the freeway, just to be safe.

02-21-2007, 10:08 PM
You might also check for any signs that would restrict the use of radio controlled vehicles. Not a lot of parks restrict them but some do.

02-22-2007, 04:50 AM
Specifically there's a school near me That has 3 football fields and a couple of baseball diamonds. It would be plenty of room for the slow stick. I've read other posts about peoplt talking about flying at schools and out of parking lots behind their office buildings, etc. Just looking to make sure that it's actually ok so long as you're smart about it.

02-22-2007, 05:06 AM
I would advise you to check with the school first. Sometimes it is better not to ask the question (which is what I did), but that can backfire. For example, my son and I got "locked in" when maintenance locked the back gate. Fortunately we got out the front, but I had to go back the next day and ask the prinicpal to let me retrieve my plane from a tree. :( At least here in Irvine, CA, the school property is private / no trespassing, but there was no sign on the entrace we used. I wasn't in any trouble, but I consider myself lucky...

EDIT: They didn't give me a hard time, probably because I'm not a "kid", but the embarrasment factor goes up with age. ;) I felt like such a child, and wished I could blame it all on my 5 y.o. son, but it was my own fault...

Sky Sharkster
02-22-2007, 12:49 PM
Hello Blueapplepaste, Welcome to Wattflyer! There's been some good suggestions here, I'll add a couple others; If you can, bring a flying buddy or a helper with you. Even though the area may be clear when you start out, you'll be looking at your plane and may not notice the jogger who's about to run through your landing zone. Or the kids, dogs, other life forms who won't let you know they're around until your battery is low and it's too late!
Check with your local hobby shop or the AMA to find out where the local R/C sites are. The AMA requires that sites be no closer than 3 miles to each other. I'm not sure how far an R/C signal can travel, but you wouldn't want to be responsible for shooting down aircraft at a regulated site, and they might just be on your channel, which is sure to crash someone's plane!
Good Luck!

02-22-2007, 02:11 PM
Well the school is not private property, people are free to use the fields and playgrounds all they want so long as the school isn't using them; so tresspassing isn't an issue.

And the closest field is about 20 miles away, which is why I was trying to find a field or something closer so I could get a quick flight in or two during the week w/o having to drive 30 min to the field.

Thanks for all the replies so far guys! Keep 'em coming.

02-22-2007, 08:33 PM
EDIT: They didn't give me a hard time, probably because I'm not a "kid", but the embarrasment factor goes up with age. ;) I felt like such a child, and wished I could blame it all on my 5 y.o. son, but it was my own fault...Ah, you're right about that. Try telling a neighbor who just came out because something slammed into their house that you "landed on their roof".

Anyway, if I had to go to a field far away to fly, I'd quit this right now. I plan on getting a lot better to decrease incidence of hitting neighbors' houses, but I do fly in a small field behind my house and if I got out of control it could hit a house, but that's why my planes will remain small and not weight 15 lbs. Only you can know your skill level and whether it's acceptable to fly in certain areas but even a reckless rc pilot is probably safer than a guy on a motorbike, so don't get too fearful :)

02-22-2007, 08:48 PM
Ah, you're right about that. Try telling a neighbor who just came out because something slammed into their house that you "landed on their roof".

LOL :D I am sure that was quite a bit harder than my situation! Or the guy (I forget the handle) on WF who crashed through someone's roof. Hopefully the neighbor becomes a flying buddy rather than taking you to court. ;)

Leo L
02-23-2007, 01:31 PM
I have found that most people are friendly to the "big kid" playing with the plane, including the police and park officials, as long as you act in a responsible manner. We have had problems at my flying field, with flyers getting chased out or ticketed, from time to time, but the problems have always been the result of stupid and/or inconsiderate actions by fellow flyers. Let me list a few examples of what not to do:
1) Don't fly your plane when you have had too much to drink: an experienced, but drunk, flyer showed up at the field and commenced flying a ducted fan plane at speeds in excess of 70mph. He lost control of the plane while doing a low pass and had the plane fly across the street and into the side of a house at 70(+) mph. Luckily, the plane missed a picture window and hit the brick wall of the house, totally destroying the plane but doing no damage to the house. The guy was an off-duty cop, so he didn't get into trouble, but flying at my park was banned for two years!
2) Don't get impatient: a couple of flyers were waiting for a softball game to end so that they could fly, but the sun was starting to go down and one of them got impatient, so he took off from a crowded parking lot. His flight was OK, but when he tried to land in the parking lot, he was a little bit off in his judgement and crashed the plane into the side of his own car. No damage to the car or the plane, but the event took place while a park ranger was observing his flight. All flights were cancelled that evening.
3) Be mindful of other people's rights: Although most flyers use electrics at my field, there are several that insist on using glow as well. In order to avoid being hasseled by park rangers, several of us fly early in the morning, right after sunrise. One guy decided that early in the morning would be a great time to fly his glow. Unfortunately, people tend to sleep with open windows in the summer and hearing a glow plane at 6:00 AM can get some people pretty riled up. Several calls to the local police precinct resulted in a crack down on flying for several weeks.
4) Be aware that failures can happen at any time: A very experienced Heli flyer likes to come down to our field every now and then and have some fun. He flies a glow heli and is very good with it. Unfortunately, he likes to show off in, and around, large crowds. He had just finished making low inverted passes over a bunch of spectators when the Heli went out of control and crashed, narrowly missing several people. Luckily, there were no repercussions from the near accident.

02-23-2007, 02:12 PM
You are spot on with your post.

I have been flying for over 40 years and have seen much of what you have shared happen over and over.:(


02-23-2007, 02:26 PM
Yikes Leo!!! Most of that stuff just sounds like people being complete idiots and common sense about what not to do. Thanks for sharing.

02-23-2007, 11:07 PM
Wow Leo
Every time I've seen something like that happen that has come to the attention of the authorities it was a complete ban. You are lucky that one of these guys hasn't lost your flying site permanently.

Leo L
02-24-2007, 12:33 AM
Yeah, its kucky that I live and fly in New York City. The authorities have seen and dealt with so many stupid things, that a few out of control flyers don't create a very large problem. The field where I fly is primarily four baseball fields with a common centerfield, surrounded by trees. The free area is about 600ftx600ft. There is a street to the south, a 200ftx200ft parking lot to the east and wooded/marsh parkland on the north and west. There is also a high bank 1/4mile bicycle race track beyond the parking lot. There is a high demand for the park, so whenever the flyers can get a crack at it, there are usually planes being flown at the baseball fields, in the parking lot and in the bicycle track. I prefer to fly early in the morning when I have the whole place to myself, but a few weeks ago I went there just before sunset on a Saturday, one of the few winter days that we have had without severe cold and wind. As I flew my Typhoon, I counted five other electric planes and a glow heli, all sharing the 600x600 area. Amazingly, there were no crashes and almost no near misses.

02-26-2007, 07:00 PM
I think the best answer to this question (& many others in life) is to use some common sense. The folks Leo talked about seemed to be lacking any whatsoever. :rolleyes:

Arnold In The Smokies

02-27-2007, 01:11 AM
Yikes Leo!!! Most of that stuff just sounds like people being complete idiots and common sense about what not to do. Thanks for sharing.

It is amazing how quickly adults forget to use their common sence when they have a new toy in their hands.