Get more from your Mavic
The largest Mavic community in the world
Join Us Now

Flying over dams

DEads

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
50
Reactions
58
Age
48
Location
West Virginia
Just saw someone's video post of them flying over a dam in Colorado and I just Wednesday had an issue while flying over a dam. Ok, I was shooting video and photos in a West Virginia state park (with permission). I then flew over and took shots of the dam.. I was about 200 feet above the dam. About 10 minutes later a guy pulls up with the Army Corps of engineers and tells me I can't fly here, take pictures out anything. He asked for my I'd, which I gave him and my 107. Something about article 36 and 327.4. The guy said it is federal property. He gives a warning but asks me to delete my shoot. Says that I can't post pictures or video of the dam but I can of the lake. I talk to the guy and he is cool but I don't think this is correct is it? I used b4ufly and airmap, the dji app and none gave me a warning. It isn't on the faa list of restricted areas on their list. Anyone familiar with this? Btw I didn't delete my footage lol.
 

AMRE2ME2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
260
Reactions
228
Location
Colorado
He’s absolutely wrong. Just because it’s federal property doesn’t mean you can’t fly over it. Ridiculous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Thomas B

DEads

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
50
Reactions
58
Age
48
Location
West Virginia
He’s absolutely wrong. Just because it’s federal property doesn’t mean you can’t fly over it. Ridiculous.
I thought the same as long as I don't launch, land or operate from the federal property, but I am seeing stuff about critical infrastructure. However this dam isn't on the FAA restricted airspace. I am conflicted because I have cool footage but was already warned to delete it and not use any of it. N

FAA has this regulation: Security Sensitive Airspace Restrictions
And dams do fall under it.

But not all dams are on the FAA list of flight restrictions, including the one I was at. (Stonewall Jackson Lake and dam in West Virginia).

The guy said that someone posted drone footage of there recently on Facebook and they had him take it down and said he is now on a "National watch list".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Thomas B

Platinum 4 ever

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
456
Reactions
630
Age
58
Location
Massachusetts
I thought the same as long as I don't launch, land or operate from the federal property, but I am seeing stuff about critical infrastructure. However this dam isn't on the FAA restricted airspace. I am conflicted because I have cool footage but was already warned to delete it and not use any of it. N

FAA has this regulation: Security Sensitive Airspace Restrictions
And dams do fall under it.

But not all dams are on the FAA list of flight restrictions, including the one I was at. (Stonewall Jackson Lake and dam in West Virginia).

The guy said that someone posted drone footage of there recently on Facebook and they had him take it down and said he is now on a "National watch list".

This is crazy [emoji12]. Carrying a drone . Is like carrying a loaded firearm. What will they think of next.... ???
 

Dbez1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
735
Reactions
703
Age
74
Location
Ford City, PA
Contact the UAS division of the FAA and they will give you a definitive answer. I have found them to be very helpful. Most of them are drone pilots.
 
Last edited:

Marty Markoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
460
Reactions
274
Age
74
Location
Yorktown Heights, NY USA
Site
www.martymarkoephotography.com
This is crazy [emoji12]. Carrying a drone . Is like carrying a loaded firearm. What will they think of next.... ???
Maybe not so crazy. I'd bet malacious foreign entities like Russia, China, Iran, et al have been hacking US infrastructure and mapping potential vulnerabilities for many years. They could use Google Earth for overhead images, but water or ground level images would help identify weaknesses for explosive damage.

I love my freedom, especially 2nd amendment, but respect constrictions to require driving licenses and rules like mask wearing that not only protect me, but protect you and grandmaw and poppaw. Remember Kris Kristofferson's word, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
 

Tentoes

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
943
Reactions
873
Age
63
Location
Oklahoma USA
Well, he might be counting the dam as "Critical Infrastructure."
 

JimWest

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
175
Reactions
189
Age
75
Location
Detroit, Michigan USA
I thought the same as long as I don't launch, land or operate from the federal property, but I am seeing stuff about critical infrastructure. However this dam isn't on the FAA restricted airspace. I am conflicted because I have cool footage but was already warned to delete it and not use any of it. N

FAA has this regulation: Security Sensitive Airspace Restrictions
And dams do fall under it.

But not all dams are on the FAA list of flight restrictions, including the one I was at. (Stonewall Jackson Lake and dam in West Virginia).

The guy said that someone posted drone footage of there recently on Facebook and they had him take it down and said he is now on a "National watch list".
The Corps of Engineers has an aerial picture of that dam on their website: Pittsburgh District > Missions > Recreation > Lakes > Stonewall Jackson Lake
 

DEads

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
50
Reactions
58
Age
48
Location
West Virginia

Aerial Edge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
86
Reactions
81
Age
40
Location
Smithfield VA
Yea that one I do not know. In the regulation is says Aircraft, and flying under 107 all drones are registered aircraft. I know in Virginia you cannot fly on DWR Department owned lands(WMA). State Parks you can fly in only with written permission on a 107, with a filed flight plan and 1 Million liability policy. It looks like the rules are over ACOE lands, do they own the lake? Might want to make a call to the FAA and do a bit of asking.
 

hiflyer201

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Joined
Sep 27, 2018
Messages
2,445
Reactions
1,941
lingering over dam's and such are advised against in some situations and you can always find a moron who's going to give you a bad time thinking that your half lb. drone is going to cause devastation..or some other such nonsense. go early while those types are still in bed.
 

muchuckwagon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
80
Reactions
93
Age
49
Location
Ohio
I would start by contacting [email protected] and explaining the situation. I would ask if the airspace is actually restricted and if so, please reference the applicable laws so you can review the information with a FAA representative. I would also ask what laws prevent filming the dam and sharing the footage because logically that seems like an overreach by the individual that stopped you.

My guess is there are countless images and videos of the dam online already. What makes your drone footage any more potentially dangerous compared to cell phone pictures and videos posted on social media every day, many times by the very agencies responsible for maintaining the dam or other infrastructure.

From an educational standpoint, I hope you are able to chase down the correct answer and share what you learned with the forum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: maelstrom

Crouching Leopard

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
206
Reactions
145
Age
67
Location
Glen Waverley Australia
Probably comes under the "can't take off or land from here" rules.
Sounds like the guy is a Dam idiot to me. However, I don't live in the US so can't really comment. Here in Australia, we have our own petty official Dam idiots in the shape of Park Rangers and City Local law officers who have less authority than they think they do. They are employed on a piece of land so they think they own it the airspace above it, all the way to 1000 feet. Pun intended. In Aus, much of this stuff is done to put people off without actually having any legal basis, including info on Websites.

All a terrorist has to do is look on google earth. I would say if the US Government hasn't had it listed as restricted on Google Eart and maps, then there should be no issue. But, we are talking about governments and city officials here, and most of those are run by idiots who can't get a job elsewhere, Aus included.
 
Last edited:

anotherlab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
1,247
Reactions
5,681
Age
59
Location
Albany, NY
Just saw someone's video post of them flying over a dam in Colorado and I just Wednesday had an issue while flying over a dam. Ok, I was shooting video and photos in a West Virginia state park (with permission). I then flew over and took shots of the dam.. I was about 200 feet above the dam. About 10 minutes later a guy pulls up with the Army Corps of engineers and tells me I can't fly here, take pictures out anything. He asked for my I'd, which I gave him and my 107. Something about article 36 and 327.4. The guy said it is federal property. He gives a warning but asks me to delete my shoot. Says that I can't post pictures or video of the dam but I can of the lake. I talk to the guy and he is cool but I don't think this is correct is it? I used b4ufly and airmap, the dji app and none gave me a warning. It isn't on the faa list of restricted areas on their list. Anyone familiar with this? Btw I didn't delete my footage lol.
It looks like Title 36, Section 327.4 (via US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Website) explicitly prohibits the operation of aircraft on land.
Rules & Regulations at Corps Projects said:
(b) The operation of aircraft on project lands at locations other than those designated by the District Commander is prohibited. This provision shall not be applicable to aircraft engaged on official business of Federal, state or local governments or law enforcement agencies, aircraft used in emergency rescue in accordance with the directions of the District Commander or aircraft forced to land due to circumstances beyond the control of the operator.
Basically, you can't take off from the park. On the other hand, there is nothing in that document that even mentions photography.
 

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
112,329
Messages
1,330,826
Members
142,096
Latest member
Lloyd-drone