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

North Carolina is a terrible drone state

Lapeer20m

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
1,294
Reactions
1,624
Location
Southeast Michigan
im on vacation in western North Carolina. It’s beautiful but it appears all but impossible to fly a drone here. Among the other rules, there is no launching or landing from state property or private property without permission. The state issues their own test for part 107 pililots and issues their own permit. They also allow each municipality to create their own drone regulations.

All of this is opposite of my home state of Michigan.

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/Aviation Resources Documents/UAS_Memo.pdf
 
  • Like
Reactions: Former Member

Former Member

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
13,985
Reactions
13,059
Location
Duluth, Georgia
it appears all but impossible to fly a drone here.

I have many friends and customers in North Carlina. The newly enacted laws are quite restrictive and daunting to read, but it's not impossible to fly there. It would be difficult to publish any footage publicly without getting permission of all parties involved, but since you are on a vacation, you might just want to keep the footage to yourself and not try to monetize it in any way. That would avoid the 107 requirement.

(b) General Prohibitions. – Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person, entity, or State agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to do any of the following: (1) Conduct surveillance of: a. A person or a dwelling occupied by a person and that dwelling's curtilage without the person's consent. b. Private real property without the consent of the owner, easement holder, or lessee of the property. (2) Photograph an individual, without the individual's consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating the photograph. This subdivision shall not apply to newsgathering, newsworthy events, or events or places to which the general public is invited.

I think that if you are not "conducting surveillance," that would eliminate most of #1. As long as you are just flying around and not going to publish the footage, I would think that you should be ok. As for #2, as long as your arent selling it, you can photograph individuals.

I think that as long as you stay well above peoples property and are respectful to the homeowners, you wont hear many complaints.

You can possibly fly in any park you wish, as long as you get approval first. If not, then you can overfly it.

According to the NC DOT, "As drones, also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), become more common, North Carolina’s laws are changing to stay up-to-date with this fast-growing industry.” NC is not only trying to stay up to date, but they are enacting laws not yet passed by the overwhelming majority of states.

Edit: The interpretation of the term, "conducting surveillance" does leave alot of wiggle room. The local police, DOT or government officials could at the very least ask you to land until you are able to prove to them that you were just taking random shots and not surveilling, and you arent bothering anyone because you were flying well above anyones property.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: freekshough

RBeaton

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
42
Reactions
27
Age
43
Funny that North Carolina is the birthplace of aviation, yet they have prohibitive regulations like this.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like parts of those laws could be successfully challenged in court. Singer vs. Newton, while in a different state, was able to show that a town's drone ordinances were conflict preempted - if federal and state laws conflict, federal law wins. In the case of NC, they shouldn't legally be imposing additional registration requirements unless they have FAA approval to do so. Again, not a lawyer so take it with a grain of salt. Singer v. City of Newton

Too bad there's not (yet) a drone charity/organization that will go to bat legally against towns/states to fix inconsistencies and tear down knee-jerk laws like this since most of us probably don't have the deep pockets and patience to battle it ourselves.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dewster

FlyGuy8675309

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
869
Reactions
912
Age
51
Very similar laws here in Florida. They are mainly to give relief to people being stalked or harassed by drones. And most of penalties are civil, not criminal -- so the police involvement will be "observe and report" (unless you're being a real menace :eek:) .

Use common sense and you should be fine.
 
Last edited:

MrsTreat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
315
Reactions
215
I don’t think the law will hold up. If a person is out in public they’re fair game for getting their picture taken.

Also, I’d imagine the images on your drone’s SD card are private property much like the information on your phone.

I fly NC primarily and take off from parking lots, stores, boat ramps, etc and haven’t had an issue. I also fly as respectfully to others as possible. As long as I’m just up there enjoying the feeling of flying and not bothering anyone I’m pretty sure most folks will treat me the same way.
 

smurfslayer

Active Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Messages
28
Reactions
17
Location
Northern Virginia
It’s a law written by lawyers, for lawyers.

  1. (b) General Prohibitions. – Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person, entity, or State agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to do any of the following:
    1. (1) Conduct surveillance of:
      1. A person or a dwelling occupied by a person and that dwelling's curtilage without the person's consent.

      2. Private real property without the consent of the owner, easement holder, or lessee of the property.
    2. (2) Photograph an individual, without the individual's consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating the photograph. This subdivision shall not apply to newsgathering, newsworthy events, or events or places to which the general public is invited.

So while the prohibitions are somewhat onerous sounding, photography, videography and such are not in and of themselves ‘surveillance’.

This part refers to the section above
§ 14-7.45. Crimes committed by use of unmanned aircraft systems.

All crimes committed by use of an unmanned aircraft system, as defined in G.S. 15A- 300.1, while in flight over this State shall be governed by the laws of this State, and the question of whether the conduct by an unmanned aircraft system while in flight over this State constitutes a crime by the owner of the unmanned aircraft system shall be determined by the laws of this State.


It looks like on the surface NC is trying to usurp FAA authority but ...300.1 doesn’t seem to tread upon surveillance.
 

Pingman68

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
85
Reactions
67
Age
52
I just got back from vacation in Western North Carolina and had no problems at all flying the drone. I always asked around at whatever location I was for permission, and was pleasantly surprised to get it every time. Obviously I didn’t even try in the parks or any area under NPS control, but plenty of other beautiful places to fly around there. Got some amazing footage and pictures.
 

Attachments

  • 8072B3B3-3BC1-4B01-ACAF-1D7ADA5E5ABD.jpeg
    8072B3B3-3BC1-4B01-ACAF-1D7ADA5E5ABD.jpeg
    820.4 KB · Views: 46
  • 203922CA-3F11-4DB1-B741-B57CD7F9B9D7.jpeg
    203922CA-3F11-4DB1-B741-B57CD7F9B9D7.jpeg
    579.9 KB · Views: 44

Paul2660

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
757
Reactions
468
Age
63
Same laws here in Arkansas, at least for State Parks, but so far the State has only asked for a permit to fly in a Arkansas State Park, not give a separate 107. Permit is however extremely restrictive and makes flying a bit difficult as it's just too hard to predict weather and pin down an exact time to the hour. No flying in Hot Spring National Park or Buffalo National River as both are Federal National Park or National River.

However all National Forests are still flyable and thankfully Arkansas has a lot of them.

Issue around private land, at least for me, if I know it's private (easy to tell most times due to purple paint on trees), I will ask permission if I can locate the owner. It's always a bit tricky depending on the land owner.

State has similar rules about surveillance of individuals, but IMO common sense can handle that. A lot of over play of just what a drone can and cannot take a usable picture of.

I do miss the ability to fly in several of the State Parks here.

Paul C
 

floydray68

New Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
1
Reactions
0
I'm a Recreational Flier... I'm going up to Highlands, NC soon and know of a place That I can walk to with a waterfall and beautiful stream, In Class G air space. Any thoughts on my permissions needed?
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 2 Case

DJI Drone Deals

1. Mini SE - $299
2. Mini 2 - $449
3. Air 2 (renewed) - $649
4. Air 2s - $999
5. FPV Combo - $1299
6. Mavic 2 Zoom - $1349
7. Mavic 2 Pro - $1499

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
108,416
Messages
1,283,929
Members
139,194
Latest member
haziiimmmm