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NaiveFlight

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I am in NOVA but am from VA Beach/Norfolk area. I live near Dulles airport and am in a caution zone. So, I don't fly above 100ft here. Just got the Mavic and am learning to fly it. Having a lot of fun but I don't think the neighbors like it so much.
Far more liberty in the richmond area
 

Skychs

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Hello from Richmond VA. Ive had my Mavic a couple weeks now and I would love to hook up with someone who knows how to fly these things. Im getting better and better but I still have a long way to go.
 

NaiveFlight

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Hello from Richmond VA. Ive had my Mavic a couple weeks now and I would love to hook up with someone who knows how to fly these things. Im getting better and better but I still have a long way to go.
I live and fly largely in the Chesterfield area
 

floz23

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Hi, new pilot from Northern Virginia area. Any others in the Western Loudoun area?
 

mlevings

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I just spent a week in Williamsburg. I got several flights in where I stayed. No luck at the beach. Went to Buckroe Beach on n Hampton but was n NFZ.
 

El_Mike

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Sandbridge in VA Beach was a good spot for us, fortunately I've moved to the west coast where there is far less restricted areas !
 

RCKable

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Lynchburg area, checking in.
 

pbzpln

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Not sure if everyone is familiar with this VA state law:

§ 15.2-926.3. (Expires July 1, 2019) Local regulation of certain aircraft.
No locality may regulate the use of a privately owned, unmanned aircraft system as defined in § 19.2-60.1 within its boundaries.

§ 15.2-926.3. (Expires July 1, 2019) Local regulation of certain aircraft

Well, Roanoke county has a "park fee-payer" I mean "Park Flyer" program they insist doesn't violate this law because they are the proprietor. Does that sound right? I thought the state law was supposed to prevent exactly this kind of thing?

http://www.explorepark.org/DocumentCenter/View/838
 

RCKable

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That is ridiculous to be charging people to fly there. I would think that since the laws says "No locality may regulate the use of a privately owned, unmanned aircraft system..." then they cant charge for a public park as putting a price of being able to fly there would actually be regulating who can and cant not fly there.
 

pbzpln

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The first guy at Parks and Rec was pretty negative, but then I had a very respectful conversation with a guy at Roanoke Co. Board of supervisors, but it was still infuriating. He said there had been problems and they had to regulate for safety, not sure how me being out $50/yr would make things safer.
And the proprietor thing is bull of course, didn't see them charging all the kids at the park or the group playing softball or the people walking dogs or the crazy old guy who took a dip in the water or the kayakers or the people playing cricket (yep, really, its was roanoke vs richmond apparently) or the kite flyers or the.....
 

floz23

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New law in effect in Virginia.

LIS > Bill Tracking > HB2350 > 2017 session
Use of electronic device to trespass; peeping into dwelling or occupied building; penalty. Punishes as a Class 1 misdemeanor the use of an electronic device to enter the property of another to secretly or furtively peep or spy or attempt to peep or spy into a dwelling or occupied building located on such property, unless such use occurs pursuant to a lawful criminal investigation.
 

leeava

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Not sure if everyone is familiar with this VA state law:

§ 15.2-926.3. (Expires July 1, 2019) Local regulation of certain aircraft.
No locality may regulate the use of a privately owned, unmanned aircraft system as defined in § 19.2-60.1 within its boundaries.

§ 15.2-926.3. (Expires July 1, 2019) Local regulation of certain aircraft

Well, Roanoke county has a "park fee-payer" I mean "Park Flyer" program they insist doesn't violate this law because they are the proprietor. Does that sound right? I thought the state law was supposed to prevent exactly this kind of thing?

http://www.explorepark.org/DocumentCenter/View/838
Use to the area, live at SML what about Mill Mountain. Thought that would be cool.
 

RCKable

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Use to the area, live at SML what about Mill Mountain. Thought that would be cool.
Do you fly over the lake much? I was planning on going down next weekend (Bedford side) and fly from a friends backyard.
You should be good up there, I would call ATC over at Roanoke though since its right at the 5 mile mark depending on where "They" decide to start measuring.
 

pbzpln

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The guy from Roanoke Co Board of Supervisors called me back about a week later (sorry, been busy) and reiterated their position, it was respectful again but i thought nothing had changed as he said they should be able to do what they were doing, but at the very end he threw in that they had decided drones don't have to pay for now.....Course they are still charging other UAVs that they shouldn't be. I wonder if I was flying my Parrot Swing at Green Hill Park (maybe kinda like this
, well exactly like that) would I need the permit for plane mode but not quad mode?...lol
 
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smurfslayer

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That preemption law is very simple and very strong, however it does not apply to “regional” parks, only parks, facilities and open territory within the county. Regional parks are run by “Authorities” which they assert are not “localities”. Any park run by any of these “Authorities” that is not a strictly county or city run facility will fight tooth and nail to prohibit UAVs.

You should also understand that there is a --previous-- AG opinion by Herring, circa 2015, which “held” that the parks ( in Fairfax county) could not control the airspace, even an inch off the ground, but, they could assert control over the land and prohibit UAVs from congregating in parks via park rules.

However, this law was proposed, passed and signed into law subsequent to the AG opinion and the law is much more prohibitive to the localities than when AG Herring ruled on it.

Why is this important? AG opinions are basically legal guidance for the .gov entities. If the AG says ‘you guys can only do this’ it means it’s his opinion that doing something else or contrary would possibly be illegal or make them liable, etc. The .gov is not required to abide by an AG opinion, but it’s considered wise. AG opinions that “survive” a subsequent General Assembly session are considered to have more weight in that the G.A. is considered to have “acquiesced” to the AG opinion. Courts give AG opinions significant deference and particularly if they have survived a subsequent session of the G.A., but courts typically side with agency regulations more often.

here, the G.A. did no such thing, in fact, they essentially upended Herring’s opinion and completely prohibited localities from UAV regulation within their territories. The General Assembly action here is significant because Virginia is a “Dillon rule state” of ‘strict statutory construction’ Essentially, localities and authorities are ‘children’ of the Commonwealth and may only do what the Commonwealth explicitly authorizes them to do and nothing more.

So, prior to 2015, there wasn’t any “explicit grant of authority” by the Commonwealth for local UAV regulation, generally. It would still be permissible, even now, for a locality to criminalize stupidity, dangerous behavior, trespass, animal harassment, even creating a risk like spooking a herd of deer [who may bolt into traffic] is something to be cognizant of, privacy - Virginia has a very significant “peeping” law that you had best not run afoul of, etc. After the 2015 Herring opinion, localities began to assert ground level UAV prohibitions. Many localities are bitterly clinging to their UAV “AUTHORITAH!” still.

In 2016, 15.2-926.3 was introduced, debated, passed and signed into law, becoming effective July 1, 2016. All of the localities have “lobbyists” who advocate at the G.A. year round, but especially during the legislative session. Your taxes pay for this lobbying, to essentially take more of your freedom every year. At the conclusion of the session, the new laws are reported to the localities by the G.A. and the localities’ lobby reports back to their bosses what’s changed. Localities have known about this law since about April of 2016.

Supporters say drone bill simplifies law, but local officials want a say

If you are getting resistance from localities, it would be wise to have the facts for your approach to the .gov None of them are going to willingly permit you to go to any county / city facility, you’re going to have to demand it. They’re not going to update signs, rules, regulations or anything else prohibiting UAV use with any degree of cooperation. That said, the law is not on their side here. If contacts to county, city or locality results in no significant progress, one way you can prod them into compliance is FOIA; freedom of information act. Virginia has a pretty stout FOIA law, and their knowledge of this law will be difficult for the localities to conceal, as well as its impact. You could FOIA all references to, notes, meeting information, discussion, materials, emails, including emails from private accounts, discussing or mentioning 15.2-926.3, UAV, drone or anything related to the topic. If they say there is nothing responsive, you may have missed the mark on what to ask for or, they could be lying. The latter is unlikely, but, not unheard of. courts have held that not responding to FOIA or withholding relevant data can result in personal fines for the offenders.

The law prohibits local regulation of UAVs, and that will be a topic of some debate by localities. An example, you want to use a park that has ball fields, but the ball fields are being used when you show up. Can you use the park safely, without risk to the other park occupants? Park rules probably have general rules that could apply were you to overfly the occupied ball fields, or at least they could try. Fees for use? If the fees are general fees, applied to everyone, those would likely survive a challenge, but if the fees or rules are ONLY for UAVs, that’s regulation and prohibited. Club membership, insurance and licensing requirement for UAV use? That seems to me to be prohibited as well. Those again are UAV specific and that’s exactly what the law targets.

If you do use a county, city or other Virginia “locality” facility for UAV flight:

1) PLEASE, behave and fly responsibly.
2) Do your homework and KNOW that you are in the right, legally, not creating any hazard or danger to anyone else or any critters around. be a good ambassador.
3) Video tape ANY / EVERY encounter that you even remotely suspect will lead to a “service call” ( that is, the police show up ).
4) be a likable guy/gal at first encounter and be clear you have permission to fly ( the law gives you permission ) - people respond to words like “permission” as it makes them think you’re “authorized” by some faceless .gov.
5) When the police show up, tell them up front you’re video taping the entire encounter, you have legal permission under 15.2-926.3 that you are flying safely, responsibly and with courtesy, however, the law prohibits you being deterred from using county facilities for UAV use. You have a copy of the law, the officer can look up in their code ‘handbook’ or via the internet.
6) Offer to show the police the video of the “complainant” - because let’s face it, the one who was quizzing you earlier is the quisling that called the police and reported you. You are on video telling this guy you have legal permission to fly and the cop will see this on video. IF the complainant called in and said “this guy is illegally flying his drone in our park and making me butthurt” the police will see this, note your comment that you have permission and now the complainant is suddenly the suspect. Particularly so if the “complainant” maybe ... stretched the truth... a little. You’ll know if the officer calls dispatch to ask what the call asserted. If it’s a misunderstanding, shake hands and everyone goes their separate ways but, if the complainant misled dispatch, tell the officer you want to pursue charges.
7) It’s unlikely under these conditions that anything else happens, but DO NOT surrender your recording device under any circumstances, even arrest. Give it to a friend, or at least ensure that video of the encounter is sent to a known, trusted source.
 

dchertz

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I live in Yorktown, Very new to flying and would like to get more involved and find some areas to fly
 

LandKruiser

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I live in Bedford. I plan on picking up a Mavic before my trip to CO this week. Anyone local that could help out a newbie would be greatly appreciated.
 
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RCKable

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Im in Rustburg. What kind of help are you needing or looking for?
 

Deadshot08

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Are there any pilots in the Norfolk/VAB area? I've been trying to find some people to fly with and some nice places to shoot.
 

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