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Old Oct 11, 2014, 10:03 PM
Stick lift beats no lift
TexasJohn's Avatar
USA, TX, Arlington
Joined Mar 2003
155 Posts
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Local ordinance abuse

Guys,
I wonder if this is occurring elsewhere or if anyone has any suggestions beyond what I'm working on.

I was told by an Arlington, Texas park supervisor, and his supervisor that I could not fly my discuss launch glider in a city park because of the model airplane ordinance. Well, here is the ordinance:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the
use of gas or battery-powered model aviation devices,…..
motor vehicles or boats, whether radio controlled or
not, except by permit from the Director. “

Obviously, and I have confirmed this with my fourth grader, they are enforcing some other ordinance ….because there is no gas or battery power in this plane.

Discussions ensued which involved the so-called spirit of the rule, and the specter of my overgrown butterfly “getting away from me” and hurting a kid. We can all name about ten things that are a lot worse and a lot more likely to happen in parks where everyone is following actual ordinances. I have requested more info on the ordinance which was sort of piled in with a bunch of other new ordinances in 2007. Note that I have flown gliders and electrics in parks many, many times since that time, and have never, never been approached by anyone about it.

Any similar experiences or useful suggestions welcome. I’ll let you know what happens.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 08:08 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
10,392 Posts
don't mess with Texas.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 08:37 AM
Out of helis, sanity returning
Tallahassee, FL
Joined Feb 2009
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Just try not to piss off the horsey women. They have the money and political clout.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 11:42 AM
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jrs_123's Avatar
irvine, ca
Joined Apr 2002
251 Posts
or, just get a permit ?

its common that they require permits to ensure that the pilots have liability coverage. AMA or homeowners insurance.

why is that bad ?
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 12:10 PM
Hot Dawg Glider Pilot
schrederman's Avatar
United States, TX, Weatherford
Joined Nov 2002
7,792 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs_123 View Post
or, just get a permit ?

its common that they require permits to ensure that the pilots have liability coverage. AMA or homeowners insurance.

why is that bad ?
Our taxes pay for the parks. Why should I have to gain permission to use what my tax dollars pay for?
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 12:55 PM
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Lenny970's Avatar
Greeley, Colorado, USA
Joined Feb 2000
2,857 Posts
I guess Frisbees would be outlawed too then.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 12:59 PM
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Joined Jan 2008
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As a member of a well-established local club, I benefit from access to several locations that offer excellent opportunities for RC soaring (and powered flying, as well). We have written authorization to fly where we do, worked out with the park supervisors and city council. We don't fly anywhere else (mostly because where we do fly, the situation is very good indeed).

I used to fly in Las Cruces, which also has a well-established club. However, we did not have the formal arrangements there that exist here in Albuquerque. At the same time, when the local land fill came to be closed, the city opted to make it into a city park devoted to model aviation. We worked with the city to get it made into a great flying area. There have been difficulties (you wouldn't believe what the feds want to certify a land fill for human use), but it is coming true.

My point is this: we worked with the administration to get space devoted to model aviation (including soaring, and in my experience, rc soaring and rc powered flight do not and should not mix). To get that space, we had to learn to share, as well: share with powered flyers, share with rc helicopters and share with those dratted soccer leagues (Eeeuw!). How did we work with them? By working as a group of voters and taxpayers, that's how. It has been tough, and continues to be tough.

With written authorization in hand, when we're flying and soccer teams show up, we have something to refer to and a phone number to call to help sort things out. Because we adhere to our own rules, we get lots of support from the park managers - much more than the soccer leagues get when they trespass on space or schedule. Of course, we aren't always in the right, but we try to help each other through those periods.

Yours, Greg
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 02:12 PM
Stick lift beats no lift
TexasJohn's Avatar
USA, TX, Arlington
Joined Mar 2003
155 Posts
jrs 123.: If the ordiance writers wanted to stop the flying of all model devices, I am almost certain that the ordinance would not have needed any reference to means of propulsion. Lots of other propulsion methods, including your arm, and nearly none have the potential to cause hurt and damage like a gas or electric plane untethered.

A guy or two in parks dept imagines this "spirit" of the ordinance thing was to stop all model flying. I read it very differently. As far as spirit, this rule intended to impose no more restriction than what is reasonable, and I do think its reasonable as written. Again, I am seeking the background material so I can see evidence of intent.

So, my position is still this: If I am following the written code and doing nothing that even remotely looks dangerous to bystanders, leave me be. Partly due to what Shrederman says - I am part owner - and partly cause that is the way laws work.

No need for a permit for a glider as far as I can see.

Glidermang, I hope it doesnt get to that point just so I can fly an arm-propeled plane weighing 10 ounces in very large field that is nearly deserted nearly always.

Thanks for the great comments.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 02:33 PM
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jtlsf5's Avatar
United States, CA, Folsom
Joined Jul 2007
2,553 Posts
Not to stir the pot here, but any RC plane, HL or otherwise, is technically battery powered. If you don't believe it, I challenge you to remove your flight pack battery and fly your HL.

I don't see the word "propulsion" in your ordinance, just "battery powered". The inference that battery powered means "a battery-powered propulsion system" because gas is mentioned in the same sentence is wishful thinking, but not necessarily inclusive. Ordinance writers love to leave things kind of vague so they can be interpreted in many ways depending on the mood of the enforcer. Sounds like you fell prey to an anal retentive interpretation.

Just sayin'

JT
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 02:56 PM
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Joined Jan 2008
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I should add something: working with the city here in Albuquerque, we are always careful to remind them that our club is chartered through the AMA, and only AMA members fly at our AMA-sanctioned events. Particularly at the Balloon Park, this always gets a positive response. In contrast, there is no national organization I know of providing liability insurance for soccer tournaments.

Yours, Greg
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 02:56 PM
pdb
pdbrown170b
United States, AK, Anchorage
Joined Jan 2007
19 Posts
A glider, any glider, free flight, RC, or full scale, is powered by gravity. The battery is to power the controls. Without the battery, it is simply a free flight glider. The source of locomotion remains the same. Gravity in the absence of lift, fusion if you find it.

To hell with the nanny state.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 06:07 PM
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R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Joined Nov 2005
3,556 Posts
The good ole days of Veterans Park are gone then for sure. If they want to get nit-picky, what Jim says would go and they could hang you on it. I am amazed that even boats are forbidden.

Marc
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 06:33 PM
Flying = Falling (Slowly)
dharban's Avatar
Tulsa, OK
Joined May 2004
2,643 Posts
L-A-W-Y-E-R-S

Many of the parks don't have swings and monkey bars anymore either.

Not because they are afraid for the children, but because they can't afford the liability.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 07:16 PM
I'm all about that bass
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
15,060 Posts
Change your dlg to single cell. Then it isn't a battery. A battery is a collection of 2 or more cells.

Ryan
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 09:41 PM
Stick lift beats no lift
TexasJohn's Avatar
USA, TX, Arlington
Joined Mar 2003
155 Posts
jtlsf5: Thanks for playing devils advocate. Hope it wont get that silly.
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