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Mar 23, 2010, 10:11 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Help!

Police say we can't fly in a city park


A group has been flying at Central Park in Eagan MN for several years. It's is generally 2 to 4 people with sometimes up to 10 on nice weekends. There has never been any problem until recently. We've actually had Police Officers come out to watch and hang out for a bit. This past Sunday, a couple of people were flying and an Officer said to stop and that we are no longer allowed to fly there as some complaints were received. The City Ordinance clearly states that " radio controlled model aircraft may be flown as long as they do not interfere with sporting events or other park activities". The Officers have not stated what type of complaint or number have been received. Their advice was to "take it up with the city council", which I plan on doing at the next meeting. I have reviewed the City Ordinances and MN Noise Pollution Regulations and based upon those feel that there is no legitimate violation. Unfortunately, even though dozens of people enjoy watching us fly, one complainer will probably win.

Any help or input is appreciated.
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Mar 23, 2010, 10:16 AM
Do a Barrel Roll!
rcbif's Avatar
Your right on track. I have never got any complaints from city parks in my area, but have been told to leave a county park, by a park ranger.
Mar 23, 2010, 10:27 AM
the next Sean Tucker
Back when we were kids we would fly, gas, of course. I was into control line models. Occassionally we'd get a complaint regarding noise and a cop would tell us to stop. Then, in our town, a glider pilot was asked to stop due to noise (somebody saw the glider and heard a lawn mower). Then, in college we got into slope racers. I would often joke that if we don't look like we're having fun it would reduce the chances of somebody complaining. Looks serious when you fly. My twisted humor. Anyway, it sounds like you're on the right track...
Mar 23, 2010, 12:37 PM
Life Long Modeler
bassfisher's Avatar
Have fun going before the City Council. I would have highlighted copies of the city ordinance to hand out. You might also invite them out for a demonstration to show them that electrics are silent (for the most part). I've heard some folks actually take a model into the meetings just to show the members and then start the motor to show how silent they can be. Heck, contac the AMA and get the Park Pilot material sent to make a presentation. You might be able to get a flying field out of it! Compliants are just that, usually one or two people complaining. Make a show of force by the other pilots being in attendance. I believe that if you are a taxpayer, and your legal to fly there, you have have much right as anyone else to enjoy the park. AMA has a direct number in thier website that you might be able to get some advise from someone at AMA HQs.

You might also talk to the city attorney before hand to make sure that what your doing is "legal" in the eyes of the city. There might have been an ordianance change. You could also take a copy of the AMA insurance policy that you have (if you are an AMA member- either Open or Park Flyer) to show then that your insured aainst accidents.

Just don't go in with a "chip on your shoulder" - you catch more flies with honey!

Good Luck and give us a report back.
Last edited by bassfisher; Mar 23, 2010 at 12:44 PM.
Mar 23, 2010, 01:58 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
All good stuff so far, thanks guys. I called the Parks Director for clarification and her opinion of the ordinances but she will be out until next week. I have already considered the idea of inviting them (Parks, Police, etc.) to come out and view a representative sample of what is flown. That way they could approve some, so no to others if they want - would set the stage for a good compromise agreement allowing the City to look good. Another option I want to discuss with her is chartering a club and obtaining permits to fly if that is what would be required. I'll go check AMA, honestly hadn't even thought of that!
Mar 23, 2010, 01:58 PM
Registered User
Hey HG
I was stopped by St.Paaul park police 2 yeaars ago this Spring. They sited a city ordinance that allowed an out... Permission from the director of St.Paul Parks, Bob Bierscheid. after several emails I got my letter allowing me to fly my planes in Como Park.

Oh yeah....I was flying my Air hogs Bi plane
Thomas Grant
Good Luck!!!
Mar 23, 2010, 02:08 PM
Senior Gravity Checker
I once had a crazy old lady drag a police officer through a public park due to the noise of our planes.

Thing is we were flying gliders....from a winch.

...In an AMA certified flying field. 10-12 football fields from any street she could possibly live on.

The officer took one look at the situation and apologised to us and left.

The moral of the story is it takes only one crazy person to get you banned. And there is always a crazy person around. It is easier to prohibit you then go through the motions of accepting you.

Find an empty field somewhere or go to an AMA field and deal with the politics. It will be less headache in the end.
Mar 23, 2010, 02:31 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
I'm going to go through the "proper channels" and see how it shakes out. If they say no, well, then there will be equal enforcement of the law. The guys hitting golf balls(strictly prohibited), people that don't pick up their dog droppings, kids that can be heard from more than 50' away - will have the police called on them too. I don't enjoy being an @$$, but can be REALLY good at it.
Mar 23, 2010, 02:32 PM
Registered User
madmike8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kist2001
And there is always a crazy person around.
That's so true....
Mar 23, 2010, 02:48 PM
Registered User
Gonzo454's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by howlingriffon
I don't enjoy being an @$$, but can be REALLY good at it.
I would only caution...just because you can do something doesnt mean that you should. You would not approve of someone dragging our hobby into their issues, just as I am sure others do not want to be dragged into our issues.
Mar 23, 2010, 03:23 PM
Registered User
Are you talking about the Lexington/Diffley fields? We flew there all last summer and never had a problem. Are you on the Twin Cities Parkflyers forum on Yahoo Groups?

EDIT- sorry, you said Central Park. Never flown there. Right next to Big Sky Hobby though.
Mar 23, 2010, 03:27 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
This was at Central Park, right behind the Community Center. Just down from Sky Hobby. Didn't know about the group, will check it out. I do need to get with an organized club.
Mar 23, 2010, 03:31 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Gonzo, I have to disagree with you. If we get banned from doing an activity that is not expressly unlawful, why should others doing blatantly unlawful activities in the same park not be corrected?
Mar 23, 2010, 03:49 PM
Registered User
SailingAlong's Avatar
What types of aircraft were you flying? I moderate a parkflyer yahoo group for the Twin Cities and many of us fly at Eagan Parks. I am putting together a presentation for cities that don't allow this and it would be interesting to follow up on this with you, possibly even attend the next meeting? I have a full AMA membership along with the AMA Park Flying membership and they have some literature to represent and present the Park Flying concept to communities.

Steve
Lakeville


Quote:
Originally Posted by howlingriffon
A group has been flying at Central Park in Eagan MN for several years. It's is generally 2 to 4 people with sometimes up to 10 on nice weekends. There has never been any problem until recently. We've actually had Police Officers come out to watch and hang out for a bit. This past Sunday, a couple of people were flying and an Officer said to stop and that we are no longer allowed to fly there as some complaints were received. The City Ordinance clearly states that " radio controlled model aircraft may be flown as long as they do not interfere with sporting events or other park activities". The Officers have not stated what type of complaint or number have been received. Their advice was to "take it up with the city council", which I plan on doing at the next meeting. I have reviewed the City Ordinances and MN Noise Pollution Regulations and based upon those feel that there is no legitimate violation. Unfortunately, even though dozens of people enjoy watching us fly, one complainer will probably win.

Any help or input is appreciated.
Mar 23, 2010, 03:50 PM
Registered User
We're really not an organized 'club'. Just a bunch of aero enthusiasts looking for places to fly. Most of us fly powered gliders, Slow Sticks, Mini Ultra Sticks, that sort. I used to fly a foam wing in the local parks (Burnsville, Apple Valley) but quit due to the prop noise. It just takes one noise complaint and the fun's over.


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