Thread Tools
Oct 16, 2001, 12:10 PM
Suspended Account
Thread OP

Public School Flying Field

HI All.

I have been flying my Pico Stick FD on a Public School football field. Most of my flying is on the weekend or after school hours when the kids have gone home. I have been doing this for several months now without any problems. I didn't get permission from the school to do this and my biggest fear is being thrown off the school property. Does anyone else fly on Public School property with or with out permission? If you got permission how did you get it. Thanks.

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Oct 16, 2001, 01:31 PM
Registered User
If you ask for permission, the answer will almost certainly be no. If you don't ask for permission, it's quite likely that anyone seeing you will assume you do have permission and will leave you alone.

BUT - Look closely at your insurance policy. Some say that if you don't have permission, you don't have insurance. If you don't have third party insurance, stop flying until you do.
Oct 16, 2001, 02:19 PM
I began eflight in June of this year. I found a public school 5 minutes away. Great Macadam parking lot and large field. I'm retired and flew there just about every day at daybreak. One time there were two cop cars parked there. I guess the guys were chatting and eating donuts. I pulled out my Bleriot III and flew for as long as I normally would have. I had to restrict my usual pattern so as not to go too close to the cops since the parking lot is my landing strip. One of them left before I was finished flying. I didn't bother them, they didn't bother me.

I got spoiled. Now that school is in session and daylight comes at 7:00 there is activity in the parking lot. Even though the field is unused I will fly only on weekends or holidays. I don't want to ruin a good thing and have someone tell me not to do it. There's always next summer and some guys only get to fly on weekends anyway.

As Dave said, "Don't ask." Tread lightly and leave only footprints.

Oct 16, 2001, 02:47 PM
Suspended Account
Thread OP
I do have AMA insurance so I should be covered unless AMA has a clause that Im not covered on a school property. I have to read the AMA Rules and Regs again. Am I breaking some kind of law flying on a Public School Property? Also sometimes I fly in a park in My neiborhood with an association. Im still waiting to be told I cannot fly there by the association manager. Im just trying to find out a good place to fly without getting into trouble. Thanks for the reply.
Oct 16, 2001, 02:54 PM
Suspended Account
Thread OP
Opps! I just Realized I posted this Topic in the training area. I mean't to post it in the slow flyers forum. O Well thanks for the replies.
Oct 16, 2001, 03:27 PM
I agree, Stealth is the best approach.

My best field is in front of the local Elementary School. I make very sure I never fly during regular hours (Which means only early on weekend mornings when school is in).

I fly when there is no one around to tell me not too. Early A.M is the best time for my slowflyers anyway.

I have had cops stop in the parking lot and watch, but they have never said anything to me.

Oct 16, 2001, 03:33 PM
Registered User
I fly at the local community college soccer field. I usually only fly my Wingo or Firebird late in the afternoon when there are very few people on the field (a few joggers on the track surrounding the field). A couple of weeks ago a college security cop saw me and asked if my model was powered. I said yes, and he explained that they had a rule against powered models and rockets. When I then told him that mine was electrically powered and quiet, he responded "that's good enough for me". As long as there is no noise or danger, there didn't seem to be any problem.
Oct 16, 2001, 03:58 PM

As you can see from the replies you just have to "wing" it. I had the same worries as you when I first started. For my first flight I drove the 1/2 hour to my gun club just to be sure I wouldn't be bothered.

On my way back from there I found a soccer field on the middle of about 15 acres of brush about 10 minutes from my house. I flew there for a while 'till I found the school 5 minutes away. I'll also add that the school is back off the highway behind trees so I'm not visible to people driving by. Even if people aren't going to kick me off, I don't want to attract sightseers.

I still go to the 10 minute field if I want to fly on a weekday or if I'm flying my Terry which requires a lot of room. I don't like it much due to the distance and there is no paving and I get my planes dusty and muddy.

Scout out several spots and do it 'till you're told not to by someone with authority.

Always fly responsibly and hope for the best.

Oct 16, 2001, 05:47 PM
I live in palm beach county Fl.All the public schools have at least 6 foot high fences and are locked up when schools out.And there are so many portables,theres no flields left!Went to the local Jr college,one time i was told to leave due to "the hazard".The next time a new guard watched and even went to office to get me rubber bands!Local parks are out.If the field is big enought i will get hit by golfers.
Oct 16, 2001, 06:32 PM
Registered User
Steve Fehr's Avatar
The local ordinance here is no flying on city property without permission from the local bigwig. I know the local control line club got permission to fly a a local city-owned sports field, but as far as anyone else goes, I've never heard of anyone being kicked off a schoolyard or out of a park for flying. There are always a *lot* of people at one particular city park flying mostly helos but also glow planes, electrics and gliders. And that's admist soccer teams, joggers, dog-walkers and all sorts of dangerous situations you'd think people have complained about and gotten the flyers kicked out for, but it's been going on for years without a serious incident and they're still there every wvening So, I don't feel too awkward whipping out my electric in the middle school football field, hehe
Oct 16, 2001, 07:00 PM
I fly on weekends at a nearby high school. I'd fly during the week (evenings) if I could, but rarely am I off work in time.

I didn't get permission. I figure it's public property paid for by my tax money, so using it during non-school hours is fine. Besides, since when do "underpaid, overworked" school officials take their off days to patrol their campus grounds? Not gonna happen.

As for getting us kicked off public won't happen unless (1) a serious accident occurs and provokes retaliation by the local public; or (2) someone with a lot of clout and a good lawyer decides we don't belong. Without probable cause, it's too much effort for them to find a way to get rid of r/c flyers.

Of course, slimers are much more likely to arouse trouble. So, if the slimers are doing okay, you know our electrics will be just short of being invited to fly!

Am I right?...

Oct 16, 2001, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by Wings
Of course, slimers are much more likely to arouse trouble. So, if the slimers are doing okay, you know our electrics will be just short of being invited to fly!

I hope IC fliers and those who fly big, fast, or noisy electrics stick to AMA controlled fields. Those people could ruin schoolyards for the parkfliers.

Oct 16, 2001, 09:42 PM
Registered User
Steven DiStasio's Avatar
I learned to fly on my own at a local community college, and at a local high school. Mostly speed 400 stuff, but I've had a few hot ones (Twinjet comes to mind). I've never been kicked off, and most people are just curious and interested when I start flying. I've had the cops stop by a few times, but they are generally good natured and say that if no one complains, they don't have a problem with it. (having several friends on the local police force helps too)

The high school as a very old and rusted sign that says "NO POWERD AIRCRAFT", but I think that was aimed more at loud fuel planes. Electrics seem to fare much better in the small fields.

My biggest problem is golfers. I used to leave if a golfer was on the field, but all summer they would show up and start hitting balls in my direction. Two can play that I just fly anyway. I don't do anything stupid, but I only give them as much consideration as they give me...sometimes that not much!

After all, I consider an uncontrolled golfball more danegrous than a controlled least I can decide where it goes, more than I can say for most of the golf hacks I see.

In short, play stuipd and keep flyng. Don't argue if they try to kick you out...but a little common sence usually means it would never come to that.
Oct 17, 2001, 10:15 AM
My local e-flight locations are at the local high school, elementary school and a decent sized field at a VA hospital in my town. I was flying the plane at the local VA. A police officer came by while I was flying. He was very interested in the plane and asked tons of questions. He said that he also wanted to get into the hobby, but was waiting until he had the time. I then proceeded to get my Soarstar stuck in a tree about 30 feet up. The cop called the maintenance crew at the VA who had a cherry picker... A bystander also gave me some rope, which I attached to a closed umbrella, and the cop and I proceeded to try to get the plane down before the cherry picker arrived, which we were able to do (with very little damage to the plane). The cop said come by anytime to fly!
Oct 17, 2001, 01:36 PM
Suspended Account
Thread OP
Thanks everyone for the replies and stories. I feel better now and will continue flying at the school. Its a great place to fly at.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools