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Drones and school property

I B Spectre

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Aug 16, 2019
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I live in the Jacksonville, FL general area and school property has some of the most unobstructed fields. I've tried searching for information as to the legality of flying a drone from school property when school is out of session or not being otherwise used. I ran across one article about it, but it was dated 2016 and appeared to relate to Louisiana. I've searched the FAA and Florida state/local law on drones and see nothing mentioned. Obviously safety of the students and staff is paramount as well as their right to privacy. Anyone familiar with the regs know whether school yards are off limits for drones?
 

Spark 317

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Jul 10, 2017
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There's a YouTuber in Texas that reviews all types of drones and he flies from the High School that his children attend, so that's a plus.

Wouldn't hurt to contact the school principal for permission just to be sure.
 

theDRONEranger

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Jul 24, 2019
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I would recommend contacting the local district school board. Submit your planned activity, preflight/flight/post flight activities, safety procedures, etc. Perhaps, even inquire about doing (Part 107) video for certain athletic events (not requiring flights over people), such as track and field events. Regardless, communicate with the board, they make the rules, generally, for the schools in their district.
 

pmshop

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As said before, states may vary.
I am in Texas as well.
I volunteered to fly construction progress missions for the school board.
Then as required, took inspection shots of roofs, shots for mapping.
All voluntary and off the clock.
I have also flown to capture graduation ceremonies.
BUT, I am in a small town (10K) in the middle of nowhere.
So there is a lot of leeway to "do things" out here.

But previous advice given, I would actually meet with the superintendent on the issue.
Boards only facilitate decisions; superintendent knows policy.

However, I am sure UIL rules are the same across the USA.
Cannot fly during a football game - the actual plays.
From what the head coach has told me, I could fly right up to kickoff...start flying again when the 1/2 time whistle blows until 3rd quarter kickoff...then fly all I want after the game.
My barriers are clear too during those allowed flight times - I fly around the track encompassing the football field.
 

I B Spectre

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I'm just starting drone flying and have a lot to learn just flying on my own property. Open school fields, while nice and conveniently located, aren't worth the trouble to deal with the bureaucracy. People outside the drone community often have skewed perception of potential risks and dangers posed by small UASs and will always err on the side of caution. They might surprise me, but I'm not that curious at this point.
 

Northwood Mediaworks

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I'm just starting drone flying and have a lot to learn just flying on my own property. Open school fields, while nice and conveniently located, aren't worth the trouble to deal with the bureaucracy. People outside the drone community often have skewed perception of potential risks and dangers posed by small UASs and will always err on the side of caution. They might surprise me, but I'm not that curious at this point.
There may be insurance concerns for institutions such as schools and other publicly funded entities. Not sure about the State of Florida but up here in Ontario Canada, we have what is called "Crown Land" which is owned by the government and is generally natural and undeveloped. It is generally okay to fly there as along as you are not bothering conservation ares, or people who may be leasing sections of it... You have to get way out of town to find it, but there are sites where you can look it up... perhaps there is something to that effect where you are... not sure. Here is the site in Ontario, for any other Ontarian Canucks who might be interested....

 

RoarRoar

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Feb 3, 2018
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NYC Metro Area
If you are flying at say 20 - 30 feet and just practicing maneuvers on an empty field I really don't see what the big deal is. You are more likely to get hit by a rouge sports ball than the drone. It's much easier to go on a day when school is out and nobody is there. Should someone from the school say something simply say sorry and leave. It's not like you are committing a felony.

I say this all the time don't draw attention to yourself. I recently flew at a major university in an open area not one person noticed what I was doing or came up to me to drone shame me. Don't wear a big bright neon vest, don't set up all your gear like a formula one pit crew. Be aware of your surroundings. Bring a friend to spot if you have to.
 
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I dont know about the states but up in Canada the spark falls into the category of not much rules and regulations as it's only 249 grams. Over 250 and the whole story changes. Basic common sense of course.
 

Spark 317

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Indiana, USA
I dont know about the states but up in Canada the spark falls into the category of not much rules and regulations as it's only 249 grams. Over 250 and the whole story changes. Basic common sense of course.
The Spark weighs 300 grams with the battery (take off weight).

You sure you're not flying a Tello?
 

Heckmaniac

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Sep 15, 2018
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I just called the township police that the school is located - let them know what I wanted to do and asked if they had any issue with my doing so during off hours. They seemed to appreciate my checking and had no issues. Also good for them to know in case someone called to complain.
 

I B Spectre

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I just called the township police that the school is located - let them know what I wanted to do and asked if they had any issue with my doing so during off hours. They seemed to appreciate my checking and had no issues. Also good for them to know in case someone called to complain.
That seems reasonable. Do you live in the U.S.? I'd never consider using school property while it's in session or with student activity. People fly kites, but I know drones carry a different perception. As always, if asked to leave, do so immediately with a friendly attitude.
 

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