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Drone Ban in My Town Parks
By Howard Berenbon
I thought I was safe to fly my DJI Phantom 4 Drone to in our local park system in West Bloomfield, Michigan. But I was wrong.
A Little History
I bought my DJI Phantom 4 in September 2016, a sophistated and easy to control drone with front and bottom collision sensors, a range of 2 miles or more, line of sight, and GPS controlled. It's so easy to fly, ( after a few safety lessons) when you bring it up and let go of the throttle, it's just hovers in place awaiting your commands. You can program way points from the Google map, fly forward, backwards and all around, set a radius so it will orbot, and you can take 4k video as you're having some plane flying fun (no pun intended). I have been using to take some clip for my Youtube channel, and I did review the drone on my channel, along with a few useful apps.
Some Flight History
So, after a few short flights in my backyard, which has very limited space, I headed to our local park, West Bloomfield's Drake Sports Park, to try some real flying on the soccer field. Before heading to the park, I wanted to make it was legal to fly, so I called code enforcement and the police department and both said it was okay. They had no ordinance on the books that banned flying drone, I was told, and they said you can fly it. Great! After flying at the park a few times, I was getting the hang of piloting this cool new aircraft. Then in late October it all changed.
Busted in the Park
In late October I was flying my Phantom 4 on the soccer field in Drake Sports Park, as I flown previously. It was early afternoon on a school had an no one was in the park. I had the drone up about 300 feet and was taking a panoramic video of the area when a park offical came by in his little tracker and asked me to stop flying because it was not allowed. I immedialty starting bring the drone down, but it was up pretty high and it took about 5 minutes. When I got back home I called the township code enforcement and they said there were no ordinances against drone flying and I was okay. But, apparently, they hadn't known the ban initiated by Parks and Rec.
Parks & Rec Board Meeting December 15, 2016
I was invited to talk to the Parks & Rec board about flying drones in West Bloomfield Parks, and I spoke. I asked for permission to fly when no one was around so it would safe, but I was denied, as I had expected. The reasons for the drone ban were for safety to the patrons and to protect their privacy (being photographed by drones cameras). See video of my talk and rebuttal to the Parks & Rec board decision.
Parks & Rec Meeting
Visit Amazon.com for more information on the DJI Phantom 4 Drone.