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I was arrested for flying a drone

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No real updates to share....a group of enthusiasts and their attorneys are working a few angles....

There is a Genesee County park board meeting coming up the e d of January. We’ve invited reporters to join. I and others plan to speak during public comment time about this issue.

The media shedding light on the parks willful disregard for the state law should be most helpful.

I did find this rediculous video the officers accidentally recorded on my iPad:

 
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So what happened on Jan. 7th?
Nothing. On Jan 2, I received word that the prosecutor failed to authorize the charge.

Case dismissed.

I imagine my attorney’s demand for a jury trial was a factor. Also, the fact this case was impossible for the prosecution to win.

On Jan 11, I recieved the remainder of my property from the police department.

This incident did create a movement. Now, among other things, we start going to public meetings and invite the media to make this public.

The focus, moving forward, isn’t what happened to me but the fact that the park is attempting to regulate drones when state law says they are explicitly prohibited from doing so.

Attorneys are working in the background doing their thing, plans are being made for a large group to have a picnic and do a “fly in” etc

The park has to change their policy. It should have gotten fixed with a simple email. There is a group of uas enthusiasts and their attorneys who are right now actively plotting all the lawful tactics that can be used to get the park to comply with the law.

Civics in action.
 
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Nothing. On Jan 2, I received word that the prosecutor failed to authorize the charge.

Case dismissed.

I imagine my attorney’s demand for a jury trial was a factor. Also, the fact this case was impossible for the prosecution to win.

On Jan 11, I recieved the remainder of my property from the police department.

This incident did create a movement. Now, among other things, we start going to public meetings and invite the media to make this public.

The focus, moving forward, isn’t what happened to me but the fact that the park is attempting to regulate drones when state law says they are explicitly prohibited from doing so.

Attorneys are working in the background doing their thing, plans are being made for a large group to have a picnic and do a “fly in” etc

The park has to change their policy. It should have gotten fixed with a simple email. There is a group of uas enthusiasts and their attorneys who are right now actively plotting all the lawful tactics that can be used to get the park to comply with the law.

Civics in action.
Congrats and very happy that our freedom to fly is still more powerful than these local politicians that hate the hobby and wants to control everything.
 
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No real updates to share....a group of enthusiasts and their attorneys are working a few angles....

There is a Genesee County park board meeting coming up the e d of January. We’ve invited reporters to join. I and others plan to speak during public comment time about this issue.

The media shedding light on the parks willful disregard for the state law should be most helpful.

I did find this rediculous video the officers accidentally recorded on my iPad:

This makes me sick to see you can't do anything without being harrassed. Maybe we should be selling drugs on the corner. If you have your license with you and is not a no fly zone they can't touch you drone. I have my license on all my drones and my phone number and address all they have to do is see my license number and run it and they can't do anything. And I don't fly in any parks. If they think they are going to take my inspire 2 their crazy and better call the whole police force. My first inspire flew off on a military base and I let them know and I had to meet with the state police and they wanted me to bring my new cendence remote control and I only brought my crystal sky and the sd card .nothing happend and I have not heard anything since.
 
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This makes me sick to see you can't do anything without being harrassed. Maybe we should be selling drugs on the corner. If you have your license with you and is not a no fly zone they can't touch you drone. I have my license on all my drones and my phone number and address all they have to do is see my license number and run it and they can't do anything. And I don't fly in any parks. If they think they are going to take my inspire 2 their crazy and better call the whole police force. My first inspire flew off on a military base and I let them know and I had to meet with the state police and they wanted me to bring my new cendence remote control and I only brought my crystal sky and the sd card .nothing happend and I have not heard anything since.
We live in an imperfect world.

What will happen is that the park system will change their approach to uas flights. It’s up to administration to decide how much pressure needs to be applied before they change their ways and decide to comply with state law.

The next meeting is this Thursday at 10am. I will be speaking during public comment time.

I’ve also reached out to the local prosecutor to see if that office will issue an opinion on whether they would pursue charges in the future related to uas flights in the park

I’ve also reached out to the Michigan DOT aeronautical commission. They are tasked with answering questions and offering guidance to the public and to government agencies within the state in regards to uas laws.

My attorney is/has sent a communication to the attorney for the park commission demanding that they comply with the state preemption law.

We’re working with the media to publish a couple of stories,

There are other plans in the works......

We are going to be relentless until they fix the problem. I’ll keep everyone updated.
 

Florida Drone Supply

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Im not a lawyer, and I cant offer you authorataive legal advice, however, i have learned a few things about law enforcement officers over the years....
While it should be only about the letter of the law, it very often isnt....i have never been successful in convincing a cop I am smarter than he is...and being right matters very little when you are being shoved into the plastic back seat behind the steel mesh divider of a patrol car while wearing handcuffs...they win...every time.
While I mandate our pilots also carry the printout of the rules with them, my training for my team , and suggested plan of action is to offer an apology for misunderstanding the rules, land the aircraft immediately, but carefully exercising supreme safety, and telling them I must have been misinformed by the publication I got off the local agency's website...and ask if they mind looking at the information I thought was correct, and helping me to understand where I screwed up....
If they look it over, and agree with it, great...or they may show me a conflicting rule or law that i wasnt aware of...
But if they dont want to see it, or if they do, and tell me its wrong, either way I am very unlikely to win an argument if they are not amicable about it...the time and place to win the "what is correct law" is not from the back seat of the cop car.
I tell my pilots its my equipment, not theirs, and if they were following original flight plan, not breaking any other laws, and have followed my above instructions and still get it confiscated, not their issue...but if they play lawyer and tick off the cops, and get it confiscated, they are responsible for the equipment.
I realize its always easy to say what someone should have done...after the fact, and most of my wealth of advice comes from having dine it differently, and thats why we train for this issue up front, beforehand.
Hope this is helpful, sorry to see your situation didnt work out ..., you will most likely win if you get a good lawyer...just a whole lot of hoops...
Well said.
 
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I posted this over on mavic pilots but thought it may also be of interest to those who do not frequent that forum.

I can finally talk about this now that the legal matter is settled.

A few weeks ago, I was flying my mavic. An officer approached and told me drones are not allowed in the park. I was polite and told him that I’m pretty smart when it comes to drone law and I did not know it was illegal to fly here. I asked if he could show me where this rule was written. I’ll call him “good cop”

I already knew that a: there is no such rule, and b: even if there was, Michigan has a strong preemption law that prevents local units of government from enacting or enforcing any rule regarding the possession or operation of unmanned aircraft.

This officer called for backup. A second officer arrived. I’ll call him “bad cop.” He was pretty hostile and came towards me with a little
Booklet and said basically “it says right here, ascending or descending....” pointing at rule 23, which prohibits manned aircraft, manned hot air balloons, or manned parachutes from ascending or descending in the park.

I said “can I ask you a question?”

He said yes

“Am I in an airplane?”

That was it. He had me turn around and put my hands behind my back.

He searched me, and laughed when I told him I do not consent.

Then stuffed me in the back of a police car. They pulled me out after a few minutes and searched me again. I was able to hand them a copy of the state preemption law, which I was able to reach because it was in my back pocket. Then they stuffed me back in the patrol car.

My mavic and iPad were confiscated, and just to let me know who’s in charge, he took my personal cell phone too.

After about 30-40 minutes I was released with a misdemeanor citation for “unauthorized flying of drone in park” citing rule 23.

They kept all of my stuff. I was able to get my cell phone returned after a couple of days. I still haven’t gotten my mavic or iPad back.

All of the audio was recorded on my Apple Watch. I will post it here shortly.

I’m a 40 year old professional. I’ve never been in handcuffs before this. It was unexpected to say the least.

View attachment 23707
View attachment 23708
I am also a professional, retired MSgt. Air Force, Ex-Capt. FD, Ex-Chief EMS, FAA Part 107 Certified, and presently, Chief UAV pilot in my FD. The drone IS an aircraft, unmanned of course, which counters their law about manned aircraft.

One thing I know is that IF I were approached by a PO and told I could not fly in the park, I would of said, YES SIR, I will land immediately. All Federal Parks are no fly zones, according to what state you are in, I'm in NY, all state parks are no fly zones. And even worst, where I live, all village parks are no fly zones. The FAA granted my FD a COA for flying in my village, but of course I have 0 zones on the map of my area where you cannot fly PERIOD. Owning a drone for fun is NO FUN like it used to be, using it for fire rescue at least affords me some leeway to practice.

I was filming the funeral parade of one of our fallen firemen, flying at just above telephone pole height when a Police commander ordered me down with the words, pack it up put it in your truck, and if you take it out and fly it, I will lock you up.

He told me I was flying in class C airspace illegally, at which point I told him that I already contacted the tower for permission to fly at 50ft. He then replied that he had a chopper coming in for a flyby at 65 ft. I said, no problem, I'm down until your bird passes.

Not sure why people dislike drones so much, a guy a few towns over shot one down over his yard last week, he's in jail now, discharging a firearm in the village.

Sorry for your loss of your bird, my son just became a PO down south, these type jobs are really tough, that's why I show them total respect vs. challenging them in anyway.

Good Luck..

Rick
 

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