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Model Aircraft Banned - Help! (Apologies if in the wrong section)

#1
Firstly, apologies to the moderators if they have to move this if its in the wrong section, I couldn't find an appropriate slot for this D:

Model aircraft are being banned in my suburb of Vancouver B.C., Richmond. I wrote a polite letter to the city council asking them to refrain from passing, or modifying the bylaw but they have ignored me. The letter wasnt a silly-sounding rant either, it was published in the papers as "letter of the week". Here are a few news sites explaining the situation in more detail - The first ones best but take your pick:

http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/04/richmond-bans-drones-remote-controlled-planes-parks/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/briti...drones-and-remote-controlled-planes-1.3036764

This ban will affect multirotor drones, model aircraft, and powerkites (buggies towed by kites) in all Richmond parks. My main annoyance is that it covers aircraft because multirotors are vastly different from airplanes.

There is one park in the entire city in which aircraft will be permitted, but it would be a 45 minute bike ride as opposed my normal flying field which is a five minute walk away. I have always flown responsibly, and often get into wonderful conversations with park goers about my aircraft. Nobody has ever gotten mad at me. This bylaw is the opinion of a few old grouches on the city council being enforced upon everybody in Richmond.

I beg for help and suggestions, hopefully my next post will be about a scratch built, not the depressing bureaucratic government!
 

Montiey

Master Tinkerer
#2
This sort of action just isn't right, and is positively horrible. Lets imagine if multi rotors didn't exist, and to make this alternate reality even more accurate, lets take everyone who owns an MR and swap them out for a similar weight and purpose plane. The thing is, planes aren't new, and everyone has probably seen how fun those little air hogs things are. People would simply look at an some twin engine FPV ship as the bigger, better version of the Toys-R-Us (insert something altitude related here)-(insert the name of something that flies here) 2ch "dumbcraft" that their kid got because the parent dropped their ice cream. Multi rotors, on the other side of the road (the one the chicken never figured out why he crossed), are rarely ever seen in my experience as something fun that can also be used to save lives (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-rEI4bezWc), or even just buzz around your own trees, terrorizing your own grass. Probably the biggest thing is that planes are 90% foam and round nosed with shiny stickers, while pretty much every MR looks like a lawnmower that's just floating there emitting ominous yet scientifically perplexing audio waveforms, or is about to pull a laser pistol out of the shiny mess of carbon fiber and/or aluminum that turns out to be a Nano QX that's about 2 years old, has bent props, 2 new frames, and duck tape strips holding the arms together (true story, don't ask).

Suggested option 1 (for the daring bunch): Give them some real, legit flack about until all you can do is wait until the truth seeps through their thick skulls.

Suggested option 2 (for those who know how to get a cop into a verbal chock hold, all while on video and then get it viral on youtube): Get a tiny little quad or something and fly it around a bench, or around a tree regularly until some "official" tells you to ground it, then to the whole viral video thing whilst fighting for your rights as a human being.

Suggested option 3: (for everyone, and anyone) Join flitetest because unless there is a shortage of all the specific parts and materials needed to create RC aircraft, but still those availible to not cause a global "all the things" shortage and WWIII, they will keep making this hobby worth it for everyone.

Enough said, I'm curious to post this so I can go back to the thread and see what other people say about this.. thing (too full of disgust to get a word).
 

Julez

WOT and going nowhere
#3
Get everyone who flies models in your area to petition the city council to change the bylaws. Better yet, get the press to cover your protest and use that as a base to educate the public about the hobby and gain momentum for the movement to 'amend the amendment' to the bylaws.
 

Snarls

Gravity Tester
Mentor
#4
Dang that sounds really unfortunate for those who use model aircraft responsibly. I think you could start a petition and get signatures from local fliers as well as us on the forum. You could also send more polite educational letters to other officials and or at the very least request that there be more sanctioned flying fields around. By the wording of the two articles though it seems they are only banning flying in city parks and school grounds. So the loophole is that you have to fly outside the park, which is stupid because now the drone fliers are actually forced to fly in more developed areas. The law that is suppose to make parks safer actually might make everywhere else more dangerous. (not that multirotors or aircraft are threatening, but that parks are the safest place to fly them)
 

PeterGregory

CrossThread Industries
#5
Along with the other advice already given here:

1. Google to see what model aircraft clubs there are around your area. I assume you don't presently belong to any of them. Contact the presidents of the clubs to see if they will/can do anything.
2. MAACS is the model aircraft association in Canada, contact them http://www.maac.ca/en/

You may be at the start of educating/appealing your mayor/city council on this decision.
Keep us posted. Any other neighbors here on FT to assist user-4??? Speak up...
 

krinaman

Senior Member
#6
Frankly I'm surprised there hasn't been even more of these bans. It seems almost daily we hear about something stupid someone with a multi-rotor did. But yes it sucks.
 
#7
In the US we have different levels of "park jurisdiction", with at least three levels that I am aware of: city, state and federal. there are parks under the jurisdiction of all three of those (at least) with different rules applying to each. where I'm from rc flight is not allowed in any city parks, but the state park laws are less strict. looking at a map of your fine town, I see several parks labeled as "regional" parks. I assume that that is the equivalent of our state park and I wonder if this new ban, which the article specifically mentions affects all "city" parks, definitely affects all parks anywhere in the city? Or maybe it wouldn't apply to your "regional" parks?
 
#8
Speaking Up

Well, a common suggestion is to write a letter and try and show the council why model aircraft should not be banned... But I already did write them a polite letter. Two in fact! I'm considering writing some stronger letters... If people are interested I can attach the letters I wrote. One is five or six pages, the other letter was the same as the first, but condensed into 400 words for the newspaper (talk about an exercise in concise writing!).

A petition was started online, but failed to go anywhere. I am considering starting my own...

Also, to address the point of joining MAACS it would be enforced by this bylaw. Aircraft would be permitted in one field (max three in the air at a time), and each pilot must be certified and INSURED in case of damage to property or person. I fear the flying experience would be similar to that time FliteTest had at one of those big conventions with the nasty officials (cant recall the name D:)
 
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IFlyRCstuff

Flyer Of Many Things
#9
I would use a petition. Get digital signatures (someones typed name) from Flitetest and other local fliers. I definitely agree with Montiey s statement about how people run away if they hear a slight mechanical buzz. It does seem that now people are going to have to fly in developed areas, not a good idea. About the statement of how many accidents there are- in my opinion the only reason "drones" get so much attention is because of all the hype. If people as a whole would calm down, that would certainly help (that reminds of a quote "the person is smart, but people are extraordinarily stupid" as in, a single person doesnt care about drones, but a group does).Methods to get them to repeal the amendment would be to write more letters, petition, or get them to realize their mistake by making it seem even stupider. This could be done by walking down the 45 min walk with several planes and such barely in your arms, or something more significant.A daring thing to do would be to fly in front of a building with a tiny MR, then if asked to leave say "its not a park is it?"

personally I would try all other means before provoking them by defiance or similar.

Do check into regional vs city parks. GOOD LUCK!!!
 

RAM

Posted a thousand or more times
#10
I would introduce them to FliteTest if you can get a meeting. Sometimes they are only looking at the negative aspects.
 

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#12
I am not sure that this is unusual. Many cities only allow RC vehicles of any kind in designated parks. Of course they don't allow dogs to be off of leashes either but that doesn't stop people. Look for schools, athletic fields or business parks.
 
#13
Usre_4,
The way I see it, if you are not a member of MAAC then you can not access the resources they can provide. I know that there are many clubs that have had similar issues in your area, but they were MAAC sanctioned clubs. They have successfully negotiated deals that allow flying in City parks, albeit restricted.
If you look at the forum submissions on an issue like this, everyone looks to the national organization to resolve the problem, but they do not belong to that organization so why would they care?
If I where you, I would join MAAC, advise the Zone Director of what is going on and invoke MAAC's influence on the proceedings. WJ.
 
#14
that's crazy i understand if you put down strong laws but this is crossing the lines even petitions cant stop stuff like this but it is worth a try
 
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#15
The Banhammer Has Fallen

Welp, I just got back from a short trip out of town, and now that it is August, the bylaw is officially in effect... Just as I finished my FT Spitfire. I'm going to keep protesting this bylaw, but unfortunately one of the people on the city council has a bee in their bonnet over r/c so I don't think it will make much difference.

The council said they were working with hobbyists in Richmond to come up with a reasonable solution, and they did! But they only got the opinions of the hobbyists who agreed with the bylaw, people who fly giant gas aircraft and aren't able to fly in schoolyards anyways!

Thankfully, discus launch gliders should not be affected by this bylaw, so my next post might be a scratch-built of those.

The degradation of society at its finest - the iron fist of bureaucracy descending upon us all! Perhaps if I said my safty felt threatened by a frisbee they would ban those too...
 
#16
Hmmm...

In the US we have different levels of "park jurisdiction", with at least three levels that I am aware of: city, state and federal. there are parks under the jurisdiction of all three of those (at least) with different rules applying to each. where I'm from rc flight is not allowed in any city parks, but the state park laws are less strict. looking at a map of your fine town, I see several parks labeled as "regional" parks. I assume that that is the equivalent of our state park and I wonder if this new ban, which the article specifically mentions affects all "city" parks, definitely affects all parks anywhere in the city? Or maybe it wouldn't apply to your "regional" parks?
Thank you for your suggestion, I will look into it!!!!! This might just be a loophole!
 
#18
I live in cranbrook BC we just passed a similar bylaw after a incident at a local park in just lucky i live across the train track (out of town limits) and have a park right next to my house its a small neighborhood where everyone knows me and i fly up to .60 size planes there

The only problem ive had is a idiot let there dog losse and let it chase my plane around thinking it was a great idea i ran out of fuel (because i coudnt land) came down dead stick and hit the dog with a telemaster 66 (about 10 lb) after some yelling the dog owners boyfriend stepped in apologized and even offered some cash for repairs his dad flew rc and he understood i did everything possible not to hit the dog his girlfriend still hates me she thought i should have put my $300 plane in a tree because she couldnt handle her animal