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Drone Ban Extends 30 Miles Around DC, Per FAA (wusa9.com) 410

DewDude writes: If you thought done registration was bad enough; it just got worse for anyone living in the nation's capital. On Christmas Day (of all days); the FAA put into effect a rule that bans the flying of drones/quadcopters within a 30-mile radius around DC. This more than doubles the initial 15 mile radius no-fly-zone. The ban includes the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, and the independent cities in the vicinity on the Virginia side. On the Maryland side; it includes Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard, Anne Arundel; and parts of Calvert, Baltimore, and the extreme north-western end of St. Marys Counties in Maryland.
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Drone Ban Extends 30 Miles Around DC, Per FAA

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  • by Gr33nJ3ll0 ( 1367543 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @12:20PM (#51202401)
    Seems likely the only thing this is going to do is make a lot of people law breakers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      And that is how a state becomes a tyranny. Forsaking liberty for security.

      • by sycodon ( 149926 )

        How soon before some 14 year old kid flying his $40 drone in the back yard, at the local park, etc. is shot by SWAT?

        • as soon as a Drone crashes in a jumbo jet and people die.

          • by sycodon ( 149926 )

            If there is a jumbo jet in my backyard, then they (and I) have more problems than a $40 drone.

          • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @01:31PM (#51202953)

            A supermarket drone is less than a pound (half a kilo) and has a ceiling far below cruise for an aircraft. An aircraft on takeoff or approach will be flying pretty slowly. A Canada goose is somewhere in the vicinity of 8 lbs. and will stop a jet-engine, but still won't destroy a jumbo jet.

            You might as well worry about flocks of songbirds, which as you may know far outnumber and predate drones.

            • by mysidia ( 191772 )

              An aircraft on takeoff or approach will be flying pretty slowly.

              If they restrict all high-flying drones to licensed drone pilots and low-flying within 5 miles of an airport, within 5 miles of low-flying firefighters or rescue copter/operations, and enforce it vigorously, that basically takes care of all current unreasonable dangers to aircraft from civillians' light drones. I'm more concerned about ISIS being able to modify drones for malicious use.

          • by tibit ( 1762298 )

            If jumbo jets can be taken out of the sky by 2oz drones (that's 99.9% of sold drones!), then we have waaaay bigger problems, dude.

      • by Foxhoundz ( 2015516 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @12:40PM (#51202539)
        Yes. That's how it works. First they ban our drones, next they're asking as for papers. Get over yourself.
      • Certainly, we have a positive correlation between the absence of drones and the Holocaust.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        And that is how a state becomes a tyranny. Forsaking liberty for security.

        And now, there will be more violations (Of the new anti-Drone rule), thus justifying more new stricter and broader laws to hit the offenders with ---- AKA a positive feedback loop.

      • by schwit1 ( 797399 )
        It's not security, it's security theater. The bad guys do not obey laws and they won't obey this one if it interferes with their goals.
        • Let's assume that in some critical area there are now 1000 people flying dangerous-looking drones. It's impossible to know whether any particular drone is being flown by someone dangerously ignorant or downright malicious

          After the regulation becomes well known, maybe 10 people will be flying drones, and it's a much better bet that all those drones are flown by someone ignorant or malicious. Downing drones under the new conditions becomes easier for the police, safer for the general public, and more likely t

    • We need something as simple a Google Maps where we can zoom in to determine where the no-fly zones are. If you don't make it simple it ain't gonna happen.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        No. People don't need fucking toy airplanes.

        For the few who insist on getting one, they need to pony up and get one that carries a database of no-fly, downloaded from the Internet and described in terms a simple GPS can understand.

        Scenario:

        A wildfire breaks out. FAA temporarily invokes no-fly for drones in a particular area. My drone won't cross the perimeter and returns an error that translates into: "Sorry, but I'm not allowed to go there."

        The no-fly applies to permanent areas, as well.

        • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @01:37PM (#51202995)

          Great, then just program all of those dangerous birds flying around to obey the same zone.

          This whole fucking discussion is predicated on the "fact" that these drones pose a danger. Yet, while we have drones enjoying unprecedented popularity, we do not have any incidences of an aircraft being in any real danger. Even if we did, how many more bird strikes are there each year?

          This is yet another example of failure to do a cost-benefit analysis and simply accepting the government's default position of safety over freedom on something. Let's not allow the crippling CYA culture that dominates the public sector to invade our lives. Please?

        • Yes the nation needs toy airplanes if we want another generation of pilots and aerospace engineers.

          Ask any military pilot where/when he got 'the flying bug'?

        • by tibit ( 1762298 )

          I don't know what you're droning about, but what people normally buy is not planes, but toy drones, that weigh 2oz, have a ~100m control range, and 3 minutes flight time. That's 99.9% of the drones out there. It doesn't matter where you fly them, the most damage they'll do is to cut up someone's eye if you fly one into someone's face. My biggest worry was about what happens if one gets sucked into the turbine of a small helicopter. A friend who was doing some FOD ingestion testing on these small turbines te

      • SkyVector [skyvector.com] can help you there, though it's not authoritative.

        TFRs (Temporary Flight Restriction areas, though some aren't all that temporary--Disneyland has had one since the 1990s) and SFRs (Special Flight Rules areas) are outlined in red, and while they don't always get sporting events, TFRs due to fires usually do go up.

        • Thanks for that link, it rams home what I thought, I have to go way north almost out of the county before I can fly anything. Luckily, that's pretty much where I was going to go anyway. I live within the SFR for Lampson Field...

      • There are a number of ways to look at "no-fly zones", principally NOTOMs. But for a good FREE visual, go to SkyVector. the maps will show all "TFRs" - Temporary Flying Restrictions, as well as permanent flying restrictions.

    • This has been a widely reported issue that the FAA rules override local laws. In the Boulder, CO area there is designated "open space". It would be a good place to fly because there is lots of space and few people. Boulder says drones are forbidden, FAA says it's ok. Who to believe.

    • I guess the secret to ensuring that your favorite pastime won't be annexed by a bunch of rogue law-makers is to take up a pastime that *they* enjoy.

      For example... many, many times more people are injured or die as a result of playing golf than as a result of playing with drones -- yet you *KNOW* that golf will never be banned or restricted in the way that drones are being -- simply because so many lawmakers are also keen golfers.

      Remember... politicians and bureaucrats are primarily looking after their own

  • Yet a tethered craft is still legal.
    You can still legally fly a kite (with pretty much any payload you like)
    My 'tethered drone' remains legal for use in the National parks, as well. Since upgrading my kite to quad-engine status, it works well even with no wind...
    As I was reminded by a federal judge, do not forget to hang on to your end of the string...
    • by DewDude ( 537374 )
      Wait a second......the main reason I'd like to fly a small quad-copter...is for the EXACT reason of having a tether attached to it; that I fly up...over a tree....then back down to the ground where I disconnect the copter and tie a larger string on the fishing line. Pull that string over...repeat with a rope...and I can get my amateur radio antennas in even higher locations, more accurately, than I can the barbaric way of flinging it over using a sling-shot or air-cannon.

      Seriously...if having a tether atta
    • Unless my info is out of date, tethered drones are classified as "moored balloons [ecfr.gov]" at the moment. Slightly more restricted than kites. Key points:

      • Stay under 150 ft, unless you notify air traffic control - in which case stay under 500 ft. If you go higher than 150 ft, you need to light or flag the tether.
      • Stay 5 miles away from an airport
      • If you are within 250 ft of a tall structure, you can go as high as that structure.
      • Only fly in daylight unless you have a lit tether and drone.
      • There has to be a fail-safe wh
  • I wonder how long this will hold up once Amazon says they can no longer offer one-hour delivery in DC because the no-fly zone keeps them from operating delivery drones. Even if Amazon gets a regulatory exemption, rich and powerful hobbyists will be pointedly asking what makes Amazon so special.

  • Can I have a 30 mile Politician ban around my home? I cite public welfare and safety as the reasons.

  • Hmmm...I wonder if some muckity-muck and their mistress got outed by some drone photography. The new ban ought to prevent that in the future.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @01:29PM (#51202937) Homepage

    Drones can be weaponized; hence the ban. Short of turning the metaphorical DC bubble into literal reality, this was entirely expected. I'm extremely annoyed and dismayed that any of you would be surprised. This isn't news except for the clueless morons out there.

  • So wtf do they call a "drone" this week?

    Can I still fly my plain-old R/C plane? Because that's NOT A DRONE AND NEVER HAS BEEN (except for the ignorant).

    What if it's unpowered (like an RC glider)?

    If the language is sufficiently vague, how about model rockets? Bottle rockets? Fireworks?

    Hey, maybe they could expand the definition, make it illegal to release a balloon?

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] "Psychological projection, also known as blame shifting, is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. According to some research, the projection of one's negative qualities onto others is a common process in everyday life."

    I think it is a classic psychological projection in action. The authority in the D.C. feels a guilt for using drones in military combat wi
  • That's complete bullshit. Fuck our government.
  • ...that show us how many home-schooled constitutional lawyers there are on the Internet.

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