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Hi everyone,
I'm going on a trip to california soon and hope to bring my solo with me. I was wondering if anyone has any information regarding specific laws within california. Some resaerching led me to believe it was all very similar to federal laws. I hope to fly around some beaches in san francisco and LA, as well as possibly the hollywood hills near the hollywood sign. Wanted to get your guys' input on the topic and the best plan of action. Also if anyone has any tips for transporting the drone through airports that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
 
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Filming the HOLLYWOOD sign with a drone is absolutely forbidden; don't even think about it. You can't even hike near it without arranging that well in advance. Film crews must not only get permission but even be escorted to the location. See its official website for more information: http://hollywoodsign.org/

Beaches are a mixed bag. Some are state beaches, which are part of the California State Park System and follow state park rules. City beaches either have their own rules or none at all; check with each in advance. For example, Huntington Beach is two beaches in one: the south half is a State Beach, and the north half is a City Beach. The city of Huntington Beach doesn't mind drones near the beach (just last week I chatted with a guy flying a Solo there), although of course they don't like drones flying over people, or buzzing the famous Huntington Beach Pier. But the State Beach doesn't like drones at all, and you can be cited at the discretion of their patrolling cops.

Although my repeated attempts to get a reply from officials at the California State Park System have gone unanswered, several state troopers patrolling State Beaches have told me that there is no state law yet ... BUT they have been instructed to ask all drone pilots to cease flying because they pose a danger to beachgoers (even when there is no real danger). If the drone pilot fails to cooperate, they CAN issue a ticket for endangering the public. NONE of that is currently in writing anywhere, as far as I know, but the troopers all told me the same story, so I strongly suspect that it's their current operating procedure. I also suspect that flying where there are no people, just beautiful beach scenery, would be politely ignored by the cops, since it's up to their discretion at this time.

Disclaimer: I live in southern Orange County (just south of Los Angeles), so my experience is limited to my locale.
 
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I live in Manhattan Beach and work in Los Angeles.
You're definitely asking to be hassled by targeting highly populated places.
The Los Angeles area is a combination of various cities and many have their own "drone ordinance" LA's is the most reasonable while West Hollywood and Hermosa Beach are droconian. In addition, LA City forbids UAV's in its parks while Los Angeles County Beaches and Orange County Beaches also may disallow at the discretion of lifeguards. Below are some links for you to read yourself. In addition, you've got the "advising the airport 5 mile radius" to deal with. So I suggest that you fly very early in the morning before people are around to bug you. But you may be off leaving your UAV at home.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47454692/Los Angeles Drone Law-Ordinance.pdf

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47454692/Hermosa Beach Drone Law-Ordinance.pdf

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47454692/West Hollywood Drone Law-Ordinance.pdf
 

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Hi everyone,
I'm going on a trip to california soon and hope to bring my solo with me. I was wondering if anyone has any information regarding specific laws within california. Some resaerching led me to believe it was all very similar to federal laws. I hope to fly around some beaches in san francisco and LA, as well as possibly the hollywood hills near the hollywood sign. Wanted to get your guys' input on the topic and the best plan of action. Also if anyone has any tips for transporting the drone through airports that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
Joe Horn gave you good advice.

Also, be polite, and avoid confrontations. If possible, avoid flying where there are lots of people. (a) The FAA wants you to not fly over non-participants; (b) if you do anyway someone is bound to come over and ask "Is that a drone?" This will distract and/or annoy you, and is likely to attract the local constables who are hyper-sensitive these days.

Don't know about getting the drone on an aircraft, but it wouldn't hurt to call ahead. Also, you might get better treatment from TSA if you pay a little extra for Pre-Check. My hunch is that even if the drone is not a problem, those huge Lithium Polymer batteries will set off alarms. Read this page: My TSA - Home Airport
The Solo battery is 76 Wh.

There were some bills in the state legislature, all directed to keeping the drones high enough to avoid Peeping Tom issues. Don't know about San Francisco, but the concern in LA is all about privacy. Federal preemption led the Governor to veto one ( Senate Bill 142/Assembly Bill 1327) that mandated a minimum altitude of 350' and a few cities have enacted ridiculous laws that are facially preempted by federal law. It should only cost you an arm and a leg to hire a lawyer. If you do you can call me. Be sure to give your lawyer a copy of the FAA Chief Counsel's Fact Sheet (uploaded here) on what state and local laws are preempted.

The only California law I am aware of that is not preempted is Civil Code 1708.8, which reads in part:

1708.8.
(a) A person is liable for physical invasion of privacy when the person knowingly enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land of another person without permission or otherwise commits a trespass in order to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a private, personal, or familial activity and the invasion occurs in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person. . . .

I am in San Diego, but I have received death threats and "get the f*** off my property or I will shoot that drone down." (I was not on or over his property, but you don't argue with a guy like that.)

My personal belief is that we are at the high point of "anti-drone hysteria" in California and that once socially valuable commercial and public safety uses become apparent the tide will turn.

Welcome to California. Enjoy yourself.
 

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...( Senate Bill 142/Assembly Bill 1327) that mandated a minimum altitude of 350' and a few cities have enacted ridiculous laws ...

Welcome to California. Enjoy yourself.
So that Bill would have essentially allowed one to fly laterally in a 50' slot between 350' and 400'? Sounds like some of CA's gun laws - a topic for a different forum, I know.
 
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Right, but you couldn't take off or land. Hey, come on, you all wish you were here. Weather is great, girls are great, food is great, beaches are great, movies are great, scenery is superb. Check out my shots at Galleries | robertrose.photos

So some of the laws are goofy. We love everyone. If California were a country, it would have the eighth-largest economy in the world. What would you do without us?
 
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Filming the HOLLYWOOD sign with a drone is absolutely forbidden; don't even think about it. You can't even hike near it without arranging that well in advance. Film crews must not only get permission but even be escorted to the location. See its official website for more information: The Hollywood Sign

Beaches are a mixed bag. Some are state beaches, which are part of the California State Park System and follow state park rules. City beaches either have their own rules or none at all; check with each in advance. For example, Huntington Beach is two beaches in one: the south half is a State Beach, and the north half is a City Beach. The city of Huntington Beach doesn't mind drones near the beach (just last week I chatted with a guy flying a Solo there), although of course they don't like drones flying over people, or buzzing the famous Huntington Beach Pier. But the State Beach doesn't like drones at all, and you can be cited at the discretion of their patrolling cops.

Although my repeated attempts to get a reply from officials at the California State Park System have gone unanswered, several state troopers patrolling State Beaches have told me that there is no state law yet ... BUT they have been instructed to ask all drone pilots to cease flying because they pose a danger to beachgoers (even when there is no real danger). If the drone pilot fails to cooperate, they CAN issue a ticket for endangering the public. NONE of that is currently in writing anywhere, as far as I know, but the troopers all told me the same story, so I strongly suspect that it's their current operating procedure. I also suspect that flying where there are no people, just beautiful beach scenery, would be politely ignored by the cops, since it's up to their discretion at this time.

Disclaimer: I live in southern Orange County (just south of Los Angeles), so my experience is limited to my locale.
Great, thanks for all the information. Seems like it might not be worth it to lug the thing around. I have my DSLR so should be able to get good pictures/video regardless. Thanks for the wealth of information.
 
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Joe Horn gave you good advice.

Also, be polite, and avoid confrontations. If possible, avoid flying where there are lots of people. (a) The FAA wants you to not fly over non-participants; (b) if you do anyway someone is bound to come over and ask "Is that a drone?" This will distract and/or annoy you, and is likely to attract the local constables who are hyper-sensitive these days.

Don't know about getting the drone on an aircraft, but it wouldn't hurt to call ahead. Also, you might get better treatment from TSA if you pay a little extra for Pre-Check. My hunch is that even if the drone is not a problem, those huge Lithium Polymer batteries will set off alarms. Read this page: My TSA - Home Airport
The Solo battery is 76 Wh.

There were some bills in the state legislature, all directed to keeping the drones high enough to avoid Peeping Tom issues. Don't know about San Francisco, but the concern in LA is all about privacy. Federal preemption led the Governor to veto one ( Senate Bill 142/Assembly Bill 1327) that mandated a minimum altitude of 350' and a few cities have enacted ridiculous laws that are facially preempted by federal law. It should only cost you an arm and a leg to hire a lawyer. If you do you can call me. Be sure to give your lawyer a copy of the FAA Chief Counsel's Fact Sheet (uploaded here) on what state and local laws are preempted.

The only California law I am aware of that is not preempted is Civil Code 1708.8, which reads in part:

1708.8.
(a) A person is liable for physical invasion of privacy when the person knowingly enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land of another person without permission or otherwise commits a trespass in order to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a private, personal, or familial activity and the invasion occurs in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person. . . .

I am in San Diego, but I have received death threats and "get the f*** off my property or I will shoot that drone down." (I was not on or over his property, but you don't argue with a guy like that.)

My personal belief is that we are at the high point of "anti-drone hysteria" in California and that once socially valuable commercial and public safety uses become apparent the tide will turn.

Welcome to California. Enjoy yourself.
Agreed, I'll take a look at those links. I probably will end up not bringing it because I'm not sure if it's worth it to only fly it not very often. Appreciate the well thought out response, I'm very excited to visit California!
 
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I live in Manhattan Beach and work in Los Angeles.
You're definitely asking to be hassled by targeting highly populated places.
The Los Angeles area is a combination of various cities and many have their own "drone ordinance" LA's is the most reasonable while West Hollywood and Hermosa Beach are droconian. In addition, LA City forbids UAV's in its parks while Los Angeles County Beaches and Orange County Beaches also may disallow at the discretion of lifeguards. Below are some links for you to read yourself. In addition, you've got the "advising the airport 5 mile radius" to deal with. So I suggest that you fly very early in the morning before people are around to bug you. But you may be off leaving your UAV at home.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47454692/Los Angeles Drone Law-Ordinance.pdf

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47454692/Hermosa Beach Drone Law-Ordinance.pdf

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/47454692/West Hollywood Drone Law-Ordinance.pdf
Being hassled doesn't sound like much fun, since I'll mainly be in San Francisco/LA it might not be worth it to bring. Thanks for the links though, will definitely check them out.
 
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Filming the HOLLYWOOD sign with a drone is absolutely forbidden; don't even think about it. You can't even hike near it without arranging that well in advance. Film crews must not only get permission but even be escorted to the location. See its official website for more information: The Hollywood Sign

Beaches are a mixed bag. Some are state beaches, which are part of the California State Park System and follow state park rules. City beaches either have their own rules or none at all; check with each in advance. For example, Huntington Beach is two beaches in one: the south half is a State Beach, and the north half is a City Beach. The city of Huntington Beach doesn't mind drones near the beach (just last week I chatted with a guy flying a Solo there), although of course they don't like drones flying over people, or buzzing the famous Huntington Beach Pier. But the State Beach doesn't like drones at all, and you can be cited at the discretion of their patrolling cops.

Although my repeated attempts to get a reply from officials at the California State Park System have gone unanswered, several state troopers patrolling State Beaches have told me that there is no state law yet ... BUT they have been instructed to ask all drone pilots to cease flying because they pose a danger to beachgoers (even when there is no real danger). If the drone pilot fails to cooperate, they CAN issue a ticket for endangering the public. NONE of that is currently in writing anywhere, as far as I know, but the troopers all told me the same story, so I strongly suspect that it's their current operating procedure. I also suspect that flying where there are no people, just beautiful beach scenery, would be politely ignored by the cops, since it's up to their discretion at this time.

Disclaimer: I live in southern Orange County (just south of Los Angeles), so my experience is limited to my locale.
It really is frustrating there isn't a full state beach drone law, hopefully these laws get solidified soon enough. I didn't think I had a shot at the hollywood sign but it was worth a shot. Not sure if it's worth bringing if there are so many restrictions on where/when to fly it.
 

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