Don't Worry, Kathleen, Drones Are Not Allowed in Seattle Parks. (I Found Out the Hard Way.)


"There are only two places in the city’s 6,200-acre park system where people can operate drones, which fall under the same rules as model airplanes: Carkeek and Magnuson parks, both of which have designated model airplane fields ..."…
That OurSeattleParks article sites the same municipal code 18.12.265. I'm confused though if it means anyone is allowed to fly drones at those parks, or if those are the only parks an individual with a permit from the superintendent is allowed to fly a drone.

Furthermore: "The existing rules, he said, were designed for control-line model airplanes, in which the pilot holds a wire attached to the plane, which flies in a fixed circle."
As usual, XKCD has much wisdom...

The law very clearly states that you don't need a permit to fly model aircraft in a designated area.

And control-line model aircraft were largely abandoned* by hobbyists decades ago, when radio control became affordable. They've been flying radio-controlled model aircraft in Seattle's parks ever since, without much complaint.

Thanks to Eli for actually looking up the law; no thanks for failing to report the fact that Magnuson does indeed have a designated model airplane field, and that the people Kathleen is whinging about were enjoying themselves entirely within the law.

* barring the tediously predictable contingent of throwback enthusiasts, of course.
very amusing
Regardless of whether the previous model airplanes were abandoned, the code was never intended for drones and it could use a little touch-up. Maybe there should be designated airspace for flying, or a limit on the time of day drones can be flown. I don't think that's too radical.
drones are against park rules. just like drinking beer and smoking weed.
Sounds like a great code to abide by, drone dude(s) at Alki.
Banning drones is crippling the 1st amendment for photographers. Only the FAA should determine airspace policy. GPS stabilized drone flying is safer than many other outdoor activities. I walk past 5 liquor stores on my way home and yet flying a small helicopter at a park is what's illegal.

There already is designated space for model aircraft flying, and Magnuson park is closed for model aircraft use between 11:30pm and 4:00am.
"Drones" are military weapons. These are toys.
Seattle Parks page is pretty clear, though probably should be edited to specifically include drones. From… "Please, no motorized model airplanes on the hill...If you want to fly a radio-controlled model airplane (which you can't do at Warren G. Magnuson Park), check out the clubs that have members-only fields in King and Snohomish counties.…"
Let me get this straight, you're complaining that the city is not allowing people to operate a thing with four quickly turning blades that is flying in the air above our heads? Most people with drones don't operate them very well, so perhaps it's a good idea that this few pounds thing isn't dropping from the sky on top of my baby's head?
Drones? You got your panties in a knot because drones?

Just wait a few years, when next-gen techboys are out in the parks putting their CLONES through their paces.
Flinging poo works fairly well. Use a napkin ...
@7 for the Stuff Council
members do but that are not ok
The drones, maaan, the drones are like, super harshing our mellow, maaan!
Kathleen doesn't need to pack a piece to take out bothersome drones. A Wham-O Writst Rocket and a carton of ball bearings provides hours of fun.
Legal at Magnusson and Carkeek, but only at the designated model airplane flying fields right?? Can someone confirm that they're not allowed to be flown just ANYWHERE in these parks?
Remember when the Stranger published a guide to smoking pot, drinking, and shrooming in public parks? It was less than a year ago.
Seattle park doesn't have a leg to stand on as far as saying what can fly in the airspace over the parks. The "RULE" is flat out unenforcible. Further more, many hobbyists including myself have contacted the parks department about designating a park to fly at. Magnuson used to have a great aviation club with tons of members. Its sad to see the city be such nazi's about something as simple as model aircraft. I have tried on multiple occasions to ask the parks department through email to designate a space and each time have received a less than helpful email back. One time I was told Magnuson was not an acceptable location because of the impact on wildlife. I wonder what the impact of hundreds of people cheering and screaming at sports events has? Or how about everyone dog barking? Where is the environmental study on that? Magnuson used to be a Naval Base, its not exactly pristine, preserved wilderness. Pissed off Hobbyist.