A Quick Overhead Survey of Buffalo Bayou Park

How long has it been since you’ve run along, rowed along, or flown over Buffalo Bayou? Guy-out-with-his-Phantom-quadcopter Marco Luzuriaga filmed this scene earlier this month above a short section of the city’s most prominent drainage canal beginning near the Rosemont Bridge, then turning around and heading a ways toward Downtown. He gives up on the waterway and substitutes a bit of downtown-tangling freeway spaghetti near the end, but if you look into the distance around the 1:30 mark, you can catch a quick progress report on reconstruction of Buffalo Bayou Park.

Video: Marco Luzuriaga, via Brittanie Shey


Tour by Drone

14 Comment

  • Very cool, however is this legal? You think of him hovering that over your backyard or a goverment office. In that last shot he was as high as a helicopter, for a helicopter pilot that has to be a little scary. If there are no law governing drones, maybe there should be. I think this video is interesting and he got done nice shots, but this could quickly become a problem.

  • @Shannon, not illegal in this area. Although the FAA is reviewing drone use, drones are only prohibited near Hobby Airport, Ellington Field, and IAH in the Houston area.

  • The drone thing is a touch murky, but basically, as long as it is below 400 feet of altitude and not without 5 miles of an airport (without notifying the airport) you can fly it as long as it is for personal enjoyment and not for any commercial purpose.

    Reckless operation is something completely different though.

  • I think you will find that drones have to follow the same rules as aircraft, with required minimum clearances from the ground, clouds, buildings and people. If it wouldn’t be legal to do in a Cessna 172, a drone can’t do it.

  • Perhaps it’s time to revisit the law. It’s like the Internet and the laws playing catch up. Still really cool video.

  • Definitely a very cool video. Might be time to add one of these to my Christmas list to 5anta.

  • I fly my drone all over Courtlandt pl, Westmoreland, and my apt buildings all the time. I hope it doesn’t become illegal. It’s a lot of fun and I get some cool video.

  • The shot of downtown about 1 minute in should be the new stock phone of Houston. It’s got water, skyscrapers, runners, and nice roads…pretty much the whole package!

  • Cody, I’m sure some lady sunbathing by her pool in Courtlandt Place in the privacy of her own back yard would just be thrilled to have you fly your little toy over her house and get the full beaver –lol. People should be able to skinny dip in their own pool without the fear of a front 40 feet over their head. I’m sure that you’re completely above board Cody, but surely you can see that this could be a huge problem and a total invasion of privacy. Think if you were a thief or worse and wanted to rob or spy on someone in Courtlandt Place with your Drone. Scary.

  • The bayou park is really beautiful. Given the opportunity it must be developed or maintained for future generations.

  • As it seems the operator is doing this purely for hobby purposes, then it is allowable under current FAA guidelines applicable to model aircraft. In that regard, Al above is not correct.

    Were he taking video for commercial purposes, the issue would get much murkier. The FAA has taken a pretty firm stance against commercial use of UAVs, and under the current regulatory framework, one would essentially have to qualify the UAV as an experimental aircraft were it to be used for commercial purposes. In that regard, Al above is correct.

    Also, in the last legislative session, Texas passed a fairly wide-reaching UAV law euphemistically titled the “Texas Privacy Act,” which makes it a Class C misdemeanor for a person to “[use] an unmanned aircraft to capture an image of an individual or privately owned real property in this state wit the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or property captured in the image.” nterestingly, “conduct surveillance” is not defined, so it would likely be given it’s ordinary meaning.

    There are 19 enumerated exceptions from the Act, including Tex. Govt Code 423.002(16), which makes it lawful for a person to use an unmanned aircraft to capture images “of public real property or a person on that property.”


  • Didn’t even see 1 dead body!

  • nice to see what’s been gained as well as what’s been lost (invasive or not, i miss the old dense vegetation). the new paths, bridges and play areas are welcome additions but I’m still miffed they took away the Terry Hershey park area with no replacement.

  • Shannon: I’m often 100s of feet high. I flew over our Holman / midtown property at 400 feet (actually higher but since 400 feet is the max you’re suposed to fly, I’ll say I was 400. In the desert I’ve flown up around 1000 feet)