Montana Code Annotated 2019



Part 2. Uniform Principles

Lawfulness Of Flight And Landings

67-1-204. Lawfulness of flight and landings. (1) Flight in aircraft over the lands and waters of this state is lawful, unless it is at such a low altitude as to interfere with the then-existing use to which the land or water or the space over the land or water is put by the owner or unless conducted as to be imminently dangerous to persons or property lawfully on the land or water or in violation of the air commerce regulations that have been or may be promulgated by the department of transportation of the United States.

(2) Aircraft landings and takeoffs from the public waters of this state are lawful if proper safety precautions regarding public waters, as prescribed in 14 CFR, part 91, are taken prior to the landing or takeoff, except as otherwise provided by this section.

(3) Aircraft landings and takeoffs from public roads in this state are lawful if proper safety precautions, as approved by the governing jurisdiction of the roads, are taken prior to the landing or takeoff, except as otherwise provided in this section. However, the local governing jurisdiction may not incur liability as a result of an approval under this subsection.

(4) A person may not operate an aircraft, as pilot of the aircraft, either in the air, on the water, or on the ground, in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of others, including the aircraft being operated and passengers carried in the aircraft.

(5) The willful and malicious use of aircraft in stunting or diving over livestock in a manner calculated to frighten or stampede them is an unlawful use of aircraft, and actual and punitive damages, in addition to the penalties provided by this part, may be recovered in an action for damages caused by the willful and malicious use of the aircraft. As used in this subsection, "livestock" includes ostriches, rheas, and emus.

(6) The landing of an aircraft on the private lands or waters of another without consent is unlawful, except in the case of a forced landing. For damages caused by a forced landing, however, the owner or lessee of the aircraft or the pilot is liable for actual damage caused by the forced landing.

(7) A person may not knowingly operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. "Under the influence" means that as a result of taking into the body alcohol, drugs, or any combination of alcohol and drugs, a person's ability to safely operate the aircraft has been diminished to the slightest degree.

(8) A person having information regarding a violation of subsection (7) shall report the information to the department.

History: En. Sec. 7, Ch. 17, L. 1929; re-en. Sec. 2736.7, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 109, L. 1939; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 16, L. 1949; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 102, L. 1963; R.C.M. 1947, 1-603; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 528, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 542, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 206, L. 1995.