CASA not so impressed with Lithgow quad footage


Not much of a sign of the proposed simple system in Australia for sub 2kg airframes. Our guess is that a licensed operator complained and CASA had to react. Although they make a fair point if manned aircraft involved in firefighting were on scene. Once again though, if the multirotor was being flown by a member of the fire fighting crew in touch with a gold or silver commander then situational awareness could be increased for a low cost. Melbourne firefighters are certainly trying out UA

Warning to keep ‘drones’ off fire grounds

People operating unapproved ‘drones’ on bush fire grounds have been warned they are putting fire fighting responses at risk.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has seen video footage of a remotely piloted aircraft being operated on the NSW Lithgow fire ground this week.

This operation was not approved and appears to be in breach of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.

Flying a remotely piloted aircraft in the same airspace as fire fighting helicopters and aeroplanes creates a real risk of a mid-air collision.

If a remotely piloted aircraft hit a fire fighting helicopter tail rotor the helicopter could be badly damaged, with possible loss of control by the pilot.

The collision risk means if unapproved remotely piloted aircraft operate on a fire ground fire fighting authorities may be forced to ground their aircraft, putting lives and property at risk.

CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, John McCormick, says the unapproved use of remotely piloted aircraft during a bush fire was irresponsible.

“People who have a ‘drone’ must fly according to the Civil Aviation Regulations and they must use their common sense,” Mr McCormick said.

“Flying an unapproved remotely piloted aircraft near fire fighting aircraft, fire fighters and fire fighting vehicles is dangerous.”

Operators of both commercial and recreational remotely piloted aircraft are required to comply with Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The regulations include provisions requiring remotely piloted aircraft not to operate closer than 30 metres to people unless otherwise approved. It is also an offence to operate a remotely piloted aircraft in controlled or restricted airspace without approval or to operate in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property.

Media are asked not to use vision or photographs taken from unapproved remotely piloted aircraft operations as this can promote dangerous activities.

The rules for use of remotely piloted aircraft are at: CASR Part 101 Unmanned aircraft and rocket operations.

Media contact:
Peter Gibson
Mobile: 0419 296 446
Email: [email protected]
Ref: MR6313