CASA to issue fine after VIC drone crash

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A Victorian man will be fined after crashing his drone during a police operation at Altona this week.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority will issue the $850 fine because the drone was flown within 30 metres of people.

The man was flying a recreational drone and was not associated with the police operation.

Flying a recreational drone does not require an approval from CASA but there are important safety rules which must be followed.

These rules include keeping drones more than 30 metres from people at all times, not flying over crowds or gatherings of people, not causing a hazard to aircraft and having the drone in line of sight at all times.

The rules are in place to protect people from injury from drones and to prevent a mid-air collision with aircraft.

In the Altona incident the drone hit a power line and narrowly missed a police officer when falling to the ground.

CASA’s acting Director of Aviation Safety, Terry Farquharson, says the incident highlights the importance of following the safety rules when flying a drone.

“People who fly drones have a responsibility to know the safety rules and to follow them,” Mr Farquharson says.

“The rules are simple but very important as they keep people safe.

“If you break the safety rules and CASA has evidence we will investigate and we will take the appropriate action, which may include penalties.

“Flying a drone is great fun but there are risks and the safety rules are there to manage those risks to keep everyone safe.”

CASA advises people never to fly recreational drones near places where emergency services are operating.

A drone can interfere with an essential operation, there is a risk of a mid-air collision with helicopters and emergency services personnel on the ground could be hit.

Recreational drones should be kept away from police operations, accident scenes, building fires, bushfires and rescue operations and be flown according to the safety rules.