Howzat! Air safety body catches crashing drone at cricket



Unseen it seems by everyone but the country’s air crash investigator at last Sunday’s victory by Australia over NZ at the world cricket cup final at the MCG was a crashing drone.

The ATSB is now investigating what is understood to have been fairly damaging collision with the ground outside the famous sporting venue by a big Sky Jib camera toting drone, like those used by TV networks.

The brief notification is here.

The Sky Jib is made by a German company, whose wares can be studied here. None of which would be nice to find in your face while seated in the stands, or for vicarious cricket heroes, out on on the ground.

These are heavy duty, potent devices.

It’s almost a year since what is believed to be Australia’s first injury causing drone incident, in which a triathlon runner was knocked over while competing in an event at Geraldton in WA.

That incident was investigated by CASA, the regulator, rather than the ATSB, the safety investigator, because it involved a breach of the regulations, and it resulted in a private individual being fined $850.

In the MCG incident the remotely piloted aircraft or RPA at the ATSB calls it, is believed to have been flown in accordance with the regulations, and the issues are about such things as a loss of control, or competency questions, or equipment reliability and upkeep rather than legality of operation.

While these incidents may seem minor, their resolution could prove very important as the use of drones becomes much more widespread.