Begun – the drone wars have.

13 May

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Beauty – through rose tinted glasses.

Ever since the Wright brothers there has been a requirement for regulation of matters aeronautical. In the early days, the rules which had worked on the ocean were adapted – after a fashion – to suit aviation. Within a short period of time; dedicated rules for aviation related activities were developed. Beginning with very ‘simple’, often one short paragraph was ‘All she wrote’.  Things really got moving in 1910 and since then, with an increasing complexity, ‘rules’ have been developed. Australia has one of, if not the most complex rule sets anywhere in the world. Australia must certainly hold the record for sheer weight and volume if nothing else, a rule set which subtly prescribes almost god like powers to those who work behind the curtain wall of the monolith. The upkeep of the castle costs the nation a steadily increasing significant amount of money; the latest budget reflecting this fact. There is  I note, a significant sum allocated to ‘Drone control’. I say this money is well wasted.

(Yesterday, 09:28 AM)Peetwo Wrote: “..It would also be a first step in harmonising drone regulations across jurisdictions as the industry rapidly expands…”

6D aviation minion adviser to Comardy: “…The miniscule has had ICAO on the phone and he now wonders if it might be an idea if we harmonise our drone regs to the rest of the world..”

Comardy in reply:

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(Yesterday, 11:06 AM)Cap Wrote: Full story here

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For those not familiar with totally inept shambles the CASA has become the matter of ‘drones’ is a simple, current example of why this moribund department needs to stripped back to the bone, reformed internally and the rules reformed. In short CASA have done a little as possible about the existing ‘drone’ situation and potential dangers, particularly in relation to ‘public safety’. They have however gone to extraordinary lengths to abrogate that responsibility and yet have the audacity to claim significant sums, from the budget, to ‘manage’ that responsibility. Had they demanded this sum before the ‘drone’ situation developed and grew out of control – I’d be first to say well done; foresight, imagination and direct, positive action applauded. But this not the case. CASA are playing catch-up and start from a long way behind the game. There is no imaginative foresight in the regulation, just another of many neatly crafted escape hatches, leading to the ‘wriggle room’.

Within the last half year there have been three events for which, IMO CASA ineptitude and incompetence, developed through legally supported abrogation have played a part of the root cause:-

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The Swan river fatal. CASA approval for the Mallard flight required that the aircraft operate within the confines of an area too small to allow safe manoeuvring.



The margins required although strictly the pilots responsibility should have been examined – as a public safety case by CASA, prior to the approval being granted. Furthermore, had the pilot been requested and required to mathematically prove and physically ‘demonstrate’ that the aircraft could operate within the CASA prescribed ‘box’ then the accident may have been prevented. CASA went to great lengths to ensure the ‘pilot’ was ‘legal’ but failed to ensure the operation was ‘safe’; the public were put at great risk that day simply because real, interested, holistic safety ‘oversight’ failed.



The Essendon fatal. Here again we hear CASA at Estimates avoiding and abrogating all responsibility for ‘public safety’. Despite protestations of innocence, hidden under the guise of ‘advice only and strictly no liability’ this department is charged with, indeed brags about, it’s significant ‘safety’ role. Never a peep of protest about buildings, filled with the ‘public’ being allowed to damn close to an operational runway.

Now we have a potentially serious accident on the Sydney Harbour bridge. A drone has collided with a motor vehicle.



Please; don’t say ‘so –what’. The fact that it was a car and the there was not a multiple ‘pile-up’ on a seriously busy roadway is down to pure luck.  The cost in delays and disruption alone should be enough to have the minister screaming for better control of ‘drone’ activity, let alone the costs of emergency services being provided, hospital care, insurance cases etc. All this because CASA was to lazy, determinedly arrogant in the belief that ‘they’ will carry no responsibility; and, so inept that they failed to foresee the possibility of a major risk to public safety through uncontrolled ‘drone’ activity.

The Harbour bridge episode and the CASA response to the potential for more serious events, after the fact; has been less than impressive. The existing rule set designed purely to relive CASA of any and all responsibility. Now, gifted yet another huge sum of public money will they try to catch up and put things to rights? The short answer is no, they will not. What will happen is a huge volume of prescriptive regulation will be published, with draconian penalties and no thought of protecting anyone else, bar CASA from their mandated, stated duty of care to the Australian public.

Bollocks you say. Do you hear the minister howling for action? Do you see the CASA board looking grave and concerned for public safety, cracking the whip and making the DAS get off his arse and do something? Do you see the ‘officers’; at CASA leaving their lattes and presenting reams of bright ideas on how best the public may be protected? Do you here a strident call from the ‘member’ representing these folk for positive action – now?

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6D Chester quote on drones: “..the government wanted to ensure the safety of drone operators, while also ­encouraging growth in the use of remotely piloted aircraft..”

No, you do not; do you hear the public asking WTD are you doing to protect us from the ‘drones’; or, the splash from the Swan river crash; or, the flames of the Essendon inferno? No Sir, you do not – each believes someone else is ‘doing’ something about it. Well someone has – the government have given CASA a whole heap of money to exactly that. As it was in the beginning, so it shall be, bullshit and abrogation without end. Amen.

Toot toot.



P2 comment: Perhaps title should be ..”thru rose tinted webcams” – just a thought??

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