Begun-the drone wars have_MKII.

Update to Drongo drone video - Undecided

Via - Wink

Quote:Reckless Drone Flight in Las Vegas Raises Concerns

Posted By: Malek Murisonon: February 05, 2018
A dramatic video bouncing around the internet shows an FPV pilot flying directly above a landing passenger plane heading into land at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. The footage has been widely shared and condemned by the community.

In this industry, it doesn’t take much to kick off a fresh batch of negative headlines. Calls for stricter regulations on drone pilots are never too far away. We’ve seen as much with the reactions to the many ‘near misses’ and suspected collisions in recent months.

Read more: Collisions: How to Break the Cycle of Conjecture, Fear & Drone Negativity

We also know that a drone doesn’t even have to be involved (it could just be a bat or a plastic bag) to cause blanket negative coverage for a few media cycles.

With those things in mind, all we can do is condemn the reckless pilot responsible for the video below, who will hopefully be identified and fined, at the very least. We understand that the FAA is looking into the following footage…

It’s impossible to defend this video. There is next to no chance the pilot was attempting anything other than to record a dramatic shot of a passenger plane from above. You don’t take-off under a busy flight path by accident. Just as worrying is how many attempts it took, and how many other manned aircraft were put at risk, before this video was taken.

This won’t be the last reckless video we see

The sad fact is that incursions like this are likely to continue unless authorities are seen to take action. And even then, the promise of notoriety (even of the anonymous variety) might still make the risk worth it for a small number of stunt pilots.

Ultimately we have to blame the people responsible, not the technology. And find ways to mitigate the risks posed by this small minority.

In a statement posted alongside the video, pilot training provider and general drone community platform Drone U said:

Quote:Drone U Leadership and the entire membership community want to join with other industry leaders to fully CONDEMN this reckless and criminal act. Drone U and it’s members work tirelessly in making our skies safe for all users of the National Airspace System. This pilot’s actions not only endangered the flying public, but has the potential to discredit an entire sUAS industry.
It is the opinion of Drone U and it’s members that the pilot receive swift and just punishment for this example of irresponsible and reckless flight. There is no excuse for this type of criminal behavior.

You can read the AMA’s reaction here

MTF...P2 Cool

Drone Wars update: 13/02/18


Quote:Drone safety: DJI forces drone pilots to pass safety test before lift-off in Australia
AUSTRALIAN drone pilots have been slugged with a record number of fines. Now they’ll need to pass a pre-flight test before they get off the ground.

Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
News Corp Australia Network February 13, 201811:41am

[Image: 5f65445515f106d2bf100055be49c839]

The world’s leading drone maker, DJI, will introduce a mandatory pre-flight quiz for Australian drone users today.Source:Supplied

AUSTRALIAN drone pilots will be forced to pass a quiz before taking to the skies under a new initiative launched by the world’s largest drone maker tomorrow.

The mandatory exam, created by DJI in conjunction with Australia’s Civil Aviation and Safety Authority, will automatically appear in the app used to fly its drones and follows a risky year for Australian drone users in which 32 were issued fines and “hundreds” received written safety notices for flying the devices in a dangerous manner.

DJI Asia Pacific public policy head Adam Welsh said the company launched the drone flight exam to ensure new users knew how to legally fly drones in Australia and didn’t give the technology a bad reputation.

[Image: 260e1c87cebed1a4782b70e2c2969eb4]

DJI Mavic Air drone users will face a nine-question quiz on drone laws before launching their device.Source:Supplied

“The majority of our users are flying in a safe and responsible manner but this is just to make sure everyone understands the rules,” he said.

“Not everyone might have looked at the CASA rules.”

READ MORE: $900 fine for flying drone over celebrity wedding

Pilots will be required to correctly answer all nine questions in the DJI Go or Go 4 app before launching their drone, and the quiz will also be posed to foreign flyers who use DJI drones while visiting Australia.

“If you come to see the Commonwealth Games, for example, once you activate the app it will detect you’re in Australia and prompt you to take the quiz,” Mr Welsh said. “Everyone should know the rules.”

Australia will be the third country to receive the DJI pre-flight quiz, after the Chinese firm launched similar tests in the United States in October and United Kingdom last December.

[Image: 9334f70aa19f42856af7a387d31ec9f1]

Sydneysiders at Manly, NSW, photographed by a drone. CASA issued a record number of fines for dangerous drone use last year. Picture: Toby ZernaSource:News Corp Australia

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the Authority welcomed the rules reminder, particularly as the number of drones flown in Australia skyrocketed last year.

“It should reinforce to everyone who owns a drone that there are responsibilities that come with that and one them is understanding the laws around flying drones,” he said.

“Most people who fly drones do so recreationally and they’re not required to have a pilot’s licence and there’s no registration system.”

Mr Gibson said CASA issued a record 32 fines for dangerous drone use in Australia last year, and sent out “hundreds” of warning letters to users who appeared to have broken the rules.

Incidents included a drone flown dangerously close to children at an Easter egg hunt in Canberra, a drone flown into restricted airspace in Sydney Harbour, and another that hovered over the wedding party of TV presenters Sylvia Jeffreys and Peter Stefanovic.

Australian drone laws stipulate drones must not be flown within 30 metres of other people, must only be flown during the day, cannot fly higher than 120m, and cannot fly within 5.5km of an airport.

Mr Gibson said it wasn’t clear whether the increasing number of penalties issued for dangerous drone use was due to riskier behaviour or simply a greater number of drones used in Australia, but greater education was needed.

Australian drone users can check whether it’s legal to fly a drone in their area by using CASA’s Can I Fly There app or checking


'People could be killed' by dangerous drones in fire zones: DFES

By Staff writers Updated13 February 2018 — 12:36pm first published at 11:23am

Dozens of people could have been killed as a result of drones flying dangerously close to water bombers in two separate bushfires over the weekend, according to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

A drone reportedly flew within metres from the rotors of a water bomber as it drew water from a lake at the Port Kennedy golf course on Sunday, and the incident has prompted concern from authorities.

[Image: d8c5a35b0ca58ef19651175f5b44eb1f948b7dbf]

DFES says lives are being put at risk by drone pilots flying too close to fire zones.

Photo: File image

Emergency services has warned as a result of the incident, onlookers who crowded around the lake to watch the scene and the aerial firefighting crew could have been killed if the drone and helicopter had made contact.

In a second incident on Sunday, a drone was also seen flying near the front of a bushfire in Australind, where air crews were working.

Both incidents were reported to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), and drone pilots could face a fine up to $9000 for breaking CASA regulations.

DFES Assistant Commissioner Gary Gifford said water bombers fly at about 200 kilometres an hour, often manoeuvring in poor visibility, close to each other and other obstacles - such as trees, radio masts and power lines.

"While it might be tempting to record footage, drones pose a major safety risk to firefighting personnel in the air and people on the ground, who are often drawn to watch water bombers in action," he said.

"If a helicopter goes down, it is unlikely that the crew as well as any nearby onlookers will survive.

"Even a small drone colliding with or obstructing a bombing aircraft could have catastrophic results."

If you see someone operating a drone near a bushfire where aircraft is being used, report it to WA Police on 131 444.

MTF...P2  Cool

Chopper crashes avoiding collision with drone - Undecided

Forwarded to me by Cap'n Wannabe... Wink


Charleston Chopper Crash Blamed On Private Drone

[Image: picture-5.jpg?itok=LY4e264-]
by Tyler Durden
Sun, 02/18/2018 - 17:55

Officials at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating a serious helicopter crash that may have been triggered by a drone Wednesday near the southern tip of Daniel Island, South Carolina, in what could be the first-ever drone-related crash of an aircraft in the United States.

[Image: r22_landing_page_photo_6m-1024x512.png]

The crash was initially reported on Wednesday by WCSC-TV, a CBS-affiliated television station for the Lowcountry area of South Carolina in the United States that is licensed to Charleston, which obtained a copy of the incident report from the police stating that a Robinson R22 helicopter struck a tree and crash-landed.

[Image: 2018-02-17_11-39-42-1024x765.png]

The private helicopter instructor told police, he was conducting a training exercise at approximately 3:30 p.m, when the incident occurred on the tip of Daniel Island. His student was practicing “low impact and hover taxi maneuvers” above undeveloped land on the island, as a white “DJI Phantom quad-copter” breached their airspace, the report states. The instructor immediately commandeered all flight controls from the student and attempted to avoid a potentially deadly air collision, that is when the tail rotor of the helicopter struck a tree, triggering a crash landing.

The student told the police they were at a maximum altitude of 50 feet when the quadcopter breached their airspace.

She said when the helicopter’s tail struck the tree, “several pieces of the helicopter hit surrounding brush causing the helicopter to turn on its side when it landed,” reported WCSC. Luckily, neither the pilot nor the student was injured, though the helicopter sustained severe damage.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced Friday it is opening an investigation into the accident, spokesman Chris O’Neil said. “The NTSB is aware of the pilot’s report that he was maneuvering to avoid a drone, but the NTSB has not yet been able to independently verify that information,” O’Neil said in a statement.
Bloomberg quoted a statement from drone maker DJI which said:

Quote:“DJI is trying to learn more about this incident and stands ready to assist investigators,” the company said in a statement. “While we cannot comment on what may have happened here, DJI is the industry leader in developing educational and technological solutions to help drone pilots steer clear of traditional aircraft.

The accident investigation is the second incident involving a drone in less than two weeks. Earlier this month, we reported the FAA is investigating an incident in which someone piloted a racing drone feet from a commercial jetliner on approach to land at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The video below is quite startling:

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Michael Huerta said back in March 2017 that more than 777,000 drone registrations have been filed with the agency. Bloomberg notes that the FAA is having trouble monitoring all the consumer drones in the sky.

Quote:The FAA in a study based on computerized models last fall concluded that drones would cause more damage than birds of similar size because they contain metal parts. Significant damage to windshields, wings and tail surfaces of aircraft was possible, the study found. The surging number of episodes combined with a regulatory system that makes it difficult to monitor drone flights has alarmed traditional aviation groups.

“The likelihood that a drone will collide with an airline aircraft is increasing,” said a letter to U.S. lawmakers earlier this week from Airlines for America, a trade group representing large carriers, and the Air Line Pilots Association and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the unions that represent pilots and controllers.

MTF...P2 Tongue

God forbid! - FSF suggests ICAO harmonise drone rules..Rolleyes

Via FSF:

Quote:Foundation Urges ICAO, Governments to Accelerate Regulation, Oversight of Recreational Drones
by FSF Communications Staff | February 21, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — Flight Safety Foundation today urged world governments to step up their regulation and enforcement of recreational drones.
In a letter to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Secretary General Fang Liu, Foundation President and CEO Jon Beatty said, “Based on a number of recent incidents, we are increasingly concerned that uncertificated, untrained recreational drone operators are flying small UAS near airports and manned aircraft. … The proliferation and operation of small drones by people without aviation experience is becoming one of the most significant hazards to manned aviation. This poses unacceptable risks to aviation safety.”
The Foundation urged ICAO to accelerate the promulgation of appropriate Standards and Recommended Practices to regulate recreational drones – also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and by a number of other terms – and to encourage ICAO member States to adopt corresponding regulations and consider mandating technologies such as geo-fencing and altitude limiters for equipment used by hobbyists.
“We fully recognize and appreciate the transformative nature and salutary benefits of drones,” Beatty said, “but one thing is crystal clear: No justifiable bases exist to treat recreational drones any differently than drones flown for a commercial purpose.”
Among the recent drone incidents cited by Beatty were the Feb. 14 crash of a Robinson R22 in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., as an instructor and student pilot reportedly were maneuvering to avoid a drone; the October 2017 flight of a drone within 5 ft (2 m) of a commercial aircraft landing at London Heathrow Airport; the October collision between a drone and small commercial aircraft during final descent to Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec; and the September 2017 collision of a recreational drone and a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter near Staten Island, New York.
Although some civil aviation authorities – including the European Aviation Safety Agency and those in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore and the U.K. – currently regulate all drone operations, others, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, due to legislative restrictions, have had to limit “hobbyist” regulation to registration. “The days of governments taking a ‘hands off’ approach to recreational drones should be over,” Beatty said. “As recreational drone operations grow, States should take action to close any gap between recreational or commercial drone rules and ensure that all operations are subject to governmental regulation and oversight,” he added.
A copy of the letter is available here.

About Flight Safety Foundation
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, international organization engaged in research, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to connect, influence and lead global aviation safety.
Media Contact
Frank Jackman
+1 703.739.6700, ext. 116 
MTF...P2 Cool

Lost drone? "Sorry mate the dog ate it" - Big Grin

Via the ABC News:

Dogs ate a drone that landed in their backyard, here's a refresher on where you can fly

By Patrick Williams
Updated Mon at 3:23pmMon 5 Mar 2018, 3:23pm

[Image: 9509212-3x4-340x453.jpg] 

Photo: The two dogs chewed up this drone after it landed in their backyard. (Facebook)

This drone's certainly gone to the dogs — in more ways than one.

Pets Layla and Jed made mince meat of the plastic contraption after it landed in the backyard of the family home at Kallangur, north of Brisbane, over the weekend.

Tongue firmly in cheek, their owner posted a photo of the destroyed copter to Facebook, writing:

Quote:"If this was your drone flying around Kallangur thanks for the new toy for our dogs … Safe to say you won't be getting it back."

It got a good laugh from some.

It also raised the question — where are we allowed to fly drones?

It depends on many things — where you are and who's around you, for starters.

"You must stay 30 metres away from other people, must not fly around crowds or groups of people, must not cause a risk or hazard to people, property, or other aircraft," Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) spokesman Peter Gibson said.

Quote:"So flying your drone in any way that breaks any of those rules is an offence and you could end up with a big fine of more than $10,000.

Mr Gibson said without having an exact location, it was hard to say whether any rules were broken in this case.

But he didn't say it was a good idea, either.

Quote:"I think this incident with the dogs and the drone shows that flying drones around built-up suburban areas is just a really dumb idea," Mr Gibson said.

"Keep your drones to open areas and keep it away from where there's lots of people or pets."

CASA receives about 100 complaints about drones per week

The most common complaint — drones being flown too closely to other people.

"We investigate quite a number of these where there's evidence of potential breaches, and issue fines when it's appropriate. We also do a lot of warning people about their drone behaviour," Mr Gibson said.

[Image: 8472500-3x2-340x227.jpg] 

Photo: There are rules surrounding the operation of drones. (Pixabay: succo, CC0)

He said evidence was key.

"The most important bit of evidence we need from people when they're making complaints about drones is of course to identify who was flying the drone. That often can be difficult, but we really do have to have that sort of information," he said.

"Videos or photos are really useful as well."

Mr Gibson said those flying drones for fun should download the Can I Fly There? app.
"It's free, it tells you whether it's safe to fly in your location. It also gives you the safety rules. It's an essential tool for flying your drone."

MTF...P2 Tongue

Drone Wars continue - Undecided

Via the Western Suburbs weekly:

Quote:Perth: Drone ‘cowboys’ slammed for flouting drone regulations

March 9th, 2018, 01:00AM|Written by Lucas da Paz

[Image: 465735pb-drone-WEB.jpg]

THERE are calls for rules and regulations of drones to be revisited after question marks surrounding the responsibilities of drone users.

Community News photographer Andrew Ritchie said he often encountered reckless drone users while filming news pieces across Perth.

“The problem is when you buy a drone, you get an A4 piece of paper with a list of rules – these rules are pretty black and white with some grey areas that people misunderstand,” he said.

He said that the rules and regulations were not clear enough and that the public needed to be more aware of them when using remote controlled aircrafts.

Ritchie said that Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was not punishing those who were breaking the rules and regulations in regards to flying drones in prohibited areas.

“CASA needs to start enforcing these rules; not everyone is abiding by them in fact, most public people with drones aren’t abiding by the rules and they aren’t regulated enough,” he said.

“The “Can I fly there” app should be compulsory to all users of drones and they should be educated and know what the rules are because if they don’t, someone could get hurt and then drones will all get banned for everyone.”

Australian UAV founder James Rennie said he believed that the rules and regulations for drones were fair.

“CASA is striking a balance at the moment, they are treading a fine line between accessibility and safety,” he said.

“Drone users are not allowed to fly over 400 feet from ground level and most crucially cannot fly further away then the operator can see from the naked eye.”

According to CASA rules and regulations, drone users are prohibited from flying aircraft in populace areas and must stay at least 30m from people and buildings.

Drone users looking to use an aircraft weighing more than 2kg are required to obtain a Remote Pilot License (REPL) via a one-week course.

All drone users are required to comply with the rules and regulations of CASA.

Hmm...2 weeks until the RRAT committee hands down it's findings on the Drone Wars inquiry - that's provided Senator O'obfuscation doesn't use his numbers to push for yet another extension... Dodgy

MTF...P2  Tongue

Full article and pics not included 'cos I don't know how to attach them..

Quote:Queensland cops to be armed with anti-drone guns during Commonwealth Games next month

QUEENSLAND police will be packing some serious heat during the Commonwealth Games next month as authorities will be equipped with technology used to combat the Islamic State terror group in the Middle East.

Police will have guns capable of shooting drones out of the sky, produced by Sydney-based security firm DroneShield. The weapon uses technology rather than bullets to disable the drones and bring them down by cutting the signal between the drone and its operator.

The guns can reportedly target drones within a 2km radius and can also scramble any video feed the drone is broadcasting.

“What the gun does is take control of the GPS and either cut it so the drone doesn’t know where it is or it will take control of the GPS and send it back where it came from,” DroneShield chairman Peter James told the Gold Coast Bulletin over the weekend.

According to the report, DroneShield has been working with Queensland police over the past 12 months to teach officers how to handle the drone guns.

Similar devices have been used to protect the skies over sporting events in the United States including the 2017 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and the Boston Marathon and DroneShield says its technology has been used by military forces in the Middle East to combat IS.

Today Queensland police revealed officers used the anti-drone gun to bring down a suspect drone flying near a Commonwealth Games venue on Sunday night.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told media of the bust during a press conference on the Gold Coast.

“We were able to take down that operator and refer the matter to CASE (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) for breaches committed by that person operating that unmanned aerial vehicle,” he said.

DroneShield says the rise of drones has allowed new and creative ways to penetrate highly secure environments and the company hopes its suite of products can provide protection for governments and private companies looking to mitigate against the airborne threat.

DroneShield’s website highlights trends such as the growing use of drones to drop drugs and other contraband inside prisons as something its products are designed to combat.

Mr James said there’s a shift taking place in modern weapons towards an importance on electronic energy.

“The world of security, police and warfare used to be about kinetic energy, that is things that went bang. Now it is becoming more and more about electronic energy,” he told The Bulletin.

He said groups like Islamic State “are effectively getting drones off the shelves and strapping grenades to them and terrorising coalition forces (in the Middle East)”.

The ASX-listed company recently raised $2.55 from investors to further develop its drone detection and countermeasure technologies.

Queensland police have confirmed they will be using the drone guns to help protect fans at the sporting event while the Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski urged the public to “leave your drone at home” during the event.

The Commonwealth Games kicks off next week on April 4 and runs through to April 15.

The city has invested heavily to upgrade its transport networks ahead of the Games which are expected to inject upwards of $2 billion into the local economy.

Drone Wars I - Update.

Here you go Wannabe... Wink

(03-26-2018, 02:22 PM)Cap\n Wannabe Wrote:  Full article and pics not included 'cos I don't know how to attach them..

Quote:Queensland cops to be armed with anti-drone guns during Commonwealth Games next month

[Image: fbe57d33c63ab4797394f825e9214c7c]
Queensland cops to be armed with anti-drone guns during Commonwealth Games next month.[i]Source:Supplied[/i]

QUEENSLAND police will be packing some serious heat during the Commonwealth Games next month as authorities will be equipped with technology used to combat the Islamic State terror group in the Middle East.

Police will have guns capable of shooting drones out of the sky, produced by Sydney-based security firm DroneShield. The weapon uses technology rather than bullets to disable the drones and bring them down by cutting the signal between the drone and its operator.

The guns can reportedly target drones within a 2km radius and can also scramble any video feed the drone is broadcasting.

“What the gun does is take control of the GPS and either cut it so the drone doesn’t know where it is or it will take control of the GPS and send it back where it came from,” DroneShield chairman Peter James told the Gold Coast Bulletin over the weekend.

According to the report, DroneShield has been working with Queensland police over the past 12 months to teach officers how to handle the drone guns.

Similar devices have been used to protect the skies over sporting events in the United States including the 2017 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and the Boston Marathon and DroneShield says its technology has been used by military forces in the Middle East to combat IS.

[Image: 44205832622fbd32b376e2456c372aa0]
GCB Couple DroneGun MKII will be as used at the Comm Games.[i]Source:Supplied[/i]

[Image: cc2f33a754a3c8ed2e840137e16a41f9]
The device works by taking control of the drone.[i]Source:Supplied[/i]

Today Queensland police revealed officers used the anti-drone gun to bring down a suspect drone flying near a Commonwealth Games venue on Sunday night.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told media of the bust during a press conference on the Gold Coast.

“We were able to take down that operator and refer the matter to CASE (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) for breaches committed by that person operating that unmanned aerial vehicle,” he said.

DroneShield says the rise of drones has allowed new and creative ways to penetrate highly secure environments and the company hopes its suite of products can provide protection for governments and private companies looking to mitigate against the airborne threat.

DroneShield’s website highlights trends such as the growing use of drones to drop drugs and other contraband inside prisons as something its products are designed to combat.

Mr James said there’s a shift taking place in modern weapons towards an importance on electronic energy.

“The world of security, police and warfare used to be about kinetic energy, that is things that went bang. Now it is becoming more and more about electronic energy,” he told The Bulletin.

He said groups like Islamic State “are effectively getting drones off the shelves and strapping grenades to them and terrorising coalition forces (in the Middle East)”.

The ASX-listed company recently raised $2.55 from investors to further develop its drone detection and countermeasure technologies.

[Image: 76e71b7007daf284eb9fc7404fdda284]
DroneShield has developed patented software and hardware to detect drones and small unmanned air vehicles.[i]Source:News Corp Australia[/i]

Queensland police have confirmed they will be using the drone guns to help protect fans at the sporting event while the Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski urged the public to “leave your drone at home” during the event.

The Commonwealth Games kicks off next week on April 4 and runs through to April 15.

The city has invested heavily to upgrade its transport networks ahead of the Games which are expected to inject upwards of $2 billion into the local economy.

While on the QLD police drone guns I note that today they may have had their first bust in the lead up to the Commonwealth games... Rolleyes

Suspect drone taken down near Games zone
26th Mar 2018 11:07 AM

[Image: imagev16d46d86b10cf1c5d28ac414a1f063bfc-...2_t620.jpg]
Police said the drone was flying a few hundred metres from a Games exclusion zone. Picture: File photo

by Greg Stolz

POLICE have taken down a suspect drone flying near a Commonwealth Games venue.
Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski revealed the bust at a media conference on the Gold Coast today.

He said a drone flying a few hundred metres from a Games exclusion zone was detected by police on Sunday night.

"We were able to take down that operator and refer the matter to CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) for breaches committed by that person operating that unmanned aerial vehicle," he said.

Police are equipped with anti-drone guns which take control of the aircraft's operating systems.

Mr Gollschewski said the massive security blitz meant the Gold Coast would be no place to 'play up' over the Games.

Finally, on the DWI Senate Inquiry, I noted that last week the RRAT Committee decided to again extend the inquiry reporting date. Via the 22 March Senate Hansard:

Reporting Date

The Clerk: Notifications of extensions of time for committees to report have been lodged in respect of the following:

Education and Employment Legislation Committee—
2017-18 additional estimates—extended from 27 March to 4 April 2018.
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Executive Remuneration) Bill 2017—extended from 26 March to 28 March 2018.
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee—regulation of remotely piloted and unmanned aircraft systems—extended from 28 March to 31 July 2018.

The PRESIDENT (11:47): I remind senators that the question may be put on any proposal at the request of any senator. There being none, I shall now move to the discovery of formal business.

MTF...P2 Cool

Full story here....(again, minus video and pics!)

The question is, was it a drone, or did the windscreen simply collapse?  I have a few hundred hours on type, and this is the first time I've heard it mentioned that the windscreen *could* collapse..

However, after a chat, it is possible..

Quote:Veteran TV journalist Rod Vaughan says drone may have hit his plane before crash

Broadcaster Rod Vaughan says a drone may have collided with the plane he was flying moments before he was forced to make a terrifying crash landing near Waihi.

His theory has been backed by the chief flying instructor at the aero club nearest where the plane came down, and one of the first on the scene.

The veteran TV reporter, who lives in Katikati, told the Bay of Plenty Times he was taking his son Richard, who was visiting from Germany, on a flight over the Western Bay yesterday afternoon.

They had set off from Thames about 2.30pm in a small plane belonging to the Hauraki Aviation Club, of which he is a member.

They were travelling over Waihi about 3.10pm when the windscreen of the plane "exploded", allowing a rush of air to enter the cockpit.

"The wind coming through was so forceful that it blew my headset into the back of the plane, so I had no communications."

The strong wind travelling through the plane also smashed the side and back windows, and the noise inside the cockpit was incredibly loud.

"The only option was to get down as soon as possible," Vaughan said.

He spotted a field south of Waihi and attempted to make an emergency landing. He estimated the plane was travelling between 80 and 90kmh when it approached the field, clipping the top of a hedge. The plane landed hard, breaking the nose wheel before tipping over soon after impact.

"It all happened in about 30 seconds," Vaughan said.

Both Vaughan and his son were still strapped to their harnesses in the upside-down aircraft.

Blood was dripping down Vaughan's face from a large gash in his head; he was unable to release himself from the harness. His son managed to help him out of the plane and emergency services were alerted to the crash.

They were both taken by ambulance to Tauranga Hospital. His son had several bad contusions, and Vaughan was treated for the large gash he had sustained during the crash landing.

Although he did not see what caused the windscreen to shatter, he suspected it might have been a drone after discounting the possibility it could have been caused by a bird strike - there were no feathers or blood - or a shot from a high-velocity rifle.

"The most probable explanation is that it was a drone," he said.

Vaughan said there had been a lot of drone activity in the area and members of the Hauraki Aero Club had expressed concern about possible collisions with aircraft.

Cheif flying instructor at the club Cliff McChesney said members had checked the aircraft and there was no sign of feathers or any other suggestion a bird had impacted with the windscreen.

"Something has hit it and that something is pretty heavy, the windscreen is 4-5mm thick and it has imploded," McChesney said.

He said there were often drones in the area the plane was, as the large open pit mine was a popular spot to photograph. "I would says there's a drone up there every day at some time."

McChesney said he had seen pieces of the plane's plexiglass windscreen, about 30cm by 30cm, which were found near the Waihi Fire Station.

Vaughan, who has worked as an investigative reporter for television news and current affairs, said as far as he was aware it would be the first time a drone had caused a plane to crash if his suspicion proved correct.

Tighter rules needed to be in place regarding the use of drones, he said.

McChesney said Vaughan was fully qualified to be flying the plane, and praised the pilot's landing.

"He did an excellent job."

McChesney said he was also concerned about the growing popularity and availability of drones, and the danger they could pose to pilots.

He said pilots were often flying as low as the permitted 500ft above Waihi Beach to give passengers the opportunity to view and photograph the scenery. Drone were often operating at 400ft, he said.

"That doesn't give pilots much room to avoid these things. Some can be pretty small and almost impossible to see from a cockpit. The drones are essentially invisible."

A CAA spokesperson confirmed they were investigating the crash, but would not discuss the possibility of a drone being involved.

"I'm aware of the speculation of the cause but we can't comment on that.

"One of our investigators is intending to talk to the pilot of the aircraft this afternoon to try and find out exactly what happened. He'll be talking to witnesses and others during this information-gathering stage.

"I can't say at this stage how long the investigation is expected to take."

The plane came down in a maize paddock on land owned by Dennis Orchard.

Orchard said he was not in Waihi when it happened but the phone call from the farm manager had "come as a bit of a shock".

Police confirmed the Foxbat light plane crashed around 3.16pm yesterday ear Ford Road, Waihi.

A spokesperson said two people sustained minor injuries, and the investigation was now being headed by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Meanwhile across the ditch - Wink

Via the South China Morning Post... Undecided

Air New Zealand wants tougher rules for drones after near-miss with passenger plane

Statistics show only a small percentage of drone complaints result in disciplinary measures

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 March, 2018, 12:08pm

[Image: 9c67bd04-316f-11e8-9019-a420e6317de0_128...k=nAkAyXjD]
New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority received a total of 696 complaints about drones between March 2013 and March 2018. Photo: Supplied

[Image: nzh.png?itok=ToiAgT_V]

The New Zealand Herald

26 Mar 2018

By Meghan Lawrence

Air New Zealand is demanding tougher rules for drone operators after a near-miss at Auckland Airport involving a flight with 278 people onboard.

NZ92 from Tokyo was coming into land at Auckland when it encountered a drone estimated to be just five metres away from the 777-200 aircraft on Sunday.

“The incident is the second example of reckless drone use potentially endangering passenger safety this month, with flight operations at Auckland Airport halted for 30 minutes on 6 March when an Air New Zealand pilot reported a drone within controlled airspace,” Air NZ said.

Air New Zealand chief operations and integrity standards officer Captain David Morgan said serious drone incidents were on the rise - and policymakers need to take action and introduce stronger penalties for irresponsible operators.

“NZ92 was just metres away from a serious incident on Sunday,” he said.

“The pilots spotted the drone at a point in the descent where it was not possible to take evasive action.

“It passed so close to the incoming aircraft that they were concerned it may have been ingested into the engine.”

A later inspection of the aircraft showed the drone had not gone into the engine.

But it was clear “the time has now come” for tougher deterrents regarding reckless drone use around airports in order to safeguard travellers.

[Image: dcf883e8-3170-11e8-9019-a420e6317de0_615x_120826.png]
Of the 696 complaints received; 11 resulted in warning letters, 15 in infringement notices and one was prosecuted. A total of 669 resulted in no enforcement action taken. Photo Bevan Conley/NZ Herald

That included introducing the penalty of imprisonment in the case of life-threatening incidents.

Under current regulations, individual drone operators who breach Civil Aviation Rules can receive a fine of up to NZ$5000 (US$3,645).

Morgan said Air New Zealand was committed to pushing for tougher and more consistent penalties to raise awareness of the regulations around drone use and the potentially serious consequences of breaching them.

Only one drone operator prosecuted in five years

Air traffic control organisation Airways had also expressed its concern around an increasing number of drone sightings in controlled airspace.

In a statement, the organisation said it had received reports of more than one unauthorised drone operating per week, over the past year.

“Air traffic control technology is currently unable to detect small objects such as drones so we rely on drone operators to follow the rules and register with us before they fly to ensure all aircraft are integrated safely into our airspace.”

Airways was “actively looking” for solutions, it said, and a new system would be trialled within the next three months.

The airline’s call for action follows near figures that show that the huge growth in the use of drones in the past five years has seen a marked rise in complaints to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

But enforcement action is yet to take off, with only about four per cent of complaints resulting in disciplinary measures.

Data provided under the Official Information Act by the CAA to the Herald shows a total of 696 complaints against Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) have been made since March 2013, but only 27 of those have resulted in enforcement action.

Hobby and commercial drones exploded in popularity around 2014 and have become more popular as their prices become cheaper, their technology improves and they become ever more accessible.

But their rise in popularity has also come with the introduction of legalities and ethics, with the CAA releasing new rules for the flying of unmanned aircraft in August 2015.

Of the 27 complaints where action was taken, 11 resulted in warning letters, 15 in infringement notices and one person was prosecuted. 669 resulted in no enforcement action taken.

Information provided by the CAA said when no enforcement action is taken, the Special Flight Operations and Recreational Aviation Unit of the CAA conducts educational activities to assist operators’ compliance with Civil Aviation Rules.

The first case the CAA launched against a drone operator was in 2016.

Simon Roy Reeve, 38, was found guilty on three charges involving flying his drone at Pines Beach, north of Christchurch, while fire crews and a helicopter battled a blazing scrub fire.
Reeve was charged with causing danger by operating his drone and two counts of breaching controlled airspace.

At his sentencing in July 2016 he was ordered to make a NZ$500 (US$365) donation to a charity of his choice and discharged without conviction. He was also fined NZ$250 (US$182) for breaching controlled airspace.

Despite this being the only CAA prosecution against a drone operator, figures detailing the rise in complaints to the CAA show that concerns reported have risen from a total of eight in the year between March 2013-2014, to 289 reports between March 2017-2018.

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New Zealand's Director of Civil Aviation Graeme Harris. Photo: Supplied

The top five reasons for these complaints were; no consent for flight over person or property, operating in controlled airspace without clearance, hazardous operations, operating within 4km of an aerodrome, and proximity with other aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Rules, detailed in Part 101 and Part 102 of the Civil Aviation Act, also address not operating an aircraft that is 25kg or larger without certification, flying only in daylight, and minimising hazards to persons, property and other aircraft.

Director of Civil Aviation Graeme Harris said the CAA supports the call by Air NZ for greater education and awareness of the rules for flying drones.

“New Zealand is not alone in having difficulty coming to terms with the rapid rise in drone use in our skies.

“This is a very new technology that is available for both commercial and recreational purposes. We do not want to unreasonably curb the use of drones but we are absolutely committed to ensuring they are used safely.”

He said a new digital media campaign would be launched in the coming months and a review of current drone rules is nearing completion.

“Around the world governments are applying a risk-based approach to the evolution of drone regulation as they attempt to facilitate the economic and safety benefits the technology offers while at the same time managing the new risks they create,” Harris said.

“There is no excuse for anyone flying a drone near an airport without authorisation or in the flight path of aircraft. Such action is highly irresponsible and is the height of stupidity.

“Current law provides significant penalties for such action and the CAA will act against anyone who puts the lives of the travelling public at risk.”

While the CAA is responsible for investigating inappropriate drone usage, the Privacy Commissioner and Police also have some jurisdiction to look into infractions.

Police frontline staff are often required to respond to incidents, but forward all details to the CAA.

“If a [drone] is used in the commission of a criminal act, police may consider charging the operator with an appropriate criminal offence,” a spokeswoman said.

A case that went to court after police action was that of Chilean tourist Jorge Eduardo Riquelme Cruz.

Cruz, 33, was convicted in February this year on one charge of operating an unmanned drone in a manner that caused unnecessary danger to firefighting pilots and their helicopters.

Riquelme Cruz illegally flew a drone through a firefighting operation in Central Otago on January 3 and his actions meant seven helicopters were grounded, causing a delay in battling a 200ha bush fire on Mt Alpha.

He was convicted at the Hamilton District Court and the judge ordered the forfeiture of his drone to the Crown.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards told the Herald in February that he was keen to look into whether action being taken against drone operators was sufficient.

“Whether those rules are actually fit for purpose and are being enforced is something I think I need to have a look at and I am going to discuss this with the CAA,” he said.

“One of the difficulties I have, and I assume the CAA would also have, is that there is no registration of the devices so it is very difficult to actually find out who is operating it and therefore have someone to investigate.”

A spokesperson for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner said since February its office has had discussions with the CAA on how it can improve its guidance for drone users.

“Our office is taking the approach to driving the message that people should be respectful of the privacy of others in the community and in other settings.

“CCTV cameras, drones, mobile phones are all of a type of potentially privacy-intrusive technology. So much depends on whether they are used responsibly or irresponsibly. We obviously advocate for responsible use.”

President of the NZ Airline Pilots Association Tim Robinson said laws around the use of drones need to be enforced appropriately.

“Drone-related accidents and incidents have potential to put the welfare and lives of air transport crew and the travelling public at risk.

“There is a need for better education and regulation for the use of drones, as many drone operators are unaware of the risks and rules about where they can be operated,” he said.

“We look forward to working with the Ministry of Transport and the CAA regarding improved education action and enforcement, including the possibility of registration in line with international best practice.”

This year alone, the Herald has reported on many stories of drones allegedly being used inappropriately.

In February Morgaine Halligan and her mother Melissa Rays reported a drone hovering over private property while they were sunbathing, and then early in March a Waiheke Island man told the story of a drone spying on him while he was getting dressed for bed.

This incident was followed a few days later by a Drone causing delays at Auckland Airport after flights were diverted because a drone was spotted on the approach to the runway.

A CAA spokeswoman said if someone believes a drone is breaching Civil Aviation Rules they should try to get as much information as possible about the drone and operator and report it to the CAA.

MTF...P2 Tongue

Drone Wars I - Update 7 April 2018.

From the Oz yesterday ... Wink

National drone policy ‘vital’

[Image: cce15426d4e08c485ab5885981d3cd88]12:00amANNABEL HEPWORTH

With drones capable of transforming the delivery industry and even shuttling passengers, flight regulations are needed.

The fledgling drone industry is calling for a national policy dialogue to open up services ranging from robotic deliveries of packages to shuttling passengers.

Reviving discussion of retail giant Amazon’s idea of a “drone highway”, governments in Australia are looking at the role that drones could play in “final mile” deliveries of cargo, where ordinarily delivery vehicles have to battle choked-up roads.

Queensland’s Palaszczuk government, which will have Australia’s first drone strategy, has said it would investigate “drone zones” and its agencies are using the technology for applications spanning gathering intelligence during emergencies to taking film for marketing.

As well as freight delivery, the NSW government is looking at how drones could be used for rapidly dispatching emergency service personnel and equipment as part of its new Future Transport Strategy 2056.

NSW has told a Senate committee it is working with the federal government and other states and territories to review and establish policies on airspace management to enable a possible future of drone aerial mobility.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority — which regulates the safety laws for drones — is evaluating responses to an expressions of interest process for work on a “regulatory road map” for the integration of drones into the Australian airspace system.

The road map will look at areas including an “unmanned traffic management” system and “detect and avoid” technologies that would be crucial to allowing drones to avoid collisions while moving through the skies.

The focus is also on safety — an issue that was highlighted this week in Russia after a drone was making its first parcel delivery, but crashed into a wall.

Amazon has been an enthusiastic proponent of the potential associated with drone deliveries.

Google parent Alphabet’s Project Wing has trialled drone deliveries from Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez and from Chemist Warehouse.

Association of Certified UAV Operators president Joe Urli said that to be truly competitive Australia’s drone industry needed to be supported by a “well structured” national policy .

Mr Ulri said the sector faced competing state and territory and federal economic agendas, which did not provide the “foundation” for Australian entrepreneurs.

He said the association wanted governments to start talks on a ­national policy for remotely ­piloted aircraft systems through the Council of Australian ­Governments.

Nova Systems applied research lead, Terrence Martin, said there were a multitude of “technical and operational” considerations that would need to be addressed if drones were to be used for services such as parcel deliveries.

Dr Martin is also an adjunct professor with Queensland University of Technology and has undertaken research on integrating unmanned aircraft systems into national airspace, alongside unmanned aerial vehicle traffic management, in Australia, Singapore and the US.

“The big challenge is to safely balance the mix of platform reli­ ability and equipment necessary for safe separation, alongside the latency of the command and communications channels,” Dr Martin said. 

CASA: (sic)..."for work on a “regulatory road map”

Hmm...the drone industry will want to hope the FF RRM for RPAs doesn't match the RRP for industry as the fledgling industry will be 'dead, buried & cremated' before it even gets a look at a road map - just saying... Rolleyes

Next a bit more on the 1st drone kill at the Gold Coast COM games:

Gun shoots down drone threat

[Image: 28779cfed64691b20c7da398fa136608]12:00amBERNARD LAGAN

With the security threat of drones a real concern for events such as the Games, a new combative device is welcome.

Australian police have been given a device that resembles a gun to “shoot down” drones using radio technology rather than bullets.

The kit will protect tens of thousands of spectators and athletes attending the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The device, which looks like a large automatic gun, can disable any hostile airborne gadgets by cutting the signal from the operator.

It can target drones within a 2km radius and scramble any video feed being broadcast.

The interceptors were first used by Chinese police at a football match in March last year. As spectators streamed into the main Wuhan stadium in Hubei province, police brought down six drones with the devices. Chinese producers make most of the world’s commercial drones and Beijing moved early to create technology to counter the international fears over drone safety and the security threats they posed.

Peter James, the chairman of Drone Shield, the US and Australian-based maker of the equipment, said his device could override the GPS navigation information.

“What the gun does is either cut it so the drone doesn’t know where it is or it will take control of the GPS and send the drone back where it came from,” he said.

His company has been working over the past year to teach Queensland police officers how to operate the guns. Similar devices were used to protect the Boston marathon last April.

HTP (high tech purdy) 1 v Drones 0 - MTF..P2 Tongue

DW1 Update - 27 April 2018.

Via the Oz today... Wink

Quote:Drones in disaster relief need rules
[Image: 12ef472864bcff24495c9662416f8585]12:00amDAVID HODGKINSON, REBECCA JOHNSTON

Drones have a significant role to play in disaster relief operations, but this must be informed by sound regulations and policy.

Drones play big role in disaster relief, but regulations need to catch up

When a humanitarian disaster ­occurs, a key consideration is the response time. Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have the ability to capture high-quality imagery that can be used for disaster relief in a matter of hours. Satellites, on the other hand, can take up to three days to capture the same images, and at a much lower quality.

Slow response time can be fatal when human life is at risk.

The ability of drones to accelerate the assessment of disaster damage is the reason why communities, in partnership with nongovernmental organisations, are sharing the cost of operating drones following a disaster.

The benefits to using drones are clear and have been demonstrated in a number of humanitarian missions.

The fast data collection capabilities of drones helped create a crisis map of the Hurricane Sandy disaster in Haiti. The data also ­allowed for a population count of the affected communities; there were high numbers of internally displaced people.

Drones have also provided other humanitarian functions, micro-transportation being one. Small parachutes have been attached to drones in Rwanda in order to provide vaccinations and to operate as a “drone delivery ­service”.

While the use of drone technology for humanitarian relief is growing, cases of overuse and improper use of drones have highlighted problems associated with drone technology.

The widespread use of drones for relief purposes has resulted in the publication of a 2015 policy paper by the UN ­Office of Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The paper examines emerging practical, legal, regulatory and ethical issues around the use of drones in support of humanitarian relief and suggests ways to take advantage of drone technology.

OCHA warns that a number of concerns must be addressed, particularly in areas such as safety and liability, ethical partnerships, privacy, and data protection.

In Cambodia’s provincial towns, floods, droughts and storms have continued to destroy people’s livelihoods. International and domestic non-governmental organisations have looked at safely deploying drones to develop emergency preparedness and response plans. The logic behind the scheme is that community resilience will strengthen if individuals are prepared to act when a disaster strikes. Such schemes, however, are often difficult to implement when there are widespread community perceptions that drones may be used for civilian attacks or may have greater capacities than they actually do (the capacity to identity individuals, for example).

OCHA further advises that ethical partnerships should be formed. As the military remains the largest user of drones, organisations must consider the implications of who they work with, particularly in terms of companies that produce weaponised or armed drones.

Together with these concerns, OCHA has raised other concerns about the lack of regulations for commercial or civilian use of drones. The International Civil Aviation Organisation does not yet stipulate regulations for low level operations of drones, only for cross-border operations. Thus, member states are currently formulating their own regulations. This has led to a patchwork of different policies and lack of standardisation across countries.

In many countries it is illegal to fly any object within 5km of a commercial airport. As humanitarian operations often centre around airports, there is a risk of interference and collision with air traffic, potentially causing injury or property damage. Humanitarian organisation, thus, may need to consider liability insurance and the cost implications for mechanical failures.

With often deficient rules regarding the use of drones in force in many countries, greater community engagement and transparency will be required to ensure drones are operated safely for humanitarian missions.

Cultural sensitivities also need to be considered. OCHA has recommended informed consent to the use of drones be obtained from relevant communities, by advising the local community of the timing of various flights, the type of data to be collected, and the purpose of the flight. OCHA also suggests that clear policies are required on what information will be shared or made public, how long information will be stored, and how information will be secured.

OCHA has further recommended that humanitarian organisations ensure they enter into commercial agreements with companies that are in accord with their humanitarian principles.

In order to ensure long-term acceptance of drones, OCHA recommends that humanitarian organisations must comply with all host country regulations and develop appropriate agreements with regulators.

Several organisations exist to educate individuals on the best practices of drone use for humanitarian missions. The Humanitarian UAV Network says it is worthwhile educating local communities about the capabilities of drones for disaster relief so they can be trained and operate the drones themselves.

An international humanitarian UAV code of conduct has also been developed which aims to guide all humanitarian organisations involved in the use of drones to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance in disasters. Acceptance and adherence to the code and related guidelines may well contribute to safety, professionalism and increased public confidence in the use of drones.

Drones may have a significant role to play in disaster relief operations. That role, however, must be informed by regulations and policy at all levels — local, national, regional and international.

David Hodgkinson and Rebecca Johnston are partners with aviation and aerospace law firm HodgkinsonJohnston. Their book, Aviation Law and Drones: Unmanned Aircraft and the Future of Aviation, will be published next month.

MTF...P2 Tongue

Money for DW1 & Fort Fumble releases report -  [Image: dodgy.gif] 

Via 'in the Black':

Quote:The 11 most unusual items from Budget 2018
Budget Economics 09 May 2018

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The Australian Government has provided funding for safety standards and compliance of drones in the 2018 Budget.
[Image: jan-mccallum.jpg?h=110&la=en&mh=110&mw=110&w=110]
By Jan McCallum

You won’t find them in Treasurer Scott Morrison's budget night speech, but there are plenty of smaller, and possibly unusual, items of interest in the Budget 2018 papers.
The smaller items often reflect changing times, such as the change in GST treatment for foreign providers of online Australian hotel bookings, who were granted an exemption in 2005 when hardly anyone booked a hotel online.

Here are some that missed out on this year’s budget night coverage.

Managing drones
The Government will provide A$2.9 million in 2018-19 to support the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to manage safety standards and associated compliance for recreational and commercial drone technologies in Australia.
&.. via the Oz:
Quote:Drone licences on CASA wishlist

[Image: aba74ef1ab21af03c3644ea604653343]12:00amANNABEL HEPWORTH

The potential for recreational drone users to face further regulations has increased after a report by the nation’s civil aviation watchdog backed mandatory registration for gadgets weighing more than 250g.

Such a move would bring Australia into line with the US, where Federal Aviation Administration rules require drones weighing more than 250g to be registered.

The Australian can reveal that CASA’s report from its review into remotely piloted aircraft systems also says the body should develop an online course for hobbyists — followed by a quiz with a minimum pass mark. The report will be released today.

In other findings, the report flags continued support for the development of geofencing technology — which curbs where drones can fly — that drone manufacturers are working on. The focus of such a technology would be on stopping drones from operating near major airports and in certain types of restricted airspace.

The Australian revealed last year that CASA had early-stage talks with Chinese drone manufacturer DJI about rolling out its geofencing system here.

In other findings, the report finds CASA should deliver a “road map” for integrating drones into airspace, which could include systems that allow drone users to stay safely separated from other aircraft.

The issue of drones within controlled airspace has challenged regulators across the globe.

In late March, Air New Zealand called for tighter regulation for the illegal operation of drones following a near-miss as a flight from Tokyo approached Auckland Airport. Pilots had encountered the drone estimated to be 5m away from the 777-200 as it was descending. Also in March, flight operations at Auckland Airport were stopped for 30 minutes when a pilot reported a drone. The International Air Transport Association has also previously emphasised the need for the sector to do more to deal with the issues posed by the risk of drones near ­piloted aircraft.

CASA’s director of aviation safety, Shane Carmody, stressed that before making any final decisions on regulatory change proposals, CASA would take into account the report from the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee’s inquiry into drone safety and the government’s response to that report. The Senate committee is due to report on July 31, with the Senate having repeatedly extended the reporting date.

“We understand the drone sector of aviation is growing and evolving rapidly as technology moves ahead in leaps and bounds,” Mr Carmody said.

“The challenge for CASA as the safety regulator is to maintain drone rules which are relevant, address known risks and not place a restrictive burden on a dynamic industry.”

CASA released a discussion paper last year on drone safety regulation and received 900 submissions. These indicated backing for a system of registration for remotely piloted aircraft. The government announced the review in late 2016.

Mr Carmody said the body would hold consultations on proposals when decisions on regulatory change were made. He said the report would help guide CASA on what changes should be made to rules dealing with unmanned aerial vehicles.

"..CASA’s director of aviation safety, Shane Carmody, stressed that before making any final decisions on regulatory change proposals, CASA would take into account the report from the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee’s inquiry into drone safety and the government’s response to that report. The Senate committee is due to report on July 31, with the Senate having repeatedly extended the reporting date.." - I reckon I know where this is all heading...Wink

Address: 101 Shelfware Ave, Can'tberra.

[Image: irs-taxes-cartoon-lost-ark-warehouse-2-598x427.jpg]

Big Grin Big Grin

MTF...P2  Tongue

Drone regulation: In a different hemisphere.

From the land of the largest most successful and safest aviation industry, courtesy the Drive:

Quote:New FAA Regulation Requires UAV Owners to Display Drone ID on Exterior

The FAA is preparing for safely implemented drone traffic not only through the UAS Integration Pilot Program but with new rules for hobby users too.

By Marco Margaritoff May 23, 2018

The drone industry is rapidly evolving. When we reported on the Commercial Drone Alliance urging the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate hobby pilots as stringently as their commercial counterparts, we didn’t expect the agency to react so soon. According to Bloomberg, U.S. aviation regulators may soon require recreational drone users to place government-issued drone identification numbers on the exterior of their devices.

In contrast to last month’s news regarding French lawmakers eager to impose mandatory remote identification systems in local drone manufacturing, the FAA’s approach is a more tactile, externally visible alternative. Acting Administrator of the FAA, Dan Elwell, stated at a Bloomberg Government conference earlier this month that the agency simply can’t condone “unidentified objects” in its airspace. 

“We need assurances that any drone, any unmanned aircraft, operating in controlled airspace is identifiable and trackable,” he said. “It’s as simple as that."

As it stands, those who have registered their drones with the FAA already have to place a drone identification number on their unmanned aircraft, but it can remain hidden behind the battery or anywhere else. This new regulation, which the FAA filed earlier this month, would require the ID to be visible to an outside observer. 

“This action would require small unmanned aircraft owners to display the unique identifier assigned by the FAA upon completion of the registration process on an external surface of the aircraft,” the FAA wrote. “Small unmanned aircraft owners would no longer be permitted to enclose the unique identifier in a compartment.”

Although not everyone is a registered UAV user and this may do little to combat illegal drone use. In an era of dangerous near-misses, any additional identification measures seem like the appropriate next step from the agency.
Meanwhile in Dunceunda land: 

According to Creepy Creedy, on drones Fort Fumble are having a mullRolleyes

 Steve Creedy

May 11, 2018

[Image: genericdronesmall.jpg]
Australia’s safety regulator wants to introduce mandatory registrations for all drones weighing more than 250 gms and require recreational users to take an online safety test.

The moves come as the number of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) is increasing rapidly, with industry estimates there are now  “well in excess of 150,000” in Australia, and fears one will hit a manned aircraft are rising.

That hasn’t yet happened in Australia but the air safety investigators say there were 11 reported close calls in January this year alone.

In 2017, there were 151 RPA near encounters with manned aircraft, 72 of which occurred within 20 nautical miles of Sydney Airport.

This compared with 127 incidents reported in the previous four years.

Air New Zealand in March called for jail time for people who recklessly endanger lives with remotely piloted aircraft after a drone came so close to one of its Boeing 777s the crew was worried it had been ingested by one of the engines.

READ: Near miss prompts AirNZ call to jail reckless drone users

While the Civil Aviation Safety Authority favors exempting drones weighing less than 250gms from mandatory registration, it says it is still looking at whether small drones traveling at high speeds can harm humans.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has proposed alternative limit based on kinetic energy of 80 joules that takes into account both a drone’s mass and its speed.

CASA says it understands EASA’s rationale but it wants to follow moves in the US and other jurisdictions to exclude the sub-250gm drones.

“However, before doing so CASA intends to complete further research to determine if RPA weighing 250 grams or less and capable of transferring sufficient kinetic energy to cause serious injury when impacting with a human,’’ it said in a report released Friday.

The report argues drone registration should be simple and costs should be based on an aircraft ’s weight and how it is used. This would see commercial operators pay more than recreational users.

The authority favors requiring users to re-register after three years for recreational users and shorter period for commercial operators.

Users will also need to verify their identity using documents such as driver’s license or passport, meaning younger people will need to have their registration completed in the name of a parent or guardian.

The report says benefits to introducing an RPA registration system would assist data gathering on drones, allow it to better target education and provide a disincentive to operate the aircraft unlawfully.

Registration would be an important element in the safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft into Australia’s airspace.

It points to technologies such as electronic identification where an RPA emits a unique identifier code linked to the user in the registration process.

“An application of this technology would potentially permit a law enforcement officer to detect the RPA unique identification code of an RPA that may be operating unlawfully, by using a hand-held device,’’ it says “The unique identification code could then be matched to an RPA registration holder, using a secure interface to the RPA registration database to determine who the RPA registration holder is.”

Recreational drone users may also face a simple online course on safe recreational operations followed by a quiz with a minimum pass mark.

CASA said it recognized many recreational and excluded operators flew lawfully and had a sound understanding of the rules.

It was also aware that many of the more than 900 people who contributed to its review did not support training and demonstrated proficiency for small/recreational drones.

“However, through CASA’s investigation of RPA related incidents and complaints, it is evident that there is an increasing number of RPA operators who are unaware of the legislation about the category of operation (i.e. commercial or recreational) they are undertaking, or who have a poor understanding of the RPA legislation, or have interpreted it incorrectly,” it said.

The agency acknowledged the advantages of geo-fencing, where technology such as the Global Positioning System combines with onboard software to create a “no-go” boundary around sensitive areas such as airports.

“We recognize, however, that the technology requires further development and broad adoption by manufacturers before a mandatory standard can be contemplated,’’ it said.

A separate review into drone safety is being conducted by the Australian Senate and CASA boss Shane Carmody has said the authority would take this and the government’s response into account before making any final decisions on regulatory change.

The authority expects to have an RPAS roadmap completed by the end of 2018 that will cover issues such as airspace integration, unmanned traffic management, detect and avoid technology as well as  airworthiness and maintenance.

And from Lexology a real unbiased appraisal of where CASA may end on re-regulating UAVs -  Rolleyes

Quote:The CASA flags new safety measures for drones

King & Wood Mallesons 
Australia May 24 2018

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (the CASA) has released its Review of Aviation Safety Regulation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (Report) following consultation on a discussion paper run in late 2017. The discussion paper and the Report both respond to safety concerns relating to the use of drones (also referred to as remotely piloted aircrafts (RPAs)) raised by various stakeholders following the implementation of the new Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (Cth) (CASR).

The Report was prepared at the request of the Commonwealth Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, which is currently examining regulations on safe operation of drones, and will be used to inform any future regulation in this area. The Report flags new safety regulations and implementation of technological safety solutions for commercial and recreational drone users. It also lays the groundwork for greater coordination and management of drone traffic and airspace in the future as drone use continues to grow. Importantly, the Report seeks to balance the safety of commercial and recreational drones while facilitating growth and innovation in the use of drones in Australia.

Scope of the Report
The Report considers the relative safety benefits and cost effectiveness of proposed safety measures relating to drones including:
  • Introducing mandatory registration, education and training for all drone operators
  • Deploying geo-fencing capabilities for drones.
The Report also considers the effectiveness of the CASA’s operating model with respect to the regulation of drones, with the objective of testing it to ensure that it takes account of:
  • Technology growth of the drone community
  • Operational growth of the drone community
  • Related developments in the International Civil Aviation Organisation and other international aviation safety agencies.
Recommendations of the Report
The Report recommends various safety initiatives including:


Mandatory registration of drones
  • The Report supports mandatory drone registration in Australia for drones weighing more than 250 grams. In particular, the CASA suggests a registration process that:
    • Is simple and easy to use
    • Requires identity verifications of registrants
    • Only allows individuals over 18 years of age to register
    • Requires the renewal of registrations after a certain period of time
    • Requires the inclusion of prescribed details about the particular drone being registered
  • The Report also recommends a registration fee based on the category of the registration (ie. recreational or commercial) and the weight of the drone.
Development of an online training course
  • The Report indicates that the CASA will develop a simple online training course (including a quiz with a minimum pass mark) tailored to the needs of recreational and excluded category drone operators (ie drones that are light and operated under the CASA’s standard operating conditions).
Maintenance of current training and education requirements
  • The Report does not suggest any changes to the current education and training framework relating to remote pilot licences. Currently, commercial drone operators and operators of large drones (above 150kg) must have a drone operator’s certificate or hold a remote pilot licence, which requires the completion of a training course and an examination.
Deployment of geo-fencing
  • The Report supports the efforts of drone manufacturers to utilise geo-fencing technology to prevent drone operations in restricted areas (eg. near airports). The CASA has considered whether mandatory standards for geo-fencing technology are needed, but suggests in the Report that further development and wider adoption of the technology by drone manufacturers is needed before the CASA can implement a mandatory standard.
Participation in international sphere
  • The Report indicates that the CASA will seek to increase participation in international forums to stay across global trends and participate in trials of drone technology. The CASA is particularly interested in technological developments in geo-fencing technology and its interaction with unmanned traffic management systems.
Working with Airservices Australia
  • The Report indicates that the CASA intends to work with the Government corporation responsible for air-traffic control services in Australia, Airservices Australia, to ensure the development of standardised data on airspace. The CASA’s aim is to ensure the suitability of Airservices Australia as a source for drone manufacturers in applications such as geo-fencing.
Drone roadmap
  • The CASA will develop a drone roadmap to articulate how to safely integrate drones into the Australian airspace system. Elements of the roadmap will include airspace integration, unmanned traffic management, initial airworthiness and certification standards, e-identification, training and competency, and geo-fencing.
What’s next?
In Australia, the use of drones is growing rapidly. Drones are being used successfully in many industries including mining, infrastructure assessment, search and rescue, police and fire operations and agriculture. In the Report, the CASA notes that benefits like reduced costs, improved workplace safety and increased productivity must be balanced with ensuring that other airspace users remain unaffected and privacy, national security and safety of the community is not adversely affected.

The CASA will likely continue to follow developments in drone technology and the international response to drones. Additionally, the CASA will be considering the outcome of a separate senate inquiry into drone safety before making its final decisions on regulatory change. It plans to complete its roadmap by the end of 2018.

MTF...P2  Cool

From the UK....full story here

Quote:UK drone users face safety tests and flight restrictions

30 May 2018

[Image: _101801765_pa-32037140.jpg]

UK drone users may have to pass online safety tests under legislation being introduced to the Commons on Wednesday.

Restrictions around airport boundaries have also been clarified stopping any drone flying within 1km of them.

The changes, which are set to come into effect between July 2018 and November 2019, follow a rise in the number of drone near-misses with aircrafts.

Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said the measures were needed to "protect" aircraft and their passengers.

In addition to the safety tests, people who own drones weighing 250g or more will have to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Some drones, usually cheaper models, weigh less than 250g. But most - especially those with built-in cameras - weigh more.

Before, the regulations had applied to aircraft that weigh 20kg or less.

All drones will also be banned from flying above 400ft (121.9m), a rule which had been mentioned previously in the CAA's Drone Code but will now be enshrined in law.

Users who fail to adhere to the flight restrictions could face unlimited fines, up to five years in prison, or both.

Owners of drones over 250g, who do not register with the CAA or complete the safety test, could be fined up to £1,000.

How often are drones involved in aircraft incidents?

By BBC Reality Check

The number of aircraft incidents involving drones has grown dramatically in the past few years. In 2013 there were zero incidents, but that grew to almost 100 last year.

Civilian drones have grown increasingly popular as their price has fallen. Technological improvement has meant components are smaller, faster and cheaper than ever before.

[Image: _101810219_aircraft_drones.png]

The UK Airprox Board assesses incidents involving drones and keeps a log of all reports.

In one incident last year, for example, a pilot flying over Manchester saw a red "football-sized" drone passing down the left hand side of the aircraft.

In another incident, a plane leaving Glasgow narrowly missed a drone. The pilot, in that case, said the crew only had three seconds of warning and there was "no time to take avoiding action".

There were 89 incidents involving aircraft and drones in the UK in 2017 - a 25% increase on the previous year.

A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers released this week estimated drones could add £42bn to the UK economy by 2030 - and Baroness Sugg stressed the government was keen not to stunt the growth of the sector.

She added, however, that it was important to "ensure drones are used safely and responsibly".

Chris Woodroofe, chief operating officer at Gatwick Airport, said the changes should leave "no doubt" that drones must be kept "well away from aircraft, airports and airfields".

The number of active commercial drone licences in the UK increased from 2,500 to 3,800 in 2017.

Oh, and P2....could you please put in the images/video?  Thanks..

P2 - Here you go (see above) -  Wink

As a bit of a counter point, here is what BALPA tweeted in response to that article:

Quote:[Image: NC70_JD5_bigger.jpg] BALPA


The Government's proposal will allow #drones to be flown up to 400ft just 1km from the airport boundary - airliners will already be lower than that on approach! These proposals MUST go further - like in Australia (5.5km from airport).

[Image: kZChd0qf?format=jpg&name=600x314]

6:58 PM - 30 May 2018

Senate Drone Inquiry report released Rolleyes

Finally  - the inquiry report is out... Dodgy

Via the iTNews... Wink

Quote:Govt inquiry urges mandatory drone registration

[Image: ImageResizer.ashx?]

And greater airspace restrictions.

A senate inquiry into remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) has called for mandatory registration to buy a drone and greater airspace restrictions.

The findings of the two-year long inquiry [pdf], which was sparked over concerns that serious accident could result from flying a drone, were handed down last night after a series of extensions.

The 121-page report recommends that the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities work with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to develop a whole-of-government policing approach.

“During the course of the inquiry, it became clear to the committee that RPAS regulation and safety requires a coordinated, holistic approach which encompasses matters including national security, importation, consumer protection, and technological innovation,” the report states.

The government-wide policy would encompass a “series of measures to enhance public safety”, including a “mandatory registration regime for all RPAS weighing more than 250 grams” to bring Australia into line with the US and UK.

The recommendation aligns with CASA’s recent review of aviation safety regulation of RPAS, which similarly called for registration of drones that weigh more than 250 grams.

This would require amending current legislation to ensure that those operating drones that weigh under 2kg are covered by the rules.

The mandatory registration regime would consist of “a basic competence test regarding the safe use of RPAS” to educate untrained and unqualified drone operators.

“The introduction of a mandatory registration regime provides an opportunity to reach and inform all RPAS users whilst also requiring of them a demonstrated understanding and awareness of safe RPAS use,” the report states.

Data would be gathered from the registration regime and “centralised in a way that allows for the examination of RPAS registrations, operations, trends and incidents”.

An additional “tiered education program” has also been recommended to allow drone users to “unlock” further capabilities when operating craft.

Three tiers have been suggested: beginner, recreational use and commercial, with various limitations assigned to each.

“After successful completion of additional training, limitations could then be removed entirely for operators using RPAS for commercial or exempted purposes,” the report states. 

“The final tier would equate to the current training requirements for a commercial operator's licence.”

The committee has also recommended banning drone use in the airspace above “significant public buildings, critical infrastructure and other vulnerable areas”.

It considered these areas “particularly susceptible to RPAS misuse”, and suggested that ‘off-the-shelf’ drones be fitted with “technical restrictions to ensure compliance with the rules”.

As such the report calls for the Infrastructure department and CASA to work together to develop “airworthiness standards”, which “at a minimum” mandate “fail-safe function such as ‘return to home’ and safe landing functionality, and forced flight termination”, and restrict importation along these lines.

And from the Oz:

Quote:New rules in store for drones
[Image: 1873358926a99734c233ee695f063e47]ROBYN IRONSIDE
Operators of recreational drones weighing more than 250g could have to undergo a practical and written test.

The operators of recreational drones weighing more than 250 grams could have to undergo a practical and written test before being allowed to fly the devices in Australia.

A report tabled by the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee yesterday, made 10 recommendations for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).

The committee found current regulations did not go far enough to address “growing public anxiety” about the proliferation of drones, with more than 50,000 thought to be in recreational use across the country, and more than 8000 used commercially.

Under existing laws, only devices weighing more than 2kg are subject to certification and licensing. Among the recommendations, was the introduction of a mandatory registration regime for all RPAS weighing more than 250g.

“As part of registration requirements, RPAS operators should be required to successfully complete a basic competence test regarding the safe use of RPAS and demonstrate an understanding of the penalties for noncompliance with the rules,” said the report.

Other recommendations included expanding the areas where RPAS were not allowed to operate and enforcing airworthiness standards for foreign-manufactured RPAS. let's count the days before miniscule 4G McDo'nothing responds?  Dodgy

MTF...P2  Tongue

TICK..TOCK 4G - 10 days & counting??

AOPA Oz on ABC radio's PM programme:

The AOPA Australia today provided comments to the ABC Radio National's Peter Lloyd regarding the proliferation of recreational and hobby drones and the increasing risk they represent to general aviation safety.

The story will broadcast at 5pm and later at 6:30pm on ABC Radio National today.
Join today:

Aircraft pilots group says safety authority is dragging its feet on regulating drones
[Image: 9445664-16x9-large.jpg?v=3]

By Peter Lloyd on PM

An association representing thousands of general aviation owners and pilots has criticised the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, saying it's dragging its feet when it comes to regulating drones.

Currently, registration is only required for drones weighing more than two kilograms.

Huge numbers of the flying devices are being sold and the pilots' body believes it represents a huge risk to aviation.

CASA says it's almost certain that mandatory registration of drones will become law, along with compulsory training for all new users.

Duration: 4min 50sec
Broadcast: Thu 9 Aug 2018, 5:10pm

More Information

Benjamin Morgan, executive director, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Jonathan Aleck, head of legal and regulatory affairs, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
Ashley Cox, board member, Australian Association of Unmanned Systems

And via the Oz:

Quote:Fears drone laws won’t keep up
[Image: f24811218b63f6ba54d0d7ebb6d22e26]ROBYN IRONSIDE
Proposed regulations further limiting where drones can legally operate in urban areas may quickly become dated.

Fears law controlling drones won’t keep pace with technology

Proposed regulations further limiting where drones can legally operate in urban areas may quickly become dated, as the technology of remote autonomous vehicles improves.

Adam Beck from the Smart Cities Council said the use of drones as “data collectors” was shaping to be a vital tool for the planning, design and development of urban areas.

Addressing the World Congress of Drones this week, Mr Beck said already drones were being used for building inspection, real estate sales, valuations and design functions with their application was only set to expand.

“What a drone is now able to capture in terms of photography and video, it is just giving us such a deeper, richer data set that can then be crunched,” Mr Beck said.

“What that allows us to do is just gather so much more actionable intelligence, and provide a perspective of the city that helps us join the dots, and understand how systems work.”

A Senate committee report on the operation of drones recommended expanding the areas in which they were banned to “buildings of significance”.

But Mr Beck said it was possible regulations would be adapted to allow for greater urban application as the technology became more accurate, improving control and safety.

“Like any piece of technology, the early models are often a bit clunky, a bit big, and the accuracy may not be the best,” he said.

“In the early days there will be barriers and rules, but I’m confident we will work through those over time.”

MTF...P2   Cool


Christ almighty, CAsA can’t even finish writing and reforming the existing regs after 30 years and $450m. How can anybody expect them to keep up with, adapt, or even stay ahead of drone technology? At CAsA’s current rate of speed (about the same speed that tortoises root at) drones will be in museums and telepathic technology will be the in thing, FFS.

I had to grab the chunder bucket when CAsA’s spin doctor Peter Gob’fullofshite started waffling on behalf of CAsA. Just waiting now for Graeme Clawfoot or Wingnut to ‘correct the record’.

The noun meaning of drone;1.’a continuous low humming sound’.

Is the Miniscule a drone? He does remind me of a scarecrow or a carboard cutout. But looking at that definition above he could very well be a drone. He is similar to a fat woman’s broken vibrator - it just sits there making a humming sound. Or is that humming sound the Miniscule with his head submerged in a taxpayer trough as he struggles for air?

Let’s hope the first catostrophic drone strike on Australian soil happens to BBJ and not an RPT.


TICK..TOCK 6G - 1 month & counting??

Via the ABC online Wink :

Quote:Drone users breaking laws as burden of proof makes prosecution difficult
ABC Illawarra
Updated Mon at 3:16pm
[Image: 10160100-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: Drones provide spectacular vantage points but sometimes the temptation to fly illegally is enticing. (ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale)
RELATED STORY: Like a security guard in the sky, these drones spot fights before they happen
RELATED STORY: Drone instructor welcomes CASA social media trawling to catch illegal flyers
RELATED STORY: ABC develops training course to use drones for newsgathering

Drone users are breaking laws by flying in restricted areas and over people, but authorities say it can be difficult gathering the evidence to fine them.

A brief scan across Instagram reveals numerous drone photos which appear to be shot illegally in Australia.

Rules for flying drones in Australia
  • No flying more than 120 metres above the ground
  • No flying over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway
  • No flying within 30m of people
  • If your drone weighs more than 100 grams you must keep your drone at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes
  • No flying at night
  • Your drone must stay within visual line-of sight
  • No flying over or above people e.g. at festivals, sporting ovals, populated beaches, parks, busy roads and footpaths
  • Flying must not create a hazard to another aircraft, person, or property
  • No flying in prohibited or restricted areas
  • Local council and/or national park laws prohibit drone flights in certain areas
Source: CASA[/size]

People have published images from no-fly zones, overpopulated beaches, and from altitudes greater than 120 metres.

As drone sales increase, so do the number of people breaking the law, but fining them can be difficult.

"Getting that evidence can be difficult because we won't have seen the activity and we rely on witness statements, video, and photo evidence," Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) spokesperson Peter Gibson said.

"Someone can see a drone breaking the law, but not identify the person flying it and we can't prove who was flying it."

Mr Gibson said CASA issued 30 fines last year for illegal drone use and has already issued 40 this year.

While fine numbers could be increasing, so is drone ownership, with estimates of between 100,000 and 150,000 drones in the country.

Crashing drone into Melbourne's Eureka Tower

Wollongong drone user Jake Lapham had only owned his drone a few weeks when he launched it in Melbourne to film some spectacular sunrise footage at the Eureka Tower.

The aircraft went behind the tower, lost contact with its controller, and tried to return to its launch point as the crow flies.

[Image: 10153084-3x2-340x227.jpg]
PHOTO: Wollongong drone user Jake Lapham was fined for crashing his drone into Melbourne's Eureka Tower. (ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale)

It crashed into the tower and a few weeks after leaving his details with the building managers, while trying to find his new drone, Mr Lapham received a call.

"I'd done more studying on no-fly zones by this point and realised I was in trouble," he said.

"Three weeks later I got a $1,000 fine in the mail."

Since then, Mr Lapham has been using CASA's Can I Fly There app which uses live GPS to show where a drone can and cannot be flown.

"At the time [of the crash], the CASA app wasn't out and it is invaluable to help drone owners fly safely," he said.

"I am a lot more careful flying within Australia now I know CASA is watching.

"I have a friend who's been fined from social media evidence and people reporting him, so now I fly within the rules and am sensible because it's only a matter of time until someone flies in a reckless manner and something bad happens with an aircraft."

Social media evidence not enough to prosecute

CASA has openly warned drone users they will use social media to help prosecute illegal activity.

"The challenge is proving who was flying it at the time and we have used social media for that, but it can be difficult," Mr Gibson said.

"It's not easy to get enough evidence to issue fines but we're working on that all the time and we encourage people to send reports to us.

"Even if they can't provide the information needed, it gives us a picture of drone non-compliance."

Mr Gibson said while the number of fines was not especially large, most were more than $1,000.

CASA has defended its evidence standards despite people flagrantly breaking the law.

"It's not frustrating because as a responsible aviation safety regulator, when we're going to take action, it has to pass the proof of evidence test," Mr Gibson said.

"We need to prove the breach was there with evidence, otherwise that wouldn't be fair to the drone-flying public if we did anything less than that — it's a good process."


[Image: A1Z5PEVaxalldIyUoEXM9HN6iJHwswVjxqapze7A...-w200-h200]

Drone laws Australia: New fines and registration system under consideration

THOUSANDS of Australians would have to register their drones like they register their cars, and face on-the-spot fines for breaking flight rules under strict new ...
Courier Mail

Finally in the Oz today:

Piloting with drones
[Image: f35026029b2ef821e2e35c5f5419605e]ROBYN IRONSIDE
Pilot and drone business operator Mitch Bannink is blown away by the speed of the fledgling industry’s advancement.

Mitch Bannink piloting the airwaves with drones

Combining a career as a commercial aviation pilot with a drone business would appear to be fraught with problems, given the tensions between airlines and drone users.

But pilot and drone-operating business owner Mitch Bannink wears both hats with apparent ease as he strives to educate others about the responsible use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

His interest in drones grew out of a childhood fascination with remote-controlled aircraft that became more sophisticated as he grew older.

“My first remote-controlled aircraft with a camera on it was a little $200 helicopter with a camera stuck to the bottom,” Mr Bannink said. “It just seemed like a very good idea to have a camera that we could use to take photos of buildings and things like that but the quality was terrible.”

Despite his own pioneering ­efforts, Mr Bannink is still in awe of how rapidly drone technology has developed in recent years.

He said the range and quality of drones, not to mention the shrinking size, was unbelievable.

“Nowadays, (drone manufacturer) DJI are making products that have infra-red cameras on drones, there are sensors on drones which avoid obstacles so the drone actually has a thought process,” Mr Bannink said.

“With just simple DJI products we can go out into remote areas and generate a 3D map similar to Google Earth in a matter of hours.

“The same drone can turn around half an hour later and be used in a search and rescue operation and five minutes later you can go and use the same piece of equipment to go shark spotting.”

Applications for drones were growing daily, with the Queensland government recently announcing that the technology would be used to precisely apply herbicides to weeds in sugar cane fields.

The technique has the added benefit of reducing herbicide run-off into local waterways.

“One of the most interesting ones I’ve heard of is the use of drones to fly in the blowhole spray out of whales,” Mr Bannink said.

“Instead of chasing around a whale with a stick to try to get a sample, they just fly a drone through the spray and then get it back and take the DNA off the drone.

“Who would’ve thought that was something you could do with a drone?”

DJI head of Asia-Pacific public policy Adam Welsh said the company had invested heavily in safety functions such as return to home and obstacle avoidance, and he hoped further regulation of the industry in Australia would not restrict innovation.

A recent Senate committee report on unmanned aerial vehicles made a range of recommendations, including a requirement to register drones weighing more than 200g, and for their operators to undergo written and practical tests.

Mr Welsh said any high costs for registration or an unreasonable level of training would slow the growth and adoption of the technology.

“That would mean Australia might lose its place as one of the key innovators in the sector, which would be a shame as there is so much excitement in the market, and so much more value this powerful technology can bring to businesses and society,” Mr Welsh said.

“It should be a source of pride for Australians at how fast this country has adopted and built businesses around such a new technology.”

He said drones were “saving lives” at least once a week.

“A third of those lives saved are from recreational users who see someone in duress and report it,” Mr Welsh said.

“Access to this technology is important. It creates jobs, it saves lives and it has fostered a really health technology ecosystem in Australia that everyone should want to see it thrive.”

MTF...P2  Tongue

TICK..TOCK goes the catastrophic drone collision clock - Confused

From the Canucks, via the CBC News:

Quote:Drones flying into restricted airspace 'going to kill somebody,' says pilot

The number of drones spotted too close to airports, aircraft more than tripled between 2014 and 2017

[Image: david-burke-cbc-reporter-nova-scotia.jpg]
David Burke · CBC News · Posted: Oct 01, 2018 6:00 AM AT | Last Updated: October 1

[Image: drone-in-sky.jpg]
It's been reported drones are flying illegally around airports and aircraft across the country. (

From the ground it can be hard to see the drama taking shape in Canadian skies or sense the danger that's brewing as traditional aircraft come head to head with drones invading their airspace. 

"They're just in the way and causing a potential hazard that someday is going to kill somebody," said David Cooke, who has a unique perspective on aviation and drones.  

Cooke is a retired military pilot who flew jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force, piloted reconnaissance helicopters in Germany during the Cold War, then helped teach combat flying at the air force base in Gagetown, N.B. 

[Image: david-cooke.jpg]
David Cooke, a former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, flies drones commercially through his business, Canda. He uses the drones to take photos of real estate, among other things. (

For the last few years, he has been running his own business, Canda, flying commercial drones out of his hometown of Sarnia, Ont. 

He's not happy with what he describes as an explosion of irresponsible drone use. 

In 2014, Transport Canada reported 38 cases of drones flying too close to airplanes and airports. That number ballooned to 145 in 2016 and dropped slightly to 135 in 2017. The department's latest numbers for this year only go up to June 30. So far, there have been 48 sightings. 

[Image: drone-and-plane.jpg]
Cooke says people aren't thinking about the danger drones pose to aircraft when they decide to fly them in restricted airspace. (

"I don't think they're vicious criminals doing this stuff. They're just idiots out there flying around and think they can go anywhere with this little flying camera," said Cooke. 

[Image: bernard-gervais.JPG]
Bernard Gervais, president and CEO of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, says several of his members have had close calls with drones. (Submitted by Bernard Gervais)

The number of drones flying into restricted airspace doesn't surprise Bernard Gervais, president and CEO of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. His group has 16,000 members and represents people who fly recreationally and travel with their own aircraft.

He said several of his members have had close calls with drones.

"One member, he was at 3,000 feet [914 metres]… And there was a drone following him about 20 feet [nearly seven metres] from his left wing," said Gervais. "It was scary."       

A spinning propeller that comes into contact with a drone could bring a plane down, he said.

"It's like a big, big, bird, but it's got metal parts — not just feathers."
Cooke thinks the likelihood of a plane actually striking a drone is slim, despite a drone doing just that last October in Quebec.

He believes the real danger is pilots overreacting when they see a drone and putting themselves and their passengers in harm's way.

[Image: plane-cockpit-photo-spotting-drone.jpg]
This image was taken during a practice flight to test how well pilots could spot drones. The pilots were told exactly where the drone would be and it was still very difficult to spot. The red circle shows the drone's location. The pilot in this photo was travelling at 100 knots and had only six seconds before he passed the drone. (

"At Toronto Island airport, a Porter Airlines Dash 8, I think, made an evasive manoeuvre that hurt a stewardess," said Cooke. "Reacting and overreacting actually to something like that is just as much likely to cause damage or hurt somebody or kill somebody or bring down a plane." 

Cooke said commercial pilots are so well trained that it's unlikely they'd react dangerously, but students in flying school or people who only fly occasionally could make those kind of mistakes. 

Most of the drone sightings reported to Transport Canada were collected by pilots and air traffic controllers near major airports in places like Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

[Image: plane-flying-underneath-drone.jpg]
This is the image the drone captured as the plane in the test flight flew underneath it. (

In Halifax, there were only three drone sightings around the airport in all of 2017. 

That kind of flying is illegal; recreational drones are not allowed within 5.6 kilometres of any airport or any area where aircraft take off and land. 

It's not clear exactly what attracts some people to airports and other restricted airspace, but Cooke said in the last year or so he and other pilots have noticed a disturbing number of drone videos on YouTube of planes taking off and landing. 

The videos often feature drones getting within a few dozen metres of a plane. 

[Image: drone-in-front-of-moon.jpg]
Due to their mainly plastic composition, many smaller drones don't show up on radar. Transport Canada says the National Research Council is working to find new ways to detect drones. (

"That's happening all the time now. More and more regularly around airports. When people see these videos online [they say], 'Well, I can do that, I want to get a better one, I'll do one with a sunset, let's do it at night,'" said Cooke. "It's really stupid stuff."

Transport Canada does issue fines to offenders, but even that can be tricky. By the time a drone sighting is reported and someone starts to investigate, the drone and its user can be long gone. 

Since 2015, Transport Canada has only issued 60 fines. For recreational drone users, those fines can go up as high as $3,000 if they're caught flying in a restricted area. 

[Image: drone-photo-of-planes.jpg]
Recreational drones are not allowed to be flown within 5.6 kilometres of anywhere a plane may take off and land. Special permission can be given to allow a drone to take a picture like the one above. (

Transport Canada also gives people verbal warnings but doesn't release those numbers. 

Gervais said more enforcement of the rules, stiffer fines and some kind of licensing or permit program for recreational drone operators would help curb the problem and let everyone better share the sky. 
Félix Meunier, director of unmanned aircraft systems for Transport Canada, said the number of drone sightings in restricted airspace appears to have stabilized. He said the jump in reported sightings since 2014 is partially because more Canadians are buying drones. 

[Image: two-men-flying-drone.jpg]
Cooke says people should have to be trained and get a permit or licence in order to fly a drone recreationally. (

Transport Canada does not track who buys recreational drones nor does it license who can use them. However, it does require people who want to operate drones in restricted airspace or use them for commercial research purposes to get a Special Flight Operations Certificate. 

In 2014, the department issued 1,672 such certificates. Last year, 4,096 of those permits were issued. 

[Image: drone-sunset.jpg]
Transport Canada says there has been a big upswing in the number of Canadians buying drones in the last few years. (

Along with the increased drone use, Meunier said more pilots now report drone sightings because they have a better sense of the dangers drones pose. 

"Most drone owners want to do the right thing," he said.

"Some of them are not aware of the danger associated with air drone use near other aircraft. So I think in general that's where things are going and if there are some efforts where we need to do more enforcement, well, we do it."
MTF...P2  Cool

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