Feeds

Drone owners told: stay out of bushfire skies

Australian aviation authorities tell fools with toys to stop buzzing water-bombers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Idiots with toy UAVs, a thirst for self-promotion, and no idea about safety have been told in no uncertain terms to stay away from bushfire grounds in Australia.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has warned owners of quad-copters and other UAVs to stay out of the air in bushfire emergencies, after a particularly egregious group* posted a YouTube video of their flight over Lithgow, locus of one of the three large fires that has surrounded the Blue Mountains West of Sydney for more than a week.

The fires resulted in the loss of more than 200 homes, most of which were in the town of Winmalee. The drone footage included flying underneath a water-bombing helicopter, direct flyovers of active fire-grounds, and fly-throughs of burned-out buildings. That won the video-makers plaudits for “incredible footage” and, courtesy of media attention, more than 90,000 YouTube hits.

CASA has now stated that the flight was not approved and “appears to be in breach of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations”.

The authority continues: “Flying a remotely piloted aircraft in the same airspace as fire fighting helicopters and aeroplanes creates a real risk of a mid-air collision. If a remotely piloted aircraft hit a fire fighting helicopter tail rotor the helicopter could be badly damaged, with possible loss of control by the pilot.”

The fly-over of working fire-fighters also seems to break the regulation that UAVs should not be flown within 30 metres of people unless the flight carries a CASA approval.

CASA and the Rural Fire Service have both said that if drones are seen at or near fire-grounds, they would have little choice but to suspend air operations. ®

*Bootnote: Vulture South isn't going to add to the idiots' hit-count by linking to the video.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.