With drones becoming more and more popular the number of YouTube and Facebook videos being posted with footage shot from a drone is increasing and while the regulations are clear, it seems some users are pushing the boundaries of the CASA regulations.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority are responsible for defining the airspace regulations and for dishing out fines where appropriate. We know they’ve fined people before now and there’s no reason to believe they won’t continue.
Turns out, they’re not even doing it in a shroud of secrecy. The official CASA YouTube account has posted a comment on a suspect drone video noting that it was being reviewed by regulators.
The video in question is filmed over and around a Bunnings Warehouse and depicts the story of a bloke in a hot tub sending his drone over to Bunnings for a Sausage Sizzle delivery.
EFTM has spoken to the operator of the YouTube channel which posted the video who told us “we shot it in parts, never going over homes or people”. Going on to say they had permission from the Sausage Sizzle operators.
However the innocence of the operator is clear given the evidence in the video.
The drone clearly flies over the Bunnings garden centre, as well as a packed car park. The Phantom 4 can also be seen hovering close to the Bunnings Warehouse as they shot the delivery scene itself.
As the drone leaves the area it flies again over Bunnings property and crosses Vinyard Road in Sunbury Victoria.
Each of these issues are either close or clear breaches of the CASA regulations for drone flights which state that
- You should only fly in visual line-of-sight
- You must not fly closer than 30 metres to vehicles, boats, buildings or people.
- You must not fly over populous areas such as beaches, heavily populated parks, or sports ovals while they are in use.
- In controlled airspace, which covers most Australian cities, you must not fly higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above the ground.
- You must not fly in a way that creates a hazard to other aircraft, so you should keep at least 5.5 km away from airfields, aerodromes and helicopter landing sites.
LISTEN: Trevor Long chats to Peter Gibson from CASA about the incident:
Additionally, in speaking to EFTM – “Jo” (not his real name) told us the video had been uploaded to Facebook and gone viral with hundreds of thousands of views. This also lead to him “Selling the rights to a Viral Video company for $550” which unfortunately for “Jo” means he profited from the video, and I’m tipping neither he nor the pilot are registered for use of drones for commercial activity.
Not looking good boys.
CASA’s previous fines of around $850 could easily apply here for the flight over and around the Bunnings store, operating for profit could also add to that fine.
Sadly for “Jo” his intention was to make a bit of cash to buy the new DJI Mavic Pro. I doubt that’s going to be easy now, and if he does get the new drone, a bit more attention to the rules will be required.
If you see any other cases of CASA commenting on YouTube Drone videos – let us know!
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.