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Thread: CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) Drone use rules and guidelines

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) Drone use rules and guidelines

    To get our new Drone forum underway, here is a link to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's website on Drones in Australia.

    This link includes:

    - Flying for fun
    - Commercial drone use
    - using drones near emergencies (bushfires etc)
    - Flying over your own property, other's property, and public spaces
    - When and how to get a remotely piloted aircraft licence
    and more.

    Here is the link : https://www.casa.gov.au/aircraft/lan...ones-australia
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Member flashc's Avatar
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    Thanks for setting this up Rick...
    We just need a few posts now to share some photos or information.
    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon 70D, Canon G12, Canon EF-S 15-85mm, EF 70-200 L f4 IS, 580EX II


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    Ausphotography Veteran bobt's Avatar
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    Interesting. I followed the links and checked it out, but all it did was convince me that it's all too tightly controlled. I can understand that, but by the same token unless you live or travel to the country, then you're very restricted. Personally, I like the shots of suburbia from the air, but that's a bit of a no-no.

    Photographing people anywhere is getting to be a real issue. Looks like it's back to photographing other stuff instead - spending money on a drone I can't use all that often isn't money well spent in my book.

    Thanks for the links though ...... it confirmed what I thought would be the case.


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    Member kevin301's Avatar
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    The rules seem reasonable for hobbyist drone pilots
    Usual common-sense applies, I suppose.
    They don't want drones causing injury, or damage to aircraft, or to intrude on people's right to privacy.

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    Member flashc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    Interesting. I followed the links and checked it out, but all it did was convince me that it's all too tightly controlled. I can understand that, but by the same token unless you live or travel to the country, then you're very restricted. Personally, I like the shots of suburbia from the air, but that's a bit of a no-no.

    Photographing people anywhere is getting to be a real issue.
    Thanks for the links though ...... it confirmed what I thought would be the case.
    I don't think it's all bad and it's far cheaper than hiring a helicopter...
    It may sound restrictive to fly a drone but the original flight rules have changed a bit in that it now says to not fly where there is a danger to people and property...
    Plenty of flyers are in and around capital cities...Real Estate Agents photograph houses for sale listings
    If you looked at the CASA webpage map, you can see lots of marked zones around Melbourne for example...Only the fully dark red shaded areas are totally no fly zones...
    You can fly a drone within 5.5KM of a NON-controlled airport or helipad as long as you keep aware of any air traffic that may take off or enter into the 5.5 KM zone and you also need to avoid the designated and marked airport flight path landing zones...
    As consumer drones legally must be flown within your line of sight, it's not too hard to land if an aircraft pops up in the distance.
    Controlled airports with a manned tower like Essendon are totally no fly zones within 5.5 KM while the airport is operating.

    Casa "suggesting" not photographing people is a strange addition as what will they look like from 120 metres up in the sky and from outside the 30 metres clearance rule, horizontally from people.

    I live in Queensland where National Parks are mostly ok to fly over without paying fees or permissions..

    Consumer drones now have reasonably competent cameras including some with Hasselblad badged cameras and 1 inch sensors
    Attached is a zone map from Victoria and it shows one of the messages that appears when the drone location pin is dropped on any area...
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Austog Irregular Regular markdphotography's Avatar
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    I think there is a lot of paranoia about drones as there is about anything new and topical. Just look at the shark sightings. Photographing people as mentioned above is an example. You can actually get a "stealth" shot of a neighbour from inside your own property with a long lens far easier that yoou can with a drone. Another example is that I have a house in a private estate at the Bunya Mountains. The Body Corporate have banned drones (they have no jurisdiction to do that) on the basis that if the Rescue Helicopter had to land it may hit a drone. I know you cannot legislate for stupidity so responsible people get grouped with the idiots once again.

    I guess the other thing is the hypocrisy in drone flights. I live in northern NSW and have an App on my phone. It states that I cannot fly within the Ballina Airport flight path - which is very reasonable. The problem is that I should be able to fly at Boulder Beach below the sliff or Norfolk Island pine tree line as if my drone was going to hit a plane, the cliff or the tree would be a greater problem than my drone. Secondly, there are limited flights in and out of the airport. The shark spotting drone and helicopter fly up and down the beach in the flight path.

    On saying that there is nothing more common than the lack of common sense.

    I will say it has been weeks since the drone has seen daylight as with wind, rain and flight restrictions, it is hard to get some air under the blades.

    I must say I marvel at the concept of drones delivering parcels and pizzas based on the rules and regulations required.
    Last edited by markdphotography; 18-12-2018 at 9:48pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran bobt's Avatar
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    My kids were going to buy me a drone for Christmas. I told them not to bother .... it would have spent its life sitting in a cupboard, only to be removed when they went through my stuff after I died !

    Too many rules, too few brain cells and not enough common sense. As Mark says, it's back to taking photos of my neighbors with a long lens and a darkened room at around 10.30 pm when my wife isn't looking. er .... did I say that out loud .....


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    Austog Irregular Regular markdphotography's Avatar
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    I guess the silly thing is the people rule,certainly should not be flying over Westfield Doncaster as it may hit warp speed and crash through the building or slice some Christmas shoppers in half?
    Last edited by markdphotography; 18-12-2018 at 9:57pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran bobt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markdphotography View Post
    I guess the sillything is the people rule,certainly should not be flying over Westfield Doncaster at it may hit warp speed and crash through the building or slice some Christmas shoppers in half?
    That's known as creating a photo opportunity .....

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    Austog Irregular Regular markdphotography's Avatar
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    I remeber one morning early I had the drone up at The Pass in Byron Bay. A very well informed fiherman got out of his tinnie and came over to me and told me I should not be flying my drone over people. Two things were wrong - firstly there was a greater chance of him hitting a surfer with his outboard prop or his tinnie as he threaded the needle when coming back in (or even on the way out). There was less people on the beach than there was surfers in the water he just came through. Secondly while he was lecturing and arguing with me, I was not watching the drone. I know a local professional and he launches his drone in the bush and hides so people cannot annoy the crap out of him and ask"are you flying a drone?"

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    Ausphotography Regular Kerro's Avatar
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    I have a Mavic Pro and there are only 5 rules I need to bother with here in Mandurah WA.
    Stay 5kms from an airport with a tower, no restrictions without just don't fly if a plane comes in
    Maximum altitude is 120m
    Stay 30m away from other people
    Stay line of site with your drone, physically, not what you see on your screen
    And last of all don't fly at night

    I don't find this at all restrictive and really enjoy my drone flying experience.
    cheers Kerro
    I shoot with Canon cameras and Canon and Sigma lenses and now a Mavic Pro too

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerro View Post
    I have a Mavic Pro and there are only 5 rules I need to bother with here in Mandurah WA.
    Stay 5kms from an airport with a tower, no restrictions without just don't fly if a plane comes in
    Maximum altitude is 120m
    Stay 30m away from other people
    Stay line of site with your drone, physically, not what you see on your screen
    And last of all don't fly at night

    I don't find this at all restrictive and really enjoy my drone flying experience.
    And rule number six is .... https://www.casa.gov.au/standard-pag...ncy-situations

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    Ausphotography Regular Kerro's Avatar
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    Agreed Mark, the sixth rule which is actually basic common sense. Trouble its not very common.

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    Member flashc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerro View Post
    Agreed Mark, the sixth rule which is actually basic common sense. Trouble its not very common.
    Unless you just happened to live in Queensland recently where fires were burning everywhere...
    I was more interested in the fires 60 k's away heading towards us than going up for a flight...

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    Ausphotography Regular Ross M's Avatar
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    I have seen the extremes of operators at two car shows I have attended. The first was a commercial operation I would think. They had a temporary fence around their fly zone and just took the drone straight up in a cleared area. I saw the resulting images and obviously the brief was to photograph all of the cars on show from great height.

    The second was clearly a hobbyist. He was flying his drone as low as 2 metres above people. Also he was flying above some very expensive and unique custom vehicles.

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    Member flashc's Avatar
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    When we have to pay a fee to be licensed in the near future to fly our drones, life will be different...

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Shame that CASA doesn't appear to be concerned about light aircraft flying over our houses at 200-500 feet (supposed to be 1,000 feet ... ). Don't even return my calls.
    Regards, john

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