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Man fined over alleged drone CASA breach

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 04:43:36 PM

A man has been fined after allegedly breaching Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations while operating a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA/drone) in the Blue Mountains last year.

Shortly before 3pm on Monday 12 September 2016, PolAir 5 was conducting a search operation in Katoomba when Police Rescue officers allegedly saw an RPA flying over Echo Point Lookout.

It’s further alleged it was operating well above the CASA-stipulated 120m limit for RPAs, and therefore posed a risk to PolAir 5 that was flying at a low altitude during their search activities.

A short time later PolAir5 spotted the drone hit , and become lodged in, a tree at a property on Cliff Drive in Katoomba.

The RPA pilot, a 25-year-old man, was identified by police a short time later and flight records were subsequently obtained that showed the aircraft had allegedly breached CASA regulations on a number of occasions.

The matter was referred to CASA for further investigation after which the man was issued a warning letter and fined $900.

Aviation Support Branch Commander, Superintendent Mark Noakes, said that all RPA operators must familiarise themselves with necessary CASA regulations to use the machines safely.

“If you’re using a drone please ensure you’re aware of the guidelines for where you can operate them, and at what altitude,” Supt Noakes said.

“Bottom line is these aircraft cannot be operated where they pose a hazard to people, property or other aircraft”.

“It’s also imperative that they not interfere with emergency services working in any designated area; their priority is incident management and any distraction can pose a serious risk to air safety,” Supt Noakes said.

Learn more about safely operating RPAs via: https://www.casa.gov.au/…/landing-p…/flying-drones-australia