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CASA review

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anzacjack

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i have been asked to sit on a CASA panel next week, that will be reviewing rules and regs in regards to sport and recreational use of RPAS.
The aim is to identify risk causes, sources and hazards using the combined knowledge of industry representatives and CASA Reference Group. Sector safety risk profiling is a CASA initiative to identify sector specific risks and to develop strategies to treat these risks with the involvement of the sector participants. It also provides the opportunity for CASA and the industry to collaboratively work on the management of risks and to adopt flexible treatment measures that suit the unique characteristics of the operation.

I’d like you all to consider the risks and hazards associated with our hobby and maybe put forward what you think are the main 2?
Also to consider ways of mitigating these risks that will not include tougher rules that affect everyone adversely.

Thanks for your help and thoughts.


I’ll add ideas put forward here to help stop doubling up and everyone suggesting the same thing. Cheers

1. Transmitting electronic I.D.
2. Consistency between safety regulators and local, state and fed laws
 
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ksdehoff

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My off-the-cuff thoughts as a relatively new flyer - I have been very responsible in where I fly and how. From looking at youtube videos of pilots, it appears to me that anonymity of the pilot enables bad behavior and that if drones would broadcast identifying information alot of the bad behavior would be stopped since enforcement would be much simpler. I was thinking a wifi access point broadcast or something similar. Imagine if you knew that if a drone was near you, you could identify it via its broadcasted ssid and a simple faa lookup....anonymity gone
 

PavleAU

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Interesting that there is a workshop planned to discuss such matters that involves people within the hobby, so that's a positive step provided they actually take the feedback on board and where possible (and reasonable) implement changes that will benefit the hobby for everyone.

I think the most important thing is the rules (in particular the app) needs to be accurate and include the very latest regulations including local government / council and any land that is otherwise safe to fly but due to other rules has been deemed a no fly zone (such as national parks). If there is going to be a tool provided such as "Can I fly there" and the tool indicates you can, then any prosecution should be void. Also very important that there is a much greater public awareness (both pilots and non pilots) of the regulations so people are informed of what is legal and what isn't.

To me the greatest risk is being caught flying in a no fly zone when I have taken all precautions to adhere to the rules.

I would also like to understand how enforcement of the rules is carried out. I've seen time and time again, images and video posted online that are clearly in breach of the regulations, but how can they determine that the footage was captured illegally (ie. licensed pilot, posted by a third party not the pilot etc) and what power is available to CASA to investigate? Perhaps this is off topic for this thread, however I think it's important to understand when discussing potential further regulation.

broadcasted ssid and a simple faa lookup

Whilst I am not anti this suggestion, in Australia (CASA) there is currently no mandatory registration required for hobby pilots. Provided such a solution was possible to implement into the current products on the market via firmware update and at nil charge to the operator, I have no concerns with a form of mandatory registration. If this was implemented and there was cost associated with this, then I think there would rightly be backlash. I also believe there would be a number of reports from the uninformed public that turn out to be safe flights within the regulations and this would no doubt add unnecessary workload onto CASA which eventually would probably be funded by law abiding pilots.

I have a registration under the <2KG excluded category to carry out commercial flights whilst adhering to the standard hobby operating conditions. This comes with a registration ID and is free to apply.
 

Phill

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Interesting that there is a workshop planned to discuss such matters that involves people within the hobby, so that's a positive step provided they actually take the feedback on board and where possible (and reasonable) implement changes that will benefit the hobby for everyone.

I think the most important thing is the rules (in particular the app) needs to be accurate and include the very latest regulations including local government / council and any land that is otherwise safe to fly but due to other rules has been deemed a no fly zone (such as national parks). If there is going to be a tool provided such as "Can I fly there" and the tool indicates you can, then any prosecution should be void. Also very important that there is a much greater public awareness (both pilots and non pilots) of the regulations so people are informed of what is legal and what isn't.

To me the greatest risk is being caught flying in a no fly zone when I have taken all precautions to adhere to the rules.

I would also like to understand how enforcement of the rules is carried out. I've seen time and time again, images and video posted online that are clearly in breach of the regulations, but how can they determine that the footage was captured illegally (ie. licensed pilot, posted by a third party not the pilot etc) and what power is available to CASA to investigate? Perhaps this is off topic for this thread, however I think it's important to understand when discussing potential further regulation.



Whilst I am not anti this suggestion, in Australia (CASA) there is currently no mandatory registration required for hobby pilots. Provided such a solution was possible to implement into the current products on the market via firmware update and at nil charge to the operator, I have no concerns with a form of mandatory registration. If this was implemented and there was cost associated with this, then I think there would rightly be backlash. I also believe there would be a number of reports from the uninformed public that turn out to be safe flights within the regulations and this would no doubt add unnecessary workload onto CASA which eventually would probably be funded by law abiding pilots.

I have a registration under the <2KG excluded category to carry out commercial flights whilst adhering to the standard hobby operating conditions. This comes with a registration ID and is free to apply.

I too am registered in the sub 2kg category for commercial.
Unfortunately the only way to enforce registration is for it to be mandatory at place of purchase and include the serial number of the drone.
I suggested this to CASA myself via one of their surveys.
Unfortunately with so many drones coming in via ebay etc. it's just not workable.
Mandatory anything won't work because there will always be those that won't comply.
The other question is how are you going to enforce it?
Are we going to have inspectors stationed all over Australia on the off chance they may see a drone and want to inspect it?
The responsible ones will follow the rules but we'll always have cowboys.
FWIW I had noticed pics in real estate ads in my area that obviously broke the rules by flying over adjacent properties etc but they appear to have now been taken down.
Maybe CASA had a hand in that and well done if they did!
 

Chip

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Delete: sorry I was talking about US not AUS law, missed the focus of thread
 
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Simmo

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My off-the-cuff thoughts as a relatively new flyer - I have been very responsible in where I fly and how. From looking at youtube videos of pilots, it appears to me that anonymity of the pilot enables bad behavior and that if drones would broadcast identifying information alot of the bad behavior would be stopped since enforcement would be much simpler. I was thinking a wifi access point broadcast or something similar. Imagine if you knew that if a drone was near you, you could identify it via its broadcasted ssid and a simple faa lookup....anonymity gone

DJI Introduces Voluntary Flight Identification Options For Drone Pilots
 

Duncs65

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I would just like to say that as a hobby drone flyer I am becoming more and more disheartened as to the amount of places that I cannot fly in my home city of Perth.

There are the CASA rules which I think are workable and common sense. Then there are the National Parks and Conservation and Land Management which prevent flying. Finally more and more local authorities have new by-laws which prohibit taking off or landing in their boundaries. It reminds me of prohibition, if you close the circle too tight then people will either leave the hobby (which appears to be the intention) or disregard the rules completely and risk fines etc.

I have not answered your question for which I apologise, my biggest nightmare as a flyer is loss of control and that resultant loss affecting a third party/ies in any way. Be that people at a picnic or a collision with a vehicle (ground or air).

Best of luck with the process hopefully there can be a compromise that will leave enough for all of us to enjoy what can be an exhilarating hobby.
 
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Phill

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My off-the-cuff thoughts as a relatively new flyer - I have been very responsible in where I fly and how. From looking at youtube videos of pilots, it appears to me that anonymity of the pilot enables bad behavior and that if drones would broadcast identifying information alot of the bad behavior would be stopped since enforcement would be much simpler. I was thinking a wifi access point broadcast or something similar. Imagine if you knew that if a drone was near you, you could identify it via its broadcasted ssid and a simple faa lookup....anonymity gone

CASA watch youtube too.
That's how they got the guy sending his Phantom to Bunnings for a sausage sanga.
He got a $9000 fine.
The fines have since been increased to $10,500.
 

Simmo

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But it gives the ID Phill. I dont want to know whats 5 k's away, just who is that **** up there...? (That being said, I doubt the general public will have access to Aeroscope)
I filled my details in, in the app, inc. ARN and contact number etc, but no one is using it yet. But it is there!
 

anzacjack

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i was talking to the bloke in charge of enforcement in Queensland and he told me that there are many fines going out. We here on the forums are a very small portion of drone flyers so aren’t hearing how many fines are actually going out. Every report that comes in via CASA reporting mechanism is investigated resulting in about 75% of them resulting in fines. The key thing is evidence
 

Phill

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But it gives the ID Phill. I dont want to know whats 5 k's away, just who is that **** up there...? (That being said, I doubt the general public will have access to Aeroscope)
I filled my details in, in the app, inc. ARN and contact number etc, but no one is using it yet. But it is there!

I was referring to the fact that there's nothing within 5ks of me to pick up the signal.
Where I live there's only 87 houses.
3 of us have drones.
One is overly cautious and the other is still learning and a bit reckless due to inexperience.
 

Phill

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i was talking to the bloke in charge of enforcement in Queensland and he told me that there are many fines going out. We here on the forums are a very small portion of drone flyers so aren’t hearing how many fines are actually going out. Every report that comes in via CASA reporting mechanism is investigated resulting in about 75% of them resulting in fines. The key thing is evidence

That's why they're watching youtube.
The cowboys think it's a good idea to post their exploits.
I saw one yesterday where the guy flew 8ks away.
Must have good eyesight.
 

bushie

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My main concern is the proliferation of local government bans and the lack of clarity as to the legal situation. My local city was going to imose bans but had legal advice thet it did not have the power to do so.

Many authoriities do not publish bans so there is another layer of uncertanity.

This whole issue needs cleaning up
 
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RayOZ

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When you've conditioned a generation or two that they can be who ever they want and do whatever they want, a website about what they CANNOT do will not be of any interest to a lot of people. They will just flying however they want, and if they get caught, they plead ignorance and apologise. "I didn't know, please let me off with a warning, and I'll go home and check the CASA website". They probably won't. They'll just find a different place to fly and repeat the same process. By then bad flying habits have formed. "I've flown like this 100s of times, and no one has got hurt. So what the problem?"

I think the best way is to be a bit more proactive about this. CASA need to work with local councils, and allocate designated parks where drones are permitted. Why?
1. You'd gather drone pilots at specific parks, instead of them picking random ones (some not suitable for flying, especially when there's kid's playgrounds).
2. You can place rules at the entrance, so they can't plead ignorance. If they fly at the designated park, they basically have agreed to abide by the rule. If they don't what to follow the rule, then they might leave and fly elsewhere. But if they've made the trouble to get to the park, they might just fly there (and hopefully follow the rules).
3. Since it's publicly known that drones maybe in operation at the park, that other users would be aware of it. This should avoid controntations from people who thinks drones should be illegal everywhere.
4. Perhaps add a bit of obstacle course to train pilots. Circles on the ground with 'H'. Add instructions about RTH functions that some drones might have. It'll teach them how RTH works. e.g. take off from 'H', hold altitude >= 10m for a few seconds, they fly 100m away and trigger RTH. Watch how it returns. Add other circles with 'A', 'B', 'C', etc around with different orientations. Pilots can practice their maneuvering skills. Anyone can zip around in the sky like they are drunk. Precision flying is a learned skill.
5. You might have new pilots and veterans at the park at the same time. Hopefully, there'll be a few veterans that will be there willing to teach newbies how to fly safely and responsibly.

Some rules to consider (point 2 above)
1. Do not fly above 120m.
2. If there are other drones around, communicate with other pilots to maintain 10m verticle height between them to avoid collision.
3. If other users are around, maintain 30m (horizontal) distance and do not fly > 10kph. (2.8m/s, so if loss of controls, 10s to scream to people to get out of the way!)
4. Flying is allowed x hrs after sunrise, x hrs before sunset. Maybe use twilight time, for those wanting to take photos/videos of sunrise and sunsets.
5. Do not fly if there are social events at the park.
6. Make sure your batteries are fully charged before flying. Land your drone before batteries reaches 20%.
7. Fly responsibility. Pilots are liable for any damage to park sturcture and facilities, and council/park operators are not responsible if pilots damage their drones.
8. No not fly beyond park grounds and maintain VLOS.
9. Do not harass wildlife or pets.

Other notes.
I don't think it's possible to enforce aircraft ID being transmitted. Not all drones can do it. And some people would chose not to opt-in. To make manufacturers do it, they'll have to do firmware upgrades. Some people would then chose not to update the firmware on their drones. If the firmware update also includes bug fixes, then it becomes a problem if the bug being fixed prevents crashes.
Instead of telling people what they cannot do, we need to teach people how to fly responsibly.
 

Phill

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My main concern is the proliferation of local government bans and the lack of clarity as to the legal situation. My local city was going to imose bans but had legal advice thet it did not have the power to do so.

Many authoriities do not publish bans so there is another layer of uncertanity.

This whole issue needs cleaning up

Exactly right.
There are military exercises going on near me and they are flying copters past my place at tree top level yet Can I Fly There says all good.
Surely it should be a temporary no fly zone?
 

Phill

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My main concern is the proliferation of local government bans and the lack of clarity as to the legal situation. My local city was going to imose bans but had legal advice thet it did not have the power to do so.

Many authoriities do not publish bans so there is another layer of uncertanity.

This whole issue needs cleaning up

Many authoriities do not publish bans so there is another layer of uncertanity.

This whole issue needs cleaning up.

Exactly right and the main reason that I won't register without knowing more.
 

lisadoc

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I’d like you all to consider the risks and hazards associated with our hobby and maybe put forward what you think are the main 2?

Might I suggest something different? Instead of worrying about what anyone "thinks" or "feels" are the primary risks associated with UAS usage (or in fact, anyone's "opinion"), it would behoove everyone involved to deal with a scientific, evidence-based approach to the issue, by conducting a comprehensive risk assessment and mitigating the hazards through an ongoing assessment of the data and re-evaluation of the risks as time passes. What may be a significant risk today, for example, could potentially be mitigated dramatically next year, or vice versa.

When someone asks me what I think are the highest risks of such-and-such or what I would consider the risk to be of X activity, my response is always the same: It doesn't matter in the slightest what I think. What's important is what we know.

I would suggest taking a SMS approach to risk mitigation of UAS operation, like ICAO and CASA have done with manned aviation within Australia and other countries. I would also suggest reading this report that came out last week, critiquing the US response to risk mitigation with commercial UAS operations:

Login | The National Academies Press

There's nothing worse than trying to address a risk mitigation program based on the perceptions of some individuals (no matter how well-meaning or experienced), that do not have a complete understanding of the hazards and overall system of operation (which, frankly, includes almost everyone). Instituting guidelines and/or regulations based on public perception or unscientific determinations from people within the field inevitably results in overly obstructive restrictions and inconsequential reductions in the actual risks associated with the system you're trying to address.

Though it is extremely positive that such panels are bringing in UAS users and other relevant players, these people should absolutely not be the ones determining what risks should be addressed. This task should be left to risk mitigation specialists and experienced risk analysts, and only after a careful review and analysis of the appropriate, and scientifically valid, data involved in UAS operations. These actors (UAS users and other such parties) are better suited to address how those hazards may best be addressed, while enacting the least obtrusive mechanisms to achieve such goals.
 
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anzacjack

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Though it is extremely positive that such panels are bringing in UAS users and other relevant players, these people should absolutely not be the ones determining what risks should be addressed. This task should be left to risk mitigation specialists and experienced risk analysts, and only after a careful review and analysis of the appropriate, and scientifically valid, data involved in UAS operations. These actors (UAS users and other such parties) are better suited to address how those hazards may best be addressed, while enacting the least obtrusive mechanisms to achieve such goals.
the people on this panel are made up of exactly the experts you are talking about. One part of this process is identifying any possible risks and working from there. Thanks for your input

I thought I’d just throw it out for so ideas, but the thread doesn’t seem to working out that way so Perhaps this wasn’t the right place to ask.
Cheers

Moderators can you please close this thread.
 
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