With the popularity of drones on the increase, knowing the
do’s and don’ts of taking to the skies in this unmanned
aerial vehicle is a good idea. Here are a few things to
consider if you’re getting a drone as your next model
• Drone use in Australia is managed by the Civil Aviation
Safety Authority (CASA). CASA distinguishes between
model aircraft (drones used for fun) and remotely
piloted aircraft (drones use for business or research),
depending on what you do with it.
• You don’t need formal qualifications to operate a
drone for fun, but you do need to follow some rules.
Only fly your aircraft in your line of sight and during
daylight hours and don’t fly over heavily populated
areas, like beaches or other people’s backyards.
• There is currently no guidance on how the privacy of
individuals can be protected from remotely piloted
aircraft. However increasing concerns that people
might be filmed by drones in their own backyards
without consent mean legislative reform may come
• If you plan to fly a drone for business, currently
you need an unmanned aerial vehicle controller’s
certificate and unmanned operator’s certificate,
but CASA may exempt commercial remotely piloted
aircraft under two kilograms from certification
requirements this year.
• It’s an offence to carry out a commercial activity in a
Commonwealth reserve, so if you are flying a drone for
business purposes, stay away from National Parks.
Thanks to the team at Marque Lawyers for their great
KEEN ON A DRONE AS YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT?
Fire & flight don’t mix
The risk of fire from on board LiPo
batteries is real for every model aircraft
pilot as a couple of recent incidents
A large IMAC aerobatic model was lost
when it rapidly nosedived into a heavily
wooded area and caught fire after
the elevators appeared to be affected
by some on board problem causing a
‘porpoising’ movement in flight. Club
members used fire extinguishers to put
out the fire and the Rural Fire Brigade
made the area safe.
The final investigation concluded that the
elevator servo may have ‘shorted’ – the
likely cause of the ‘porpoising’ – and the
resultant high amperage drain on the
batteries (LiPos) probably contributed to
In another incident a member was
practising aerobatics and lost control
due to disorientation. The electric
powered ‘Boomerang 40’ model was lost
when it crashed in the flying area and
The fire rapidly spread and the local fire
brigade had to extinguish it. The field’s
fire breaks successfully kept the fire
controlled within the field’s boundaries.
The investigation concluded the fire was
almost certainly caused by the onboard
LiPo batteries igniting on impact.
FIRE & FLIGHT