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  • @Not Sure....

    I have been in conversation with CASA as well over the last couple of weeks too...

    From my understanding, RPAs are for commercial gain (i.e. it is for a business or earning a profit).

    Model aircraft are for hobbist. Refer to this page...

    In the current AC101c01 (refer to the link below), in paragraph 7.1.1:

    "Provided that a small UAV is operated not above 400ft AGL and remains clear of designated airspace, aerodromes and populous areas, there are no restrictions imposed upon the operation of a small UAV"

    However my understanding is that under the current rules a remote operator qualification is still required.

    My understanding is that the proposed change is to remove this requirement for < 2kg RPAs; however, as soon as your step outside of these standard operating procedures (i.e. > 400ft AGL, over populated areas, outside of visual range) the requirement for remote operator qualification is now required along with the various other CASA requirements and education that you mentioned. Also, CASA have assessed the risk associated with small RPA and I believe this are rated low (within the standard operating procedures)...

    This change in CASA rules only effect people that want to have a business or make profit from small RPAs. As hobbists, you are not effected by these changes (as you have to operate with in the requirements of model aircraft - < 400ft AGL, within visual LOS etc)..

    So it is still not possible to do the long kms worth of FPV flying with or without an autopilot etc as a hobbist anywhere within Australia..

  • PPLA theory can be easily self taught by reading an aviation PPLA theory book (e.g. taitie's books) over a couple of weeks for an hour a night.  People can then sit the exam at an approved examinations centre for a couple of hundred dollars.  It was 80% pass competency in my day, it's less now.  It's honestly not that difficult.  It opens up understanding on aviation, even if it only has small a relevance to UAS operation, it does empower an operator in how to share the airspace with other aviators.  UAS is commercial aviation, it's not RC hobby aviation.  It's just that UAS operators happen to use remote links with their aircraft.

  • Ah, Ok that makes sense now :)

    I do think that the CASA proposed regs do make things too loose. But the current situation of needing a PPL to operate a 2kg quad is silly too.

  • I disagree with both the petition response, and the CASA proposal. 

    People need to do some hard work to become commercial rated pilots, whether it be UAS or Manned, instead of having exemptions handed out willy-nilly in open season. 

  • Yep, good thought Badman.
    Mr Not Sure - I'm not quite sure where you are coming from. Is it Mark's addendum or the original regs CASA has proposed that you disagree with. Your points about experience and training are well put, but the whole point is that freeing up the under 2kg market completely is going to be trouble and some sort of licensing and control should be expected and indeed is desired.

  • Only thing I would change there is a commercial operator should have insurance no matter what size boat they put in the air.
  • Like any proposal, there are both sides of the fence, I disagree with the above petition. 

    This is my reason(s) why:

    I can make in my shed an RC plane less than 1kg that will do easily 200+km/hr. 

    It does not have to be certified, nor does it have to have a maintenance schedule, nor do I have produce a manufacturer specifications that outlines it's Vne, MTOW, flight envelope, environmental limits ete. (cause it's an RC plane, they fall through some black void in regulations for manufacturer specs.)

    I can put a 1g CMOS camera on it, and have a fuzzy transmitter on a frequency for least 100ft on 5.8, but better still, let's put it on 2.4, the same as an command RC transmitter frequency (why? because I know nothing of RF saturation, and LIPD says I can.  But my lack of formal training shows my skills of ignorance shines bright)... 

    I can fly! (let's face it, CASA doesn't need to see me prove my flying proficiency for a 2kg "drone", it doesn't care about RC planes, it just palms that catagory off to Rec flying, and self governing organisations such as the MAAA?.  And because I said I can fly RC, I don't have to prove my knowledge of air law, regulations or how to communicate with other manned aircraft in the sky. 

    So let me loose with my 300km/hr camera platform, and poorly tuned PID's

    ..I has a UAV.

    So because someone said I has a UAV, I see absolutely no issues with regulating a UAS industry by weight and lack of piloting quals/OC/approved SOP's/spectrum management/CFM/Air Regs/insurance at all....

  • While I don't agree with everything stated in the petition and have no interest in operating commercially, I'll probably sign up anyway.  The high risk group are not those looking at moving into commercial operation where a certain amount of professionalism is expected, even if they come from a photography background instead of model aircraft.  Running a business requires an ability to comply with many regulations, maintain documentation, formalise procedures and policies, deal with multiple levels of government and to manage operations.  These barriers to entry help keep the idiots out.

    With easy access to <2kg quads that are ridiculously easy to fly it is far too late for CASA to gain control of personal or hobby usage.  The actual risks to other airspace users and the public is extremely low, despite that horror stories that some like to present.  There are a large number of small RPAs flown by hobbyists and a very few incidents.

    CASA should be working immediately on education while continuing to develop regulations.  Education is far more important than regulation at the hobby/personal use level and for some commercial operators that come from professions that wouldn't normally deal with CASA.  Some basic understanding of relevant regulations, safety, and a technical knowledge that provides an understanding of the limitations of equipment are essential.  Idiots flying near airports or in city centres because that didn't know that they shouldn't might be small in number but their negative impact is huge.  Concepts like the basics of radios, failsafe, LIPO safety, pre-flight checks, common pitfalls, risk management, understanding privacy concerns, etc. are fundamental and easily covered in a guide book that should be required reading.  It should not require membership of some model aircraft association that has shown no interest in this type of models and provides training that might get "wings" but isn't relevant to multirotors or the advanced gear in use...  It doesn't help that the clubs are not setup for the number of people getting into small multirotors.

    The general public (including children) getting access to some of the ready to fly quad packages through general retailers is a disaster waiting to happen.  Requiring a guide be provided at the point of sale would greatly reduce the risks, even if not everyone reads them.  It isn't difficult at all to learn the basics.

  • Mark is both an accomplished UAV operator (as shown on Aussie TV rally coverage) AND a commercial pilot. His comments and suggestions to CASA make a lot of sense and I encourage anyone looking to operate commercially here in Oz to read his submission and make let CASA know what you think about their proposed update to UAV regulations.

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