Flights of fancy

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - YOUR GENERATION -

THEY are eas­ier to fly than a model air­craft and more af­ford­able than ever, but the Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity (CASA) is keen to re­mind the pub­lic that de­spite be­ing fun, drones are dan­ger­ous.

Drones, or un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles, are pop­ping up ev­ery­where from pho­tog­ra­phy to pizza de­liv­ery, and while they might be­come more com­mon at the park than kites, they are still sub­ject to laws and safety reg­u­la­tions, as CASA spokesman Peter Gib­son ex­plained.

“You can fly a recre­ational drone in the sub­urbs with­out an ap­proval from CASA, but you must fol­low the safety rules,” Mr Gib­son said.

“It’s all about be­ing in con­trol of your drone at all times and not putting peo­ple and prop­erty at risk.

“Never fly over groups or crowds, keep 30m away from peo­ple at all times and never fly near where air­craft are op­er­at­ing.”

Drones are ca­pa­ble of fly­ing at over 50km/h and can in­flict se­ri­ous in­jury, as one fam­ily in the United King­dom found out when a drone hit their 16-month-old baby.

It was be­ing flown by a fam­ily friend, who lost con­trol when the drone clipped a tree and hit baby Os­car, slic­ing open his eye.

Drone fly­ing can be lib­er­at­ing, how­ever it should be done with the rights and safety of oth­ers in mind.

“Have fun fly­ing your drone but please un­der­stand the safety rules are im­por­tant,” Mr Gib­son said.

“Drones can in­jure peo­ple or cause prop­erty dam­age, which is why we have the safety rules.

“Don’t fly a drone near emer­gency sit­u­a­tions like floods, crime scenes or bush­fires. “Use com­mon sense and you won’t put any­one at risk.”

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