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CASA amending the UAV regulations

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#1
There are less than 30 CASA accredited UAV operators in Australia. To try and respond to the demand for use in commercial applications without the $15,000 worth of training to get accredited, CASA is amending the regulations so that the UAV weight determines whether a UAV Operators Certificate is required. Hopefully it'll be a sensible number - I'd love to use my Bixler to earn some dough...
 

SteveOBHave

Senior Member
#2
Interesting - I think it's probably a good thing that they're updating the regulations, at least we'll know where we stand from a legal perspective.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#3
There's a lot of potential if that works. Being able to scout property lines for instance. Looking at bridges after a flood or earthquake. Fly over a field on the other side of a river to look for livestock etc. Pretty good opportunities if they make it manageable.
 

SteveOBHave

Senior Member
#7
A better representation of the hobby than the one with TBS in it. That was only bad press. This covered the really good applications and the more level headed pilots driving the tech forward. Hopefully CASA sees the good as something to nurture.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#8
I read that the surf lifesaving drones are only 1m wingspan... Hopefully that doesn't factor into regulations, which I think are mainly being changed to allow this to happen.
 

SteveOBHave

Senior Member
#9
I'm sure that any weight size limitations will be on the higher side. A 1m wingspan plane would be lucky to hit 1kg and if CASA puts a limit on it like that then we're all screwed :D
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#10
1 meter wingspan? It's going to make all FPV Bixlers illegal... I just hope I get some FPV flight time and some money earned on AP before my government decides to block our airspace...
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#11
I hope so... If they base it off the MAAA definition of a 'Park flier' the Bixler won't count:

MAAA Maximum Park Flyer …... An aircraft is considered to be a Park Flier for the
purpose of this MOP if its size weight and power
are ALL less than the following maximum criteria:
Electric Power only.
Rotor 700mm overall (Helis/Gyros)
Wing Span 1220mm (48in) (Fixed Wing)
Weight 1kg (1000gm) (36oz)
Wing Loading 41.7 gm/dm (0.83oz in2)
Power Rating 250watts
Battery 2s LiPo 7.4V 1000mah (30C),
1500mah (20C) 2000 mah (15C)
3s LiPo 11.1V 1000mah (20C)
 
#12
Wow that's pretty specific. I was talking to a chap the during the weekend that I had a bit of a fly with. I was flying one of our AXNs and he pulled out this beautiful 2m 3 channel thermal glider and we got chatting about the law, he said that one of the local officers confiscated some dudes gear for not flying a 'park flyer'. I don't think any of my planes qualify under that, not even my wee delta because that flys on a 3cell 1800mAh batt. I'd hate to be maidening my big wing only to have all my gear taken off me!
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#13
The MAAA's definitions and regulations are 'guidelines' rather than laws. Some states go with these and others have their own defined laws for RC planes. We're lucky in the ACT to be able to fly electric aircraft in public spaces, but I think in most states you're not allowed to at all... They're seldom enforced laws, but I've heard of people in Adelaide who got fined for 'flying an aircraft by remote control' when local residents (rightfully) got cheesed off at them and reported their vehicle registration to the police.

I'm always conscious of what I fly where and when so I'm not responsible for the hobby being legislated here... I think you'd be pretty safe even in Sydney (or anywhere else) if you're being considerate of local residents and other park users.
 
#14
Yeah, if there are kids around then I land pretty promptly or stay to one end of the field. Almost got brained by a magpie last weekend though - they're getting really aggro at the moment.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
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#15
It's odd, there don't seem to be as many magpies swooping yet this year... Didn't see any last Sunday, and haven't been swooped riding to work for weeks either. About 3 weeks ago one of my flying buddies had his pristine AXN smashed by a magpie. Put a few nice holes in it!
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#16
I was swooped while landing a bix recently. No contact. And a smooth landing!

It would be great to see some relaxing of the CASA regs. The tax office isn't interested in hobby income until you've made something like $50k! About time CASA caught up with the ATO!
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#17
They're seldom enforced laws, but I've heard of people in Adelaide who got fined for 'flying an aircraft by remote control' when local residents (rightfully) got cheesed off at them and reported their vehicle registration to the police.
Those same laws made it illegal to fly a paper plane. Crazy.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#18
I'm trying to track down more info on changes to Part 101 of the CASR - the only info on the site is for 3 categories of UAV - 1. micro - for which there is essentially no restrictions; 2. small - for which some restrictions apply based on CASA's distretion; and 3. large - which are essentially the same as for a full sized aircraft.

I found some old info from the early stages of Project 11/20 (review of UAV regulations) about 2 categories - small were defined as <150kg and large were defined as >150kg. I'm very curious about what micro might be, so I've emailed CASA and the project manager for 11/20 for more info on the categories and operational requirements.

It's interesting that these changes are being proposed to come into effect by the end of this month, when there haven't been any concrete proposals to amend the privacy laws to outlaw filming people in their homes/backyards.
 
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lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#20
That's what I was thinking. I got a rapid response from CASA:

John,

Thanks for making contact and your interest in what CASA is doing in relation to UAS classification. You are quite correct in that we are trying to come up with a more pragmatic approach to UAS classes. However, we are still in the very embryonic stages of this. I should be in a better position to provide you with the direction CASA is heading in the next fortnight or so. I am attending a meeting next week to scope this issue out, better define the weight classes and to come up with some outcome timelines.

I will make further contact with you in the coming weeks as the plan unfolds, so please bear with me in the interim.