Being a trained Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAs) Pilot is fantastic, according to Paul. Not only has he made new friends through his recent FPV Australia course in Sydney, the topic of RPAs (also known as a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV) has been a great way to start discussions about our current journey around Australia.
In fact, quite a few of the bigger discussions that Paul has had have started by someone asking him about his own RPAs and its capability. Paul has also been able to help some people understand the laws around drones.
Unfortunately, there was a situation recently while Paul was flying his drone legally, testing the lens filters that we had just received. Thankfully Kirstine was acting as Paul’s spotter and noticed that another person had decided to get out his own drone and started flying it towards ours from less than 30m away. Kirstine let Paul know where it was in relation to Paul (as a good spotter should) and he returned his unit to the ground. The fact that the new person decided to fly his drone directly into the path of Paul’s and within about 15m at one stage as well as flew over the top of Paul where he was standing, understandably upset him. He decided to not say anything as he didn’t want to make a scene.
Later on, we were walking around the edge of the river near where we were staying, when the same person decided to fly his drone directly above our family. Our eldest daughter received a small drone for her birthday, (we’ve created a monster – FYI), and actually said that this other person was not flying in a safe manner. She didn’t like it and felt scared. That was when Paul decided to go and have a quiet conversation with the hobby flyer. As you would expect from an arrogant person, when Paul politely raised concerns for our family in relation to his flying techniques he just brushed Paul off and told him “how does it affect you” and to just “keep walking”. This person could not care less that he had flown his drone into the path of another, and was in breach of regulations.
There ARE rules around where and when you can fly a drone, based on its weight. In this case he was breaking at least 3 laws. But that is enough about other people having a negative affect on us. Suffice to say, just because you can afford a drone, doesn’t entitle you to fly it how you like. Please, educate yourself, or even better, contact FPV Australia and complete their CASA Approved course.
On a positive note, Paul got to put his training and experience to the test whilst we were in Gundagai. We found some very old bridges (vehicle and rail) which showed potential of being part of some fantastic pictures. Paul did all the things a trained RPAs Pilot should do. He checked his location on Oz Runways to make sure he could legally fly there. He had his Icom supplied Airband radio on him so that he could listen to any aircraft in the area. He laid out his Mongrel Gear Australia Landing Zone mat on the ground to highlight where he would land. He checked the weather and did all the safety checks on the Mavic Pro prior to take off. Kirstine was his spotter. The result was a fun and safe flight for the DJI Mavic Pro. Keep an eye on our You Tube channel for the footage once Paul has had a chance to edit it!