New drone owners told to put safety first

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As drones are once again expected to be a popular gift this Christmas, hundreds, if not thousands of new drone pilots will take to the skies for the first time.

To help educate these new flyers, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has released a new video showing drone rookies how to fly responsibly.

The video, released across the organisation’s social media platforms, covers the basic safety rules operators need to follow.

CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore, says drones are great fun to fly as long as safety is not forgotten.

‘I love flying and I want as many people as possible to enjoy the thrill of taking to the air, whether it is in an aircraft or piloting drone,’ Skidmore says.

‘But in all types of flying safety must always come first. Although recreational drones are small, they can cause injuries to people and they can be a real risk to the safety of other aircraft.

‘If everyone—from kids to adults—follows the simple safety rules they can have fun flying their drones while keeping everyone else safe.’

These key safety rules include keeping your drone in sight and never flying at night, keeping at least 30 metres away from people, buildings and vehicles, not flying over crowds or groups of people and staying below 400 feet.

‘Very importantly, drone operators must not fly in a way that causes a hazard to aircraft,’ says a CASA spokesperson. ‘If a drone operator sees an aircraft nearby, they should ground their drone immediately.’

CASA recently reminded drone hobbyists via social media to keep away from bushfire-affected areas after an incident in America saw firefighting aircraft grounded due to a drone flying nearby.

Find more remotely piloted aircraft safety information on CASA’s website.

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