A drone crashed into traffic on Wednesday afternoon in Melbourne’s southeast after the operator apparently lost control.
As reported on Ten Eyewitness News, Piero Mercandel was driving home from work when the out-of-control drone struck the side of his car.
Despite the drone, believed to be a Yuneec Typhoon, carrying a price tag close to $2000, the owner is yet to come forward.
‘I wish they had approached me, and apologised, and helped out fixing the car,’ said Mercandel. ‘For something to hit the car like that, out of nowhere, it scared the living daylights out of me.’
Finding the rogue drone’s owner might be a challenging task, with the only clue being two images captured by the drone’s on-board camera showing a residential street over two kilometres away from the crash.
Yuneec advertises the Typhoon as having built-in ‘smart safety’ features, including a GPS geo-fence that restricts the drone from flying more than 90 metres away from the person controlling it.
— Yuneec Aviation (@YuneecAviation) February 3, 2016
Yuneec’s website also reminds its customers always to fly in open areas.
Australian drone safety rules relevant to recreational unmanned flight have been in place since 2002 and call for a common-sense approach when flying.
In summary, these rules are:
- You must only operate the aircraft in your line-of-sight in daylight. Don’t let it get too far away from you.
- You must not fly closer than 30 metres to vehicles, boats, buildings or people.
- You must not fly over any populous area, such as beaches, heavily populated parks, or sports ovals where there is a game in progress.
- If you are in controlled airspace—which covers most Australian cities—you must not fly higher than 400 feet (120 metres).
- You must not fly in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, so keep at least 5.5 km away from airports or aerodromes.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority also released the below video before Christmas, aimed at new drone pilots who may not know the safety rules.
More information can be found on CASA’s website.