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Drone flyer diary

image: Melanie Olsen holding a Chasing M2 Pro drone, December 2022 | Australian Institute of Marine Science, Marie Roman

Drone flyer diary – Melanie Olsen

When Melanie Olsen was just a kid growing up on a farm, she couldn’t have dreamt she’d go on to work with drones in...

Drone flyer diary: Dean West

Meet Dean West, a Darwin-bred dad-of-four and veteran, whose day job involves supporting emergency services and averting disasters with the aid of cutting-edge drone...

Drone flyer diary: Roberto Lujan Rocha

Meet Roberto Lujan Rocha: an environmental scientist by trade, and a passionate drone enthusiast by heart.

Drone flyer diary: Matt Sturdy

Australia has emerged as a global hub for drone innovation, with beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations taking center stage. Leading this revolution is Matt...
a group of lifeguards looking at a drone

Drone flyer diary: Oliver Heys

Never work a day in your life. For many of us, Oliver Heys has scored the job of a lifetime. Picture this: soaring a Mavic 3...
drone flying

Drone flyer diary: Ronnie Fahy

A modern-day entrepreneur exploring the future of aerial intelligence. The 1985 film, Back to the Future, promised us flying cars and hoverboards by the turn...

Drone flyer diary: Renee Bartolo

Sitting in a shipping container during a Tasmanian winter is Dr Renee Bartolo, who is prepping remote pilots for a voyage down to Antarctica...
A student operating a drone in a field

Drone flyer diary: Philip Sargeson

Drone education – future proofing the industry Located in southeast Queensland, approximately 130 km from Brisbane, lies a charming town called Warwick. At Warwick Christian College,...
Rudi and Ben working on a shoot for Maritimo using their DJI Inspire 3

Drone flyer diary: Rudi and Ben

Drone racing to Hollywood aerial photography Captivated by the world of aviation at a young age, Rudi and Ben began their drone flying careers with...
Peter from Aspect UAV flying the drone along the beach

Drone flyer diary: Melissa Hele

Managing weeds from great heights A decade of working in the environmental conservation industry has shown Melissa Hele, Sunshine Coast Council’s current Invasive Weeds Project...
Andrew Tridgell setting up VTOL aircrafts with ArduPilot software

Drone flyer diary – Andrew Tridgell

The future of managing bushfires with drones The 21st century has proved that drones are highly versatile in serving a multitude of purposes. From thrilling drone...

Drone flyer diary – Dominic Papasergio

Dominic Papasergio's love for all things aviation spans over 40 years, stemming from when his brother was a pilot in the United States throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
AirSeed’s chief ecologist Charlotte Mills and chief remote pilot Ru Maka at a project site in Queensland

Drone flyer diary – Ru Maka

Combating climate change with drone technology Ru Maka has had a keen interest in drone technology since 2016. After working in a variety of drone-related roles,...
Student ambassador Josh teaching youth from Armidale about drone safety.

Drone flyer diary – Jackie Carpenter

Using drones to help students thrive through STEM Jackie Carpenter is Founding Director of the One Giant Leap Australia Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that advances...
Swarm flight in progress.

Drone flyer diary – Roger Fairest

Roger Fairest is the chief remote pilot and finance manager for 'Drone That', a Brisbane-based organisation that specialises in using drones to manage vegetation across southern Queensland.
John Coulombe working with the ADF on emergency and disaster training.

Drone flyer diary – John Coulombe

John Coulombe is a California-born environmental scientist with broad experience in many industries, including being a professional firefighter in the United States and a bike mechanic in Switzerland.
The happy drone flyers of Mueller College

Drone flyer diary – Anthony Banks

The passionate teacher creating a pathway for the pilots of the future. We first came across Anthony Banks and the great work he does at...
Kane Leussink flying his DJI Mavic Mini

Drone flyer diary – Kane Leussink

A young recreational drone flyer finds enjoyment and fun spending time outdoors and having a new perspective from the sky Kane Leussink is a 17-year-old...
Michael Pacchini is the chief remote pilot for UAVAir

Drone flyer diary – Michael Pacchini

A passionate drone pilot creating opportunities in the aviation industry for students Michael Pacchini is the chief remote pilot for UAVAir, a training provider that...

Drone flyer diary – Isaac Mannion

Drones successfully engaging STEM students in the classroom Isaac Mannion is a dedicated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teacher at Riverina Anglican College, Wagga...
Left to right: SLSNT CEO Samantha Farrow, SLSNT Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Pilot Tom Caska, Westpac Regional General Manager Lisa Grundy.

Drone flyer diary – Samantha Farrow

The Australian drone industry recently reached a new milestone, with Surf Life Saving Northern Territory (SLSNT) approved by CASA as the 2,000 th remotely...
Wayne Condon conducting pre-flight checks for HQ Plantations, fire operations and intel gathering.

Drone flyer diary – Wayne Condon

There seems to be a common theme occurring in aviation at the moment: former manned aircraft pilot sees a golden opportunity to fly drones...

Drone flyer diary – Paul Hardy

Working along some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, saving lives, and providing important surveillance on marine animals and our coral coastline. Sounds like a...

Drone flyer diary – Rob Whittle

Starting a new job is exciting at the best of times but starting a new job during the Covid-19 pandemic is according to Rob...

Drone flyer diary- Brett Glosko

Who says public service jobs are boring? For Brett Glosko, who started his career in the Queensland Government 23 years ago, the benefits of...

Drone flyer diary – Tom Raimondo

Fact: Australia has rocks dating from over three billion years ago. Fact: An ancient supervolcano in South Australia’s Gawler Ranges contains a lava field 500...

Tackling one wetland at a time

Mitigating the mosquito issue with drones – reducing risk and cost and improving efficiency The City of Bayswater Council is working closely with drone specialist...
Cover image: John Fardoulis using an industrial drone to find buried landmines by measuring temperature anomalies in the sand — more than 30,000 landmines remain active at that location in northern Chad

Drone flyer diary – John Fardoulis

For John Fardoulis, it was discontent with his career in business and publishing that led him to his dream job as an international specialist...
Jaiden and his business partner Byron Leal flying their DJI Phantom 4 drone

Drone flyer diary – Jaiden Maclean

A new perspective on drone fishing catches on It all started with a blog – Sea Ulcer – that captured the ocean adventures of 4...
One of Skycam Media’s experienced drone pilot onsite preparing for flight.

Drone flyer diary – Dean Casciato

Drones reduce safety risks across a range of industries After working in commercial TV as a camera assistant for 15 years, Dean Casciato decided to...

Drone flyer diary – Sue Osborn

By Sarah Guttler Imagine coordinating the largest drone light display in the southern hemisphere In early January, this became a reality for Sue Osborn from Mirragin...

Drone flyer diary – Debbie Saunders

As she searches from the skies, Dr Debbie Saunders can be on the lookout for animals as diverse as missing koalas, endangered Vietnamese pangolins...
Phil De Glanville | image: supplied

Drone Flyer Diary – Phil De Glanville

Accelerating from designer to award-winning drone photographer Phil De Glanville’s reputation as a leading photographer took flight when he was named a category winner...
Production Company Owner, Corey Roberts filming from a helicopter in the early days of his career.

Drone Flyer Diary – Corey Roberts

Architect’s career takes off with drones For many commercial drone operators, flying drones was once a hobby that merged into something more. For Corey Roberts, flying...
Adam Grant with drone

Drone Flyer Diary – Adam Grant

Drone operation offers ‘next level’ skillset In this edition of Drone Flyer Diary, we talk to Canberra cinematographer Adam Grant about how drones are fast...
Farewell voyage of the icebreaker Aurora Australis from Hobart.

Drone Flyer Diary – Craig Garth

Flying high for local government In this edition of Drone Flyer Diaries, we talk to Tasmanian drone pilot Craig Garth about finding his professional wings...
image | Ricketts Point, Chris Robert Perry

Drone Flyer Diary – Victorian Drone Flyers

‘We were just two guys flying drones in an empty paddock,’ says Chris Robert Perry, describing the humble beginnings of the Victorian Drone Flyers...

Drone Flyer Diary – Adam Smith

Drone photographer Adam Smith’s Instagram feed is an influencer’s dream: curated scenes of stunning sunsets, swarming sharks and wonderous whales. Adam travels extensively along the...
Opera House

Drone Flyer Diary – Andrew Reitsma

While Qantas' A380s continue to hibernate in the Mojave Desert in the USA, the staff who flew these magnificent birds are not sitting idle. Pilot...

Drone Flyer Diary – Grant Cameron

Using 'tech for good' is a mantra drone operator Grant Cameron likes to live by. Kamilaroi man Grant is manager of the Indigenous Digital Excellence...
Thomas Bitmatta with drones he flies: (left) a JS-1 racing drone; (right) the XM2 Interceptor designed for shooting videos.

Drone Flyer Diary – Thomas and Paul Bitmatta 

Back in the day, typical father-son bonding activities probably brought to mind fishing, camping and working on cars. The hands-on hobbies involving building and technical skills still prevail,...
Racing drones taking off from the starting blocks at a Canberra Multirotor Racing Club race day.

Drone Flyer Diaries – Henry Corbell 

It was a YouTube video captured in a French forest that first caught the eye of Henry Corbell, a young tech enthusiast from Canberra. The...
Jade King, drone operator and finger lime farmer.

Drone Flyer Diaries – Jade King 

If you found yourself watching MasterChef last year (both the adults and kids’ versions), you may have noticed Australian native foods were at the forefront of some amazing...

Drone Flyer Diaries – Amanda Meys

With CASA’s commercial drone registration deadline just around the corner, Amanda Meys, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) chief remote pilot, was...
adult female green turtles at Raine Island

Drone Flyer Diaries – Andrew Dunstan

Back in July, the world’s media was captivated by mesmerising drone footage of thousands upon thousands of white-striped turtles swimming through the Great Barrier...
Jackie Dujmovic flying a drone

Drone diaries – Jackie Dujmovic

For Jackie Dujmovic, the career transition to drone operator was a no brainer. After spending years working at sea in the international global maritime industry...
Gavin Broadbent with custom gimbal for hyperspectral camera

Drone diaries – Gavin Broadbent

The total impact on Australian homes, people, flora and fauna from this Summer's bushfires will not be known for some time. However, research conducted...
Chief remote pilot Anthony Wallgate from Fire and Rescue NSW

Drone Flyer Diaries – Anthony Wallgate

The message from Anthony Wallgate, chief remote pilot for Fire and Rescue NSW, is strong and clear: ‘Using your drone near a fire puts...

Drone Flyer Diaries — Jaimen Hudson

Jaimen Hudson is an enthusiastic pilot of drones who flies at Esperance in Western Australia—from his wheelchair. He didn’t let a motorbike accident in 2008...
Lieutenant Colonel Keirin Joyce, Australian Army Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Sub-Program Manager

Drone Flyer Diaries – LTCOL Keirin Joyce

With an extensive career in engineering and helicopters, Lieutenant Colonel Keirin Joyce was at first unsure about being involved in a new drone program...

Drone articles

Vertical challenger

The designers of what is planned to be Australia's first certified advanced air mobility aircraft say technology and safety go hand in hand. Safety was...
Fire fighting helicopter dropping water against a smoky orange sky.

Stay away from bushfires

El Niño adds weight and urgency to our annual bushfire warning. Summer 2023–24 has started early, it seems, with scorching September temperatures on Australia’s east...
Technical illustration of a drone

The unseen hand: automation, human factors and drones

Margo Marchbank talks to industry professionals on how the powerful combination of automation, human capabilities and human limitations affects uncrewed aviation in unique ways. There's...
abstract technology, drones diagram and futuristic aircraft.

Aviation 2.0

Uncrewed aerial systems have been at the centre of Dr Reece Clothier’s professional life since it began.
Woman holding a drone

Different but the same

Fiona Church has been a bush pilot, Qantas pilot and now a drone operator. Success in these diverse fields has 3 common ingredients, she says...

New regulatory roadmap for drones and advanced air mobility in Australia

We’re paving the way for remotely piloted aircraft (drones) and advanced air mobility (AAM) in Australia with our new regulatory roadmap. With the rapidly growing...
person flying a drone

Five tips when hiring a drone professional

More and more industries are now using drones to improve their business. From farming and mining to wedding photographers and search and rescue, they are...

Drone technology – the next step forward for safer beaches

A shark is spotted. The alarm echoes. You run out of the water. You’re safe! Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes...

Preparing for tomorrow’s skies, today

Are you working on something new for aviation? If so, we’d love to hear from you. We’re calling on designers, manufacturers, inventors and other people...
Drone safety classroom resources now available

Drone safety to be taught in schools

School students across Australia can build their skills as next-generation pilots through an innovative safety campaign being launched by CASA Children represent a growing proportion...

Android RePL now available

Android users are now able to store a digital copy of their remote pilot licence (RePL) on their devices, using Google Pay. Previously, a digital...
person looking at a drone safety app on their mobile phone

New drone safety apps

Five new CASA-verified drone safety apps are now available for recreational and commercial drone operators to download and use. The apps give users location-based information...
Fire fighting helicopter dropping water against a smoky orange sky.

Stay away from bushfires

With the bushfire season already upon us, it’s time to remind all pilots – commercial, recreational and drone – to stay away from bushfires...
People with a drone

What Donny taught me about drones

Pilots’ core skills are transferrable across the entire sector of aviation Many years ago, I was sent on a helicopter flight for an article about...
drone safety sign at Alice Springs airport

CASA sponsors drone safety signs

A new round of sponsorship to promote drone safety is now open. CASA is accepting applications from individuals, organisations, local government councils and airports to...
Octocopter drone flying against a dusk sky.

Drones – beyond visual line of sight ops

CASA is developing guidance to help drone pilots conduct operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Currently, we assess these applications from holders of a...

Down-to-earth wisdom

An airline captain makes a coronavirus career change to drones and discovers his training in human factors and non-technical skills is just as valuable on...
drone registration

Drone registration and operator accreditation – it’s the law

If you fly a drone or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) for business or as part of your job, it must be registered and its...

Drone registration and operator accreditation

With more drones in Australian skies, mandatory drone registration and operator accreditation are on the way to help make flying safer and more enjoyable...

Shark spotter drone warns surfer

Summer is officially nearly two months away, but drones are already proving their worth in detecting sharks near Australian beaches. Drone footage emerged last week...
Wayne Condon

Preparing for the bushfire season  

In the wake of the devastating 2019–20 bushfire season, fire crews and emergency services across the country have been busily preparing as summer approaches. In...
Woman preparing to fly a drone.

Test your knowledge on drones

How well do you know the rules about flying your drone? For instance, can you fly over a crowded beach to get that great...

Drones watch over beaches

If you’re at a popular beach this summer, you may see a drone flying overhead. And if you manage to spot the operator, you might...

Drone safety is personal for Meg

Aviation seemed the furthest thing from Meg Kummerow’s rural childhood in the Central Burnett region, of central western Queensland. ‘My background is in agriculture:...

Drones—what’s next?

It is the year 2030 at a busy coastal international airport. From the top of the terminal building, commuter drones taxi incoming passengers to...

US Air Force unveils robot pilot

A robot flew a Cessna 206 for two hours on 9 August as part of a US Air Force project to develop a drop-in...

Changes to drone safety app

CASA is changing the way we provide information about where you can legally operate your drone in Australia. CASA will retire its Can I...

CASA will consider Uber Air proposal on merit

Melbourne commuters could be travelling in a pilotless flying taxi by 2023, and CASA is working with the organisation involved in this ambitious project....

Drone delivers human kidney for transplant

There’s a new entry on the growing list of things drones do: live organ transfers. Last month a drone delivered a human kidney for transplant...

Tomorrow’s drones taking off into ‘cloud’

Remotely piloted aircraft of the future would fly in the cloud, experts told the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems Exploring an Unmanned Future conference...

Change in the air for drones

CASA is reviewing how it manages remotely piloted aircraft systems as the sector evolves and grows When Flight Safety Australia first discussed drones, the story...

Drone registration consultation opens – have your say

Consultation is now open on CASA’s proposed new registration and accreditation scheme for drones. We are introducing a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPA...

Boeing reveals drone network plans

Boeing is teaming up with an artificial intelligence software developer SparkCognition to produce and develop a sense-and-avoid traffic management system to integrate drones and...

DJI drone safety bulletin

CASA has issued a safety bulletin with a difference. It’s for drones. The bulletin, RPAS-SB-18/01 Issue 1, applies to DJI drones fitted with TB50 and...

Challenge sums up years of drone history and growth

To see how far unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have come in the past 12 years look no further than Dalby, on the Queensland...

What drone is right for you?

Thinking of getting into droning? Wouldn’t mind spending some time flying an aircraft remotely? Is it as fun as it looks? What’s the best...

Boeing drone to fuel navy jets

The US Navy has picked Boeing to supply unmanned tanker aircraft. The navy last week awarded a $US805 million ($A1.1 billion) development contract for...

More than a ‘noisy tape measure’

Remotely piloted aircraft systems are adding speed and accuracy to aircraft accident investigation Use the words ‘drone’, ‘accident’ and ‘investigation’ in the same sentence and...

Keep your drone away from bushfires

A drone flown over a Northern Rivers bushfire on Saturday caused the NSW Rural Fire Service to ground all firefighting aircraft in the area. Flying...

Drones on the range in wild bird round-up

Engineers at Caltech, the California Institute of Technology, have developed software they say enables drones to herd birds, potentially reducing the risk of birdstrike...

Rules apply when you fly—CASA’s new drone safety animation

Drones provide hours of flying fun but understanding the safety rules is essential before taking off. With drones more popular than ever, the Civil Aviation...

High-flying aircraft to run on sunshine for a year

Defence and aviation giant BAE Systems is developing an unmanned aircraft that can fly for up to a year. BAE Systems has signed an agreement...

A billion aircraft: the future of drones

If US futurist Thomas Frey is right, in only 12 years drones will be as ubiquitous as cars. Frey says there will be 1...

Test your drone knowledge

Do you fly a drone for fun? Do you know the rules so you can fly safely? Test your knowledge with the new CASA...

Video shows safety side of dynamic drone industry

If you want to make your living out of flying drones, or just want a summary and overview of a dynamic new sector of...

Drone hotspots

Contributor and licensed remote pilot Craig Newlyn tracks down some places where drones and manned aircraft need to take particular care Drones are everywhere and...
Picture of Westpac Little Ripper

Drone rescue a world first

A drone rescued two swimmers from a NSW beach yesterday in a mission believed to be the first of its type. Lifeguards from Surf Life...

Boeing to test refuelling drone

Boeing will demonstrate an unmanned aircraft capable of refuelling carrier-based US Navy jets, according to an announcement from the company. The US Navy has been...

Ho, ho, ho, careful with that drone

It’s that time of year again, when drones can be found under Christmas trees and a generation of new pilots takes its first multirotor solo...

Armed but not dangerous: prize-winning drone set to save millions

Drones are very useful devices for dull, dirty or dangerous tasks, but one thing they could not do was match the human ability to...