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Old Jan 06, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Australia, NSW, Glen Innes
Joined Sep 2011
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CASA Rules for UAV in Australia

Hi All

I'm not sure if this is the right forum or the FPV forum, but I'll start here. Who in Australia has gone doen the road of getting a CASA Operating Certificate for their UAV? The application seems skewed to large scale commercial operators and not one man operators with a camera mounted on a Droidworx frame taking a few air photos of local sporting events or the like.

So my question is so how difficult was the CASA process? Anyone want to share their experiences?

regards
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Old Jan 06, 2012, 06:02 PM
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Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Nov 2011
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I read the CASA rules recently, they are ancient. They have a section on RC aircraft which is more relevant to quads than UAV, as most quads are not UAV they are RC. The RC rules has crazy things like you can't fly at night, or over 400 feet in controlled air space. 400 feet, Australia has been metric since the 1970's!! How many quad fliers with LED strips are not going to fly at night!
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Old Jan 06, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusTelemetry View Post
The application seems skewed to large scale commercial operators and not one man operators with a camera mounted on a Droidworx frame taking a few air photos of local sporting events or the like.
Apparently, size doesn't matter:
UAS aircraft: Flown for air work, including commercial operations, in activities such as aerial photography...
http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dl...::pc=PC_100375

All docs: http://agencysearch.australia.gov.au...e&profile=casa
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Old Jan 07, 2012, 04:33 AM
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Australia, Lord Howe Island
Joined Jan 2010
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Hey everybody.

This is an altered version of what I posted this morning in the adverts section after someone posted selling a " Business" in AUS WITHOUT MENTIONING THAT YOU MUST HAVE AN OC.....

That will / would have been an awful big shock to someone who maybe is a photographer who buys the gear thinking 20 K is not too much and then finds out he needs an OC... I would like to give the guy in the Ad the benefit of the doubt and hope he would have mentioned this to the potential buyers but after deleting my posts I suspect not.

I actually DO NOT have an OC ( operators certificate ) . I do however know the rules as I am a pilot of full sized aircraft and am studying my CPL ( H ) presently with the view to getting a OC in the near future for aerial photography here in AUS .

here are the regs :

http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dl...:c=PC_100374

then this ( the EXACT CASA Regs : )

http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_asset...101/101c01.pdf

cutting to the relevant part for you :

13. OPERATOR CERTIFICATION
13.1 General
13.1.1 An operator intending to conduct commercial operations utilising UAVs must be
the holder of an operating certificate (OC) issued under CASR Part 101. Guidelines for the
issue of OCs are shown at Appendix 3.

then read this :

http://www.flightops.com.au/uav_operations.html

this is a company run by a very nice guy who is an aviation lawyer down here and he will help you get an OC if you are serious... He advised me on JUST HOW HARSH CASA will be if you take money without an OC...

So here is the run down on how it goes ( short version as I have to go out ) :

1. sign up for CPL ( H at somewhere like AFT :

http://aft.com.au/cms/?page_id=152

study the course and pass the Theory exams ( figure 6 months hard study if you do 2 - 3 hours a day solid ) cost : approx 4K

then pay the guy from the aviation law firm ( I will most likely use him when the time comes ) about 2 K for the OPs manual for your operation..


2. pay CASA guy to come see your setup ( cost 4 - 5 K ) and see you fly.
he may or may not pass you based on lots of criteria ( ground station setup / telemetry rules ( see ACMA ) skills in flying etc etc.

3. pay 4 - 5 K PER YR for insurance

4. apply and get the OC

5. set up business and start flying

I am about half way through the CPL ( H ) bit. its not easy at all, and I already have a pilots licence ( A )

wish you luck mate. maybe of more of us get together they will lighten the rules a bit.

Be warned though if you get caught taking cash for AP in AUS without an OC they WILL THROW THE BOOK AT YOU BIG STYLE......

see ya
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Last edited by jetbootz; Jan 07, 2012 at 05:16 AM.
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Old Jan 07, 2012, 05:46 AM
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Australia, NSW, Glen Innes
Joined Sep 2011
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Thanks Jetbootz

From a rough tally up of costs you stated anyone wanting to do some air photography in Australia is going to be in the hole between $14,000 and $16,000 before turning a prop. More if you are starting from scratch and need to get a pilots licence first. Not to mention the annual $5,000 insurance bill.

Add to this the cost of getting set up with a multicopter platform, camera, RC and the associated bits and bobs and suddenly taking a few snaps for beer money seems pointless.

When you say more of us should get together and they will lighten the rules a bit what did you have in mind?
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Old Jan 07, 2012, 07:54 AM
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Australia, Lord Howe Island
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Hi mate

I have been told they may introduce a new set of regs this yr specifically for UAV. who knows though, I am still getting the CPL H as I have no firm evidence of this. Knowing CASA it will still be very tedious and very expensive. hey ho...
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Australia, QLD, Sunshine Coast
Joined Jun 2009
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that is absolutely crazy! are you allowed to use your multicopter to do filming in populated areas for free? (as in literally not getting paid for doing it)
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 06:18 AM
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Australia, Lord Howe Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscillate View Post
that is absolutely crazy! are you allowed to use your multicopter to do filming in populated areas for free? (as in literally not getting paid for doing it)
yes until they catch you and then a very big no. they will confiscate all equipment pertaining to the committing of the offences. and the list of offences is long. getting paid is not the problem. its operating a machine which is basically 6 or 8 food processors with no safety guards on the knives as they spin over peoples heads. and without an OC , you do not have insurance. and if you gouge an eye, opr slit a throat, expect big trouble....

I thought about the whole " AP for free and ill just charge for the ground photo's scam, for about a second, and then ,my senses came to me and I started studying the CPL H........
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Australia, QLD, Sunshine Coast
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thank you for helping me get to my senses more quickly

I was just doing a lot of reading this evening, and it I thought that it seems they don't have too many problems if you're flying a non-commercially small UAV.

I've got some extracts from the CASA laws pertaining to my research:

7.1.1 Provided that a small UAV is operated not above 400ft AGL and remains clear of designated airspace, aerodromes and populous areas, there are no restrictions imposed upon the operation of a small UAV. The operator is responsible for ensuring that the UAV is operated safely and remains clear of potential low level traffic, structures, powerlines etc, except where operation in close proximity is part of an operation authorised on the operatorís operating certificate. The operator should consider the benefit of a thorough
reconnaissance of the proposed route beforehand.

.... A small UAV will not require approval if its operation remains clear designated airspace, aerodromes and populous areas and remains below 400ft AGL....

and obviously this big one:
This approval is not to be confused with an Operator Certificate, which is required for all commercial UAV operations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetbootz View Post
yes until they catch you and then a very big no. they will confiscate all equipment pertaining to the committing of the offences. and the list of offences is long. getting paid is not the problem. its operating a machine which is basically 6 or 8 food processors with no safety guards on the knives as they spin over peoples heads. and without an OC , you do not have insurance. and if you gouge an eye, opr slit a throat, expect big trouble....

I thought about the whole " AP for free and ill just charge for the ground photo's scam, for about a second, and then ,my senses came to me and I started studying the CPL H........
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 06:37 AM
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ok so filming you own house in your backyard with a x650 wobbling all over the sky is fine i give you that... if you chop the neighbours dogs head off you still have no insurance though, so better keep it away from people !

but flying it down the street is populous area. they can have you for that. so I guess it really comes down to the exact circumstances of the bust. and how badly someone has been hurt..

as an Optometrist I can't help but find these sorts of thing : prepare yourself......

http://www.sarawakeyecare.com/Atlaso...ladeinjury.htm

so yeah go ahead. I fly my little quad in a disused area of land a long way from roads / people / houses / schools / kids playing etc etc.

the first tool that blinds someone will ruin the whole gig for us all. just a matter of time I reckon...
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 07:00 AM
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Australia, QLD, Sunshine Coast
Joined Jun 2009
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I appreciate your comments, not sure if i'm misreading your writing style, but you seem a bit hostile, or maybe you're simply expressing your opinion of xaircraft gear

I understand that people doing the wrong thing can be bad for everyone, and potentially cause problems like the graphic images you showed me.

I'm the kind of person that researches stuff beforehand, hence that's why i'm asking these questions to hear the thoughts of others and gain further knowledge

Commercial vs Non-Commercial & if it's Non-Commercial, flying in non-populous areas etc.

Anyway, I really do appreciate your input (I hope I didn't sound hostile!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetbootz View Post
ok so filming you own house in your backyard with a x650 wobbling all over the sky is fine i give you that... if you chop the neighbours dogs head off you still have no insurance though, so better keep it away from people !

but flying it down the street is populous area. they can have you for that. so I guess it really comes down to the exact circumstances of the bust. and how badly someone has been hurt..

as an Optometrist I can't help but find these sorts of thing : prepare yourself......

http://www.sarawakeyecare.com/Atlaso...ladeinjury.htm

so yeah go ahead. I fly my little quad in a disused area of land a long way from roads / people / houses / schools / kids playing etc etc.

the first tool that blinds someone will ruin the whole gig for us all. just a matter of time I reckon...
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 07:23 AM
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Australia, Lord Howe Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscillate View Post
I appreciate your comments, not sure if i'm misreading your writing style, but you seem a bit hostile, or maybe you're simply expressing your opinion of xaircraft gear

I understand that people doing the wrong thing can be bad for everyone, and potentially cause problems like the graphic images you showed me.

I'm the kind of person that researches stuff beforehand, hence that's why i'm asking these questions to hear the thoughts of others and gain further knowledge

Commercial vs Non-Commercial & if it's Non-Commercial, flying in non-populous areas etc.

Anyway, I really do appreciate your input (I hope I didn't sound hostile!)
yep not hostile mate, just done research and am pissed at having to get the same rating as the SAR westpack heli pilots just to have to take realestate photos from 20 feet up...

but yep XA FC's wobble , you got that bit right !

And the graphic photos are just the inevitable that will happen, and screw it for us. I do not think for one minute that someone who bothers to post on here and ask will be the one.. it will be some yahoo gopro weilding bogun that screws it for us... was not meaning to imply you !

To be honest I'm frightened to death of my heli's because I dont trust these flight controllers one bit and I need my eyes to test eyes ...
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 07:28 AM
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Australia, SA, Adelaide
Joined Aug 2011
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Hey everyone.

I've been in contact with CASA in regards to this exact topic... here are the Eligibility criteria for certification as a UAV Controller (my responses in Itallic)

101.295 Eligibility for certification as UAV controller
(1) Only an individual is eligible to be certificated as a UAV controller.
This is understandable.
(2) A person is eligible to be certificated as a UAV controller if he or she:
(a) qualifies for the issue of a radio operator’s certificate of proficiency; and
Not too sure why an Aircraft radio operator’s certificate is needed when there is no Aircraft radio operation with an RC model.
(b) has been awarded a pass in an aviation licence theory examination (other than a flight radio operator’s examination); and
This seems a bit hefty for something which you don’t require for recreational use (hobby).
(c) has been awarded a pass in an instrument rating theory examination; and
There is no instruments to monitor (except battery for example) during a model quad/hex copter flight.
(d) has completed a training course in the operation of the type of UAV that he or she proposes to operate, conducted by the UAV’s manufacturer; and
The quad/hex copters I fly as a hobby are built by myself, and each part manufacturer does not provide any training courses of this nature.
(e) has at least 5 hours experience in operating UAVs outside controlled airspace.
Had a couple of years of quad/hex flights – not too much of an issue.
(3) A person who holds or has held:
(a) a flight crew licence with a command instrument rating; or
Nope, still not really relevant for model flight.
(b) a military qualification equivalent to a licence and rating mentioned in paragraph (a); or
As above
(c) an air traffic control licence, or a military qualification equivalent to an air traffic control licence;
As above.

I fully understand the need for insurance etc for this, especially public liability... but the need to have a Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency, Pass an Aviation Licence Theory Examination and pass an Instrument Rating Theory exam on FULL SIZE AIRCRAFT is just a joke.

As stated in the email I received this month :

• UAV Controllers certification = $160 (in effect your UA pilot's licence)
• OC approval process = $7000-$8000
• plus renewals at the 1, 4, 7 etc anniversary points = $480 (without additional vehicles or information) - we issue initial licences for 1 year; our plan is then to have 3 yearly renewals.


Eeek!
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 07:43 AM
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Australia, QLD, Sunshine Coast
Joined Jun 2009
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thanks mate, the certification is crazy like you're saying, it feels like they're certifying us like as though we're actually riding the quad

I notice that you bought an xa product yourself a while ago, were you using V1 gear? I think their V1 GPS is really what caused the out-lash.

maybe we should consider wearing goggles when we fly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetbootz View Post
yep not hostile mate, just done research and am pissed at having to get the same rating as the SAR westpack heli pilots just to have to take realestate photos from 20 feet up...

but yep XA FC's wobble , you got that bit right !

And the graphic photos are just the inevitable that will happen, and screw it for us. I do not think for one minute that someone who bothers to post on here and ask will be the one.. it will be some yahoo gopro weilding bogun that screws it for us... was not meaning to imply you !

To be honest I'm frightened to death of my heli's because I dont trust these flight controllers one bit and I need my eyes to test eyes ...
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Australia, Lord Howe Island
Joined Jan 2010
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Yep, EEEK is what I thought too !

And holy F*** is what I thought when I received the CPL H course notes from AFT on the sunshine coast. about the same as a degree. oh well, back to the books ......
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