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Sausage sizzle drone video now under investigation by CASA


AUSTRALIA’S aviation watchdog has launched an investigation into a video filmed using a drone over a crowded Bunnings carpark and sausage sizzle.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed an investigation was underway into the video posted on YouTube last week.

The video has since been taken down, but not before CASA raised a range of concerns due to alleged breaches of drone regulations including use within 30-metres of people, use out of the line of sight and use over a populous area.

The video depicted the story of a man in a hot tub, who sends his drone to the Bunnings sausage sizzle in Sunbury, Victoria to pick up a snack.

Filmed independently of the retail giant, the filmmaker reportedly sought permission of the sausage sizzle operators to zoom in on their stall.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said people flying drones must understand their obligation to follow safety rules at all times.

“A busy retail car park is never a sensible place to fly a drone,” said Mr Gibson.

“The sausage sizzle attracts people of all ages, including children and the last thing they would expect is a drone dropping in.

“If the drone flyer lost control of the machine right above the people at the sausage sizzle there would be a real risk of injury.”

He said drones could suffer mechanical failure, be hit by a gust of wind or lose radio contact with the controller.

“These are real safety risks and it is the responsibility of the people flying the drone to fly according to the safety rules to minimise any risks to people or property,” Mr Gibson said.

“Drone flyers must understand the rules are contained in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and there are penalties of up to $9000 for proven breaches.”

last year, CASA issued 15 infringement notices to recreational drone users, and delivered about 100 warnings for drone safety breaches.

This year seven fines have been issued for offences such as operating a drone in a controlled airspace, operating at night and within 30-metres of a person.

New regulations for recreational drone use should be in place by the end of the decade, but CASA denies they are becoming a “public menace”.

“With the number of recreational drones increasing we are seeing more safety incidents, but there isn’t a flood of complaints by any means,” Mr Gibson said.

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