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Buzzing the roos with a Tricopter near Gungahlin

By johnboy - 12 July 2011 17

Johnathon has emailed to alert us to this awesome video from a Tripcopter buzzing kangaroos around Gungahlin.

It’s really great fun and on Vimeo with this note:

Here is some video of the multiwiicopter.com SCARAB 12 Tricopter getting up close and personal with some Australian Kangaroos.

Please subscribe if you would like to see more videos.

Questions and comments most welcome.

Regards,

John
AP_OZ

kangaroos

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
Buzzing the roos with a Tricopter near Gungahlin
AP_OZ 4:04 pm 13 Jul 11

Hi Troll-Sniffer,

No, this is not a sticking point – I have said numerous times that I operate the aircraft using 2 pilots to ensure I am meeting the requirement of maintaining ‘visual on the aircraft at all times’.

To be more specific on how this is done; the person in command of the aircraft is NOT wearing video goggles and has ‘total control authority’ over the aircraft through an interface cable between the two transmitters (aka buddy cable). This means that he, as the pilot in command, is the primary operator and he can take control of the aircraft at any time without interference from the person with the goggles on.

I hope this clears things up.

Regards,

John.

Postalgeek 3:42 pm 13 Jul 11

ignore the previous inane question posted before reading the thread…

troll-sniffer 2:50 pm 13 Jul 11

AP_OZ said :

johnboy said :

What’s the relevant legislation? Surely it’s safer than regular remote control flight?

Yes, it is absolutely legal under CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) legislation. The policy can be found here:

CASA – Part 101 – http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?WCMS:PWA::pc=PARTS101

To save you time reviewing this document, the regulations state that I MUST only operate the ‘model’ in the following situations:

(a) when the weather is suitable;
(b) clear of the movement areas or runways of an aerodrome;
(c) below 400ft above ground level unless:
(i) clear of controlled airspace, and
(ii) further than 3 nautical miles from any aerodrome:
(d) within sight of the operator at all times;
(e) well clear of populous areas;
(f) at least 30m clear of persons, vessels, vehicles or structures. This can be reduced for persons behind the direction of take off. Other model operators and any assistants or officials may be within this distance; as may vessels, vehicles or structures under their control.
In addition to the CASA regulations I always ensure the aircraft is serviceable through regular maintenance & pre-flight inspections and I operate the equipment in a 2 pilot operation (1 with goggles & the other visual).

In addition to this some reading can be done through the MAAA (Model Aeronautical Association of Australia).
MAAA – MOP066 – http://www.maaa.asn.au/maaa/mop/policy/MOP066%20-%20Policy%20FPVs.pdf

I have thoroughly researched this and it is black and white – no laws are being broken.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

regards,

John

There’s a considerable body of operators who feel that point (d) is your sticking point. As you the operator cannot “see” the model being operated, then technically you are not conforming to the regs. Personally, I feel that a reliable fpv/LOS two person setup is far safer than a traditional LOS setup, especially for multicopters, where the control direction is not always obvious from the ground. But the regs were written prior to the development of these aircraft and may need to be updated. I’d certainly be interested in getting a cast iron ruling from CASA.

The Model Aircraft Association has put out a policy that allows compliance with the legislation: http://www.maaa.asn.au/maaa/mop/policy/MOP066%20-%20Policy%20FPVs.pdf

Basically it states that the Pilot in Command must have LOS view of the aircraft at all times and be able to take immediate control of the aircraft via a buddy system, ie another RC that can be used to assume control if the FPV pilot loses orientation, video link etc.

The regs are pretty clear, i’d suggest that keeping them in mind when operating within sight of other people is probably a good idea.

Postalgeek 2:24 pm 13 Jul 11

FPV legal on private rural properties?

AP_OZ 1:27 pm 13 Jul 11

johnboy said :

What’s the relevant legislation? Surely it’s safer than regular remote control flight?

Yes, it is absolutely legal under CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) legislation. The policy can be found here:

CASA – Part 101 – http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?WCMS:PWA::pc=PARTS101

To save you time reviewing this document, the regulations state that I MUST only operate the ‘model’ in the following situations:

(a) when the weather is suitable;
(b) clear of the movement areas or runways of an aerodrome;
(c) below 400ft above ground level unless:
(i) clear of controlled airspace, and
(ii) further than 3 nautical miles from any aerodrome:
(d) within sight of the operator at all times;
(e) well clear of populous areas;
(f) at least 30m clear of persons, vessels, vehicles or structures. This can be reduced for persons behind the direction of take off. Other model operators and any assistants or officials may be within this distance; as may vessels, vehicles or structures under their control.
In addition to the CASA regulations I always ensure the aircraft is serviceable through regular maintenance & pre-flight inspections and I operate the equipment in a 2 pilot operation (1 with goggles & the other visual).

In addition to this some reading can be done through the MAAA (Model Aeronautical Association of Australia).
MAAA – MOP066 – http://www.maaa.asn.au/maaa/mop/policy/MOP066%20-%20Policy%20FPVs.pdf

I have thoroughly researched this and it is black and white – no laws are being broken.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

regards,

John

Skidbladnir 1:12 pm 13 Jul 11

johnboy said :

What’s the relevant legislation? Surely it’s safer than regular remote control flight?

Relevant civil aviation regs for model caraft apply (I could hunt down an online copy of all of them, but have better things to do…), and while FPV is not ‘frowned upon’ by model flyers, it mostly gets seen as not a positive enough risk management resourcing vs reward equation.

The main reg to be aware of is ‘a person may operate a model aircraft only if the visibility at
the time is good enough for the person operating the model to be able to see it continuously’
.

If you’re wearing a set of gyrosensitive FPV downlink goggles to go in-cockpit rather than achieving direct LOS to your flight model, you can only see forward with limited left\right (servo-dependant), so need another person acting as spotter to actually tell you either if anything is on approach from behind, what is happening below, or if your flight profile is still correct to conditions.

IE: Two people are getting involved in something that doesn’t add an entire second person worth of fun, and as far as the CASA regs are concerned, the FPV goggler is ‘momentarily distracted by a device’ for the entire time they are wearing goggles instead of eyeballing their own aircraft.

Source of knowledge: My next project is hopefully a custom quadrotor with onboard (non-FPV) downlink camera. Project specs are being compiled.

p1 12:56 pm 13 Jul 11

johnboy said :

What’s the relevant legislation? Surely it’s safer than regular remote control flight?

I am also curious as to how putting a otherwise perfectly legal camera on the front of an otherwise perfectly legal RC vehicle could suddenly make it illegal? Is it some sort of anti terrorism thing?

johnboy 12:41 pm 13 Jul 11

What’s the relevant legislation? Surely it’s safer than regular remote control flight?

troll-sniffer 12:30 pm 13 Jul 11

AP_OZ said :

hi – yes its all done using FPV equipment – FPV stands for First person view and involves transmitting the video feed to fly the aircraft – its pretty much like sitting in it. In terms of range I can get out about 500m before my video / control range starts to suffer; It should however be noted that I don’t fly much past 200m as its not really worth the risk of it crashing in long grass and not being able to find it. The other thing that I always do is have someone keeping visual on it at all times to make sure I dont jeopardise safety (and so I can find if I have to do an emergency landing). Like everything else, its all about managing the risk and doing things safely.

@stevian – plenty more videos on the vimeo page that shows off its capabilities. I have also got some great ideas about future videos, so subscribe to the vimeo page if you want a email notification when they are published.

This one was done on a movie set last weekend: http://vimeo.com/26224401

and this one is flying around the bush just outside of Canberra: http://vimeo.com/26153235

Cheers,

John

OK well best not to advertise it as fpv isn’t legal in Straya at the present… not even sure if there are avenues to apply for a licence or if one exists. Keep your head down you should remain un-noticed but best not to get noticed if you know what I mean. Buzzing anything in the suburbs would be looking for trouble, and not good for other owners who are happy to remain out of sight, out of mind.

AP_OZ 11:40 am 13 Jul 11

hi – yes its all done using FPV equipment – FPV stands for First person view and involves transmitting the video feed to fly the aircraft – its pretty much like sitting in it. In terms of range I can get out about 500m before my video / control range starts to suffer; It should however be noted that I don’t fly much past 200m as its not really worth the risk of it crashing in long grass and not being able to find it. The other thing that I always do is have someone keeping visual on it at all times to make sure I dont jeopardise safety (and so I can find if I have to do an emergency landing). Like everything else, its all about managing the risk and doing things safely.

@stevian – plenty more videos on the vimeo page that shows off its capabilities. I have also got some great ideas about future videos, so subscribe to the vimeo page if you want a email notification when they are published.

This one was done on a movie set last weekend: http://vimeo.com/26224401

and this one is flying around the bush just outside of Canberra: http://vimeo.com/26153235

Cheers,

John

troll-sniffer 10:39 pm 12 Jul 11

fpv? not that i’d tell, just interested that’s all… looks like fpv with that degree of control.

clueless70 9:14 pm 12 Jul 11

Slow, low-level flight footage as sharp as this has an uncanny aspect. Maybe it brings to mind dream images of bodily flight. I’d love to see more, maybe turned to slightly more creative purposes than startling roos. The first creative use I can think of is to explore the uncanniness of this point of view by placing the tricopter and its camera in positions that would be just out of reach for a human-sized body, unless it actually could float or fly. How limited is the range of the radio controller?

Stevian 2:11 pm 12 Jul 11

AP_OZ said :

2. The multicopter is very small, light weight and non threatening. This can be seen by the fact I can get close without scaring them – if anything the noise of me and my friends talking and moving was the biggest thing that made them scatter.

Just watch out when they fight back

http://www.snopes.com/humor/nonsense/kangaroo.asp

AP_OZ 1:54 pm 12 Jul 11

Hi Trickyxr,

In response to your questions;

1. The video didnt really do justice to how many roo’s were around that day. In some scenes you can see a whole bunch in the distance.

2. The multicopter is very small, light weight and non threatening. This can be seen by the fact I can get close without scaring them – if anything the noise of me and my friends talking and moving was the biggest thing that made them scatter.

They are such wonderful animals I just wanted to give other people the opportunity to see what they look like up close – especially foreigners.

3. The multicopter is actually surprisingly cheap. You can build one and have it in the air for under $500. If you have more questions or would like to see it in action, please feel free to contact me through my vimeo page where the video is hosted. There is also some other videos on there that demonstrate its capabilities.

Regards,

John

trickyxr 12:36 pm 12 Jul 11

A couple of things
1. I cant believe how many roos there was in some of the footage.
2. How long before someone has a winge about tormenting the poor old roos.
3. how much must the helicoptor be worth it was pretty stable.

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