The laws and regulations regarding the operation of drones can vary significantly from one area to the next. When footage of a man dangling from a drone to fish hit social media, local authorities weren’t entirely sure how to proceed. It was the first time such an incident had occurred, so an investigation was launched.
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The incident took place in Australia. When video of the drone-based fishing attempt hit social media, according to a report by Unilad, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) weren’t initially sure whether the man broke any laws.
CASA began reviewing the footage to figure it out.
The man hanging from the drone was identified in the video as Sam Foreman. He glided over the Upper Coliban Reservoir, which is located in Victoria, all while seated in an attached chair. In the cup holder on the armrest sat a beer.
Foreman can be seen casting his line in the clip, and even reeling in a fish. The footage also shows the drone carefully setting him back down on dry land.
It isn’t clear whether Foreman actually caught the fish while dangling from the drone or if that was simply some crafty filmmaking.
However, Peter Gibson, a CASA spokesman, warned the public against attempting the stunt, citing serious safety risks based on what can be seen in the video.
“This is a first for Australia, to have a large homemade drone being used to lift someone off the ground,” said Gibson. “It’s really not a sensible thing to do in any way, shape, or form; there’s lots of things that could have gone wrong, someone could have been seriously injured.”
“For the person in the chair, the risk could be computer errors where the aircraft flies away, could be motor failures where the aircraft ends up in an uncontrollable state,” he continued. “Best-case scenario is the battery set dies and it plonks straight into the water.”
It isn’t clear whether the drone-based fishing trip broke any rules.
“It’ll take some time for us to gather the information, analyze all that, determine what the appropriate course of action is,” said Gibson.
Drone regulations are frequently reviewed because the technology changes rapidly. Severe aviation regulation breaches can carry stiff penalties in Australia, including fines over $10,000 AUD.