An Australian guy who delivered a sausage to a mate in a hot tub may be forced to pay a fine of up to AUD$9,000 (about $6,900) for the stunt.
The unnamed quadcopter pilot captured the special delivery in a video that he later posted on YouTube. Trouble was, the nation’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) stumbled across it and didn’t much like the footage it saw.
The video kicks off with the hot tub fella writing out an order note for the cooked sausage, before popping it in a bag along with a $10 bill.
The quadcopter, complete with the tethered note and cash, buzzes from the guy’s home to a barbecue stall at a Melbourne hardware store a mile or so away. The sausage is then placed in the bag before the drone whizzes back to the guy, delivering the food as he relaxes in the hot tub. We don’t at any point see anyone piloting the drone.
The CASA says it’s now examining the footage, and it’s fair to say it wasn’t too pleased to see the remotely controlled copter flying over a highway and close to people, actions that violate the agency’s drone rules.
The pilot behind the video told men’s lifestyle website EFTM he shot it in segments and edited it later, and so never let the drone fly out of his line of sight. That may be the case, but there seems little doubt it flew over a busy road, as well as over a parking lot and barbecue grill where people were milling about – actions which have concerned the CASA.
“A busy retail car park is never a sensible place to fly a drone,” a spokesman for the agency told News Corp. “These are real safety risks and it is the responsibility of the people flying the drone to fly according to the safety rules to minimize any risks to people or property.”
He added that if a drone pilot loses control of their machine while it’s above people, or if it suddenly lost power – a problem seen with GoPro’s recently recalled Karma quadcopter – then “there would be a real risk of injury.”
The CASA is yet to make a decision about whether to hit the pilot with a fine. You can watch the video on EFTM’s site here.
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