CAA regulations Part 101.
(1) not operate an aircraft that is more than 25 kg and always ensure that it is safe to operate.
(2) at all times, take all practicable steps to minimise hazards to persons, property and other aircraft (i.e. don’t do anything hazardous).
(3) fly only in daylight.
(4) give way to all manned aircraft.
(5) be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (e.g., not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone), to ensure separation from other aircraft (or use an observer to do this in certain cases).
(6) not fly your aircraft higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level (unless certain conditions are met).
(7) have knowledge of airspace restrictions that apply in the area you want to operate.
(8) not fly closer than four kilometres from any aerodrome (unless certain conditions are met).
(9) when flying in controlled airspace, obtain an air traffic control clearance issued by Airways Corporation of New Zealand.
(10) not fly in special-use airspace without the permission of the controlling authority of the area (e.g. military operating areas, low flying zones or restricted areas).
(11) have consent from anyone you want to fly above.
(12) have the consent of the property owner or person in charge of the area you want to fly above.
A thorough assessment of any intended operation will be conducted prior to the flight in order to ensure Civil Aviation Rules that apply to the operation are adhered to. Once this assessment has been conducted we will decided whether we can operate under Part 101.
Generally if we cannot meet any of the requirements under Part 101, then the operation will need to be certificated under Part 102.
To obtain a Part 102 certificate, we will need to make an application to the CAA that includes an assessment of the risks, and proposed risk mitigation measures that satisfies the Director that the operation can be conducted safely, and does not pose undue risk to members of the public and to property. See CAA advisory circular AC102-1 for details.
Operators have an overarching obligation to minimise hazards to persons, property and other aircraft. Even if an operator complies with all rules they are still obliged to make sure that they do not operate their aircraft in a hazardous manner. Operators must take all practicable steps to minimise hazards to persons, property and other aircraft. This means operators need to plan their flights and ensure that they contemplate the various hazards that exist or could arise during their flight. Things that could be considered hazardous include:
(a) flight over gatherings of people or in proximity to crowds, irrespective of whether or not those people have given permission for the flight to be conducted over them.
(b) flight over property including buildings, structures, installations and vehicles where people may be present and could be harmed in the case of power, command and control, or propulsion failure;
(c) flights over roads or highways or other areas;;
(d) flight in inappropriate weather or visibility conditions that could lead to loss of control;
(e) flights undertaken when the aircraft is not airworthy or correctly maintained (e.g. batteries not fully charged, range check not carried out, or pre-flight check including establishing “return home” set up not undertaken);.
(f) operating when not fit to do so, either because of impairment, fatigue or as a result of a physical or mental health condition;
(g) flights undertaken in areas where the radio spectrum is in the 2.4 GHz range, and is known to be unreliable (e.g. some areas near the waterfront in Auckland and other areas of Christchurch. Local MFNZ clubs have good knowledge of such possible sites);
(h) flights undertaken without proper range testing prior to each operation. In some cases it will not be possible to minimise the hazard to a point where it is safe to fly. For example, operating over crowds or gatherings of people who have given consent to the operation could still be hazardous if there is limited ability to land the aircraft safely in the event of system failure. Flying other than in accordance with the rules will always be considered hazardous. This is includes things such as:
(i) flying in special purpose airspace without the controlling authority’s agreement (e.g. low flying areas, military operating area, restricted area or mandatory broadcast zone); Advisory Circular AC101-1 Revision 0 27 July 2015 10 CAA of NZ
(j) flights undertaken when the operator is unaware of the specific airspace requirements for their area of operation;
(k) flights that take place without appropriate air traffic clearances or airfield operators’ permission that disrupt other air operations.
Operators should consider privacy and courtesy concerns, to ensure they do not cause a public nuisance or commit offences for breaches of the rules, operating carelessly or for causing unnecessary endangerment.
We carry a comprehensive first aid kit.
We carry a dry powder fire extinguisher.
Pilot wears a high vis vest and operates within a small cordoned area.
We carry of full set of current Aeronautical Charts.
We do not fly directly above crowds or people.
Before a flyover of private land, we require written permission from the land owner.
Before a flyover of Department of Conservation estate a Department of Conservation concession will be required.
If operating in council parks or reserves we will need written permission from the relevant council. (some council bylaws ban the use of model aircraft in parks and reserves).
For safety reasons we prefer to operate 2 man teams ( Pilot and Camera Operator) at all times.
The following can effect our ability to fly:
High winds >30km/h. For filming, windspeeds <20km/h are required.
Damp weather/ high humidity.
We carry aviation liability ($1 million limit), public liability and equipment cover for the drone and our designated cameras.