Did your Christmas day get that much more exciting when you unwrapped a remote control aircraft? To make sure you command the skies safely, the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand has released some guidelines for flying a RPAS, UAV or drone in the land of the long white cloud.
You can fly your aircraft:
- In uncontrolled airspace below 400 feet above ground level
- During daylight hours
- Within visual line of sight
- Clear of all manned aircraft, persons and property
- Outside of airspace restricted areas
- Not within 4km of any aerodrome
- Have a read of the relevant Civil Aviation Rules, especially Part 101 Model aircraft operating rules
- Never operate your aircraft in a manner that creates a hazard to other aircraft or persons or property
- Know how to read a Visual Navigation Chart (VNC), which can be purchased online. If you want some help in this area, hit up your local Aero club, certified training instructor, or a friend who is a qualified pilot.
- Before you fly, check for all relevant airspace restrictions - for instance, controlled airspace, low flying zones, danger areas, restricted areas, and military operational areas
- Know your responsibilities as pilot in command of an aircraft
- Know how your aircraft will behave if a failure occurs and have abort procedures in place in case it does happen
- You can't fly your aircraft close than four kilometres from any areodrome without clearance from Air Traffic Control
- If you cannot see it, it's not safe to fly. Always remain within line-of-sight of your aircraft - this includes without the help of binoculars
For more information, check out airshare.co.nz.