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4 considerations for drone safety

Considerations for drone safety is very important. This article will look at four things that managers need to check to ensure a safe flight.
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Let’s get straight to it.

1. flight and equipment batteries

Review your batteries, including their age, how they are handled and stored, and whether they are intact or have unused charge, which can all have an effect on LiPo batteries. Understand that LiPo battery usage can be dangerous and requires your disciplined attention.

Every workplace should have at least one fire extinguisher available to deal with potential incidents. A bucket of sand is also commonly used on flight operations to provide instant fire-retardant capability if needed.

Never assume that everything on your Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) is working great simply because you saw it fly flawlessly yesterday. Always do a systems check before each flight and complete the Pre-flight checklist. A more thorough inspection with regular routine maintenance, along with the accompanying documentation, is essential. Maintenance procedures will be a part of the Operations Manual and Operational Procedures Library of your organisation.

Test the motors and settings without the propellers. Lastly, add the propellers, stand back, and do a prop-directional test. If you notice anything wrong or had to repair/alter anything, document it on the spot.

2. The fitting and refitting of battery packs

Battery fitting forms part of the pre-flight checklist. Different drones will have different procedures for fitting batteries. Make sure you follow those procedures and at the same time act in accordance with the workplace requirements, which will be in the Operations Manual and the Operational Procedures Library.

3. Bystanders

Try your absolute best to fly away from anyone, but avoiding every person can sometimes be difficult. If any spectators are present during a flight, establish a safe take-off and landing zone.

CASA standard operating procedures require you to keep your drone at least 30 metres away from people. You need to do this unless you have a close proximity capability on your organisation’s ReOC.

4. Crew briefing

All crew involved with the flight mission should participate in a flight briefing conducted by the Pilot in Charge. Topics to be discussed in the briefing should include:

  • Overview of the mission planned
  • RPAS equipment
  • Crew tasking
  • Hazard identification
  • Weather forecast
  • Communications
  • Take-off/landing zone
  • Safe zone for an alternative take-off/landing
  • Actions following an incident
  • Update of Job Safety Analysis
  • PPE required
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Drone Safety for Managers (Australia)

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