Photography drone commissioned by Mandurah RSL despite warnings from Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Was this photo worth disturbing the Anzac Day dawn service for?
Was this photo worth disturbing the Anzac Day dawn service for?

IT has been revealed that the aerial photography drone that disturbed Mandurah’s dawn service was commissioned by the City of Mandurah RSL.

Many upset people have been in contact with the Coastal Times regarding the drone’s presence at the service.

They have said the timing of the drone was “inappropriate, poorly timed and disrespectful”.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) warned drone operators to stay away from Anzac Day ceremonies in the lead up to the event.

They generally do not allow drones to be flown near or over groups of people or within 30 metres of people. Kings Park was declared a no fly zone on Anzac Day.

Despite this, a company called Sky Pixels was commissioned by Mandurah RSL President David Mabbs to take aerial photos of the dawn service and march.

In a message to the Coastal Times, Sky Pixels owner Colin Bartley said this weekend was the last opportunity to photograph the Anzac Day march crossing the Old Mandurah Bridge.

“I was honoured to be asked by the RSL and David to take photos of the service and told him as the photos were for the RSL I would donate my services for free,” Mr Bartley said.

“The drone was only flown twice, once at the very beginning of the dawn service and again at the very end.

“It was not flown during the service and definitely not during the minute’s silence as some people have stated.”

Mr Bartley apologised to the people distracted by the drone.

“But it was there at the request of the RSL and it was kept at a respectful distance at all times,” he said.

More here: drone interrupted Mandurah Anzac Day dawn service

CASA director of aviation safety Mark Skidmore said the safety of people and aircraft taking part in Anzac Day ceremonies is a high priority.

“While it is understandable some people might like to get pictures and videos of these events using drones it must be understood drones can pose a risk to people and aircraft,” he said.

“In simple terms, drones must be kept well away from people and aircraft and they must not be flown in a way that causes a hazard.

“That means drones should not be flown near ANZAC Day ceremonies and marches without express approval from CASA.”

More: CASA has a guide to drone rules here.

Mr Mabbs has been contacted for comment.