What’s the Difference Between a Surveillance Drone and a Rescue Drone?
Any drone is a surveillance drone. All drones have the capability of assessing and understanding a situation, otherwise known as situational awareness. A drone gathers data to give you situational awareness, which enables you to make informed decisions – known as actionable intelligence. However, all these fancy words are really just telling you that a survelliance drone is able to give you a camera feed.
On the other hand, only an authentic rescue drone enables users to act on actionable intelligence by intervening and providing a life-saving solution. Westpac Little Ripper UAVs, with their readily deployable first aid kits, survival kits and flotation devices, can provide critical emergency responses and are at the forefront of drone technology on an international scale.
Do I need a license to become a drone pilot?
Whether you need a licence or not depends on what you intend to do with your drone. If you are flying for fun in a recreational or hobbyist activity you do not generally need a licence provided you follow the standard operating conditions determined by CASA. Remember, there might be some local council or national park rules you need to be aware of. You should research the area you are intending to fly to make sure you comply with all the requirements.
If you are flying a drone under 2kg commercially – for hire or reward – you need to notify CASA before you fly and follow the standard operating conditions. (https://www.casa.gov.au/standard-page/flying-drones-commercially)
If you want to fly a drone commercially that is greater than 2kg or outside the standard operating conditions, you will need to be licensed and/or certified to fly.
Your individual permission to fly is called a remote pilot licence (RePL). Even if you hold a RePL, you will need to hold or be employed by someone who holds a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operators certificate, or ReOC.
The Ripper Group Training Academy can provide you with the training required for a RePL and assist you with your ReOC.
Do I need special training to become a drone pilot?
We recommend that anyone who flies a drone for whatever purpose receives training. Whether you intend to fly for fun or operate commercially with a sub-2kg drone, it makes good sense to understand the principles of operating the drone, maintenance, battery charging, privacy and your legal responsibilities.
For commercial operation of a drone over 2kg you must complete a CASA-approved training course and hold a RePL.
Flying the drone is often only the first part of training. Once you can safely fly the drone, you still need to be able to fly it with the skills required to undertake the job you are doing, whether it be in search and rescue, agriculture, asset inspection or photography. Training to gain a particular skill set will make your flying safer and deliver a better outcome.
We also offer vocational training in the AVI30316 – Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight) through our RTO partner, the Australia Institute of Business and Technology (RTO Number 41138). School-based training programs are also available.
The Ripper Aviation Academy can provide you with all your training needs.
Do I need any additional equipment for the drone?
Drones are a great asset to any business or industry. They often allow you to undertake a job more efficiently, quicker and safer than traditional means and with reduced risk. To do this you may need specialist role equipment, which could include camera systems, payload delivery systems, spray systems, LIDAR, thermal imaging, data transfer and autonomous flight control systems.
The Ripper Group can assist you with technical advice and engineering capability, just send us an email.
Our organisation is thinking of added drone capability. What do we need to know?
When it comes to creating your company’s drone strategy, it’s important to ensure it is safe, legal and compliant with all regulatory requirements.
The Ripper Group has been identified as a national and international aviation specialist in the drone industry and we are committed to working with the regulator to help create a better industry.
We offer a fully integrated suite of drone strategy solutions which includes establishing the correct regulatory environment required for the purchase, set-up, training and day-to-day operations in the aviation airspace for the latest drone technology.
The Ripper Group team can provide you with required regulatory advice to assist you in building your organisations capability in this new aviation field.
Terminology used in the drone sector
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
Australian national authority for the regulation of civil aviation, including drones and RPAS
beyond visual line of sight
Flying a drone without being able to see it
remote pilot licence (RePL)
individual licence to fly a drone
remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)
remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS)
a system of monitoring and management using drones and drone technology
RPA operators certificate (ReOC)
Allows holder of a licence (RePL) to operate commercially
unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
a drone (Australia uses the international terminology RPA rather than UAV)