Friday, March 5, 2021

Drone operator charged in Wallaceburg

Chatham-Kent Police Service officials allege: On April 3, 2020 shortly after 10 p.m. the Chatham-Kent Police Service Traffic Management Unit was investigating a fatal motor vehicle collision on Dufferin Ave. in Wallaceburg.

The man observed the locked-down scene and deployed a remotely piloted aircraft, or drone, to video the scene from the air.

As ambulance and police rushed the victim to the hospital, the drone operator flew the drone alongside the ambulance as it made its way to the hospital.

The man continued operating the drone outside Sydenham District Hospital as the patient was brought into the hospital.

Ornge air ambulance was en-route and flying toward the hospital as the drone was in the air only a short distance from the helicopter landing site.

This video was uploaded to YouTube along with several other videos taken by the drone.

Police were made aware of the video and a drone operator with the CKPS Unmanned Aerial System Unit, was assigned to investigate.

In partnership with Transport Canada, the drone operator was identified and interviewed.

As a result of the investigation, a 33-year-old Wallaceburg man has been charged by Transport Canada with contravening section 901.02 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations – operating a remotely piloted aircraft system without it being registered and issued a $250 fine.

“With the advent of small, affordable drones, more people are flying them, resulting in an increased number of remotely piloted aircraft in the air,” stated Constable Josh Flikweert, the drone operator for the CKPS.

“Drone operators should be aware that there are a number of rules and regulations that dictate how and where the drones can be flown. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these before you fly your drone. Non-compliance will be investigated and you may be issued a fine or lose your license to fly. These guidelines are there to keep everyone safe so that we all can enjoy having these aircraft in the air.”

For more information regarding rules for flying drones in Canada, please see https://tc.canada.ca/en/aviation/drone-safety/new-rules-drones-canada

Canadian Aviation Regulations may be found at https://lois-laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-433/FullText.html#s-901.11

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