It was a combined Partner’s Night with Warragul Club at Lardner Park this week with our guest speaker Jake Andrew of the 'Centre of Drone Excellence', recently opened at Lardner Park.
Rotarians and guests were welcomed by Warragul President Vaughan Fox and followed by our very own President David - it was a very good roll out of members and their partner’s from both Clubs.
Jake is from the Centre Of Drone Excellence (CODE) and he has been piloting drones for about 20 years, initially in military and weather applications.

There are two categories of drone piloting one is recreational, which most of us get annoyed with if they are hovering over our place and commercial piloting. Both forms come under the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and must abide by regulations laid down by CASA in both instances. You do not need approval to fly a drone for fun however you must not fly your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or
* You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. This means being able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (rather than through a device) at all times.
* You must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400ft) above the ground.
* You must keep your drone at least 30 metres away from other people.
* You must not fly your Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a car
crash, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue.
* You must only fly one RPA at a time.
* You must not fly over or above people. This could include: beaches, parks, events, or sport ovals where there is a game in progress.
* If your drone weighs more than 100g, you must keep at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes. Flying within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) is possible, but only if no manned aircraft are operating.
* To or from the aerodrome. If you become aware of manned aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome/HLS, you must manoeuvre away from the aircraft and land as soon as safely possible.
* Respect personal privacy don’t record or photograph people without their consent—this may breach state laws.
Piloting for commercial reasons:
* If you want to fly outside these excluded operating conditions, you will need to be licensed (hold a remote pilot's licence RePL) and fly with a certified operator to fly commercially.
* If you intend to fly a drone commercially that weighs between 100g and 2kg, you can fly your drone in our 'excluded' category. Find out more about the excluded category and the standard operating conditions that apply. * If you want to fly commercially outside of these standard conditions or your drone weighs more than 2kg, you will need to be licensed and/or certified to fly.
* A remote pilot licence (RePL) is your individual permission to fly. If you hold a RePL, you will need to be employed by someone who holds a certificate to fly. These operators hold a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operators certificate, or ReOC. Source:
Jake believes strongly that drones will take an even more significantly role in years to come working in very dirty, dangerous or confined spaces where it is not safe or not possible to insert a human. Drones are used by the military for a number of tasks from weapons delivery to surveillance and for communications relay. Weather bureaus use them to gain insights to various conditions including flying into major storms and climate events. They are used by police, CFA and SES in disaster events to check for survivors or aspects of safety in deciding if emergency workers can enter a zone. Drones can be used for above ground inspections such as the top of trees or the roof of a building and they can be used to inspect confined spaces such as pipes. They are even used now for delivery of parcels.
However of interest to his audience on this night were the applications for agriculture. Drones are used for inspection of crops so that they are not walked or driven over, they can inspect and analyse soil conditions or inspect farm infrastructure such as dams and troughs, or locate and view animals. After his presentation Jake took the audience out to a shed at Lardner Park and gave a demonstration flight with a multi-rotor craft.