Crown car runs over official drone on Parliament's forecourt

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Section
Politics,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 December 2018, 4:39PM
The drone was filming footage for Parliament TV. (Photo / NZ Herald)
The drone was filming footage for Parliament TV. (Photo / NZ Herald)

A Crown limo ran over and crushed a drone on Parliament's forecourt in a mishap during a filming session at Parliament yesterday.

This comes as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging people not to toy with drones.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Clerk confirmed the incident to the NZ Herald, saying the drone had been taking footage of the exterior of Parliament for use by Parliament TV.

He said the car - a BMW 7 Series - was not damaged and there were no injuries. 
"It was owned by a local drone operator. The car was a Department of Internal Affairs Crown car," the spokesman said.

It is unknown whether a minister was in the car at the time.

The Office of the Clerk would not say which company was operating the drone.

"It is now a private matter being sorted between the relevant parties."

A film crew had been filming Parliament buildings to get generic aerial footage.

The occupants of Parliament had been advised of the drone's use in advance, and signs were to be placed to advise any members of the public what was going on.

It is not the only mishap to befall Crown cars on Parliament's grounds - at least two Crown limos have been walloped by the automatic rising bollards which were installed in Parliament's driveways in 2016.

Over the past few years, drone photography has increased in popularity.

Better quality cameras and far more compact drones mean photos can be taken in spectacular places.

But the increase in drone popularity has not come without incidents.

A spate of illegal drone incidents in Queenstown over the past week – including one passing in front of a passenger jet – has sparked three separate investigations by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Airways air traffic services general manager Tim Boyle slammed the incidents, saying they're continuing to see a "worrying number of drones operating illegally in airspace near airports throughout New Zealand".

"Three events in such a short space of time in Queenstown is concerning."

In a statement, CAA's Manager, Special Flight Operations said urged people to be careful with drones.

"If you receive a drone this Christmas, you become a pilot and you have responsibilities."

"Before you bolt out the door to fly your drone this Christmas, please make sure you're aware of the rules and stick to them to ensure you don't put people or property at risk.

"One of the rules, for example, is that you need to get permission from people and the owners or residents of properties you want to fly your drone over."

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