Man fined $9k for flying drone in Punggol open field without permit

A 41-year-old man who flew a drone without permit in an open field in Punggol was fined $9,000 yesterday.

Tay Miow Seng pleaded guilty in the State Courts on Dec 27 last year to flying the drone for recreational purposes at the field within 5km of Paya Lebar Air Base without a valid Class 2 activity permit and operating it in a manner likely to endanger the safety of aircraft.

A separate charge of unlawfully flying his drone within Coney Island on March 26 last year was taken into consideration during sentencing yesterday.

The court had earlier heard that Tay and his friend Ed Chen Junyuan each flew a drone in the open field in Punggol on June 26 last year.

Both were detained on the same day by the police.

They were the first to be charged with unlawfully flying a drone in Singapore.

Chen was convicted and fined $2,000 last year.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a statement yesterday that it “takes a serious view of errant operations of unmanned aircraft which may pose threats to aviation or endanger the personal safety of others”.

It added that it will not hesitate to take enforcement action against operators of unmanned aircraft who contravene regulations.

Penalties for various offences involving unmanned aircraft, such as drones, were raised after Parliament passed amendments to the Air Navigation Act last year.

Those caught flying an unmanned aircraft without a valid permit face a maximum penalty of two years in jail and a $50,000 fine for first-time offenders, and five years in jail and a $100,000 fine for repeat offenders.

Any person who recklessly or knowingly operates an unmanned aircraft in a manner that endangers the life or property of another person can be jailed for up to 10 years, or fined up to $100,000, or both.A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2020, with the headline ‘Man fined $9k for flying drone in Punggol open field without permit’. 

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/man-fined-9k-for-flying-drone-in-punggol-open-field-without-permit

$5,000 fine for man who unlawfully flew drone before it got hit by an LRT train

SINGAPORE – A man who unlawfully flew a drone near Sengkang LRT station before it got struck by a train was fined $5,000 on Friday (Feb 21).

The incident on Feb 8, 2018 did not cause any damage to the train and services were not disrupted.

Homen Wong, 21, who was a full-time national serviceman when he committed the offence has since completed his national service.

On Dec 18 last year, he pleaded guilty to operating the drone in a manner that could endanger the safety of persons and property.

A second charge of operating the device without a valid Class 2 activity permit within 5km of two aerodromes – Seletar Airport and Paya Lebar Air Base – was considered during sentencing.

Wong had flown the DJI Mavic Pro drone at an open field next to Sengkang LRT station some time in the late afternoon without a valid Class 2 activity permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus had earlier told the court: “If he had applied for such an activity permit, CAAS would have required Homen to operate his drone in compliance with safe operating conditions.”

The DPP said the conditions included ensuring that the drone is not flown for longer than 85 per cent of the maximum battery endurance, and that it does not interfere with public transport or emergency service providers, or endanger members of the public.

Wong operated his drone at a maximum height of 50m that day.

He flew it over the train tracks, as he wanted to capture aerial videos and photographs of trains entering and leaving the LRT station.

DPP Johannus had earlier told District Judge Seah Chi-Ling: “Homen had not ensured its battery power was sufficient for the flight.

“As a result, Homen lost control of the drone and it landed autonomously on the train tracks of Sengkang LRT station where it was eventually struck by an LRT train.”

Wong later approached staff at the station and asked for their assistance to get the drone back.

They helped retrieve the damaged device a week later and returned it to him.

After this, Wong posted a video of the incident, entitled “DJI Mavic Pro survived train crash”, on YouTube.

SBS Transit then made a report to the CAAS about the incident on April 9, 2018.

Defence lawyer Josephus Tan told the court on Friday that his client intends to appeal against the sentence. Wong was offered bail of $5,000.

First-time offenders convicted of operating a drone in a manner that could endanger the safety of persons and property can be fined up to $20,000.

Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to 15 months and fined up to $40,000.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/5000-fine-for-man-who-lost-control-of-drone-that-got-hit-by-lrt-train

$2.5k fine for man who flew drone at NDP area

A full-time national serviceman who unlawfully flew a drone near the Singapore Flyer at last year’s National Day Parade (NDP) was fined $2,500 yesterday.

Tan Jin Kang, 21, committed the offence even though there were signs in the area telling people not to do so.

In the first case of its kind, the Singaporean pleaded guilty last month to possessing the prohibited device at the spot, which had been declared a “special event area” under the Public Order Act.

He had gone to Raffles Avenue on Aug 9 last year to capture a video of a fireworks display later that evening.

He was flying the drone at around 7.50pm when a police officer, Sergeant Gordan Lee Wai Kong, 27, was notified by his command post about the device.

Sgt Lee went near the Singapore Flyer and spotted the drone flying at a height of about 5m.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Teong had earlier told District Judge Christopher Goh that, by the time Sgt Lee saw the drone, it was on its descent to a spot along Raffles Avenue in front of the Singapore Flyer.

When he walked over to the spot, he saw Tan using a controller to operate the drone and told him to stop.

The DPP said there were many signboards in the vicinity informing people they should not fly or have a drone in their possession at the time.

In his mitigation, Tan had told the court that he was not aware of the law and did not see the signs.

Pleading for leniency, he added that the signs were in red and “didn’t stand out” as they were “camouflaged” by the other red items associated with the NDP in the area.

For committing the offence under the Public Order Act, he could have been jailed for up to a year and fined a maximum of $20,000.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/25k-fine-for-man-who-flew-drone-at-ndp-area

Drone Registration starts

All drones above 250 grams must be registered before use in Singapore.

Stickers for registration can be purchased online at Shitpost Singpost. it will be an offence to fly any drones above 250 grams without registration after 2 April 2020. There is a grace peroid of 3 months from today, 2 Jan 2020.

More info here.

NParks didn’t say where you can fly.

Some got really happy when they saw the list published by NParks on parks that has no drones allowed sign. Does that mean other parks not listed can fly? Dont be stupid …Why i say NParks list is useless. There are a total of 69 parks listed on nparks website. www.nparks.gov.sg

The list they provide has 20 listed. Does it mean you can fly at the other 49? Of course not! Because places like Changi Beach park is a no brainer. It’s in the direct path of landing planes and you won’t be able to start your DJI drones anyway as it is a DJI No Fly Zone. I was free ,  i made a google worksheet. Will do a proper post later on my website http://bit.ly/NParksdrones

NParks shouldn’t have release a list of parks with no sign. They should have been straight forward and release a list of parks where we can fly. We can understand there is no such list as:

  • They do not want to be liable if there’s accidents to park go-ers who do not fly drones but are there to enjoy the park.
  • Then don’t have any list to begin with. CAAS has clear rules and the law is clear. Keep your drone in line of sight, keep it below 200 ft, do not fly within 5km of airports.

We took the DJI Mavic Air out

After unboxing, we really didn’t like the charger… nor the battery. Since the Phantom 3 to Phantom 4, the Inspire 1 to Inspire 2 and maybe the Mavic Pro to the Maciv Pro 2, the batteries have always been redesigned. Nothing is usable after an upgrade. Upgrading your DSLR from a Canon 60D to 70D or upwards to a 6D, 7D or 5DMK2 or MK3 do not require you to change the battery. It all uses the same LP-E6.

Come on DJI. It’s something that’s adding costs to users who upgrade. Reasons of profit or trying to squeeze it into a newly designed body of the drone are simply too expensive for end-users.

We didn’t like the charger either. It has to unfold, batteies stand vertical. The cube charger for the Mavic was better.


the mavic cube charger.
The new mavic air charger where the battery have to stand.

Option of the transmitter stick to be removed is good for those longer haul transport/ trip. Careful of dropping them onto grass in the field. A pair of spare is provided but we’ve installed it and has never removed it since.

Wind

It doesn’t handle wind well. Simple as that. We saw it drifting as we were flying near waters and usually what the Mavic Pro can handle, the Air could not. It wasn’t even huge gust of wind to begin with but we have trouble bring it back, lowered it to behind some trees and flew back behind trees.

Asteroid Mode

It is cool but if you were to get the Mavic Air to do one thing, this is about it.

Can you do car chase with it?

In 1 word. Yes, albeit a slow car.

Conclude

It’s small, it’s compact so you have to know the battery life is affected. The Mavic Pro seems to still have hit the balance better of weight vs flight time.

The build quality isn’t fantastic but you pay for what you get. It feels plastic and not as sturdy. We don’t think it’s meant to replace the Mavic Pro. It sits squarely between the Spark and Mavic Pro. Distance wasn’t great but we hit 1.8km easily before getting video signal lost but when back at our regaulr flying field, we can’t manage anything more than 400 meters.

We did some slow 8 to 12 meters/ Sec, car chases shots at 4K. Front and back obstacle avoidance is a great feature. If you don’t own one yet, get a Mavic Air, if not go for the Mavic Pro. By real commercial work, don’t get Mavic anything, look at the Phantom 4 or the Phantom 4 Pro.

The DJI Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Pro are available from Camera Rental Centre at a limit rental price. Check them out.

3D Mapping with DroneDeploy and Alitzure

Published 29 Sept 2017.
Updated 4 Oct 2017.

We took Dronedeploy (DD) and Altizure (AZ) out for a spin. Unlocking the world of 3D mapping with drones. It’s fun seeing the pictures turned into 3D Models of buildings and structures we took.

Please note we only emphasis on doing 3D Models of structures, not agriculture monitoring or agriculture mapping.

Each has their own way of taking the pics and are fully autonomous. So warning!

Always make sure you survey out the location before you attempt to map an area or building. Note the highest structure around the area you are mapping and make sure you clear the height.

Maps

DroneDeploy uses a map service we are unfamiliar with. In Singapore, there are so many areas that has clouds, incomplete buildings or showing that it’s a construction site. Some building or areas has been around for at least 2 years. That’s how old the maps are.

Altizure uses, simply, Google Maps.  It is preferred and it’s something we are already familiar with for daily use. So no figuring out required.

Flight Planning

DD Flight planning need to be given a thumbs up. You can pre plan a flight on your PC via a web browser then continue working on it while on your Android phone when commuting home then edit it further when you are at the field on your iPad before the actual flight. It syncs across all devices so long you log in to the same account. It is a no brainer….so we thought.

AZ do not have this. All pre planned maps are saved within the device you are using in and only the device you first created it in only. It’s wierd why such a basic function is not implemented (yet?). We could be doing a site survey and doing pre planning but if we forgot to bring the device we have used on flight day, you will have to redo the whole planning and hopefully you remember all the settings, area, height required etc…. the client requested.

3D Output

Straight to the point. Altizure win hands down. Their engine stitches better and is not as picky or restrictive.  DD only allows 500 images for structures. Boo! AZ allows you to stitch then add more pics later still!

So we went back and took close to 700 images. The output was great!

Embedding/ Displaying

AZ allows you to showoff your 3D Model by embedding it on a webpage like the above. DD do not have this option.

Market Place

Only DD has this option. They integrate other services into their marketplace where you can chose to say, do a 3D Print of the 3D Model you have create via Whiteclouds. You can of course download the 3D Model file from AZ and go to Whiteclouds and have it printed of course, you will need to buy 1 Diamond (see pricing below) to download the 3D file.

Pricing

It can be confusing but we prefer AZ as we may not get assignment often for 3D Mapping and AZ allows us to get 1 x “Diamond” to get the project over and done with.

 

DD offers no such one off payment plan. Only monthly or yearly payments. You do get 5 free project, per month.

Overall, we prefer AZ over DD.

Firm fined $9k for operating drone without proper permit, in a first – The Straits Times

The Singapore branch of construction company LT Sambo was fined $9,000 yesterday for operating a drone outdoors without a proper permit, the first ever conviction and sentencing for such an offence under the law.

The company, which admitted to flying the drone on Nov 17, 2017, had pleaded guilty to an offence under the Air Navigation Order. The court heard that LT Sambo had operated the small unmanned aircraft (UA) outdoors, identified as a DJI Phantom 4 and weighing 1.38kg, without a Class 1 activity permit which is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

The permit is needed for activities involving an unmanned aircraft that are “not recreational or research in nature”.

These include competitive races held by private organisers and businesses providing aerial surveying or photography services.

A Class 1 activity permit is not valid without an unmanned aircraft operator permit, which is also granted by the CAAS. The operator permit is granted to applicants if they are able to ensure the safe operation of the drones.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yanying said that LT Sambo was engaged to carry out underground foundation works for an MRT development project along Marine Parade Road.

The firm had successfully applied for a drone operator permit which was issued on Aug 21, 2017. On Sept 27 that year, its quantity surveyor, Mr Mohamad Wadud Al Hafiz Ponijan, submitted an application to the CAAS for an activity permit to operate the drone along the road. It was to capture aerial footage of the area for its construction work plan, the court heard.

The next day, CAAS told LT Sambo via e-mail that the proposed flight plan involved flying over a public road with a high concentration of human and vehicular traffic.

LT Sambo was asked to provide details of proposed comprehensive risk mitigating measures for the CAAS to review, before the activity permit could be granted.

However, the company failed to provide any and the CAAS did not grant it the permit.

Despite this, LT Sambo’s civil engineer, Mr Jung Han-Gun, made two flights with the drone over Marine Parade Road on Nov 17, 2017, each lasting about 20 minutes.

On each flight, the drone was flown over an approximately 2km stretch of Marine Parade Road, at a maximum height of about the fourth storey of the nearby Housing Board blocks. The drone was on its third flight when police officers turned up.

In a statement yesterday, the CAAS said it “will not hesitate to take enforcement action against UA operators who contravene regulations”.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/firm-fined-9k-for-operating-drone-without-proper-permit-in-a-first

Maybe it’ll finally be easy to reach some fields in Tuas

With the Tuas West Extension opening soon in end of 2016, we hope to be finally exploring Tuas as a flying alternative.

These may not be the location and only based on what is described below and plotted.

– Fully Elevated line
– 13.5 km long with 2 legs: Tuas West Extension and Tuas South Extension
– Total 6 stations and a depot
– West Extension is 7.5 km long with 3 stations plus one interchange station with South Extension.
– South Extension is 6 km long with 2 stations, a future line.

EW30 to EW33 will be on Tuas West Extension to be completed in 2015. EW34 and EW35 will be on Tuas South Extension, a future line.

EW30 (the next station after EW29 Joo Koon) will be the interchange station of the 2 extension lines. EW30 is proposed to be located along Tuas Road, near the junction of Tuas Ave 3 and Gul Circle. EW30 will be at least 20m from ground level.

EW31 will also be at least 20m from ground level, it will be build around 8m above a proposed road viaduct along Pioneer Road. EW31 is proposed to be located above the Pioneer Road viaduct near the junction of Tuas Crescent and Tuas Avenue 2.

EW32 is proposed to be located along Pioneer Road near Tuas West Road.

EW33 is proposed to be located along Tuas West Drive near Raffles Marina.