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Search we sue the Bride? Or the Groom?

There are an increasing number of wedding videographers using drones to add a different perspective on their work - unfortunately most of them are operating without notifying the Civil Aviation Authority, and/or operating outside the rules - that leaves you, the Bride, holding the bag if something goes wrong. There are law firms promoting personal injury claims involving drones.

There's already been a case were guests sued the groom for a drone accident (Dec 2016).

man lying on the floor injured by a drone

Basic Requirements

Anyone operating a drone commercially (as in for wedding photography or videography) must have an aviation reference number issued from CASA (the Civil Aviation Authority). They should also have specific Public Liability insurance (standard insurance does NOT cover drone use).

Pertinent Rules for Weddings

The rules for small drone use are very specific and there are 3 that are most pertinent for weddings:

  • You must keep your RPA at least 30 metres (100 feet) away from other people - you CANNOT sign a waiver or get around this rule.

  • You must not fly your RPA over any area where, in the event of a loss of control or failure, you create an unreasonable hazard to the safety of people and property on the ground (populous area). Places like beaches & parks are specifically mentioned.

  • You must keep your RPA at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes - Operations within the 3nm radius of an uncontrolled aerodrome or helicopter landing site are possible but restricted.

If you want to take a risk and hire someone who isn't commercially licenced, at least insist on seeing their Aviation Reference Number, and Public Liability Insurance Certificate (for drones). You should also check with the venue as an increasing number are banning drone use due to safety/privacy concerns. So, the next time you're at a wedding and the photographer or videographer wants a fly-over shot of the bridal party - ask if they've got insurance for that !

bride and groom seen from a drone

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