The search is on for the owner of a rogue drone after the machine crash-landed on a restaurant roof in Christchurch.
Staff at Craythorne’s Public House in Halswell heard something hit the roof on Saturday around 3.30pm.
“Some one might want to claim it back,” said manager Richard Norriss.
The owner of the drone was yet to come forward on Monday afternoon.
Norriss said he was unable to locate a camera or any information on the machine that may lead to its return.
A couple of passers-by reported seeing the drone crash on top of the building and the chef climbed up on to the roof to retrieve it.
“They’ve got their various uses and I suppose it will happen more and more as they become available on the market.”
Drone enthusiast Jimmy Ryan said it was never a nice feeling to know “you’ve got a few thousand dollars flying away”.
Some drones could be tracked back to their owner by removing a card from the camera, he said.
Ryan said finding rogue drones, when they came in to trouble with wind or failing batteries, depended on the quality of the drone and what features it had.
Unless the drone had a third-party back-up transponder on it, the operator would have a “very hard time” trying to locate the off-course drone – and especially if it was flown out of sight, Ryan said.
Current civil aviation rules regarding Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) required operators to be able to see the aircraft at all times with their own eyes and not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone.
“He could have been obeying every rule. These things happen. People don’t mean to crash cars, but they still crash them…He could have been doing everything within his rights and the rules, but has still got unlucky.”
Ryan said the rules around UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) would be broken, just like those surrounding speed and alcohol were.
“It’s technology and the accessibility is only going to get better.”
New rules controlling the use of RPAS – including drones or UAVs – would become effective on August 1 2015, and included restricting the UAVs from being flown over private property without permission.
Christchurch Police Inspector Murray Hurst said the police “quite often” received calls from people reporting drones flying too close to houses.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com