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Since "drones" became a thing, CAA has attempted to convince the public that they're doing something effective to control these devices.
A cornerstone of this campaign has been the Airshare website which is filled with *apparent* facts and information for both recreational and commercial drone users.
I say "apparent" because this week I received an email from Airshare inviting me to read their latest news on the subject of drones.
One of the promoted "news" stories was a report on the CES show in Las Vegas.
What an appalling page of misinformation and drivel that turned out to be.
The ridiculous crap spouted in that "news" piece must call into question the veracity of everything on the Airshare website. It is ridiculous.
Let me quote:
"Chinese drone makers Walkera showed off their hair-raising racing drone, the Runner 250. Claiming speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour and a range of one kilometre, the quadcopter is built with racing fans in mind. It can also be hooked up to a virtual reality headset so users get a real pilot’s view of the action"
I'm sorry but this is utter garbage!
I reviewed the Walkera Runner 250 a while ago on my RCModelReviews channel:
For those who can't be bothered to watch these videos... the bottom line is that these "racing" quadcopters are crap. They're fragile, fly very poorly and are in no way of race pedigree. Even so however, they have a top speed well in excess of the quoted 40 kilometers per hour.
The reality is that racing drones are now knocking on 160kph which makes the claimed "air-raising" 40kph cited in the Airshare story just a joke.
That Airshare would publish dross like this without the slightest bit of fact-checking or verification of the truth is a sad indictment on the credibility of all the information they serve up to an unsuspecting public. Through the Airshare website, CAA are attempting to reach a new generation of recreational and wannabe commercial drone operators but the problem is that *anyone* with half a brain who reads the story cited above will realise that they can ascribe very little credibility to the content being published.
This is a bad look and sorely undermines the very thing that CAA are attempting to do -- create some "street cred" within a community that is already feeling a little unhappy that their freedoms have been so grossly curtailed in the alleged name of "safety". To feed this this dross and expect them to swallow it is arrogant and worthy of contempt.
Also, I've already written about their absurdly priced $35 ebook and the value of that publication must be even more questionable when we now see that they don't appear fact-check anything they promote or publish.
But wait... here's a review of that ebook published on the Airshare website. I'm sorry but it would appear that Dr Maria A. Pozza doesn't quite understand what a review is. If I was her primary school teacher, she'd get an F for that review which consists pretty much of some excerpts from the contents page and an opinion, unsubstantiated by any credible evidence.
Has she even read the ebook in question?
The statement that it "should be on every drone operator’s shelf" is kind of a give-away that she probably hasn't because I have never been able to get a virtual to stay on a shelf.
When a government agency creates or partners with a website like Airshare, I expect objective, accurate, researched and validated information to be its hallmark -- not the ridiculous stuff I see here. What's more, information that is essential for safety ought not have an absurdly high price on it -- it should be free.
CAA are setting a very bad example by making essential safety information an "added cost" and by feeding a very discerning community a line of BS like the story I've cited. What would it really cost them to do the job properly?
Who will be held accountable when lives are lost because some idiot opts not to ante-up $35 for an essential bit of safety info and, as a result, engages in some unsafe activity that ultimately causes a tragedy?
The answer... nobody. Neither of the 'A's in CAA stand for accountability -- remember the Carterton Balloon incident if you need proof of that!
The very fact that this Drone 101 "airBook" exists is a sad indictment on the utter lack of transparency of the regulations that CAA have created in respect to drone operations in this country. Good regulations do not require a $35 ebook and training course to be understood.
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