That sinking feeling

March is the “quiet” part of the year. Time to take stock, catch up on CAA changes and do some maintenance. The CAA fly exclusion zone around ATZs (air traffic zones) is being extended to 5 km from 1 km.

Everyone who owns a drone will need to take a simple online knowledge test, register their aircraft and pay a fee later this year. CAA PfCOs (permission to fly commercial operations) holders like us will be exempt. We have done all of that times a factor of about 20.

The picture of me in scuba gear which looks like my air tank has somehow inflated my entire body is in front of a DC3. This wonderful old aircraft – one of my all time favourites alongside the Spitfire, the Hercules and the Apache – was sunk deliberately off the coast of Nassau for a movie.

We used it as a backdrop for a scene in a documentary series for Discovery. If you have ever been lucky enough to experience it for yourself, diving on a submerged vehicle like a ship or a plane is a surreal experience. Gliding over a large object which is familiar in geography but in a strange context is eerily similar to seeing a ghost. It isn’t natural.

As underwater drones are used more and more, the thousands of square miles of seabed around the world as yet uncharted are becoming more familiar. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own oceans.

Mini submarine like drones are launched into oceans to track temperature and current profiles. They “soar” on the water column automatically for years, surfacing periodically to relay data and recharge their solar cell power systems. They have no propellor and soar like water-borne gliders.

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