Hunter Medical Research Institute – Case Study

HMRI Building case study

Hunter Medical Research Institute – Case Study

Filming the Hunter Medical Research Institute – Case Study

When approached and asked to film the new Hunter Medical Research Institute building in Newcastle the answer was instantly yes. HMRI provides vital funding and facilities to fuel research programs to prevent, cure and treat a diverse range of serious illnesses by translating research findings made in the laboratory into real tangable  treatments.

HMRI building John Hunter Hospital – Newcastle

The Planning Phase

Once confirmed planning went into full swing to ensure Hover UAVs operations were conducted with safety as paramount. Initial steps were to check  the airspace was safe to operate in and it was found that the site had an active helicopter landing zone. The HMRI building is located at the John Hunter hospital which has a very active helicopter landing site frequented by the Westpac rescue helicopter.  At this point it was necessary to make contact with the Westpac rescue helicopter base and the helipad controller at the John Hunter hospital to advise of our intended operations and achieve official approval. Once contacted both parties came back with a list of operating procedures we were to abide by prior and during our operations. These procedures were as follows.

  1. Notify on the day prior to the operation via email and by phone to give ample time to advise on duty pilots of the up coming operation.
  2. Specify the exact timings of the operations and expected altitude band for the operation
  3. The drone operator must monitor the local CTAF frequency for alerts of incoming or outgoing helicopter movements
  4. The drone operator must have direct VHF radio and phone communications with John Hunter security so they can notify of any expected helicopter movements.
  5. Upon notification of any helicopter movements the drone shall land immediately and not recomence operations until advised it is safe to recommence operations
  6. Not to fly more than 90m above ground level or more than 30m above the exhaust stacks on the HMRI building

Once these operating procedure were received they were worked into the preflight authorisation, risk assessment and the job safety analysis ensuring site specific procedures were incorporated into standard operating procedures


Westpac Rescue Helicopter

The Outcome

After very careful planning and opening up strong lines of communication the operation was conducted smoothly and without incident. On finalisation of the operation a helicopter was inbound to the John Hunter hospital. This helicopter was swiftly contacted via the VHF and advised that UAV operations at the John Hunter hospital were completed and no conflict existed.

For this operation as with any communication is vital. It keeps all stakeholders informed ensuring safety at every level of the operation.

Hover UAV would like to thank the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the John Hunter Hospital for there help in making this project a reality.