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Dick Smith has invested $10,000 for more weather cameras in Australia

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Dick Smith has invested $10,000 for more weather cameras in Australia

Old 9th Feb 2023, 11:58
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Dick Smith has invested $10,000 for more weather cameras in Australia

(Disclaimer - My small business is the recipient of this generous donation)

Dick Smith invests more money in Weather Cams - Australian Flying

A huge and proud moment for an up and coming budget aviation business, with Dick Smith investing $10,000 into additional airport weather cameras.

No doubt most have you have been following the thread over the years and have watched the network grow from the small beginnings to what it is now. Simply open up your EFB of choice and you'll quickly see the work that has gone into the expansion for all of you to benefit from.

There's so much behind the scenes that goes on:

- The initial setup of the websites and hosting, including coding and scripts. I use my skills, AirTasker and offers of assistance on occasions
- Sourcing suitable cameras (especially during Covid induced shortages)
- Keeping stock levels handy for busy times and knowing what stock to keep
- Cold calling airports and suggesting that cameras would be a good thing for them (this can be very difficult sometimes!)
- Fielding calls from potential customers
- Setting up the cameras and shipping them out
- Managing the websites
- Talking through the installation of the cameras when on-site - EVERY location is different, it's never quite the same!
- Supporting all those sites when they call for technical support sometimes 24/7 across different time zones, including overseas
- Telling someone how to crimp a connector onto the end of a Cat5 cable when they accidentally tear the end off and they can't find their reading glasses
- Extracting images when things go wrong. ATSB reports, "my ex-wife stole my gyro," "our aero club was firebombed" or "someone stole our router" are some of the requests I've had

All up, every installation results in about 5 or 6 phone calls from start to finish and as you can imagine, greatly varying levels of IT knowledge.

The hardest part is probably cold-calling airports. Whilst I am technically selling a product, often we do our best to use exiting cameras (eg CCTV) to allow them to operate as CCTV AND weather cameras at the same time. We don't charge for that, as it's about expanding the network to make safer skies for all to enjoy, with support from people like Dick.

A HUGE thank you to Dick Smith and his team for their generous donation to expand the network!

As you'll see from the article, there's an email address at the bottom where you can apply for funding for cameras at your chosen location. I am purchasing a large amount of stock to draw down upon and when it's all gone, that's it for now.

As a matter of interest, the following locations are now on the quickly growing list as places that have been identified as needing cameras:

- Northam
- 3 Hummock Island
- Mallacoota
- Benambra
- Bombala
- Birdsville (replacement gear)
- Mt. Dare
- Innamincka Pub
- Boort
- Marlo Pub
- Oodnadatta
- Nullabor Roadhouse
- Warburton (WA)
- Caiguna (WA)
- Border Village (SA)

Confirmed thus far:
- Ceduna
- Coober Pedy
- Lockhart River
- William Creek (replacements)



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Old 9th Feb 2023, 20:16
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It's funny how something so stupidly simple such as webcams pointed in the right direction - and I don't mean that in a derogatory manner in any way - has brought about such significant safety improvements to GA in this country.

You do great work Squawk!
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Old 9th Feb 2023, 21:56
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Thanks Squawk, bloody good work. And thanks Dick, good onya.
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Old 9th Feb 2023, 22:57
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Tossbag. It looks like your PPRuNe account has been hacked!
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 03:18
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Originally Posted by tossbag
Thanks Squawk, bloody good work. And thanks Dick, good onya.
Hear! Hear!
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 07:22
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Tossbag. It looks like your PPRuNe account has been hacked!
Nah mate, back to tossbag ops soon.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 07:27
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Can't agree more that the Webcams provide so much information to pilots, weather observers etc that is 100 times more effective than any written piece of paper.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 10:46
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Brilliant work and fantastic to Dick for putting the coin in.

Now how long will it be until someone has a go at Dick?

5,4,3,2,1…….
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 13:39
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Originally Posted by Global Aviator
Now how long will it be until someone has a go at Dick?
Well, if his $10k comes with Class E to 700ft, I'm in!
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 23:10
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How about adding Leigh Creek to the list of needing?

DF.
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 02:07
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oh, and well done Dick, very generous of you.
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 03:04
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Originally Posted by Desert Flower
How about adding Leigh Creek to the list of needing?

DF.
Have a read of the article R.
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 05:44
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700
Have a read of the article R.
Sorry, you've lost me. I must be missing something. Not surprising these days though.

DF.
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 06:12
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He means the article linked inside the article above, at the foot of which is an email address. (I think that's what he means...?)
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 13:36
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Originally Posted by jolihokistix
He means the article linked inside the article above, at the foot of which is an email address. (I think that's what he means...?)
Ah ok thanks - got it!

DF.
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 13:40
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Onya Dick! I hear the gubbermint has some spare cameras they will gladly pass on to you for a very good price.
[Chinese writing on the side]
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 23:59
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Originally Posted by Thirsty
Onya Dick! I hear the gubbermint has some spare cameras they will gladly pass on to you for a very good price.
[Chinese writing on the side]
Haha good one!

DF.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 00:22
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Honestly, Think of how many lives have been saved since these went in.

People are checking their electronic flight bags to see the weather ahead and allowing them to make much wiser decisions than rolling on into bad weather.

In my opinion these are one of the biggest safety improvements in aviation since GPS and electronic flight bags.

Well done Squawk 7700 !
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 12:44
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An update for everyone.

There are currently around 18 sites that are confirmed to be receiving cameras. This means that equipment has been ordered and will be shipped as soon as possible. The first will start to appear online from as early as next week.

There are around another 10 or so sites that are in the initial contact and or planning phases.

I do have an ask of you all though... I'm asking for some advice.

I have two airports in mind that were key sites for cameras. In my opinion, these airports would benefit more than most others from the installation of weather cameras.

- Both are privately owned licenced airports.

- The first is not PPR
- AMSA have listed this as a significantly important airport and one where SAR times are often not cancelled, possibly due to poor internet & phone coverage
- They have significant GA traffic, including charter, but no RPT
- It's located in a critical location where pilots need to purchase fuel to continue their journeys
- The owner says that the views from the cameras would be stunning. He doesn't want people to be able to see this view on the cameras, because if they do, they won't want to visit the airport/area, as - they will have already seen this amazing view
- They are worried that people will fly into this private airport and not realise that they are being recorded and broadcast around the world and thus open them up to liability

The second:
- Strictly PPR
- Central location and in a CRITICAL weather location for GA aircraft
- Has private, charter and RPT aircraft
- Operator does not want cameras because they don't want to give pilots a false impression of good weather
- Operator wants to provide landing permission based on weather conditions observed by him only and via no other methods

I responded to these concerns to the best of my ability, however seemingly that wasn't good enough.

Can anyone here offer further suggestions as to how you would approach these conversations?

Thanks :-)







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Old 16th Feb 2023, 19:09
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Are there any neighouring houses to airstrips?
Are there any hangars onsite if lease agreements will not be breached by installation?
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