back to article Bloke fined £460 after his drone screwed up police chopper search for missing woman

A Russian-speaking man from Cambridgeshire has become the first person in the UK to be convicted of illegally flying a drone beneath a police helicopter during a search operation. Sergej Miaun's antics with his DJI Phantom 4 caused a search for a missing woman to be abandoned after police helicopter pilot Lee Holmes became …

  1. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Alien

    He flew it there thinking there may have been a road accident.

    WTF? Was it going there to airlift the injured to hospital?

    What a planet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I guess it's the new rubbernecking...

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        I guess it's the new rubbernecking...

        Indeed. The legislation remains weak though.

        Obstructing emergency vehicles on the road can be prosecuted as dangerous/reckless driving as well as a whole raft of offences. If you do that ON the road the maximum penalties can be measured in YEARS and an unlimited fine. Compared to that the applicable parts of the legislation look fairly feeble.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          At least...

          ...it won't tie up the motorway with rubbernecking fools ruining everyone else's commute

    2. Wzrd1

      He flew it there thinking there may have been a road accident.

      WTF? Was it going there to airlift the injured to hospital?

      What a planet.

      And I've long considered going through the aggravation and nuisance of purchasing a drone, launching it and reconnoitering the route to work.

      Fortunately, I'm not in the UK, where doing so could turn into a felony.

      1. Andytug

        Google Maps does it for free...

        Satellite photos, street view and real time traffic info. No need for a drone whatsoever.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "And I've long considered going through the aggravation and nuisance of purchasing a drone, launching it and reconnoitering the route to work.

        Fortunately, I'm not in the UK, where doing so could turn into a felony."

        Fly it over my house, and the paintball gun I have loaded with methyl mercaptan pellets (very useful for discouraging coyotes in my area) would get some more target practice.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    F*ck every single flying peeping tom!

    Now every asshat think he's entitled to fly a drone anywhere to peep on what's happening, in the sacrosanct name of "journalism". Don't get me started on the Youtube views battle and stuff...

    Now get off my lawn's skies, you millennial maggots!

    1. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      Re: F*ck every single flying peeping tom!

      They're essentially illegal to fly outdoors in towns and cities.

      The rules say you can't have a drone within 50m of people of buildings (excluding buildings "you control", I think the wording is, which is why drone racing can be legally done), nor can you fly it within 150m of crowds or built-up areas.

      There's obviously a band between 150m up and the 400m cap, but how'd you get them there? You want to play with these toys, you need to aska farmer nicely or see if the National Trust will let you fly 'em (I expect they will in some of the less sensitive reserves, but I've not checked).

      1. Marc 13

        Re: F*ck every single flying peeping tom!

        The NT do not allow "drones", quads or other power aircraft.

        They DO allow gliders... and if the glider has a motor/folding prop, the prop needs to be disabled (e.g. elastic band to stop it being used)

      2. Alvar

        Re: F*ck every single flying peeping tom!

        Height cap is 400 feet, not metres, little to no legal altitude bracket over built-up areas.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: F*ck every single flying peeping tom!

        Max altitude is 400ft, about 121 metres above ground level, not 400m.

        And horizontally not within 150 metres of a congested area or open air gathering of more than 1000 people.

        1. Killfalcon Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: F*ck every single flying peeping tom!

          "Max altitude is 400ft, about 121 metres above ground level, not 400m." - AC

          Oh.

          Welp, I guess we know which of us would have crashed a probe into Mars...

          1. Antonius_Prime

            Re: F*ck every single flying peeping tom!

            The correct term used, I believe is "Litho-braking"...

  3. A.P. Veening

    Hunting season

    When does the season for drones start?

    1. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      Re: Hunting season

      There's a excellent Defcon 23 talk, "Knocking my neighbours kids cruddy drone offline" pointing out that most of them have a "safe land now" and "return to Home" command you can just broadcast at 'em and make them go sit down.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Hunting season

        most of them have a "safe land now" and "return to Home" command you can just broadcast at 'em

        So, finally a reason that not having IoT security is a good thing!

      2. gotes

        Re: Hunting season

        I'll definitely be checking out that Defcon talk; it starts with "God this talk was fun to make" so hopefully I won't be disappointed.

        By the way, "neighbours" is spelt "neighbors" in the title of this talk. You probably just typed it out from memory, so I'll forgive you. I'm British, but generally accepting of American spelling, except perhaps for "Aluminum" - I'm willing to write "sulfur" but y'all had better include that extra i in Aluminium.

        No teacher icon as that's for professional Grammar Nazis, though I will think less of anyone who writes "your" when they mean "you're".

        1. JCitizen
          Headmaster

          Re: Hunting season

          to heck with the grammar Nazis; go ahead and use it!

        2. ICPurvis47
          Headmaster

          Re: Teacher Icon (was Hunting season)

          Teacher Icon is actually Jimmy Edwards (actor) starring in an old black and white TV comedy called Whack-O!, based on the shenanigans of the staff and pupils at a fictitious Public School called Chislebury (http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/whacko/). Quite what it has to do with being a Grammar Nazi (guilty as charged), I have no idea. Used to be a good laugh, though.

  4. h4rm0ny

    His explanation was that he saw police lights over the A47 and flew the drone over there in first-person view (FPV) mode, controlling it from his iPad, thinking there may have been a road accident

    Any sympathy I might have had for this person vanished at the above. Someone who gets cheap thrills out of the rest of us' tragedies has got off lightly, imo. Hope he's learned his less.

    1. OldCrow
      Megaphone

      The actual reason for rubbernecking, is the off-chance that the accident DOES have something to do with you. He saw the lights from his home, so he had higher than average reason to believe that he or someone related may be relevant.

      Also, if the police had been there for any other reason (and thus not in need of the chopper), then checking out the situation with a drone, as opposed to turning up in person, would have been lauded by most people on the scene as the right choise.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        The actual reason for rubbernecking

        Nah, it's prurient interest and nosey-parkerism plain and simple.

        Getting rid of this idiotic traffic-jamming practice is one item on a very short list of reasons I can see for virtualizing the view from car windows. No accident/police stop/bloke changing a tire (for fuck's sake), no mile-long tailback on the opposite carriageway of the Long Island Expressway.

        (If you are interested, in-fog vision enhancement and heads-up navigation (that blocked lane presents as a simple chicane with no work crew to cause rubbernecking) are the other items.)

        It's incredible. You change a tire on the LIE and you have half a million people who need to get a good look because they've never seen such a miraculous sight before. Get rear-ended on the same stretch of road, no-one sees anything.

      2. gotes

        @OldCrow

        Nonsense. People love to look at wrecked up shit, myself included. Though whilst on the road my focus is most definitely on keeping the traffic moving. If I really want to see it I'm sure there will be a load of portrait videos shot by gawpers posted to YouTube or passed to a local news website (you know, the one with all the trashy ads).

        Do you think people watch things like "Top 10 most epic fails" out of concern for a family member?

        It's been going on for centuries...

      3. rg287

        The actual reason for rubbernecking, is the off-chance that the accident DOES have something to do with you. He saw the lights from his home, so he had higher than average reason to believe that he or someone related may be relevant.

        The actual reason for rubbernecking is the exact same reason that public executions were both public and well-attended, often being the social event of the month.

        Good old morbid curiosity, we just can't help ourselves.

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    Did they find the woman?

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      No they called off the search to find the drone.

  6. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Confiscation

    My thought from the headline was "I hope they destroyed his drone". The fine seems tiny otherwise.

    They did. Good!

  7. Timmy B Silver badge

    Rather it wasn't destroyed.

    I have friends that operate a charity that searches for missing people and dogs. They often use a drone, and the "donation" of a second one to use in searching would have been much appreciated.

    It'd help me too on the times I'm called out locally to track for them. But certainly not with me flying it - I can't control them things at all!

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Rather it wasn't destroyed.

      Fair enough. A bit like when cars are crushed for no tax. Wasteful and bad for the environment.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Rather it wasn't destroyed.

        " A bit like when cars are crushed for no tax. "

        They seldom are. The owner has a chance to pay the fine & get his car back and then the car goes up for auction if he fails to do so. 90% of crushings are old bangers noone in their right mind would want and the remainder are ones the police have decided they want publicity with (or are dangerous mods that can't be allowed back on the road)

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Rather it wasn't destroyed.

          They seldom are

          It happens often enough in the US for illegal imports - cars imported in violation of the "Chicken Tax" (a protectionist scheme to keep newer foreign cars out of the US market). You can find articles and videos on various car-enthusiast websites such as Jalopnik.

          And it is a waste. If they have to seize the cars (regardless of how stupid the governing statute is), fine. They're nearly always vehicles of interest to enthusiasts, so auction them off to enthusiasts outside the US. They'll probably sell at very low prices (as we see with police vehicle auctions now), but as long as the buyer pays for shipping, who cares?

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Rather it wasn't destroyed.

      "I have friends that operate a charity that searches for missing people and dogs. They often use a drone"

      They have no more right to fly drones then this guy does, hopefully their drone is also confiscated and destroyed.

    3. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Rather it wasn't destroyed.

      So the charity using drones has the effect of stopping the police from doing their job, outstanding.

  8. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Priorities

    Rubbernecking drone pilot is a F-wit.

    But the police helo following the drone home after it left the area seems to be a far lower priority that finding a missing person at night in December.

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Priorities

      But the police helo following the drone home after it left the area seems to be a far lower priority that finding a missing person at night in December.

      I read it as the police choppper headed for home (due to the risk from the unknown drone) and a plod followed the drone on foot to observe where it landed

      1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Priorities

        I read it as the police choppper headed for home (due to the risk from the unknown drone)

        this reminds me of section in a book i read once,

        Mr. Prosser:

        Do you know how much damage this bulldozer would sustain if I just let it roll over you?

        Arthur:

        How much?

        Mr. Prosser:

        None at all.

        I am almost certain that a helicopter could suffer no damage at all if it was to make contact with a drone... the most vulnerable part of a helicopter has to be the tail rotor and i believe most police helicopters have a fenestron to limit noise, but will also protect it from bird strike or small drones...

        but the thing is, its first class pricks like this, and that tit that buzzed the bears on that mountain that was all over the news last week and others that go buzzing over other peoples property that screwing the hobby up for everyone who acts responsibly.

        1. rg287

          Re: Priorities

          I am almost certain that a helicopter could suffer no damage at all if it was to make contact with a drone...

          That depends on a given value of "drone".

          A chunky camera rig like a DJI Phantom (the offender in question here) or something carrying a DSLR-class camera with enough mass/inertia for sensibly stable flight in wind and weather could indeed make a mess of a tail rotor.

          By contrast a diddly little racing drone would be batted down like a gnat (not that such a thing would be out playing "in the wild" anyway).

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Priorities

          "I am almost certain that a helicopter could suffer no damage at all if it was to make contact with a drone.."

          Unless it was to somehow get _below_ the drone it's unlikely to make contact.

          Rotor wash will pretty much ensure that. US pilots have downed drones using theirs.

      2. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: Priorities

        Lack of comprehension. Unless you're joking.

      3. acardwelluk

        Re: Priorities

        Incorrect - there is video footage that shows the helicopter following the drone home. They identified the man's address, sent in ground plod who questioned him and found the drone in the loft hatch above his bathroom. They confiscated the drone and destroyed it.

  9. Johndoe888

    I understand there is another DJI Phantom owner being prosecuted, for flying it directly over an airfield.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps the Police ...

    Could offer a bounty on sniping these things from the sky.

    With the right radio kit it's possible.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps the Police ...

      Sadly particle beams aren't a thing. At least not man-portable versions. Accuracy International do make a rather nice rifle in .338

      Could be a way to update old phrases, like 'He can shoot a rotor off a DJI at 400m'. AFAIK the police helicopters aren't fitted with kevlar, so there'd still need to be deconfliction..

      1. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps the Police ...

        I think a shotgun would be the right tool for this job, rather than a rifle. Alternatively, eagles are quite effective:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr-xBtVU4lg

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps the Police ...

        "Accuracy International do make a rather nice rifle in .338"

        Uh yeah, right.

        What goes up, must come down. In this case, ballisiticaly and 1-2 miles from where it was fired.

        First rule of gun control: ALWAYS ensure you know where your rounds will end up even if you miss.

        On this side of the Atlantic even thinking about taking that shot would cost you your license.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps the Police ...

      Perhaps the police, instead of making a public spectacle of this guy, should realize that they could be doing EXACTLY what he was doing and spending one hell of a lot less $$. If you are looking for a missing person, you don't need a a helicopter in the air at hundreds of pounds per hour when we have something now that works just as well. What I am saying is, for these types of things, DRONES ARE CHEAPER, and maybe even better. I would bet that you could dispatch a fleet of these under computer control and cover 10 times the area of the Helicopter in 1/10th the time AT THE SAME COST.

  11. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    “Oh look, there's a drone”

    It sounds like the helicopter pilot got bored with looking for the woman and thought it would be much easier to chase the drone. Sure, finding a drone in your flight path is a bother but it's really not that big a deal. Was the pilot worried - no, just got distracted.

    Use to be we'd joke, “Oh look, there's a squirrel” ....

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: “Oh look, there's a drone”

      "Sure, finding a drone in your flight path is a bother but it's really not that big a deal. "

      I imagine that getting a Phantom caught up in your own rotor might be fatal and anyone flying directly underneath a Police helicopter just for shits and giggles is clearly an idiot, so the risk of such an accident might seem quite high if you were the pilot.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: “Oh look, there's a drone”

        I'd think that if the drone were directly under the helicopter, the pilots wouldn't have seen it and also the downwash from the rotor would have created some serious problems for the drone. But still, the drone pilot was an idiot.

        1. acardwelluk

          Re: “Oh look, there's a drone”

          The video was published it was below and off to one side - they spotted it quite clearly because of the infra red camera.

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: “Oh look, there's a drone”

        Since the drone was below the helicopter it was no threat at all - there's no way it could have risen into the force of the helicopters downdraft. The only serious risk from the drone or any other flying object (swan sized) would be if it hit the tail rotor and damaged it but the relative masses of the two objects mean that while drones are a risk, they are not a big risk. The pilot was happy to follow the drone home ... not worried about it at all.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: “Oh look, there's a drone”

          Reread the bit where the guy said "I only realised there was a helicopter there when it switched on the big light", revisit your tail rotor comment, then imagine your family are on the ground beneath the helicopter. Done that? Good. Still all fine?

      3. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: “Oh look, there's a drone”

        The police do have a terrible record for air safety. They are supposed to have the pilot concentrate on flying and the policeman concentrate on spotting. Once the pilot joins the search they're in great danger.

        If the pilot really did give chase to the drone he would need fighter pilot skills. "Tank I need a fighter pilot program for an EC145 helicopter"

        1. acardwelluk

          Re: “Oh look, there's a drone”

          The pilot tracked the drone easily - at best the top speed was about 25ish mph. hardly a challenge.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And if it was a drone operated by another security service

    unbeknown to the police, all you commentards calling for this operator to be hanged, drawn and quartered wouldn't be quite so vindictive for someone else performing exactly the same actions.

    It really doesn't take much to make supposedly mature adults outraged these days. No wonder the country is so angry when it takes so little to upset people.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      No,

      in that case they'd just deserve a serious bollicking for not following the rules and coordinating with their colleagues.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No,

        Errr, not following following the rules - as in breaking the law?!?

        Isn't that exactly what people here are getting their knickers in a twist over?

        Or are you implying some are above the law?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russian speaking?!?

    What has that got to do with anything?

    Is El Reg part of the state propaganda machine now?

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Russian speaking?!?

      Here's a question. Why _shouldn't_ they report facts? Propaganda. Lets hide who is going through the court system and just let Tommy Tippee stand outside the courts and broadcast who is who on facebook.

    2. Mayday Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Russian speaking?!?

      "His explanation was that he saw police lights over the A47"

      Perhaps he was thinking AK-47?

  14. streaky Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Here's what's interesting.

    "The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made"

    You can reasonably satisfied if that's the case with an FPV drone. I'd be more comfortable at 100 miles satisfying myself through FPV that than using line of sight to satisfy myself at 400 meters. Also yes I did put it like that intentionally. There are a few absurdities in law with this stuff, which is probably why some people don't take the law seriously. I can fly actual aircraft (PPL - although my rating lapsed admittedly years ago because I wasn't getting any use out of it) and so I'm fully aware of the issues and the drone panic (albeit sometimes justified) is drowning out sensible regulation in this area.

    Also that offence isn't strict liability is it? It can't be else it wouldn't rely on a person satisfying themselves - surely they should be required to prove a person isn't reasonably satisfied that it's safe to fly.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Here's what's interesting.

      The fact that the drone operator wasn't aware of the helicopter until the pilot turned "the big light" on says otherwise.

      1. streaky Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Here's what's interesting.

        Bit of a leap. The helicopter's altitude would have been significantly higher than this drone. The reason he wouldn't have known it was there is they weren't in conflict which is precisely the point isn't it? The downwash from a heli would have destroyed it basically instantly if he was within hundreds of feet of it.

        I'd be interested to see the video from the heli which should have been saved as evidence to see what actually happened.

        Don't get me wrong I'm not saying the guy isn't an utter clown, but I'm interested in how much real risk there is/was.

  15. Peter Christy

    Whilst it may be arguable whether the pilot believed the flight could be made safely or not, what is not in dispute is that he flew it beyond Line-Of-Sight - a clear breach of the Air Navigation Order.

    I fly RC models - which cannot maintain stable flight beyond LOS - and unfortunately I and my fellow RC pilots have been caught up in the drone legislation through no fault of our own. This leaves me very unsympathetic to idiots who fly these things in inappropriate areas.

    I live in a semi-rural area, near the coast and with a steam railway running nearby. Twice in one week, I had idiots taking off from the pavement outside my house, flying at low level over the (busy-ish) road and my neighbours' houses to get photos of the train! One at least had the decency to look sheepish and disappear when challenged. The other claimed to be a licensed professional at first, but then scarpered pretty quickly when I quoted the relevant sections of the Air Navigation Order to him.

    From my perspective, this guy got off lightly.

    --

    Pete

    1. streaky Silver badge

      It's not in dispute that he technically breached the rules. The issue for me is that the rules aren't fit for purpose and maybe if they were people wouldn't ignore them so much.

    2. Wayland Bronze badge

      "I fly RC models - which cannot maintain stable flight beyond LOS"

      Your RC models short comings don't apply to Drones which can be flown far beyond LOS using their built in cameras.

      Whether they should be flown that way is a different question.

      1. acardwelluk

        Well clearly they shouldn't the rules state they should not be flown beyond LOS.

    3. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

      "I fly RC models - which cannot maintain stable flight beyond LOS - and unfortunately I and my fellow RC pilots have been caught up in the drone legislation through no fault of our own."

      I would HOPE that you did finally come under such laws and regulations considering the much more dangerous activity you are involved in.

      Your so called "RC" (read unmanned) aircraft are inherently more dangerous than the typical drone today (above the lowest toy grade) as they, by your own admission, can not maintain stable safe flight beyond line of sight or even loss of signal.

      Typically a drone would have GPS onboard as well as other sophisticated devices that enable it to be aware of its position relative to launch point / waypoint, altitude and 3D accelerometers letting it know where it is headed, how far and how fast. Upon loss of signal it will attempt to navigate back to its take off point and land. It will also do this if commanded by the owner and if its batteries are getting too low. Loss of sight is an issue for the operator that can be mitigated by the inclusion of FPV on the drone that can allow the operator to reacquire sight or attempt to land it safely should a return home command be iffy due to a low battery. Also if there is loss of sight the drone can simply hover, not bothering anyone, not simply falling out of the sky or plowing into a family picnic like with your "models".

      Your so called "RC models", which is an archaic term for an unmanned aircraft these days, do none of this. They wont return home when commanded, when running low on power or when they lose comms to the controller but will happily fly about in an uncontrolled manner (as you pointed out) till they hit something or someone.

      Your "models" are highly dangerous should you lose control. What happens if you have a heart attack? What happens if you get distracted by someone who is in danger or get distracted by your kids who really need an adult. Are you going to always be able to say "hang on, try to stop bleeding while I land the thing, not long now"

      If any of those things were to happen to me I can quite simply press the RTH button. The drone, not needing my assistance, while I deal with the emergency will climb to a decent height and slowly make its way back to the launch point where it will then slowly descend till it touches the ground and shuts off its motors.

      I'd much rather be near a drone than a flying missile any day. Yep, things can happen to cause the drone to fall out of the sky like a rock but at least its designed to not do that by default.

  16. John Savard Silver badge

    Incomplete

    The story doesn't say whether the missing woman, despite this, was eventually found, and found alive. That makes a difference as to whether the charges reported here are appropriate, or he should have faced vastly more severe charges instead.

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Incomplete

      Exactly, it should be the consequences that the punishment are based on. I suspect that if they had time to chase the drone then the more important job of finding the missing person had been successful. However if they abandoned the search in order to make £460 they have their priorities wrong.

  17. DeVino
    Joke

    Rubberdroning ?

    Only it, you know sounds a bit ... iffy?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why we can't have nice things.......

    Can't think of any thing to add......

  19. SonOfDilbert
    Coat

    Droning on

    Jeez, you guys are really droning on...

  20. Chris Parsons

    Good

    As a pilot who spent time and money learning how to fly safely, I find the fact that idiots can just go out and cause serious problems to flyers, deliberately or otherwise, more than a tad annoying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good

      Yep, the sky belongs to the paranoid elite. Nobody else can enjoy the sky.

      SH*T whats that! A bird? Kill them all. Air supremacy!

      I'd rather you lot stop flying anything other than large commercial jets and go back to walking across the earth while society leave the skies to the birds and small aircraft running deliveries for amazon.

      I can imagine this attitude being applied to users of smartphones with cameras that have decent resolution. How dare these kids / snapshotting amateurs take photos that could rival my shots from my expensive DSLR that I spent many coins on together with some professional qualifications in photography. The light that comes off your bodies BELONGS TO ME! I'm the photographer, with the kit.

  21. ScottishYorkshireMan

    Laws for the Lawful

    This country is wrapped up in a stigma of 'drones are bad'. Yes, the internet is full of drone muppets, its also full of idiots who climb buildings they shouldn't be climbing. Cars being driving at speeds they shouldn't be driven at. etc etc. This is the first case, there will be many more. Yet, the overall dislike of drones on this thread is I am sorry to say, pretty typical of todays news reporting. When was the last time you saw good being done by dronws

    There are idiots who drive cars, should those be banned? There are idiots who use power tools. ban those too? Muppets who climb these tall buildings? should we ban tall buildings too?

    Legislate all you like, this will only affect the lawful. The muppets amongst us, will do their own thing. Unfortunately, they will spoil it for all concerned.

    In this case, clear violation of ANO, fine levied was insufficient. However, new drone registration rules will help here. Also, the work being done by Vodafone for identification of drones in use will help too.

  22. dieseltaylor

    Hit on the head

    Seems funny that downing a helicopter is discussed but the debris from a disabled drone be it from contact or wash, is assumed to vapourise before landing somewhere.

    Possibly a person, possibly a vehicle where the driver is distracted enough to cause a serious accident.

    A friend neighbours drone crashed into my friends roof killing tiles.

  23. acardwelluk

    As a quadcopter flyer, it is upon me to follow the rules. I check where I'm allowed to fly, I follow the drone code as set out by the CAA rules and yes I upload footage to youtube of various things.

    I dislike how these things are sold as toys (and more and more at toy prices). The manufacturers should be held jointly responsible.

    In this case, the owner of the quadcopter flew it well beyond his line of sight thus contravening the rules. The video, featured on another site, shows that he was well below and not that close to the helicopter but had it of been in the line of sight he couldn't fail to notice the helicopter close by. It's about time we started fining people, making these fines more public and removing such vehicles as has happened in this case.

  24. acardwelluk

    Video Link

    Here you can see the video https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-cambridgeshire-46242032/drone-endangered-police-helicopter-in-cambridgeshire

    1. Chozo
      Devil

      Re: Video Link

      I thought the Police Air Operations Manual stated a minimum altitude of 800 ft above the highest obstruction within 5 km of the aircraft when flying at night? The data overlay on the video suggests that the police may of been way below that limit.

      I'm not defending the drone operator IMHO he's a pillock but if the police pilot is at fault should they not be reprimanded as well?

  25. punk4evr

    Oh, but how tf is it a dangerous to a helicopter? The blade wash, will knock the drone away before it could touch a copter. So... I don't understand. And its not like they travel at 300mph either. So all the panic and noise is just that. Noise, to intentionally blame and dissuade.

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