UK’s CAA secure their first conviction for illegal use of an unmanned aircraft

The CAA today released a press release that a man from Cumbria has become the first person in the UK to be successfully prosecuted for the dangerous and illegal flying of an unmanned aircraft.

Meanwhile, the defendant says it was a fly-away which is a fairly common malfunction with a number of UAV technologies.

The Guardian newspaper has reported on the story since which the YouTube video of the incident has been set to private:

“The radio failed and it flew away down the Walney channel,” Knowles told the Guardian. “I couldn’t have controlled it. I don’t know why the radio failed. It landed in the sea channel, and the salt water ruined it.”

“I flicked the return-to-home button but it didn’t do anything,” Knowles said. “It didn’t fly anywhere near the BAE Systems facility.”  The Guardian reported.

The CAA has reminded those operating UAVs in the UK that:
• An unmanned aircraft must never be flown beyond the normal unaided ‘line of sight’ of the person operating it. This is generally measured as 500m horizontally or 400ft vertically.
• An unmanned aircraft fitted with a camera must always be flown at least 50m distance away from a person, vehicle, building or structure.
• An unmanned aircraft fitted with a camera must not be flown within 150m of a congested area or large group of people, such as a sporting event or concert.

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