Dangerous Occurrence Sunday 8th October 2017

Many witnessed on Sunday 8th October a Non Club Member flying a small possibly 180 sized multi rotor aircraft at low level and at high speed at the edge of the football fields 100 plus yards from our two flight lines and very close to members of the public.  It is this type of irresponsible flying that could cause serious damage to our flying club’s reputation if his aircraft was to hit someone and therefore as Chairman I approached the individual who was flying with FPV Goggles without a spotter.  When he removed his goggles I recognized the man who I had notified of his illegal flying a few weeks before and with his apology at the time I believed he would not return knowing he was in the wrong and agreed to not report the matter to the authorities.  Therefore I again politely and professionally explained sections of the Air Navigation Order that he was contravening and explained that as these are ratified by an Act of Parliament he could be faced with criminal prosecution.  I requested his name which he refused to provide and understanding from our previous discussion he was a BMFA member. I asked him for his BMFA membership number and again he refused to provide this also.  So I took his photo. My intention was to follow him to his vehicle and record his vehicle registration number, but when I came back a few mins later he had packed up and left the area.  Due to the serious nature of this Dangerous Occurrence, as Chairman I had no option than to write to Wakefield Council’s Estates Manager for Parks providing him with sufficient legal information both from the ANO and BMFA Handbook 2017 along with his photograph.  In addition as I suspect this person is a BMFA member, a copy letter has been sent to Andy Simons.  Also as a CAA Certified UAV pilot I am required to report any such matters pertaining to Remotely Piloted Aircraft to the local Police and so a copy letter has also been sent to Pontefract Police.  It is not appropriate to post his photo on any social media site however our committee do have this so they can help police the situation and I will update members when I receive a reply from Wakefield Council, BMFA or the Police.  I would however ask that all members report anything similar to any committee member as soon as it is noticed so that we have more evidence of these dangerous occurrences that threaten our club.

Adrian Appleyard

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