Man convicted for illegal drone use at Brighton concert
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A man who crashed a drone at a concert on Brighton beach has been convicted in the first case of its kind in court.
Giles Dalby flew a drone over Brighton beach during a concert.
He lost control of the aircraft which then crashed into the stage during a live music performance.
Footage shows how the aircraft flew just over the heads of people in the audience during the event.
At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on January 4, Dalby admitted recklessly or negligently causing or permitting an aircraft to endanger a person or property.
He had used the drone contrary to the Air Navigation Order during the incident on July 24, 2022.
It is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind under the legislation.
Dalby, 39, formerly a fire safety worker of Devonshire Place, Brighton, was fined £576, with a £230 surcharge and £85 costs.
Sussex Police and the UK Civil Aviation Authority are releasing the footage to highlight how Dalby’s use of the drone was illegal and put those in attendance at the concert in danger.
Guidance to drone operators about operating the aircraft safely is provided by the UK Civil Aviation Authority online at www.caa.co.uk/drones.
Anyone responsible for a drone must register with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and anyone flying a drone must get a Flyer ID. Both can be obtained online at www.register-drones.caa.co.uk.
The operator is legally responsible for every flight, and must keep the aircraft in sight at all times.
The aircraft must be kept below 400ft, and must not be flown over a congested area.
Sussex Police Drone Training Officer PC Steven Prince said: “Dalby operated a drone above a crowded beach concert on Brighton beach.
“He lost control of the aircraft which then crashed into the stage, near to a musician who was in the middle of a live performance.
“Dalby is fortunate that no one was harmed, but this case should act as a reminder to all drone operators about how to stay within the law.”
Jonathan Nicholson, spokesperson at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Drones can be great fun to fly and are undertaking more and more useful rules such as delivering medical supplies.
“However, they must be flown safely and this incident shows what can happen if people don’t follow the rules. Our dronecode provides a simple guide to the rules along with advice on how to enjoy flying your drone.”