Lincolnshire Police put out a request this week for information on a drone pilot suspected of flying his drone in violation of the Air Navigation Order Rules whilst filming many of the landmark sites in Lincoln, including Lincoln Cathedral and the University of Lincoln.
The BBC news website picked up on the request, running a story. The regional BBC news programme Look North also ran a story, in which I gave a short interview on drone regulations.
The ‘alleged’ rogue pilot had put his video footage on YouTube and apparently Lincolnshire Police were made aware of the footage, leading to their request for information as to the identity of the drone pilot. Of course until anyone is actually convicted of an offence under the Air Navigation Order Rules, it will remain an alleged violation of those Rules. But clearly Lincolnshire Police have strong reason to believe that the drone pilot was not commercially licensed by the CAA and from the footage appeared to be in violation of the Rules. Amazingly, if this turns out to be in breach of the Rules, the drone pilot at the start of the video actually filmed themselves.
Given the recent publicity in the UK on drone flying and the applicable rules, and the conviction of several drone pilots which has led to fines in excess of a thousand pounds, it is quite telling that someone should film themselves and then post the footage of the whole flight on YouTube. If they are breaching the applicable Rules, either they are someone who simply does not care, or they have no appreciable understanding of the Rules, which could suggest that a major rethink is urgently required on how to get the information out to the Public on what is acceptable flying and what is not.