April 4, 2014 - A man from Cumbria in North West
England has become the first person in the UK to
be successfully prosecuted for the dangerous and
illegal flying of an unmanned aircraft. Robert
Knowles was found to have flown the device in
restricted airspace over a nuclear submarine
facility, as well as allowing the device to fly
too close to a vehicle bridge.
Both offences breached the UK’s Air Navigation
Order. Knowles, of Barrow-in-Furness, was found
guilty on Tuesday and fined £800 at Furness and
District Magistrate Court following the
prosecution by the UK Civil Aviation Authority
(CAA), who said the case raised important safety
issues concerning recreational flying of
unmanned aircraft. The CAA was also awarded
costs of £3,500.
On August 25, 2013, the Court heard, an unmanned
aircraft (UAV) was recovered from water near to
a submarine testing facility in
Barrow-in-Furness, operated by the defense
company, BAE Systems.