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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

Old 10th Mar 2009, 13:30
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Warwickshire County Council have a good website covering it here.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 13:51
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We don't know if the incident was just after land, before or after fueling etc.
So anything is pure speculation.
The pilot /s were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Could it be that they had had an altercation during fueling, the deceased had tried to stop the gyro copter from taxiing, by blocking the taxyway.
The pilot then manoveared his vehicle in an aggressive manor, striking the pedestrian.

Hence the suspicion of murder, especially if it was witnessed by other people.

Taking sides at this stage is ridiculous. As is my scenario, I am just trying to point out that there are only 2 facts. A man is dead and there was a gyrocopter. We don't even know for sure that the two had an interface.

So save your girlie bleating.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 14:19
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Certainly strange - it sounds like an accident but the police keeping people in custody for this length of time implies that it's not straightforward.

Tragic
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 14:34
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SS,

Looking at the BBC video at about 0:25 onwards, it looked to me as if the propeller blade in the 7 o'clock position (as viewed from the nose) was damaged and delaminated at the tip. It seems to be fluttering in the wind.

The video's a bit grainy so it's not entirely clear.

BBC NEWS | England | Coventry/Warwickshire | Death gyrocopter 'followed hunt'
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 14:41
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I am very reluctant to speculate about this, however, should an unauthorised person approach my aircraft I would immediately shut the engine down.

Is it possible that a trespasser came too close and the pilot shut down the engines and the blades descended below head height ?

Just my thoughts, but NO ONE should be trespassing on an airfield for any reason.

The investigation will eventually provide the facts.




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Old 10th Mar 2009, 14:41
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Why cover the cockpit and not the whole a/c or rotating parts?
Just a common way to stop the windshield getting dirty and scratched while the machine is parked. Probably just an automatic action like securing the rotor.

...should an unauthourised person approach my arcraft I would immediatly shut the engine down.
Me too, especially someone angry and known to be a non-pilot.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 15:07
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A photograph of the aircraft on 'ops' from a few weeks ago at the bottom of the page. Of course you can't judge the height, but I guess they wouldn't have taken the picture if it wasn't making a nuisance of itself.

Foxhunting and beagling discussion forum - Monitors in Micro-lights
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 15:22
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Of course you can't judge the height,
And that is, of course the problem the CAA will have had in doing anything about it. I am guessing it wasn't fitted with a Mode C / S xponder - so not too sure how they would be able to tell its height accurately!

And on the subject of the hunt itself - is it possible we could debate this elsewhere (JetBlast, another forum); other than my general mantra of "live and let live," I'm more interested in the aviation related aspects - if any!

Politics and PPRuNE often don't mix nicely!
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 16:20
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no more talk about murder now, and talk of a collision with the copter....

Police quiz two over gyrocopter death | UK | Reuters


If it was a taxi collision, seems like a sad event but culpability may be on the other side.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 16:22
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Low Flying is irrelevant

Any question of low flying over farmland/a hunt is in no way directly relevant to the investigation of a fatality which happened on the ground at an airfield. Alleged low flying elsewhere and on other dates could not have been root acuse, contributory or aggravating condition of the fatal accident - so let's not muddy the waters by mingling the two occurences
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 19:10
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I just watched the BBC news, and they claimed the prop, which is at the BACK of the gyro, hit the man; they also showed the gyro with a damaged prop. If you were in a gyro and decided to kill someone, how are you going to hit them with something behind you? It seems to me the man ran into the back of the gyro, and the pilot probably never even saw or heard him.

So unless I've got it all totally wrong, let's have no more emotive talk of murder, pro and anti hunting, and other irrelevancies. It seems like a tragic accident.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 19:41
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I can't see how the pilot can be charged with murder whilst taxiing.

If someone stands in the way of the aircraft and tries to force it to stop (other than a marshaller) then it is unlawful interference or an aircraft i.e. hijacking.

The only other alternative is an accident.

If you were in a gyro and decided to kill someone, how are you going to hit them with something behind you? It seems to me the man ran into the back of the gyro, and the pilot probably never even saw or heard him.
Actually you can taxi towards someone and the person would still be hit by the rear pointing propeller as the width of the prop is wider than the gyrocopters fuselage.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 20:00
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I don't quite catch your drift there. If I am taxying or even just sat there parked with the engine or engines running and I see a risk of causing injury to someone then I have an obligation to prevent harm to that person to the best of my ability. If that means that my aircraft has been interfered with then that is something I can take up later but there's a higher duty to preserve life, isn't there?

Many people are completely unaware of the risks posed by aircraft and will put themselves at great risk of a prop or rotor strike or of being ingested by a running jet engine without meaning to do that. I have occasionally had someone decide to make me stop by getting in my way, at great risk to themselves. Guess what? It works! I am not going to try chasing some muppet out of the way, given that he might see no reason to move out of the way of something he cannot see.

Let us hope this was an accident and nothiing more.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 20:50
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As a minor contribution, I am under the impression that unless they are actually on their take off run or landing run out gyrocopters generally taxi with the rotor blades static or nearly static. It takes flying speed to rotate the blades at a rate that would be dangerous.

On a taxi way a pedestrian could be struck by the body or the propulsion blades and I guess in the wrong circumstances could be killed by either. It would be terrible to learn that the piloit had played chicken with a protester on the ground, on the other hand the brakes on my aircraft, (not a gyro,) are not of the order of auto brakes. From 40 knots it take me maybe 50 or 60 yards to stop, if confronted by someone while moving I might not be able to stop in the kind of distance they might expect.

There have been several instances of accusations of low or 'less than 500'" separation, some of which have cropped up on Pprune, but mostly they have ended up being put down to mis-perception by inexperienced or agenda driven viewers. Part of the problem these days is that people seem to think it is OK to 'stretch' the unmeasurable when it suits their purpose.

Just a comment on the world in general, I was not there, and I just don't know. Why can't these people (both sides) get worked up about global warming and go out and buy some carbon credits!
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 21:19
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Chuks, you are correct, if you are taxiing or parked with engine running and you see a risk to someones life of course you are obliged to save that persons life if you can. If you didn't take action, I very much doubt you would be charged with murder as the gyro pilot has been though.

If on the other hand, some angry person runs out in front of your aircraft and you fear for you own life/safety why should you stop the aircraft?

Edit:
From the UK ANO, section 146...

"Obstruction of persons
A person shall not intentionally obstruct or impede any person acting in the exercise of his powers or the performance of his duties under this Order."

Last edited by Cabin doors 2 manual; 10th Mar 2009 at 21:29.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 23:14
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There's only one lesson here. Don't take the law into your own hands
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 23:54
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This is obviously a first post, so please feel free to accept the following or otherwise at your discretion:

From a third hand source and based on an eye witness account, this is what is alledged to have occurred at Long Marston. The hunt supporter is said to have approached from the front of the aircraft after pulling up in his Land ( or Range) Rover with his wife at the fuelling bay. The pilot(s) who were confused by what was going on apparently shouted to the man to move as they were pulling away, he approached the front of the craft shouting back "you are going nowhere." Again it is said that the pilots were heard to shout to move as they were taxiing and again he apparently repeated "you're not going anywhere."

It is then believed that he approached and tripped over the rear wheels where the blade unfortunately struck his head, however he did momentarily stand up, albeit with a severe head wound before falling down backwards to the shock of all present including of course his wife.

As mentioned above, this is third hand and partially chinese whispers so please feel free to fill in the gaps however you feel or even totally disregard the above post as required.....
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 03:01
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Homicide is the killing of another person.

Murder requires the proving of intent to kill, or taking some action that could reasonably result in the death of another such as an assault.

If this guy was charged with "murder" then the state will have to prove he had an intent to kill. Just running over the guy will in itself not be sufficient to prove "murder".

But then in the UK....if you beat a Burglar's hind end as he sets fire to your house after raping your daughter.....you can find yourself in jail for assault....so who knows.
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 05:58
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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justice in the balance

A manslaughter charge used to literally hang in the balance in the uk.
A detective explained to me if you hit a burglar as he was halfway through a window and he falls dead into the room then self defense can be argued,(lawfull killing) but if he fell dead and is found out of the house self defense cannot be argued and a manslaughter charge can be the norm.
But this law was changed in 2005 after a public outcry of the murder of a jewellers wife in her home. And so it came to pass that it is ok to use reasonable force to protect "yourself and your property" even if such force results in hte death of the intruder.
Homeowners can kill burglars in self-defence, Government says - Crime, UK - The Independent

There is far less leeway when one takes action to protect property outside of the home, ie cars or aeroplanes.

If there are no independent witnesses then this tragic case may hinge on the seemingly minor detail of which way the poor chap fell, was he moving toward the aircraft when he fell or was he moving away?

Perhaps pilots as a breed do tend to wait until there is reasonable level of certainty as to the intentions of others rather than to take early avoidance?


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Old 11th Mar 2009, 08:15
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If the man did approach the copter (in anger or otherwise) and the pilot warned this man rightly not to approach (due to the danger), the man decides to continue nearing the copter and then trips, it sounds to me like a very unfortunate accident, and that the reason the man came close to the copter (because of his anger?) has very little to do with the accident.
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