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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

Old 12th Mar 2009, 16:36
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Magistrates court hearing

It seems the accused is the registered owned of G-RIFS. and is reported to be an "anti-hunt campaigner".
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 17:16
  #82 (permalink)  
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from the BBCi report:

Trevor Morse ....was struck by a rear-mounted propeller....A post-mortem examination carried out at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire revealed he died from severe head injuries. Mr Morse died "virtually instantly", the court heard.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 17:52
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Interesting that the poster from the hunting website quoted above doesn't believe that Long Marston is an airfield. It obviously is, and even has a flying school based there.

This does highlight a certain level of ignorance amongst the general public about aviation, and the provisions contained within aviation related legislation that restrict public access to aircraft operating areas. If the deceased and his friends didn't think that this was an airfield, then they may well have also believed that the provisions of the various bits of law that apply to aircraft operating areas may not apply to them. They may also have been sadly unaware of the hazards associated with such areas - walking on to an active taxyway was still a damned dangerous thing to do even if no one intended to cause harm to another.

I've no doubt that the video evidence is crucial, but one has to ask why the deceased deliberately sought a face to face confrontation with the gyro pilot, and why someone felt that this confrontation should be videoed. If they were expecting some sort of violent reaction (which I assume is why they arranged for the confrontation to be videoed) then why choose to have it out in such a dangerous location?

After all, these people knew the identity of the aircraft, as they had reported it to the police and CAA several days before. They had a very good photo, clearly showing the registration (posted on a hunting website), so obviously knew the name and address of the registered owner (the pilot) as this is freely available via G-INFO to everyone. Why didn't this chap confront the pilot in a safer location, like his home?

I feel very sorry for the family and friends of the dead man, as his death seems to have been avoidable and needless. However, I cannot help but feel that he acted very, very unwisely.

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Old 12th Mar 2009, 20:18
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Question

Hmmmm......... A simple bit of analysis on that photo of alleged low flying quickly shows that the absolute minimum distance that the gyro could be from the lens was about 1400ft. The most likely distance is around 2000ft. A retraction of the above might be wise.................

How do you come to that analysis? not that I particularly disagree with it.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 20:34
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I think that the deceased shouting at the pilots had been reported earlier. He was alleged to have shouted "you are not going anywhere" to the pilot. Of course, it's debatable if either the pilot or the passenger heard him, as they would almost certainly be wearing helmets and headsets, plus the noise level would have been quite high.

It seems that the unfortunate victim simply didn't realise how much danger he was putting himself in.

The case may hinge on why the gyro turned, if this detail is correct. Certainly the pilot could have made a gentle turn and endangered the deceased (AFAIK a gyro like this won't turn very quickly normally). Then again, with the 20 to 25kt wind that was blowing at the time I guess that it's equally possible that it may have weathercocked around faster than expected.

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Old 12th Mar 2009, 20:44
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How do you come to that analysis? not that I particularly disagree with it.
The jpg image includes the camera model and the lens focal length in a data field. Knowing this, the size of the gyro (in pixels) can be compared to the known size of the gyro and the camera sensor. Knowing the lens focal length allows the distance to be calculated, by knowing the true field width of a lens of that focal length.

Using the least optimistic dimensions gives a range from camera to gyro of about 1400ft, so perfectly legal. I'm sure it was very annoying to those on the ground, even though it was probably legal. In my experience, those unfamiliar with aircraft very often grossly underestimate their height.

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Old 12th Mar 2009, 21:00
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You are assuming the distance is vertical and have not taken into account any horizontal component.
No I haven't.

1400ft is the distance from the camera to the gyro, along the axis of the camera lens. The rule is 500ft FROM any object, person or structure, so this shows that the gyro was 1400ft FROM the camera. QED

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Old 12th Mar 2009, 21:08
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You are assuming the distance is vertical and have not taken into account any horizontal component.

The shots not far off the vertical but it doesn't take account of any crop of the original image, the quality doesn't look that good either, so I suspect it may have been cropped to get the detail, making it look (on the web page image), lower than it actually is.

eg original with 400ml lens


same image cropped
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 21:30
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The image has been cropped, but the assumption is that the number of pixels occupied by the image of the gyro remains the same (which is exactly the case for a simple crop, without additional interpolation).

As we are dealing with ratios (in this case the ratio of the number of pixels the gyro takes up compared to the number of pixels across the camera sensor) the arithmetic remains valid.

If the image had been manipulated to crop and interpolate, increasing the number of apparent pixels in the cropped image, then there should be clear indications of artifacts, that don't seem to be present in that image.

Although it's quite possible to retain the original image meta data in the image after a major Photoshop job, I think it's unlikely that this is the case here. The image records the camera as a Canon EOS40D, with a 3888 x 2592 pixel sensor, fitted with a 400mm (35mm equivalent) focal length lens. The image was later cropped to 1063 x 768 pixels. The cropped part is just a subset of the full sensor image, hence the reason that the ratiometric technique still works.

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Old 12th Mar 2009, 21:52
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I've often found it frustrating that I'm no longer able to contribute to 'legal' topics, but never more so than when reading your interpretation of the law in your various posts in this thread.
Why can't you contribute? Have you been banned from posting such posts here?

As someone who has very recently witnessed an armed police response to a light aircraft that was thought to have been hijacked you would understand how ANY interference of an aircrafts operation is taking very very seriously by the authorities. Perhaps you also think the Police interpretation of hijacking of light aircraft is also incorrect.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 22:06
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How does a "gentle giant" come to embroiled in an altercation with a "hunt protestor"?

It is so very British to not speak ill of the deceased, but I can't help feeling that anger and frustration on both sides played a part in this sorry tradegdy.

Wish people could live and let live a bit more.

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Old 12th Mar 2009, 22:06
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Not quite CD2M... he's a court Judge and formerly an aviation lawyer and therefore has to be careful about getting involved in 'legal' discussions.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 22:20
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How does a "gentle giant" come to embroiled in an altercation with a "hunt protestor"?

It is so very British to not speak ill of the deceased, but I can't help feeling that anger and frustration on both sides played a part in this sorry tradegdy.
A work colleague is acquainted with the master of the Warwickshire. Mr Morse was described to me by my colleague as being very "passionate" about hunting. He was also, allegedly, upset by an accident to a young girl that happened on the 1st March, which he believed to have been precipitated by the actions of the gyro pilot. Although the girl wasn't badly hurt, it has been alleged that Mr Morse wanted to make his feelings known to the pilot.

Clearly he felt quite strongly about this, as he drove 10 or 11 miles across country to track the gyro down and confront the pilot.

Why on earth he didn't just go and see the pilot at his house instead is a mystery, a question that I would imagine members of his family must be asking themselves over and over again. It had to be so much safer than trying to tackle him in his aircraft on an active taxyway.

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Old 12th Mar 2009, 22:34
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It is all too easy for us in the know to know where to get information on the owners of an aircraft once its hull registration is known. I doubt many Joe Public will have any idea G-INFO or similar exists so wouldn't go looking for it. It would therefore be understandable for Mr Morse's action in following the aircraft.

What ever happened there after......

But the legality or otherwise of Mr Morse being on the airfield is largely academic, since the pilot has not been prosecuted under the ANO (or at least the main offence seems to be murder, which is not covered by the ANO)
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 22:40
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Fg Off Max Stout, I can understand him not being able to comment on actual pending cases such as the one being discussed here but if he feels my interpretation of the law is incorrect he is still free to comment why he thinks so.

Why on earth he didn't just go and see the pilot at his house instead is a mystery...
The listed owner on G-INFO may not be the same as the pilot flying, although it was the same person in this case. Also, I doubt many people know about G-INFO or how to go about finding such information.

As a keen horse rider myself, my horse bolted some years ago when a idiot pilot decided to do a dive and a low fly past so he could wave to his daughter also on a horse in the same group. That pilot lost his license after being reported to the CAA. If the pilot of G-RIFS did a similar thing, the CAA would take immediate action if reported, there is no excuse to take matters into your own hands.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 22:46
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...doubt many people know about G-INFO or how to go about finding such information.
This is in fact the case. People simply do not expect this level of personal information to be available from a public website. After all you can't look up a car registration. Non pilots would never think of it.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 22:54
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CD2M

I am not sure where you get this idea of hijack from and obviously cannot comment on the correlation between your recent experience and this case. But in post no. 40 you cited clause 146 from the ANO and implied it applied to the pilot. I am pretty sure 146 is there to ensure the CAA or other regulator/law enforcement agency is not impeded in performing an investigation/enquiry/prosecution in their duties of enforcing the ANO. Which is why it is under the general section not the Operating of Aircraft Section
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 23:37
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The "Ban the Hunt" crowd do seem a bit pushy at times....and the "Hunt" crowd feel rather put upon as a result I guess. When you bottle up your emotions and circumstances prevent sane rational discourse by the parties involved then is it any surprise there are not more dangerous encounters between the two groups.

Watching the BBC video's of such protests and encounters should serve to remind folks there are better venue's than have been used to protest. Perhaps it is just too small a piece of land you folks have to share and it lends itself to these obsessions with poking one's nose into other folks activities even when they are legal activities to begin with.

Why not use the legal system or CAA to address some perceived injury or misconduct?
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 23:48
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VP you seem very determined to put the blame on the deceased . Does this have anything to do with your own views regarding hunting by any chance ??
In my experience these antis have more of a problem with hunting from a class point of view ( they are generally chippy little townies with no knowledge of the workings of the countryside ..but not all ) That is why , in their attempt to stop hunting they are more than happy to do such things as lay traps for horses to break their legs in, make a scent across a main road hoping for an accident etc etc these people are often uneducated and extremely agressive . All of the posts here saying the pilot should have shut down are spot on and if the pilot was frightened of a telling off about his behaviour then he should not have done it .
If i invaded a football pitch to try to stop play because i hate football i would expect a reaction .
CDM still on your planet i see
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Old 13th Mar 2009, 00:10
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SAS, Bert,

I made my request on page 1 for 2 reasons;

1. The passion (venom) with which views for and against hunting are held and expressed

2. The poisonous nature of the thread associated with the incident you have since described. The fact that I agree that lack of a prosecution is mystifying has nothing to do with my view that the debate brought significant degradation of this site's credibility.

As I'm not a mod, I made a request. SP has provided the link for those interested.


Back on topic;

It has been reported that the incident was filmed. If so, the content of that recording may be significant in the charge.

In respect of the photos, there is no information available from the photos as to whether the aircraft was manoeuvering at the time the photograph was taken. The photograph in itself doesn't prove anything either way other than the identity of the aircraft at that place in that moment in time.

That there are two people being held is unusual unless both were in the aircraft and dual controls were fitted. There may be more involved.

Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait until a trial (if one is held) before finding out what the relevant counsels want the court to know.

Last edited by Freewheel; 13th Mar 2009 at 00:21.
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