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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

Old 17th Mar 2009, 19:07
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Crikey ANW, that was quite a post!

I don't particularly object to professional pilots representing lawful authority enforcing the law through aerial surveillance.

I do object to amateur pilots representing extremist groups enforcing their own personal agendas through vigilanteism and using aircraft to harass other citizens.

Without even wanting to get started on the pro/anti hunt debate, I think this sort of vigilante air force is a recipe for disaster and I hope that the police, CAA, and all responsible members of the aviation community would stamp hard on this sort of activity before it becomes commonplace.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 19:52
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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I don't particularly object to professional pilots representing lawful authority enforcing the law through aerial surveillance. I do object to amateur pilots representing extremist groups enforcing their own personal agendas through vigilanteism and using aircraft to harass other citizens.
I am surprised it took so long to get round to this point, but I think it is the most interesting. I agree entirely, and I am surprised that they allow it today. If this sort of thing isn't stopped quickly you will have situations like pro-lifers hovering over abortion clinics, then pro-choicers monitoring them -- a recipe for mid air collisions. Today it is a small number, probably because people with licenses prefer to pass their time doing other things, but if political groups see that it works they will start sending their people to get flying lessons.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 19:59
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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Aaah, a return of sponsored flying training - not all bad then! [JOKE]
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 20:01
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Without stating the obvious, this is a live case and there is a serious danger of this thread becoming predudicial to a forthcoming trial which could cause action to be taken against the individuals posting the information and also the forum. Be very careful in posting anything relating to live trials, especially evidence. If it is not already in the papers (who employ teams of lawers to ensure they dont predjudice), then it should not be posted. To my knowledge, the content of the video has not been released and will be pivotal to a forthcoming trial. Any jury reading some of the above posts above would have already had their minds made up for them!

I know we all want to know what happened but i am afraid that will have to wait till the trial and jurys outcome, probably many months away.
Remember numbers of the media along with (no doubt) Crown court judges are members of this forum.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 20:52
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Regretfully, there are hunts that are blatantly disregarding the Hunting Act (and I am not saying that was the case with this hunt on this occasion).

Equally regretfully, various police forces have made it clear that they do not have the resources to prosecute hunts for breaches of the HA and have no intention of checking hunts for compliance with this law.

Under these circumstances, it is perhaps understandable that those who feel passionately that hunting is wrong (and I am not amongst them) might consider that they need to take on the role of collecting evidence of possible wrongdoing.

It seems that the deceased was equally reluctant to rely on the police and CAA to resolve the complaint from a week or so previously, and, rather like the anti-hunt people, decided to take direct action.

Irrespective of who was legally to blame, an unpleasant outcome was inevitable from such an encounter. It's just tragic that this encounter ended in someone's death, rather than just a few sharp words or a bit of fisticuffs.

VP
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 20:59
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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Excuse me but when did the airfield become a part of the hunt site?

The man drove cross country to beard the pilot at his aircraft did he not?
That has been reported. I can say though that there is another story - which I heard from a colleague who was a personal friend of the victim - that he had in fact driven to Long Marston to film the pilot in order to get evidence of identity, as they were aware of who owned the ac but not who was flying it. According to that version, the film was made by a hunt supporter, therefore.

I offer that purely because things are being discussed as 'fact' - as above - when in fact they are opinion.

Tim
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 21:05
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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VP959 post, an addition

Governments try to regulate and sometimes have to allow or disallow something that the community is divided on. Thats why we have police.

To introduce a law (in this case the hunting ban) and then not enforce it is asking for trouble. That s not a criticism of the police forces but one of the legislators.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 21:42
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vanHorck
VP959 post, an addition

Governments try to regulate and sometimes have to allow or disallow something that the community is divided on. Thats why we have police.

To introduce a law (in this case the hunting ban) and then not enforce it is asking for trouble. That s not a criticism of the police forces but one of the legislators.
I couldn't agree more. I have occasionally wondered quite how our legislators ever intended our police to enforce this law. The only effective way of ensuring compliance would be to follow hunts across country, which would almost certainly mean the use of some form of aerial asset, at considerable expense to taxpayers.

Given that a breach of this law is, at best, likely to result in no more than a metaphorical slap on the wrist for those engaged in hunting, then it seems inevitable that police forces would opt to put enforcement of it at the lower end of their list of priorities.

We have far, far, too many examples of poorly thought through laws, created for political expediency rather the the overall good of the people. Unfortunately there seems to be no easy way to get useless law repealed. If a political party made (and provided some assurance that they would honour) a pledge to review and repeal the plethora of ill-thought through and unenforceable legislation in their first term in office then they'd get my vote.

VP
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 22:07
  #169 (permalink)  
 
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Getting back to aviation... As I understand it the pilot in this incident was not a commercial pilot. Is it really permitted within the terms of a PPL to practice this sort of activity? And why is this only happening now? Is it just that most PPLs value their priveleges and don't want to risk losing them, or has enforcement of abuses somehow been neglected. I ask for information, not for any sort of rhetorical purpose.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 22:09
  #170 (permalink)  

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The pilot was the owner and, unless the passenger or "organisation" was paying the full cost of the flight, PPL privileges would not have been exceeded.

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 22:18
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you. So as long as he paid his own fuel and everything then no law was broken.

But surely there múst be some public interest in restrictions on loitering in the same place for a long time without some professional need. Free speech is fine but flying free speech sounds dangerous and not something we want to encourage. Imagine the chaos if every pressure group had its own airforce.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 01:59
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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Was the pilot trying to get away from the pedestrian?

If the pilot's lawyer can demonstrate that the pilot was in fear of the pedestrian and steered away, but the pedestrian then ran at the crew of an in motion aircraft, he can then argue that the pedestrian was the author of his own misfortune.

Haven't seen the video, nor do I really want to, but that's what the defendant's lawyer will be looking for -- that or an unexpected movement by the pedestrian.

Most pilots seeing a loose animal or child nearby would immediately shut down. But there is an assumption that an adult is not about to kill himself.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 07:40
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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RatherbeFlying, a further thought...

Although immediately shutting down the engine is the best way, we as humans have a flee instinct too.

If the pilot felt seriously threatened, his instinct reaction could have been to apply throttle rather than shut down.

We just don't know. I am quite sure both the vast majority of pro and anti hunters will have never wished this to happen.

More importantly the outcome is what nobody who is serious about flying wishes to happen. Aviation is involved here in a feud between two large and passionate minorities as the utensil of either an accident or murder or something in between.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 07:54
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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...and on the other hand if I were being pursued by a gyrocopter I would flee, too, heading for some solid cover like a tree. If there is no cover before it has accelerated to my best running speed I would lie down on the ground. But this was not a normal situation and people who are upset do not always think things through.

In any case this is an extremely rare occurrance and probably we will not see another case like this as long as we live. What is much more likely is to see an incident caused by a pilot more interested in observing the ground that flying his/her A/C.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 07:57
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I can recall two or three occasions when people have approached my aircraft when I've been sat on the ground, engine running. One was potentially quite dangerous as the chap had a dog with him (not on a lead).

On each occasion my response was to yell a warning to keep clear. I honestly can't recall thinking about shutting the mags off, although with the blessed hindsight that this incident has given I rather think I will consider it in future.

I've discussed this with a few aviating friends, who, like me, fly from isolated rural strips. We all agreed that shutting the engine down was one of the last things we would instinctively do. One raised the point that, as his engine took a long time to warm the oil, he'd be quite focussed on waiting for the temperature gauge to come up before taxying, and may not be as aware as he should be of his surroundings (like the accident aircraft his engine is a Rotax 912S, that is quite slow to warm up in cold weather).

As for the view that this chap was "chased" by the gyro, all I can say is that the limited manoeuvrability, restricted steering accuracy and limited stability makes this challenging for the gyro to do. I would imagine it steers on the ground rather like a flexwing microlight, which has the ground handling capability of a child's soapbox cart.

VP
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 09:32
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On each occasion my response was to yell a warning to keep clear. I honestly can't recall thinking about shutting the mags off,...
I think nobody thinks of it until they have had a close call and realized that people really are oblivious to the risk and yelling does no good. People with no fear of a spinning prop are like toddlers who don't understand why running into the road is dangerous.

Last edited by deltayankee; 18th Mar 2009 at 12:01. Reason: minor typo
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 10:58
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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ANW,
Radar equipped Fishery protection and quota monitoring aircraft are low flying daily, gathering shipping information for possible infringements and prosecution. So why not a hunt surveillance fleet, paid for by the government
Well, I'd have to say "Cost benefit." There's a shortage of fish, which we eat but no dearth of foxes, which we don't.

Noticed the farm strip had a little electric fence - still got a bit of 'stuff' on the windscreen though. I think, other than when filming, I'd have used a steeper approach.

I'd seen the story of the poor old bonking bobby - obviously got himself in too deep.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 12:37
  #178 (permalink)  
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One wonders what the insurers would think if advised in advance by a PPL(G) that some of the intended flying would be to monitor hunting. It's not quite the same as conventional "social, domestic and pleasure" flying, really, is it?
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 14:03
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AA,
It's not quite the same as conventional "social, domestic and pleasure" flying, really, is it?
Did you mean: "socialist, domestic and pleasure" flying?
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 18:01
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"I've discussed this with a few aviating friends, who, like me, fly from isolated rural strips. We all agreed that shutting the engine down was one of the last things we would instinctively do. "

We're trained what to do if the aircraft stalls (or whatever a gyrocopter might do)....
.... when we encounter unusual attitudes
.... when there's a power failure in cruise
... when there's a power failire at take off
... if there's an engine or electrical fire.
.... if we get lost
.... if we encounter IMC
.... etc

but there's no training on what to do if someone approaches the aircraft. Having the presence of mind to shut down isnt something that would be automatic.
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