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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

Old 9th Mar 2009, 20:39
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Gyrocopter involved in murder charge

Just heard that an anti flying a gyrocopter has decapitated a hunt supporter ?
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 21:20
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BBC NEWS | England | Coventry/Warwickshire | Murder probe into aircraft death
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 21:39
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Usually it is the gyrocopter driver that gets the chop.....this certainly needs investigating.

We had a Bell 412 lop off a photographer's noggin but no charges were filed....that also needs to be investigated.
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 23:20
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News film shows the aircraft as GRIFS on BBC news at Ten
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 01:20
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We had a Bell 412 lop off a photographer's noggin but no charges were filed....that also needs to be investigated.
When and where did that occur??
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 05:37
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Report in the 'Times'

From todays 'Times' newspaper;

Two arrested for murder after hunt follower is killed by gyrocopter - Times Online

A keen hunt supporter has been killed after being hit by a gyrocopter believed to have been monitoring hunts in the area.
Trevor Morse, 48, died after the incident at Long Marston airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, yesterday. Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and were being questioned by officers in Leamington Spa last night.
Between 80 and 100 huntsmen were out yesterday at the hunt in Moreton-in-Marsh on the last day of the Warwickshire hunt season. The hunt met at the village of Todenham at 11.45am and the gyrocopter, first spotted at noon, followed it for about two hours.
It is understood that an animal rights group, Protect Our Wild Animals, has been monitoring the Warwickshire and the Heythrop hunts from a gyrocopter over the past three weeks. Masters of the hunt told The Times that a gyrocopter had been reported to the Civil Aviation Authority and the police about ten days ago, amid fears that it was upsetting animals. The light aircraft was said to have been swooping in an aggressive manner over the hunt.
The police could not confirm last night whether the same gyrocopter was involved in the accident. The identity of the pilot remained unknown and it was unclear whether any other passenger was on board.
Civil Aviation Authority records show that Bryan Griffiths, of Bed-worth, is the registered owner of the gyrocopter involved in the fatal accident. There is no indication that he was one of those arrested.
Emergency services were called to the airfield just after 3pm yesterday after reports of a collision involving an aircraft and a pedestrian. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. It is believed that Mr Morse had gone with a friend to the airfield to try to discover who had been piloting the gyrocopter. He and a woman were believed to have approached the aircraft as it was refuelling.
The airfield manager, Anthony Hodges, 57, said: “It was the only aircraft to land all day and I believe the aircraft hit him as it was taxiing on the runway.”
Alastair Jackson, director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, said that he had written two letters to Thames Valley Police after complaints by riders of the Warwickshire Hunt. “There has been a bit of trouble for the last three weeks involving the Warwickshire and Heythrop Hunts and there have been lots of complaints from riders and farmers concerned about their livestock and horses being frightened,” he said. “We had great concerns there would be an accident involving a horse or farmstock, but no one dreamt of anything like this.”
Members of the hunt paid tribute to Mr Morse, a gardener and odd-job man from Alderminster, near Ship-ston-on-Stour. Although not a rider, he was said to enjoy following the hunt in his Land Rover and helping out with the hounds. His wife, Caroline, would not comment last night.
Sam Butler, joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt, said: “Trevor was a countryman of the highest quality. We have lost a friend of the highest order.”
He said that a gyrocopter had been following the hunting activity for three weeks, but would not be drawn on who was piloting it or their motives. “All I can say is that they did not appear to be hunt supporters,” he said.
West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “On arrival at the scene crews found a pedestrian that had been in collision with an aircraft. Crews immediately assessed the pedestrian, a man, but unfortunately nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”
Penny Little, spokeswoman for Protect Our Wild Animals, was unavailable for comment last night. The group’s website says that it “advocates the observance of hunts by use of video and stills cameras to record the cruelty and vandalism of hunting”.
A gyrocopter, also known as an auto-gyro or rotaplane, is a type of small helicopter that can fly slower and lower than regular sport aircraft. It is forbidden to fly them lower than 500ft.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 09:10
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I make no apologies for this supposition, but if the gyro copter was piloted by an anti, it beggars belief how someone who claims to be against cruelty to animals can be so cruel to a fellow human being.

Thoughts with the family and friends of Mr Morse.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 09:27
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Droopystop,

The article said the Gyrocopter was taxing, so I would assume the Hunt fellow must have approached it in order to be hit by it.

Maybe he ran in to try and stop the machine from taxing and got thumped by the blades, that would not be the pilots fault. A pedestrian should not be on the runway/taxiway.

Anyway I'm sure we will hear all about it when the Cops investigate this properly


Ringer
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 09:43
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Commander is always responsible for collision avoidance on the ground. If there was a risk of someone rushing out infront of the aircraft, the commander shouldn't have started taxiing.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 10:06
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"James Bond Swoop"

"Pro hunt" etc

The media really gets on my nerves putting in all these different sentences in order to make something sound sinister when it probably could have just been an accident.

Either way we know nothing.

Anyway, condolences to all involved.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 10:44
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Based on the various reports available (Times, BBC, Daily Mail, H&H etc), it does strike me as an accident - not murder. But, perhaps all of the facts are not out in the public domain yet.

There has been suggestions of questionable (low & 'aggressive') flying by this auto-gyro in the past few weeks; and I believe that a report was made to the CAA by the hunt. There has also been a suggestion that the deceased gentleman had gone to the airfield for the purpose of "talking" to the pilot.

I am sure the facts will out, but having lived in Warwickshire all my life, I can safely say that placing your whole hearted belief & trust in Warwickshire Police may result in disappointment. (I can substantiate this with upheld complaints of various natures and IPCC reports into their previous efforts at Major Incident Investigations). Personally, I would attach much more credence to the AAIB report.

Either way, my sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased chap - whatever happened to "live and let live?".
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 10:52
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Based on the various reports available (Times, BBC, Daily Mail, H&H etc), it does strike me as an accident
Thinking the same here, too. If he had been on the hunt and the incident had occurred there I would have suspected either malice aforethought or a poorly executed intimidation. But when it happens on the taxiway of an airport... What on earth was a hunter doing walking on a taxiway, and one frequented by his nemesis? Nobody should be on the taxiway without an aircraft around them. Sounds very dangerous.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 10:58
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Nobody should be on the taxiway without an aircraft around them. Sounds very dangerous.
It serves little purpose now of course, but isn't it an offence under the ANO to be on an airfield without good cause / authorisation? I am sure there are signs to this effect around the boundaries of most airfields (there is certainly one on the big metal gate on the way into Sywell!).
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 11:56
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The ANO does restrict vehicular and person access to "aerodromes". I am not sure whether "aerodrome" means a one that is licensed or would include a private farmers strip. If there is a right of way across any aerodrome, then pedestrians have a right to be there.

But here is a question - how does the right to roam affect this scenario? If Long Marston is un licensed, does the general public have a right to roam, even on taxiways/runways?

Indeed anyone who operates to a private or unsecured site has to be cautious as to who might be lurking......

Accident or otherwise it is not a good day for aviation, hunting or antis.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 12:07
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The ANO does restrict vehicular and person access to "aerodromes". I am not sure whether "aerodrome" means a one that is licensed or would include a private farmers strip.
Not sure if the ANO applies to licenced or unlicenced aerodromes - its all a bit academic anyway in this case; unless Plod decide to charge the friend of the deceased chap who was with him.


If there is a right of way across any aerodrome, then pedestrians have a right to be there.

But here is a question - how does the right to roam affect this scenario?
Funny you should mention that, because I happened to be looking at "The Parish Notices" noticeboard in the village I live in (in Warwickshire) only last week (don't ask why!! ) - where there was a poster from the county council saying that less than 1% of the county was affected by "Right To Roam" legislation. A quick check on the website reveals that Long Marston isn't included; and I can't see a public right of way / footpath either.

Indeed anyone who operates to a private or unsecured site has to be cautious as to who might be lurking......

Accident or otherwise it is not a good day for aviation, hunting or antis.
Absolutely. A truly awful day for everyone!
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 12:13
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Svenestron -

I didn't mean you were a part of the media.

In the Metro today, the article mentioned that the aircraft in use was what the badies use in james Bond movies!!!!

I almost wet myself.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 12:14
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Regardless of what the law says, it will always be dangerous for non-pilots to wander around on airfields because they don't know what to look out for and they don't know that they don't know it. I've seen an entire family standing at the approach end of the runway with their backs to the traffic, blissfully unaware of the danger.

This guy should not have been wandering "airside" but I can imagine someone demanding physical barriers to protect people. Not good for smaller fields.

Last edited by deltayankee; 10th Mar 2009 at 12:39.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 13:12
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What a bizarre event. The headlines and murder investigation would imply that the aircraft was deliberately manoeuvred to strike the pedestrian, whether airborne or landing. However, reading the articles it seems that the aircraft was taxying after landing. Now, if the man intended to remonstrate with the crew and stepped into the taxyway to try to force the gyrocopter to stop or entered the rotor disk without clearance or an understanding of the dangers, then the accident would be his own doing. I find it very hard to imagine that any pilot (no matter how 'extremist' his views) would deliberately attempt to kill a person by running them down with his aircraft.

This is of course my own speculation. I will be very interested to see how this investigation continues. The above being an accident would not excuse the alleged behaviour of the crew in the previous weeks. If indeed he was using the aircraft to illegally low fly with the intention of harassing people on the ground, I hope the CAA would take firm action.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 14:18
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'Right to Roam'

Droopystop asked - 'how does the right to roam affect this scenario?'

The term 'right to roam' is often used in conection with the Counryside and Rights of Way Act (2000 ?) and is very missleading. I think the term was first dreamed up by the jounos or the Rambler Association.

The CROW Act allows access to land usually over 1,200ft (AMSL) on 'unimproved land'. In other words land not cultivated in any way. Our airfield is at 1350 AMSL and we had a visit from an official who believed that the public would be allowed to wander accross it. We tried to convince him it wouldn't be a good idea but he only relented when he twigged that we cut the grass regularly thus making it 'improved' land.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 14:30
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Warwickshire County Council have a good website covering it here.
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