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Drones close Gatwick Airport

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The nightmare that is remote operated drones.........the operators could be anywhere on the face of the earth.

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The evidence gathered by the Sussex Police is that a delivery driver spotted a bloke in Hi-viz clothing crouched over two drones about 4 miles from Gatwick. One drone was described as "very large - about 4 feet (1.2M) in diameter" and the other about half that size.

The delivery driver said the bloke in Hi-viz was so intent on what he was doing with the drones, he never even looked up. 

The driver said he did his delivery, turned around and drove past the spot where the bloke in Hi-viz had been, and he was riding away on a bicycle.

This pair are likely to be charged with one or more offences under Section 1 (2) (b) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, a law that was passed after the Lockerbie bombing. The maximum penalty under this law is life imprisonment.

The Stansted 15, who chained themselves to a B767 to prevent a number of refugees from being deported, stopped just one aircraft from proceeding - and they were found guilty under the above Law. Their penalty is yet to be decided.

The drone offenders stopped the movement of 800 aircraft and destroyed the travel plans of 350,000 travellers. The cost to the airline industry must have run into multiple tens of millions of English pounds. I trust these people can afford a good lawyer.

Then again - maybe the drone bloke can plead insanity. Just riding a bicycle around Gatwick in late December must be good grounds for an insanity plea.

Edited by onetrack

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Well, it's back to Square One - as the Sussex Police have released the couple arrested, saying they are no longer suspects in the Gatwick drones incidents.

So much for their "good work". Chasing rabbits up forest paths might be a better description of their "good work".

 

ABC - Couple arrested over Gatwick drone incidents released without charge

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At this point, with what seems to be a fairly ineffective counter-drone strategy, a very long prison sentence maybe the only real deterrent at this stage.

I expect the culprits to be caught and given a very long prison term that will be well publicised.

 

 

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There's a big bill looking for someone to blame. If the whole thing is based on "nothing" someone  will look VERY bloody stupid. Nev

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21 hours ago, onetrack said:

The drone offenders stopped the movement of 800 aircraft and destroyed the travel plans of 350,000 travellers.

The "drone offenders" flew a drone ( unquestionably dumb dangerous), but it was the safety people that stopped the flights. The good old "safety at any cost" mentality.

Surely they could have come up with a better alternative than shutting down a whole airport.

Now that they can't find an actual drone, makes you wonder if there's someone with a chip on their shoulder trying to make a point.

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Now they're not sure if there were any drones at all....wtf?

Mass hysteria maybe.....

I would of thought for flights to be stopped, it would require "confirmed" sightings but apparently there were none. 

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The bobbies said they can't shoot down the drones because in the case of a miss (or ricochet) the bullet could go on to injure innocent bystanders.  Fair enough - but aren't there focused "drone-killer" weapons that kill the signal to the drone and so cause it to crash?  I seem to remember NSW police spruiking these rifle-looking things a year or two ago.

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On 12/24/2018 at 8:10 PM, Marty_d said:

The bobbies said they can't shoot down the drones because in the case of a miss (or ricochet) the bullet could go on to injure innocent bystanders.  Fair enough - but aren't there focused "drone-killer" weapons that kill the signal to the drone and so cause it to crash?  I seem to remember NSW police spruiking these rifle-looking things a year or two ago.

Didn't  Mythbusters prove a falling bullet was no danger ?

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Didn't Mythbusters prove a falling bullet was no danger?

Not exactly. A bullet fired directly vertical will lose 90% of its muzzle energy - but very few firearms are fired directly vertical, and that is where the problems start.

Firing at a drone from the ground does pose a real risk of an injury or fatality from a ricochet, because it would very likely be done at an angle below 45°.

 

Firing a gun into the air can kill someone

Edited by onetrack
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On 12/24/2018 at 7:10 PM, Marty_d said:

The bobbies said they can't shoot down the drones because in the case of a miss (or ricochet) the bullet could go on to injure innocent bystanders.  Fair enough - but aren't there focused "drone-killer" weapons that kill the signal to the drone and so cause it to crash?  I seem to remember NSW police spruiking these rifle-looking things a year or two ago.

Those Drone guns send a 'blanketing frequency signal' that interrupts the signal from the drone operators transmitter being received by the drone, once the drone has lost contact with the transmitter, most are programmed to return to the home point which is usually where they took off from.

Wayne.

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I was listening to someone who makes anti-drone defences for airports in the US (from here in the UK). He says he can't reply them here because it is illegal for anyone but the military to use signal jamming devices of any kind. Apparently that is why the military were called in.

 

On the "it is possible there was no drone", apparently a comment by the Sussex police commander was taken out of context - he was asked about the pair that were arrested (not charged  - so their personal details should never have been leaked out) - where he said they are no longer suspects and everything is back on the table. Apparently a journalist asked him if there was the possibility there was no sighting - to which the response was making the point that everything is on the table... And for the commander to say this is reasonable in that they are employed to determine the facts. It is not an unfair leap of faith to say the commander may be questioning the sightings - but to say there wasn't any sightings is taking it a bit far. 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick

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The puzzling thing about all this is that NO ONE managed to take ANY actually Verifiabe photographs of the 'Drone' in the immediate vicinity of Gatwick Airport.

 

Everybody and his dog has a camera phone. . .?

 

Most Odd. . .

Edited by Phil Perry
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56 minutes ago, Phil Perry said:

The puzzling thing about all this is that NO ONE managed to take ANY actually Verifiabe photographs of the 'Drone' in the immediate vicinity of Gatwick Airport.

Everybody and his dog has a camera phone. . .?

Most Odd. . .

Yes, I thought the same. Not one grainy "ufo" type pic at all.....

They keep mentioning "verified" witnesses. I thought this would be police, emergency services and airport employees but I'm guessing now that they just know the name of the reporting person...

Mass hysteria? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_hysteria_cases

Looking up into a blank sky, it's pretty easy for some people to imagine seeing something when everyone else "says" they can see something.

 

Edited by Downunder

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I don't think airlines would shut down flights based on unconfirmed rumours.

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:32 AM, Marty_d said:

I don't think airlines would shut down flights based on unconfirmed rumours.

 

Gatwick Management closed the Airport Marty.  ( According to MSM. . . the airlines put up their hands and said 'Don't Blame Us Guv. . .')  Possibly worried about a major incident happening on the eve of the whole site being sold to a Company in France ?  Who knows. ..  Large amount of travellers had their plans ruined anyhow.   Very Sad, but at least nobody injured or killed.

Edited by Phil Perry

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Would the Cunard Line have suspended sailings over the sightings of a few icebergs?

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46 minutes ago, pmccarthy said:

Would the Cunard Line have suspended sailings over the sightings of a few icebergs?

We certainly know they didn’t suspend travel based on the fact that they only had equipment enough to rescue about a third of the passengers in the event of a sinking from any cause. Action which even in the times, when lower class lives were considered expendable, was afterward found  to be poorly considered.

If that happened now the owners would be in jail. 

 

So  I don’t really think that’s a viable comparison.

 

Can you imagine the legal outcome  if a full aircraft sucked in a drone and crashed and it came out that the drones had been there and known about for any length of time. 

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A drone probably has about the same effect as a seagull and they allowed a garbage tip to exist near Mascot for ages. I went through a flock of them and got about 4 on approach on one occasion.. Neither are desirable and Pelicans and Frigate birds are of a  far greater risk.  Nev

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