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Dalton man may face Barrow no-fly zone charges

AN aviation enthusiast from Dalton has landed himself in trouble after his remote control plane crashed at a Barrow high security site.

Robbie Knowles, of King Street, Dalton, has flown remote control planes since childhood.

The TV repair man, who runs Vision TV Repairs in Crellin Street, Barrow, had been flying a Deltawing plane, worth around £2,000, on the slag bank off Park Road in September when it went out of control and crashed into Walney Channel.

The flight fanatic has a hobby of recording the flights with a camera mounted on the plane and uploading the videos to Youtube.

The area is believed to be in a no-fly zone due to its proximity to BAE Systems’ shipyard.

Weeks later, the plane washed up at BAE Systems.

On spotting the camera, staff passed the device on to the police, who in turn contacted the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The plane was emblazoned with his company name “Vision TV Repairs” – which is how authorities tracked him down.

Mr Knowles, 45, said: “The CAA came to speak to me – I was excited at the time because I thought I was getting my plane back.

“But I was told it was an unmanned aerial vehicle and I was in a no-fly zone, which I didn’t know.

“I think it’s all a bit heavy handed.I understand safety concerns but at the end of the day I would not have put my name on the plane if I was a bomber or a spy.”

Mr Knowles said the CAA have seized his plane and he now fears he could face prosecution after a vist from the authority.

He added: “I’ve found it all bizarre. I have told the CAA I’d rather try and explain in a magistrates’ court because they are impartial.”

The CAA said it was considering legal action as the plane almost struck Jubilee Bridge which could have posed a serious threat to public safety.

The CAA said no counter terrorism action was being taken.

A spokeswoman for BAE Systems said the plane was found by security staff, who spotted a camera mounted on the unit and notified police.

Have your say

No Fly Zone is quite clearly marked...
You flew threw this without a doubt, watching your video is proof enough...

Posted by James on 14 November 2013 at 11:20

NOTAMS clears shows the restricted area and the airframe flew through this. It does not matter if the pilot had control or not, its his sole responsibility for the airframe at all times.
It does not help his case that the above aerial picture shows him to be flying way above 400ft.

Posted by James on 14 November 2013 at 11:13

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