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Drone Pilot Fined After Aircraft Nearly Hits Fatboy Slim on Brighton Beach

A drone operator, Giles Dalby, has been fined following a dramatic incident where his drone nearly collided with musician Fatboy Slim during a performance at the On The Beach festival on Brighton Beach. The incident occurred on July 24, 2022, and has led to Dalby’s prosecution for recklessly or negligently causing an aircraft to endanger people or property.

Dramatic footage released by Sussex Police shows the drone losing control and crashing onto the stage, narrowly missing Fatboy Slim, who was in the middle of his live performance. This incident marks the first prosecution of its kind.

Giles Dalby, aged 39 and formerly a fire safety worker from Devonshire Place in Brighton, was fined a total of £891, including a £576 fine, £230 surcharge, and £85 in costs. Sussex Police and the UK Civil Aviation Authority have shared this footage to underscore the illegality of Dalby’s drone use and the potential dangers it posed to those attending the concert.

Drone Training Officer for Sussex Police, PC Steven Prince, emphasized the seriousness of the incident, stating, “Dalby operated a drone above a crowded beach concert on Brighton Beach. He lost control of the aircraft, which then crashed into the stage, near to a musician who was in the middle of a live performance. Dalby is fortunate that no one was harmed, but this case should act as a reminder to all drone operators about how to stay within the law.”

Crowd enjoying live music concert with green lights

The UK Civil Aviation Authority guides drone operators on safe aircraft operation at caa.co.uk/drones. Registration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority is mandatory for all drone operators, and flying a drone necessitates obtaining a flyer ID, which can be obtained online at register-drones.caa.co.uk.

Crowded concert audience under blue lights.

Jonathan Nicholson, a UK Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson, commented, “Drones can be great fun to fly and are undertaking more and more useful roles such as delivering medical supplies. However, they must be flown safely, and this incident shows what can happen if people don’t follow the rules. Our drone code provides a simple guide to the rules along with advice on how to enjoy flying your drone.

The legal responsibility for each flight falls on the drone operator, who must maintain visual contact with the aircraft and adhere to altitude restrictions, ensuring that the drone does not fly over congested areas.

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