Licence suspension for Red Arrows interruption

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A pilot who took off from a north Norfolk airfield and flew through a Red Arrows display, causing major disruption, has had his licence suspended and been fined. Andrew Kane, 62, left Northrepps Airfield, near Cromer, and flew his Gazelle helicopter into restricted airspace, planned to protect the crack RAF aerobatic team, at an air show in Old Warden, Bedfordshire. The Red Arrows are due in Cromer on Wednesday at 11am, a highlight of this week’s carnival events in the resort. Pleading guilty to the offence at Luton Magistrates’ Court on August 9, as well as an additional charge relating to inadequate preparation for his flight, Kane, from Leighton Buzzard, was fined £2,500. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which brought the prosecution was awarded costs of £500. In passing sentence, the chairman of the bench said both offences were extremely serious. Kane’s pilot licence has been suspended by the CAA since the incident, in May this year. Chris Gurney, who runs Northrepps Aerodrome, said it had been Kane’s first visit to the airfield and he believed he had been “just on a jolly to the seaside.” On a Youtube video of the Old Warden display, the announcer’s voice is heard 18 mins 20 secs into the 20-minute performance telling spectators that an “interloper” has been spotted. The camera then picks up Kane’s helicopter overhead and the announcer says about the pilot: “He’s now ruined the display for the pilots in their first performance this year and all of you wonderful people here in the sunshine at Shuttleworth.” Although the Red Arrows had to abandon part of the display, they treated watchers to a delayed finale. The CAA said that it was determined to tackle the problem of pilots infringing restricted or controlled airspace, in order to protect public safety. Pilots are legally obliged to check for any airspace restrictions that may affect their journey as part of their pre-flight planning routine; such information is readily available through multiple sources. A temporary restricted area such as the one in place for the Red Arrows display is always the subject of a Notice to Airmen (known as a NOTAM), a technical brief aimed specifically at pilots. These briefs can be found on official websites and automated telephone hotlines, as well as commercial flight planning tools available online and via apps. The Red Arrows have experienced similar incidents in the past. In 2013 they were forced to halt a display at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after a light aircraft infringed the airspace. http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/pilot_who_took_off_from_north_norfolk_caused_chaos_at_red_arrows_display_court_hears_1_4656174
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Profile picture for user Moggy C

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19 years 9 months

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Not to me. Richly deserved. Moggy