A model plane enthusiast who was caught flying his craft near to LHR has been hit with a fine of $2,614 after being caught by police. The incident took place in the wake of the drone sightings that closed LGW for three days, stranding thousands of passengers just before the Christmas travel period.
A model plane enthusiast who was caught flying his craft close to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) has been hit with a fine of £2,000 ($2,614), reports Metro.co.uk. The outlet states that George Rusu was caught operating the remote controlled aircraft just over 1,600 feet from the airport’s perimeter fence on December 24th.
The outlet reports that security at LHR was already on high alert because of the drone sightings that had halted flights at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) just a few days before Rusu was caught operating his craft.
Upon spotting the model plane, officers were able to track it back to Rusu, who was operating the craft from within a park close to LHR. Rusu admitted to owning the craft, which he flew as a hobby. He also told officers that he knew of the recent drone disruption at LGW.
According to the outlet, he appeared in court earlier this week and pleaded guilty to operating his craft “without permission” within a restricted area of LHR.
In addition to his fine, Rusu has been told that his plane will also be taken from him and destroyed.
Presiding over the case, which was heard at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in London, Deputy District Judge Robert Roscoe offered his verdict on Rusu’s actions, stating, “To my mind, the word reckless seems to be appropriate. It was stupid of you, to say the very least. You didn’t engage with your brain to think about the consequences of what you were doing.”
He reminded Rusu of the incident that had occurred just days before he had been confronted by police, saying, “At the neighboring Gatwick Airport, tens of thousands of people, their friends and their families, airlines, support staff at the airlines, and very many people had their holidays ruined by something not connected with you – by a drone somebody else flew. ”
Aneeta Borwick, who represented Rusu, said that he had been “embarrassed” by what had happened. “He had no intention to do anything of that nature and cause any type of disruption or harm to anybody,” she added.