English Premiership

Etihad drone pilot arrested

2014-10-20 19:16
City of Manchester Stadium (Getty Images

London - A suspected drone pilot has been arrested after a device was flown over a packed football stadium, police have said on Monday.

The 41-year-old man was held in the car park of an Asda supermarket near Manchester City's Eastlands Stadium after reports of a drone flying over a stand during the Premier League champions' 4-1 win against Tottenham on Saturday.

The man, from the Nottingham area, was arrested on suspicion of breaching the air navigation order and bailed for two months, while Greater Manchester Police, who released a photograph of the small white drone, are continuing their investigations.

Chief Inspector Chris Hill said: "The drones could pose a threat to crowd safety and potentially cause alarm in crowded areas.

"Even small drones can weigh up to seven or eight kilograms and could cause damage or injury if they fall from height. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

"People may see this as a minor offence but it is a breach of the Air Navigation Order which is prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority."

The incident comes after a drone with a greater Albanian flag was flown over the stadium during Serbia's clash with their neighbours in Belgrade.

A Serbian player attempted to grab the flag, which has political significance related to conflict in Kosovo, sparking a brawl between the two sets of players.

Serbian fans then invaded the pitch in a bid to attack Albanian players leading to the match being abandoned.

Operating rules for drones - also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - state that they must never be flown beyond the normal, unaided line of sight of their operator.

UAVs fitted with cameras must always be flown at least 50 metres away from a person, vehicle, building or structure.

They must not be flown within 150 metres of a congested area or large group of people, such as a sporting event or concert.

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