The pilot of a microlight aircraft has pleaded guilty to infringing the temporary restricted airspace established around a Red Arrows' display at Duxford aerodrome last year, following a prosecution by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Anthony Hope, 52, from Bedfordshire, had forced the famous RAF display team to break-off their high-speed aerobatic routine at the Flying Legends Air Show on 9 July 2017. Mr Hope claimed to be aware of the NOTAM published in advance to notify pilots of the event, but due to poor timekeeping flew directly into the display's airspace in his Quik GT450 aircraft. The display could only be restarted once Mr Hope's aircraft had left the restricted airspace.
Rob Gratton, Principal Airspace Regulator at the CAA, said: ”Restricted Airspace, in this case, was established for the safety of the public, the aircraft and the crews. This was an example of poor planning and execution of a flight by a pilot whose actions were resolved by the Red Arrows pilots who, at the time, were operating under high workload, carrying out high speed formation manoeuvres. We will continue to work with the wider aviation industry to reduce the number of airspace infringements that occur throughout the United Kingdom.”
Appearing at Luton Magistrates' Court on 30 January 2018, Mr. Hope pleaded guilty and was fined £1,250. Costs of £500 were also awarded to the CAA and a victim charge of £125 imposed.