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Drones and the law - item on R4, 8th March 2016

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MattyB08/03/2016 07:42:10
2220 forum posts
32 photos

Law in Action on 8th March 2016 at 4pm has an item on the law relating to drones (which in the eyes of the law includes pretty much everything we discuss on this forum) and their operation.

Edited By MattyB on 08/03/2016 07:44:10

kc09/03/2016 17:02:03
6646 forum posts
173 photos

Well that's interesting and it's still available on the iPlayer. However it completely failed to explain what the differences in regulations are for drones with cameras and those without. That's what the public need to know and the BBC failed to cover that aspect. What is the point of spending our money (our licence fee to the BBC) if they make programmes that fail to inform properly? This is an area where the public need the regulations explained to them and the BBC failed them/ us.

GONZO09/03/2016 17:10:26
1389 forum posts
14 photos


BBC charter: inform, educate and ENTERTAIN. It mainly seeks to entertain now days, just take the, so called, news(channel). Little more than an entertainment show instead of being a factual, unbiased report on national and world happenings.

Ronaldo09/03/2016 17:49:20
268 forum posts
21 photos

True this 'Drone' business is going to have some serious impact on responsible modellers ... as much as I like watching some BBC documentaries and programs, I find they can be very biased and selective in a lot of areas when reporting national, world, and political news. Also some important relevant news appear to selectively be ignored ................ not at all helpful to the public considering their exorbitant license fee !

I now go online to other News media websites for information that the BBC doesn't even give a hint at !



Edited By Ronaldo on 09/03/2016 17:53:22

john stones 109/03/2016 17:54:10
11648 forum posts
1517 photos

I read news especially world events from a number of sources, not found one unbiased yet, BBC's alleged non bias is something I've never witnessed ?


cymaz09/03/2016 18:16:24
9334 forum posts
1211 photos long as you flying in the hills of Cornwall you can do the hell you like and it doesn't matter if you loose sight of it! Er NO!

Even the women lawyer is an ignorant ass.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator09/03/2016 18:24:49
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

That report is in my view an absolutely appalling piece of journalism! It is not just guilty of of omission and over simplification (which I think is the charge being laid against it by others above) it is much, much worse - it is just plain WRONG!

It is wrong in respect of what the law actually says - and as its suppose to be a radio programme on the law (presented, they say, by the UK's best legal journalist) this is rather a major failing!

Error number 1: It is simply not true that the only basis on which the law decides what you can and cannot do with a UAV is that of size/weight! Where on earth did they get that idea from? Yes the details of the rules do change at the 7Kg point - but the far more fundamental division is that between "small unmanned aircraft" (in which case only article 166 of the ANO applies) and "small unmanned surveillance aircraft" in which case both articles 166 and 167 apply and 167 brings with it many other restrictions.

Error number 2: the programme repeated states that an operator is not allowed to fly within 150m of a congested area - or over an assembly of more than 1000 people. Again untrue I'm afraid - at least as far as the blanket form of the statement as given. What article 167 says is that such actions are illegal "except in accordance with a permission". If the operator has a permit for aerial work, and the UAV has a MTOM of under 7Kg, then it is perfectly allowable to do these things! And what is more - it is quite allowable to apply for a permission to do them with UAVs of over 7Kg! Although a special safety case would have to be made to CAA to do that it is possible and it is not just "illegal".

The programme relied heavily on one solicitor's view - the one that defended the chap in question. However, if what they represented of her argument was a fair reflection of what she said and her views, then I believe it demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the law on this matter on her behalf. It also shows a sloppy and unquestioning acceptance of her apparent interpretation of the law by the programme makers which in turn would suggest a breathtaking level of intellectual and professional laziness of their behalf.

It is quite pathetic in my view that a programme that claims to discuss legal issues in an informed manner can get this so wrong.They do themselves - and the subject - no service what-so-ever. And yes - I will be writing to the Corporation to express my disappointment and contempt at what I see as the the poor standard of this report - but of course I don't expect any acknowledgement of error on their behalf!


cymaz09/03/2016 18:27:22
9334 forum posts
1211 photos


Well said. I stand by your side entirely

kc09/03/2016 18:56:34
6646 forum posts
173 photos

BEB I think you should write to Joshua Rozenberg himself as well as the BBC.

One would hope that the BMFA would take this up with the BBC too.......

GONZO09/03/2016 19:17:00
1389 forum posts
14 photos

Sent an email to the programme complaining and directing them to this thread/site and BEB.

GONZO09/03/2016 19:20:11
1389 forum posts
14 photos

Got an auto reply - don't expect anything else.

TigerOC09/03/2016 20:38:14
313 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 09/03/2016 18:24:49:

The programme relied heavily on one solicitor's view - the one that defended the chap in question. However, if what they represented of her argument was a fair reflection of what she said and her views, then I believe it demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the law on this matter on her behalf. It also shows a sloppy and unquestioning acceptance of her apparent interpretation of the law by the programme makers which in turn would suggest a breathtaking level of intellectual and professional laziness of their behalf.


They only employ 20 000 journalists so it is very difficult for them to adequately research anything in any depth, like perhaps ask for input from the CAA - sarc


Depron Daz09/03/2016 22:21:17
760 forum posts
173 photos

Darn, I've just bought a drone! I hate the word DRONE, it's a multirotor, multicopter, tricopter..........

Aren't ALL flying RC models UAV's?

cymaz10/03/2016 06:14:25
9334 forum posts
1211 photos

Yep...I've got a few multi wing drones. They're called biplanesyes

Kevin Wilson10/03/2016 07:24:55
399 forum posts
13 photos

Perhaps that is our starting point.

Refuse to recognise the term drone and automatically correct everyone to using the correct term SUAV as defined by the CAA.

We would be banging on a particuarly thick door with the sensationalistic press, but it may prompt better research.

I heard the first run of the R4 program at around 16:00 and was desperately hanging on for the ballance and informed comment from a person that knew what they were talking about.

ChrisB10/03/2016 08:20:56
1220 forum posts
34 photos

I've long since given up on anything the BBC produces apart from the odd drama. Their 'news' and 'factual indepth' programmes are written and presented for those who can just about tie their own shoelaces. I thought more of Radio 4,but clearly they are dumbing that down to meet the 'popular' celebrity driven audience who only watch Big Brother and Saturday night singing and dancing.

Programmes like the One Show, who present in a way that comes across like Playschool used to do through the square window.

I agree with Kevin I, I call the multi-rota aircraft and not drones, as drones give the impression that they fly themselves, a bit like the Reaper etc, which most 'hobby' aircraft don't.

Rant over


Engine Doctor10/03/2016 09:45:32
2591 forum posts
40 photos

Agree with Chris B ,the BBC are only good at drama and natural history these days, other channels are no better at presenting decent informed information. The interview is the sort of uninformed clap trap you might overhear in a pub . Then you have"The Gadget Show" where an idiot puts a soft ball replica hand gun on a drone and fires pellets at himself ! It's the "Clarkson effect" (helped by his two stooges )that roughly translates into" being a prat and get viewers" that get the programmers excited and appears to run through all the media organisations . Collectively these fools are doing our hobby considerable harm. I doubt even if programmes like Watchdog would take it on as its not a headline grabbing article ,that is until a plane is brought down or a serious accident is caused by one ;they would then circle like vultures then grab any sensationalising story they could . Unless a large organisation like the CAA or the BMFA contact the media they are not interested and complaints from individuals will be filtered out by junior researchers.Good luck BEB with your complaint .Perhaps a mass letter write to the BBC might get a proper discussion and some sensible advice broadcast .

Don Fry10/03/2016 10:18:30
4557 forum posts
54 photos

Doctor, I would be careful about praising the the natural history programming. Not always following journalistic standards any better than News of the World.

One has to take a non cynical and balanced view. There is a sum of money to be spent. A group, (celebrities) have the purse strings, and they devide the money up for the minimum effort expended.

I would also be wary of addressing them as idiots. They are often very expensively educated persons, with pay checks you dream of. Perhaps they care not whether you continue to breath or not, they certainly care not about your hobby. Because the next generation has to get educated to continue the gravy train.

Just my considered view, as I don't wish to rant.

Masher10/03/2016 10:52:30
1109 forum posts
79 photos

And I've complained to BBC R4 this morning about Melvyn Bragg! How can it be acceptable to be continually clearing your throat on air? As a working class git myself, it may simply be that I don't understand that intellectuals have such bad manners because they are so clever. Complete waste of an email but makes me feel better, so many potentially good programmes ruined by the 'celebrities'.

kc10/03/2016 10:56:11
6646 forum posts
173 photos

To get back to the real issue....... where can ordinary members of the public ( i.e non BMFA members) find what laws apply to drones? Where is it written down in plain English? That's surely the problem - even solicitor's husbands don't know what is not allowed!

Clarifying that drones etc with cameras are subject to more stringent regulations is the key point.

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