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Hawk-eyed police seize drone flown over Wimbledon

Nick Summers, @nisummers
June 29, 2015
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If you own a drone and want to take it for a quick test flight, heed our advice: don't fly anywhere near large sporting venues. Police arrested a pilot for filming Premier League football matches in March, and now a drone has been seized for swooping too close to Wimbledon. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was spotted flying over the All England Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday morning and the Metropolitan Police were promptly notified. The pilot was discovered at a nearby golf course and officers ultimately confiscated the trespassing drone -- hardly surprising, given the Grand Slam starts this week.

Under rules set out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), you must have direct, unaided visual contact with your drone at all times. In practical terms, this means it can't be more than 500 metres away from you. If the drone has an onboard camera, you also have to stay more than 50 metres away from people, vehicles and buildings that are outside of your control. We suspect it's this last point where the daring pilot came a cropper. "Anyone intending to fly a drone should give prior consideration to the surrounding landscape and any structures or venues," inspector Roger Robinson said. "While it is not our intention to prevent people from enjoying the use of drones, it is important that regulations are adhered to." UAVs are already banned from London's eight Royal Parks, so we wouldn't be surprised if sporting venues were soon added to the capital's growing no-fly zone.

[Image Credit: Tony Barson/FilmMagic]

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