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London Gatwick Airport Closed By Drones

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22 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

 

 

It is always far easier to find a reason not to do stuff, than reasons to do stuff. But it makes us as a society dysfunctional and in terminal decline. I hate it.

 

 

Thanks Nick. Perhaps too the reluctance to take calculated risks rather than stop everything is a result of the litigious  society we now live in.  Far easier to do nothing than to risk being sued. Sad. One wonders if there was no publicity about the apparently misinformed  effect lasers and drones  have on planes etc, if the folk who use them would have the same interest in trying to cause chaos by using them. 

 

haggis

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3 minutes ago, peterboat said:

Well you can also buy shoulder launched surface to air missiles. Does that mean we should ground all planes just in case someone has one?

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1 minute ago, rgreg said:

Well, this is what a QC says about the possibility of greater charges under another law:

Could they be charged under any other law?

Image copyrightPAA drone and a BA plane

No, according to Chris Daw QC, from Serjeants' Inn Chambers, but he says there is an argument for increasing the maximum five-year sentence for the existing offence.

He says: "It's not a huge deterrent for someone who intends to cause three days of major disruption to an international airport.

"This incident has exposed that the law doesn't have enough teeth to deal with behaviour which is incredibly disruptive and reckless."

He says even possessing a drone within a certain distance of an airfield should be considered an offence.

"The law should be made as strict as possible as the consequences could be so calamitous," he adds.

However, Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, says threatening longer sentences isn't the answer.

He says the industry should follow the example of car manufacturers - which have reduced car crime dramatically since the 1990s by improving security features - and find a technological solution.

They didn't seem to have any difficulty in charging and convicting the Stansted 15 with this offence and the comment from CPS regarding the Stansted case was,"..... A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesperson said: “The charge used in this case is from the Aviation and Maritime Security Act of 1990 and applies to those who intentionally disrupt service at an aerodrome, regardless of their motivation.....". If they decide for some bizarre reason that they cannot charge the drone operator under the same Act it would seem to me that the Stansted group can legitimately regard themselves as Political Prisoners.

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14 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

 

But anyway, hysterics aside, it didn’t “ go straight through the wing” it ruptured the leading edge D box, which is the bit that keeps the wind off the main spar. Not really very structural. You will remember that there was no analysis of how it would have affected the flying capabilities if an entire plane. They were just going for the shock of “oooh look, there’s a bit of a hole. Let’s make the public scream as much as possible”.

...what if it had a nuclear device in it??

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2 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Well you can also buy shoulder launched surface to air missiles. Does that mean we should ground all planes just in case someone has one?

Where exactly is 'Joe Public' going to buy a surface to air missile from?

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Just now, Dr Bob said:

...what if it had a nuclear device in it??

The screaming would be louder. For a microsecond until they were all vaporised along with some cuddly hedgehogs in someone’s nearby garden. Oh the horror!

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Just now, Wanderer Vagabond said:

Where exactly is 'Joe Public' going to buy a surface to air missile from?

The pound shop in Barry, S.Glam sells most things.

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Just now, Wanderer Vagabond said:

Where exactly is 'Joe Public' going to buy a surface to air missile from?

The dark web. Well they seem to manage to get them in places like Syria that we consider to be “third world” so it must be quite easy to get in a civilised country with good communications like the U.K. probably delivered by Amazon.

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1 minute ago, nicknorman said:

The dark web. Well they seem to manage to get them in places like Syria that we consider to be “third world” so it must be quite easy to get in a civilised country with good communications like the U.K. probably delivered by Amazon.

... Via their delivery drones! 

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2 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

They didn't seem to have any difficulty in charging and convicting the Stansted 15 with this offence and the comment from CPS regarding the Stansted case was,"..... A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesperson said: “The charge used in this case is from the Aviation and Maritime Security Act of 1990 and applies to those who intentionally disrupt service at an aerodrome, regardless of their motivation.....". If they decide for some bizarre reason that they cannot charge the drone operator under the same Act it would seem to me that the Stansted group can legitimately regard themselves as Political Prisoners.

I would like to think that you are right ( and the drone operator deserves far more than 5 years in my opinion) but all the legal reports I have seen, for whatever reason, suggest 5 years imprisonment plus £2500 fine is the maximum penalty applicable in this instance.

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14 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

 it ruptured the leading edge D box, which is the bit that keeps the wind off the main spar. Not really very structural.

I really surprised to hear you of all people make that statement.  The D box of a single spar wing is a torsion box and once damaged causes a loss of  torsion that can result in the wing twisting enough to end up in a catastrophic failure and loss of the wing.

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3 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

The dark web. Well they seem to manage to get them in places like Syria that we consider to be “third world” so it must be quite easy to get in a civilised country with good communications like the U.K. probably delivered by Amazon.

Very unlikely since how are they going to ship something containing explosives? on an aircraft perhaps?:huh: If there is one thing that the security services are pretty hot on it is someone trying to ship weapons such this (possible terrorists connotations maybe?).

 

The comparison with Syria is somewhat facile since, like Afghanistan, it a pretty much a lawless country, you can get anything you want in a country without a functioning system of law.

Edited by Wanderer Vagabond
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9 minutes ago, haggis said:

Thanks Nick. Perhaps too the reluctance to take calculated risks rather than stop everything is a result of the litigious  society we now live in.  Far easier to do nothing than to risk being sued. Sad. One wonders if there was no publicity about the apparently misinformed  effect lasers and drones  have on planes etc, if the folk who use them would have the same interest in trying to cause chaos by using them. 

 

haggis

Just summarise, neither lasers nor drones have taken down planes. Ever. And yet we (the public) get very excited about it. Whilst being completely oblivious to real hazards to safety such as the pilots being really fatigued from working ridiculous hours, selected on ability to pay rather than aptitude, and a whole bunch of other real reasons why planes crash. Irrational!

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3 minutes ago, Flyboy said:

I really surprised to hear you of all people make that statement.  The D box of a single spar wing is a torsion box and once damaged causes a loss of  torsion that can result in the wing twisting enough to end up in a catastrophic failure and loss of the wing.

Yes of course the wing is a semi-monocoque structure and nearly all parts of it are structural. However there are very large safety margins built in, to allow for extreme conditions of thunderstorm turbulence, pulling g, at high weight and taking into account a need to manage fatigue not just a single high load event.

 

Can you cite a single airliner that has been brought down due to localised damage to the D box? I very much doubt it. It is a safety margin reduction event which one wouldn’t want to happen too often. It is not going to cause an A380 to plummet into several primary schools resulting in screaming children running out ablaze with jet fuel.

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42 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

You will remember that there was no analysis of how it would have affected the flying capabilities if an entire plane.

Actually yes there was. In this test they concluded that it would have been ‘unlikely’ to have downed the aircraft despite some spars being demolished  

 

This one shows the damage done to the windscreen. 

 

A very interesting risk assessment by the CAA from earlier this year:

https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1627_Jan2018.pdf

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18 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Can you cite a single airliner that has been brought down due to localised damage to the D box? 

No, ‘cos we don’t permit them to fly when there are drones about...

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Planes hit birds all the time. An 8 kilo Goose would do a lot more damage than one kilo of plastic. Once they have tested drones hitting engines in the labs and discovering they only do marginal damage then there will be no more airport closures. Mind you it is a great well timed distraction to take joe publics mind off of Brexit.

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51 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Well you can also buy shoulder launched surface to air missiles. Does that mean we should ground all planes just in case someone has one?

No.  But perhaps we should ground all aircraft if one is seen flying around Gatwick!

 

George

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3 minutes ago, rogeriko said:

Planes hit birds all the time. An 8 kilo Goose would do a lot more damage than one kilo of plastic. Once they have tested drones hitting engines in the labs and discovering they only do marginal damage then there will be no more airport closures. Mind you it is a great well timed distraction to take joe publics mind off of Brexit.

These were commercial drones weighing a bit more than your 'one kilo of plastic' and considerably more than your goose.

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1 hour ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

These were commercial drones weighing a bit more than your 'one kilo of plastic' and considerably more than your goose.

How do you know what model the drones were?

1 hour ago, WotEver said:

No, ‘cos we don’t permit them to fly when there are drones about...

Non sequitur.

1 hour ago, WotEver said:

Actually yes there was. In this test they concluded that it would have been ‘unlikely’ to have downed the aircraft despite some spars being demolished  

 

This one shows the damage done to the windscreen. 

 

A very interesting risk assessment by the CAA from earlier this year:

https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1627_Jan2018.pdf

Look at the wing section, it’s a small light aircraft, not an enormous commercial airliner. The Titanic didn’t get sunk by an ice cube in someone's Gin and tonic, so size DOES matter.

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9 hours ago, nicknorman said:

By the way, it almost sounds as though I am defending these folk’s actions. I am not, a large number of people were severely inconvenienced and made miserable and that is bad. But their lives were not endangered. Let’s keep our reactions proportionate.

You and me both.

 

I find that increasingly I am looking at the media with ever more sceptical eyes because they seem to more and more only give scant information and few hard facts. That is why I have questioned much of what has been said about this incident. Unless Gatwick have radar plots or some-such that prove the drones were in actual flight paths then any danger was minimal - in fact less than a bird strike - because the drones were under "intelligent" control that was keeping the drone out of the aircrafts' paths. If no such plots can be produced then the airport operators need to examine their motives.

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12 hours ago, Tonka said:

Why should they get life. Even a murderer only gets 12 years and they have killed someone yet you see the drone crime as more serious.

You evidently don't understand the expression "life imprisonment". It is the mandatory sentence for murder, but is generally interpreted as about 12 years (with possible reduction for good behaviour), rather than "for the rest of your natural life", unless the latter comes first of course. I used "life imprisonment" in the sense that legal people use it. Hence, there is no implication that I consider the drone crime to be more serious.

12 hours ago, rgreg said:

I thought I heard that 5 years imprisonment is the maximum sentence but perhaps I am mistaken.

Yes. There is a lesser drone-related offence which carries a maximum sentence of five years. But the offence which applies here is:

"Unlawfully and intentionally to disrupt the services of an aerodrome in such a way as to endanger or be likely to endanger the safe operation of the aerodrome or the safety of persons at the aerodrome".

   It does not carry a mandatory life sentence, but that tariff is available to the court.

Edited by Athy

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10 hours ago, rgreg said:

I would like to think that you are right ( and the drone operator deserves far more than 5 years in my opinion) but all the legal reports I have seen, for whatever reason, suggest 5 years imprisonment plus £2500 fine is the maximum penalty applicable in this instance.

perhaps the 200,000 passengers who suffered disruption should take out a class action (or wotever it's called in this country) and sue the pants off the couple involved, leaving them bankrupt and homeless.

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21 minutes ago, Athy said:

You evidently don't understand the expression "life imprisonment". It is the mandatory sentence for murder, but is generally interpreted as about 12 years (with possible reduction for good behaviour), rather than "for the rest of your natural life", unless the latter comes first of course. I used "life imprisonment" in the sense that legal people use it. Hence, there is no implication that I consider the drone crime to be more serious.

Yes. There is a lesser drone-related offence which carries a maximum sentence of five years. But the offence which applies here is:

"Unlawfully and intentionally to disrupt the services of an aerodrome in such a way as to endanger or be likely to endanger the safe operation of the aerodrome or the safety of persons at the aerodrome".

   It does not carry a mandatory life sentence, but that tariff is available to the court.

As above previous responses, judiciaries do not believe the greater charge can be applied in this case.

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5 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

perhaps the 200,000 passengers who suffered disruption should take out a class action (or wotever it's called in this country) and sue the pants off the couple involved, leaving them bankrupt and homeless.

That would be an alternative, but would be far more complicated and expensive to organise than a simple criminal trial, would it not?

4 minutes ago, rgreg said:

As above previous responses, judiciaries do not believe the greater charge can be applied in this case.

Not quite sure what you mean by "judiciaries" - lawyers perhaps? Some may not.

Edited by Athy

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