Drone crash at Brighton Beach concert: Watch device crash into stage during live music performance

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A man has been convicted in court after crashing a drone in what was ‘the first case of its kind in court’

A man has been convicted in court after crashing a drone at concert on Brighton beach. Sussex Police said it was ‘the first case of its kind in court’.

“Giles Dalby flew a drone over Brighton beach during a concert,” a police spokesperson said. "He lost control of the aircraft which then crashed into the stage during a live music performance. Footage shows how the aircraft flew just over the heads of people in the audience during the event.”

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Dalby, 39 – formerly a fire safety worker of Devonshire Place, Brighton – appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on January 4. He admitted to recklessly or negligently causing or permitting an aircraft to endanger a person or property, police said. Dalby was fined £576, with a £230 surcharge and £85 costs.

A spokesperson for the force said: “He had used the drone contrary to the Air Navigation Order during the incident on July 24, 2022. It is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind under the legislation.”

Sussex Police and the UK Civil Aviation Authority released the footage to ‘highlight how Dalby’s use of the drone was illegal’ and ‘put those in attendance at the concert in danger’.

A drone operator is legally responsible for every flight, and ‘must keep the aircraft in sight at all times’. The aircraft must be kept below 400ft, and must not be flown over a congested area.

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Sussex Police drone training officer PC Steven Prince said: “Dalby operated a drone above a crowded beach concert on Brighton beach. He lost control of the aircraft which then crashed into the stage, near to a musician who was in the middle of a live performance.

“Dalby is fortunate that no one was harmed, but this case should act as a reminder to all drone operators about how to stay within the law.”

Jonathan Nicholson, spokesperson at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said drones ‘must be flown safely’. He added: “Drones can be great fun to fly and are undertaking more and more useful roles such as delivering medical supplies.

“However, they must be flown safely and this incident shows what can happen if people don’t follow the rules. Our dronecode provides a simple guide to the rules along with advice on how to enjoy flying your drone.”

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Guidance to drone operators about operating the aircraft safely is provided by the UK Civil Aviation Authority online at www.caa.co.uk/drones.

Anyone responsible for a drone must register with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and anyone flying a drone must get a Flyer ID. Both can be obtained online at www.register-drones.caa.co.uk.