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Visitor fined for flying drone near TT course

£650 fine for 68-year-old from Germany

Report by BBC Isle of Man

A visiting Isle of Man TT fan who was caught flying a drone near to the course shortly before the start of the Senior race has been fined.

Reinhard Meier, from Schillsdorf in Germany, flew the gadget over Glenlough Camp Site in Union Mills at about 5:30pm on Saturday.

Douglas Courthouse heard the 68-year-old had been staying at the campsite as part of a group of travelling bikers.

He was fined £650 and ordered to pay a further £125 in prosecution costs.

The court heard that following the end of the Supertwin race, which was red flagged, but before the start of the Senior TT, the sector marshal at Ballahutchin was made aware of a drone flying above the camp site, which runs parallel to the course.

Meier was located by marshals soon after, who confiscated the drone and contacted the police, who subsequently arrested him.

The court heard that he had not photographed the racing, but had used his drone to take a group picture of the bikers who he had travelled to the island with.

Meier's defence advocate said he had been unaware that he was not allowed to fly his drone near the course during road closures and that he was "mortified" to find himself in court over it.

The 68-year-old was was "extremely sorry" for his mistake and offered an apology to the court, the advocate added.

Deputy High Bailiff Rachael Braidwood said that drones posed a "very serious risk" to racers and were a "danger" to helicopters used during race periods.

Sentencing Meier, she told him being unaware of the law was "no excuse" but said she had taken into account his early guilty plea and remorse.


 

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