Forget Jumping the Fence, Football Fans are Using Drones to Watch Matches

By Gerald Lynch on at

Remember when being able to find international streams of local Premier League football matches seemed like the future of nefarious footy viewing? The 21st century equivalent of jumping the fence?

Well, even that will sound quaint compared to Nigel Wilson's activities; the 43 year old man from Nottingham has been arrested for flying a drone over stadiums while football matches were taking place, and recording the action.

Summoned to appear before Westminster Magistrates Court on April 16th, Wilson is charged with piloting his drone above Liverpool's Anfield ground, Arsenal's Emirates, Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, Leicester's King Power Stadium, the Nottingham Forest Stadium, Derby Stadium and Stoke's Britannia Stadium.

As well as making the illegal flights over the football grounds, Wilson is also alleged to have flown his drone over other major (and security-conscious) London landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster and the Queen Victoria Memorial, just up the road from the Queen's London residence at Buckingham Palace.

Wilson's actions are in breach of the Civil Aviation Authority's Air Navigation Order of 2009, the same piece of legislation that recently made it illegal to fly a drone over London's Royal parks. Wilson was found to have failed to maintain a line of sight with his craft, and also failed to keep it within 400 vertical feet and 500 horizontal metres of him as its pilot. Wilson's drone activities have seen him rack up 17 offences in total. Drone owners would do well to brush up on their knowledge of the Air Navigation Order then, as the authorities are clearly making examples of those that ignore it. [Independent]

Image Credit: Liverpool, England (modified) from Shutterstock