Tourist Fined for Flying Drone Near Isle of Man TT Course

Estimated read time 2 min read

A first-time visitor to the Isle of Man TT races got fined £500 ($615) for flying a drone too close to the race course during a qualifying session. Rory Neale, from Nuneaton in Warwickshire, was caught using his drone near a campsite in Glen Vine called Ballagarey on Friday, reports the BBC.

Breaking the Rules

Douglas Courthouse heard that Neale arrived on the island Thursday evening and was staying at Glen Lough Campsite until Sunday. Around 2 PM the next day, a sector marshal noticed a drone flying above the site, which is on Ballahutchin Hill. Another marshal tracked the drone, saw it between 65ft (20m) and 98ft (30m) above the ground, and then saw it being flown into a van where Neale was sitting.

Quick Response

The marshal attempted to seize the drone before calling the Police. Neale cooperated with the officer and said, “It’s my first time here, I didn’t know the rules.” He claimed he had not seen any signs prohibiting drones and that he only wanted to capture a picture of the campsite, not the racing.

Apologetic and Unaware

Neale’s advocate mentioned that Neale was “repeatedly apologetic” and genuinely unaware of the drone regulations. High Bailiff James Brooks accepted that Neale was not aware of the law but emphasized, “There is a responsibility on you to be safe.” He noted that while the drone didn’t go over the course or interfere with helicopters, it could have. He advised, “You’ve got a photo, you’ve got a memory, I think it’s probably best to leave the drone in the van.”

Legal Reminder

Flying drones within 3,280ft (1,000m) of the TT course during practice and race sessions is illegal. This incident serves as a reminder for visitors to be aware of local regulations and prioritize safety.

DroneXL’s Take

This case highlights the importance of understanding local drone laws, especially around large events like the Isle of Man TT races. Drone enthusiasts should always research regulations before flying to avoid Legal issues and ensure safety for everyone involved.

Featured photo for illustration purposes only.

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