Reckless Individuals​

Basic information for the user:

  • Do not follow rules and regulations on purpose, so to pursue personal or professional gain​
  • Are (not) aware of rules and regulations, and are willing to disrupt some activities without the intent to harm people and cause damages​
  • Medium risk for LEAs, as these operators cause disturbance without intention to harm anyone; however, no one knows what could go wrong, as they don’t follow the (safety) rules.​

Relevant Case Studies

Gatwick Airport incident:

  • On 19 December 2018, security officer reported seeing two drones while waiting at a bus stop at Gatwick Airport: one above a vehicle, and the other above a nearby perimeter fence. Due to the risk of collision with aircraft, Gatwick immediately closed its only runway and suspended all flights.​
  • Hundreds of flights were cancelled at the Airport following reports of drone sightings close to the runway also the following days. This led police to believe the operator was intentionally disrupting flights.

Rogue drone pop concert incursion (2018)

  • On 21 March 2018, an Australian drone pilot flew his unmanned aerial vehicle irresponsibly over an Ed Sheeran concert at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.​
  • A camera-toting drone flew overhead to catch a glimpse of the British singer-songwriter.​
  • The unnamed perpetrator was hit with a fine of 1,050 Australian dollars ($805) for the reckless drone flight. A ticket to the show would have been a lot cheaper in comparison, at around $165 Australian dollars ($125), though admittedly the stadium seats wouldn’t have offered the elevated view that he was presumably going after with his drone camera

Nuclear power station protests (2019):

  • During May 2012, a Greenpeace activist flew a paraglider over the Le Bugey plant and landed on the site, a drone being used to film the stunt.​
  • During October 2017, Greenpeace activists set off fireworks inside a nuclear plant in eastern France after breaking into the facility to underline its vulnerability to attack.​
  • During January 2019, Greenpeace drone pilot activists flew over the Orano La Hague nuclear plant and dropped smoke bombs onto the roof of a building.​
  • Environmental protestors have successfully utilised the deployment of drones to draw attention to their cause.​
  • Six other protesters were handed five-month suspended sentences and Greenpeace France were fined 20,000 euros​

Political protest at Europa League football match (2019):

  • During a Europa League football match at Luxembourg’s Joy Barthel stadium, a drone carrying the flag of a region disputed by Azerbaijan and Armenia flew onto the pitch.​
  • The game, between Luxembourg’s F91 Dudelange and Azerbaijan’s FK Qarabag, was halted for fifteen minutes as the drone incensed Qarabag players, who tried to hit it with the ball as it flew over the centre circle​
  • The drone was spotted carrying the flag of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory resulting in an ethnic conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan during the 1990s​

Military camp rogue drone incursion (2018)

  1. On the 30th of September 2018, a military commander of the camp reported that a drone was flying above the military base. The confiscated drone was equipped with memory card and digital camera. Forensic analysis was performed, but the operator was not prosecuted.​
  2. Officer working in the Salamis Naval Base reported on the 15th of August 2019 that unknown drone equipped with camera flew over the base for 15 seconds approximately. The drone was not confiscated. ​
  3. A similar incident was also reported, two weeks later, on the 31st of August 2019 by a warrant officer of the Hellenic Navy that reported a flying drone above the Navy yard. The drone was not confiscated in this case too.​

Things that can Go Wrong

Pilot Error!​

Environmental conditions (wind etc.)​

Loss of RC communication​

Loss of GPS​

Fly-away due to automated system error​

Loss of Altitude (IMU failure, battery failure & more)

…could result to injuries, damages or even casualties

Reckless Use of Drones – Examples​