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Drone pilot charged by police for Townsville Supercars flight

A 17-year-old has been charged by police in Townsville after flying a drone during the Townsville 400 Supercars event earlier this month.

Drone pilot charged by police for Townsville Supercars flight
David Russell, Nissan Motorsports
The remainings of a drone after crashing in the paddock
A scenic view of the Townsville street circuit
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
A scenic view of the Townsville street circuit
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Alex Rullo, Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden

According to a police report, the teenager was spotted flying the drone over the Reid Park circuit on Saturday of the Far North Queensland Supercars round.

The unauthorised flight meant helicopters had to be temporarily grounded, and led to police seizing the drone and charging the man with ‘aircraft operating in airspace above major event’.

“Police have charged a man after a drone was allegedly flown over the Townsville 400 V8 event, in contravention of the Major Events Act 2014 (the Act),” read the statement from Queensland Police.

“Around 2.45pm on July 8, a man allegedly piloted a drone from the Queens Road end of Lou Lister Park towards the area surrounding the Townsville Civic Centre, which had been declared a Major Event Area under the Act.

“The drone allegedly hovered over the helicopter operations area at Townsville State High School as a helicopter was landing and as another helicopter was taking off.

“Helicopter flights had to be temporarily suspended before the drone allegedly flew over the race track, which was being used as a departure corridor for air operations.

“Police conducting motorcycle patrols observed the drone hovering over the area of the race track near First Street, before it flew back to its launch site.

“Officers attended Lou Lister Park and seized the drone and viewed the footage it recorded.

“A 17-year-old Hermit Park man has been charged with aircraft operating in airspace above major event.”

The man is due to appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on August 10.

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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Townsville
Location Townsville
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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