Published: 15/08/2017 13:00 - Updated: 15/08/2017 11:02

Cromarty Firth drone pilot's antics go global

Written byVal Sweeney


The drone captured this image from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

THE Ministry of Defence has stepped up security after an amateur photographer managed to land his £300 drone on the Royal Navy’s £3 billion flagship aircraft carrier.

The Inverness Courier revealed last week how the local drone flier landed his Parrot Bebop drone on the recently launched Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier while it was docked at Invergordon in the Cromarty Firth.

Since then, the story has made headlines across the world. But with an investigation under way, the man, who does not wish to be identified, wants the matter to die down.

"It has gone viral," he said. "It is in every country in the world. I have had TV companies and newspapers on to me.

"I have had abuse up to my ears. I would just like it to die down."

He declined to comment, when asked, if he had highlighted an important gap in security.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence confirmed it is looking into the matter.

"We take the security of HMS Queen Elizabeth very seriously," he said. "This incident has been reported to Police Scotland, an investigation is under way and we stepped up our security measures in light of it."

Speaking previously to the Courier, the photographer said he was amazed he had managed to land the remote-controlled drone on the ship’s four-acre flight deck.

He said there was no-one about to prevent it from landing although there were security police around in smaller boats who were waving at the drone.

He explained he had received a high wind warning while videoing along the flight deck and the control system advised him to land.

After posting photographs online later, he was advised by other drone fliers he could be in trouble and so he reported himself to security personnel at Invergordon.

The 920ft long, 65,000 tonne Queen Elizabeth has not been commissioned by the Royal Navy yet and does not have aircraft. Trials are expected to be finished by 2020 but it will be 2021 before she is ready for active duty.

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