Pilot on trial for low-flying banner plane

Tuesday 4 April 2017  8 Comments  [Jump to last]
The pilot who flew a plane as low as 400 feet over Goodison Park in 2015 to display a banner in support of Everton chairman Bill Kenwright is being charged by the Civil Aviation Authority for contravening airspace regulations.

68-year-old Alan Elliot, who runs aerial advertising firm Air-Ads.com, is on trial at Liverpool Magistrates' Court after being prosecuted by the CAA, the body responsible for regulating safety in British airspace.

He was paid to display a banner reading “Thank you Mr Kenwright,” above the stadium but Jonathan Duffy, prosecuting on behalf of the CAA, told the court Elliot flew “much less than and several times below 1,000 feet”.

Eliot claims “dangerous” conditions forced him to descend below the permitted ceiling avoid flying into cloud after being caught in sudden, severe weather conditions, an exception allowed under the law.

Update: Elliott, of Leigh Road in West Houghton, Bolton, was today convicted of breaching the Air Navigation Order 2009 after a trial at Liverpool Magistrates' Court, and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £8,500 in prosecution costs.

Full article in the Liverpool Echo

Quotes or other material sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (8)

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Mike Byrne
1 Posted 04/04/2017 at 19:51:53
Amazing how everything associated with Kenwright goes tits up.
Peter Thistle
2 Posted 05/04/2017 at 08:14:44
So Everton... even fail at flying a plane. :(
Dennis Stevens
3 Posted 05/04/2017 at 10:31:46
Do they, Peter? I didn't realise that, through all these decades as an Evertonian, I'd actually been supporting Alan Elliot!
John Raftery
4 Posted 05/04/2017 at 13:23:06
All of the clowns flying planes with their pathetic banners should be locked up.
Peter Gorman
5 Posted 05/04/2017 at 13:30:27
Not sure, John, there was a picture doing the rounds of some pilot flying a banner which read; "Where is your plane, peasants?"
Eugene Ruane
6 Posted 05/04/2017 at 14:20:01
Anyone know who Steven Brydon-Kenny is?

As in "Mr Elliot told the court he had been paid to make the trip by Everton fan Steven Brydon-Kenny."

By the way, love the line from the Lower Bullens witness Peter Smith who stated 'My initial reaction was 'gosh, that's flying low.'


In the Lower Bullens?


Defence brief: "Isn't it true Mr Smith that you didn't use the word 'gosh' but rather something more foul and obscene (looks at jury)?"

Smith: "Well I can't remember the exac..."

Defence brief: 'Well let me help you (pulls piece of paper from desk) according to a witness close by, who was there with his two small children (long look at jury) you stated 'fucking hell, look at that twat there, he's flying that thing like a right cun.."

Prosecution council: "Objection!! The witness is not on trial here!"

Beak: "Sustained"

Defence brief (grinning) "No further questions>"

(jury members tut and shake their heads)

John Daley
7 Posted 05/04/2017 at 15:40:13
Apparently, people were alarmed at the advanced age of the pilot when they first clapped eyes on him entering court, but his confident opening words were enough to convince all present he remained an aviator of unparalleled ability:

"I was flying in the direction I wanted to go.... "

Wow! It's a wonder the judge didn't just call a halt to proceedings right there and then, perhaps wrapping things up with a quote from Top Gun: 

"You're a hell of an instinctive pilot. Maybe too good. I'd like to bust your butt, but I can't."

John Wilson
8 Posted 05/04/2017 at 16:12:14
Eugene Ruane, that's a leading question. It would be, Mr... tell us about the events of that afternoon, you know where you were flying low.

Pilot looking down at his fly says "Oh you meant the plane. Well, you see – there was a strong bout of turbulence flying over Everton's ground – I think the turbulence emanated from the frustration of the fans as their team performances would drive anyone to drink."

Council for the prosecution says, you're not here to speculate Mr pilot. Can you please answer the questions put to you and nothing else. That's a big word anyway, 'emanate.'

Pilot responds, to be fair (sir – addressing the Magistrate), someone saying 'gosh' in Lower Bullens would be more like, 'fucking hell, or fucking gosh, not gosh by itself.' So this would also be embellishing the truth."

Pilot says move to strike out CPS allegations as vexatious.

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