Breaking News
Salisbury man charged with double murder

Plea from Wiltshire Air Ambulance to fly drones safely

Plea from Wiltshire Air Ambulance to fly drones safely

Published at 11:02am 14th January 2020.

3 minute read

Drone ownership has increased rapidly in the UK and they've become a popular Christmas present gift.

As a result of that Wiltshire Air Ambulance want to raise awareness of the importance of flying drones safely and legally.

They say they don't want to be a killjoy but it's important people realise the dangers they can pose to aircraft.

Nicky Smith is a helicopter pilot and the charity's safety manager

"We want drone users to have fun but to do so safely and legally. If a drone strikes a helicopter it is likely to cause significant damage due to the solid metal parts it has and a solid battery.

"The last thing we want is for drones to damage our helicopter so we can't do our important lifesaving work.

"Another air ambulance in the UK had a near miss with a drone which was flying above the legal height limit in September last year. It was only through the vigilance of the front seat paramedic and the pilot that a collision was avoided."

Nicky Smith
Wiltshire Air Ambulance pilot Nicky Smith.


Anyone using a drone between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator and pass a theory test. Failure to do so could result in a £1,000 fine.

The Civil Aviation Authority has also published The Drone Code to assist drone users to fly safely.

The code includes not flying drones above 400 feet, always keeping your drone in direct sight and not flying drones near airfields or airbases. 

Failure to do so could result in criminal prosecution.

Plea to use drones safely and legally


Nicky's explained one of the big problems is when users can't see where their drone is. 

"A drone is much smaller than a helicopter and it can blend into the background. It's really important that people who operate drones can see them when they are flying. If they can't see their drone when it's flying then they won't be able to see other aircraft, such as helicopters, flying either.

"Due to the nature of our work we often land and take off in residential areas. We spend more time below 400 feet than most other aircraft so this is another important factor for drone users to be aware of.

"If you are flying your drone and see our helicopter or any other aircraft, please land your drone and wait for us to land or fly away from your area.

"We are not trying to stop people flying their drones but we want them to do so responsibly and safely."


Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Spire FM

© Copyright 2020 Spire FM, A UKRD group company