Trio charged over drones filming race

Local | Sophie Hui Mar 13, 2018
Three men appeared in Eastern Magistrates' Court yesterday for flying drones during the Hong Kong Formula E race in 2016.

Lip Pai-yat, 41, a photographer; David Shum Chi-ching, 43, a computer engineer; and Yung Ka-fai, 29, unemployed, were each charged with one count of causing an aircraft to endanger any person or property.

The alleged incident occurred on October 9, 2016, above a container in a construction site and a pathway on Lung Wo Road in Central.

A spokeswoman for the race organizer told court that nearly 10,000 people were watching the event out in the open at the time.

She also said operating "remote controlled crafts and drones" were prohibited by the rules, which were clearly stated on the event website, tickets and various venue entrances.

Announcements had been made to remind people that drones were not allowed at the venue, after the police informed the organizer that they saw drones flying in the vicinity.

Cross-examined by the defense, the spokeswoman agreed that no one was injured, and none of the drivers were affected.

Police officers were also called to testify yesterday. Officer Au Pak-shing said he saw drones flying up and down at a height of about 30 stories, and also down to the race circuit and stands.

Another officer, Cheung Siu-wai, testified he saw three drones flying at the time close to the circuit and stands.

Officer Lam Hiu-fai, who was conducting crowd control and diverting traffic, told court he spotted three to four drones flying above the venue.

Under police caution, Shum admitted he was filming the race for self-entertainment, but didn't know his actions were against the law.

The trial continues today.

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