Photographer Fined For Almost Flying Drone into Fatboy Slim at Concert

Photographer fined flying drone crash fatboy slim concert

A photographer was fined over $1,100 (£891) after he almost crashed a drone into Fatboy Slim as the DJ performed at a concert in front of thousands of people.

Amateur photographer Giles Dalby was filming an atmospheric video of Fatboy Slim’s (real name Norman Cook) concert at Brighton Beach in Brighton, U.K. on July 22, 2022.

However, Dalby mixed up the controls on his DJI Mavic mini drone. The photographer put the drone into sports mode — making it harder to avoid obstacles — and flew the device onto the stage where Cook was performing.

Dalby’s drone crashed onto the stage 15 minutes before the concert ended. The device narrowly missed Cook and endangered members of the 8,500-strong crowd.

‘An Honest Mistake’

On Thursday, Dalby appeared in Brighton Magistrates Court to face charges of operating the drone in a careless or negligent manner, which put lives and property in danger.

According to ISP Today, Dalby admitted recklessly allowing a drone to put Cook and the audience at risk. The photographer expressed remorse during the court case and clarified that he had no harmful intentions.

Dalby explained that he was aiming for a dramatic aerial shot of the concert but lost control of the drone after mistakenly activating the sport mode, which disabled some collision sensors.

“I did not intend to put anyone in danger. I wanted to create a slow, cinematic appearance,” Dalby tells the court.

“I crashed trying to leave the area, looking to back out for an overview of the scene and finish with a wide view.

“It was an honest mistake that I will ensure will never repeat itself.

“There was no malicious intent. I switched it into sport mode which deactivates the downward sensor so I could come quickly up and out, but I accidentally went forward and down.”

To demonstrate his commitment to safety, Dalby pointed out that he had since obtained a drone pilot’s license. He also acknowledged his error in flying the drone over a populated area, recognizing the potential hazards involved.

However, the court was shown footage of the incident and heard that Dalby had ignored multiple warnings that appeared in the drone’s flight data.

“The footage shows a near-miss collision with the crowd and performer,” Prosecutor Megan Attree tells Brighton magistrates’ court.

“There was no damage or injury, but the risk was very real and very present.”

Dalby was ordered to pay a fine of $732 (£576 GBP), along with a $292 (£230 GBP) victim surcharge and $108 (£85 GBP) in costs, resulting in a total penalty of $1132.00 (£891 GBP).

Image credits: Header photo via Flickr/Alterna2.