Confrontation at Happisburgh Lighthouse

As some of you know from my earlier posts.
@PaperCrane and I had a impromptu GADC Meet at Happisburgh Lighthouse, together with Russell’s Wife.
We spent about an hour flying our drones on the Beach , along the sand, over the groynes and generally experimenting with settings and shots.
We then moved to the Cliff top to “do the lighthouse”, after about 20 mins of POI, and flying around the Lighthouse (I hasten to add, we took it in turns with our drones)
A small ,but, well built man. approached us and asked “What are you doing flying over my house!”
I replied “But you do not own the airspace above it, sir”
(WOOOOF…The Saturn 5 rocket, then, went up!)
He went into a rant about “I don’t want to come home from work, and find your drones, Buzzing round my house, we get enough idiots flying them things around hear at all hours of the Morning and night !”
He then asked sternly “Can I see you Public Liabilty Insurance”
“Certainly Sir !” (and produced it from my drone bag!)
The situation changed dramatically, once he had read the policy.
He calmed down and we then exchanged chat about , people who had flown drones through his slate roof, then, knocked on his door to ask “Can I have My Drone Back!”.
Russell and I apologies profusely, and said that “We are responsible Flyers” and wished no offence to him.
I then pointed out the “Drone Code Law” to him so that he could be armed with the correct information for the future (should he need it) to tell other Law Breaking Droner’s who should infringe his space, and what distances the law states.
After a while he realised that we were genuine responsible drone flyers.
I then asked him outright if he had any objection to me posting his name (Chris) on our GADC Forum !.
His reply was positive and he has said (I quote)
“I wouldn’t have minded if you had knocked on my door first”
We did explain (probably like a lot of other people!) that we were not aware that the 2 houses (He Lives In No1) were private dwelling, and, that we were under the impression that it was all part of the “Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust”
One of the houses is a Holiday Let, his is next door.
I asked him point blank that should ANY of our members wished to fly round the Lighthouse, would he allow them to.
His response was “Course I will allow them, providing they come and knock on my door first”.
He did also tell us that he is considering getting the Local Parish Council to allow him to put up signs stating “NO DRONES”.
I did agree with him that in view of the fact that his house sits right under the Lighthouse, we thought the approach to the council was “A Good Idea”
After a few minutes, we once again shook hands and ,again apologised.
Sooooo guys!
If you do want to fly around the Happisburgh Lighthouse in the future, knock on Chris’s Front Door, say you are from GADC, and that two of its members spoke to him about “permission to fly the lighthouse” ,and I am sure he will be only to happy to allow you !!!
A Happy Result from me and Russell, to you all !
P.S. @sparkman999, we did think about doing a “Mooney” for the Webcam, but, after that, thought the better of it!


Sound like a positive outcome
As for you two having a session on the beach mmmmm did his wife mind


Glad it worked out ok for you guys. I don’t think he would have appreciated a knock on the door at 7.30 on a Sunday morning when I got my footage :smiley:

Did you get an interference warning when getting close to the lighthouse, but still more than 50m away?

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Hi Gang, I did ( and do ) drive past the lighthouse quite often, and being a new drone used would of course take this in mind…


Yes, Paul, I was getting strange breakup of my phone picture, with warnings.
It was a severe breakup of a choppy picture, yet Russell had good flights.
We are running different firmware ! Ding Dong !!!
I think there is a bug in it !
The thing that did make me smile was, he also told us of a day when a Army “Apache”helicopter was hovering not far away, ducking down behind trees, then popping up.
They were obviously using the Lighthouse for target practice.
SO WTF !, are you moaning about a poxy drone!

@sparkman999, his insertion of his battery was very gentle !.

Much good flying. Thanks @chrisjohnbaker. I think you’re right re firmware - I had no problems at all.

I can understand why the guy was hacked off. If I’d had morons bouncing drones off my roof I’d be pretty fed up with the whole idea too. He definitely calmed down when he could see that we weren’t irresponsible and I think we chalk that up as an example of the power of being good ambassadors for drone operators.

Now you mention it @sparkman999, my wife was carrying a GoPro… :flushed:


My wife carries me so she tell her friends…
Glad you both had a good flight as for the interference does the lighthouse have a mobile mast on or in it ? One possible reason seeing as it high up and ideal to hide it
Just a thought

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I think that’s a distinct possabilty

out of interest Russell !, what version of firmware are you running?
Never had the problem of video breakup with it before !, it was dire !!

Tbh, I have no idea! I know there’s been a version released since I last updated, but I don’t know what I’m running. I would plug it into my PC and check on the DJI Assistant app but since the software is flatly refusing to talk to my Mavic, I can’t do that.

Your signal interference surprised me though. Didn’t expect to see that on the Pro.

I had to take it to about 200 feet to fly over it without risking any further interference. There’s probably a lot of steel work and electronic gubbins inside to control the light, it was no big deal on the day though.

Weird. I flew all round the thing and over it at about 50m & it was absolutely fine.

me thinks ,I may roll back, IF I can!!!

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You have to fire the drone up and Look for “About” in the settings (I think!)

Ok, I’ll have a look later.

sounbds like fun hopefully i can join you soon for a flight