Opportunity knocks, then gets slapped down

Super gutted.

An internationally renowned GT3 racing team were putting their cars through their paces at a local race track, so I popped along to have a watch.

Everything was open so I drove down tot the paddock and got chatting to some of the crew, and I mentioned what I do, UAV wise, and would it be possible to capture some of their session. Team manager was fine with it, even suggesting the possibility of working with the team via the PR dept if they like the footage.

Super excited at the prospect, I go to see the track management to square it with them and basically get politely told to F**k off, under no circumstance will they let me fly, and it was wrong of me to talk to the team at all.

Some people really do think we are pond life.

Sounds as if you need an ‘official’ yellow jacket :grin:



Is there anywhere public nearby you can fly from that conforms to the drone code? That way you can still get the shots and the jobsworth misses out on the footage - sweet revenge!!

Chances are it would be difficult to coordinate with the team, doing that. And for decent shots that would be imperative … and for safety?

Damn shame, but tends to be the standard reaction from most facilities like this.

When I was covering grass track racing, the track manager was well on board (very excited) but the governing body were making noises about banning drones, although they didn’t actually go that far. I had 2M public liability at the time and then there was talk about requiring 5M. Was good fun to do, but difficult to make any real money.

Hey @LarryDeath, good to see you still around mate! :smiley:

Damn! That could have been a nice sideline!!

Who did you speak to? Was it just some jobsworth? Or the track owner?

It’s disappointing, big time, especially as we can safely assume that had the team asked the track management, they would have probably been given the green light!

Did you say you wouldn’t fly over the track itself and only fly infield? (or outfield?)

Will the opportunity arise again? In the hopes of speaking to someone different next time?

Hi mate.

It was one of those perfect moments that I can’t see happening again, but then again, I didn’t imagine it would happen in the first place, so who knows?

Don’t know if the bloke I spoke to was the owner, but he was the person in charge. To be fair they had a ‘no drones’ sign up at the gate, which suggests that the undesirables had already annoyed the hell out of them with unsolicited and unregulated flying, and if I’d turned up with the team to do some filming it wouldn’t have been an issue.

If I’d worded my approach to the track differently and brass-necked it, who knows…


I’d suggest that the no drones is more to do with private/secret testing by race teams and car makers, and tv rights/heli-cams for televised events.
Pretty standard at all race tracks I’ve been to in the UK and rest of Europe.

Also safety … fast cars impacting drones.

It can even go wrong when DJI are the official drone operator.

Interestingly, this is the exact point where the WRC asked me not to fly, four years ago, because they were testing the idea and I was in the same position (and they were waiting for me to land) … but sensibly higher than this idiot.


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HI Larry
That’s a shame, but the issue is when you ask someone to make a decision, they have to make a decision… and usually they will err on the side of the caution.
You could have easily flown over them as long as you controlled the drone from outside their land and stayed more than 50 metres high.
I often make the analogy with a hot air balloon or paraglider. People don’t own the airspace above them; all they can do is prohibit you from controlling your drone on their land, not flying above it as long as it’s not a built up area…
Keep an eye on what’s on there and get some footage from above without asking!


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ironically, these types of places may have a lucrative sideline in the not too distant future for drone club meetings etc :wink:

Really? I fly to take pics/video … you soon exhaust the 500m radius potential. Wouldn’t be the slightest interested.

you should of said ok thanks, instead I will go log a complaint with the local housing about the noise then, oh and I am sure i had seen some bats nesting near the track probably those really rare ones lol

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