Amateur Lands Drone on U.K. Aircraft Carrier

Published Aug 13, 2017 7:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

An amateur photographer recently landed a small drone on the U.K.'s biggest warship, the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, while it was docked at Invergordon in Scotland, only to be surprised by the apparent lack of concern for the vessel's security.

First, he flew the drone over the ship. When the drone sensed high wind conditions, it's anti-crash sensors enabled it to land automatically on the deck of the ship. The photographer then took a photograph and flew the the drone back safely.

“There was no one about to prevent it happening, although there were security police around in small boats who waved at the drone,” said the photographer who has not been named.

He reported in to guards at the dock. “I was only able to speak to some armed police, I think from the MoD. They said there was no one available on the carrier, as they were at dinner on shore. No one seemed too concerned. The officer I spoke to said he’d pass it up the chain of command.”

The photographer left his name and phone number, but nobody got back to him.

"I would say my mistake should open their eyes to a glaring gap in security. This was a bit of tomfoolery, but it could have been something terrible, not just for the ship and its crew but for the people of Invergordon," he said.
The U.K. Ministry of Defence is reportedly reviewing security around the 70,000-ton warship which is due to be commissioned later this year.