This is a surprising and regrettable story. There was I thinking you could only get your hands on one of these if you signed for it and were left with Q's exhortations ringing in your ears: "And 007, DO be careful with it!". But I do not mean to be light-hearted. This is deadly serious.
The rat-loving, bunny-hugging, human-loathing sabs appear to have got hold of one, with which they irritated the hell out of the Warwickshire Hunt and then, perhaps deliberately, used it as a lethal weapon:
From The Times
March 10, 2009
A keen hunt supporter has been killed after being hit by a gyrocopter believed to have been monitoring hunts in the area.
Trevor Morse, 48, died after the incident at Long Marston airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, yesterday. Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and were being questioned by officers in Leamington Spa last night.
Between 80 and 100 huntsmen were out yesterday at the hunt in Moreton-in-Marsh on the last day of the Warwickshire hunt season. The hunt met at the village of Todenham at 11.45am and the light aircraft, first spotted at noon, followed it for about two hours.
It is understood that an animal rights group, Protect Our Wild Animals, has been monitoring the Warwickshire and the Heythrop hunts from a gyrocopter over the past three weeks. Masters of the hunt told The Times that one of the low-flying aircraft had been reported to the Civil Aviation Authority and the police about ten days ago, amid fears that it was upsetting animals. It was said to have been swooping in an aggressive manner over the hunt.
Emergency services were called to the airfield just after 3pm yesterday after reports of a collision involving an aircraft and a pedestrian. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. It is believed that Mr Morse had gone with a friend to the airfield to try to discover who had been piloting the gyrocopter. He and a woman were believed to have approached the aircraft as it was refuelling.
The airfield manager, Anthony Hodges, 57, said: “It was the only aircraft to land all day and I believe the aircraft hit him as it was taxiing on the runway.”
Murder seems unlikely to stick, I think, unless there are independent witnesses. If murder it be, I hope they go to prison for life. But stout-hearted Trevor might have been untrained in how to approach aircraft with rotor-blades. We shall see. Condolences. RIP.