A 60-year old pilot from London named Richard Charles Priestley Wood has ended up being slapped with a hefty fine after landing his personal aircraft at a Royal Air Force base in violation of the current local anti-coronavirus restrictions.
According to Newsweek, the incident occurred in May 2020, when Wood had initially planned to visit his mother in Yorkshire but, having learned that she was busy, diverted his plane to RAF Valley instead.
Caernarfon Magistrates Court was reportedly told that the pilot seemed "flippant" and "arrogant" after being informed that he landed at a military facility and that he violated the existing COVID-19 regulations.
"He was wearing shorts, a thin kagoule-type jacket and trainers. He had glasses and short grey hair," Elizabeth Dudley Jones, a Civil Aviation Authority representative, told the court. "Mr. Roberts asked him why he had made an unscheduled landing at RAF Valley. The pilot replied: 'I wanted to see the beach'."
He also reportedly said in response to being notified about him breaching coronavirus restrictions, that it was fine since he had COVID-19 "two months ago".
Wood's landing resulted at emergency services, including fire engines, being dispatched, and prompted a Civil Aviation Authority investigation into the matter.
Having pleaded guilty by post to landing at and departing from RAF Valley without permission, Wood got fined £1,700 each ($2,300) for two offences, "flying within an aerodrome traffic zone without having obtained information to enable a safe flight and also for taking off"; Wood was also ordered to pay the Civil Aviation Authority's £750 ($1,000) costs.
He did inquire, however, about why "authorities had ignored his radio calls and not asked him to land elsewhere", the magazine notes, adding that records show Wood calling RAF Valley tower "at least seven times about landing".