A man who was arrested after he shone a torch at an Apache attack helicopter flying "10ft" above his garden will not be charged, police have said.I’d think not. Who’d convict, after hearing the details?
Torben Merriott, 63, of Stradbroke, Suffolk, was arrested on "suspicion of "acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft" on 18 September.But as he pointed out, he had no choice:
Mr Merriott, who runs a stage lighting firm, criticised police for being "heavy-handed" and "wasting resources". He said he might complain.How else was he supposed to see what the hell was hovering over his house?
He said he was awoken by an "almighty noise and vibration" at 0100 BST on 18 September.
"My first reaction was that it was an earthquake," he said.
"It was a clear night but pitch black and I could feel the vibrations beating against my chest - very frightening.
"That was when I realised it must be a helicopter really low and very close. I couldn't see any navigation lights from the direction of the noise so I shone my torch."
And what were they doing there in the first place? If the MOD don’t want people shining torches at their choppers, then don’t hover over remote farmhouses at the dead on night. Simples!
Mr Merriott said he found it hard to be believe the pilot would have lost control in the face of his torch.Well, it’s not a gunship, but this one certainly wasn’t brought down by the Taliban, or by a recently-awakened citizen with a torch:
"Don't tell the Taliban that all they need is a 10-quid torch to bring down some of our finest young fliers in their multi-million pound, high-tech gunships," he said.
An RAF helicopter pilot swore as he flew his aircraft just 5ft above a taxi before a fatal crash in North Yorkshire, an inquest has heard.No need to worry about light sleepers, RAF. Try worrying about some of your pilots instead!
Pilot Dave Sale was heard to say "let's scare the shit out of this taxi", two hours before the Puma crashed near Catterick Garrison on 8 August 2007.
The inquest also heard that the Johnny Cash hit Ring Of Fire was being played over the cockpit speaker.