A fuming Lytham resident contacted Lytham St. Anne’s News having spotted the White Lives Matter Burnley banner flying in the sky yesterday, before it later appeared in the air above Manchester, Today the Mail On Line reported that the Cessna C-182 which towed the White Lives Matter Burnley Banner was indeed flown from Blackpool. The plane was chartered from Air Ads Ltd, whose aircraft are based at Blackpool Airport. The small aircraft was identified on the flight tracking service FlightRadar24 leaving Blackpool yesterday as it flew towards the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. It was unmistakably seen shortly after players and support staff had held a minute’s silence for Covid-19 victims and went down on one knee for Black Lives Matter.
The Mail On Line says that a pilot from Air Ads Ltd was previously prosecuted in 2017 having flown a banner over Goodison Park, Everton. The pilot was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £8,500 prosecution costs at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court after he flew within 400 feet of the stadium – endangering the public and his aircraft. Air Ads Ltd was allegedly paid £800 to fly the banner. The plane should not have been below 1,000ft in a congested area such as a city centre or within a radius of 600 yards of the highest obstacle. These rules are designed to allow a small aircraft the chance to glide to safety if its engine fails.
The Suicide Squad, a group of hooligan Burnley fans, are alleged to have spent the past week crowdfunding for the banner and flyover. Last night’s stunt led to outrage and has been widely condemned, with Burnley captain Ben Mee saying he was ‘shamed and embarrassed’. The Mail On Line say that Jake Hepple, of Colne, claims responsibility for last night’s stunt over the Etihad stadium, writing on Facebook: ‘I’d like to take this time to apologise… to absolutely f***ing nobody!’ He is now being investigated by Lancashire Police, who are examining whether a criminal offence was committed.