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Hotel owner fined after his helicopter propels parasol at guest

10 August 2015 by

A hotel owner has been fined after the downdraft from his helicopter launched a parasol at a guest.

Richardson Hotels group owner Keith Richardson was taking off from his hotel in Falmouth, Cornwall, when a parasol became inflated and flew towards a 16-year-old girl.

The girl had to be treated for injuries to her shoulder by paramedics when the incident happened in August 2014.

Richardson was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,104 costs by Bodmin magistrates.

Alison Slater, for the prosecution brought by the Civil Aviation Authority, told the court that awareness of downdraft was taught "on day one at pilot training school".

She added that there was "clearly an unacceptable standard of airmanship in this case".

Richardson - who also owns the Fowey hotel in Fowey, the Metropole in Padstow and the Grand and the Grosvenor in Torquay - admitted negligently causing an aircraft to endanger a person. He told the BBC: "I have been a naughty boy."

He added that a better checklist was now in use by hotel staff monitoring take-offs and landings.

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