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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Warning for bridge stunt pilots
Pilot goes under bridge
A hotel worker filmed the pilots
Two Spanish pilots have received a police warning after they flew light aircraft under a 54ft-high bridge in the Scottish Highlands.

Northern Constabulary said the pair were interviewed about the incident but will not face any charges.

The aircraft were spotted sweeping under Ballachulish Bridge on Loch Leven just before 1900 BST on Wednesday.

The incident came just three weeks after a helicopter was reported to have flown under the Skye Bridge twice on successive days.

I didn't see the whites of the pilot's eyes but I did see his hat and his goggles
Claire McArthur

Hotel worker Alewyn Rens, who was trying out his new video camera, caught the latest incident on film.

He said: "It could have been very dangerous but I really enjoyed it, I'm quite into planes."

Resident Claire McArthur said: "I was in my house, which is just next to the Ballachulish Bridge, and then I saw one plane going under the bridge and one going over and veering off towards the mountains.

"I didn't see the whites of the pilot's eyes but I did see his hat and his goggles."

Northern Constabulary said the two aircraft sighted were part of a group of five aircraft being flown by Spaniards from Inverness to Oban.

They have been taking part in a week-long round-Europe trip.

Superintendent John D'Arcy said: "Following discussions with the Civil Aviaton Authority (CAA) and the procurator fiscal, it has been agreed that no further action will be taken.

"They received a severe warning about their conduct and the possible dire consequences of it.

Second pilot flies away
A second pilot banks after his stunt
"There is no doubt that activities like this are dangerous and are to be firmly discouraged. We would advise pilots not to carry out such a hazardous manoeuvre."

A CAA spokesman said: "We are aware of the incident and it is being dealt with by the police.

"The penalties are substantial and pilots can be disqualified from holding a licence if action is taken."

The trunk road bridge, which was constructed by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Group - now the Cleveland Group - was opened in 1975 and provides a vital link for the A82 in the Highlands.

Last month, police on the Isle of Skye were alerted after a man reported a helicopter flying beneath the 100ft-high toll bridge linking the island to the mainland.

The helicopter was said to have passed underneath the bridge on 14 and 15 June.

Last year a pilot avoided prosecution for flying his plane under the bridge after he claimed he broke the law to avoid a flock of seagulls.

It is illegal to fly within 500ft of the structure.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Eilidh McLeod reports
"The aerial antics of the two Spanish pilots were caught on video"



SEE ALSO:
Helicopter pilot's bridge stunt
26 Jun 03  |  Scotland
Jets in alert at submarine base
18 Nov 02  |  Scotland


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