A so-called “urban explorer” has been fined by a judge after trespassing onto an English airport in order to capture himself onboard a retired British Airways 747-400.
Man Fined After Breaking Onto Abandoned British Airways 747-400 For Special Photo
Liam Greig, 32, styles himself as an urban explorer, meaning he enjoy visiting abandoned structures and photogprahjng the interiors. While visiting abandoned homes or other buildings may be one thing, illegally entering an airport in order to board a retired aircraft is another matter.
With three other men, Grieg breached the fence at Kemble Airfield on January 30th, drove in, and climbed onboard a former British Airways 747-400, registered as G-CIV. After taking photographs onboard, he promptly left. There was no vandalism, no theft, and no apparent attempt to engage in any sort of malicious activity. He even left his mask on in the picture.
Airport staff noticed the car on the airfield and called the police. While Grieg likely would have never have been caught, he posted the picture of himself onboard the 747 on Facebook. Authorities used that image to track him down. When they found him, he offered a full confession and was charged.
His attorney, Stefan Sims, told The Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:
“Had Greig not given a full statement, the police might have had trouble in bringing the case to court. He is a family man who has a number of health conditions.
“His hobby is being an urban explorer and he attends many abandoned sites in the South West locality that included former stately homes, tunnels and industrial buildings.
“But following this incident he has not embarked on any further adventures. He has very much learnt his lesson from this court process.”
Based upon his confession and lack of criminal intent, a judge fined him about $500, including:
- £240 – fine
- £85 – court costs
- £34 – victim’s restitution fund
That’s quite an expensive photograph of a 747-400…
The aircraft at the center of the incident, pictured above, is one that I have flown on before. On some level, I perfectly understand why Greig did what he did. I could not find the picture on Facebook, but I bet it is epic. But while asking for permission might not always give us the answer we want, it is the smarter strategy, especially when dealing with restricted facilities like airports.
(image: Wikimedia Commons // H/T: Simple Flying)