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Wed, Mar 11, 2009

Two Arrested In Murder-By-Gyroplane Investigation

Hunt Supporter May Have Been Mowed Down By Taxiing Gyro

A 48-year-old man known for his enjoyment of working with dogs to support foxhunters in England is dead, and local officials are investigating the possibility of foul play.

Trevor Morse was pronounced dead at Long Marston airfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on Monday. Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder, and were being questioned to determine whether they intentionally ran Morse down with a gyroplane (file photo above).

The Times of London reports between 80 and 100 huntsmen were out on the last day of the Warwickshire hunt season, and say they were being followed by a gyroplane for about two hours in the early afternoon Monday. An animal-rights group called Protect Our Wild Animals was known to be using such an aircraft to watch for  over the past three weeks.

The group's website says it, "...advocates the observance of hunts by use of video and stills cameras to record the cruelty and vandalism of hunting."

There had reportedly been complaints from both hunt participants and landowners about low flights. While they can't hover, gyroplanes are well-suited for low, slow flight and surveillance applications. UK law requires they maintain at least 500 feet AGL when around people, unless taking off or landing.

Responders to the airport reported Morse was beyond help when they arrived. It is thought he may have gone to the airport to confront the pilot, and was struck by the craft as it was being taxied to fuel pumps.

FMI: www.powa.org.uk

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