Monthly Archives: December 2010

Sky Banners Owner Charged with Death Threats to UKIP Leader Nigel Farange

The pilot who was flying the plane carrying Nigel Farage when it crashed on general election day has been charged with threatening to kill the UKIP leader.

Justin Adams, owner of Sky Banners, who was at the controls of the light aircraft which crashed into a field on May 6, seriously injuring Mr Farage, has been remanded in custody.

The 45-year-old pilot has also been charged with threatening to kill the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official who investigated the accident. It is alleged that the threats were made last week.

Adams was at the controls of the Polish-made Wilga 35A, with Mr Farage sitting alongside him, when it suddenly nosedived to earth during a party-political stunt on the morning of this year’s Westminster election.

Mr Farage managed to walk from the crash scene, as pictured in graphic images from the time, while Adams was trapped in the mangled wreckage.

The seriously-injured pilot remained conscious and was later airlifted from the scene, in Hinton-on-the-Hedges, near Brackley, Northants., to hospital in Coventry.

A probe by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the Department of Transport found the crash was caused by the campaign banner the plane had been trailing.

The ropes used to tow the giant banner, reading: “Vote for your country: Vote Ukip”, had become caught on the tail of the lightweight aircraft, forcing it into a dive.

Earlier the plane had had to make a number of low-level passes before it was able to collect the banner from a special harness.

Adams was brought before magistrates in Oxford and spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

He was arrested on Sunday after calls were made to the police, alleging that on November 26 he threatened to kill Mr Farage and that on Sunday he similarly threatened CAA investigator Martin James.

The business owner, wearing a blue fleece and jeans, did not enter a plea to either charge.

He was remanded in custody and ordered to appear at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday next week.

Adams, who had been living in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, but has since moved to the village of Buckland, Oxon, ran a firm called Sky Banners.

At the time of the crash Mr Farage, who has a fear of flying, was making a last-ditch attempt to win over voters as he fought to oust House of Commons Speaker John Bercow MP from of his Buckingham seat.

Following publication of the air investigators report, Mr Farage, who has a fear of flying, said: ‘It was an accident. These things happen in life.’

Banners Cause Controversy in America

Another example of town officials making it hard for businesses to promote themselves was seen on the other side of the Atlantic in the town of Silverton last month.

Montanya Distillers fell out with the local authority about banners the company hung outside the rum distillery at 1332 Notorious Blair St.

The five temporary banners, which advertised two upcoming concerts, celebrated the Fourth of July holiday and welcomed archaeologists to town, apparantly violated city code.

The city planning code for banners allows only temporary banners that are associated with national, local or religious holidays.

A spokesman for the company said they hung the banners anyway because the town told them that temporary special-event banners were allowed. When they hung a banner advertising an upcoming visit by a band, however, the city gave them seven hours’ warning to remove the offending banners.

In municipal court Nov. 3, Judge Lyndon Skinner ruled against Montanya, citing that although the city hadn’t enforced the planning regulation in the past, the distillery’s banner was officially prohibited.

For their defense, the company photographed almost 20 other banners on buildings around town that broke the same code but hadn’t been cited by officials. The council rebuffed the companies argument in court, saying that other people in breach of the rules had  agreed to take down their banners.

Not only do such decisions effect the business using the banners to promote events but it also represents a loss of revenue for the company producing the advertising banners.

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