Pilot fined for breaches

Court House-Sept-2013-05A helicopter pilot was fined $3600 on a representative charge of operating an aircraft without a medical certificate, and a charge of failing to maintain an accurate logbook.

In a reserved judgement, Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said Frederick Walter George, 64, thought his licence and a medical certificate were valid until December 2013, and he flew his Robinson R44 helicopter three times in contravention of the Civil Aviation Act.

George had pleaded guilty in January to three charges – also including flying without a biennial flight review – but there has been a hearing since then with defence counsel Allister Davis applying for him to be discharged without conviction.

In 2014 George went to a doctor to get a medical certificate and didn’t realise it hadn’t been granted when he flew three more times without it.

George also under-recorded how many hours the helicopter flew.

When interviewed by the Civil Aviation Authority, George said he was embarrassed by the mix-up and he had simply forgotten that he did not have a current medical certificate or biennial flight review.

The judgment said George was at low risk of re-offending as he had given up flying.

In court this week, Judge Farish said she was not convicting George on the charge of flying without a biennial flight review.


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