The Auckland-based Pacific Blue
pilot accused of carelessly operating an aircraft flying from
Queenstown to Sydney in June 2010 has been found guilty by
Judge Kevin Phillips.
The written decision comes after a prolonged defended hearing
in the Queenstown District Court, which was held over two
weeks each in March and July last year, with the final day of
the hearing last September.
In his written decision, released today,Judge Phillips said
he was satisfied "no reasonable or prudent pilot" faced with
the conditions the pilot - who has interim name suppression -
encountered, would have commenced a "take off roll".
Taking into account the Evening Civil Twilight requirement,
poor light, cloud cover below the minima and cross wind
levels, including gusts, Judge Phillips found the pilot did
not exercise the degree of care and attention a reasonable
and prudent pilot would have exercised on June 22, 2010.
"I am satisfied that the defendant . . . was careless in his
manner of operating the aircraft.
"The defendant ignored the mandatory requirements and, in
their place, used his planned self designed contingency.
"I have found against him on that issue.
"I consider the findings of fact that I have made establish
clear fault on the part of the defendant.
"Indeed, on my findings, the defendant's fault is self
evident in each and every particular."
A sentencing date has yet to be confirmed.