Arrowtown pilot fined $3000

An Arrowtown man who flew a light aircraft despite not having a medical certificate for a decade has been fined.

Roger Monk (67), a farmer, pleaded guilty in the Queenstown District Court yesterday to four offences under the Civil Aviation Act 1990.

He was fined $3000, with $130 court costs.

In sentencing Monk, Judge Christina Cook said he had suffered a stroke in May 2003 and was told by non-Civil Aviation Authority medical staff he would not pass a class 2 medical certificate.

''The defendant chose to not renew his medical certificate when it expired on December 3, 2003,'' Judge Cook said.

Monk flew his Cessna 180 Skywagon plane solo on two occasions in 2013. On April 26, he took off from his Arrowtown grass airstrip and flew for about 30 minutes. On June 2, Monk flew from Arrowtown to Taieri, Dunedin.

''Flying is a complex and dangerous task and it's up to you as a responsible pilot to ensure you did not put yourself or others as risk by your actions, and you knew this, being an experienced pilot,'' Judge Cook said.

Two charges were for operating the aircraft without a medical certificate and the other two for flying without successfully completing a biennial flight review within the 24 months preceding each flight.

Monk, who lives in Lake Hayes, was fined $2000 for flying without a medical certificate and a total of $1000 for the biennial flight review charges.

Monk represented himself and other landowners from 2010-13 in an unsuccessful Environment Court battle with the Queenstown Lakes District Council to change Arrowtown's boundaries in a bid to create a subdivision between existing houses and the Arrowtown Golf Club.

In October 2011, Tauranga pilot Ian Sloan (59) died when his Cessna 172 nosedived at Monk's airstrip next to the golf course. A CAA investigation concluded the crash was caused by pilot error.

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