Pilot fined for breaching training protocol

Last updated 15:10 18/02/2013

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A pilot who admitted two charges of flying into Queenstown Airport without completing the required training to do so has been fined $1900.

Kerwin Killian, 51, who now lives in Hong Kong, was the manager of crew training at Air National Corporate when he flew an airliner into Queenstown twice in January 2011. No fare-paying passengers were on board either time.

Through his lawyer Richard Laurenson he admitted in Wellington District Court today flying the British Aerospace BAe-146 plane into Queenstown without having carried out the flights under supervision beforehand required by the company's rules. Killian was not in court.

Laurenson told Judge Peter Hobbs Killian was a highly qualified, sensible pilot, who had previous experience flying into Queenstown.

But the judge said it was not a significant mitigating factor to rely on experience flying into the difficult operational environment of Queenstown almost a decade earlier when Killian had been a first officer on the flights.

"Mr Killian, with his position in the organisation should have known better."

Under Air National's rules, once a pilot was approved to fly into Queenstown he could maintain that approval by flying into the airport at least once every six months, or by using a simulator once a year, the judge said.

Air National was having difficulties at the time, and ultimately the Civil Aviation Authority suspended its operator certificate.

Judge Hobbs said Killian was entitled to credit for his previous clean record and for the guilty plea. The judge fined Killian $950 on each charge and, in line with the legislation involved, did not convict him.

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