Director of Civil Aviation v Chisum [2019] NZDC 17731

Published 14 February 2020

Sentencing — operating a float plane in a careless manner — Arnott v R [2015] NZCA 236 — Civil Aviation Act 1990, s 43A. The defendant appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of operating a float plane in a careless manner. He was an experienced pilot who at the time of incident was undertaking a scenic flight over Rangitoto Island. A combination of the wind direction, the weight of the plane and the close proximity of the Auckland Harbour Bridge meant that the defendant was careless in taking off, and should have aborted the take-off and started again. The Court found that the charge reflected the fact that the defendant been careless for only a relatively short period of time, and that his actions had not created any significant danger. The Court set the start point for fine at $2500, and applied discounts for the defendant's long record of flying without safety incidents and his early guilty plea. The final fine was $1500, plus court costs of $130. Judgment Date: 10 September 2019.