14 Mar 2012

Court hears pilot ignored controllers' cloud warning

8:27 pm on 14 March 2012

An expert witness says a pilot ignored advice from air traffic controllers that the cloud base was too low when he took off from Queenstown Airport.

Former Air New Zealand chief pilot Colin Glasgow is being cross examined at the hearing in Queenstown for a Pacific Blue pilot charged with carelessly flying a Boeing 737 in June 2010.

Captain Glasgow told the court the pilot decided to ignore what air traffic controllers were telling him, because he believed the cloud base was higher than they said.

He said the pilot departed with 70 people on board the aircraft, despite being told the cloud was below the minimum for takeoff.

The hearing continues on Thursday.