15 Jan 2015

Top-dressing pilot fined $10,000

6:46 pm on 15 January 2015

A Hawke's Bay top-dressing pilot who carried a passenger illegally and crashed, causing him serious injury, has been ordered to pay reparations of $10,000 and disqualified from flying for seven months.

Robin Maxwell Langslow pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court last month to failing to comply with his flying conditions and placing his passenger in unnecessary danger.

The 61-year-old crashed when he tried to land a top-dressing plane in high winds and fog on an Otane farm in February 2014.

His passenger, fertiliser loader driver William Mackay, suffered a fractured spine and broken and shattered bones.

Langslow was not permitted to fly with passengers due to a heart condition but had continued to carry Mr Mackay on flights.

Sentencing him today, Judge Claire Ryan said the disqualification sent a message to pilots that no matter how good they were, they could not break rules and must be honest at all times.