Arrowtown pilot pinged for flying without medical certificate

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A well-known Arrowtowner who flew a light aircraft despite not having a medical certificate for a decade has been fined.

Farmer Roger Monk, 67, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Civil Aviation Act 1990 at Queenstown District Court on Tuesday morning.

Monk was fined $3000.

Judge Christina Cook, sentencing, says Monk had suffered a stroke in May 2003 and was told by non-CAA 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 says.

Monk flew his Cessna 180 Skywagon aeroplane solo on two occasions in 2013 without a current medical certificate.

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.

Judge Christina Cook says: “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.”

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

Monk, who lives in Lake Hayes, was fined $2000 for flying without a medical certificate and $1000 for the BFR charges.