A Civil Aviation Authority witness has told the Queenstown District Court he finds it shocking a Pacific Blue pilot ignored company operating procedures when he flew his Boeing 737 out of Queenstown.
The pilot, who has name suppression, is charged with carelessly operating the Boeing in June 2010.
The authority's airline manager Mark Hughes told the court on Tuesday the captain of the jet was virtually making it up as he went along.
Mr Hughes says instead of following a set procedure, the captain intended changing his mind halfway through the takeoff climb if he got into difficulty.
Mr Hughes says that meant he was not following pilot best practice and it put the lives of his passengers at risk.