6 Jul 2012

Pilot disputes video of take-off conditions

6:47 am on 6 July 2012

A pilot charged with carelessly operating a Boeing 737 has been shown video footage of Queenstown's mountains covered in cloud.

The man, who has name suppression, is appearing in the Queenstown District Court.

Queenstown Airport has a minimum cloud level for takeoffs and the prosecution says the pilot broke those rules and took off when the cloud was too low.

The video was filmed from the cabin as the Boeing left Queenstown in the winter of 2010.

The footage shows the Remarkables shrouded in cloud, but the pilot has told the court he could see halfway up the mountains when he took off.

The pilot said ultimately he has the discretion whether to take off based on his own assessment and he felt the conditions were okay.