27 Mar 2013

CAA disappointed 'arrogant' pilot not disqualified

8:07 pm on 27 March 2013

The Civil Aviation Authority say it's disappointed a Pacific Blue pilot fined for disregarding safety rules when flying out of Queenstown was not disqualified.

Roderick Gunn was described by the judge as arrogant after flying his Boeing 737 out of Queenstown, while ignoring safety guidelines set out by his airline.

He was fined, ordered to complete safety briefings and banned from flying into Queenstown as a captain for 12 months at sentencing on Tuesday but was not disqualified.

CAA director Graeme Harris says safety guidelines should not be flexible.

He told Checkpoint New Zealand airlines are amongst the safest in the world because procedures adopted by airlines are assessed by the CAA and approved by the CAA.

"They're most certainly not guidelines; they are rules for operation."