A 68-year-old man, who flew an aircraft without a valid pilot's licence, has been fined and ordered to pay the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) costs.
Andrew Hart, took off in a PA 28 light aircraft, from Weston Airport, Dublin, bound for Shobdon Aerodrome, Herefordshire, on 12 December 2016.
Mr Hart had first obtained a private pilot's licence in 1979, but on the date of the flight it was no longer valid. His medical certificate, which is required to validate a licence, had also expired.
On landing at Shobdon Aerodrome, Mr Hart was stopped by a visiting flight training instructor and asked to produce his licence. The training instructor had been concerned that Mr Hart had carried out a landing in poor weather conditions. Having failed to produce his licence, the training instructor informed the CAA, which began an investigation.
Appearing at Worcester Magistrates' Court on 6 July 2017, Mr Hart, of Pembridge, Leominster, Herefordshire, pleaded guilty to one count of flying without a licence in contravention of the Air Navigation Order 2016.
He was fined £600 and ordered to pay CAA costs of £552. Mr Hart must also pay a victim surcharge of £60.
The court heard that during his flight to Shobdon, Mr Hart had also flown through restricted airspace in West Wales, without obtaining air traffic control clearance. MoD Aberporth is a military weapons testing facility, protected by a Danger Area which excludes, all unauthorised aircraft. Mr Hart made no attempt to contact air traffic control before flying through the Danger Area. He was later traced by his aircraft's registration mark.
Speaking after the hearing, Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA's General Aviation Unit, said: “It should be self-evident that anyone flying an aircraft needs to be appropriately licenced for the type of activity they are engaged in.
“Unfortunately, a small number of people still think that the rules don't apply to them and they can carry on regardless, despite the obvious risk to other airspace users and the general public. We will always take action against such people.”
Notes to Editors:
The CAA is the UK's aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.