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A private pilot has been convicted of two charges of knowingly making false entries to his pilot's licence, and one charge of acting as a pilot without an appropriate licence on seven flights.

David Harbottle, of Lancing, West Sussex, was convicted of the charges yesterday (6 July 2021) following a trial at Brighton Magistrates' Court. He was fined £50,000 for each of the false entries, and a further £75,000 for acting as a pilot without an appropriate licence. He was also ordered to pay costs to the Civil Aviation Authority of £16,500 and to pay a £120 victim charge. The fines and charges total £191,620.

Commenting on the case, a spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“The Civil Aviation Authority's prosecution, the subsequent convictions and substantial fines show that the CAA and the Courts treat offending of this kind with the upmost severity.”

Notes to editors:

Mr Harbottle previously had Certificates of Revalidation for MEP (Multi-Engine Piston) and IR (Instrument Rating) ratings for his pilot licence which expired in 2014. He later forged Certificates of Revalidation for an MEP and an IR rating he required for the seven flights he undertook and back dated them to 2016.

Mr Harbottle was prosecuted under the following articles of the Air Navigation Order (ANO):

  • Article 256(4) ANO 2016: A person must not knowingly make a false entry in a document required to be maintained under the ANO.
  • Article 136(1) ANO 2016: A person must not act as pilot of a UK-registered EASA aircraft without holding an appropriate licence.

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