View Full Version : 'Cowboy' pilot flies to catch plane
15th Oct 2009, 21:07
I'm surprised this news hasn't made it to pprune as yet. :}
A "cowboy" unlicensed pilot who flew his unregistered ultralight aircraft to a busy airport without landing clearance in order to catch a commercial flight has been fined $17,500.
Kenneth William Acton, 52, pleaded guilty in Cairns Magistrates Court to multiple counts of flying unlicensed and unregistered over a three month period in 2007.
The majority of the offences were at isolated locations, generally landing at private properties across far north and northwest Queensland.
The court heard the most serious offence occurred on July 3, 2007, when Acton used a public road at Gordonvale, south of Cairns, to fly to Cairns Airport where he was due to depart on a commercial flight.
The Charters Towers man landed at the airport without approval, in the process delaying one aircraft about to take off and another preparing to land.
Magistrate Joe Pinder said while there was no evidence of any flaws in Acton's flying skills, his actions had put other aircraft and the public at risk.
"You are nothing short of a cowboy," he said.
He fined Acton $17,500 to be paid within 12 months.
Source: Ninemsn.com.au (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=876223)
"Magistrate Joe Pinder said while there was no evidence of any flaws in Acton's flying skills"
I wonder how the magistrate came to this conclusion? :hmm:
15th Oct 2009, 21:59
Didn't you know that all magistrates are also either flying instructors or testing officers, and at least aviation experts!:}
15th Oct 2009, 22:03
does that mean that all magistrates are also journalists?
15th Oct 2009, 22:09
Well all pilots are expert business executives, judges, lawyers, accountants, HR managers, the list goes on...;)
15th Oct 2009, 23:11
The magistrate probably came to that conclusion because the prosecution didn't present any evidence of flaws in the man's flying skills. :ouch:
16th Oct 2009, 00:33
Some "Cowboy" he doesn't have a Cowboy Hat !
Sky high fine for 'cowboy' Cairns pilot- Local Cairns News | cairns.com.au (http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2009/10/16/70181_local-news.html)
16th Oct 2009, 00:42
The magi holds a PPL and believe he also has a part share in a Seneca. That sounds like the multi millionaire Kenneth, that owns Acton Cattle Company?
16th Oct 2009, 01:31
Acton the multi millionaire can afford the fine. But the Cairns News put him as a mechanic/boarding house owner. Might be his lawyer's sob story of course.
16th Oct 2009, 01:36
Mr Bovey said his client (Acton), a mechanic, ran a boarding house for miners at Charters Towers which had been hit hard by the financial crisis, and was in the process of setting up a mechanical workshop in the town.
perhaps not the same fella
16th Oct 2009, 02:24
Similar thing happened at YPJT . A guy flew into JT in his 182 . No radio , did not adhear to GAAP procedures, No idea of CCT TFC ect . Taxied upto a flying school and asked for a Pilot license. Sure they said we have a 172, 152 .... No no no he says i have my own plane its right out there a 182 When quized how it got here the schools staff nearly fell over !!! When they told him that you can't fly around willy nilly without a license and without knowing the rules, he scoffed got in his plane and took off with no regard to procedures or other traffic!
Heard second hand but im sure someone else out there knows of the story ...
16th Oct 2009, 02:48
Even if the truth is stretched a little those kinds of stories make for good reading.
I'm aware of one (truth or story I don't know) a while back where an elderly gent flew down from QLD to Albury but missed Albury and set his sights on Tullamarine once the cloud cleared thinking that it was Albury. He proceeded to join for a circuit after they hurriedly re-directed everything around him with no radio calls. He probably just thought the Albury tower was closed and wondered why he could hear circuit traffic at Melton on the same frequency.
16th Oct 2009, 02:49
I dont know that story inparticular, but I have a similar one. When I was instructing, I had a student from the outback rock up wanting to do a PPL. He had just purchased an aircraft that he was going to use for mustering and other station duties. Well as a typical intstructor I said "mate your a natural. Been spending a bit of time on flight sim have you?". His response flawed me.
"Nah mate, been flying for about 13 years". I asked him out of curiousity's sake why bother now, and he claimed it is now his aircraft and the insurance company required him to be licensed :rolleyes::ugh::ugh:
Its always the insurance mob :}
16th Oct 2009, 03:29
I remember being in a flying school at Moorabbin when a guy flew in in the dark (pitch black) and enquired about getting a night rating. The lovely female instructor commented on him having just flown in and asked what his landing was like. He replied "bumpy."
16th Oct 2009, 05:06
surely these stories are BS?:ugh::confused:
16th Oct 2009, 05:52
At least he had the sense to land on a station somewhere because he was running outta light. raaus should kick him out of the federationf for spoiling it for every one else
16th Oct 2009, 06:32
Just like the lunatic doing illegal aeros, in the CCT area and dogfighting another RAA in close prox, and who was reported by a CFI to the RAA, and he asked me to confirm some details etc.....
Neither of us ever heard a word back..... not even a thank you we will be investigating. No further questions at all.
Maybe he pleaded guilty as charged......... but I see he is still flying, and probably not trained and endorsed........:ugh:
16th Oct 2009, 06:41
I have heard one about a bloke who used to fly out of Moruya. Apparently he flew with the RAF or RAAF during the war.
After the war he apparently refused to get a civilian licence and contiued flying his own aircraft, often 'boucing' other pilots out of the sun!
He is said to have died in the 1980s.
16th Oct 2009, 06:53
And another one
Flew his 172 ( might have been 182 ) all the way from near the Kimberley's to Dalby SE Qld.
He was picked up there and brought to AF to learn to fly.
Did so without much effort but the exams were a pain for him.
Licence in hand and home he went!
He made the national news for something completely different a few years later.
16th Oct 2009, 09:01
.................you don't need to be licensed to be a pilot but you need to be a pilot to be licensed!:ok:
I see Harry Houdini is being celebrated next March (2010) right here in Vic (Diggers Rest) for being the first man to pilot a heavier than air craft here from Aussie soil (well I think he was but am willing to be corrected). Did he have a license? ..................nope but he had the "right stuff"
I;d say there are many 'pilot's out there in our outback that have had little to no formal flying training. It's not difficult to learn to fly the difficulty is to stay alive whilst doing it:ok:
16th Oct 2009, 09:49
It is not rocket science. A little bit of physics and maths and I mean a little teenie weenie bit, a bit of hand eye coordination and a bit of common sense.
Any decent station hand would be more than capable. The license bit is just a justification for CASA and raa existence.
16th Oct 2009, 10:22
Unless you are very sure of your facts, and even then unless you have very deep pockets, I would be very careful of publicly connecting dots.
I am not particularly close to this but I can see nothing to connect the subject of this story to the family owned cattle company of the same name.
18th Oct 2009, 09:54
where an elderly gent flew down from QLD to Albury but missed Albury and set his sights on Tullamarine once the cloud cleared thinking that it was Albury. He proceeded to join for a circuit after they hurriedly re-directed everything around him with no radio calls.
The story was pretty close - although the facts as as I recall them from 10-15 years ago, was thus: I met the old chap 2-3 days after his Cessna 172 was grounded by CASA at Tulla airport until he could find someone to return the aircraft back from Tulla to Swan Hill (?). He had originally planned Swan Hill to somewhere (I don't recall where, but I think it was to Wangaratta). He had learned to fly in WA and with a friend hired the 172 from Swan Hill.
They got lost due low cloud and poor vis after leaving Swan Hill and wandered in and out of low cloud trying to map read. At one point they became disorientated in IMC and came spiralling out of the cloud base with just enough room to get away with it. They had other close shaves during their cloud encounters.
They were down to 500 feet in and out of low cloud when his friend saw an electrified train line which meant they were very close to Melbourne suburbs. His mate knew that most railways in Vic were not electrified and said "Mate, we're in deep shit - because that's an electric train down there - not a diesel" . They were picked up on radar inside ML CTR near Bolinda I think, and ATC asked a 747 that had just departed if they could contact the Cessna which he did and told the Cessna which frequency to call ATC on.
ATC told the Cessna to do a 180 and virtually piss off from whence he came. The pilot replied to ATC no way were they going back into cloud as they had been upside down once and he didn't want to risk repeating the exercise. From what he told me, ML ATC asked him if he could see Melbourne airport and he replied that he said to them he could see something that looked like a long black runway.
Tulla ATC then told him to land (it was runway 16). He said when he landed he was dumbfounded to find all these cars with flashing lights surrounding his aircraft as he taxied clear. He didn't understand why all the bother.
A CASA FOI turned up soon after and grounded him. He was told to get a flying instructor from Essendon and undergo dual cross-country training and if and when the instructor was happy with him he could collect his 172 and go away It was a day or so after, that I met him at Greg Bell's aeroshop at Essendon airport and that's how I got his story. He told it to me in such a wonderfully laconic farmer's drawl that I wish now I could have recorded it. He would have made a million on the Oprah Winfrey TV show.
A day or so later, I saw him sitting slumped forlornly over a desk at an Essendon airport flying school undergoing navigation theory instruction from a tall and somewhat belligerent grade 3 instructor. The young instructor was getting really impatient with the old bloke who was trying to understand how to work out a wind on a whizz-wheel Jepps computer.
I gather he had already completed one navex to Avalon and back and not very successfully, either. This was the worst thing that could have happened - a junior inexperienced instructor with no tact and certainly no human factors skills getting stuck into a nervous old man who had already got out of his depth.
I suggested the instructor should back off with the shouting as the old bloke was frightened and further suggested to the old bloke he should forget navexes and hop on to an RPT flight asap and go back to Perth and get his navigation testing done back in his home aerodrome. Turned out the Swan Hill people had already got someone to fly to Tulla and rescue their Cessna, so he didn't need the nav training in order for him to fly the aircraft back to Swan Hill. Last I heard he hopped on an RPT next day and went home to Perth.
18th Oct 2009, 10:09
Sprocket Check... with an attitude like that you will have a long an successful career as an Ultralight pilot, or maybe an aircraft welder :ok:
18th Oct 2009, 10:35
Thanks Tee Emm, that was a good story. Sounds very similar to mine :)
See everyone, these things DO happen!
19th Oct 2009, 01:43
A long time ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and there were flight service units in Australia, I was flying a C185 on low level survey flights out of Glen Innes. One morning wewere en route to our survey area and heard the flight service unit at Coff's harbour repeatedly calling an aircraft and getting no reply. We did our five hours of surveying at 200 agl in radio silence, and when we were on the way home I heard and replied to an "any station" call from that aircraft and a woman's voice told me they were flying over a lake and were not sure where they were, or what to do next. So I diverted to a lake in the area and saw a Piper Lance. I flew alongside and told them to look out their right window, high and to the rear. (always wanted to do that. Just like in the movies) The operator a Coff's harbour FSU heard me and asked if I was talking to "that" aircraft. I replied that I was, and I was proceding to Inverell for fuel. The lady in the Lance immediately replied that she would follow me. At inverell we got fuel, and coffee and there were six nice young ladies in the Lance. Our friendly flight service officer at Coff's had arranged for a policeman to meet them at Inverell and interview the pilot. After that I talked to them and suggested that their plan to continue to Bankstown that day was not a good one and tomporrow would be a better time. They had come from Cairns, got mixed up amongst cloud and lost. They had landed on a bush striop and found no-one there. So after a while they had taken off again but were confused and were glad to see our 185.
Next morning I heard their radio transmissions as they left Inverell for Bankstown.
There's a lesson in this true story. An interesting psycological study. They seemed to know where they were, but did not know what to do next. I call it psycological exhaustion, and when that happens it's time for coffee and a rest.
19th Oct 2009, 02:04
What is the lesson? Never send six girls to do a mans job?
Pinky the pilot
19th Oct 2009, 02:24
OK Bushy, Which one did you wind up getting hitched to?:D
19th Oct 2009, 02:27
In the 90's there was a missionary guy from the Torres Straits that bought himself a C310B , flew it from brisbane to mareeba at night, ifr with no license, and he was a old guy, got caught, CASA prosecuted then he went and got himself a license!
19th Oct 2009, 05:59
This thread drift is somewhat interesting.....The turkey in CNS got off easy.
Way back in the late '60's not long after they put the new parallel runway in at MB (17R/35L), there was this chap that called inbound to MB, was given 17R and he never showed up and they lost contact with him.
Well he attracted the attention of the chaps in Essendon tower when he landed on the N/S taxiway there, right in front of the tower!! And that was before Tulla had fully opened.
Those were the days!!
19th Oct 2009, 06:14
unlicensed pilot who flew his unregistered ultralight aircraft
raaus should kick him out of the federationf for spoiling it for every one else
At great risk of educating you, RA-Aus is not a Federation, and I seriously doubt the words “unregistered and unlicensed” mean the offender was a member under their jurisdiction.
I thought you were someone masquerading as an idiot but, from this and your other posts well….
I humbly apologise for such presumption.
19th Oct 2009, 06:44
would you not think frank that holding a raAus student pilot certificate would mean that one wouldl be under the jurestiction of the raAus? they dont take action any way they pass all offences to casa as thyy dont have the power to prosecute offenders other than take their certificate off them.
your not wrong, its is not a federation any more it is a dictatorship, oh oops i mean an incorporated entity.
remember australian ultralite federation became recreational aviation australia after all.
19th Oct 2009, 07:10
You may be right. I might be able to fly my ultralight in my backyard, maybe. Good for practising steep turns anyway.
If I do landings like my last one in real metal aeroplanes I will definitely get a welding machine. Any body can weld aeroplanes, no?:E:}
19th Oct 2009, 07:19
why is the RAAus involved or mentioned at all??
the pilot was UNlicenced. and the aircraft UNregistered. and from what i understand is, the aircraft was a Gazelle. which can be either RAAus or GA-VH- registered.
the ONLY reason RAAus is copping the flack is some reporter mentioned the word "Ultralight aircraft" in the story.
even if it was VH regoed im sure it still would have been reported as an Ultralight hence dragging the RAAus into it even when they have no jurisdiction over VH.
19th Oct 2009, 08:48
It doesn't seem to matter these days what you do wrong or which rules that you break either RAAus or GA the punishment seems to just come from what the magistrate is thinking about at the time, there is rarely any logic in the decision on the face of it. Best off heading to court on a Friday arvo when he is thinking about his upcoming golf weekend. It would be interesting to find out if the $17k is a breakdown of CASA demerit points and their $110 values.
19th Oct 2009, 10:15
Did he have an ASIC?