Old 15th Jan 2012, 01:49
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1a sound asleep
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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CASA spends millions chasing Milton Jones aviation business

Cookies must be enabled | The Australian


Mr Jones, a Northern Territory cattleman and charter helicopter baron, has spent nine months attempting to derail Civil Aviation Safety Authority attempts to lay charges over his antics, screened on hit Channel Ten program Keeping Up With the Joneses last year.

The series, a docudrama about Mr Jones's family life on a 400,000 ha cattle station, also showed Mr Jones using a helicopter to tow his waterskiing teenage son which, if proven, could carry a two-year jail term.

CASA needs the unedited footage to prove the events actually occurred and were not confected for entertainment value. But the show's Melbourne-based producer, WTFN, refused to provide the video, prompting a CASA raid to seize the videos on March 1 last year.

n an affidavit sworn on March 1, CASA investigator Mark Haslam alleged Mr Jones may have committed numerous offences including consuming alcohol within eight hours of flying, in defiance of civil aviation regulations.

Mr Haslam also alleged Mr Jones used two helicopters to collect crocodile eggs without a commercial licence, also punishable with two years' jail.

Mr Jones was also suspected of picking up a passenger mid-flight and leaving his helicopter unattended with the engine and rotors turning, including on one occasion when there appeared to be "children in helicopter when engine started - no pilot at controls".

Mr Jones declined to comment yesterday, other than to say "we don't deny anything because we haven't been charged with anything yet".

Last year asked about the waterskiing incident, he said the CASA investigation was a "witch hunt" and he was "just having a bit of fun" with the 15-year-old boy.

"It was perfectly safe. I've been flying for 20 years and am very experienced," he told the NT News.

Mr Jones's North Australian Helicopters has a fleet of 41 aircraft running sightseeing flights as well as charters for mustering and government work in the NT and north Queensland.
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