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Czech pilot jailed in UK

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Czech pilot jailed in UK

Old 18th Oct 2002, 19:33
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Unhappy Czech pilot jailed in UK

Found this on Airdisater.com

Airline pilot caught with loaded gun in luggage.
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) - A Czech airline pilot was sentenced to four weeks in prison Wednesday after security staff found a loaded pistol in his hand luggage as he prepared to board his flight from Britain to the Czech Republic.
Vaclav Pojer, a captain with the Czech national airline CSA, told officials who arrested him at Birmingham International Airport on Oct. 7 that he had forgotten he was carrying the 6.35mm weapon in his briefcase.

Pojer, 52, was due to pilot a return flight to Prague airport where security controls had failed to detect the gun when he checked in for the flight to London the previous day.

Pojer pleaded guilty to one offense of unlawfully possessing a firearm without the authority of the British government and one charge of possessing ammunition without holding a firearms certificate valid for the United Kingdom.

Pat Murtagh, chairman of the bench at Solihull Magistrates' court, said she accepted that Pojer had no "sinister intention" for the weapon, which is legally held in his native country.

Murtagh ordered that Pojer serve two weeks of his sentence with the rest suspended.

"You are in a position of trust and are more than aware of the seriousness of carrying a gun, a loaded firearm, onto a passenger-carrying aircraft, particularly in light of recent events," she said.

Questioned by police after his arrest, Pojer, a former military pilot, denied the gun was either for self-defense or the defense of his crew while flying.

Murtagh's lawyer, Nicholas Roy, said that Pojer had simply forgotten the gun was in his briefcase before leaving his country home for the flight to Britain. Roy added that it was "fairly commonplace" for people to own firearms in the Czech Republic.

"There was no suggestion of terrorism or anything like that," Roy said.

Murtagh is appealing against his sentence but his request for bail was refused.
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Old 18th Oct 2002, 22:24
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It sounds as if he was lucky to get only 4 weeks.

Had he not been a pilot with an internationally recognised airline, it probably would have been 4 years.

Whatever his reasons for having the weapon in the first place, carrying a loaded gun in anything but a suitably designed holster is total lunacy.
Even if company procedures permit the carrying of guns by flight crew whilst on the aeroplane, they almost certainly would give very specific advice about taking the weapon from the aircraft when flying out of their home terroritry.

I have little sympathy for him, send him home to work anywhere but near an aeroplane.
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Old 18th Oct 2002, 22:41
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Birmingham Evening Mail 18/10/02

On appeal, sentance today suspended.
I have not got the paper now, but if memory serves, 1000 fine, 250 costs,obviously the suspended sentance and a quote along the lines of this will be the end of his career as an Airline Pilot.
There was alas, better coverage of the Third Division pro footballer who threw a firework at some one. Shoot, they are throwing the book at him, and the paper published two photos of the offender, not one.

Check ya flightbags if you fly through Brum guys/girls.

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