Tuesday, December 15, 2015


In Courtroom #1 helicopter pilot, Dave Armstrong, was convicted and fined $5,800 for flying p-i-c to rescue an injured hunter while his license was suspended.   You can access the story here.     It was generally agreed this was a life and death situation with the Wellington Rescue Helicopter prevented from reaching the site because of bad weather.

In Courtroom #2 an Auckland 'mother' (unnamed) was discharged without conviction after leaving her children in a house infested with maggots and cockroaches.   You can access the story here.   The summary of facts had it that the police arrived to find dozens of dirty nappies on the floor,  hundreds of cockroaches, rancid dishes, only one working light and little food, some of which had been left to rot and was covered in maggots.   The mother told the police she knew the house was a mess but that she was too busy to keep it clean because she worked at the hospital as ... wait for it ... a CLEANER.

I note the 'lady' was supported in court by a large contingent of family members who wept at her non sentencing.   Just where were they when all of this was taking place?

Dare I say differing standards for Papalangi vs Tongan and just why as justice is supposed to be color blind.    In respect of the former perhaps His Honour needs to be reminded of Harry Day's dictum, made famous by Sir Douglas Bader,  that 'rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men'.  


JC said...

Then again the CAA and the judge noted serious and persistent breeches of the rules for flying whilst suspended and had falsified his logbook. Whilst in full sympathy for the pilot on this occasion the breeches could hardly be overlooked, particularly as the suspension was for medical reasons (suspected stroke) and could have endangered a number of the people who flew with him.

I think the judge got it right.


Noel said...

"Dare I say differing standards for Papalangi vs Tongan".
Aw geez two different plantiffs with decisions by two different Judges deciding on case law from two different Acts and you expect the same out come.

J.C. I agree.

The Veteran said...

JC ... I am type rated on four different aircraft with over 800 hours in my log book. I don't have a current aviation medical certificate because I don't have a need to pilot. If I were travelling in a light ac to say Maturangi (no medical facilities close at hand) and the pilot suffered a heart attack then I would have no hesitation in taking control of the ac and flying it back to Ardmore (or Thames) to get medical help. The alternative would be to wait for well outside the 'golden hour' for proper medical attention. No contest.

Noel ... of course they are two differing decisions. In one case the pilot doing good things gets hammered; the second where a mother neglects her children to where the police have to intervene and she gets off scott free. I doubt very much if there is too much case law involved. Seems to me both Judges were influenced to a large degree by political correctness.

I stand by my comments.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Ask yourself what might have been the result had the pilot been a Tongan and the slack bitch mother a Palangi?

gravedodger said...

Well said Vet, hopefully that nice anal Judge doesn't need Dave to cart him off anywhere for urgent medical intervention with only Dave available.
Then Dave would still do it because that is the measure of the man.

The "Un"Civil Avation cushion steerer clearly decided to get Dave because he had been naughty on previous occasions and nothing was going to deter him, that meant humanity was discarded.

And it is over to you Karma.

Andrew Berwick said...

If Armstrong had just done the rescue flight - a real life and death matter to be sure - and then had gone straight to the CAA, been very clear about what he'd done and why, then absolutely he should have good off with a discharge without conviction.

But that's not what Armstrong did: he did at least two other, non "life and death" flights - and then he lied about all of them, including this rescue:

[Armstrong] later admitted asking his fellow pilot to document the entire flight - as he did with the rescued hunter - in their pilot logbook and not his own.

Veteran, I applaud you for taking on a flight - but again, you have had your certificate lapse, not been stood down for medical reasons; and I would expect you would man up, enter the flight in your log, not falsify your long and encourage other pilots to falsify theirs

Anonymous said...

800 hours...

I recall the US Navy says that's about the time when the pilots are most dangerous because confidence and ability clash.

The Veteran said...

Andrew 10.18 ... every report I have seen has it that the hunter would not have survived the night. You're saying that's too bad, rules must be obeyed. Sorry, don't accept that.

Anon 6.10 ... that statement is generally accepted as a truism. When I flew the adage that 'there are old pilots and bold pilots but there ain't too many old bold pilots' was first and foremost in my thinking.

Noel said...

Andrew thank you for the details of the total evidence.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... so I again pose the question ... you would have let the hunter die?

Noel said...

Andrew I should have added we are not well served by the media.
Hmmm where have I heard that before?

Noel said...

Veteran dont be silly of course I wouldn't but as Andrew has reminded us its about more that that one flight.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... you didn't need Andrew to remind you about the other flight(s). The detail was all there in the link part of my post had you bothered to access it. Actually the case was about this one flight. The pilot had been warned about his behavior when he assisted the Police on a previous occasion despite being grounded and clearly the Judge took this into account when determining the sentence.

The fact remains. The causality would have died if Armstrong hadn't seen fit to break the rules and you yourself said you would have done the same thing so, what's your point.

I could accept a sentence of convicted and discharged ... and your view about the second defendant? No conviction, nothing. Dollar to a nob of goatshit and if you went around to the house today nothing much will have changed ... and why should she? wasn't even a wet bus ticket. Something for nothing ... would you employ her as a cleaner in a hospital knowing how important that job is?

I stand by all of my comments.

Noel said...

Ah so in the end it is really about $5,800.
Start a "Give a little" page.

gravedodger said...

There is already one Noel so get on with it.
Last I have it has covered the fines but there are the legals that could be eye watering.
BTW it was initiated by the hunter who knows Armstrong saved his life.

So If Dave Armstrong was prosecuted because he was a repeat offender why did the moron from CAA choose that one to make him pay, says a lot about that shiney arsed seat warmer methinks.

The Veteran said...

No Noel .. it's about justice done and seen to be done (in both cases).

Anonymous said...

"The Judiciary is made up of judges and judicial officers who apply the law by hearing and deciding cases in an impartial and fair manner, in accordance with established legal principles."

The Veteran said...

Anon 3.55 ... and of course the judiciary can never get it wrong ... sigh.

So why then do we have the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court?