Thursday, January 05, 2012

Jail threat for 'unlicensed' lake crash pilot

People at Lake Hume attend the scene of the plane crash.
(ABC: Narelle Graham)

A pilot who crashed his ultra-light plane into a lake on the New South Wales-Victorian border earlier this week could face jail for flying without a valid license.

The plane crashed on Monday afternoon about 400 metres from shore into Lake Hume, east of Albury-Wodonga.

The 60-year-old man had taken off from his hometown of Holbrook, north of the lake.

Recreational Aviation Australia says the man's student pilot certificate had expired, as had the registration of the plane.

Police are also waiting on blood-alcohol test results for the pilot.

Recreation Aviation Australia chief executive Steve Tizzard says a prison term can be imposed for unlicensed flying.

"Flying without a license, I'm not a lawyer and have no legal training, but I think you can go to jail for two years," he said.

"I think that's what the Civil Aviation Act says, and flying an unregistered plane, you can go to jail for two years."

No-one else was on board the plane when it crashed.

The pilot suffered only minor cuts in the crash, after witnesses helped pull him from the water.


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