Pilot still fighting to clear his name
A CAIRNS pilot is pushing Queensland police to investigate the lengths to which the Civil Aviation Safety Authority went to in cancelling his licence over an alleged dangerous flying incident, despite criminal charges being dropped because they could not be proven in court.
John Quadrio was charged by CASA with eight aviation offences, including reckless and low flying after a video was posted on YouTube by someone purporting to be a passenger in his helicopter. But the case was dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2010.
His case is the subject of a confidential submission to a senate inquiry into aviation accident investigations, which resumes today to examine the handling of the 2009 Pel-Air crash off Norfolk Island.
Mr Quadrio and his supporters, which include the father of Lockhart River air crash victim Sally Urquhart, claim the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal upheld the cancellation of his licence after a hearing which factored in "doctored'' video evidence and false and misleading statements, allegations of which CASA denies.
"What I am looking for is to get a public apology from CASA,'' says Mr Quadrio, who claims he's spent $50,000 defending criminal charges.
"They've taken 40 years of my flying career away from me.''
A transcript of the hearing shows the court did not believe CASA withheld favourable evidence towards Mr Quadrio deliberately, and it was not satisfied ntsGofntewith the pilot's claims he did not remember the incident.
"Mr Quadrio's inability or unwillingness to acknowledge his demonstrated shortcomings only reinforces our view that he is not a fit and proper person to have the responsibilities and to exercise and perform the functions and duties of a commercial pilot,'' the court found.
Shane Urquhart, a Professional Aviator's Investigative Group member, sent a brief to Queensland police on the matter, alleging criminal behaviour in court, but received a letter last month advising there was "insufficient evidence". He has vowed to pursue the case, however, saying forensic analysis of the video shows discrepancies.
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