A Pacific Blue pilot accused of breaching aviation regulations during a late takeoff from Queenstown Airport is appearing in court.
The pilot, who has name suppression, is accused of operating a Boeing 737 in a careless manner, after taking off at dusk and in bad weather in June 2010.
Planes must depart Queenstown Airport no later than 30 minutes before twilight, as the airport has no radar or runway lights.
The pilot has denied the charge, brought by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
A second charge, of operating an aircraft in a careless manner that caused unnecessary danger to people, passengers and crew, was withdrawn by the CAA.
The hearing, which began in Queenstown District Court on Monday, is set down for two weeks, a CAA spokeswoman told NZ Newswire.The charge carries a maximum fine of $7000.
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