Already Flying, Pilot Fights For Full Privileges

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Ian Andrews has reportedly spent a small fortune ($200,000) in court and was there again Wednesday seeking to fully reinstate his New Zealand pilot certificate even though he's legally flying unrestricted in New Zealand with his U.S. certificate. Andrews is currently 66 years of age, instrument rated, and began flying in 1986. He suffered a health event in 1991 that may have been a stroke and has since suffered no similar events. He reported the episode when applying for his subsequent medical certificates and has passed every Civil Aviation medical test. The problem, it seems, is that the director of Civil Aviation in New Zealand in 2007 imposed conditions on Andrews' New Zealand certificate, prohibiting Andrews from carrying passengers, or flying over populated areas unless necessary for takeoff and landing. The New Zealand court must now decide the legal grounds that allow the director to impose restrictions on a pilot's certificate after it has been issued and a medical certificate granted. The case has earned the interest of some U.S.-based pilot advocacy groups that feel the outcome may have widespread impact.

Andrews has been flying unrestricted in New Zealand using his American pilot's certificate in a U.S.-registered Piper Mailibu, but is seeking to lift the restrictions imposed on his New Zealand certificate. His legal case may have far-reaching ramifications and that has attracted some high profile, big-gun aid to Andrews' side. The Air Line Pilots' Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association have now reportedly put their heft behind Andrews. The U.S. issued Andrews his certificate in full knowledge of Andrews' dispute. Andrews' court case went to the Court of Appeal, Wednesday. Three judges will reportedly make their judgment on the legal merits of the case and with the assumption that Andrews is medically fit.