Pilot fined £175,000 for falsifying licence

A Sussex pilot has been fined £175,000 for falsifying licence entries and acting as a pilot without an appropriate licence.

David Harbottle, of Lancing, West Sussex, was convicted of two charges of knowingly making false entries to his pilot’s licence, and one charge of acting as a pilot without an appropriate licence on seven flights, following a trial at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Harbottle was fined £50,000 for each of the false entries, and a further £75,000 for acting as a pilot without an appropriate licence. He was also ordered to pay costs to the CAA of £16,500 and to pay a £120 victim charge. The fines and charges total £191,620.

A spokesperson for the CAA said: “The Civil Aviation Authority’s prosecution, the subsequent convictions and substantial fines show that the CAA and the Courts treat offending of this kind with the upmost severity.”

Mr Harbottle previously had Certificates of Revalidation for MEP (Multi-Engine Piston) and IR (Instrument Rating) ratings for his pilot licence which expired in 2014. He later forged Certificates of Revalidation for an MEP and an IR rating he required for the seven flights he undertook and back dated them to 2016.



  1. Although i cannot condone this mans crime, i think £175,000.00 is very heavy handed !!!

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