'Youngest' pilot who lied about fainting will never fly again

A Blackpool man who was thought to be Britain’s youngest commercial pilot at 17 will never be allowed behind the controls of a plane again after lying about his medical history, a court has heard.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 2:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 2:28 pm
Bradley Gosney was previously thought to be the youngest pilot in the country

Bradley Gosney, now 20, of Albert Road, Blackpool, admitted two counts of fraud by false representation due to untruths told on a medical form in 2016, which stated he had not suffered psychological problems, or seen a doctor since his last medical date.

The lies were told on a form he filled out to obtained a class one medical certificate, which would have enabled him to fly up to four passengers in a light aircraft.

But the plans were halted when the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) received anonymous information about his health, Preston Crown Court was told.

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Bradley Gosney ready for take off at Blackpool Airport

Prosecuting, Rosalind Emsley-Smith reveals medical evidence showed there had been 20 reported episodes of collapses since February 2015.

She said: "Professional pilots are required to achieve the highest level of certification, namely a class one medical certificate. Without a current medical certificate, a pilot's license is not valid."

She referred to a form completed by Mr Gosney, then 17, and a medical examiner which stated August 6, 2015, was the last time he had a medical and that he had had no contact with a physician since.

At that time he flew a Cessna as a private pilot because in 2015 he had been certified as class two - that means he could not fly as a commercial pilot or take passengers but he could fly himself.

The court heard he ticked 'no' on the form to "psychiatric trouble of any sort" and "visit to medical practitioner" since his last medical examination, despite several medical visits, including a trip to A and E. As a result he was granted his certificate.

Ms Emsley Smith said: "The CAA received information that in fact he had suffered more than one episode of a loss of consciousness so they suspended his medical certification and the defendant was contacted to seek the reality of what was going on.

"Ultimately Mr Gosney did consent to the release of his medical records."

The records revealed "numerous and various contacts with medical practitioners", including reports of fainting, collapses, chest pains and depression.

However, his defence lawyer told the court Gosney had lied about medical episodes of fainting and illness as a coping mechanism for dealing with his parents' acrimonious split and divorce - and there was no direct evidence of him fainting.

He said Gosney had lied about his health in the "misguided belief his parents would focus on him instead of their differences" and had as a result "painted himself into a corner".

He added: "His dreams are shattered - he knows he'll never, ever be able to get behind the controls of an aircraft again."

He added Gosney was now around £80,000 in debt, still owing money to his mother for the flying lessons which had now "come to nothing".

Judge Andrew Jefferies QC said: "The account you gave in interview was you had not lied or meant any harm because in fact your lies have all been to those medical practitioners. I'm not sure about that.

"It clearly is, and has been, your dream to fly and I wonder rhetorically what lengths you had gone to, whether you would have covered up true fainting and collapsing fits."

"The risk is considerable if you really had those conditions.

"So on the one hand there is a serious offending with significant potential harm, but weighed against that is your age at the time, your previous good character and the time that has passed since the offences."

He imposed a two year community order with 250 hours unpaid work and a rehabilitation requirement.

He added: "The risks of what could have happened if you'd been flying I don't need to spell out - it's obvious."