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A PILOT AND PEOPLE ON THE RUNWAY

David Mandel is a passionate and experienced pilot, holding a pilot’s licence for 40 years, with an unblemished flying record.  One day he was flying the L39 Albatross jet trainer near Knynsa and did fly-past inspection to ensure a safe landing when he noticed people lying on the runway. He pulled the aircraft up before making a slower pass at 1,000 feet above ground level and dipping his wings to encourage the people to clear. When they failed to do so, he left the circuit and returned to Plettenberg Bay, considering the incident to be isolated and bizarre.

An official at the Civil Aviation Authority deemed his conduct to be irresponsible, dangerous and grossly negligent. His licence was suspended for six months. Mr Mandel approached the High Court and Judge Govindjee tackles issues of:

the duty to exhaust internal remedies; irreparable harm; and the constitutional right to just administrative action. 

The implementation of the decision to suspend Mr Mandel's pilot’s licence is suspended pending the determination of part B of the application.   * Read the full judgment below.

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