Pilot fighting forced retirement

A HELICOPTER pilot banned from flying solo after the age of 60 is claiming he is the victim of age discrimination at an industrial tribunal. A test case brought by Ian Evans, from Kedington in Suffolk, argues the Civil Aviation Authority has breached age discrimination laws.

A HELICOPTER pilot banned from flying solo after the age of 60 is claiming he is the victim of age discrimination at an industrial tribunal.

A test case brought by Ian Evans, from Kedington in Suffolk, argues the Civil Aviation Authority has breached age discrimination laws.

Under CAA rules he was told he could not fly fare-paying passengers alone in a helicopter after the age of 60.

The CAA is challenging the claims at an industrial tribunal.

Captain Evans who has flown Tony Blair, David Cameron and Nelson Mandela around the UK, said he wanted to continue working until he was 65 and saw no reason why he should have to retire.

The CAA is contesting the charge of age discrimination and will call a number of expert witnesses over the 10 days set aside for the hearing.

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Capt Evans, who flew helicopters in Northern Ireland when he was in the Army, said he was losing work worth up to £20,000 a year because of the age restriction.

He has continued with certain types of work such as flying private helicopter owners and some aerial work.

Capt Evans said there were no such restrictions in many other countries including the US, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and Switzerland.

Pilots of aeroplanes were allowed to continue working until 65, the hearing was told.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow.

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