Second trio arrested in WANNA-BEn pilot case
Tue, 20 Sep 2011 1:15p.m.
By 3 News staff
Police have made three more arrests in the WANNA-BEn pilot impersonation scandal.
A 27-year-old cameraman, a 40-year-old sound recordist and a 24-year-old production coordinator have been arrested and charged with offences under Section 56A of the Civil Aviation Act.
The total number of arrests in the case, which involved an attempted security breach at Auckland’s International Airport domestic terminal on Saturday, is now at six.
Already charged are The Rock radio DJ Bryce Casey, 32, who allegedly posed as a pilot and tried to gain access to a restricted area, and WANNA-BEn star, Ben Boyce, 33, and producer Andrew Robinson, 26.
Those arrested this morning will appear in the Counties Manukau District Court this afternoon.
Police say they are not looking for anyone else linked to the investigation.
Boyce last night told 3 News the prank was meant to be harmless.
“He [Casey] doesn’t look like a pilot, he’s unshaven, he’s got tattoos, we didn’t have any ID, he just went up and said ‘I’m flying the next plane out of here,’ and they pick holes through the story because he had no ID and he had no idea what gate or what flight he was on,” says Boyce, who had the idea for the prank.
The penalty for the trio – if found guilty – is up to 12 months in prison or a possible $10,000 fine.
Boyce posted an apology on the WANNA-BEn Facebook page and Twitter account this morning.
"We want to apologise for any alarm that was caused by our "pilot" skit. We’ve been doing skits for over nine years, but this time we crossed the line and we fully accept that.
"There was never any intention to cause trouble at the airport. Nor was it our intention for Bryce to breach security. On Sunday when we saw that the police were looking for us we called them immediately.
"Obviously we have learnt from this incident and will put more thought into the skits that we are going to film.
"We do take this very seriously, and if I looked like I was smiling, it was only because I was nervous and a bit overwhelmed by the events of the day. From here we will not be making any further comment."
Until they appear in court again next month, none of those charged are allowed to go near the airport.
The Airline Pilots' Association has called for them to be jailed.
"Incarceration for a short time, for a time of reflection, would be appropriate I would think," aviation security co-ordinator Paul Lyons said yesterday.
"If these people think that security matters are to be treated in a frivolous and humorous fashion, and for an attempted breach to occur on the basis of humour, we don't see that in a humorous way at all."
“It's irresponsible for a bunch of clowns who should know better," Prime Minister John Key told reporters yesterday.
"Quite frankly we're in the middle of hosting a Rugby World Cup and if these are people playing games, they need to grow up."
Grow up is exactly what Boyce plans to do. He says he'll be more cautious of the next skit he plans.
“We're sorry that we caused alarm and we hope that people don’t get full cavity searched when they travel all thanks to us,” he says.
"As soon as we found out the police were investigating, we got in touch with them."
Mediaworks, which runs the WANNA-BEn series said this morning despite the charges, it will run the show as planned this week. This was before news broke of the second trio's arrest.
It's still unknown whether the skit in question will make it on television.
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20/09/2011 5:22:36 p.m.
Prank or no prank, they broke Civil Aviation Law. Any other civilian whose group of friends was not involved with the NZ media ie were not a Rock radio DJ, WANNA-BEn star or producer, would be aptly charged and disciplined AND the NZ public would not batter an eyelid.Common fellow kiwi's, his pranks are outdated, non-original and childish! Their punishment has nothing to do with NZ being PC. The expression "politically correct" came about in the 1970's and was intended to mean "inclusive." It referred to the use of language that would not cause an individual of any demographic (social or cultural) group to feel excluded, offended, or diminished..It now seems to have been redefined by those who prefer an exclusive culture and dominance for themselves or their group. The distortions were made popular by comedians who observed the change in U.S. culture toward more inclusiveness and the struggle many people had in breaking exclusionary habits.This debate is not about a lot of hot air. We for some reason are adopting rules for celeb's who simply know the right people (which is how the world rolls), and a rule for others. Anyone else would not have name recognition as does WannaBen but would be known in headlines as the imposter at the domestic terminal and as John Key put it a clown!?
20/09/2011 5:03:50 p.m.
If this happened in the USA, England, Thailand, Singapore they probably wouldn't be laughing. Im glad the Police are making a big point about this. i feel safer with my family on a plane knowing that idiots doing silly pranks are kept away from the airport. what next after this? shall we see if we can get on a plane or get something in the cargo hold? No we all know what happened in 911, if NZ wants to keep its inter nation airport status they need to throw the book at them or other country's wont land here as we will be viewed as a bigger joke with security than we are. someone will be telling me next people dont train in the bush with firearms explosive to create a terrorist event and blame it on a cell from Afghanistan?? yeah right Thats never happened not in NZ....!!!!
20/09/2011 4:54:32 p.m.
It was all in good fun, but it was done in a serious place, airport Security is First, Hopefully leason learned.. no harm done, and the pair will be let off with a warning
20/09/2011 4:02:25 p.m.
Maybe it is a good chance for Auckland Airport to review their security . They are lucky it wasn't serious. Get a sense of humour and breath a sigh of relief.
20/09/2011 4:02:23 p.m.
Smile John, you might enjoy it. When did NZ get so serious?
20/09/2011 3:38:18 p.m.
see how easy it is to become a criminal.! and bob yes nz is and has been for a long time PC. i say ban those dam reality shows and america's funnist home videos and let nz comedians bring some decent planned out humour to our tv. I also like the jono project and 7 days but i am waiting for something to be said which will get the shows banned because of the PC pricks out there. I know they are pre-recorded but there are people out there who watch just to complain. all the people anti this stunt are probably the ones who also complained about paul henry. people say and do stupid things and regret it later but its not done to deliberately harm anyone.
20/09/2011 3:35:26 p.m.
If you can be done for dressing up as a doctor and walking into a hospital you should be done for dressing up as pilot and going for a tiki tour thru a airport
20/09/2011 3:03:18 p.m.
show the skit on tv so we can see what all the fuss is about. These comedians were not a danger and it shows how by putting on a certain cap a white shirt with epaulettes and carrying a briefcase is what a pilot suposedly looks like. they were trying it on a prank, which they would never of taken it further. this is not a dam hanging offence like the pilots and the prime minister seems to think it is. those flash mobs of people dancing or doing the haka should be banned for making a public nuisance.
20/09/2011 2:43:02 p.m.
What a huge overreaction to something that harmed no-one and was never going to. The terrorists have really won when Authorities have become paranoid and lost any sense of humour. They have got their point across, just fine the silly buggers $150 each and put an end to it. Nobody else is going to dare to try it on. Storm in a teacup. The security checks worked, didn't they? Good test.
20/09/2011 2:39:24 p.m.
Matt Hutchison wrote:
why cant they accept that it was just a joke...we are not in America...or the U.K. or Afghanistan....
I dont condone getting on a plane n steeling it or blowing it up but come on! its a joke! it was OBVIOUS it was a joke.....they said sorry...no one was hurt....get over it n carry on....we (New Zealanders)take pride our selves as being different and out there...accept it was an "Out-there" joke...
He (Bryce)is white with tatts....im white with tatts n if i go ANYWHERE im not ment to i get noticed immediately!!....How dumb are the idiots who suspected him as a terrorist? wrap us up n cotton wool why dont ya!
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