A HEREFORDSHIRE helicopter firm has successfully overturned a conviction and been found not guilty of putting false entries in a maintainence log.

Alan Ramsden, a commercial pilot who runs Tiger Helicopters at Shobdon Airfield, was previously convicted of making a false entry and of omitting information from a helicopter log.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – which upholds strict paperwork rules to ensure people are held responsible if aircrafts crash or malfunction – accused Ramsden of lying about work carried out on a Bell 206 helicopter.

Tiger Helicopters, which runs a flying school, and at the time was training police officers from Algeria, was also convicted of making a material omission.

At Worcester Crown Court last week Bernard O’Brien, prosecuting for the CAA, said a turbine operating temperature gauge in one of the helicopters being used to train police had stopped working on January 21, 2011.

CAA claimed Ramsden falsely wrote in the helicopter’s log that he reconnected a loose wire in an attempt to fix the problem when he and an engingeer had actually carried out much more complicated work neither of them were qualified to do.

Stephen Spence, defending, said Ramsden had, however, been given verbal permission to carry out the work by Helimec, the company responsible for authorising work on that helicopter, and believed they would be filling the log in for him.

The incident reached the criminal courts after a member of staff at Helimec denied knowing anything about the work.

After two days of evidence, Judge Patrick Thomas overturned the convictions against Ramsden and Tiger Helicopters.

He said there was “absolutely no evidence” that Ramsden had made false entries.