A pilot charged with fraud after claiming he crashed his light plane in the sea has indicated he will plead guilty and sell his aircraft to pay back the insurance money.
Howard Laurence Jamison, 46, intimated he would plead guilty to three charges of document fraud after the Cessna aircraft plane he claimed he had crashed 6km east of Timaru was found in a shipping container in Ashburton.
Jamison was considered lucky to be alive in 2004 when he claimed he had to ditch the aircraft after the engine failed, then surfed to shore on the plane wreckage before seeking help.
In the Ashburton District Court yesterday, Jamison entered no plea to charges of filling out insurance and release forms with intent to obtain a pecuniary advantage. He was remanded on bail to appear again later this month.
Asked by Judge Jane McMeeken if Jamison had intimated he would plead guilty, Jamison's lawyer, Gretchen Hart, said he had.
Ms Hart said Jamison accepted he may face a jail term and wanted to sort his affairs out first. He needed time to have his company's three aircraft valued and sold so that he could pay the reparation sought by the prosecution of $258,000 to cover insurance payments made to him.
She also sought a remand as a "reasonable volume" of disclosed police evidence had only reached her late last week.
It was anticipated that the reparation issue could be resolved by the time Jamison reappeared in the court. He had surrendered his passport.
Jamison's Cessna was reportedly found by workers cleaning graffiti off a shipping container at Wilson Bulk Transport in Ashburton.
In 2004, Jamison had said that the plane's engine had died soon after he stopped to refuel and he could not land on the beach.
Jamison claimed that when he ditched the plane he had grabbed a life vest and used a false floor, which was in the aircraft for skydivers to sit on, as a surfboard to get ashore.
He said he had walked 500m and flagged down a motorist and had received treatment at Ashburton Hospital for minor injuries.
Since he owned the plane, it was his responsibility to search for the wreckage, which he claimed he could not find.