The man whose "extraordinary" offending dazzled a flight crew with a laser pointer has pleaded guilty today to causing unnecessary danger.

Tane Hemopo, 39, a builder from Hornby, admitted two charges of endangering a New Zealand Post metro flight and a Virgin Airlines flight on April 5.

Hemopo pleaded to the charges at Christchurch District Court today after they were amended from more serious criminal offences, to those under the Civil Aviation Act.

At around 12.30pm on April 5 Hemopo pointed the laser pointer at the tail of a New Zealand Post Metro Liner.


A few minutes later, while a Virgin Airlines flight was at a height on 20,000-feet, the defendant pointed the laser pen into the cockpit, dazzling the crew.

Then as the plane, which was carrying 121 passengers and crew, came into land, Hemopo repeatedly pointed the laser into the cockpit, again dazzling the crew on board.

He also subjected the Christchurch Airport control to the same treatment.

Lawyer Serena Bailey told the court that the defendant, who had previously not pleaded, would plead guilty to amended charges.

Crown Prosecutor Deidre Orchard said that the defendant had no previous history of this specific type of offending, however he had a past of a number of anti social behavior type offences.

Ms Orchard said that it was "rather extraordinary for a man of his age to engage in such foolish and dangerous behaviour".

Ms Bailey said that in mitigation Hemopo had written a letter of apology to the control tower.

The lawyer also asked for a curfew preventing the defendant from going out at night being removed.

However Ms Orchard argued that as the offending occurred at night, "and only at night" the curfew should remain.

Judge Tom Gilbert agreed to keep the curfew in place as there was a "legitimate link" between the curfew and the offending.

Hemopo was remanded on bail for sentence on September 28.