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Prejudicing the Safe Operation of an Aircraft or Vessel

Prejudicing the Safe Operation of an Aircraft or Vessel is an offence under section 205 of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You engaged in conduct that prejudiced the safe operation of an aircraft or vessel, and
  2. You intended by your conduct to prejudice the aircraft or vessel’s safe operation.

An ‘aircraft’ is any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air.

A ‘vessel’ is a water craft of any description that is capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

You do not actually have to be on board the aircraft or vessel to be found guilty of the offence.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self defence.

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