His Honour Judge Tudor Owen FRAeS, otherwise known as ‘the Flying Judge’, has been invested as Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN).
As a specialist in both aviation and criminal law when at the Bar, he represented airlines and the Ministry of Defence as well as successfully defending a number of pilots prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority.
In 2008, Judge Owen highlighted the danger posed by lasers to aircraft, when he sentenced two defendants to six months imprisonment for shining a laser light at a police helicopter – the first custodial sentence for such an offence.
Judge Owen learned to fly with the University of London Air Squadron during the early 1970s and subsequently gained his PPL(H) in 1995. He said:
“I hope that my skills will assist the Guild to maintain its worldwide reputation for providing objective advice when required, relating to technical and air safety matters, aviation legislation, pilot training and environmental issues. The Guild plays an important role in explaining the facts and when necessary exposing fictions, to opinion formers in the press and decision takers in government.”