Jury to ponder Qld pilot fraud case

The fate of a north Queensland pilot who allegedly flew Katter's Australia Party members without appropriate accreditation rests in the hands of a jury after closing arguments finished.

Josh Hoch has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts including dishonestly gaining benefit and performing a duty without authorisation between 2011 and 2015 while operating his charter businesses Flying Fitters Pty Ltd and Hoch Air Pty Ltd.

He allegedly transported politicians from KAP around their electorates using his flight charter service, and received state and federal government money via members' general travel allowances.

Hoch, 36, also transported electoral documents for the Electoral Commission of Queensland using his charter services.

Bob Katter, son Robbie, and state parliamentarian Shane Knuth all gave evidence via video-link last week.

All used Hoch's flight charter service through their travel allowance but were unaware of its alleged lack of authenticity.

It is not alleged any of the KAP politicians engaged in any wrongdoing.

Hoch had a private pilot licence but was not certified with an air operator's certificate (AOC) when he engaged in charter and cost-sharing services with the KAP politicians.

In closing arguments, crown prosecutor Edward Coker told the Townsville District Court jury operational and fuel costs shown in invoices to the court didn't change when Hoch operated over several years.

In one invoice for Bob Katter in April 2016 totalled at $1250 an hour, Mr Coker said it made no sense at all as a businessman to operate both commercially and in a cost-sharing basis for the same rate.

"You're flying your business assets around at a rate that's costing you or the business a substantial amount of money," he said on Wednesday.

"The figure the defendant is arriving at is completely arbitrary one. The figure for the hourly cost is a completely arbitrary one.

"It actually shows a glaring issue with these invoices and that is the pricing on them I would suggest is entirely arbitrary.

"Now arbitrary doesn't work if you're splitting the actual costs."

Defence barrister Michael Hibble argued there are gaps in the prosecution's case and said Hoch brokered cost-sharing arrangements with the politicians.

He said private pilots can fly people anywhere.

If a private pilot received a reward for that, regulations required an AOC. But if the private pilot received a share of the cost, a certificate was not required, he said.