Qld pilot allegedly knew of illegality

Phone calls logged and intercepted by police played in the Townsville District Court have alleged a north Queensland pilot knew he was operating without an air operator's certificate.

Josh Hoch is on trial after pleading not guilty to 14 counts including dishonestly gaining benefit and performing a duty without authorisation between 2011 and 2015.

Hoch allegedly transported politicians from Katters Australia Party around their electorates using his flight charter service.

Ten audio recordings intercepted by police were obtained via a warrant authorising them to monitor his phone calls.

In one played to the court on Friday, Hoch speaks with a friend by the name of Buck about the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

"Buck I think she's all over at this end," Hoch says.

"I think they'll (CASA) give me a show cause. They picked up all that Bob Katter work."

Hoch continued and said Katter's Australian Party members Bob, son Robbie and state MP Shane Knuth, who all used his charter service unbeknownst to the alleged illegality, would "drop him like a stone" as soon as they worked it out.

Hoch then alleged in the next recording with Buck that other operators in the area were doing so without an air operator's certificate.

He also alleged employees at CASA knew that Hoch was operating and flying MPs without an AOC.

"When I started in aviation I flew without an AOC and CASA knew about it, the Townsville office knew about it, everyone knew about it and I never ever got one complaint," he says in one conversation.

"I flew Bob Katter around here - I wasn't required to have an AOC to do it, it was all done in private ops."

In later evidence played to the court, Hoch said CASA knew he'd done six years flying without an AOC and the amount gained from transporting Mr Katter through his travel allowance was around $500,000.

That figure was not confirmed in court on Friday.

In further recordings Hoch was told he fraudulently took money whilst operating his aircraft for the politicians.

"Because you've taken money, federal money," he was told.

"It's a charter. It's hire on award and you don't have an AOC."

The Crown has concluded its evidence and Hoch's trial will continue on Monday.