AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been cleared in a New Zealand court of lying about a cannabis conviction when applying for a private pilot’s licence.
There was not enough evidence to convict the Melbourne-born musician, Judge Louis Bidois said in Tauranga District Court on Tuesday.
The Civil Aviation Authority accused Rudd, 59, of falsely filling out the medical questionnaire for his licence by failing to mention his previous drug use.
That charge was dismissed but Rudd admitted a charge of failing to maintain a logbook and was fined $NZ750 ($A710), the SunLive website reports.
Rudd previously had a helicopter pilot’s licence but let it lapse while he had a family.
“You can have kids or a helicopter – you know how it goes,” he told the court.
However, in 2011 he bought another helicopter, a Hughes 500, after doing three tours with AC/DC.
“I was back on the road for three tours, worked harder than a Bering Sea fisherman, and I made a lot of money and thought I would buy a helicopter. I’ve got everything else. Have you seen my garage?”
He applied to renew his licence in 2012, but the CAA said he lied on the medical certificate because he failed to mention a 2010 conviction for possession of 25 grams of cannabis found aboard his boat. The conviction was later overturned on appeal.
Rudd’s medical certificate was rescinded and he said the publicity had put him off smoking cannabis.
He considered himself the cleanest he had been in his life and he didn’t consider the question during his medical exam.