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Fake pilot stunt could still screen

Published: 7:32AM Wednesday September 21, 2011 Source: NZN

A fake pilot stunt for a comedy series that's seen six people arrested could still screen.

TV3 is yet to decide whether or not to air the controversial footage.

Six people involved with the show are accused of trying to breach security at Auckland Airport on Saturday, when a man dressed in a realistic looking pilot's uniform allegedly tried to pass through the Link boarding gate, claiming he had left his security pass on his plane.

The stunt was filmed for comedy show Wanna-Ben, which sees former Pulp Sport frontman Ben Boyce try his hand at a different career each week.

Mediaworks spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer says it's "very unlikely" the episode will now go to air, but the company will "wait until the court process is completed before making a final decision".

Lorimer says the episode was filmed for the show's second series, which may air later this year or next year.

The series received almost $600,000 in NZ On Air funding.

After three court appearances on Monday, three more people appeared in Counties Manukau District Court yesterday charged over the stunt.

A 27-year-old cameraman, a 40-year-old sound recordist and a 24-year-old production coordinator have all been granted interim name suppression to inform their families of the charges.

Their arrests follow those of Boyce, Radio DJ Bryce Anthony Casey and television producer Andrew Logan Robinson on Monday.

All face charges under the Civil Aviation Act, which could result in hefty fines or even jail time.

Boyce issued an apology on Monday, saying, "We did not intend to breach security or cause any worry or concern. This was an attempt at humour which we fully accept was misplaced."

Mediaworks says it wasn't aware of the shoot before it took place.

Police say they are not looking for anyone else in conjunction with the stunt.