Taken from today's SMH: Flying in the face of the law - pilot bikers land fines By Steve Butcher October 10, 2005 Conditions were perfect for flying when the Virgin Blue pilots Patrick Devlin and Michael Stewart prepared for take-off in Melbourne at 8.25pm on January 18. The weather was fine, visibility was good, the runway dry and traffic medium. But rather than leaving the ground, Captain Devlin, 30, and Captain Stewart, 32, roared east on to Queens Road, St Kilda, on their 1000cc Suzuki motorcycles. A Melbourne Court was told that when they took off, so did senior constables Shane Barmby and Mark Rowe in their marked V8 police car. Senior Constable Rowe said he accelerated to 160kmh to catch up to the bikers and then maintained an even distance over about 300 metres. He told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday he had checked the bikes' speed at 140kmh in a 70kmh zone before activating the car's lights and sirens. Senior Constable Barmby said he then saw Devlin remove his hands from the bike and hold his arms out as all vehicles slowed down before Chapel Street. Devlin, of Kensington, said in evidence he accepted he was speeding, but "not in excess of 100kmh", and that he had been adjusting his jacket as he slowed. Giving evidence, Stewart, of West Melbourne, said he "proceeded through" the speed limit to about 95kmh in third gear; then rolled off the throttle and idled. Both men pleaded not guilty to charges of exceeding the speed limit, driving at a speed dangerous, driving in a manner dangerous and careless driving. Devlin also denied failing to have full control of a vehicle. Magistrate Lionel Winton-Smith dismissed all charges except the offences of exceeding the speed limit and careless driving. Devlin and Stewart were each convicted and fined $500 and had their licences suspended for one month.