The Rock recalls Bryce Casey's fake pilot stunt that saw him arrested, made him 'international news'

The Rock radio station has retold the story of host Bryce Casey's arrest after a TV stunt gone wrong in which he impersonated a pilot at Auckland airport inspired by the movie Catch Me If You Can

A decade on from Casey's arrest, which also saw director Andy Robinson and presenter Ben Boyce appear in Manukau District Court, a host of the key players have reflected on the chaos that ensued. 

The skit was being filmed for a TV3 production called Wanna-Ben, in which Casey appeared as 'Blaggin' Bryce' - whose main aim was to 'blag' his way into places he wasn't meant to be. 

Casey arrived at Auckland Airport 2011 dressed in a "shitty" pilot's outfit, and left minutes later after being turned away by staff. The television crew didn't realise anything was amiss until the next day, when they saw a news headline that read 'Police seek fake pilot at Auckland airport'.

"We called the police six times, saying 'it was just a prank, it was us'," Wanna-Ben director Andy Robinson recalled in an interview with The Rock. 

It wasn't long before the photo of Casey dressed as a pilot was on the front page of the New Zealand Herald and then-Prime Minister John Key was condemning the trio's actions in a nationally-televised press conference. 

"It's irresponsible from a bunch of clowns who should know better," Key said at the time. 

Airline Pilots' Association aviation security coordinator Paul Lyons called for the trio to be jailed "for a short time of reflection" at the time. 

Casey, Boyce and Robinson faced a fine of up to $10,000 or a year in prison for breaching the Civil Aviation Act. 

"I realised it was quite a big deal after I'd been interviewed by the police and I Googled it and I found an article on Fox News and on Sydney Morning Herald and on Taiwan News," Robinson said. 

"[I thought] 'Oh this is international news now, that's not a good thing'." 

The trio were eventually discharged and made to pay reparations and undertake community service, as well as being temporarily banned from Auckland Airport. 

Casey's boss at The Rock said he wanted to fire him over the incident. 

"I was f**ked off to be brutally honest - I was like 'Bryce, you've only been here for a short period of time and you've pretty much taken the station into disrepute'," Brad King said. 

"I had to phone our lawyers to find out what to do, they were more relaxed than I was, I wanted to pretty much let him go at that point in time.

"I had countless conversations with our lawyers, they kind of gave him a reprieve, I think maybe because he was with Sharyn (Casey) and they didn't want to piss Sharyn off. 

"It was quite a big deal. I still think he thinks it was a bit of a piss take and he beats his chest going 'this was cool' but at the time it wasn't cool at all." 

The radio host's wife and Sharyn Casey said that the stunt very nearly cost them the new house they had just put a deposit on, but said the "most traumatic thing" for her husband was when people thought it was Ben Boyce who had done the stunt, not him. 

 "It really rarks him up when people think it's not him," she said. 

As well as marking the end of his time on the Wanna-Ben show, the stunt saw Casey dropped from several well-paid Rugby World Cup MC gigs, which went to his co-host Roger Farrelly. 

"Thanks, Bryce!" Farelly joked. 

The Rock also asked Casey's father to recall how he felt seeing his son make headline news for all the wrong reasons. 

"Right, Bryce, 10 years ago when we saw you on the news, how did mum and I feel? Shit. You were in the shit, and we felt shit," Tony Casey said. 

"But 10 years on, we look back and look at all the great work that you and the team are doing for charities around the country - keep up the good work, but don't get in the shit again."