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Kip Powick

Impersonating a Pilot and........Arrested

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Delhi (CNN) — Frequent flier Rajan Mahbubani thought he had discovered the ultimate hack for getting preferential treatment at airports. Instead it got him arrested.
In a case that's been compared to the Leonardo DiCaprio conman movie "Catch Me If You Can," the 48-year-old allegedly donned the uniform of a Lufthansa pilot in order to fool airport workers into letting him bypass security lines and get seat upgrades.
It apparently worked too, right up until the point he was caught at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday evening.
Mahbubani was dressed in a pilot's uniform when arrested at the departure gate as he was about to board an AirAsia flight from Delhi to Kolkata, police said.
Sanjay Bhatia, the airport's deputy commissioner of police, told CNN that a Lufthansa employee had alerted airport security that a "suspected passenger was impersonating a captain of Lufthansa airline."
This came after AirAsia had called Lufthansa to verify his identity.
Mahbubani, who is from New Delhi, was detained and handed over to Delhi Police. He was found carrying a fake Lufthansa pilot ID that he used to gain privileges at airports.
"After his arrest, Mahbubani told us he used to shoot YouTube and TikTok videos on aviation and had obtained the Lufthansa fake ID card in Thailand," Bhatia said.

army impersonator

Police say they recovered photos of Mahbubani, seen in the center here wearing a cap, dressed in an army uniform.

Airport security officials were already on the lookout for him, apparently, because of videos on his social media platforms.
Police said Mahbubani subsequently told police he liked to dress up in uniforms. They recovered pictures of him dressed in an army uniform from his phone.
"Mahbubani said that he was a frequent flier and used to dress up as a pilot to gain easy access through security, get preferential treatment from security agencies and airlines and seat upgrades," said Bhatia. "He would use the passage normally used by airline crew."
He's now in custody facing charges of cheating and impersonating. If convicted he could face a year in prison or a fine, or both.
Mahbubani's alleged impersonation recalls the real-life exploits of serial fraudster Frank Abagnale, who impersonated flight crew to get free travel during a career of crime that was later dramatized by Steven Spielberg in the 2002 movie "Catch Me If You Can."
It's not the only case of identity switch seen in India lately. In September, 32-year-old Jayesh Patel was arrested at the same airport for impersonating an 81-year-old in an attempt to board a flight to New York.
 

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Chinese pilot grounded after photo of woman in cockpit sparks outrage

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ErThis photo, which shows a Chinese woman taking the pilot's seat during a flight, has sparked controversy on Chinese social media over air safety.
 
A captain of Air Guilin was banned from flying for life after allowing a young lady to sit and take a selfie inside the cockpit while the aircraft was flying 
The carrier said it had always placed the safety of its passengers as its top priority, and reiterated it had a "zero tolerance policy towards any unprofessional and improper acts that could endanger air safety."
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The photo, posted by the woman on the Twitter-like Weibo social network, showed her taking the pilot's seat and making a V-sign while wearing civilian clothes.
"[I am] super thankful to the pilot! I am really so excited," the caption read.
The photo was spotted by a Chinese aviation blogger on Sunday. The blogger identified that the image was taken on an Air Guilin plane mid-flight, and criticized the airline for disregarding flight safety. The woman has since deleted the original photo on her Weibo account.
The photo went viral by the time it had been taken down. The aviation blogger's post about the image currently has 22,000 likes.
Air Guilin confirmed that the incident took place during a flight from the southern city of Guilin to Yangzhou, eastern China on January 4.
In a statement on Monday, the airline said it had suspended the unnamed pilot from flying duties "for life" for violating civil aviation rules, while other members of the flight crew had been banned indefinitely, pending further investigation."We will enhance our rigorous safety guidelines, to avoid incidents like this from happening again," the statement said.
 
A company representative told state media outlet Beijing Youth Daily that every carrier has its own rules and, if the pilot decides to apply for jobs with other airlines, it'd be up to other carriers to decide whether or not to hire him.
Meanwhile, the photo sparked outrage on Chinese social media.
"This is putting passengers' lives in the entire aircraft at risk," one user commented. Another asked: "How can an aviation professional not understand the basics of air safety?"
The woman was identified as a student taking a flight attendant course at the Guilin Tourism University, according to the state-run People's Daily. It is unclear whether she is personally connected to the pilot.
This is not the first time that pilots have violated air safety rules in China by inviting guests into the cockpit mid-flight.
In 2018, a pilot received a six-month suspension after he was found to have invited his wife into the cockpit three times during a Donghai Airlines flight, People's Daily reported.
Airlines around the world have strengthened security measures relating to cockpit entrance following the 9/11 attacks. Peter Goelz, former managing director of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, told CNN in 2015 that automatic locks on cockpit doors have been installed on planes in the United States to prevent intruders from gaining access to flight control systems.
Regulations issued by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also ban pilots from using smartphones for personal use - including taking pictures - when the plane is in the air, unless they have gotten permission in advance.
Edited by Kip Powick
additional info

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Young man caught posing as senior citizen to fly to US

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(CNN) — It was an impressive disguise: the snow-white beard, the oversized glasses, the wheelchair.
But it was when the seemingly frail and elderly passenger reached security at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport -- India's busiest airport -- that he caught the attention of staff.
At around 10.45 p.m. on the evening of September 8, the individual was hoping to get on an overnight flight to New York.
"He posed as if he was very old and incapacitated," Shrikant Kishore, a senior official with the Central Industrial Security Force, told CNN.
Dressed in a white tunic and trousers, with a white turban and black slippers, the passenger proved reluctant to be frisked.
"Our screener asked the person in the wheelchair to stand. He said that he cannot stand. Our screener asked if he would stand with support. He reluctantly stood up."
That's when the officer noticed that while the passenger's beard and hair were white, the roots were black. He also was working hard to avoid the officer's eyes..
 
When asked for his passport, the individual handed over documentation claiming that he was Amrick Singh, born in Delhi in February 1938, making him 81 years old.
"He was definitely not 80 years old. His skin was of a younger person," Kishore told CNN.
Upon further questioning, the man told security staff that he was, in fact, 32-year-old Jayesh Patel, a resident of Gujarat state.
As he was holding a fake passport, he was detained by security and handed over to immigration authorities.
Kishore told CNN that he doesn't know what the current status of the case is or the reason behind the impersonation.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, commonly known as Delhi Airport, is the 12th busiest airport in the world, with close to 70 million passengers traveling through it in 2018.
Edited by Kip Powick
additional info

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The woman was identified as a student taking a flight attendant course at the Guilin Tourism University, according to the state-run People's Daily. It is unclear whether she is personally connected to the pilot.

I think it's safe to say that the pilot hoped she would be "personally connected" to him some time after the flight.

Edited by seeker

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Remember the good old days when visiting the cockpit was allowed.

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I'm absolutely mystified as to why anyone would want to impersonate a pilot?

Have they no shame? ?

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40 minutes ago, Maverick said:

I'm absolutely mystified as to why anyone would want to impersonate a pilot?

Have they no shame? ?

You're a brave man (?), Maverick.?

Edited by Moon The Loon

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I had a weirdo in a full captain getup sit next to me on a flight, getting off the flight the real captain pulled me aside and asked if the individual had claimed to be an airline pilot which he hadn't but it was all really strange.

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58 minutes ago, Dave Buggie said:

I impersonated a pilot for years but was never caught although some First Officers suspected the truth.

Well for what it’s worth Dave, you always had me fooled!

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at a former employer we has a SO that was also a trainer.  Problem was he was impersonating an SO.  No credentials.

Led to retraining every SO in the Company

 

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