Recommended Posts

Not the first time we heard about pilots with fake credentials (not so very long ago, there was one (but only one) found here in Canada).  You have to wonder if the following is only the tip of an iceberg or if Pakistan is unique in this regard.

Pakistani pilots grounded over 'fake licences'

  • 25 June 2020
 
Pakistan International Airlines planeImage copyrightREUTERS

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has grounded 150 pilots over claims they may not hold a valid licence.

Pakistan's aviation minister told parliament on Wednesday that a large number of commercial pilots hold fake licences or cheated in exams.

It comes as an initial report into a PIA crash that killed 97 people last month found the cause to be human error by the pilot and air traffic control.

Pakistan has a chequered aviation safety record with a number of crashes.

Aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan shared the findings of an initial report into May's crash on Wednesday, but also referred to a wider government probe, which had been launched after a different crash.

Following the 2018 crash, it was discovered that the test date on the pilot's licence was a public holiday, suggesting that testing could not have taken place on that day.

Mr Khan said investigations had found that more than 260 of the country's 860 active pilots had either fake licences or had cheated in their exams.

A PIA spokesman confirmed to AFP news agency that the probe found about 150 of its 434 pilots had "either bogus or suspicious licences".

"We have decided to ground those 150 pilots with bogus licences with immediate effect," he said.

Some flights may be cancelled as a result, the airline said.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the irregularities found in pilot licences at the airline represent a "serious lapse" in safety controls.

 

Little known about probe into PIA's pilots

by Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Pakistan

Pakistan's aviation authorities have been probing allegations of PIA pilots' fake qualifications since 2018, but not much is known about it.

Since 1965, PIA has suffered 10 major crashes and several minor incidents. Inquiries have been held but they don't seem to have led to any improvements.

Many say the airline, which once played a major role in the launch of one the top Middle Eastern airlines, Emirates, has subsequently gone down the same path to institutional decay as the rest of the country.

Over the years, both the PIA and the Civil Aviation Authority have come to be dominated by serving or retired officers of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), prompting some to call it the retirement home for the military.

Patronage politics has also led to large-scale recruitments, making it one of the most overstaffed airlines in the world.

In recent years, there have been frequent allegations of drug trafficking and smuggling involving PIA staffers, but in most cases there haven't been visible reprisals.

Many feel a one-off blame on individual error or fake educational degrees will only help to keep the doors shut on transparency and prevent wider exposure of the vested interests that have brought PIA to where it is today.

 

On Wednesday, the aviation minister also gave more details on the preliminary report into a PIA plane crash on 22 May. Flight PK8303 came down on houses in Karachi. Only two passengers survived.

What were the findings on the recent crash?

On Wednesday, Mr Khan told parliament that the pilot and air traffic control failed to follow protocol. The pilots were distracted, talking about coronavirus with each other as both of their families had been affected by the virus.

He said there was nothing wrong with the Airbus A320 aircraft, which had taken off from Lahore and was attempting to land in Karachi.

Mr Khan said the pilot initially failed to deploy the landing gear correctly, which led to the aircraft scraping the runway before then taking off again. As the plane was about to make a second landing, air traffic controllers failed to tell the pilot that the plane's engines had been left badly damaged.

"When the control tower asked him to increase the plane's height, the pilot said 'I'll manage'. There was over-confidence," Mr Khan said.

 

He said that a full report on the crash would be released in a year's time and will include details from a recording taken during the descent.

Mr Khan also vowed that PIA, a state-owned airline would be restructured and vowed that action would be taken against rogue pilots.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would hope the reality is that they're all experienced ex-military transport pilots who got a free pass into the civil world without crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's on the paperwork ?

Edited by Specs
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Specs said:

I would hope the reality is that they're all experienced ex-military transport pilots who got a free pass into the civil world without crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's on the paperwork ?

And do you think it was two of those ex-military hotshots that flew a perfectly good A320 in to the ground?

The airline should be grounded and their foreign landing rights revoked. That jurisdiction and that air carrier are functioning below the level of a banana republic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rudder said:

And do you think it was two of those ex-military hotshots that flew a perfectly good A320 in to the ground?

No idea.  I was just commenting on how is it possible that so many fake licenses are out there?  

Edited to add - Oh well.  So much for my hopes of a rational explanation.  I did some extra reading - Holy Cow - Some folks seem to think nothing of issuing Fake credentials by the fistful.

 

Edited by Specs
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Moon The Loon said:

Unfortunately, this problem is pervasive in many parts of the eastern world and is HUGE in the lower end contract agencies, even some more reputable ones. I saw it first hand in India and Africa.

despite the pressures of doing so, did you report it?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/25/2020 at 9:58 PM, Marshall said:

despite the pressures of doing so, did you report it?

FWIW, there are NO labour codes/protections for expat pilots. You go along to get along or you'll be sent along. You're not there to change culture. You're there because 1) there aren't enough locals to fill the seats, and 2) for the money. As soon as one of those change, you'll move along or be sent along. "Report(ing) it" won't change a thing other than you'll likely need to polish up your CV while the locals laugh hysterically at your vain attempt to change the system while counting their bribe money from the latest round of pilot applicants. It's a tough world out there!

  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to believe an airline can’t recognize a fake pilot license. The one Canadian pilot caught years ago actually possessed a real ATPL but had not legally earned it. 

The last time I was involved with interviewing pilots we had a process that included one person on the team checking all documents. The likelihood of a pilot producing a fake one was slim to nil.

Is it possible some foreign airlines are so desperate to fill the front seats they just don’t care?

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, blues deville said:

The one Canadian pilot caught years ago actually possessed a real ATPL but had not legally earned it. 

A bit of background:

Quote

Local pilot accused of fraud

Crown alleges Chestermere flyer not fully licensed

23 Feb 2008 - Calgary Herald

A WestJet pilot from Chestermere is facing numerous criminal charges based on his flying credentials.

Charges of fraud, uttering forged documents and perjury related to xxxxxx's airline transport pilot licence have been laid by the Crown, court documents show.

The charges stem from an ongoing criminal investigation by Calgary police into an individual for aviation-related offences.

The police investigation was launched in late January at the request of Transport Canada Civil Aviation. A probe was launched earlier this month, resulting in several criminal charges being laid, police said.

Neither the police nor Transport Canada would identify the individual, but court documents show xxxxx faces a total of 10 criminal counts related to aviation offences alleged to have occurred between May and December last year.

One of the criminal counts alleges WestJet Airlines Ltd. was defrauded of service-training worth more than $5,000. None of the charges has been proven in court.

Don MacLeod, lawyer for xxxxx, said his client intends to mount “a vigorous defence.”

WestJet spokesman Richard Bartrem said the pilot, a first officer, is currently not on active flight status with the airline, but will continue to remain on the payroll while the investigation takes place.

“There’s a discrepancy between what Transport Canada believes is his ATPL (pilot’s licence) and then what was the case,” Bartrem said Wednesday.

He stressed the issue is between Transport Canada and the individual.

Bartrem said although the ATPL is a secondary piece that isn’t required to operate a commercial aircraft, it’s mandatory under WestJet’s own hiring policy.

The pilot demonstrated to WestJet that he had the piece when he was hired, he said.

Bartrem did say the pilot, whom he wouldn’t identify for privacy issues, has a commercial pilot’s licence that allows him to be a commercial pilot with WestJet.

“So he’s still a bona fide commercial pilot, and passed all of our hiring requirements, but there seems to be an issue with Transport Canada and him with respect to his ATPL,” he said.

Bartrem said an ATPL isn’t generally required to be a first officer — although WestJet does require it — but it is needed to become a captain on board an aircraft.

Transport Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette said the department is conducting an aviation enforcement investigation to determine whether a violation has occurred.

Transport Canada became aware of the issue when the individual applied for an aircraft type rating, which is needed to fly different types of aircraft. That triggered a review of his records, as is normal.

Due to privacy legislation, Transport Canada can’t identify non-corporate offenders, she said.

Transport Canada also can’t provide any more information while the investigation is underway, but Durette did say the department is collaborating with Calgary police.

Criminal investigations are done independently from investigations conducted by Transport Canada, in the interest of maintaining and improving aviation safety, she explained.

With respect to aviation enforcement investigation, there will be an appropriate penalty if the investigation determines that a violation occurred, she said.

The department will consider the seriousness of the violation in assessing penalties. Depending on the violation, administrative deterrent action may include oral counselling, a monetary penalty or document suspension. Transport Canada can also choose to take judicial action.

Durette said similar problems won’t likely occur in the future. In six weeks, Transport Canada will introduce a new format for Canadian pilot and air traffic controller licences and permits.

The passport-like “aviation document booklet” will include a photo ID of the holder and features to guard against the fraudulent use of Canadian aviation licences and documents, she said.

“I can tell you that steps are being taken and safety is very important for Transport Canada.”

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pakistan pilots’ union denies allegation that licences were obtained by fraud

By Adil Jawad The Associated Press
Posted June 27, 2020 11:04 am
 Updated June 27, 2020 11:05 am

KARACHI, Pakistan — A union of Pakistani pilots fired back Saturday at the country’s aviation minister after he claimed that as many as 262 pilots working for state-run Pakistan International Airlines and other airlines obtained their pilot licenses by having others take exams for them.

Capt. Chaudhry Salman, head of the Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association, told a news conference in Karachi that claims by aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan were false. Karachi is where a PIA plane crashed last month killing 97 people.

“There is no truth in these allegations,” he said.

 

Salman acknowledged that 141 of his fellow pilots had been grounded by PIA a day earlier but said the pilots accused of obtaining “fake pilot licenses” were ready to defend themselves in any forum.

 

Salman’s comments came a day after Khan fired five aviation officials for their alleged involvement in a scandal in which pilot licences were allegedly awarded to people who had others take their exams. Khan said 141 PIA pilots whose licenses were tainted will not be allowed to fly.

The allegations of cheating to obtain pilot licenses in Pakistan come in the wake of the May 22 crash of a PIA Airbus A320 in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport. There were only two survivors and a girl died on the ground.

0:54Voice recorder recovered from Pakistan air disaster

Voice recorder recovered from Pakistan air disaster

Salman’s comments come days after Khan presented preliminary findings of an investigation into the A320 crash to Parliament. Khan on Wednesday told lawmakers that 262 out of 860 Pakistani pilots had “fake” licenses.

 

He said out of these 262 pilots, 141 worked for PIA and the remainder were flying planes for private airline companies.

The government has not said whether the pilot and co-pilot of the doomed Karachi flight had tainted licenses. It only said the two pilots were medically fit and experienced, while investigators say human error was behind the crash.

 

Salman said 39 pilots out of the 262 accused of obtaining fake pilot licenses had either died or retired years ago. He said the validity of the licenses and degrees of the pilot and co-plot who were flying the doomed flight PK-8303 were beyond any doubt.

Salman revealed that an investigation into the alleged “fake licenses” of scores of pilots had started two years ago and had not been completed when the crash took place and Khan levelled baseless allegations against them.

 

He requested the country’s judiciary appoint an independent commission to probe allegations against the pilots.

© 2020 The Canadian Press
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, conehead said:

I wonder how that case turned out?

Conditional Discharge (no record). Currently in right seat of A320 in Asia.

Quote

The fraud began when xxxxx applied to work for WestJet, claiming to have written the required examinations and completed the necessary hours.
He provided a photocopy of a licence and test results, which were forged, and was hired in September 2007 on the understanding he would supply the original licence.
xxxxx later claimed the original had been stolen from his vehicle. He obtained a temporary faxed copy of his licence but not an airline transport pilot's licence.
Each time xxxxx presented the fraudulent licence, he knew it was a false document that he passed as genuine, according to an admitted statement of facts.
WestJet officials became increasingly concerned after not receiving an original licence or examination results.
xxxxx provided written results for both tests to Transport Canada.The documents, however, were from his brother-in-law's exams.
Transport Canada's investigation of xxxxx's claims concluded he had never written the necessary exams.
He was suspended in December 2007 from his two-month employment by WestJet and has not been reinstated.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/27/2020 at 7:37 PM, ckl said:

I believe Wardair had a Captain without a real/valid ATPL many years ago.

Yes. That’s the only one in Canada I’ve ever heard about with a license issue. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, blues deville said:

Yes. That’s the only one in Canada I’ve ever heard about with a license issue. 

The one that made this forum was a WestJet issue.  

  On 6/27/2020 at 11:05 AM, conehead said:

I wonder how that case turned out?

Conditional Discharge (no record). Currently in right seat of A320 in Asia.

  Quote

The fraud began when xxxxx applied to work for WestJet, claiming to have written the required examinations and completed the necessary hours.
He provided a photocopy of a licence and test results, which were forged, and was hired in September 2007 on the understanding he would supply the original licence.
xxxxx later claimed the original had been stolen from his vehicle. He obtained a temporary faxed copy of his licence but not an airline transport pilot's licence.
Each time xxxxx presented the fraudulent licence, he knew it was a false document that he passed as genuine, according to an admitted statement of facts.
WestJet officials became increasingly concerned after not receiving an original licence or examination results.
xxxxx provided written results for both tests to Transport Canada.The documents, however, were from his brother-in-law's exams.
Transport Canada's investigation of xxxxx's claims concluded he had never written the necessary exams.
He was suspended in December 2007 from his two-month employment by WestJet and has not been reinstated.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a second officer operating as a trainer who did not have the appropriate credentials for a small canadian charter operator.  He was using someone elses license.  Just so happened the guy whose licence he was using saw it in the logbook as he was doing maintenance with a contracting company.  Got busted and a good chunk of the companies second officers all had to sit through a TC check as a result.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I could also put up at least half a dozen cultural appropriation pics of Stephen Harper, but since they too would be irrelevant, I won't waste the bandwidth.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, dagger said:

If you want to play that silly game at least show that you have enough intelligence to post a culturally representative image. Pakistan is predominantly Muslim.

 

Yes, since I had to search "Trudeau in India".  The point is, he is willing to please foreign countries more often than not, Canada.  And time and time again aside from Bombardier, he has neglected the aviation sector.*
 

 

*The opinions of of this author do not necessarily reflect those of other users nor AEF.  Reader discretion is advised.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.