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09 March 2010

Pilot flying without proper licenses caught after two years on the job

Recently, a Corendon Airlines pilot who was about to fly 101 passengers from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Ankara, Turkey was arrested, allegedly because he did not have an appropriate license. According to various media reports, the pilot was a 41-year-old Swede and was in the cockpit when the Dutch police arrested him after a tip from the Swedish authorities.

The arrested pilot claims that he has been flying for 13 years and has over 10,000 hours of flying experience. He had worked for airlines in Belgium, Great Britain and Italy, and according to a lawyer for Corendon Airlines had been at that company for about two years.

The pilot did have a license, but it was not valid for the aircraft he was operating. In both the US and in most of Europe, civilian airline pilots for large jet transports like the 737 must have at least 1,500 hours of total flight time before obtaining the appropriate license, and in addition must meet additional requirements for the specific type of airliner.

While the pilot apparently did not have the correct credentials and was not certified to fly a 737 with passengers on board, it is not clear if he was unqualified to fly the aircraft. What is clear is that it was not the first time this pilot was accused of flying without the proper licenses. CNN reported that the pilot had been accused of similar infractions in his native Sweden.

Corendon Airlines is based in Turkey and was founded in 2004. According to the airline's web site, it operates a fleet of seven 737s, mostly to destinations throughout Europe. The airline has not had a fatal or serious accident.

Pilots with improper licenses are not limited to Turkey. A July 2008 article in the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka described the case of a German national used fake documentation to fly as a captain with SriLankan Airlines, operating a number of flights in the A340. According to the article, he was qualified to be a flight officer, but not a captain on an A340.

1 comment:

  1. wow that would suck! im kinda afraid to go on an airplane now...:O