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South African Pilot - fraudulent licence

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South African Pilot - fraudulent licence

Old 1st Mar 2019, 15:07
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South African Pilot - fraudulent licence

After 20 years of flying for SAA he was found to have a fraudulent licence.

SAA fraudulent licence
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 15:21
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Front page news report in SA: https://mg.co.za/article/2019-03-01-...ew-under-radar

Quite a complicated story: Not a Walter Mitty, was previously a flight engineer, with valid CPL, then faked his ATPL. This is not legally required to fly as co-pilot, but was was a condition of employment.

Came to light after investigation into an over-speed incident: Incident: SAA A346 over Switzerland on Nov 6th 2018, overspeed, dual ADR failure

Edit: Also on the BBC website: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47420515

Last edited by GordonR_Cape; 1st Mar 2019 at 20:11.
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 15:23
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Not really fraudulent.
He held a Commercial and apparently never bothered to get his ATP(L).
Trained on the airplane.
Its a paperwork issue not a safety issue.
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 15:23
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“We are disappointed that it took this long to identify this vulnerability in our system” Really, are you sure?

"SAA claims the alleged fraud “at no point” posed a safety risk" How would they know?

Astonishing...
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 16:08
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
Its a paperwork issue not a safety issue.
Exactly. No story at all. Perfectly legal. "Unfreezing" his ATPL would only be required once he gets upgraded to captain. If he wasn't offered this opportunity within the 20 years he was flying with that airline he will never get it, so why bother? All he did was "violating" a company internal rule by which he gave them a reason to kick him out. They probably waited patiently since 19 years for that.
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 16:46
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I've seen a couple of these jokers in the expat world in years past. A former copilot colleague faked a P1 license from the Middle East to get hired as a captain at Korean years ago. He flew left seat on KE A306's and B744's until his contract was no longer renewed.

A Kiwi acquaintance got in touch with me a couple of decades ago to ask about a possible bogus type rating on an FAA license used to obtain an ATPL for an African airline. I found a phone number for him to call, it turns out that the FAA ATP was real but the type rating was indeed phony.

These days you can easily check an FAA license online:

https://amsrvs.registry.faa.gov/airmeninquiry/main.aspx

Thomas Salme became a celebrity after he got caught flying for 13 years without a valid license, just another paperwork issue I suppose:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-13-years.html
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 16:47
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Was he actually a Flight Engineer or a Second Officer operating the panel, it was fairly common in SAA that Second Officers operated the panel in lieu of Flight Emgineers on the 747-200, 747-300 and SP prior to becoming First Officers....
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 22:23
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Originally Posted by what next View Post
Exactly. No story at all. Perfectly legal. "Unfreezing" his ATPL would only be required once he gets upgraded to captain. If he wasn't offered this opportunity within the 20 years he was flying with that airline he will never get it, so why bother? All he did was "violating" a company internal rule by which he gave them a reason to kick him out. They probably waited patiently since 19 years for that.

hmmm...one might think/hope that Civil Aviation would be unhappy about the fellow not having an ATPL...and yes it's fraud if he presented himself as captain knowing full well he legally needed an ATPL and knowing full well he didn't have one
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 22:31
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Originally Posted by springbok449 View Post
Was he actually a Flight Engineer or a Second Officer operating the panel, it was fairly common in SAA that Second Officers operated the panel in lieu of Flight Emgineers on the 747-200, 747-300 and SP prior to becoming First Officers....
in our system, a "Second Officer" held a pilot's licence as well as a flight engineer licence, and flew the panel, it's where all the pilots joining the airline started until they had the seniority to upgrade to "First Officer", some carriers employed "PFE"s (Professional Flight Engineers), who either held only a Flight Engineer ticket, or at some point were unsuccessful at moving up to the right seat
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Old 1st Mar 2019, 23:15
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Originally Posted by springbok449 View Post
Was he actually a Flight Engineer or a Second Officer operating the panel, it was fairly common in SAA that Second Officers operated the panel in lieu of Flight Emgineers on the 747-200, 747-300 and SP prior to becoming First Officers....
When I left SAA as a flight engineer in 1986, all flight engineers were recruited from the "hangars and workshops", with the exception of a few ex SAA 707 navigators who were suitably qualified,

Quite a few SAA flight engineers became pilots during and after my tenure. I still keep in contact with some of my former colleagues from SAA so the scenario you mention must have occurred post September 1986 up to 2004 when the 747 Classic was retired from SAA which, according to reports, had 111 flight engineers present at the "farewell" photo session.
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 01:19
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I can't help wondering if the matter would have been dealt with differently if the pilot involved had been "previously disadvantaged".

No publicity, no prosecution and given additional time to obtain the required licence would be more likely.
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 04:10
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'Bubba, the sandpit guy was hardly a loner in that regard. Most of them did a pretty good job. The sandpit guy has now hung up his spurs, and that concludes an interesting part of aviation history.

The SA guys did a good job in general. The NZ'er was an astute individual, worked well with the serious Canuck. Both of them were concerned with the veracity of a number of the crew histories. An audit of history was conducted well after your time and mine, by a tall, thin, very serious individual. This guy was the guy who refused to sign off a prince as an A320 captain in the pit, and resigned over the matter, as the company involved got another TRI to sign the prince off. With a grand total command time of 87 hours, (eight followed by a seven, no other numbers, zero etc..) the prince parked the shiny jet into the water with 143 total victims following a fluffed approach and GA and whifferdill-halfroll-backflip-nose plant into the brine. (At least 142 people and their families saw little amusement in the proceedings). So, the tall serious one looked at the histories and found that while most were correct, some were not. The NOTs were from all over the globe. While the % was not too bad, the actual numbers were sobering, you run out of fingers and toes counting. Two oddities stood out though, of guys who were universally considered to be P-51 rated, but investigation showed that was not the case, one was US, and the other was Japanese. Both actually did well for the company, arguably the US guy saved an aircraft, that was and is my view.

The review ended up with some career changes I believe, around 2012-2013 or so.

The NZ'er wasn't much liked in the end by the locals, nor was the Canuck to a great extent, both held a line on standards, think Pohang/MD82.

As an aside, anyone who survived the land of the morning calm should get a campaign medal:
Around '05, a really clean operator on the 300-605R flew the plane on a simple 4 sector day, SEL-CJU-PSN-CJU-SEL... nothing of interest, a nice outing. On Monday morning, going to his office, where he had a fairly important position, he was accosted by one of the chief pilots who advised him that a disciplinary meeting was to be held that morning considering his sacking. Why? for the flight arrival into PSN on the day before. After thinking back, the guy came to me, and asked me to review the flight data. We proceeded to the Safety BU, and I ran through the raw data, which looked nice, and then ran a replay of the QAR data, which looked the same, nice textbook approach. The two of us approached the fleet chief pilot, and showed him the data, he showed us the QAR report that he was accusing the captain of having committed. The data showed it was for the day before, only 24 hours out. There was no apology, or embarrassment, there was a flurry of activity to find out who the pilot was of the approach from the day before. Nothing else was ever said, which is I guess a compliment to the captain in it's own right. The program is diminished by the pathology that has existed, and which removal has proven to be rather difficult.

safe flying.

Walk on Freight; this is the industry that exists as a result of the decisions that the politicians, and economists have taken in your name, perhaps it is what is right.

Last edited by fdr; 2nd Mar 2019 at 04:42.
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 07:23
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Originally Posted by Octane View Post
“We are disappointed that it took this long to identify this vulnerability in our system” Really, are you sure?

"SAA claims the alleged fraud “at no point” posed a safety risk" How would they know?

Astonishing...
You mean that most(or least a good number) copilots in the world and quite a few other pilots are a safety risk?
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 07:30
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Exactly. No story at all. Perfectly legal. "Unfreezing" his ATPL would only be required once he gets upgraded to captain.

No where that I have read said he had passed the written exams for an ATPL, so he was, I think just a basic CPL.
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 08:49
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Let me run something by some of you.
So you get hired on let’s say a 737 with your CPL + exams passed aka “Frozen ATPL”
Lets say you fly for a decent company and it only takes you two years to get to the 1500hrs to “unfreeze” your ATPL.
You think this now has magically made you a much safer/better/superior pilot then you were the week before with “just your CPL”?

Really?!
Its not the paper that makes the pilot.
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 09:26
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
Really?!
Its not the paper that makes the pilot.
It is the adherence to the "papers" that makes a professional pilot. Anyone lying over a license will also lie about something else: flight time ("100 hours more or less doesn't really makes you a better pilot, does it?"), duty time, minumum rest, etc...
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 09:47
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swh

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Originally Posted by ironbutt57 View Post
hmmm...one might think/hope that Civil Aviation would be unhappy about the fellow not having an ATPL...and yes it's fraud if he presented himself as captain knowing full well he legally needed an ATPL and knowing full well he didn't have one
They didn’t present themselves as a Captain, they were an FO.
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 10:34
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Hands up those, if asked to resit the ATPL theory today would pass? I for one wouldn't, so does that make me fraudulent or less safe? If I'm honest I maybe pushed to pass the CPL theory..
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 10:44
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Originally Posted by swh View Post


They didn’t present themselves as a Captain, they were an FO.
i stand corrected
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Old 2nd Mar 2019, 11:33
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Originally Posted by Dan_Brown View Post
Hands up those, if asked to resit the ATPL theory today would pass? I for one wouldn't, so does that make me fraudulent or less safe? If I'm honest I maybe pushed to pass the CPL theory..
You are right. Why bother sitting the exam if we all are going to forget everything? Just grab the cap and go to the terminal.
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