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Fake Airline Pilot Arrested, Flew Passenger Jets for 13 Years

March 4, 2010 | Posted in: Europe,Pilots

fake airline pilot

If you thought yesterday’s “kiddie controller” story was crazy, listen to this:

A 41 year old Swedish man was arrested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport while he was in the cockpit of a Corendon Airlines 737 about to take off for Ankara, Turkey, with more than 100 passengers onboard.

He was arrested because he was a fake pilot! He had some sort of lesser pilot’s license, but he was not licensed to fly a big plane and carry passengers – and yet that’s exactly what he’s been doing, for 13 years!

He faked the license, faked the supporting papers, and – it worked. He didn’t just fly for Corendon (a discount Turkish carrier) – he’s also worked as a pilot for airlines in Belgium, Great Britain and Italy. Not to worry, though – a spokesman for Corendon Airlines, in a moment of blinding obviousness, said the fake pilot would never fly for them again.  

Why’d he do it? It’s not clear – maybe he’s like the Leonardo DiCaprio con-man character in “Catch Me if You Can” – but this guy went so much further.

Police said he seemed “relieved” that his deception is over. Well his relief is nothing compared to mine.

11 Responses to “Fake Airline Pilot Arrested, Flew Passenger Jets for 13 Years”

  1. Shan says:

    ok. this one is scary. I would rather wish the media pick up these stories rather than some dumb guy who thought his son clearing a takeoff at ATC would be cool. Ok, that was a mistake, it was not professional but I don’t think he was really endangering a plane as he was under a “Parents” watch.

  2. Rick Seaney says:

    Shan,

    But how do we know if he was a “good” parent?

    Regards,
    Rick

  3. Tim says:

    With 13 years’ experience, might he be a BETTER pilot than some of the inexperienced people flying for other airlines (discount or not)?

  4. Rick Seaney says:

    Tim,

    Well, you have to admit, he certainly got away with this for a loooong time…

    Regards,
    Rick

  5. Jason says:

    The fact that he faked his license is bad, yes. But the more obvious fact that he never had any “incidents” as the airlines like to call them (that we’re aware of as yet), proves he was at minimum a competent pilot. If you can fly commercial planes for 13 years without incident, doesn’t that prove your worthiness to fly planes? And therefore, mightn’t that be cause to be granted a license? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

    Before you all jump down my throat, I agree what he did was wrong and it was definitely the right thing to do to arrest him. But it does call into question why he was never licensed in the first place. It obviously wasn’t because he couldn’t do the job.

    The sad thing now are any of those people who flew on his planes who will feel like they narrowly cheated death all those years.

    And by the way, the fact that he has been flying for a discount airline means absolutely nothing in the argument. They all fly the same planes with the same risks and hazards, and the same requirement of knowledge for the job they do.

  6. Rick Seaney says:

    Jason,

    I suspect there’s a lot more to this story. If I learn anything, I’ll pass it on.

    Regards,
    Rick

  7. Shan says:

    Rick,

    I agree what the controller did was stupid, yeah we don’t know if he is a “good” parent. My point is sometimes, media gets carried away and give too much attention to things that need only few minutes glance.

    Here in this case, another way to look at it is, is it good to allow people listen into ATC conversations??I like it, its kind of cool to listen to this, United used to provide them in their cross country flights(not sure if they still do), but how did somebody record it? If anybody can listen to it(free airwaves, freedom of speech etc), can they interrupt and participate too??

    -Thanks

  8. Rick Seaney says:

    Shan,

    Can’t answer all your questions off the top of my head, ‘though it’s my understanding that some of this was in fact recorded. And I’m certain people can’t interrupt, but if anyone can add to this, please – chime in.

    Regards,
    Rick

  9. CaveatEmpty says:

    Listen: http://www.liveatc.net/
    No big secret — been around for years.

    “.. can they interrupt and participate too??”
    Yes. and it HAS happened — remarkably easy. No, I won’t post the ‘how.-to’.

  10. mike says:

    the fact he is dishonest renders him untrustworthy and being trustworthy is very important for being a pilot. its not as bad as it sounds though as he said he did have a license he just wasn’t authorized to carry commercial passengers. but the fact remains he is a lier and that is not good and he is not trustworthy

  11. Rick Seaney says:

    Mike,

    I think your comment pretty much says it all.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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