Pakistan grounds 262 pilots over dodgy license concerns

by Airline Ratings Editors
June 27, 2020
The scene from the PIA crash.

Pakistan is grounding 262 pilots over alleged fake pilot licenses.

Around 40 percent of the pilots in Pakistan have fake flying licenses alleges the country’s Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar according to Gulf News.

According to the website, Sarwar revealed the disturbing news about the “fake” pilots while presenting a provisional inquiry report in the National Assembly of Pakistan about the recent PIA plane crash in Karachi.

On May 22 flight PK8303 crashed killing 97.

The pilots made a completely unacceptable approach according to Juan Browne, a 777 pilot (blancolirio on Youtube), who said that the Flighradar 24 data showed that the pilots of the A320 descended at twice the normal rate and went across the runway threshold at 210kts (388km/hr) well above the recommended 140kts (259km/hr).

Now the government is grounding 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams following inquiries into their qualifications, the aviation minister said Friday in a move that has caused deep global concern.

According to The Indian Express Sarwar said authorities had been investigating collusion between pilots and civil aviation officials since late 2018 to get around examinations.

He said all the pilots were accused of having someone sit one or more papers for them, and sometimes even all the eight papers required for an airline pilot’s license.

The 262 pilots grounded on Friday pending the conclusion of inquiries against them included 141 from PIA, nine from Air Blue, 10 from Serene Airline, and 17 from Shaheen Airlines, which has closed down, Khan said.

Khan said the purge was aimed at making the Pakistani airline industry credible, that will also allay the global concerns, adding: “I think this will help us in satisfying the international organizations that we have corrected the wrongdoings.”

The Indian Express said that “the current pilot examination system was introduced in 2012 to meet international standards and was made mandatory for all Pakistani pilots even if they were already qualified.”

It added that “pilots who might find it difficult to pass the tests had resorted to illegal means, bribing someone at the civil aviation body or using political influence to have someone to sit their papers.”

It said that “Pakistan’s investigations into pilots’ qualifications began after a 2018 crash landing in which it was found that the test date on the license of the pilot involved had been a holiday – suggesting it was fake as testing could not have taken place on that day.”

The civil aviation authority requires pilots to pass all eight papers to become fully qualified, after completing at least 1,500 hours’ commercial flying time.

The aviation minister also said that at least five top civil aviation officials had been suspended, and prosecutions were being considered against them and their aides.