Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fudging of flying hours: DGCA suspends licences of 3 pilots

Fudging of flying hours: DGCA suspends licences of 3 pilots

NEW DELHI: Taking a strong view of falsification of records to grant pilot licenses in Rajasthan, aviation sector regulator DGCA on Saturday suspended the licenses of three pilots and warned of similar action against some others in the case.

Three persons, including two Chief Flying Instructors in Rajasthan and Haryana, have been arrested so far after they granted commercial pilots licences (CPLs) to 14 pilots by allegedly faking the number of flying hours in return for money running into several lakhs.

There are at least five of the 14 "under-trained" pilots from the Rajasthan Aviation School who were flying hundreds of passengers on commercial airlines.

Following reports from Rajasthan Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) regarding fabrication of logbook records of some pilots in collusion with Chief Flying Instructor, Rajasthan State Flying School (RSFS), Jaipur, the DGCA suspended the licenses of three of those named in the ACB report.

Information about some more pilots trained in RSFS has been sent to ACB, the sources said, adding as and when probe reports about other pilots are received legal action will be taken by DGCA and concern airlines will be informed.

The license of three pilots, including one who was working for Air India (domestic), has been suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which also asked the state-owned airline to take him off duty, official sources said.

"This is only the tip of the iceberg", an official said, adding there could be 40 such pilots who have logged "fake" flying hours to get their CPLs.

Some of such pilots are currently reported to be working with Indian Airlines, JetLite, SpiceJet and a few other carriers, they said.

DGCA has also initiated several other measures to ensure that flying clubs operating in India and abroad, where Indian students undergo flying training, do not supply fabricated documents pertaining to flying hours for obtaining licences from DGCA.

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