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Pakistan aviation minister says more than 30% civilian pilots in Pakistan have fake licences, PIA to fire 150 pilots for cheating to get licences

They bribed qualified persons to sit in the exam on behalf of them, and thus they obtained the required licence to fly planes.

Pakistan’s Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar khan made a shocking revelation on Wednesday when he said that more than 30 percent of civilians pilots in Pakistan carry fake licences and so are not qualified to fly a plane.

While addressing Pakistan’s National assembly, the aviation minister said that some 262 pilots in the country paid someone to sit on their behalf in the exam to clear the examination. He added, “They don’t have flying experience.” Khan further added, “Pakistan has 860 active pilots serving its domestic airlines — including the country’s Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flagship — as well as a number of foreign carriers.”

These findings were revealed after a probe into the PIA plane crash in Karachi last month. However, Khan did not mention whether the pilots on board the crashed plane were fake pilots or not.

PIA grounds pilots

Following the publication of the report into the crash, Pakistan International Airlines grounded 150 pilots suspected of having fake licenses. Abdullah Hafeez, a spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines, said the decision comes after the probe into last month’s PIA crash that killed 97 people in the city of Karachi. He said that a process to remove the 150 pilots without illegal licenses has been initiated by the airlines. “We will make it sure that unqualified pilots never fly aircraft again,” he told The Associated Press.

Earlier, Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson Abdullah Khan had said, “PIA acknowledges that fake licenses are not just a PIA issue but spread across the entire Pakistani airline industry.” He had added that some fake pilots also fly for foreign carriers.

According to the AP report, Pakistan International Airlines had become aware of the scandal two years ago and had fired at least four pilots on allegations of falsifying exams to obtain a flying license from the civil aviation authority. According to sources, many people possess the skills to fly planes by they lack technical knowledge, and hence can’t pass the exam needed to obtain a licence. Therefore, they bribe qualified persons to sit in the exam on behalf of them, and thus they obtained the required licence to fly planes.

Investigation report had stated that the plane crash happened due to human error

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane which crashed near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi last month happened due to human error, a probe report released on Wednesday revealed it. The report has suggested that the pilots were discussing the coronavirus crisis during the landing.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan while presenting the report informed that the pilots, as well as the (air traffic) controller, didn’t follow the standard rules. Khan added, “The pilot and co-pilot were not focused, and throughout they were having a conversation about the coronavirus. The [virus] was on their minds. Their families were affected and they were having a discussion about it.”

The Minister also alleged that the pilot was overconfident. He said that the “plane was 100 percent fit for flying, there was no fault.” The report suggested that the pilot was flying the aircraft at more than twice the standard altitude when it approached the runway without the landing gear deployed.

The standard operating procedures were ignored by the pilots and the controller resulting in an aborted landing that damaged the engines heavily. In the second attempt to land, the plane crashed into the residential society near the airport.

PIA plane crash incident

The PIA passenger flight which went down near the Jinnah International airport last month was carrying 107 people on board including passengers and flight crew. As per reports, there were 99 passengers and 8 crew members on board. Several houses have been damaged due to the crash. Officials say that at least two people have survived the crash.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane crashed near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi was traveling from Lahore was about to land in Karachi’s Jinnah international airport when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, Karachi.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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