Three Fake Pilots Found Flying Airlines With Invalid Licenses

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Three commercial airline pilots based in India have been grounded after local aviation regulators determined they used forged documents to obtain their pilot's credentials and have been flying illegally.

Recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India grounded an Indigo Airlines pilot, Parminder Kaur, for retraining after she continually landed her Airbus A320 improperly, causing damage to the aircraft. During the training, it was determined her paperwork was fake and she did not pass the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) exam.

As a result of that incident, the aviation authority has been examining the documentation of other pilots and has found two additional pilots with phony licenses flying for Indigo and the carrier MDLR, which has since gone out of business.

"We are examining pilot licenses and have found two more cases (of fake ATPL papers). While the licenses have been revoked, these cases have also been referred to the police for further action," DGCA chief Bharat Bhushan told the Times of India.

The discovery of invalid papers worries local Indian officials who are dealing with a booming airline industry and many new low-cost carriers aggressively competing for pilots. Both the DGCA chief and Indigo president said that there can be no compromise on safety and will continue to investigate additional pilots.

Indigo was also in the news last month when a male passenger delayed a flight when he refused to fly in a plane with a female pilot.

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