Three pilots grounded for fudging flying hours

Three pilots grounded for fudging flying hours

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

The licence 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.

The 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 the DGCA.

Three accused, chief flying inspector of Rajasthan Flying School Mohindar Kumar Chaudhary, his counterpart at Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation, Hisar, Mahavir Singh Beniwal, and an Assistant General Manager of Jaipur Air Traffic Control have been arrested and are in judicial custody, reports said.

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