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A British Airways pilot sentenced to 12 years in prison for misleading authorities about his flight experience

LONDON — A pilot has been jailed for fraud to get the job with British Airways. The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said he lied about his flight hours to secure a position at the British Airways subsidiary BA CityFlyer and former Irish regional operator Stobart Air. ( Altro...

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Joe Keifer 9
Catch me if you can............... Frank Abagnale
My instructor once said to me, "Don't fudge in your flight time or your logbook, you will only hurt yourself..or someone else in the process."
I was always told, if you say you have a thousand hours in type, you better fly like you have a thousand hours in type.
The header in FlightAware say "YEARS" but the article says "MONTHS". Looks like a typo.
strickerje 4
Yeah I noticed that too; I was going to comment that 12 years seems excessive even given the risk, but 12 months sounds much more reasonable, if not fairly lenient. I'm not sure if criminal prosecution is common here in the U.S. for getting a job under false pretenses; I usually only hear of civil penalties.
mbrews 1
Yes,the headline error obviously by original poster Tom Novak. In the body of the linked article, the story clearly says 12 MONTHS.
Editor: the article clearly says 12 MONTHS in several places. Change your link to match.
Jeam Ost 3
Editor is not reading.... LOL !!
Editor does not exist!
The editor posts then disappears. Unless it's something over the top, a simple little graphical error is nothing but blip to them.
Sorry everyone...a ** grammatical ** error, not graphical error. My wife was bugging me whilst I was trying to comment. :)
Sam Hobbs 1
Tom Novak was last online about 5 hours before now; Tom could have fixed it, or if FligthAware does not allow the fix, then explained so.
Lrt's see, someone wants a job flying an airplane but doesn't have the hours. Heck, just lie about it. Never mind the fact that you'll be dealing with hundreds of human lives when you fly, maybe even thousands over the course of time. That doesn't matter, just getting the job does. Good thing he was caught.
Heck everybody knows it's okay to lye, just ask any politician or student.
or ask a teacher how to spell "lye" (hint , , , it starts with L I _ )
It seems all parties are to blame as no one checked this, or the other details on his CV at the time.
The head of HR should have gotten the same sentence. How do they hire someone not knowing this.
Joe Keifer -1
An act of affirmative action? Remember the FAA tried its hand at hiring prospective ATC specialists based upon skin color and socioeconomic status. Or maybe filling quotas.
I remember that quite well. I was pretty young at the time. My dad was offered to train for ATC. Instead, as a GS4 supply specialist for the US Army, he wound up training as a civilian logistics specialist at Red River Army Depot and moved up from there. He retired quite a few years back as Deputy to the Commandant of the Quartermaster School at Ft Lee, VA. Not too shabby as a civilian. Pissed a lot of high ranking active duty Army officers off. Even better, when Dad was a buck private, he did his AIT at the Quartermaster school at Ft Lee, around the time I was born.
supposed to be months not years
Or click bait.
The wheels of justice were too slow. This happened in 2016-2018 and he didn't get sentenced until 2022? That's longer than most murder investigations and trials in the US, which is saying something.
I beg to honorably differ with you. I am a digital forensics expert witnesss with more than 2 decades of courtroom experience. Many, many factors can intervene to slow lady Justice to a crawl. Maneuvers by the prosecution, the defense, clients that fire and hire new attorneys, recent precedent changing rulings, illnesses of key people on either side of the court, changes in plea deals, and more. Besides all of thos possibilities COVID 19 moved in and shut down the legal system for years. We are just now dealing with crimes committed In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019and following. Too many trials and too few active courts. We (meaning our team of attorneys and experts) just got a man charged.with capital murder in 2017, and immediately incarcerated, found not guilty in October of 2021. He was poor, never could make bail, and sat there for almost 4 years. That is more common than one knows. Faulty investigations also play a role in delayed justice. There are a significant number of those too. I hope this helps you understand some of the problems. Thank you.
gee, if it were years he wouold be too old upon release to start accumulating training hours enough to obtain commercial and instrument and atp tickets for real. Question: how did he perform on the simulator or check rides? maybe he didn't need flight hours, just courage and imagination. How do the one-pilot-only-needed morons react to this guy?
Greg S 4
They'll say: you're right, we don't need any pilots at all!
GPSSerbia 3
I'll give him centuries!
Same amateur reporting. It's 12 months, not 12 years (144 months). Common FlightAware, how about a bit of editorial effort!
Em Fairley 2
Same amateur commenting. It's come on, not common. How about a bit of editorial effort, Dan!
rebomar 2
I don't think FlightAware posted this squawk. It says the poster is Tom Novak, upper right corner. It's tom who can't read and retweet. Not 12 years, only 12 months. Sorry Tom.
Who is watching the gate. This character must be quite talented. Moving up through the status list and
know one reviews his qualification documents. Seems to me the British CAA as well as British Airways and
It’s subsiidiary should be held accountable for this potentially embarrassing if not deadly oversight.
Good question!
A person I know that knew this man described him as a “likable Jack the lad”!!
Chain of error on many levels: HR, background check and work history, reference checks, the interview, simulator, checkride, line check, ongoing evaluations….
David Luddy 1
I have been a licensed commercial pilot since 1969. I have seen 2 other cases of hour fraud. It eventually
caught up with one of them and cost him and check Pilot their lives, along with a destroyed aircraft. Enough said.
unbelivable, nobody check his cv and pilot fligt book?
Gez T 1
Definitely months!
darjr26 1
This was and maybe still is happening. It’s referred to as “parker pen” time.
Nice proofreading; 12 months not 12 years! Onto another topic, no one from Boeing has spent a day incarcerated for the pervasive fraud that kept the Boeing Max 8 in the sky.
top-down vs bottom-up improprieties are handled very differently! Money talks.
I would not have thought that England would ever be included in the topic of falsified licenses a la Pakistan and India. Perhaps more prevalent than thought.
It’s an extremely badly written article with many omissions. You could not tell it was a false or forged license. Sounded like he falsified his logbook (called padding) and his CV. He may well have had a CPL or ATPL.
12 months in prison not 12 years
Bianchi4me 1
Really hoping we can get a few dozen more people pointing out the same typo over and over and over again. "Look Marge! I found something wrong on the internet. Now's my chance!"
ALWAYS check references!!
Always complaining

This is the link....
What a shame he had no illegal drugs on him. Would have only gotten 3 months.
So who at BA is being thrown in jail for not doing their proper due diligence and putting people's lives at risk as a result?
harrydanik 0
maybe it's my "old man" manager viewpoint
but, did anyone think they may have wanted to fire him and
his logged hours were a simple reason to do it.
operator's do this if in a pinch & necessary, if caught, they just say clerical error.
Interesting times we live in......don't you think?
Bianchi4me 1
Kinda doubt they had the guy arrested, put on trail, convicted, sentenced to prison and thereby created a hugely embarrassing world wide news story that calls into question their company's safety culture... in order to "easily" fire someone. Seems a lot more reasonable that this guy was dangerously incompetent and they were afraid of him lying his way into a job somewhere else if they didn't report him.
Unreasonably harsh for “white collar “ violation. Extensive community service-make the punishment benefit the community instead of costing the community.
Not a “white collar” violation when it puts lives at risk.
Flight aware is getting worse in its reporting with typos and lots of inaccuracies as well as omissions.
For example, at what stage was he found out? During the due diligence? After being hired? Flying the line, what?
How about some details?
How about some proof reading? Do you need a copy writer?
Flight aware doesn’t do the reporting. This is a comment section. Someone else posted a link to a story on another website, which is what all these items on Flightaware are.


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