Flight School Back Flying Despite Fraud Allegations

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An Indian newspaper says India's Minister of Civil Aviation has overruled his own department and ordered reinstatement of the operating certificate of a flight school that allegedly rubber-stamped the conversion of foreign pilot's licenses to Indian permits. According to the Sunday Express, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel approved the resumption of business by Carver Aviation Academy in Baramati a week after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation closed it down for allegedly fraudulently granting Indian licenses to 25 pilots who had been trained in the U.S. and Canada. India does not recognize those credentials and requires "conversion tests" before pilots holding foreign certificates are allowed to fly. The ministry alleges that, for a fee, Carver signed off on the Indian conversions without actually testing the pilots. [more] Those pilots now face the loss of their licenses and could be charged criminally. At least four Carver employees were arrested and charged for alleged financial irregularities related to the affair. Meanwhile, it's business as usual at the flight school, with lessons being conducted and aircraft in the air daily. In ordering the school's certificate reinstated, the government appeared to acknowledge the irregularities uncovered by the investigation and directs staff to “ensure a strict monitoring system to avoid recurrence of such malpractices, not only in Carver Aviation Academy, but in all other flying training institutes.”