In India, Pilot Certificates For A Price

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A certified flight instructor in India has been accused of selling his endorsement to commercial pilot applicants without conducting the required checkrides in at least 25 cases, the Times of India reported on Tuesday. The pilot candidates had been trained abroad and applied for conversion to Indian licenses. The instructor should have checked each applicant's skills in night flying, day flying, and instrument procedures. Entries were made in the applicants' logbooks that they flew in aircraft belong to a local charter company, but the company said its aircraft were never used, according to police. "It is very significant as the authenticity of entries in the student's flight log books are never verified," an instructor told the Times. "These checks are the only means of knowing whether the student has actually taken any flying training and whether he/she knows [how] to fly."

Air traffic controllers also signed off on the student logbooks, the Times said, but it is unclear whether those signatures were forged or if controllers may have colluded with the CFI and students in the fraud.