Non-Certificated Airline Pilot Arrested

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A 41-year-old Swedish man who was about to pilot a Boeing 737 with 101 passengers aboard was arrested this week at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport for falsifying papers that had allowed him to fly for 13 years without valid certification. He had been flying for Corendon Airlines (Turkey) for two years, but said his career had spanned airlines in Belgium, Britain and Italy, and had allowed him to log more than 10,000 flight hours, by using falsified documents. Few details are yet available, but the man was reportedly in place, in the cockpit, and ready to fly the jet from Amsterdam to Ankara, Turkey, when arrested. Authorities say that he reacted by pulling his pilot stripes from his shoulders and expressing relief that he'd at long last been caught.

The arrested "pilot" had once held a valid pilot's certificate, police told BBC news, but the certificate had expired, "and did not allow him to fly large jets." A spokesman for Corendon said the man had "expertly misled the company with false papers." The airline had been notified of the impending arrest and had a pilot standing by to fly the jet to its destination. As for the suspect, he is now in custody and awaiting trial for forgery of documents and flying without a valid and appropriate pilot certificate.