Pilots in India flying drunk, with fake licenses
A flight attendant walks down the aisle of a Kingfisher Airlines plane. The airline is one of several found to have had drunk pilots.
Next time you take to the skies in India, we’d suggest buckling up. Two new reports have found that pilots have been faking qualifications for their licences, while others have been flying drunk.
Airline authorities caught 57 pilots over the alcohol limit in the past two years, but only 11 lost their jobs, according to the Times of India. Jet-JetLite, the country's largest airline, boasted the most boozers, with as many as 23 drunk pilots, all of whom got to keep their jobs. In response to the news, the country's Directorate of Civil Aviation has instituted new rules requiring intoxicated pilots to be grounded for three months on first offense and to lose their licence forever after the second.
We're not sure whether that's more or less disturbing than another investigation that found at least four Indian pilots flying with fake qualifications. One pilot was arrested after damaging a plane during a rough landing. Subsequent inspection found that the pilot had used fake documents to obtain her license. Authorities are now in the process of verifying the qualifications of 4,000 pilots. But until then, we'll be taking the train.