Fake Chinese pilots

As anyone who has been shopping in China could tell you – the Chinese are really good at making fakes of brand name goods.  In fact, they are so good that it is sometimes difficult to tell the fake from the real item.

Faking products is one thing, but a far more worrying  trend of fraudulent behaviour has emerged in China, where an investigation has found that more than 200 Chinese pilots have faked their flying histories.

On August 24, 42 people were killed in China’s worst aviation disaster in over 6 years when an Embraer-190 belonging to Henan Airlines crashed in Northern China.  Henan Airlines is a subsidiary of Shenzhen Airlines.  It has recently been revealed that of the over 200 pilots who faked their histories, more than half worked for Shenzhen and Henan Airlines.

Air travel is undergoing a boom in China, and there are many regional airlines starting up to service the many small cities that are trying to cash in on increasing domestic and international tourism.

The good news is that flying in China has generally got safer as Chinese airlines purchase better aircraft, such as Boeing and Airbus, to replace the Chinese copies of western-made aircraft, and the  Russian death traps such as Tupolevs, that used to be a feature of commercial flight in China. Aircraft maintenance, airports and, more importance, radar and weather gathering have also been greatly improved over the years.

Still, it is not comforting to know that pilots can get away with faking their papers.  Now that this practice has been revealed perhaps the Chinese authorities will do something about regulating to stop it.

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