A man who faked his way into a job as a pilot at British Airways was handed a 12-month sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of fraud and two breaches of the Air Navigation Order 2016.
The pilot was handed the sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London after he falsely claimed to have flown 1,610 hours as a captain.
He also fabricated training certifications while applying for a job with CityFlyer, British Airways’ regional airline, according to Business Insider.
From April 2016 to March 2018, the man was employed as a pilot by CityFlyer, operating out of London City Airport, and by the formerly operating Irish regional airline Stobart Air. He was with each carrier for a year.
The man drew suspicion from officials at CityFlyer after an incident “on the ground” when the pilot pressed a button “no qualified pilot would,” according to The Times.
He was investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which took legal recourse.
The pilot manipulated the log of his flight hours while working for his former employer, Hangar 8 Management, according to The Times.
He also falsely claimed to have held a private pilot’s license since 1998.
British Airways told Insider that the pilot was completely qualified and certified. The case was about how the man provided incorrect information in references he provided during an application.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority, and the fully qualified pilot was suspended and an investigation launched as soon as BA CityFlyer became aware of discrepancies in his employment record,” an airline representative told Insider.
“At no point was there any risk to customers or colleagues.”
CAA’s general counsel, Jonathan Spence, said the authority’s prosecution and the sentence imposed “show that offences of this kind are taken very seriously by the Civil Aviation Authority and the courts.
“Pilot integrity is at the heart of aviation safety and we will take all steps necessary to maintain that position,” Spence added.