Almost 200 Chinese Pilots Falsified Their Flight Experience

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It’s not just fake designer handbags and knock off shiny Rolex watches that people can master. Now it seems pilot licenses can also be added to the list.

An investigation revealed that 192 Chinese commercial pilots falsified their flying experience. Chinese authorities only made the discovery when investigating a plane crash that killed 42 people and injured 52 in August 2010, the worst accident in 6 years, CNN reports. Until this crash, there had been no other major accident as a result of stricter safety rules and a young fleets of mainly Western-made aircraft.

To meet the demand in the country’s booming air travel in recent years, the aviation industry has been desperate for experienced pilots to join China’s friendly skies. “The rapid expansion of China’s civil aviation requires more commercial pilots, and the gap was usually filled up by those pilots who drive military aircrafts, but transferred to commercial flights,” a Chinese pilot named Xu told the state run-China Daily newspaper.

Pilots involved in the incident have had their licenses revoked or have been ordered to take extra training, according to the China Daily. But Chinese aviation authorities warn that consequences await for those who continue to fudge their flying experience. (via CNN)

-Tara Kelly