South African Airways Pilot flying with fake license for 20 years resigns.

A South African pilot working for South African Airways, William Chandler has resigned after flying for more than 20 years with a fake licence.

In a statement, South African Airways said it discovered William Chandler’s paperwork was forged after a “reportable incident” during a flight from South Africa to Germany.

The airline has filed criminal charges and is seeking “millions of rand” from Mr Chandler.

A safety officer at SAA has also been suspended for allegedly trying to cover up the forgery.

According to South African newspaper the Mail & Guardian (M&G) , Chandler worked as a flight engineer at the state-owned SAA before getting a job as a pilot in 1994.

He was a Senior First Officer, a role where he was a monitoring pilot but did not command any aircraft.

Sources told the M&G that he was, however, in control of a plane that “made some strange turns” after encountering turbulence over the Swiss Alps.

In the statement, SAA said, after investigating the incident, it found Mr Chandler had only a commercial pilot’s licence.

He later resigned.Airlines require pilots to have an airline transport pilot licence (ATPL) for long-haul international flights.

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For an ATPL, pilots must pass several technical and medical exams and complete 1,500 hours of flying time. Licence-holders must “refresh” their credentials every year in a series of tests involving flight simulations and physical exams.

The certificates are awarded in South Africa by the country’s civil aviation authority (SACAA).

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