A senior South African Airways (SAA) pilot has reportedly been forced to step down after it emerged he’d flown aircraft for more than 20 years with a fake licence.

According to the Mail & Guardian, SAA discovered that William Chandler’s airline transport licence was a forgery during a recent investigation into an incident on a flight he piloted.

SAA reportedly discovered that William Chandler’s airline transport pilot licence had been forged.

This was reportedly after an investigation into a “reportable incident” on a flight he piloted.

The Mail & Guardian reported that that the incident involving Flight SA206 from OR Tambo International Airport to Frankfurt, Germany, occurred in November over Swiss airspace.

According to the paper, Chandler was the monitoring pilot (co-pilot) on the trip and had the controls at the time of the incident.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali reportedly said an investigation into the incident led to the discovery that Chandler’s licence was fake.

It also reportedly explained why Chandler opted not to be promoted to the rank of captain in 2005, as he would have had to submit his certification.
Chandler reportedly joined SAA as a pilot in 1994.

The airline now wants Chandler to pay back the money he fraudulently earned, including perks. This could run into millions, Tlali told the paper.

In 2010, a Swedish pilot who flew passenger jets for 13 years without a licence was fined R32 000 and banned from flying for 12 months, The Telegraph reported.

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