More Than 200 Chinese Pilots Pad Their Resumes


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More Than 200 Chinese Pilots Pad Their Resumes

By Jim Douglas

September 7, 2010 - The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has reported that over 200 commercial pilots have faked or lied on their resumes between 2008 and 2009. The news was reported by aviation authorities at a recent aviation-safety conference in the wake of a deadly Henan Airlines’ crash that killed 42 of 96 people aboard an Embraer E-190 aircraft. 

On August 24, China's regional airline, Henan Airlines, Flight 8387 (VD 8387) on a scheduled flight from Harbin Taiping International Airport, Harbin, China to Yichun Lindu Airport, Yichun, China crashed. Onboard were 91 passengers and 5 crew members. On approach, the pilot, Captain Qi Quanjun, under heavy fog acknowledged to air traffic control that he had the airport and runway lights. 

At about 9:30 PM local time the Embraer E-190 aircraft touched down 3,300 feet from the landing threshold and as a result overshot the runway. The Embraer E-190 crashed and caught on fire, killing 42 passengers. CAAC officials believe Quanjun lacked experience and the qualifications to fly the Embraer E-190.


The Civil Aviation Administration of China has suspended some 200 pilot licenses and informed those pilots they can not fly. Many of these pilots faked the number of flight hours and type of aircraft flown. Each of these pilots will have to undergo a reexamination of written exams and flight tests as well obtain the required flight hours. 

As a result of the high demand for pilots and the lack of training facilities a good number of Chinese students go abroad to get their pilot licenses. As a result, it makes it almost impossible for China’s Civil Aviation Administration to verify the true number of hours flown and type of aircraft these pilots were trained in. 

There are flight schools in China that are willing to assist students with padding their resumes for a fee. In 2008, a Beijing based flight school was fined after it forged 85 student records. The resultant of a lack of checks and balances allows pilots to pad their resumes and jump into aircraft they are not qualified to fly. 

Officials reported that 175 or the more than 200 pilots with padded resumes fly for or come from a domestic budget airline, Shenzhen Airlines, which holds a 51 percent share in Henan Airlines. Shenzhen Airlines’ fleet consists of Bombardier CRJ200, Boeing 737-900 and Airbus A320. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has launched an investigation to look at the qualifications of air traffic controllers, mechanics, pilots, instructors, and flight schools.

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