Another pilot held for flying on fake licence

Less than a week after a woman pilot of a private airline was arrested for procuring pilot licence through forged documents, a co-pilot of Air India was arrested by the crime branch of the Delhi police on Saturday on similar charges. Two more such cases are under scrutiny, the police said.

In fact in the wake of the fake pilot scare, licences of 3,000 to 4,000 pilots are being scrutinised by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), according to civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi. Meanwhile, the lives of millions of passengers continue to be at risk from such pilots.

''Air India co-pilot J  K Verma, who is in his 40s, was arrested following a complaint by the DGCA that he had produced a forged result card to procure the pilot licence. He is a resident of Pune,'' said Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand.

On the two others under investigation, he named them as Meenakshi Sehgal and Swarn Singh of Indigo and MDLR airlines respectively. ''Meenakshi is a resident of Lawrence Road in Delhi and Swarn belongs to Jaipur. The two are absconding,'' he said.

The scam came to light when the crime branch had arrested 'captain' Parminder Kaur Gulati (38) on Tuesday on similar charges. This was after an enquiry by the DGCA into an incident of ''hard landing'' of an Indigo airline flight revealed that Gulati had submitted forged documents to obtain the airlines transport pilot licence. The matter was reported to the police for investigation.

The police found that Gulati had failed in the air navigation paper and did not take the radio aids and instruments paper, but submitted a forged result card to DGCA on 11 November 2009, and obtained the licence.