People always want the best pilots handling their flight. Well how would someone feel if a man with a fake pilot license was the one controlling everything? Unfortunately, that is just what happened on some Afriqiyah Airways flights. To make matters worse, this pilot flew to some popular airports, like Gatwick on more than eight different occasions.
The fake pilot is 59-year-old Michael Fay. This man was able to forge his own pilot qualification papers to get a job as a commercial airline pilot. Police say that the man is now on the run after he failed to show up for his court date.
A spokesman for the Hampshire police department said that the man is a United States national. Mr Fay did not attend his Winchester Crown Court hearing on May 3. It was at this hearing that he was due to be sentenced for impersonating a commercial airline pilot.
Despite the fact that Mr Fay didn’t show up for his sentencing, the court still handed him three years in jail. Currently the police are searching for him so he can spend his time in jail. Unfortunately for Mr Fay, he will now likely have more jail time added onto his sentence for missing his court date. At this point, the police have no leads on where he might be.
Mr Fay learned to fly in the U.S. Air Force. During his time in the Air Force, he served as a pilot. He later settled down in Alton and got a job as an airline pilot using fake documents. He was arrested back in February of 2011 on suspicion of faking his documents. Suspicion was raised after Mr Fay made some odd comments on a forum and another pilot happened to read them.
The police spokesman said that Mr Fay had been operating an Airbus A320 for about eight months following the forging of his license. He also forged his medical certificates. During this eight-month run, he actually flew travellers to Gatwick Airport on more than eight different occasions. Officials say that it is scary to think what could have happened to these passengers.
Right now police believe that Fay has probably left the UK. It is very likely that he is going to seek work as an instructor or another pilot. If he does, it is likely that he will forge his documents again and give himself a new name. Police are working with the Civil Aviation Authority and other overseas police officers to help bring Mr Fay back to serve out his jail time.
Detective Constable Chris Thorne, of Hampshire Constabulary, said that Mr Fay is a very resourceful and clever man. There is no way he could have gotten a job as a pilot without doing so. Despite this fact, he shows no apprehension for the safety of the public at all. He is willing to fly without having the proper training to get a correct license. He obviously planned his time to apply for a job in the Libyan aviation market. He waited until the country’s economic standing was vulnerable so airlines would be likely to hire a pilot quickly.