Chinese pilots who faked resumes back in the air

BEIJING Thu Sep 9, 2010 4:22am BST

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese pilots who had lied about their flying experience have been allowed to return to work after they took remedial action to make up their hours, according to the country's aviation watchdog.

Chinese media reported this month that a probe in 2008 had found about 200 pilots had falsified elements of their resumes.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said they had found 192 pilots whose "flying experience to different degrees did not accord with reality."

Some had their licenses revoked, but others were given the chance to retrain and had been allowed to fly once more, the regulator said in a statement on its website (www.caac.gov.cn) late Wednesday.

"Those pilots given compulsory retraining were, after a thorough inspection of their qualifications, allowed to resume their posts," it said, without naming the airlines involved or how many pilots had been allowed back to work.

Following the incident, the regulator said it had tightened procedures to ensure the problem would not happen again, and that it would not tolerate such falsification.

The official Xinhua news agency said that with the rapid expansion of the aviation sector in China, "airlines turn a blind eye to fake records since they are happy to see more pilots certified by the administrative agency."

China's aviation industry was jolted by an accident in the northeast of the country last month in which 42 people died when a Henan Airlines jet crashed short of the runway.

Until that crash, there had been no other major accident as a result of stricter safety rules and relatively young fleets of mainly Western-made aircraft.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Chris Lewis and Sanjeev Miglani)

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