JOHANNESBURG. — South African Airways (SAA) is out to recover millions of rands from a former pilot who flew its aircrafts for twenty years without a proper licence.
“The pilot has resigned. The money we intend to recover from him runs into millions of rands,” SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Pilot William Chandler had been working with SAA for twenty years. He flew the jets with a commercial pilot licence. However, according to the SAA regulation, a pilot must also obtain the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) within five years of employment.
The licences needed to be renewed annually. He was arrested and charged with fraud on Monday at the Kempton Park court after SAA laid charges against him. The fraud was only discovered after Chandler was involved in an accident operating a flight to Germany last November.
SAA has also suspended head of safety official Victoria Buxton for attempting to cover the fact that Chandler was without an ATPL. The South African Civil Aviation Authority which issues pilots with licenses told Xinhua that a probe has been established into the fraud. “The matter is still under investigation, we will announce findings once it’s completed,” said spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba.
Since the November incident occurred in Germany, Aviation authorities are also investigating the matter. – Xinhua