Fake Pilot Thomas Salme Flew Around Thousands Of Passengers For 13 Years

Posted May 18, 2010

Now this is just an interesting story. Thomas Salme is a maintenance engineer that became a Boeing 737 pilot by using a flight simulator and printing a fake airliner pilot license. Over the last 13 years, he flew around passengers without any incidents.

A couple of months ago Salme was caught by the police right when he was getting ready for take off. He was arrested from a cockpit that was in a 737 containing 101 passengers at the Amsterdam Schipol airport.

“I got the crackpot idea to apply as a co-pilot at a real airline so I made myself a Swedish flying permit with a logo out of regular white paper. It wasn’t laminated, and looked like something I’d made at home. It was surprisingly easy. The documents look different everywhere in Europe. An Italian airline doesn’t know what a Swedish licence looks like. And you can forge all the IDs you need. I’d train there for two or three hours at a time?at least 15 to 20 times over one and a half years,” stated Salme.

Salme was only charged a couple thousand dollars and was banned from flying for a year. Homeland Security needs to get in on this. Airline pilot fraud is no joke. [Focus via Gizmodo]