… unless you have at least one First World pilot in the cockpit. That’s been a hard-and-fast rule of mine for decades, and I think it’s one of the reasons I survived living and working in the Third World for as long as I did. I know I’m far from alone in observing that precaution, too. Many of my friends and colleagues did likewise.
Peter is right, deadly right. Go read the post. The Pakistani gov found out that 30% of civilian pilots in Pakistan have bogus licenses.
Back when I was in college in the boonies Venezuela, I was given the advice never to take a ride in a private plane unless the pilot was a certified commercial pilot who actually flew by an airline. Truthfully, I would have got into any plane as long as it got me to Caracas for free rather than shed the cash for a plane ticket.
That lasted till one day going back to school, I met a mate at the airport waiting for the same flight to take us back. We got to chat and he told me about his flight home 3 days earlier where he got a free ride from a wealthy ranch owner in his Cessna 172 . It seems after taking off from his private strip, the “pilot” grabbed a cigar, moved the ring till it was about 1/3d from the top end and lit it. They got to chat and what nots and when the cigar finally reached the ring, the “pilot” said something along the lines of “I guess it is time to turn right” and he did. My buddy thought it was funny, but then he realized that the guy had never gotten on the radio the whole trip. H e saw the pilot looking all over to the ground as if searching and mumbling about where was the effing strip. My friend trying to be helpful, asked why not check the map and the “pilot” replied
“I can’t read”
“You can’t read a map? You are a pilot!”
“No, I can’t read, period.”
My buddy went both pale and silent and I figure he started to do some heavy rotation of Hail Marys and Our Fathers. The rancher finally found the strip and landed at another private property he had near Caracas. Out of the plane, after regaining his breath and composure, my friend asked him how he could fly without a license. The rancher smiled, produced his wallet and pulled a shinny Venezuelan private pilot license, “I have money, I can buy whatever I want in this country”
About six months later, the rancher died in a crash when weather turned on him after take off. He was alone, thank God for small mercies.
If I have to fly, I do so commercial and only in big planes from established airlines.