This is why you don’t fly in Third World nations…

… 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.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

3 thoughts on “Third World Pilots, not a healthy proposition”
  1. I don’t know of a good reason to trust “established airlines” a whole lot more.
    Consider the recent airline crash in Pakistan. The other day there was a report that the pilots were distracted by the Wuhan virus. In other words, they were talking about irrelevant stuff rather than flying the airplane — during final approach to the runway!

  2. I do fly in Papua New Guinea in a regular basis, and their flights are actually pretty decent. And they’re super, super strict when it comes to the various mission flight services like MAF, et al.

  3. Many years back, the company I worked for hired a new engineer. It was my job to mentor him. He was seriously mentally effed up. He would lie constantly. His stories of when he was younger made no sense and were horribly deranged. He constantly talked of suicide. And yet, he had a pilot’s license (one of the more restricted ones, I guess). And he was always inviting me to go flying with him. Always!

    Yeah, that’s just the ticket. Get in a small plane with a suicidal pilot who may or may not know that I was working to get him fired (aside from being weird, he was also incredibly incompetent). The company finally let him go. I shudder to think of how bad things might have went otherwise.

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