Something that has been bugging me…


Well-known member
Jun 25, 2002
Total Time
Maybe this is just a quirk or an odd pet peeve of mine but I was hoping I could put it forth and let some others chime in.

Why does our profession attract so many wannabes, I’m not talking about the occasional kid parading around the internet demanding everyone address him as Captain, but the odd balls who actually show up at a given place and truly try to pass themselves off as a pilot, more specifically a professional pilot.

The reason I ask this has to do with a few experiences with rather odd folks I’ve ran into and had extended dealings with only to discover later the truth.

Most of them were harmless enough or so I thought till yesterday we actually had a guy apply for a freaking job here and had fake credentials.

We had just concluded a trip and I was dutifully finishing my paperwork waiting my turn at the sole functioning copier machine we have when our Asst. Chief, who was at the copier asked me if something looked odd about this, and he handed me a photo copy page containing a medical cert and three FAA certs. The medical looked normal but the certificates looked bizarre.

We thought at first it was just a copier machine fluke, but the secretary said she used the very same copier we were at so we ran a little test and plopped our certs down and photo copied them… very different results indeed.

We began to wonder so our Asst. Chief pulled his resume and began calling up his formers and Whadda shock all of them were no longer in business or we were unable to find a place listed by that name.

Times on his resume seem a bit high and his dates don’t match up. The final straw that pegged my BS meter was his claim to have completed his G-IV type at FSI in Chicago not to mention his ATP had the G-IV listed as “G-1159C” not the correct FAA type.

Pulled up the FAA database and found four folks by this persons name but none with identical credentials, addys etc.

We called the FAA and what a frigging joke, they could have cared less!!! Told us to notify the police, so we did, who told us to contact the FAA. Finally we called the LA FBI office and they said they would get back to us, advised us not to hire the person. Yes you read that right that is verbatim what they said.

I’ve bumped into some strange types in my days but this one takes the cake.

How many folks parade around pretending to be doctors or lawyers? Hell impersonating a cop or military officer will land your big ole butt in the pokey.

Just what the heck is wrong with the world?

:( :mad:


Remember this one?
Nov 27, 2001
Total Time
'Wannabes' and 'fruitcakes'

Sorry if my language isn't exactly PC.

Does the industry attract a lot of wannabes? Heck yeah. Big, shiney, near-sonic, state-of-the-art, aircraft as big as hotels.

Sharp uniforms. Occasional displays of extreme heroism. Admiration of colleagues and lay-people galore.

Travel benefits and the potential to make gobs of cash with lots of time off.

Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? I'm a wannabe. We're all wannabes.

But fraud is a horse of a different color--and I don't think it's unique to aviation. As you mentioned, there are plenty of fraudulent doctors and lawyers out there.

It reminds me of a story I read in Harper's Magazine a couple months ago about this young guy in New York City that keeps passing himself off as an employee of the subway. He's been doing this for years and has been arrested several times, but somewhere along the way he's actually learned to drive a train and is an authority on rules and policy.

Long story short: This guy has a problem. Really. Some psychiatrist diagnosed him with some sort of obsessive/compulsive disorder.

He can't help it, but he eats, sleeps and dreams about subways.:)

Whatever. I used to think I was obsessed with airplanes--now I'm just obsessed with time-off.

Fly safe.


Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Total Time
Some people will do anything in an attempt to be what they dream of being even though their goal may be unattainable. Case in point... short story that happened about 7-8 years ago.

I once had a "student" come into a flight school in full uniform (without the hat) including an ICOM transceiver, a flashlight and some other stuff attached to her belt not to mention an altimeter watch on her wrist. Anyway... after an extended BS session about her wanting to go up for currency I realized that she seemed to know a lot about acrobatic flying and aviation in general but couldn't go up on her own due to temporary lack of a medical since she was taking a perscription. Anyway, I ran into her a few days later at a restaurant near the airport (OPF) and she handed me an application for employment saying she was recruiting pilots for her 135 operation out of Tamiami... KingAirs and Lear Jets...The app. was very strange, asking for breakdowns in flight time from every category imaginable... The contact number at the top ended up being a beeper number... and no one could verify the existence of said 135 operation. So I called the local FSDO and they said they would look into it but for the time being to stay away from her. No problem. About six months later I heard about her in the news. She jumped out of a C172 "sans" parachute from about 3000 feet over Key Biscayne... You can imagine the look on the instructor's face when she calmly unbuckled her belt, popped the door open and bailed out... Was it something I said? :confused:


Well-known member
Dec 14, 2001
Total Time
You'll find this at all levels. I've known more than a few pilots who didn't necessarily falsify their certification, but certain inflated their experience to get a job. This may have been falsification of former employment, or simply logging time they never flew. It's tantamount to the same thing, however. Falsification is falsification.

I was present during flight screening for a foriegn government operation, in which a foriegn national crashed. It was a US operation using primarily foriegn pilots, and this individual had grossly misrepresented his experience and qualification. As it turned out, he couldn't even handle the airplane. Ultimately it caused some problems for that organization (the full extent of which I know not).

I flew for a 135 outfit that hired a young pilot. He had good references and credentials. He was injured on the job during training, and shortly thereafter his background surfaced. In his case, the FAA came calling, as did a representative of the FBI. I have no idea what happened to him, but the incident with my employer wasn't the first involving this individual.

The list is endless. I have been ordered to falsify experience and qualification by employers, and even once by a flight examiner. (His was a strong recommendation). I won't do it, but a lot of pilots do. Thems the facts.


Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Total Time
Fraudlulent Wannabes

I'd say it boils down to wanting to be a big-time pilot. Who knows what screw is loose is in their heads, but for the recognition, prestige, ego gratification, sense of self-worth, girls (or guys), authority complex. You name it.

I saw some of the same thing in radio. I remember encountering one mental case who inflated his resume big-time with meaningless BS. Our boss swallowed it and hired him; the reason being, I am sure, that he was selling the station and didn't care any more. This joker didn't have the experience or background he claimed and antagonized everyone. He was total BS. Then, he committed fraud and theft. He said he had the authority to obtain press plates, which meant that you could park your car and avoid parking tickets. Press tags are usually issued to credentialed reporters. In any event, he took money from everyone and never returned with the plates. He left soon thereafter. Our management did nothing to reimburse us.

What brings that incident to mind is we had a part-time talk show host. He actually was a customer who used our station for advertising. The talk gig went to his head. He painted in small script his air name on his car door. I nearly barfed when I saw that. He also was a victim of the press plate scam.

It takes all kinds . . . . . . .


Dec 26, 2001
Total Time
At my old company, we had a fruitcake that was falsifying his medical certificate for a year or two. Someone in management caught on when they noticed all his medicals had the same #. Bit of a strange duck. He disappeared of the face of the earth after that.


Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Total Time
You read all over these boards about 30/40 somethings who want to get started in aviation.

Face it, it might be a tough road as a pilot but there are few other careers out there that are more glamourous. No one wakes up on their 41st birthday and says "Geez, I wish I became an accountant".

Other people get a kick of going 90 on the freeway but that's nothing compared to your first solo, or first solo x-country.

Anyways, three cheers to pilots...