A REPORT that a student pilot has logged 55 flying hours in two days has prompted the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) to suspend the school’s permit, and three others, for failing to comply with audit procedures.
“Flying 55 hours in two days is glaringly impossible,” said Alfonso Cusi, Caap chief.
Of 58 flying schools registered with the Caap, 10 were audited, four were suspended and the rest are still undergoing assessment, he said.
Cusi identified the suspended schools as Strike Wing Aviation Training Center Inc. at Room 11 AAOP Hangar 2 on Domestic Road corner MIA Road in Pasay City; and the National Aviation Specialist Academy Corp. (Nasa) at the AAOP Hangar 2 General Aviation Area Manila Domestic Airport, also in Pasay City.
The Caap chief did not identify the other two flying schools, saying their applications were denied outright because “they failed to conform with certain standards.”
He said the student pilot who logged 55 flying hours is a foreign student, but did not name him or the
school he was enrolled in. He added that both the school and the student are being investigated for connivance, in an apparent attempt to expedite the pilot’s training so that he would be issued a flying license at the shortest time possible.
“Caap investigation revealed that there were cases of student pilots who are out of the country but were logging flights in their flight log,” he said.
Some students have agreed to conspire with some schools to speed up their training so that they would be spared the expense of getting their commercial pilot’s license, Cusi said.
“Some aviation schools are offering a package deal of $30,000, where a student would be offered ground-schooling and a private pilot’s license after logging about 40 flying hours. A commercial pilot’s license would need about 200 flying hours, although at this stage, the pilot is not yet ready to be employed in any airline company,” he added.
The Caap chief said the country’s schools were subjected to audit after Philippine-issued flying licenses and certificates lost their face value in foreign countries following revelations some licenses were issued through illegal means.
Although there are a dozen countries whose citizens are enrolled in the country’s aviation schools, Cusi revealed that Japan had stopped sending student pilots here following reports of corrupt practices by some of the training centers and academies.
Cusi, in a letter, told the two named flying schools to “cease and desist in operating in any activity related to ground instructions and flight training.”
“We are pushing to professionalize and have our aviation schools meet the international standards and all certificates, flight-time logs and other documents issued by these schools will not be honored.”
Strike Wing was audited by an inspection team on June 9 and 10, but declined to cooperate in a follow-up procedure.
The Caap is also investigating the fake license issued to student pilot, one of whom was a student of Nasa. Investigators were scheduled to conduct an audit on June 15, but the school, after agreeing to a rescheduled date, eventually barred the investigators, according to Cusi.
He added his team is also looking into possible involvement of other schools issuing fake licenses, following complaints from students.