Crashed Boeing 737 Pilot May Have Flown Under Fake License

Validity of training comes into question.

Russian 737 Crash Site

Russian 737 Crash Site

** In this photo provided by Russian Emergency
Situations Ministry, fire fighters and rescuers
work at the crash site of a Russian passenger
airliner near Kazan.**

As Russian investigators are working hard to piece together the cause behind last month's tragic crash of a commercial 737 jet, which killed all 50 people on board, fingers are being pointed at the operations of the airline itself. Multiple reports by Russian news media including The Moscow Times claim that Rosaviatsia, Russia's Federal Air Transportation Agency, has recommended revoking the operating certificate of Tatarstan Airlines, which operated the crashed 737.

The reasoning behind the harsh recommendation is that the airline's pilots may not have been properly trained and the crew schedules don't allow for sufficient rest times.

The spokesman of Russia's Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin told Russia's news agency Interfax that the captain of the crashed airplane was trained at a facility that has since been closed. Markin also said there was reason to believe many Russian airline pilots are flying with fake commercial licenses, as the legality of the work at several training centers is coming into question.

The BBC reported that investigators have yet to find any technical faults with the jet itself and that the airplane was in manual control when it crashed into the ground on a second attempt to land at the Kazan International Airport.

Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.

We welcome your comments on flyingmag.com. In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.