Thomas Salme

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Thomas Harry Salme (born 18 February 1969 in Stockholm) [1] was convicted for flying passenger jets without a commercial pilot's license. After working as a First Officer and Captain from 1997 to 2010 for several international airline companies, Salme was arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in March 2010.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

History

In 1997, Salme, who worked as a maintenance engineer for SAS airlines, [2] and had never flown a large aircraft, applied to the Italian airline company Air One to be a co-pilot, using false papers and a forged ID number. [3] He had learned to fly passenger jets using a flight simulator at Stockholm Arlanda Airport a friend gave him off-hours access to. [4] [2] [5]

Air One S.p.A. was an Italian low-cost airline which operated as Air One "Smart Carrier". It operated as Alitalia's low cost carrier subsidiary with operating bases located in Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport, Pisa Airport, Venice Marco Polo Airport and Verona Villafranca Airport; while Tirana was a focus city. "Air One" is a portmanteau of the English meaning Air One and the Italian word 'airone', meaning heron, which was also the airline's callsign.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport international airport serving Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is an international airport located in the Sigtuna Municipality of Sweden, near the town of Märsta, 37 kilometres (23 mi) north of Stockholm and nearly 40 kilometres (25 mi) south-east of Uppsala. The airport is located within Stockholm County and the province of Uppland. It is the largest airport in Sweden and the third-largest airport in the Nordic countries. The airport is the major gateway to international air travel for large parts of Sweden. Arlanda Airport was used by close to 27 million passengers in 2017, with 21.2 million international passengers and 5.5 million domestic.

In 1999, he was promoted to captain and kept on working for Air One until 2006. He then moved to the Turkish and Dutch airline company Corendon Airlines, where he worked as a Captain for a year, before being offered a contract at the English Jet2. After only ten months he decided to go back to work for Corendon, where he regularly flew passenger jets for another two years.[ citation needed ] Salme accumulated 10,000 hours in the air while flying without a valid commercial pilot's license. [4] [6]

Corendon Airlines is a Turkish leisure airline headquartered in Antalya and based at Antalya Airport.

Salme was arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in March 2010, while seated in the cockpit of a Corendon Boeing 737 carrying 101 passengers just a few minutes before take-off to Ankara, Turkey. [7] Officers, who were alerted by a tip from Swedish authorities, said the man had once had a private pilot license, but it had expired and it never qualified him for passenger flights. As a result, he was fined 2,000 Euros (£1,700 or $2,700) and was banned from flying for 12 months by a Dutch court, which rejected the prosecutor's request for a three-month suspended jail sentence. [4] [8]

Speaking through his lawyer, Salme said he had no plans to fly again. [8] He wrote a book in Swedish about his experiences, En bluffpilots bekännelse ("Confessions of a Con Pilot"), published in 2012 by Norstedts förlag. [9] [10] [11]

Norstedts förlag Swedish publishing company

Norstedts Förlag is a book publishing company in Sweden. Norstedt's is Sweden's oldest publishing house and one of the largest in the country. It was founded in 1823 by Per Adolf Norstedt, under the name P. A. Norstedt & Söner.

In the analysis of The Times , Salme's employer "bore part of the blame" because of its "laissez-faire approach to background checks". [7] According to the The Times and the South China Morning Post , this was one of a series of fake resume scandals as a result of which airlines and other employers tightened their vetting procedures on with regard to resume claims made by job applicants. [7] [12] Corendon Airlines tightened its vetting procedures for hiring pilots in the wake of this scandal. [13]

<i>The Times</i> British daily compact newspaper owned by News UK

The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, in turn wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.

<i>South China Morning Post</i> Hong Kong newspaper

The South China Morning Post, with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is a Hong Kong English-language newspaper founded in 1903. It is Hong Kong's newspaper of record, owned by Alibaba Group. The journal was founded by Australian-born anti-Qing dynasty revolutionary Tse Tsan-tai and British journalist Alfred Cunningham, with the first edition of the paper published on 6 November 1903. The journal's circulation has been relatively stable for years—the average daily circulation stood at 100,000 in 2016.

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol airport in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands

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Scandinavian Airlines flag-carrier airline of Denmark, Norway and Sweden

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References

  1. Francalacci, Nadia (2011). Paura di volare (in Italian). Chiarelettere. p. 19. ISBN   9788861901988 via Google Books. Thomas Harry Salme nasce a Stoccolma il 18 febbraio 1969 e ad ascoltarlo sembra un disco rotto.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  2. 1 2 Erskine, Carol (20 May 2010). "Fake pilot Thomas Salme says passengers were never at risk". News.com.au.
  3. Pinnegar, Edward (2011). Airline Scams and Scandals. The History Press. ISBN   9780752478371 . Retrieved 1 August 2019 via Google Books.
  4. 1 2 3 Staff (17 May 2010). "Fake pilot who flew for 13 years without licence fined £1,700". The Telegraph .
  5. Mozelius, Peter (21 November 2018). "Game-construction students experiences of educational games - gaming outcomes and learning outcomes". ICTE Journal. 7 (2): 5–16. doi:10.1515/ijicte-2018-0005. ISSN   1805-3726. Without any pilot licence, except for a home-made one, he worked as a pilot for several international airline companies during 13 years. How to fly passenger planes was something he learnt during night sessions with SAS owned flight simulators at the Arlanda airport in Sweden.
  6. Nénin, François (20 May 2015). Oups ! On a oublié de sortir le train d'atterrissage: Histoires vraies et insolites de l'aérien (in French). Fayard. ISBN   9782213688183 . Retrieved 1 August 2019 via Google Books.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  7. 1 2 3 Monaghan, Gabrielle (20 May 2012). "No flights of fancy on CVs: Employers are wising up to the candidates who lie about their pasts". The Times .
  8. 1 2 "No Jail for Unlicensed Pilot who Flew Jetliners". CBS News. Associated Press. 13 April 2010.
  9. Thunberg, Karin (8 June 2012). "En luftburen bedragare" (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet . Retrieved 1 August 2019.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  10. Elmblad, Katarina Arnstadt (16 August 2012). "Du borde få lite mera xxx i dig" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet . Retrieved 1 August 2019.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  11. Ivarsson, Av Måns (4 March 2009). "Efter 20 år som pilot avslöjades Williams hemlighet". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 August 2019.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  12. So, Charlotte (28 December 2011). "Carriers out to catch fake pilots if they can Expanding mainland airlines seeking more staff are on alert for foreigners with fake credentials". South China Morning Post .
  13. Sterling, Toby (13 April 2010). "Man Fined for Fling Jets without a License". NBC News. AP. Retrieved 1 August 2019.