Thomas Salme

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Thomas Harry Salme (born 18 February 1969 in Stockholm) [1] is famous 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.

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, and was hired. [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]

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]

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]

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 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 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]

After his flying carreer, Thomas continued as a documentary film maker, with his first film released 2019 "Rescued from Hell - The Story of Jota Cardona". [14]

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References

  1. Francalacci, Nadia (2011). Paura di volare (in Italian). Chiarelettere. p. 19. ISBN   978-88-6190-198-8 via Google Books. Thomas Harry Salme nasce a Stoccolma il 18 febbraio 1969 e ad ascoltarlo sembra un disco rotto.
  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   978-0-7524-7837-1 . 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   978-2-213-68818-3 . Retrieved 1 August 2019 via Google Books.
  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.
  10. Elmblad, Katarina Arnstadt (16 August 2012). "Du borde få lite mera xxx i dig" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet . Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  11. Ivarsson, Av Måns (4 March 2009). "Efter 20 år som pilot avslöjades Williams hemlighet". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  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.
  14. Zappa, Jacopo. "Rescued from Hell - The Story of Jota Cardona".