Not so long ago, there was a spoof on YouTube featuring Egyptair in which the bumbling pilot promises to take off and land somewhere in Egypt and at some point of time. How we laughed at that. But now we may be laughing on the other side of our faces given the cavalier manner in which many of our pilots have obtained their airworthiness. Forged certificates, fudged birth records, enhanced flying hours and fake marksheets are just some of the instruments on the panel that some pilots have used to get into the cockpit. So it would be no flight of fancy to say that the next time you see your pilot furiously studying the flight manual in the airport, rush out and buy a train ticket to your destination.
Now it looks all very exciting in Hollywood movies to have some rookie steward steering an aircraft solely on the basis of instructions from air traffic control after hijackers have made short work of the pilots. But it’s another matter to be several kilometers up in the air in a plane piloted by someone who has got no further than a flight simulator. We have learned to live dangerously. We have doctors with fake licences, lecturers with spurious degrees and bus drivers with no licences at all. But to think that you might have to land in the Thar desert instead of Udaipur on your next flight is enough to keep you firmly grounded.
The amazing part is that the fakers have no fear for their own lives, never mind scant disregard for ours. For all you know, we may be fake edit writers, though chances are that you’ll never know and we will have caused you no greater harm than lulling you into somnolence. And we’re down to earth in many ways, as you should be if you don’t want any unwanted air pockets in your life.