There are certain jobs where lying on your resume, in retrospect, can almost seem charming. Certainly many a celebrity has told a tale where they got the part after lying about baton twirling skills or whatever other dumb shit they had to cram the day before showing up on set. It looked cool when the kid in Almost Famous lied about being an adult to write an article for The Rolling Stone. Gordon Ramsay has never taken a cooking course but instead started his culinary journey by throwing soup at waiters until someone eventually had to hire him. (Maybe don't Google that last one.)
But pilot is not one of those professions and that was made all too clear when, on May 22nd, a Pakistani airline crashed in the city of Karachi, killing 97 of its 99 passengers and crew members on board. As it turns out, an incredible 141 of 450 (about a third) of Pakistan International Airlines pilots have "suspicious licenses" and while it's not clear if the two pilots that caused the crash in Karachi were also owners of suspect licenses, we'll just say that they tried to land without lowering the landing gear and let you draw your own conclusions.
It gets even worse when on Thursday it was revealed that 262 of Pakistan's 860 pilots (commercial and airline transport) have fake flying licenses. According to Pakistani Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the pilots would pay someone to take their exams for them, with some of them paying for all eight papers required to obtain a license. It's truly mind-blowing why someone wouldn't feel confident enough to take a pilot's exam, but would then feel confident enough to go fly a plane full of a hundred people. Maybe if the exams are like this I can see the logic:
Did whoever designed the Pakistani pilot's exam intend it to be so mentally torturous that people would rather pay to cheat and then test their knowledge literally on the fly, rather than spend a minute taking it? If that's the case, then sorry Pakistan, but you've got the origins of a supervillain on your hands, and, if it's not the case, then sorry again Pakistan, because oh, my god, how is it that so many people are being allowed to fly without a proper license? When Chris Rock said this, he meant it as a metaphor for cops:
"Some jobs, everybody gotta be good. Like ... pilots. Ya know, American Airlines can't be like, 'Most of our pilots like to land. We just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains. Please bear with us.'"
It's terrifying to think that this can now be taken literally.
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