Originally Posted by chazbird
I did a contract flying gig in India. Air India is not to be confused with several other notably more air worthy carriers in the country. (Although a few of non-state private carriers were not so great....).
The DGCA, at the time I was there, and for some time thereafter, reportedly had not one qualified air transport pilot on staff. I don't think they even had any pilots of any kind on staff.
Every year you had to trudge to Delhi and get your FATA, basically a permit for a foreigner to fly in India. It was a surreal experience to say the least. No AC, a very very grotty bathroom, broken windows, cracked walls, mold on walls, tatty calendars on the wall that were showing March, 3 years previous, a room with mountains of paperwork stacked floor to ceiling bound with string, and all over the big tables too, with about 6 government employees sleepily going through whatever papers were there. You always had to wait 1-3 hours in the dismal lobby because it was just a power trip on their part because you could watch them do nothing but read the paper and sip tea while you waited.
But I love India. Really.
However, those two pilots might deserve the gaol.
Had exactly the same experience. It was common for them to administer the A&P exam to foreign pilots to ensure failure. I was one of the few pilots who legitimately passed their validation exams, and still our company man had to meet the DGCA official at his home, with a briefcase full of cash, to "discuss my score".
I haven't been there in years but every time there is talk of eliminating the foreign pilots, an indian crew does something unbelievably stupid. My company actually had pilots on the roster who had forged their training documents from Flight Safety, because they COULD NOT PASS RECURRENT! Flight Safety found out and actually prohibited the training of Indian pilots for a time. Even with this known, they were still on flying status.
Man, I should write a book.