Fake pilot on the run after flying passenger jets

Michael Fay

Michael Fay

First published in News

A HAMPSHIRE conman who faked pilot’s qualifications to get a job flying holiday makers to the UK is on the run after failing to appear before the courts for sentencing.

Michael Fay, 59, a US national who settled in Alton, worked fraudulently as a commercial airline pilot, flying passengers into Gatwick Airport without the proper licence and medical documentation on eight occasions.

Police were alerted to Fay’s scam when another pilot became suspicious while chatting to him on an internet forum.

He had been operating Airbus A320 aircraft for eight months on behalf of Libyan company Afriqiyah Airways at the time of his arrest on February 3, 2011, having forged his pilot’s licence and medical certificates.

The former US Air Force pilot was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison at Winchester Crown Court last Friday for fraud.

Fay is believed to have fled the UK and may be seeking work as a pilot or flying instructor.

Hampshire Constabulary, the Civil Aviation Authority and overseas law enforcement are working together to bring Fay back to the UK to begin his sentence.

DC Chris Thorne from Hampshire Constabulary, said: “Michael Fay is a clever and resourceful man who clearly shows no concern for public safety if he’s willing to work without the correct licences and medical certification.

“He targeted Libyan aviation at a time when the country’s political and economic standing was vulnerable and volatile.

“Had it not been for the quick-thinking of a genuine pilot on the internet forum, Fay may have continued to put the public at risk in this manner unnoticed.

“We are working closely with the CAA and other organisations outside of the UK to locate him and bring him to justice. Public safety is paramount so it is important people are aware that he may be trying to gain work as an airline pilot or flying instructor overseas.

“Any information as to his whereabouts should be directed to Hampshire Constabulary on 101 or, if overseas, local law enforcement.”

Comments (9)

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5:15pm Fri 10 May 13

Outside of the Box says...

Why did the let fly the coop
Why did the let fly the coop Outside of the Box
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Fri 10 May 13

Outside of the Box says...

Been a long day

Why did they let him fly the coop
Been a long day Why did they let him fly the coop Outside of the Box
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Fri 10 May 13

chrisja says...

He flew the f*cking plane didn't he? Don't see what the problem is...
He flew the f*cking plane didn't he? Don't see what the problem is... chrisja
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Fri 10 May 13

S Pance says...

Not being funny but it truly is easy to fly an A320 as everything is automated.

The difficult bit is when there's an emergency as you need to take on manual control.

It's also wrong to say he was a "fake" pilot as he'd previously flown for USAF. What the article should say is that his licence didn't cover commercial jets.
Not being funny but it truly is easy to fly an A320 as everything is automated. The difficult bit is when there's an emergency as you need to take on manual control. It's also wrong to say he was a "fake" pilot as he'd previously flown for USAF. What the article should say is that his licence didn't cover commercial jets. S Pance
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Fri 10 May 13

beesdee says...

Crisja, if you were flying somewhere and had to choose between a fully qualified pilot, trained to fly that type of plane, or someone with no license, which pilot would you choose?
Crisja, if you were flying somewhere and had to choose between a fully qualified pilot, trained to fly that type of plane, or someone with no license, which pilot would you choose? beesdee
  • Score: 0

9:42pm Fri 10 May 13

AD1234 says...

S Pance wrote:
Not being funny but it truly is easy to fly an A320 as everything is automated.

The difficult bit is when there's an emergency as you need to take on manual control.

It's also wrong to say he was a "fake" pilot as he'd previously flown for USAF. What the article should say is that his licence didn't cover commercial jets.
As a 30 year commercial airline pilot, Pance, I am telling you that you should not show this level of ignorance on a public forum.

You really have no understanding of the profession of piloting modern aircraft.

Kindly confine your comments to subjects with which you are familiar.
[quote][p][bold]S Pance[/bold] wrote: Not being funny but it truly is easy to fly an A320 as everything is automated. The difficult bit is when there's an emergency as you need to take on manual control. It's also wrong to say he was a "fake" pilot as he'd previously flown for USAF. What the article should say is that his licence didn't cover commercial jets.[/p][/quote]As a 30 year commercial airline pilot, Pance, I am telling you that you should not show this level of ignorance on a public forum. You really have no understanding of the profession of piloting modern aircraft. Kindly confine your comments to subjects with which you are familiar. AD1234
  • Score: 0

7:14am Sat 11 May 13

bigfella777 says...

crazy
crazy bigfella777
  • Score: 0

7:32am Sat 11 May 13

MisterGrimsdale says...

I'm also worried about that Pilots in Suspenders chatroom they were chatting on.
I'm also worried about that Pilots in Suspenders chatroom they were chatting on. MisterGrimsdale
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Sat 11 May 13

andysaints007 says...

S Pance wrote:
Not being funny but it truly is easy to fly an A320 as everything is automated.

The difficult bit is when there's an emergency as you need to take on manual control.

It's also wrong to say he was a "fake" pilot as he'd previously flown for USAF. What the article should say is that his licence didn't cover commercial jets.
TW&T
[quote][p][bold]S Pance[/bold] wrote: Not being funny but it truly is easy to fly an A320 as everything is automated. The difficult bit is when there's an emergency as you need to take on manual control. It's also wrong to say he was a "fake" pilot as he'd previously flown for USAF. What the article should say is that his licence didn't cover commercial jets.[/p][/quote]TW&T andysaints007
  • Score: 0

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