Source: Herald Sun
AN unqualified Qantas mechanical engineer signed off on the safety of more than 1000 international flights in the past year without having a licence to do so.
The “imposter”, based at Sydney international airport, is being investigated by the Australian Federal Police after allegedly forging his licensed aircraft maintenance engineer’s licence without having passed the Civil Aviation Safety Authority exams required.
The alleged fraudster has “given the thumbs-up” to more than four international flights a day over the past year.
Irregularities with his licence were exposed during a routine checking process last month, Qantas executive general manager of engineering David Cox said yesterday. The man had been responsible for signing off on maintenance, which allowed aircraft to then be classified safe to fly.
When confronted by Qantas management the engineer tendered his resignation and is now alleged to have fled.
He contacted his union, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, last week seeking help, but has not been heard from since.
ALAEA federal secretary Steve Purvinas said it was the responsibility of Qantas to check its employees were qualified to sign off on aircraft.
Qantas said yesterday the man was not only responsible for “certifying for the release of aircraft” but also authorised more junior, unlicensed engineers to send aircraft on their way. Since discovering the man was unlicensed, CASA and Qantas retraced the work he carried out and found no anomalies.