Society 12:20 04/03/2010

Swedish pilot flew without licence for 13 years

Dutch officials have arrested a Swedish pilot who flew for commercial airlines for 13 years using a fake licence, foreign media reported.

The 41-year-old pilot, who lives in Milan, clocked up at least 10,000 hours flying for airlines based in Britain, Italy and Belgium.

Following a tip-off from the Swedish authorities, officials detained him at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Tuesday evening as he was preparing to take off for Ankara in a Boeing 737 with 101 passengers on board, Dutch police said in a statement.

The pilot had previously held a licence to fly small planes, but it had expired and did not allow him to fly large airliners.

He has been held in custody and a judge in Haarlem, near Amsterdam, will decide on Friday if he should be released on bail while awaiting trial for forging documents and flying without a licence.

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