Fake SWEDISH pilot Thomas Salme says passengers were never at risk

A SWEDISH pilot who flew commercial airliners for 13 years with a fake licence said he never put passengers at risk.

Thomas Salme was caught last month as he was ready to pilot a Boeing 737 from Amsterdam Shiphol to Ankara in Turkey.

Thomas Salme was detained on suspicion of holding a fake pilot licence after a tip-off to Dutch authorities. The 41-year-old had accumulated 10,000 unlicenced hours in the sky. He admitted he doctored his expired pilot’s licence and was fined €2,000 and banned from flying for a year.

"The moral point of view is that I feel ashamed that I did lie but I didn't ever feel, not once, feel that I put passengers in an unsafe position," Thomas Salme told Sky News.

Thomas Salme is now writing a book about his experiences but added that no one might copy his behaviour as new checks mean a fake licence would be spotted. Thomas Salme is being compared to Frank Abagnale, the American who conned people into thinking he was a pilot.

Leonardo DiCaprio starred in the film Catch Me If You Can that told his story but Thomas Salme denied the 2 men are similar. "I feel my name is all over the world, my punishment is more than €2,000," he said.
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