More than 30% of commercial pilots in Pakistan aren't qualified to fly and carry a fake license, according to the country's aviation minister. While faulting pilot error in last month's plane crash that killed a total of 98 people in Karachi, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that 262 of 860 commercial pilots in Pakistan "don't have flying experience" and "did not take the exam themselves," per CNN. "They give money and have a dummy candidate sit in their place," Khan said, per Al Jazeera.
The shocking revelation came as Khan reported that the pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight that crashed near Jinnah International Airport on May 22 had initially tried to land without lowering the landing gear. The engines scrubbed the runway and later failed. It's unclear if the pilots had legitimate licenses, per Business Insider, though PIA has now grounded 150 of its 434 pilots. "It will totally cripple us," a spokesperson tells Al Jazeera. "But we cannot take risks with this." (Read more Pakistan stories.)