The captain of the Cypriot airliner that crashed Sunday was a former East German airline pilot who worked for a Dublin, Ireland-based agency that supplies pilots to airlines, a German newspaper reported.
The Bild daily said that Hans-Juergen Merten, 58, had flown with Helios Airlines for six months before the crash but was an employee of Direct Personnel International, an agency that connects pilots and airlines.
Shane Pollard, managing director at Direct Personnel International, said, ``We're making no comment'' but added that ``we are working with the family'' of Merten, whose body has not yet been found.
Merten had also been a pilot for the airline Interflug in the former East Germany, German news media reported.
The airline went out of existence after German reunification in 1990. Like many Interflug pilots who had flown the airline's Soviet-built planes, Merten would have undergone retraining to fly Western aircraft.
The German pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit said it had no information on Merten or his background. He had a valid airline pilot's license, said spokeswoman Cornelia Eichorn from Germany's Luftfahrt Bundesamt aviation authority, who could provide no further information.
The body of the German pilot, Hans-Juergen Merten, 58, has not yet been identified. He had previously worked for two months for the British budget airline Jet2 and before that for easyJet. Jet2 refused to comment on claims yesterday that Mr Merten had been sacked after a series of safety breaches.
|Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):|
I heard from a friend following this story that the captain was German and had his license revoked in Germany. Does anyone have any credibility or a link to this story at all?
The pilots who operated the Boeing 737-300 were both highly experienced and held valid Air Transport Pilot licenses recognised by the Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation, which is a member of the European Joint Airworthiness Authorities (JAA). As part of the normal procedures followed by every airline which operates under JAA standards, Helios Airways pilots regularly undergo recurrent training and proficiency checks, as well as regular medical examinations to ensure their fitness to operate large transport aircraft.
The Captain of flight ZU522, Capt Hans Jurgen Merten, had operated more than 17,500 flying hours, including 12,500 hours as pilot-in-command on jet aircraft, of which more than 8,000 hours were on Boeing 737 variants. Capt Merten, who was a German citizen, held an Air Transport Pilots' Licence (ATPL) issued by the German Civil Aviation Authority (LBA), which was valid until 14 April 2006.
The First Officer, Pampos Charalambous, who was from Cyprus, had amassed more than 7,500 flying hours, including 3,700 hours on the Boeing 737. Mr Charalambous held a valid ATPL issued by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and had flown with Helios Airways since May 2000.
All pilots employed by Helios Airways must hold an Air Transport Pilots' License issued by a JAA member state, and must have both a valid type rating (license to fly a specific aircraft type) and a valid aviation medical certificate. Pilots joining Helios Airways are required to undergo a company Operators' Proficiency Check (OPC), which is mandated by the JAA, and may also take a Licence Proficiency Check (LPC), which is an instrument flying check performed in a simulator.
Pilots are also required by the JAA and by Helios Airways to take an intensive company-specific training course in order to acquire familiarity with company manuals and procedures. This includes training on emergency procedures, safety equipment and crew resource management (CRM).
|Quoting BostonGuy (Reply 3):|
Posting comments from a "friend" reeks of inaccuracy and urban mythology. It would help us tremendously if you let us know why your friend would even have access to this information (job position) or where he got it (web site address, etc.).
|Quoting CORULEZ05 (Reply 9):|
Why don't we start another rumor. Let's all say that the pilot was really a homeless guy that Helios management picked up and put him up as a pilot......great isn't it