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South African Black Twitter Responds to a Pilot Flying for 20 Years Without a License

Twenty years of piloting without being caught out? Sounds about white if you ask us.

A senior pilot for South Africa's national airline South African Airways (SAA) has resigned after it was discovered (after twenty years) that he never had a legitimate piloting license to begin with. Black twitter is having a field day with the news as they reflect on how this narrative is not unheard of in a country where 'White is always right'.


William Chandler, who has been a senior pilot for SAA and flown thousands of hours in his 20-year career, does not have an airline transport pilot licence (ATPL). He never did. It is, however, bewildering that SAA and the aviation certification body did not notice that Chandler had fraudulent papers. ATPLs are required to be renewed each year with medical and physical examinations as well as technical re-evaluations and so it is most flabbergasting that Chandler flew under the radar (pun intended) for so long. But then again, Chandler is white.

According to the Mail&Guardian, SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said:

"When faced with reportable incidents such as this one, the airline undertakes investigations to gather relevant details, establish facts and make determination on what course of action must be embarked on, whether remedial, disciplinary or otherwise. This process forms part of our standard operating procedures."

Black South Africans on Twitter are not having it. They are highlighting just how much White South Africans can get away with such things purely because their whiteness allows them to be assumed as legitimately competent.

Interestingly enough, some White South Africans are jumping to Chandler's defense and saying that he still managed to fly well (not really) despite not having a license. Go figure.
















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Photo by Alfredo Zuniga / AFP

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